A little bit of experience is more valuable than mountains of knowledge. Just two small eyes are more valuable than the sun and the moon and all the stars. The whole point is that religion is an experience. It is not speculation, it is not continuous analysis – it is insight.
Now the sutras. These sutras are of immense value because they give you the technique in the simplest terms possible. And the method is really simple – unless you are determined to make it complex.
The mind always turns simple things into complexities – beware of that – because the mind cannot exist with the simple; it is not needed. If things are really simple, what is the need of the mind? The mind is needed only when things are complex. Then you have to depend on the mind because then the mind will find the way out of the riddle. But if there is no riddle, the mind is utterly useless; you can discard it. So the investment of the mind is in complexity. Remember it.
These sutras are very simple. Truth is always simple, utterly simple.
Master Lu-tsu said:
Nothing is possible without contemplation.
What is contemplation? – a moment of no-thought.
The English word contemplation does not give the right idea of dhyana. In English there is no word which can translate the word dhyana.
There are three words available. One is concentration, which is very far-off, because concentration means effort, tension – a forced state, not a flowing spontaneous state – and dhyana is a flowing spontaneity. There is no strain in it, so the word concentration cannot be its translation.
Then the other word is contemplation. But in English, contemplation gives the idea of thinking. When you say somebody is contemplating, you mean thinking about something.
Or the third word is meditation. But that too means thinking: to meditate upon something. Of these three words no word carries the meaning of dhyana. Dhyana means a state of no-thought, a state of silence, a state of being conscious but without any content. The mirror is there but reflecting nothing, nothing whatsoever. Just like the mirror, the consciousness is there, but nothing is occupying it. That unoccupied awareness is dhyana.
Taoists use the word contemplation to translate it. It is only because some word has to be used. So remember the meaning – it is not the meaning in the dictionaries. If you look into the dictionaries you will have a totally false idea of contemplation. In fact that is what The Secret of the Golden Flower calls “false contemplation.” False contemplation means thinking about something. It may be God – that’s what Christians mean by contemplation: thinking about God, thinking about holy things, transcendental things. But things are things; whether they are holy or unholy makes no difference. And thinking is thinking; whether you think about sex or samadhi makes no difference.