Once a group of beggars afflicted with leprosy came to the assembly of Zen master Bankei, a greathearted teacher of the masses. Bankei admitted them to his company, and when he initiated them, he even washed and shaved their heads with his own hands.

Now as it happened, there was a certain gentleman present, the representative of a baron who had faith in Bankei and had already built a temple in his province where the teacher could train disciples and lecture to the people.

Revolted by the sight of the Zen master shaving the heads of untouchables, the gentleman hurriedly brought a basin of water for Bankei to wash his hands. But the master refused, remarking, “Your disgust is filthier than their sores.”

Be Loving

With our education we all became knowledgeable. We have so many information but lost our sensuality towards humanity.

The gentleman was educated knowing well that leprosy is contagious. He got stuck over there. In his stuckness he had created clouds around his heart which became insensitive. Neither his intention was wrong nor his information was wrong but in the process he forgets that there are many ways to take precautions. If our heart is loving nothing can be contagious. If we become capable of expressing our love our love will be contagious. It will reach not only whoever is nearer and we touch but it will touch those who are also far away from us.

Be more loving and follow your heart. See what environment you will be able to create. Also remember that when you love someone don’t possess, give them freedom. Love is an expression of our freedom to be with each other.

Never treat any person as a means. Treat everybody as an end in himself, in herself – then you don’t cling, then you are not attached. You love, but your love gives freedom – and, when you give freedom to the other, you are free. Only in freedom does your soul grow. You will feel very, very happy.

Love is never a relationship; love is relating. It is always a river, flowing, unending. Love knows no full stop; the honeymoon begins but never ends. It is not like a novel that starts at a certain point and ends at a certain point. It is an ongoing phenomenon. Lovers end, love continues—it is a continuum. It is a verb, not a noun. And why do we reduce the beauty of relating to relationship? Why are we in such a hurry? Because to relate is insecure, and relationship is a security. Relationship has a certainty; relating is just a meeting of two strangers, maybe just an overnight stay and in the morning we say goodbye. Who knows what is going to happen tomorrow? And we are so afraid that we want to make it certain, we want to make it predictable. We would like tomorrow to be according to our ideas; we don’t allow it freedom to have its own say. So we immediately reduce every verb to a noun.

Love is the true God – not the God of theologians, but the God of Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, the God of the Sufis.

If you are loving you will become aware of your aloneness, which is a reality. And it is so beautiful to experience it, to feel it, because it is your freedom from the crowd, from the other. It is your freedom from the fear of being lonely.

Learning from story Your Disgust: Be Loving

Experience Learning

The ordinary love is a demand, the real love is a sharing. It knows nothing of demand; it knows the joy of giving.

If you are loving you remain relaxed. If you are not loving you become tense. Tension means simply that there is some energy that needs to be shared. If you don’t want to share it then it accumulates and becomes a headache. Always remember that the more you share, the more fresh energy will be flowing in you.

I was reading the life story of a poet. He says he used to live in a very old house, two hundred years old. It was in a very primitive condition – no modern facilities, no electricity, no running water. The house had a beautiful well with very fresh water, very pure.

When electricity came to the town they closed the well hoping that if some day it was needed it could be re-opened. After fifteen years, just out of curiosity, the man opened the well, just to see how it was. It was one of the most ancient wells in that locality and it had never been dry. When all the other wells were dry, the whole town had come to drink from this one. When he looked in, it was completely dry. He couldn’t find an explanation so he asked the experts.

They said that if you don’t go on carrying water out of the well, sooner or later it dries up because the small springs that feed it with water become closed. Then by and by the water evaporates leaving the well dry. Each day the well needs to share – then it is always flowing, with new water always coming in.

The same is true for human energy also. Each man is a well of energy. Love means that you allow somebody to throw a bucket in you, to draw some energy from you. Don’t be a miser about it, otherwise soon you will start feeling that you are drying up. Then you will become tense and a deadness will gather around you. You become more and more afraid of sharing, because you think that if you share you will become even drier. You are in a vicious circle.

The whole logic is wrong. Whenever you feel something tension-like is gathering, share. Catch hold of any stranger, because in fact all are strangers. Some strangers you have known for a few years, some for a few months, some a few days, some you have just come to know, but you are strangers. Even your husband with whom you have lived for years is a stranger. Two strangers living together by and by become familiar, that’s all.

Run and share with anybody, but never be miserly.

Share more, and let sharing be the only law. To be a miser is to be a sinner. That is my definition of being a sinner. We are here for such a short time; why be a miser? Share, and whatsoever you give, give wholeheartedly and much will come automatically. Not that you ask for it or demand it; it just comes. The whole of existence re-echoes you.


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