The emperor, who was a devout Buddhist, invited a great Zen master to the Palace in order to ask him questions about Buddhism. “What is the highest truth of the holy Buddhist doctrine?” the emperor inquired.

“Vast emptiness… and not a trace of holiness,” the master replied.

“If there is no holiness,” the emperor said, “then who or what are you?”

“I do not know,” the master replied.


This small story says that the Master was speaking with his own Authority.

A master speaks with authority, the authority that comes out of his own experience. His words were showing authority. And remember, the man of authority is not authoritative; the man of authority is very humble. The authoritative; man is not the man of authority – he is not humble, he is arrogant. In fact he pretends to be powerful, he pretends to be authoritative, but his authority rests in the Vedas, in the Koran, in the Bible. His authority has no source in his own being, it is not his own experience.

Master is a man of authority.

Authority simply means that whatever you are saying is your own experience. You are not dependent on any other source. You are not repeating the holy Bible or the holy Gita or the holy Koran. You are saying what you have experienced within your own self. This gives you a deep authority.

But it is not the same authority as a commander has over the army, or the politician has over the country. It is not power over others, it is simply an experience arising, with absolute clarity, with no hesitation, without any doubts. It is your own experience. You don’t depend on any scriptures. So these two things are totally different.

When Doubt Is Not, Trust Is

When you are finished with doubting, when you have come to see doubt through and through and you are completely convinced of the futility of the doubt, trust arises. You have to deal with the doubt, you are not to do anything about trust. Your trust will not be of much importance because your trust, your decision, will always be against doubt. And trust is not contrary to doubt; trust is simply the absence of doubt. When doubt is not, trust is.

Trust is not the opposite, remember. Notwithstanding what the dictionaries say, trust is not opposite to doubt, just as darkness is not opposite to light. It appears opposite, but it is not – because you cannot destroy light by bringing darkness in. You cannot bring darkness in. There is no way to destroy light by throwing darkness on it. Darkness has never been able to destroy the small flame of a very small candle. The whole darkness of existence is impotent before a small candle.

Why is it so? If darkness is opposite, inimical, antagonistic, then it should be capable sometimes of defeating light. It is a sheer absence. Darkness is because light is not. When light is, darkness is not. When you put a light on in your room, have you watched what happens? Darkness does not go out of the room; it is not that darkness escapes out of the room. It is found simply not to be there. It never was – it is pure negativity.

Doubt is like darkness, trust is like light.

Learning from the story Buddhist Doctrine: Trust

Experience Learning

Don’t repress doubt. Rather, just on the contrary, watch, look deeply into it, analyze it.

Don’t leave any part of it unanalyzed, unknown. Become acquainted with all the layers of the doubting mind. That very acquaintance, the penetration into doubt, will dissolve doubt. One day suddenly you will awake one morning full of trust – not as your decision.

It cannot be a decision because trust is something you are born with; doubt is a learned thing. Trust is tacit, inborn.

Every child trusts. As he grows, doubt arises. Doubt is learned. So trust is there always as an undercurrent in your being. You just drop doubt, trust will arise. And then trust has a tremendous beauty because it is pure. It is not against doubt, it is simply absence of doubt. The rock has been removed and the stream has come bubbling up, flowing.

So, don’t try to make a decision about it. Your decision will be a delay; and the more you decide, the more you will find, deep inside, the worm of doubt increasing. Then you will be divided in two and you will never be at ease, and there will be continuous agony.

So many people believe in God, and deep down is doubt – throbbing, alive, waiting for its opportunity to destroy the trust. And the trust is bogus because the trust is on the periphery, and the doubt has reached almost to the very core of your being. Never decide about love, about trust, about God. These things are not your decisions. They are not arguments, they are not conclusions.

When doubt is no more there, trust is. It happens. It flows. It arises out of your innermost core, from the innermost shrine. You start listening to a new music of being, a new style of being, a new way of being. It is not of the mind, it is of the being.

If you can trust, something or other will always happen and will help your growth. You will be provided for. Whatsoever is needed at a particular time will be given to you, never before it. You get it only when you need it, and there is not even a single moment’s delay. When you need it you get it, immediately, instantly! That’s the beauty of trust. By and by you learn the ways of how existence goes on providing for you, how existence goes on caring about you. You are not living in an indifferent existence. It does not ignore you. You are unnecessarily worried; all is provided for. Once you have learnt the knack of trust, all worry disappears.

Trust has to be unconditional, not just that nature goes on fulfilling your needs, existence goes on giving you help, supports you…. What about if it doesn’t support you? What about if it creates hindrances on your path? Your trust will disappear. This trust is not very authentic.

And another thing to remember: the trust in existence can only be real if you trust in yourself, because you are the closest experience of existence. Otherwise, when things are going right you will trust; when things are not going right the trust will start disappearing.


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