I Teach Death
You must take into account the distinction between the two. If you make an effort to meditate, meditation will never happen. If you try to make a conscious effort, if you sit down, strain your muscles, force yourself, become determined to calm your mind no matter what, it won’t work – because, after all, who will be doing all this? Who will be showing determination? Who else but you?
As it is, you are already confused, restless. Now you try to calm yourself down – that means you will be adding one more headache. You are sitting up tight, ready, disregarding everything. The more stiff you become, the further you get into difficulty, the more you go on becoming tense. This is not the way. I ask you to meditate because meditation is relaxation. You have not to do anything, just be relaxed.
Make sure you understand. Let me explain it a little further through one small principle. Keep it in mind finally. A man is swimming in the river. He says he wants to reach the other side. The current of the river is strong, and he flaps his arms and legs trying to swim across. He is getting tired, worn out, broken, but he keeps on swimming. This man is making an effort to swim. To swim is an effort for him. Doing meditation is an effort too. Then there is another man. Instead of swimming he just keeps floating. He has let himself go in the river. He does not throw his arms and legs about; he is simply lying in the river. The river is flowing and, along with the river, so is he. He is not swimming at all, he is just floating. An effort is not required to float; floating is merely no-effort.
The meditation I am talking about is like floating, it’s not like swimming. Watch a man swimming and then watch a leaf floating in the river. The delight and the joy of the floating leaf is simply out of this world. There is no trouble, no hindrance, no quarrel, no bother for the leaf. The leaf is very smart. And what is its smartness? The smartness of the leaf is that it has made the river its boat and is now riding on it. The leaf is ready and willing to go wherever the river takes it. The leaf has broken all the strength of the river. The river can do it no harm because the leaf is not fighting against the river. The leaf doesn’t want to create any resistance, it’s just floating.
So the leaf is in complete accord. Why is that so? It is because now it is not trying to fall in accord with the river; it is simply floating, that’s all. Wherever the river wants to take it, so be it. So keep the floating leaf in mind. Can you float like this in the river? There should not be even a thought of swimming, not even the feeling of it; there should be no mind at all.
Excerpted From And Now And Here