The scientist was worried because he could not find any water around the tree, and he had not thought that it was carrying the water from a water pipe that it had broken with its roots. He was puzzled – how did the tree know about the water pipe two hundred feet away? And it had not sent its roots anywhere else, just directly to the water pipe.
The tree cannot live without water. Certainly it must have a certain sensibility, a certain hidden knowledge where water is, even though the water is inside a pipe, and two hundred feet away.
The same is the situation with you, if your quest for truth is honest, not just a curiosity. From thousands of miles away, you will start getting pulled to a place where your thirst can be quenched. Existence makes a thirst only after it has created water to quench it. If there are disciples, seekers, searchers, existence manages that they should find a master who can see in them what their possible future is, and can help them to be themselves.
The master has no ideology, the master is not a missionary, the master does not program you. On the contrary he de-programs you; he takes away all your ideologies, your prejudices, your very mind, so that the pure emptiness of your being starts growing.
The masters have been lost, the whole world of that golden quest for truth has become a memory. And at times one thinks, “Perhaps all these buddhas are just our imagination” – because they have disappeared from our mundane world.
Your purpose in being here is to bring that golden quest back into the world. And I am trying from all different angles – all these masters are different angles, different approaches to the truth – hoping that something may click in you and open the door that has been closed for years, for centuries.
He visited Ma Tzu in his cell where he was meditating, and asked him: “In practicing sitting meditation, what does your reverence aspire to attain?”
Just take note of it: Nangaku was a well-established master and Ma Tzu was just a young disciple, but he addresses him as “your reverence.” For the master, your present is not only the present, it is also your future. He knows you, that one day you will become a buddha. It does not matter that it takes a few days, or a few years, or a few lives. Because Nangaku can see his buddhahood, he addresses even a disciple as “your reverence.”
It reminds me about Gautam Buddha’s past life, when he was not yet a buddha, and he heard about a great master who had become enlightened. He went to see, just out of curiosity, what this phenomenon of enlightenment is, and how it makes a difference in a man.