In meditation the whole process is reversed. The future is sacrificed for the present; that which is not is sacrificed for that which is. There is no result, no conclusion. Kick the pot and walk out. Don’t ask for the result.
That was the beauty of it. The cook simply walked out saying, “The whole thing is absurd – your question and these people’s answers. This is a nonsense game. I don’t belong here.” He must have gone to his kitchen and started working. That is how a meditative mind will act. And the master said, “This man is chosen. He goes to the new monastery, he be-comes the chief there. He knows how to be total, he knows how to act spontaneously; he knows how to act without motivation; he knows how to act without the mind. This man can lead others also into meditation, this man can become a guide. This man has achieved. There is no more to be achieved.”
The story is beautiful, very rare; penetrate into it. But you can penetrate only if you start acting the way the cook acted. But there is a pitfall – you can premeditate it. If I put a pot before you and you kick, you will miss, because you know the answer already. You will think, “Okay now, this is the opportunity. Kick the pot and walk out.” That won’t do. You cannot deceive, because whenever the mind is there your total being gives a different vibration. You cannot deceive a master.
And remember, this incident has been repeated many times. Zen masters are really unique. They go on repeating the same problem again and again, and those who have read the scriptures behave in the old way. They think this is the answer: kick the pot, walk out, and become the chief.
But you cannot deceive a Zen master, because he is not concerned with what you are doing, he is concerned with what you are in that moment of doing. That is a totally different thing. You have a perfume, a different perfume, when you act out of emptiness. And when I say a different perfume I mean it literally, I’m not using a metaphor. When you act out of emptiness there is a freshness all around you, as if suddenly there has come a morning in the middle of the day. A freshness all around you…vibrations which touch…a life so intense, which hits all around – your eyes, your very being, the way you sit, the way you stand, the way you kick the pot. Think: If you kick the pot there will be ego; the ego will be kicking the pot and you will be aggressive. When this cook kicked the pot it was not aggressive, it was simply a statement of fact; there was no violence.
I have heard that one man, a poor beggar – and I say poor beggar because there are wealthy beggars also – came to ask for food. The lady of the house felt much compassion for him and said, “I’ll give you food, and if you want some work also, some wood has to be chopped. You can do it and I will pay you for it.”