Life is such a valuable opportunity, it should not be lost in seriousness. Keep seriousness for the grave. Let seriousness collapse into the grave; waiting for the last judgment day, be serious. But don’t become a corpse before the grave.
I am reminded of Confucius. One of his disciples asked him a very typical question asked by thousands of people: “Will you say something to me about what happens after death?”
Confucius said, “All these thoughts about death you can contemplate in your grave after death. Right now, live!”
There is a time to live, and there is a time to die. Don’t mix them, otherwise you will miss both. Right now, live totally and intensely; and when you die, then die totally. Don’t die partially: that one eye dies, and one eye keeps looking around; one hand dies, and the other hand goes on searching for truth. When you die, die totally…and contemplate what death is. But right now, don’t waste time in contemplating things which are far away: live this moment. The child knows how to live intensely and totally, and without any fear that he will go out of control.
In this temple you are allowed to be yourself without any inhibitions. I would like this to happen all over the world. This is only the beginning. Here, start living moment to moment totally and intensely, joyfully and playfully – and you will see that nothing goes out of control; that your intelligence becomes sharper; that you become younger; that your love becomes deeper. And when you go out into the world, wherever you go, spread life, playfulness, joy, as far away as possible – to every nook and corner of the earth.
If the whole world starts laughing and enjoying and playing, there will be a great revolution. War is created by serious people; murder is committed by serious people; suicide is committed by serious people – madhouses are full of serious people. Just watch what harm seriousness has been doing to human beings and you will jump out of your seriousness, and you will allow your child, which is waiting within you, to play and to sing and to dance.
My whole religion consists of playfulness.
This existence is our home: these trees and stars are our brothers and sisters; these oceans and rivers and mountains are our friends. In this immensely friendly universe you are sitting like a stone buddha – I don’t preach the stone buddha; I want you to be a dancing buddha.
The followers of Buddha will not like it, but I do not care what anybody thinks. I simply care about truth. If a truth does not know how to dance, it is crippled; if a buddha is not capable of laughter, something is missing; if a buddha cannot mix with children and play with them, he has come close to buddhahood, but he has not yet been totally awakened. Something is asleep.
In Japan there is a series of nine pictures and those pictures are tremendously significant. In the first picture a man has lost his bull. He is looking all around – there are trees and thick forests…but no sign of the bull.