Repression Or Transformation
Now, a man who is on the path of repression will suppress this desire, close his eyes toward the object and run away. That is a run-away method.
But where can you run? – Because you are running from yourself. You can run from the woman who is standing on the riverbank, but you cannot run from the desire that is arising within you. Wherever you go the desire will be there. Be alert that the desire has arisen. Don’t really do anything with the woman. If she asks: “Help me,” help her. If she says: “I am afraid and I cannot cross this river, carry me on your shoulders” – carry her. She is giving you a golden opportunity to be alert. Be thankful toward her. Just be alert, feel what is arising in you. What is happening in you? You are carrying the girl, what is happening in you?
If you are alert, then there is no woman – only a little weight on your shoulders, that’s all. If you are not alert, then there is a woman. If you are alert, then it is just bones, a pressing, a weight. If you are not alert, then it is all that desire can create, the fantasy, the maya, the illusion. Carrying a girl on your shoulders, both are possible. If you lose alertness for a single moment, suddenly the maya is sitting on your shoulders. If you are alert, just a little weight, that’s all – carrying a weight.
This young man crossing the river was passing through a great discipline. Not avoiding the situation – that is life, not avoiding it; passing through it with an alert mind. Many times he may have missed. Many times he may have completely forgotten. Then the whole illusion, the maya was there. Many times he may have recaptured his alertness again – when suddenly there was light and darkness disappeared. But it must have been beautiful to experience this alertness.
Then he dropped the girl on the other bank and started walking toward his monastery, still alert – because it is not a question of whether the woman is there or not – the memory can follow. He may not have enjoyed the woman, her touch, while crossing the river – but he may enjoy it now in the memory.
He must have remained alert. He was silent, his silence was true. True silence always comes through alertness. That’s why he says: “I have left the girl there, back at the river. I am not carrying her at all. You are still carrying her.” In the old monk’s mind things are continuing – and he has not done anything, he has not even touched the girl.
So doing is not the question; it is mind, how your mind is functioning. Be alert and by and by energies are transformed. The old dies and the new is born.
Excerpted From My Way: The Way Of The White Clouds CH: 6