One sometimes feels surprised the way Buddha starts. The way Buddha approaches reality is so unique. It is utterly revolutionary, radical. One would have thought he would start with a prayer to God – but there is no God. In Buddha’s vision God has no place. God is the invention of the ignorant people.
For Buddha there is no God as a person; there is no creator because the creation is eternal. Yes, there is creativity, but no creator. There is godliness, but no God. The whole existence is overflowing with godliness, but God is not a person so you cannot pray to him.
Remember, prayer is impossible with Buddha. Prayer presupposes a God, a personal God who can favor you if you praise him, who can be very disfavorable to you if you annoy him. This is childish – the whole approach is childish; it is not religious at all.
Buddha begins in a very scientific way. Rather than talking about God he talks about you and about your reality. As you are, you are nothing but noise. Look within and you will see the facticity of Buddha: you are just noise; not even a moment of silence happens to you. Hence your doors and windows remain closed. You are surrounded by your own garbage that you go on creating and accumulating, thinking that it is great treasure.
Quieten your mind…. And the statement is very significant, because the moment the mind is quiet the mind disappears. A quiet mind means a no-mind. A quiet mind is not anymore a mind at all. Negatively you can call it a no-mind. That’s what Zen people have done, that’s what mystics like Kabir, Nanak, have done. They call it amani – a state of no-mind. But you can use a positive term also. Mahayana Buddhists call this state bodhichitta – the universal Mind. Mind with a capital M, mind you, not your mind, not my mind, but simply the Mind: the oceanic Mind, the Mind of the whole.
Both are good. If you love positive ways of saying things you can call it bodhichitta – the Mind of the Buddha, the universal Mind. Or, if you love to be more accurate, then the negative way of saying it is far more correct; then call it no-mind, because as noise disappears, mind disappears. Just as when your disease disappears, health is left behind – not that now you have a healthy disease. Disease is never healthy and mind is never silent. Disease is disease and mind is noise. When there is no disease then there is health; when there is no noise then there is no-mind.
But a new experience arises in your innermost core: the experience of a silent music, a soundless sound. The mystics have called it anahat nad, the soundless sound; or, as the Zen people say, the sound of one hand clapping. It is basically paradoxical; hence the expression, the sound of one hand clapping.
Buddha says: Quieten your mind. Really he is saying: Go beyond mind, drop the mind, be finished with it. And what is the way? How has it to be done?