When Chuang Tzu was about to die,
his disciples began planning a grand funeral.
But Chuang Tzu said:
“I shall have heaven and earth for my coffin;
the sun and moon will be jade symbols
hanging by my side;
planets and constellations
will shine as jewels all around me,
and all beings will be present
as mourners at the wake.
What more is needed?
Everything is amply taken care of.”
The disciples said:
“We fear that the crows and kites
will eat our master.”
Chuang Tzu replied:
“Well, above ground I shall be eaten
by crows and kites,
and below ground by ants and worms.
In either case I shall be eaten –
so why are you favoring the birds?”
Mind makes everything a problem; otherwise life is simple, death is simple, there is no problem at all. But mind gives the deception that every moment is a problem and has to be solved. Once you take the first step of believing that everything is a problem, then nothing can be solved because the first step is absolutely wrong.
Mind cannot give you any solution, it is the mechanism which gives you problems. Even if you think you have solved a problem, thousands of new problems will arise out of the solution. This is what philosophy has been doing continuously. Philosophy is the business of the mind. The moment mind looks at anything it looks with a question mark, it looks with the eyes of doubt.
Very simple is life, and very simple is death – but only if you can see without the mind. Once you bring the mind in, then everything is complex, then everything is a riddle, then everything is confusion. And mind tries to solve the confusion when really it is the source of all confusions, so more confusion is created. It is as if a small stream is flowing in the hills. Some carts have passed, and the stream is muddy, and you jump into the stream to clean it. You will only make it more muddy. It is better to wait on the bank. It is better to let the stream itself become tranquil again, to calm down until the dead leaves are gone, the mud has settled, and the stream is again crystal clear. Your help is not needed. You will only confuse it more.
So if you feel that there is a problem, please don’t poke your nose in it. Sit by the side. Don’t allow the mind to get involved, tell the mind to wait. And it is very difficult for the mind to wait – it is impatience incarnate.
If you tell the mind to wait, meditation happens. If you can persuade the mind to wait, you will be prayerful – because waiting means no thinking, it means just sitting on the bank not doing anything with the stream. What can you do? Whatsoever you do will make it more muddy; your very entering into the stream will create more problems. So wait.