But he reminded me that his whole concern was newspapers. In a day he would come two, three times to ask me, “Has anything new come? The evening newspaper?”
I asked him, “Is the newspaper the whole world?”
He said, “What else to do? I am retired from my work. People think I am mad, so I don’t have any social life. People avoid me. You are the only person who will talk with me, who respects me, who accepts me as a human being. And what else is there? I am only waiting for death.”
The day he said to me, “I am only waiting for death,” I started to think about everyone – What are you doing? Somebody is running a business, somebody is accumulating money, somebody is becoming more powerful in politics.
But do you understand that you are moving towards death? Each moment death is coming closer and closer. And have you gathered anything that you will be able to take with you when you die? Except meditation, you cannot take any of your possessions with you. All that is outside of you will be left behind. Only the inner flame…if you have found it, if you have become conscious of it, then there is no death for you. But if you are not conscious of it you will think also, as others are thinking, that you are dead.
It is simply a question of thinking. If you know yourself exactly, you are never dead. But you never go inwards. You have simply forgotten that there is an immense space waiting for you, and that is your real home. All our efforts here in this Buddha Hall are efforts to make you acquainted again with your real home, which will not be burned on a funeral pyre, which will remain until eternity, in different forms or in formlessness. That is your buddhahood.
But to make it a constant remembrance you have to work out a certain discipline. The discipline is simple: remember always that everything is a miracle, everything is inexpressible. This whole world is so mysterious that you don’t have to read detective novels and you don’t have to go to see movies. If you can understand this silence, you will love to find spaces where you can be silent again and again. If you can touch the waters of life within you, you would love…in your whole day, whenever you can find just a moment, sipping the tea…you would love to look in, to see whether those waters of life are still flowing. One becomes accustomed, slowly, slowly to the eternity of oneself. But whether you know it or not, it is there.
Such a single day is too precious a treasure to be compared with a fine jewel. Ancient wise persons held it dearer than their body and life.
We must think quietly that a fine jewel and a rare gem, though lost, may be acquired again, but that a single day in a hundred years of life, once lost, never returns.