Existence is not an ascetic, otherwise there would be no flowers, there would be no green trees, only deserts. God is not an ascetic, otherwise there would be no song in life, no dance in life, only cemeteries and cemeteries. God is not an ascetic, God enjoys life. God is more epicurean than you can imagine. If you think about God, think in terms of Epicurus. Godliness is a constant search for more and more happiness, joy, ecstasy, remember that.
But mind is very cunning: it can rationalize paralysis as meditation, it can rationalize dullness as transcendence, it can rationalize deadness as renunciation. Watch out! Always remember that if you are moving in the right direction, you will go on flowering. Much fragrance will come out of you and you will be creative. And you will be sensitive to life, to love, and to everything that existence makes available to you.
Have a very penetrating eye inside your mind, see what its motivations are. When you do something immediately look for the motivation, because if you miss the motivation, the mind goes on befooling you and goes on saying that something else was the motivation. For example, you come home angry and you beat your child. The mind will say, “It is just for his own sake, to make him behave.” This is a rationalization. Go deeper: you were angry and you wanted somebody with whom you could be angry. You could not be angry with the boss in the office, he is too strong for that, and it is risky and economically dangerous. No, you needed somebody helpless. Now this child is perfectly helpless, he depends on you. He cannot react, he cannot do anything; he cannot pay you back in the same coin. You cannot find a more perfect victim.
Look: are you angry? If you are angry, then the mind is befooling you. The mind goes on befooling you twenty-four hours a day, and you cooperate with it. Then in the end you are in misery, you land in hell. Watch every moment for the right motivation. If you can find the right motivation, the mind will become more and more incapable of deceiving you. And the further away you are from deception, the more you will be capable of moving beyond mind, the more you will become a master.
I have heard:
A scientist was saying to his friend, “I don’t see why you insisted that your wife wear a chastity belt while we were away at the convention. After all, between us, as old buddies, with Emma’s face and figure, who would?”
“I know, I know,” replied the other. “But when I get back home, I can always say I lost the key.”
Look: watch for the unconscious motivation. The mind goes on bullying you and bossing you because you are not capable of seeing its real motivations. Once a person becomes capable of seeing real motivations, meditation is very close because then the mind no longer has a grip on you.