Meditation-Shunyatha-Nothingness

A story retold from Osho ….source: Anand Zen

You become just like a sun with the rays from the sun moving away from the core into the nothingness and beyond to infinity.

Three friends had gone for a morning walk when they saw a Zen monk standing on the hill.

Monk on the hill

One of the friends said, “I think he must have come with his friends; they must have been left behind and he is waiting for them.”

The other said, “I cannot agree with you, because seeing that man I can say one thing is certain; he is not waiting for somebody who has been left behind, because he never looks back. He is just standing like a statue. Anybody who is waiting for somebody left behind to catch up will once in a while look back  to see whether the fellow has come or not. But this monk is unmoving. He is not waiting for any friend. I know what he is looking for…he has a cow and it must be lost in the thick forest. And where he is standing  is the highest place from where he can look all over the forest and find the cow.”

The third man said, “You have forgotten your own argument. That is not the way of looking for a lost cow. He would be looking all around and searching and not just stand there like a statue, focused in one direction….” He continued, ”As far as I can tell, he is doing his morning meditation.”

The other two argued that the basic philosophy of Zen is that you can meditate anywhere, you can meditate doing anything.

“Where was the need to go to that hill in the early morning, in the cold, and stand there to meditate?” one said.

“He could have meditated in his cosy monastery where they have a special meditation temple. He could have stayed put in the monastery– where was the need to climb the hill? No, we cannot agree,” said the other.

Finally they said, ”It is better we go back up to the hill. It will be a waste of time but there is no other way to settle what he is doing.” Such is the curiosity of the human mind – very monkeyish!

Now why take the trouble to investigate the actions of another person? Let him do whatever he is doing. If he is searching for his cow it is his business; if he is waiting for his friend, it is his friend; if he is meditating it is his habit – why should you poke your nose into it? But that’s how people are.

They became so excited arguing with each other that they decided, “We have to go and get this straightened out.” They forgot that they had come just for a small morning walk. They forgot that they would be wasting their own time going back to the top of the hill and then coming down. The sun would be almost directly overhead nearing noon.

But the burning desire was to answer the question… they have to come to a conclusion. In fact the desire was to prove that ”I am right.” Each of them wanted to prove that “I am right.” Since they could not come to an agreement, the only man who can decide this matter was that monk.

They reached the hill top– huffing, puffing. The monk was standing there with half-closed eyes. That is the Buddhist way – to keep the eyes half closed when you are meditating, because if you close your eyes completely you may doze off or even fall asleep; that is more possible than going into meditation. If you keep your eyes fully open you will get interested in thousands of things. A beautiful woman passes by, a pretty sunset, clouds passing by, a fight in the maeketplace or s side-show…life throws up so many events to ‘see’ that real meditation is disturbed. So keep the eyes half closed so you do not see what is happening outside and you have to keep your eyes half open so that you do not fall asleep.

The first man asked the Monk, “Master, we have heard much about you but we have not had a chance to come to your monastery. Fortunately today when we came for a morning walk, we saw you. We have a question that we want you to answer: Are you not waiting for somebody who has been left behind?”

The monk with half-closed eyes said, “I have nobody, I am alone. I was born alone, I will die alone, and between these two alonenesses, I am not trying to fool myself that somebody is with me. I am alone and I am not waiting for anybody.”

The second man said happily, “Then certainly your cow has got lost in the thick forest and you must be looking for it.”

The monk said, “I don’t possess a single thing. I don’t have a cow, but the monastery has it; that is not my business. And why should I waste my time looking for a cow?”

The third man was immensely happy. He said, “Now you cannot deny my surmiuse…you must be meditating. Is it not so? – you are doing your morning meditation!”

The monk laughed; he said, “You too are wrong! Meditation is not done, it is not a doing. You can be in meditation but you cannot do it. It is a state. So certainly I am not doing meditation. I am in meditation, but for that I need not come to this hill; anywhere that I am, it is in meditation. Meditation is my consciousness. So please go about your business! And never disturb anybody who is standing with half-closed eyes, remember it.”

Then all three said, “Forgive us – we are stupid, certainly we are stupid to walk miles and to ask you such an inane question… We are feeling embarrassed. But now that we have come please answer just one question from all the three of us: Then what are you doing?”

And the master said nothing.

In that nothing is the witness.

When you witness, you will be surprised that the boredom, the sadness, the blissfulness, the ecstasy – whatever it is – starts moving away from you. As your witnessing goes deeper, stronger, becomes more crystallized, any experience – good or bad, beautiful or ugly – disappears. There is pure nothingness all around you.

Witnessing is the only thing that can make you aware of an immense nothingness surrounding you. And in that immense nothingness…. ‘shunyata ‘…remember it is not empty. In English there is no word to translate the Buddhist word shunyata. In that nothingness…, it is full of your witness, full of your witnessing, full of the light of your witness.

You become just like a sun with the rays from the sun moving away from the core into the nothingness and beyond to infinity.

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About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest is acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays.
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2 Responses to Meditation-Shunyatha-Nothingness

  1. Maxi says:

    Thank you for my morning spiritual reading, Padmini. I love to think of myself as a sun ray moving toward infinity.
    blessings ~ maxi

    Like

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