Bukko is making it clear: “Remember that even medicine can become poison. It can become out of date; you should not use it beyond its limit.” And if you want to do it within its limits, then do it so totally that you are finished before the time limit on the medicine is finished.
On every bottle of medicine, there is a date, a last date beyond which you should not use it. On every device there is a time limit, and if you want to experience the eternal in you, then don’t go slowly; then be fast, before the time limit on the device is finished.
And always remember that it is a nonsense device, there is no answer for it. It is not meant to have an answer; its purpose is there, and the purpose is to exhaust your mind. So put in your total energy, so it is exhausted quickly. The quicker you exhaust the mind, the sooner the realization, the transcendence, the opening of the doors of your eternal treasures.
In general, meditation has to be done with urgency, but if, after three or five years, the urgency is still maintained forcibly, the tension becomes a wrong one and it is a serious condition. Many lose heart and give up as a result.
An ancient has said, “Sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, sometimes hot on the trail and sometimes resting at a distance.”
So this mountain priest now makes people at this stage throw down their koan. When it is dropped and there is a cooling down…
Because you were going with full speed, your mind was becoming hotter and hotter, on a single point for years.
Bukko says, “I tell my disciples, now it is time to drop it, and let the mind cool down.”
…There is a cooling down, in due time they hit on what their own true nature is, as the solution of the koan.
When the mind cools down, that is almost the equivalent of mind being put aside. In one case it is sudden enlightenment, in the other case it will be called gradual enlightenment.
I don’t use koans for the simple reason that you are not in a monastery. The method is basically a monastery method – nobody has made the distinction before. My people are in the world; they cannot put their totality into meditating twenty-four hours. It is enough for them to put their totality into it for a few minutes and just have a drink of their eternity, of their immortality, just to have a glimpse of the roots. And don’t continue it, just let it remain like a faraway echo surrounding you. A fragrance – just as when you pass a rose garden, even if you don’t touch the roses, your clothes will carry the fragrance of the roses.