Zen master, Tozan — a very famous Zen master.
The story says that the Gods wanted to see him, but they couldn’t because he was just an emptiness.
They would enter into him from this side and that, they would pass through him, but he was nowhere to be found. He was a nowhere-ness, a- nothingness… so empty of himself that they could not see him.
They were very curious to see a man who had become empty, so they played a trick.
They went to the kitchen as Tozan was coming from his morning walk and took a few handfuls of rice and wheat and threw it on his path.
In a Zen monastery that is almost a sin because it is very disrespectful to rice and wheat. Everything should be respected because everything is divine.
It is a respect for everything. Everything that exists and has existed, is divine and should be respected.
So in a Zen monastery nothing is wasted; one should be careful, and alert.
They played this trick and threw on his path a few handfuls of rice and wheat.
When Tozan came he could not believe it — that any disciple could do that. Who could do it? Who could be so careless and disrespectful?
This idea arose in him, and suddenly a self was there and the Gods could see him. The emptiness was no more empty.
Suddenly an idea had crystallised; an attitude, a mind had come. For a moment a cloud appeared in the blue sky and the Gods could see this man, Tozan.
Then the cloud disappeared because the idea disappeared. I like the story very much.
Whenever there is an idea, you are, and then a cloud arises. And there is not only one cloud. There are so many ideas in you, millions of clouds which continuously haunt you, covering you in layers and layers of cloud. Your inner sky is completely hidden. You can’t even have a glimpse of it.
Even a small idea like ‘Who has been so careless?’ — it was nothing special, nothing much to worry about. It was just a curious ‘Who has been so careless?’ but it was enough!
If you see the morning sun and you say ‘How beautiful’ — enough! It is just a small fragment but it creates an inner pressure in you, and that’s why you immediately want to say to somebody ‘Look, how beautiful the morning is!’
That is a release. The pressure has been inside and when you talk it is catharted; you release it. You feel good, you have said it. If you cannot find anybody, it will haunt you more.
Our mind is continuously overflooded with ideas, emotions, sentiments.
By and by relax, be empty. Just go as an emptiness.
Merge Into The Silence
You also might have experienced that when you become silent, people around you asked where you where? As you were unnoticed at that time.
It’s when you merge into the silence and become one with it that you reconnect to your Source and know the peacefulness that is God. “Be still and know that I am God,” The key words are still and know. Silence is described and its relationship to God by saying, “God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, grass, grow in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence…. We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness. Your sense of inner peace depends on spending some of your life energy in silence to recharge your battery, remove tension and anxiety, reacquaint you with the joy of knowing God, and feel closer to all of humanity. Going into the quiet and listening will heal and inspire you. In silence, you make your personal and conscious contact with God. “God’s one and only voice is silence.”
Learning from story Seeing Tozan: Merge Into The Silence.
There’s a voice in the universe calling each of us to remember our purpose – our reason for being here now, in this world of impermanence. The voice whispers, shouts, and sings to us that this experience of being in form, in space and time, knowing life and death, has meaning. The voice is that of inspiration, which is within each and every one of us.
The feelings of emptiness; the idea that there must be something more; wondering, Is this all there is? and trying to determine the meaning of life . . . this is all evidence of a yearning to reconnect with our soul space. We’re aching for our calling to be felt and expressed.
We’ve chosen to enter this world of particles and form. From our place of origin, in ways that we don’t readily comprehend now, we knew what we were coming here to accomplish, and we participated in setting this life process in motion. So why not think this same way? Why put the responsibility or blame on any one or any thing that’s not a part of us? On Earth we have the capacity of volition—we can choose—so let’s assume that we had the same capacity when we resided in the spiritual realm. We chose our physical body, and we chose the parents we needed for the trip. It doesn’t seem too great a stretch to move into the idea that we chose this life in concert with our Source.
We have an inner state of nonbeing at our center, so take note of what is visible (our body) as well as the invisible essence that our existence depends upon . . . the Tao part of us.
Not only do we have to focus on our physical body but it is important that we also focus on our Tao, our inside, our spirit. This can be done in many different ways like prayer, meditation, or going for long walks in nature. Take 10-15 minutes for yourself to accomplish this task as it will push you forward into an enlighten stage of life, more of an awareness as you focus on the emptiness that’s inside of you . This is just as important as keeping our bodies health.