VBT – Meditation 62.3

Ordinary Mind

This sutra is beautiful. “WHEREVER YOUR MIND IS WANDERING, INTERNALLY OR EXTERNALLY, AT THIS VERY PLACE, THIS”. This sutra has been used deeply in Zen tradition.

Zen says your ordinary mind is the buddha-mind. Eating, you are a buddha; sleeping, you are a buddha; carrying water from the well, you are a buddha. You are! Carrying water from the well, eating your food, lying down on your bed, you are a buddha. Inconceivable! It looks puzzling, but it is the truth.

If when carrying water you simply carry the water, if you don’t make any problem out of it and you simply carry water, if your mind is unclouded and the sky vacant, if you are just carrying water, then you are a buddha. Eating, just eat without doing anything else. When we are eating we are doing thousands and thousands of things. The mind may not be here at all. Your body may be eating just like a robot; your mind may be somewhere else.

One university student, his examination is coming near, so he came to ask his teacher, “I am very much confused and the problem is this: I have fallen in love with a girl. While I am with the girl, I think of my examination, and while I read I think only of my girl. So what to do?

While reading, studying, I am not there, I am with my girl in my imagination. And with my girl, I am never with her; I am thinking about my problems, about my examination which is drawing near. So everything has become a mess.”

This is how everyone has become a mess, not only that boy. While in the office you think of the house; while in the house you are in the office. And you cannot do such a magical thing. While in the house you can be only in the house, you cannot be in the office. And if you are in the office, you are not sane, you are insane. Then everything gets into everything else. Then nothing is clear. And this mind is a problem.

While drawing water from a well, carrying water from a well, if you are simply doing this simple act, you are a buddha. So many times, if you go to Zen masters and ask them, “What do YOU do? What is your SADHANA? What is your meditation?” they will say, “While feeling sleepy, we sleep. While feeling hungry, we eat. And that is all, there is no other SADHANA.” But this is very arduous. It looks simple: if while eating you can just eat, if while sitting you can just sit – not doing anything else, if you can remain with the moment and not move away from it, if you can be merged with the moment with no future, no past, if this moment now is the only existence, then you are a buddha. This very mind becomes a buddha-mind.

When your mind wanders, don’t try to stop it. Rather, become aware of the sky. When the mind wanders, don’t try to stop it, don’t try to bring it to some point, to some concentration – no! Allow it to wander, but don’t pay much attention to the wandering – because for or against, you remain concerned with the wandering.

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