He said, “It is not a complaint. But for seven years I have suffered from the rain. Those workers broke my window. It was better without a mattress – I had become accustomed – but to remain always afraid of rain….
The abbot said, “Your window will be repaired, but don’t come again in this life with any complaint.”
But the situation remained the same: the workers came to fix the glass; he could not speak, and those idiots pulled out the mattress, so that they could work comfortably on the window and fix the glass. They fixed the glass and left the mattress out. Again the situation was the same – in fact, worse.
Now seven years looked really…next life perhaps he would be able to say, “My mattress is out.” He tried to pull it in, but there was no way, it was too big. And the abbot had said, “Now in this life you have complained enough. You have done nothing else since you came – complain, complain.”
These people think that they are doing something spiritual. Stupidity has many names; one of them is spirituality. Zen is not at all interested in decorating the ego. On the contrary its whole effort is how to empty you, how to make nothing of you, not something.
From my very childhood, my relatives, my neighbors, my well-wishers used to say, “The way you are growing, you will end up as nothing,” because I used to sit for hours silently by the side of the river. And people became so accustomed, they would not even ask what I was doing, because I was not doing anything at all.
But their prophecy was right. I ended in nothing. But that is the greatest blessing if you can end up being nothing. Good for nothing…only out of that nothingness blossom thousands of roses.
Humbleness is not practiced and cultivated by Zen. It is a simple outcome, a by-product of deep meditations. As you go deeper, you start forgetting that the whole world is struggling to become something, somebody special – more riches, more power. Everybody is trying to make history and you are disappearing almost like smoke in the sky. But those who can disappear just like smoke in the sky leaving no trace behind, no footprints behind, they are the only ones who come to know the splendor of existence, the beauty of this universe, and the truth and the divinity; which are just the beginning of great mysteries.
Doors upon doors go on opening for the humble one. And he remains simply a watcher. That is the ultimate. You don’t possess anything in a sense, and in another sense you possess the whole universe; but there is no possessiveness. You have entered into the essentials, into the eternal mystery of life and death, and you have found one thing, that everything changes except the witness in you. The witness is the only permanent phenomenon.