When I say to you that meditation is nothing but thoughtlessness, you can misunderstand me. You are not to do anything to become thoughtless, because whatever you will do will be again a thought. You have to learn to see the procession of thoughts, standing by the side of the road as if it does not matter to you what is passing by. Just the ordinary traffic – if you can take your thoughts in such a manner that they are not of much concern, then easily, slowly, the caravan of thoughts which has continued for thousands of years disappears.
You have to understand a simple thing, that giving attention is giving nourishment. If you don’t give any attention but remain unconcerned, the thoughts start dying on their own. They don’t have any other way to get energy, any other source of life. You are their energy, and because you go on giving them attention, seriously, you think it is very difficult to be free from thought. It is the easiest thing in the world, but it has to be done in the right way.
The right way is just to stand by the side. The traffic goes on – let it go. Don’t make any judgment of good and bad; don’t appreciate, don’t condemn. That is what is meant by being easy. It is all okay.
Without forcing…and that is something that has to be remembered, because our natural tendency is that if we have to become thoughtless, why not force the thoughts? Why not throw them out? But by the very act of forcing them, you are giving them energy, you are giving them nourishment, you are taking note of them and you are making them important – so important that without throwing them, you cannot meditate.
Just try to throw out any single thought, and you will see how difficult it is. The more you throw it the more it bounces back! It will enjoy the game very much, and you are going to be defeated finally. You have taken a wrong route.
I have always told an ancient Tibetan story….
A young man was very much interested in the esoteric, in the mysterious. He found a saint who was known to have many secrets, but it was very difficult to get any secret from him. The young man said, “I will see. I will devote my whole life to his service, and I will get the secrets, the mysteries.”
So he remained with the old saint. The old saint told him, “You are unnecessarily wasting your time. I don’t have anything, I am just a poor old soul. Because I don’t speak, people think I am keeping some secret. But I don’t have anything to say, so I remain silent.”
But the man said, “I cannot be persuaded so easily. You will have to give me the secret which opens the door of all the mysteries.”