Remember, silence is not emptiness. To the reason it may appear that silence is emptiness – it is not. Silence is the most fulfilled moment possible. It is not only fulfilled, it is overflowing. But it is of a felt significance. The heart is not empty; it is the only thing which is full. The mind is just empty because mind has nothing but words. And what are words? – ripples in emptiness. And what is silence? – silence is the total.
When you think you are separate from existence, when you don’t think you are one…in a non-thinking moment you lose all boundaries. Suddenly you disappear, and still you are. And this felt moment of non-ego, of no-mind, of no-thought, is the situation in which it becomes possible for the truth to descend in you. When you are empty of yourself you will be filled by truth. So all that a master has to do is to kill you utterly and completely, to destroy your ego utterly and completely, is to cut off your head so that you can become the heart. Then the whole energy moves into the heart.
Can you be headless? If you can be, only then can you be a disciple. If you cling to the head then you cannot be a disciple. Can you live without the head? If you cannot live without the head then you are closed to the truth. Head is the barrier, heart is the opening.
So how can the real teaching be taught? It cannot be taught. It is not a learning, you cannot learn it from somebody; it is an inner discipline. You have to become a receptive vehicle, a medium. It is not something which you can learn remaining as you are. It cannot be an accumulation. You have to go through a transformation, you have to be different. You have to bring a different quality to your being.
Only then does communication become possible – not exactly communication but rather, communion. Through the head there is a communication, through the heart there is a communion; it is not a dialogue. In fact, it is a meeting of the master with the disciple. It is less a dialogue, more a merging, a melting, where the master and the disciple merge into each other just as lovers merge. But lovers merge in the body; at the most lovers can merge in the mind. But a disciple and a master is the greatest love affair in the world: they merge in the spirit, they become one.
Only when they are one can the truth be shown. It cannot be taught, it cannot be learned; nobody can teach you. You can get it from nobody. The whole effort of getting it from somebody, alive or dead, from scriptures or from teachings, is futile. And the sooner you understand it the better, because the time wasted will simply be wasted. Nothing can be achieved by it.
You have to pass through a transformation. You have to die and be reborn. You have to be completely new, totally new. Only with that “new” – when the old has gone, when you have disappeared and a new being has taken place – then there is communion.
This beautiful Zen story says many things. Try to understand each word because each word is significant.
Kakua was the first Japanese to study Zen in China…