the yellow umbrella

I have heard: Mulla Nasruddin was staying in a hotel. A telegram had arrived from home and he was in a hurry to catch the train. He rushed. But when he reached downstairs and looked at his luggage the umbrella was missing. He had to go up to the room again and by the time he reached the fourteenth floor the room had already been given to somebody else — a newlywed couple.

Although he was in a hurry and he might miss the train if he lingered there a little longer, the temptation was great. So he looked through the keyhole to see what was happening.

A newlywed couple — they were also in a hurry, they had already waited too long; the marriage ceremony and the church and the guests and all that — somehow they had got rid of all of them and they were lying naked on the bed, talking sweet nothings. And the young man was saying to the woman, “You have such beautiful eyes. I have never seen such beautiful eyes! To whom do these eyes belong?”

And the woman said, “To you! To you, and only to you!”

And so on, the list went on. “These beautiful hands, these beautiful breasts,” and this and that — this went on and on. And Mulla had completely forgotten about the train and the taxi waiting downstairs. But then suddenly he remembered his umbrella. When the list was about to be completed, he said, “Wait! When you come to the yellow umbrella, that belongs to me.”

 

People are unconsciously doing many things. If they become conscious these things will drop.

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the only thing constant is change

(~_~)

the village idiot

There is one Russian story, a small story. In a village a man, a young man, is called an idiot by everybody. From his very childhood he has heard that, that he is an idiot. And when so many people are saying it — his father, his mother, his uncles, the neighbors, and everybody — of course he starts believing that he must be an idiot. How can so many people be wrong?  — and they are all important people. But when he becomes older and this continues, he becomes an absolutely sealed idiot; there is no way to get out of it. He tried hard but whatsoever he did was thought to be idiotic.

That is very human. Once a man goes mad he may become normal again but nobody is going to take him as normal. He may do something normal but you will suspect that there must be something insane about it. And your suspicion will make him hesitant and his hesitancy will make you suspicion stronger; then there is a vicious circle. So that man tried in every possible way to look wise, to do wise things, but whatsoever he did people would always say it was idiotic.

A saint was passing by. He went to the saint in the night when there was nobody about and asked him, “Just help me to get out of this locked state. I am sealed in. They don’t let me out; they have not left any window or door open so that I can jump out. And whatsoever I do, even if it is exactly the same as they do, still I am an idiot. What should I do?”

The saint said, “Do just one thing. Whenever somebody says,’Look how beautiful the sunset is,’ you say, “you idiot, prove it! What is beautiful there? I don’t see any beauty. You prove it.’ If somebody says,’Look at that beautiful rose flower,’ catch hold of him and tell him,’Prove it! What grounds have you to call this ordinary flower beautiful? There have been millions of rose flowers. There are millions, there will be millions in the future; what special thing has this rose flower got? And what are your fundamental reasons which prove logically that this rose flower is beautiful?’

“If somebody says,’This book of Leo Tolstoy is very beautiful,’ just catch hold of him and ask him,’Prove where it is beautiful; what is beautiful in it? It is just an ordinary story — just the same story which has been told millions of times, just the same triangle in every story: either two men and one woman or two women and one man, but the same triangle. All love stories are triangles. So what is new in it?”‘

The man said, “That’s right.”

The saint said, “Don’t miss any chance, because nobody can prove these things; they are unprovable. And when they cannot prove it, they will look idiotic and they will stop calling you an idiot. Next time, when I return, just give me the information how things are going.

And next time when the saint was coming back, even before he could meet the old idiot, people of the village informed him, “A miracle has happened. We had an idiot in our town; he has become the wisest man. We would like you to meet him.”

And the saint knew who that “wisest man” was. He said, “I would certainly love to see him. In fact I was hoping to meet him.”

The saint was taken to the idiot and the idiot said, “You are a miracle-worker, a miracle man. The trick worked! I simply started calling everyone an idiot, stupid. Somebody would be talking of love, somebody would be talking of beauty, somebody would be talking of art, painting, sculpture, and my standpoint was the same:’Prove it!’ And because they could not prove it, they looked idiotic.

And it is a strange thing. I was never hoping to gain this much out of it. All that I wanted was to get out of that confirmed idiocy. It is strange that now I am no longer an idiot, I have become the most wise man, and I know I am the same — and you know it too.”

But the saint said, “Never tell this secret to anybody else. Keep the secret to yourself.  Do you think I am a saint? Yes, the secret is between us. This is how I became a saint. This is how you have become a wise man.” This is how things go on in the world.

Once you ask, What is the meaning of life? you have asked the wrong question. And obviously somebody will say, “this is the meaning of life” — and it cannot be proved.

Osho  – “ From Personality to Individuality”

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have a great day

(~_~)

Awareness

The Footsteps of thought

by Osho

I am reminded of one of the most beautiful stories that I have come across in my life. A king in Japan sends his son to a mystic, to a master, to learn awareness. The king was old. And he said to the son, “Put your total energy into it because unless you are aware, you are not going to succeed me. I will not give this kingdom to a man who is asleep and unconscious. It is not a question of father and son. My father has given it to me only when I attained awareness. I was not the right person, because I was not his eldest son, I was his youngest son. But my other two brothers, who were older than me, could not attain.

“The same is going to happen to you. And the problem is even more complicated because I have only one son: if you do not attain to awareness, the kingdom is going into somebody else’s hands. You will be a beggar on the streets. So it is a question of life and death for you. Go to this man; he has been my master. Now he is very old, but I know that if anybody can teach you, he is the man. Tell him, `My father is sick, old, can die any day. Time is short, and I have to become fully aware before he dies; otherwise I lose the kingdom.’”

A very symbolic story too: If you are not aware, you lose the kingdom.

The king’s son went to the old master in the mountains. He said to the master, “I have been sent by your disciple, the king.”

The master was very old, older than his father. He said, “I remember that man. He was really an authentic seeker. I hope you will prove to be of the same quality, of the same genius, of the same totality, of the same intensity.”

The young prince said, “I will do everything.”

The master said, “Then start cleaning in the commune. And remember one thing — that I will be hitting you at any time. You may be cleaning the floor and I may come from the back and hit you with my stick, so be alert.”

He said, “But I have come to learn about awareness….”

The master said, “This is how you will learn.”

One year passed. In the beginning he was getting so many hits every day, but slowly slowly he started becoming aware. Even the footsteps of the old man… he might be doing anything — howsoever absorbed in the work, he would become immediately aware that the master was around. The prince would be ready. After one year the master hit him from the back while he was deeply involved in talking with another inmate of the ashram. But the prince continued to talk, and still he caught hold of the stick before the stick could reach his body.

The master said, “That’s right. Now this is the end of the first lesson. The second lesson begins tonight.”

The prince said, “I used to think that this was all. This is only the first lesson? How many lessons are there?”

The old man said, “It depends on you. The second lesson is that now I will be hitting you while you are asleep, and you have to be alert in your sleep.”

He said, “My God. How can one be alert in sleep?”

The old man said, “Don’t be worried. Thousands of my disciples have passed through the test. Your father has passed through the test. It is not impossible. It is difficult, but it is a challenge.”

And from that night he was getting hit six times, eight times, twelve times in the night. Sleep was difficult. But within six months he started feeling inside himself a certain awareness. And one day when the master was just going to hit him, with closed eyes he said — “Don’t bother. You are too old. It hurts me; you are taking so much trouble. I am young, I can survive these hits.”

The master said, “You are blessed. You have passed the second lesson. But up to now I have been hitting with my wooden staff. The third lesson is that now I will start hitting, from tomorrow morning, with a real sword. Be alert! Just a moment of unconsciousness and you are finished.”

Early in the morning the master used to sit in the garden, just listening to the birds singing… the flowers opening, the sun rising. The prince thought, “Now it is becoming dangerous! A wooden stick was hard, difficult, but it was not going to kill me. A real sword….” He was a swordsman but he was not given any chance to protect himself; only awareness was going to be his protection.

An idea came to his mind: “This old man is really dangerous. Before he starts his third lesson, I would like to check whether he himself can pass the third test or not. If he is putting my life at risk, I cannot allow him to do it without checking whether he is worthy of it or not.” And these were only thoughts that he was thinking lying down in his bed; it was a cold morning.

And the master said, “Come out of your blanket, you idiot! Do you want to hit your own master with a sword? Feel ashamed! I can hear the footsteps of your thoughts… drop the idea.” He had heard. Nothing was said to him, nothing was done to him.

Thoughts are also things. Thoughts also, while moving, make sounds, and those who are fully alert can read your thoughts. Even before you have become aware of them, they can become aware of them.

The prince was really ashamed. He fell at the feet of the master and he said, “Just forgive me. I am really stupid.”

But because it was a question of a sword, a real sword, he became aware of everything around him, even his own breathing, his heartbeat. Just a small breeze passing through the leaves, a dead leaf moving in the wind, and he was aware. And the master tried a few times but found him always ready. He could not hit him with the sword because he could not find him unconscious, unalert. He was just alertness. It was a question of death — you cannot afford to be anything but alert.

In three days’ time the master could not find a single moment, a single loophole. And after the third day he called him and told him, “Now you can go and tell your father — and this is the letter from me — that the kingdom is yours.”

Awareness is a process of being more and more awake.

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They that lose command of their thoughts

Will soon lose command of their actions

(!_!)

be like the rock…

“Who is the best swordsman?” asked a warrior of his master.

“Go to the field near the monastery,” his master answered. “There is a rock there. I want you to insult the rock.”

“But why would I do that?” the disciple asked. “The rock will not respond.”

“Well, then attack it with your sword,” the master said.

“I won’t do that, either,” the disciple answered. “My sword would break. And if I attack the rock with my hands, I’ll injure my fingers and have no impact on it. That wasn’t what I asked. Who is the best swordsman?”

“The best is the one who is like the rock,” said his master. “Without unsheathing a sword, it demonstrates that no one can conquer it.”

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(~_~)

It is all in how you ask…

I have heard an ancient Sufi parable:
Two disciples of a great Master were walking in the garden of the Master’s house. They were allowed to walk every day, morning, evening. The walking was a kind of meditation, a walking meditation — just as Zen people do walking meditation. You cannot sit for twenty-four hours — the legs need a little movement, the blood needs a little circulation — so in Zen and in Sufism both, you meditate for a few hours sitting and then you start meditating walking. But the meditation continues; walking or sitting, the inner current remains the same.

They both were smokers. They both wanted to ask for the permission of the Master, so they both decided, “Tomorrow. At the most, he will say no, but we are going to ask. And it doesn’t seem such a sacrilegious act to smoke in the garden; we will not be smoking in his house itself. “
The next day they met in the garden. One was furious — furious because the other was smoking — and he said, “What happened? I also asked, but he simply flatly refused and said no. And you are smoking? Are you not abiding by his orders?”

He said, “But he has said yes to me.
“This looked very unjust. And the first said, “I will go and immediately inquire as to why he said no to me and yes to you.”
The other said, “Wait a minute. Please tell me what you had asked.” He said, “What I had asked? I had asked a simple thing, ‘Can I smoke while meditating?’ He said, ‘No!’ and he looked very angry. “

The other started laughing; he said, “Now I know what is the matter. I asked, ‘Can I meditate while smoking?’ He said ‘yes.’”
It all depends. Just a little difference, and life is totally something else. Now, there is a great difference. Asking, “Can I smoke while meditating?” is just ugly. But asking, ” Can I meditate while smoking?” — it’s perfectly okay. Good! At least you will be meditating.

Life is neither misery nor bliss. Life is an empty canvas, and one has to be very artistic about it.

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have a zen filled day

(~_~)

putting things together

It is reported in the life of a great Sufi mystic, Farid, that a king came to see him. He had brought a present for him: a beautiful pair of scissors, golden, studded with diamonds — very valuable, very rare, something unique. He brought those scissors to present to Farid. He touched Farid’s feet and gave him the scissors; Farid took them, looked at them, gave them back to the king, and said, “Sir, many many thanks for the present that you have brought. It is a beautiful thing, but utterly useless for me. It will be better if you can give me a needle. Scissors I don’t need: a needle will do.”

The king said, “I don’t understand. If you need a needle, you will need scissors too.”

Farid said, “I am talking in metaphors. Scissors I don’t need because scissors cut things apart. A needle I need because a needle puts things together. I teach love. My whole teaching is based on love — putting things together, teaching people communion. I need a needle so that I can put people together. The scissors are useless; they cut, they disconnect. Next time when you come, just an ordinary needle will be enough.”

 

Osho – “Uno Mystica”

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have a zen filled day

(~_~)

Habit

There is a story that when the great library of Alexandria was burned, one book was saved. But it was not a valuable book, and so a poor man, who could read a little, bought it for a few coppers. It was not very interesting, yet there was a most interesting thing in it. It was a thin strip of vellum on which was written the secret of the “touchstone”.

The touchstone was a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold The writing explained that it was on the shores of the Black Sea lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles which looked exactly like it. But the secret was this: the real stone would feel warm, while ordinary pebbles are cold. So the man sold his few belongings, bought some simple supplies, camped on the seashore, and began testing the pebbles.

This was his plan: he knew that if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down again because they were cold, he might pick up the same pebbles hundreds of times. So when he felt one that was cold he threw it into the sea. He spent a whole day doing this, and they were none of them the touchstone. Then he spent a week, a month, a year, three years… but he did not find the touchstone. Yet he went on and on this way: pick up a pebble, it’s cold, throw it into the sea… and so on and so on. Just visualize the man doing it for years and years and years — pick up a pebble, it is cold, throw it into the sea… from morning to evening, for years and years.

But one morning he picked up a pebble and it was WARM — and he threw it into the sea. He had formed the habit of throwing them into the sea, you understand, and habit made him do it when at last he found the touchstone, poor fellow.

That’s how mind functions. Trust is a touchstone. Very rarely do you find a man in whom you can trust. Very rarely do you find a heart who is warm, loving, in whom you can trust. Ordinarily you find pebbles which look like the touchstone, almost alike, but all are cold. year in, year out, from the very childhood: you pick up a pebble, you feel it, it is cold, you throw it into the ocean.

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have a great day

(~_~)