If you understand it rightly, then you can understand the theory of karma, the theory of actions. This theory – one of the most essential parts of Hindu realization – is that unless you go beyond karmas, you are not free; unless you have gone beyond all actions, you will remain in bondage. Don’t pay much attention to the outer, don’t get obsessed with it. Use it as a help, but continuously remembering that the inner has to be discovered.
These techniques we are discussing here are for the inner, for how to discover it. I will tell you one thing. There have been traditions…. For example, one of the most important religious traditions has been Jainism. But Jainism pays too much attention to the outer; too much, so much so that they completely forget that there is anything like meditation, that there is anything like a science of yoga. They forget it completely.
They are obsessed with food, with clothes, with sleep, with everything – but with no effort towards meditation. Not that in their tradition originally there was no meditation, because no religion can be born without it, but they got obsessed somewhere with the outer. It became so important that they forgot completely that this whole situation is just a help; it is not the goal.
What you eat is not the goal. What you are is the goal. It is good if your eating habits help you to uncover the being. It is good. But if you become just obsessed with eating, continuously thinking about it, then you have missed the point. Then you are a food-addict. You are mad, neurotic.
Isn’t it true that all meditation techniques are really doings which lead the seeker to his being?
In a way, yes; and in a deeper way, no. Meditation techniques are doings, because you are advised to do something. Even to meditate is to do something, even to sit silently is to do something, even to not do anything is a sort of doing. So in a superficial way, all meditation techniques are doings. But in a deeper way they are not, because if you succeed in them, the doing disappears.
Only in the beginning it appears like an effort. If you succeed in it, the effort disappears and the whole thing becomes spontaneous and effortless. If you succeed in it, it is not a doing. No effort on your part is needed then. It becomes just like breathing – it is there. But in the beginning the effort is bound to be, because the mind cannot do anything which is not an effort. If you tell it to be effortless, the whole thing seems absurd.
In Zen, where much emphasis is paid to effortlessness, the masters say to the disciples, “Just sit. Don’t do anything.” And the disciple tries. Of course, what can you do other than trying? The disciple tries to just sit, and he tries to just sit, and he tries to not do anything, and then the master hits him on his head with his staff and he says, “Don’t do this! I have not told you to try to sit, because that becomes an effort. And don’t try not to do anything, because that is a sort of doing. Simply sit!”