That’s what Bodhidharma was doing for nine years. He became enlightened just facing the wall. That was his mantra and meditation. That was all that he did. It is not doing at all. He did nothing; he simply sat facing the wall. Just think! – for nine years, if you sit facing the wall, you will become as blank as the wall. By and by thoughts will not be coming, they will not be chasing you. By and by they will find some other host. You are too indifferent towards them.
Blankness is tremendously valuable, but we have been trained to be always full of words. So when this starts happening, one becomes a little scared. You start feeling as if nothing is happening. Yes, in a totally different sense, nothing is happening, because nothing is the greatest happening there is. Use this great opportunity that has come to you. It is what meditation is all about: to be empty.
But in the West – and for the modern mind wherever it is, in the West or in the East – somehow a deep association has been conditioned that emptiness is something negative. Not only that, but a condemnation is also there in being empty. People think that to be empty is to become a workshop for the devil. It is not so. To be full of words is to be a workshop for the devil. To be empty is to become a workshop for God – because God can function only when you are not.
When you are so much absent that you are not in any way an interference, that you don’t come in between God and you, that you are not a disturbance in any way, you are so silent as if you are not – immediately God starts functioning in you. The moment you stop functioning, God starts functioning.
So don’t be afraid. Love this empty space. It is not negative. It is the most positive thing in the world, the most absolutely positive thing in the world – because out of nothingness everything arises, and into nothingness everything disappears again. This whole universe arises out of nothingness and disappears into nothingness again. Nothingness is the source and the seed, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega.
Remember this, so whenever you are coming close to nothingness, feel happy and dance and celebrate so that it can become more and more available to you. The more you welcome it, the more of it will be coming to you. Welcome it, feel delighted – you have been blessed.
The second question:
In almost every lecture I have the tendency to go to sleep.
When that happens, I wake up with a shock, or rather in a shock, which goes through my whole body. Is this the whip?
Not yet! Just the shadow of the whip. But it is still something: the shadow of the whip. If you are a man of understanding, the whip will not be needed; its shadow will do. If you are not a man of understanding, then sooner or later the whip itself will be needed.