The rabbi of Chelm was distracted by children as he was preparing a sermon. He hollered out the window to chase them away, “Hurry down to the river where a terrible monster is in the water. He is breathing fire, and is an ugly dragon.”
The children ran to see what was going on. People followed them, the crowd grew.
As the rabbi saw the mob running, he asked, “Where is everyone going?”
“Down to the river where there is a monster breathing fire. It is an ugly green dragon.”
The rabbi joined the race. “True, I did make it up,” he thought as he panted. “Still, you never can tell.”
You may be creating something, but if others start believing it you will start believing it. This is your imagination. If I say, “Yes, it was true,” then you will suddenly believe in it, and you will think that you have believed in me. You have simply taken my support for your own dream.
Mind is a great liar, it goes on lying to you. Beware of the tricks of the mind.
A little girl was always lying. She was given a St. Bernard dog, and this little girl went out and told all the neighbors that she had been given a lion.
The mother called her and said, “I told you not to lie. You go upstairs and tell God you are sorry. Promise God you will never lie again.”
She went upstairs and said her prayers and then came down.
Her mother said, “Did you tell God you are sorry?”
The little girl said, “Yes, I did and God said that sometimes he finds it hard to tell my dog form a lion too.”
That’s how it goes on. But I am not going to help you in any way, because any hint of help will be destructive for you. On the path of meditation, on the path of Zen, all imagination has to be avoided. You have to be indifferent about it.
And the more you enter into meditation, the more and more imagination will try to distract you. It is not a new phenomenon, it has always happened. All the great meditators have come across it. Buddha is distracted by Mara, the god of devils. Jesus is distracted by the devil. Sufi mystics are distracted by Satan. There is no Satan, no Mara, no devil – the real devil is in your mind, the imagination.
There are stories of Hindu seers that when they reach to the final step of their meditation they are distracted by Indra. He sends beautiful maidens, apsaras, to distract them. But why should anybody distract these poor saints? Why? They are not doing anybody any harm. They have left the world, they are sitting under their trees or in their caves in the Himalayas, why send beautiful maidens to them?