The first question:
Why have you called this series of discourses, Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen?
I am not to blame. The whole blame goes to this old guy Yoka. Yoka is one of the rarest enlightened people; his sayings are tremendously beautiful. Very few sayings are available, but each saying is a diamond unique in itself.
Reading his sayings, I came across this statement:
A man of Zen walks in Zen and sits in Zen.
Whether he speaks or acts, whether he is silent or inactive,
his body is always peaceful.
He smiles, looking straight at the sword which takes his life.
He keeps his balance even at the moment of death.
I love the statement that the “man of Zen walks in Zen and sits in Zen” for the simple reason that meditation cannot be just a part of your life. You cannot make a fragment of your life meditative; it is not possible to be meditative for one hour and then non-meditative for twenty-three hours. It is absolutely impossible. If you are doing that, that means your meditation is false.
Meditation can either be a twenty-four-hour affair or it cannot be at all. It is like breathing: you cannot breathe for one hour and then put it aside for twenty-three hours, otherwise you will be dead. You have to go on breathing. Even while you are asleep you have to go on breathing. Even in a deep coma you have to go on breathing.
Meditation is the breath of your soul. Just as breathing is the life of the body, meditation is the life of the soul.
The people who are not aware of meditation are spiritually dead.
George Gurdjieff used to say that very few people have souls – and he is right. One is born not with a soul but only with a seed which can grow into a soul – which may not grow. It will depend on you. You will have to create the right soil, the right climate for it to grow, to bloom. You will have to provoke the spring into coming to you so that your soul can flower; otherwise you are just a body-mind. The soul is only an empty word. Meditation makes it a reality. Meditation is the climate in which the soul happens.
Zen is another name for meditation. The word zen comes from the Sanskrit root dhyan – it has traveled far. Dhyan means a state of absolute silence, of thoughtless silence, but full of awareness. Even the thought that “I am aware” is enough to distract you from your meditation. Even to know that “I am in meditation” is enough to destroy it.