When one realizes “this is,” where should he go from this point? In fact, from this point you cannot go anywhere. Wherever you go you will be at this point. You cannot move away from “now,” whatever you do, however fast you run; wherever you will be, you will be in the now. And you cannot move in any other space than here. Wherever you will be, that space will become “here.” We have never moved, as far as our center is concerned.
He is asking, “When one knows ‘this is’ where should he go from there?”
Nansen replied, “He should go down the hill to become a buffalo in the village below!”
Nansen’s answer is simply making a laughingstock of Joshu: “Don’t ask such stupid questions. You are not supposed to ask such questions. These questions are asked by mediocre people. To those who don’t have any experience of their inner being these questions are relevant, they are not relevant for you.”
But he does not say it directly, he says,
“He should go down the hill to become a buffalo in the village below.”
Joshu thanked Nansen for having led him to his full enlightenment.
Reading such stories about Zen is an experience in itself. Something is happening behind the curtain of the words which is not visible to you. Something is happening which is neither in the questions nor in the answers. Because you have read this, do you think this will lead you to full enlightenment? But Joshu became fully enlightened.
These stories are very superficial. Underneath them there is another current of a personal intimacy, of deep love and gratitude.
Joshu is feeling Nansen almost as his own heart; although he is not a disciple, he is a fellow dancer. And Nansen never insisted on anybody becoming a disciple. His insistence was, “This is enough: to be with me. If there is something to happen, remain open. I am available; if you are also available the meeting will happen. Don’t keep your doors closed; just remain receptive.”
I am radiating that energy, which will take a jump and your heart which has lived in darkness for centuries will become suddenly enlightened. The fire will reach to you if you remain available, and close, intimate; because the jump is possible only within a certain distance.
If you remain too far away, secure and safe, and hoping to become enlightened, you are wrong. You have to risk to come close to the master, as close as possible. In that closeness, in that intimacy suddenly your heart becomes aflame. You are no more in darkness.
So always remember that these stories are the superficial part of the real thing. The real thing cannot be said. The real thing can only be understood.
Since eternity, whenever a man has become enlightened, ninety-nine point nine percent it has been a transfer of energy from one master to someone who is just ready and ripe. I am leaving point one percent, because it is not necessary, not absolutely necessary if you want to become enlightened to be with a master.