VBT – Meditation 62.1

Change The Focus

When your mind is wandering, there are two things: one is the clouds, the thoughts, the objects, images, and the other is the consciousness, the mind itself. If you pay too much attention to the clouds, to objects, thoughts, images, you have forgotten the sky. You have forgotten the host; you have become too much interested in the guest. Those thoughts, images, wandering, are just guests.

If you focus yourself on the guests, you forget your own being. Change the focus from the guests to the host, from the clouds to the sky. Do it practically.

A sex desire arises: this is a cloud. Or a greed arises to have a bigger house: this is a cloud. You can become so obsessed with it that you forget completely to whom it has arisen, to whom it has happened. Who is behind it? In what sky is this cloud moving? Remember that sky, and suddenly the cloud disappears. You need just a change of focus from the object to the subject, from the outer to the inner, from the cloud to the sky, from the guest to the host – just a change of focus.

Lin-Chi, one Zen master, was speaking. Someone said from the crowd, “Answer me only one question: Who am I?”

Lin-Chi stopped speaking. Everyone was alert. What answer was he going to give? But he didn’t answer. He came down from his chair, walked, and came near to the man. The whole crowd became attentive, alert. They were not even breathing. What was he going to do? He should have answered from the chair; there was no need. The man became afraid, and Lin-Chi came near him with his piercing eyes. He took the man’s collar in his hand, gave him a shake and asked him, “Close your eyes! And remember who is asking this question, “Who am I?’” The man closed his eyes – afraid, of course. He went within to seek who had asked this question, and he would not come back.

The crowd waited and waited and waited. His face became silent, calm, still. Then Lin-Chi had to shock him again. “Now come out and tell everybody, ‘Who am I?””

The man started laughing and he said, “What a miraculous way of answering a thing. But if someone asks me this now, I am going to do the same. I cannot answer.”

It was just a change of focus. You ask the question “Who am I?” and your mind is focused on the question and the answer is hidden just behind the question in the questioner. Change the focus; return to yourself.

This sutra says, “WHEREVER YOUR MIND IS WANDERING, INTERNALLY OR EXTERNALLY, AT THIS VERY PLACE, THIS.” Move from the objects to the mind itself, and you are no more an ordinary mind. You are ordinary because of the objects. Suddenly you become a buddha yourself. You are already a buddha, you are just burdened with many clouds. And not only are you burdened: you are clinging to your clouds, you won’t allow them to move. You think that clouds are your property. You think that the more you have, the better: you are richer. And your whole sky, your inner space, is just hidden. In a way, it has disappeared amidst the clouds and clouds have become your life. The life of the clouds is sansara – the world.

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