Joshu is a master soon to reach to his ultimate peak, and Nansen is happy to give him special treatment. It is very rare, perhaps the only case, because I have not come across any case in which the master says, “Give him special treatment.” But it happens, rarely, that such a ripe person comes. Even if he had not come, he would have become a buddha. Now that he has come it does not mean that Nansen should take advantage of his coming and make him his disciple. All those are marketplace values. Nansen is happy that Joshu is going to flower soon, and Joshu is happy that Nansen is well, healthy, and he has found a living buddha. Nothing is said directly, but everything is understood clearly by both.
Soseki, a Zen poet, wrote:
At those times when I cannot decide
the way back
where I came from,
anywhere I go
becomes the road home.
He is saying, if you don’t know from where you have come, don’t be worried. Just go on: any road is going to end up at your home.
In this world, you should think of a center and a circumference. From the center to the circumference you can join many different lines. You don’t know from where you have come, you don’t know the center…no need to worry. Just stick to one path that is going inwards and you will reach.
Soseki is very representative; this is the case with everybody. You don’t know your center…and I go on insisting, “Go to the center.” And I know perfectly well that you don’t know your center. So where will you go? But I know that wherever you go, just go – if you go with your full energy, then you are going to end up at the very source of your being. This is such a valid experience of thousands of mystics that there is no anxiety about it.
I have not told you where the center is. I know only one thing, that if you go inwards with your totality and urgency, you will reach it. Nobody has ever missed. The moment you are total and there is urgency the center pulls you – the center itself pulls you towards itself. You don’t go, you are being pulled.
It is just that you have to be together. That togetherness is the problem. People are so fragmentary that even when I say totality, urgency, you think perhaps it is for somebody else – “I am not going to die this moment.” But that somebody else may be you! Some moment you are going to die – why not this moment? Who knows?
And in the moment of death, if you have not been going and coming, in and out, and you have not made the path clean from the circumference to the center, you will not be able to in the moment of death. It has to be done when you are alive, so fully alive that you can gather all your energy and go towards the center. Totality and urgency are the absolute prerequisites. If you go in a lousy way, just with a curiosity in the mind – “Let us see, what is in?” – you will not enter in.
A curious mind has no way inwards. To reach your center a tremendous intensity is needed. You have to gather yourself, all that you have, into a single spearhead. Then don’t be worried: go with speed, and wherever you reach will be the center of your being. You cannot go anywhere else.