Question to Osho: IN REGARD TO THE ZEN MONKS WHO LAUGH AS A MEDITATION EVERY MORNING – DON’T YOU THINK THEY ARE TAKING THEIR LAUGHTER A LITTLE TOO SERIOUSLY?
No, because they laugh again – a second laugh – for the first, that “How foolish we are! Why are we laughing?”
If you laugh only once, it can be serious. So always remember to laugh twice. First just laugh, and then laugh at the laughter. Then you will not get serious.
And Zen people are in a way not what you mean by religious people. They are not. Zen is not a religion; it is a vision. It has no scripture. It has nothing to abide with. It has nowhere to go, it has no goal. Zen is not a means or a method towards some goal and some end. It is the end.
It is very difficult to understand Zen because if you want to understand it, you will have to drop all that you have carried up to now – being a Christian, a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Jain. You will have to drop all that nonsense. It is rotten. To understand Zen is very, very difficult not because of its intrinsic quality but because of your conditioned mind. If you look as a Christian or as a Hindu you will not be able to see what Zen is. Zen is very pure. Eyes filled with doctrines miss it. Zen is so pure that even a single word arises in your mind and you miss it. Zen is an indication.
Just the other night I was reading. A great Zen Master Chau-chou was asked, “What is the essential religion?” He waited in silence, as if he had not heard the disciple. The disciple repeated again, “What is the essential religion, sir?” The Master continued to look where he was looking; he would not even turn his face towards the disciple. The disciple asked again, “Have you heard me or not? Where are you?”
The Master said, “Look at the cypress tree in the courtyard.”
Finished. This is his answer: “Look at the cypress tree in the courtyard.” It is exactly the same as when Buddha inaugurated the world of Zen with a flower. He looked at the flower, and thousands who had gathered to listen to him could not understand what was happening.
Then one monk, Mahakashyap, smiled, laughed. Buddha called him and gave him the flower and said to those who had gathered, “Whatsoever can be said, I have told you, and whatsoever cannot be said, I give to Mahakashyapa.” He did well by giving a flower because Mahakashyap flowered in that moment of smile; his being flowered.
What was Buddha saying? Looking at the flower, he was saying, “Be here-now. Look at the flower.” They were expecting something else, they were thinking about something else, they were imagining about, something else. When Chau-chou said, “Look at the cypress tree in the courtyard,” he said, “Drop all nonsense about religion and what is essential and nonessential – Be here-now. Look. In that look which is herenow is reveals all that is essential religion.”
Zen is totally different. It is something tremendously unique. You cannot understand it if you are caught in dogmas, in creeds.
Let me tell you one anecdote: A young Catholic girl of fifteen was asked by the Mother Superior what she wanted to be in life.
“A prostitute,” replied the girl.
“A what?” shrieked the aged nun.
“A prostitute,” repeated the girl calmly. “Oh, the saints be praised,” said the pious old lady. “I thought you said a Protestant!”
This type of mind will not be able to understand what Zen is; it will be completely beyond its grasp – divided in creeds and cults….
Zen people are not serious, but they are very sincere. And these two things are totally different.
Never misunderstand them, never be confused between them. A sincere man is not serious. He is sincere. If he laughs, he means it. If he loves, he means it. If he is angry, he is angry and he will not pretend otherwise. He is authentic, true. Whatsoever he is, he reveals himself to you. He is vulnerable. He never hides behind masks; he is sincere, true. Sometimes he will be sad, then he will be sad. And sometimes he will like crying, then he will cry and he will not hide and he will not try to be something else which he is not. He remains himself. He never deviates from his being and he never allows anybody to distract him.
But a serious person is somebody else, who is not true, who is not authentic but is posing that he is authentic, that he is true. A serious man is an impostor; he is just trying to show that he is authentic, very authentic. He cannot laugh, because he is afraid if he laughs, in the laughter maybe his true face will come to be seen by others. Because many times your laughter shows many things that you have been hiding.
If you laugh, your laughter can show who you are because in a moment of laughter you relax; otherwise you cannot laugh. Laughter is relaxing. You can remain tight, but then you cannot laugh. If you laugh, the tightness goes. You can remain somber, long-faced, and you can persist in that, but if you laugh suddenly you will see the whole body is relaxed, and in that relaxed moment something may bubble up, may surface, which you have been hiding for long and don’t want others to see. That’s why serious people don’t laugh. Sincere people laugh – only sincere people laugh.
Their laughter is childlike, innocent.
Serious people will not cry, will not weep, because that will again show their weakness – and they want to prove they are strong, very strong. But a sincere person allows himself to be seen as he is.
He invites you into his innermost core of being.
Zen people are sincere but not serious. Sometimes so sincere that they almost look profane. You cannot conceive of it. So sincere that they almost look irreligious, but they are not irreligious.
Because sincerity is the only religion there is.
My whole effort is also in the same dimension: to help you to become sincere – but not serious. I want you to laugh, I want you to weep. I want you to be sad sometimes, to be happy. But whatsoever you are, you are. Whatsoever you are inside, that’s your outside also. You are of one piece; then you will be alive, flowing, moving, growing, reaching to your destiny, revealing, flowering, unfolding.
Question to Osho: OSHO, I FEEL ADDICTED TO YOU. YOU ARE MY LAST VICE, MY LAST ADDICTION, MY LAST DRUG. I WANT TO LEAVE FOR A WHILE TO TRAVEL AND YET I CANNOT GET AWAY. EVERY MORNING LIKE CLOCKWORK I SHOW UP FOR THE LECTURE. I FEEL HYPNOTIZED BY YOU.
ANYTHING TO DO?
Let me tell you an anecdote. And the last words of the anecdote are my answer to your question, so listen well.
A jazz musician who had never entered a church in his life found himself passing a little country church just as a service was about to begin. Out of curiosity he decided to go in and see what it was all about.
After the service, he approached the rector and said, “Say, Rev, you just about knocked me out with the good words – like I really dug it the most, man. Jeez, baby, I really blew my mind – it was wild, ya dig?”
The rector was flattered, but said, “Well, thank you – most gratifying, I am sure. However, I wish you would not use these common expressions at the portals of the holy edifice.”
But the musician went on, “And I will tell you something else, Rev. When the cat came around with the bread plate, I was so high with the whole scene that I came across with; a fiver!”
“Crazy, baby, crazy!” said the rector.Tags: Laughter Is Relaxing