Dongshan asked Yunju, “What are you doing?”

Yunju said, “I am making soy paste.”

Dongshan, “Are you using some salt?”

Yunju said, “I’ll turn some in.”

Dongshan asked, “How does it taste?”

Yunju said, “Done.”

Be Here-Now

Yunju’s reply was Done. Why? Because taste cannot be defined. You have to taste it.

Similarly – Life is not something that can be defined. Life is not one thing, either; there are as many lives as there are people. Life is not a singular phenomenon. Everyone’s life has a taste of its own, your life has its own individuality. The life of a tree certainly is not your life, and the life of a river is not the life of the tree.

Life is a multiplicity, life has millions of forms. How can it be defined? No definition will do justice to it. Yes, it can be lived, it can be tasted, but it cannot be defined. And your definition will simply show your experience. It will not say anything about life, it will only say something about how you have understood your life. It will not be relevant to anybody else’s life. Remember this, then life is felt as a tremendous mystery.

Sol Greenberg was the only Jewish man in a small Texas town. He had given freely of his wealth and was particularly kind to the black population. And then Greenberg died.

Since he had no relatives, Greenberg bequeathed all his worldly goods to the townspeople. In order to show their respect and appreciation they decided to bury Greenberg in grand style.

They dressed him up in a cowboy outfit, complete with a ten gallon hat and gold spurs. They had a solid gold Cadillac built, placed Greenberg behind the wheel and then dug a hole large enough to accommodate the car and its deceased occupant.

As they were lowering the Caddy into the ground, two blacks stood nearby and one commented to the other, “Ah tell ya, man, then Jewish folks sure know how to live!”

The definition depends on you. The definition is always going to be your definition, how you conceive life, it will not be the definition of life. For the money mad, life will have the sound of money, of solid gold. For the power mad, the power maniac, life will have a different taste. For the poet, of course, life will have something of poetry in it.

It differs individual to individual, it depends. But one thing is central, essential, and that I would like to tell you. One thing is very essential: anybody who is really alive will be here-now. Whatsoever the form and whatsoever the expression of his individual life, one thing will be essentially there: the quality of being herenow.

Past is no more, the future is not yet, so those who live in the past don’t live, they only think they live. And those who live in the future can’t live, because how can you make anything out of the future which has not come yet?

But that’s how people are living. Millions live in the past, and the remaining millions live in the future, and it is very rare to find a person who lives here-now. But that is the real person, that is the person who is really alive. Life needs only one thing: to be rooted in the present. There is nowhere else for it to be rooted. Past is memory, future is imagination; both are unreal.

The real is this moment – thisness.

Learning from the story Done: Be Here-Now

Experience Learning

You will have to learn how to unburden yourself from the past and future, then you will be able to live like a rose flower or like a bird or like an animal, like a tree. Then you will have the same greenness, then you will have the same life juice flowing in you.

Life is not there readymade, available. You get the life that you create, you get out of life that which you put into it. First you have to pour meaning into it. You have to give color and music and poetry, you have to be creative. Only then will you be alive.

The second essential thing: that only those few people who are creative know what life is. The uncreative never know, because life is in creativity, life is creativity. Can’t you see how life goes on creating? It is a continuum of creativity, constant creativity, every moment creativity.

In fact God is not a creator. It is better to call him “creativity,” because verbs are truer than nouns. Nouns look like things, verbs are processes – alive, flowing, dynamic. God is more – creativity – than a creator. Whenever you are creating, you will have the taste of life, and it will depend on your intensity, on your totality. Life is not a philosophical problem, it is a religious mystery. Then anything can become the door – even cleaning the floor. If you can do it creatively, lovingly, totally, you will have some taste of life.

So don’t ask what life is, ask how to enter into life. The door is now here – and you have to be creative, only then will you be able to enter the door; otherwise you will go on standing in the doorway without entering the palace.

So the second essential is: be creative. If these two things are fulfilled, you will know what life is.

Existence is ever fresh just like a flower, fresh, flowering this very moment, a river flowing, this very moment, a sun rising this very moment – existence is ever fresh. “Don’t cling to the dead mind. Take a jump into the freshness of existence. Existence is always here and now, and the mind is never here and now.”

Existence is freshness itself. Existence is fresh because it is always now and here. It is not burdened by the past, it does not gather any dust from the past. It is never old.

Time makes no impact on existence. Time does not exist as far as existence is concerned. Time exists only for the mind; it is a mind invention. In fact, time and mind are synonymous. Stop the mind, and time stops.

Jesus is asked by someone, “What will be the most unique thing in your kingdom of God?” And Jesus says, “There shall be time no longer.” A very unexpected answer: There shall be time no longer. That will be the most unique thing about the kingdom of God – because there will be no mind, how can there be time?

Time does not consist, as ordinarily conceived, of three tenses: past, present and future. Time consists only of two tenses: past and future. The present is not part of time; the present is beyond time. And the present is always fresh. Present is part of eternity. Present is the penetration of the eternal into the dreamy world of time, a ray of light into the darkness of mind.


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