In your absolute silence, when the mind is not there, what remains?
The mind is only ripples of the ocean.
When the ripples are gone the ocean which was not visible because of the ripples…suddenly you realize you are it.
Where are you going to find it?
Seppo’s grain of rice
Seppo addressed the assembly and said, “All the great world, if I pick it up with my fingertips, is found to be like a grain of rice. I throw it in front of your face, but you do not see it. Beat the drum, telling the monks to come out to work and search for it.”
We live in such a limited way, our eyes don’t see much and our ears don’t hear much and our hearts don’t feel much. We live at the minimum, just a small candle flame. The universe is vast – in fact its vastness is almost inconceivable by the mind, because the mind cannot conceive anything limitless. There is no beginning and there is no end; there is no boundary anywhere where the universe ends, where you come to a board which says, “Here ends the world.” It does not end anywhere.
Hence all our words – even words like vastness, infinity, eternity – are very small efforts. In the words of Seppo, the whole world that our mind can conceive, compared to the whole real universe, is just like a grain of rice. So small that he says: If I throw it in front of your face, you will not see it. Beat the drum, telling the monks to come out to work, and search for it.
So small…he is saying, “Our conception compared to the reality is so small that because of its smallness we cannot even get hold of it.”
I have told you one story of Bertrand Russell, the only story he has ever written. He was not a storywriter. My own understanding is that this story has come out of one of his dreams. He was a great philosopher.
The story is that the archbishop of England dies and finds himself at the pearly gates of heaven. Naturally he is expecting a great welcome, angels with harps singing Hallelujah. What he finds is just the opposite: a big gate, so big that he cannot find how high it is; he cannot find its height nor can he find its boundaries. He himself looks at himself and a great trembling arises in him – he looks like a small ant standing in front of a vast door which is closed. He knocks on the door and he knows that his knocks will not be heard. For the first time he recognizes that even though he is the archbishop of England, that does not matter. Before the gate of God he is just a small ant.