You will be surprised to know that my books are being taught in the Zen monasteries. Zen masters have written letters to me: “Perhaps now Zen will exist in India, in its original place. It is disappearing from Japan because people are more interested in technology, in science.”
That is the situation in India too. Very few people are interested in the inner exploration. Here you can find a few people from every country, but these are so few compared to the five billion human beings on the earth. Ten thousand is not a great number.
Zen has to be transformed in a way that the contemporary man can be interested in it. It has to be easy, relaxed, it has not to be hard. That old traditional type is no longer possible, nor is it needed. Once it has been explored, once a single man has become enlightened, the path becomes easy. You don’t have to discover electricity again and again. Once discovered you start using it – you don’t have to be great scientists.
The man who discovered electricity worked on it for almost twenty years. Three hundred disciples started with him and nobody remained because it took so long; everybody became exhausted. But the original scientist continued. His explanation to his own disciples was, “The more we are failing in finding the root of electricity, the closer we are going to the very root. Every failure is bringing us closer to the discovery.”
And finally, one night in the darkness, suddenly the first electric bulb started radiating. And you cannot conceive the joy of the man who had been working for thirty years. His silence – he was in awe. He could not believe his own eyes that after all this time it had happened, electricity had been controlled – “Now in our hands, how to use it?”
His wife called to him, “Come in the bedroom, it is the middle of the night. Put the light out!”
She was not aware that it was no ordinary light, and that the scientist had called her – “Come here and be the first to see something original. You will be the first person I will introduce to the secrets of electricity.”
Now, you don’t have to work for thirty years to know about electricity. Nor do you have to work thirty years for the Zen experience.
The awakening of the buddha is a very easy and relaxed phenomenon. Now that so many people have awakened, the path has become clear-cut; it is no longer hard and arduous. You can playfully enter inside and joyously experience the awakening of awareness. It is not as far away as it was for Gautam Buddha.
For Gautam Buddha it was an absolute unknown. He was searching for it like a blind man, knowing nothing about where he was going. But he was a man of tremendous courage, who for twelve years went on searching, exploring every method available in his time. All the teachers were talking about philosophy and yoga – he went from one teacher to another, and every teacher finally said to him, “I can tell you only this much. More than this I don’t know myself.”