We will have few questions from Yoga Sutra 32.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ZA-ZEN AND PATANJALI’S DHYAN?
Patanjali’s dhyan is a step; in his eight steps, dhyan is a step. In za-zen, dhyan is the only step; there are no other steps. Patanjali believes in gradual growth. Zen, in sudden enlightenment. So what is only a step in Patanjali is all-in-all in Zen – just dhyan is enough, meditation is enough. Nothing else is needed. All else can be discarded. All else may be helpful but is not essential – in za-zen, only meditation.
Patanjali gives you a complete system of all that is needed, of all requirements, from the very preliminary to the end. He gives you the whole teaching. It is not a sudden phenomenon; one has to grow into it by and by, slowly. As you go on growing and absorbing your growth, you become capable of further steps. Zen is for rare exceptions, for those few courageous souls who can risk all for nothing, who can risk everything without any expectations.
This is not possible for all. You move cautiously – and nothing is wrong in moving cautiously. If it comes natural to you to move cautiously, you have to move cautiously. Then don’t be a fool and don’t try to jump. Listen to your nature. If you feel to be cautious is your nature, then move cautiously. If you feel that to risk, to gamble, is your nature, then don’t be bothered with cautiousness, then don’t be bothered with gradual steps. You can either come down by the staircase or you can jump from the terrace. It depends on you. Listen to your nature.
There are a few people who will not bother to come by the staircase, who are not ready to wait even for that. Once they hear the call, they jump. Once the call has been heard, they cannot wait for a single moment. But these are rare people.
When I am saying “rare.” I don’t mean in any evaluatory way. I am not evaluating. I am not saying “higher.” When I say “rare,” it is just a statement of fact that these people are not many. I am not saying – don’t miss my point – I am not saying that they are higher than ordinary people. Nobody is higher and nobody is lower – but people are different. There are people who would like to jump.
They should choose Zen. There are people who would like to get to the goal with ease, with cautiousness, with gradual steps. Perfectly good. Go gracefully if that is your way.
Always remember, it is you, your type, your nature, which has to be the deciding factor. Don’t follow Patanjali or Zen. Always listen to your being. Patanjalis and Zen exist for you, you don’t exist for them. The sabbath is for man – not vice versa. All religions exist for you, not vice versa. Ultimately, you are the goal.
Many times after meditation we have such feelings – WHEN I LISTEN TO MY FEELINGS, MY INNER VOICE, THEY TELL ME TO DO NOTHING, JUST TO SLEEP, EAT, AND PLAY ON THE BEACH, I AM AFRAID TO FOLLOW THESE FEELINGS BECAUSE I THINK I WILL GET TOO WEAK TO SURVIVE IN THIS WORLD.
WILL EXISTENCE PROTECT ME WHEN I ALLOW MYSELF TO LET GO?
First thing: There is no need to survive in this world. This world is a madhouse.
There is no need to survive in it. There is no need to survive in the world of ambition, politics, ego. It is the disease. But there is another way to be, and the whole religious standpoint is: that you can be in this world and not be of it.
“When I listen to my feelings and inner voice they tell me to do nothing….” Then don’t do anything. There is nobody higher than you, and God speaks to you directly. Start trusting your inner feelings. Then don’t do anything. If you feel just to sleep, eat, and play on the beach, perfect. Let that be your religion. Don’t be afraid then.
You will have to drop fear. And if it is a question of choosing between the inner feeling and the fear, choose the inner feeling. Don’t choose the fear. So many people have chosen their religion out of fear, so they live in a limbo. They are neither religious nor worldly. They live in indecision.
Fear is not going to help. Fear always means the fear of the unknown. Fear always means the fear of death. Fear always means the fear of being lost, but if you really want to be alive, you have to accept the possibility of being lost. You have to accept the insecurity of the unknown, the uncomfort and the inconvenience of the unfamiliar, the strange. That is the price one has to pay for the blessing that follows it, and nothing can be achieved without paying for it.
You have to pay for it: otherwise you will remain fear-paralyzed. Your whole life will be lost.
Enjoy whatsoever your inner feeling is.
“I think that I will get too weak to survive in this world.” There is no need. This is fear speaking in you, fear creating more fears. Out of fear more fear is born.
“Will existence protect me?” Again the fear is asking for guarantees, promises.
Who is there to give you a guarantee? Who can be a guarantee for your life? You are asking for some sort of insurance. No, there is no possibility. In existence, nothing is insured – nothing can be. And it is good. Otherwise, if existence is also insured, you will be already completely dead. Then the whole thrill of it, of being alive like a young leaf in the strong wind, will be lost.
Life is beautiful because it is insecure. Life is beautiful because there is death. Life is beautiful because it can be missed. If you cannot miss it, everything is forced upon you, then even life becomes an imprisonment. You will not be able to enjoy it. Even if you are ordered to be blissful, commanded to be free, then bliss and freedom both are gone.
“Will existence protect me when I allow myself to let go?” Try. Only one thing I can say to you…. I am not talking to your fear, remember. Only one thing I can say to you all – those who have tried have found that it protects. But I am not talking to your fear. I am simply encouraging your adventure, that’s all. I am persuading, seducing you towards adventure. I am not talking to your fear. All those who have tried have found that infinite is the protection.
But I don’t know whether you can understand the protection that the universe gives to you. Your protection that you are asking for cannot be given by the universe because you don’t know what you are asking. You are asking for death.
Only a dead body is absolutely protected. Something alive is always in danger.
To be alive is a hazard. More alive – more adventure, more hazard, more danger.
Nietzsche used to have a motto on his wall: Live dangerously. Somebody asked him, “Why have you written this?” He said, “Just to remind me, because my fear is tremendous.”
Live dangerously because that’s the only way to live. There is no other. Always listen to the call of the unknown and be on the move. Never try to become settled anywhere. To be settled is to die: it is a premature death.
I was attending a birthday party, a small girl’s birthday, and many toys were there and many presents, and the girl was really happy, and all her friends were there and they were dancing. Suddenly, she asked her mother, “Mom, were there such beautiful days in the past, when you used to be alive?”
People die before their death. People settle in security, comfort, convenience.
People settle in a gravelike existence.
I am not talking to your fear.
“Will existence protect me when I allow myself to let go?” It has always protected, and I can’t think it is just going to be different to you. I cannot believe that it is going to be an exception. It has always been so. It has protected those who have left themselves to it, who have abandoned themselves to it, who have surrendered themselves to it.
Follow nature. Follow your inner nature.
I was reading an anecdote; I liked it very much: It was spring on the Columbia University campus, and KEEP OFF signs sprang up on the freshly seeded lawns. The students ignored the warnings, which were followed by special requests, and continued tramping across the grass. The issue became rather heated, until finally the buildings and grounds officials took the problem to General Eisenhower, at that time, president of the university.
“Did you ever notice,” asked Eisenhower, “how much quicker it is to head directly where you are going? Why not find out which route the students are going to take anyway and build the walks there?”
This is how life should be. The roads, the walks, the principles should not be fixed beforehand.
Allow yourself a let-go. Flow naturally and let that be your way. Walk, and by walking, make your way. Don’t follow superhighways. They are dead, and you are not going to find anything on them. Everything has already been removed. If you follow a superway, you are moving away from nature. Nature knows no ways, no fixed patterns. It flows in a thousand and one patterns, but all spontaneous. Go and watch… sit on the beach and watch the sea. Millions of waves are arising, but each wave is unique and different. You cannot find two waves similar. They don’t follow any pattern.
No man worth the name will follow any pattern.
People come to me and they say, “Show us the way.” I tell them, “Don’t ask that.”
I can only tell you how to walk – I cannot show you the way. Please try to see the distinction. I can only tell you how to walk, and how to walk courageously. I cannot show you the way, because the way is for cowards. Those who don’t know how to walk, paralyzed, for them the way exists. For those who know how to walk, they go into the wilderness, and just by walking they create their way.
And each one reaches to God in a different way. You cannot reach as a mass and you cannot reach as a crowd. You reach alone, absolutely alone.
God is wild. He’s not yet civilized – and I hope that he will never be civilized. He is still spontaneous, and he loves spontaneity. So if your inner nature says to go to the beach and to relax, do that. That is from where your God is calling you.
I teach you just to be yourself, nothing else. It is very difficult to understand me because out of your fear you would like me to give you a pattern of life, a discipline, a style, a way of life.
Persons like me have always been misunderstood. A Lao Tzu, a Zarathustra, an Epicurus, have always been misunderstood. The most religious people were thought to be irreligious because if someone is really religious, he will teach you freedom, he will teach you love. He will not teach you law; he will teach you love. He will not teach you a dead pattern of life. He will teach you chaos, an anarchy, because stars are born only out of chaos. He will teach you how to be totally free.
I know there is fear, there is fear of freedom; otherwise why should there be so many prisons all around the world? Why should people carry prisons around their life continuously – invisible prisons? There are only two types of prisoners I have come across a few who live in a visible prison, and the remaining who live in an invisible prison. They carry their prison around themselves – in the name of conscience, in the name of morality, in the name of tradition, in the name of this and that.
Thousands are the names of bondage and slavery. Freedom has no name. There are not many types of freedom; freedom is one. Have you ever watched? Truth is one. Lies can be millions. You can lie in a million ways; you cannot say the truth in a million ways. Truth is simple: one way is enough. Love is one; laws are millions. Freedom is one; prisons are many.
And unless you are very alert, you will never be able to move freely. At the most, you can change prisons. From one prison you can go to the other prison, and you can enjoy the walk between the two. That’s what is happening in the world. A Catholic becomes a Communist, a Hindu becomes a Christian, a Mohammedan becomes a Hindu, and they enjoy – yes, there is a little freedom felt just when they are changing the prisons: from one prison to another – the walk in between.
They feel good.
Again they are in the same trap in a different name.
All ideologies are prisons. I teach you to beware of them – my ideology included.Tags: Flow Naturally Patanjali