Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.

Alan Watts

I Teach Being

A man visited a Zen Master and said he wanted to learn meditation. The Master said, “You just watch me and learn meditation if you can.”

The man was puzzled, because the Master was busy digging a hole in the garden. He watched him a little while and then said, “I have seen enough digging, and I have done quite a lot of digging myself. I am here to learn meditation.”

The Master said, “If you cannot learn meditation watching me, how else can you learn it? I am meditation itself. Whatever I do here is meditation. Observe rightly how I dig.”

Then the visitor said, “Those who told me to come to you said you are a man of great knowledge, but it seems I have come to the wrong person. If I had to watch digging I could have done it anywhere.” The Master then asked him to stay with him a few days. And the man stayed on at the Zen monastery.

In the meantime the Master went his own way. He bathed himself in the morning, dug holes in the garden and watered the plants, ate his meals and went to bed at night. In two days’ time the visitor was annoyed and again he said, “I am here to learn meditation. I have nothing to do with what you do from morning to night.”

The Master smiled and said, “I don’t teach doing, I teach being. If you see me digging holes, then know it is how meditation digs. When you see me eating, then know it is how meditation eats. I don’t do meditation, I am meditation itself.”

Now the visitor became worried and said, “It seems I came to a madman. I was always told that meditation is doing, I had never heard someone can be meditation itself.”

To this the Master simply said, “It is difficult to decide who is mad, you or me. But we cannot settle it between ourselves.”

All of us have loved, but no one has ever been love itself. Now if someone comes along who is love itself, he will certainly nonplus us. Because love always comes to us as an act of behavior, we never know it as being. We love this person and that person; we sometimes love and sometimes don’t; it is always a form of activity for us. So someone who is love itself will be an enigma to us. His very being is love: whatsoever he does is love, and whatsoever he does not do, that too is love. If he hugs someone it is love, and it is love when he fights with someone. It is really difficult to understand such a person; he baffles us. If we say to him, “My good man, why don’t you love us?” he will say, “How can I love? I am love. Love is not an act for me, it is an act for those who are not love.”

Meditation is a way for nourishing and blossoming the divine within you.

Amit Ray
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