The individual is a fiction – the whole cosmos is a reality. We are just dewdrops on lotus leaves, very beautiful in the early morning sun. But a small breeze comes and the dewdrop slips into the ocean. It does not die, it simply becomes infinite, eternal. As a dewdrop it was going to die sooner or later. As an individual we are all going to disappear into the universe. Before we disappear, the only way to live a life of joy and blissfulness, a life of gratitude and prayer, is to find your eternal roots. And they are so close within your grasp, you don’t have to go anywhere, neither in time nor in space.
This very moment you are breathing the universe, your heartbeat is in tune with the universe; this very moment your roots are being nourished by the universe, just you have never looked within. And you have been unnecessarily begging for small things, while inside you are an emperor. The splendor that you have inside you is unimaginable, the treasure is incalculable. Just a single look inside and a new dimension of existence opens up. And this is your reality, authentic reality. It is so blissful and ecstatic that once you have tasted it you will carry this taste around the clock.
In terms of Zen this is called the experience of the buddha. Everybody is a buddha. A few buddhas are looking outward; hence they are not aware of their inner treasure and majesty. And a few buddhas have looked inward and are amazed: what you are seeking outside is trivial, the real treasure is inside. And you were born with it – it is not something to be achieved, it is something to be recognized, to be remembered. It is a forgotten language.
Zen can be reduced into a simple definition: it teaches you the forgotten language. It teaches you the language of the inner world. Simple are the steps; there is no complication. You don’t need to have a great intelligence, all that you need is a little courage…a little courage to forget all the desires that lead you outwards; a little courage to look inwards, which is an unknown territory, untraveled. In the beginning it will look very dark and you will be very alone.
Most people in life have tried to look inwards, then immediately came back to the outside world. They have become too much accustomed to being a sheep in a crowd. They don’t have the guts to be a lion, and to be alone. They don’t know the beauty of aloneness; they don’t even know the distinction between loneliness and aloneness.
Loneliness is always begging for somebody, loneliness is missing somebody. Loneliness is a miserable state. But aloneness is finding yourself in such glory, in such beauty and benediction, that no desire remains. Even clouds are below your feet, even faraway stars suddenly come close to you, because you are getting more and more intimate with the existence.
The only richness is to know oneself.
By knowing oneself one comes to know that he was only a door to the vast and the infinite, to the eternal and the deathless. It is a very strange paradox that the moment you know yourself, you are not, the whole is. The dewdrop has disappeared, and all around is the ocean