Spiritual Stories, Inner Teachings & Practical Techniques

Spiritual Stories, Inner Teachings & Practical Techniques

Stories, ideas and concepts of saints, sages, rishis, fakirs. As well as inner teachings and practical techniques that WORK if you apply them!

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11/17/2016 10:04:47 AM
A ZEN BUTCHER

There is nothing profane in the world, nothing sacred in the world. The world is neutral. Now it depends on you what you want to make of it. Meditation makes it sacred; then every act becomes meditative.

I am reminded of a butcher in Japan who was considered to be a great master — and he was a butcher! The whole day he was cutting animals and selling meat; that was his business. One Buddhist scholar could not believe that this man was thought to be a saint. He was simply a scholar. He went to the butcher and said, “This is something absolutely mad. Who are the people who think that you are a saint? How can a butcher be a saint?”

The butcher laughed. He answered, “Just by mixing meditation in the butchery. When I am cutting up an animal I am not angry, I am not hateful. I am full of love, I am full of compassion. I have great hope that next time he will be born in a human form; perhaps he will become a buddha. With all my blessings I am sending him on a new journey, releasing him from this prison.

“And moreover, my father was a butcher, my forefathers were butchers, and I am a poor butcher. I have never told anybody that I am a saint. If people think so, that’s their business. You should go and argue with them.

“As far as I am concerned, I am absolutely content with my profession because whatever you do, the question is not what you are doing but how you are doing it. The question is not the act; the question is the consciousness with which the act is being performed. Yes, I am killing animals, but I know that they will be killed anyway. If I am not killing them, somebody else will kill them. And he will not kill them with such love, with such compassion. How can I leave this profession?

“These animals are going to be killed. If I don’t kill them somebody else will kill them and he is not going to kill them with such meditation, with such love. So I would be leaving these poor animals in the hands of some butcher. I cannot do that. If I am going to be thrown into hell for being a butcher, that is acceptable. But I cannot leave these poor innocent animals in the hands of somebody who knows nothing of love.”

Can you see the point of this butcher? It is very subtle. He is ready to suffer in hell if that is going to be the consequence of his actions. But he cannot leave these poor animals in the hands of somebody who will simply kill them and not even bother about what he is doing.

He said, “I am so concerned with these animals and I love them so much — I cannot leave them in somebody else’s hands. Whatsoever happens to me, that I am ready to face.”

I can see why the people who could understand called him a master, a saint. He never gave a sermon, he never preached anything. He was illiterate, he knew nothing of the scriptures, but he lived religion in a very irreligious situation; that’s something tremendously important. He lived religion in something which is very irreligious. And yet he managed to live religiously. He must have been a great alchemist who transformed the whole act, gave it a new quality; something utterly profane and ugly became so beautiful, so graceful.

It is said that his fame spread far and wide and people started coming to see him while he was cutting up animals. Even the emperor of Japan came to see him while he was cutting because he had heard that the way he cuts, nobody has ever cut — such grace, such love, tears flowing from his eyes. And the miracle was that although human beings were not able to understand, perhaps the animals were able to understand.

Ordinarily when you want to kill an animal he tries to escape, but from this butcher no animal tried to escape. He hugged the animal. The animal was not bound by anything, tied with anything. He was completely free. It was as if deep down he wanted to die by this man’s hand.

And the emperor asked one thing, about the knife that he used to kill the animals. The knife looked so shiny, as if it had just been sharpened. The emperor asked, “Do you sharpen your knife every day?”

He said, “No, this is the knife my father used, a
11/15/2016 10:21:20 AM
nd his father used, and it has never been sharpened. But we know exactly the points where it has to cut the animal so there is a minimum of pain possible — through the joints where two bones meet. The knife has to go through the joint, and those two bones that meet there go on sharpening the knife. And that is the point where the animal is going to feel the minimum pain.

“For three generations we have not sharpened the knife. A butcher sharpening a knife simply means he does not know his art” — he used the word “art” — “He does not know the art and he does not know how to do it lovingly.”

Osho – “From False to the Truth”
11/15/2016 10:21:20 AM
tensively. And as he looked, he became relaxed, because it was nowhere. And in looking for it, all thoughts disappeared. The search was so intense that his whole energy was involved in it; there was nothing left to think and desire, and this and that.

As the sun was rising Bodhidharma saw Wu’s face; he was not the same man — such silence, such depth. He had disappeared. Bodhidharma shook him and told him, “Open your eyes — it is not there. I don’t have to kill it. I am a nonviolent man, I don’t kill anything! But this self does not exist. Because you never look at it, it goes on existing. It is in your not looking for it, in your unawareness, that it exists. Now it is gone.”

Two hours had passed, and Wu was immensely glad. He had never tasted such sweetness, such freshness, such newness, such beauty. And he was not.

Bodhidharma had fulfilled his promise. Emperor Wu bowed down, touched his feet and said, “Please forgive me thinking that you are mad, thinking that you don’t know manners, thinking that you you are weird, thinking that you you can be dangerous. I have never seen a more compassionate man than you… I am totally fulfilled. Now there is no question in me.”

Emperor Wu said that when he died, on his grave, the memorial, Bodhidharma’s statement should be engraved in gold, for the people in centuries to come to know…”There was a man who looked mad, but who was capable of doing miracles. Without doing anything he helped me to be a non-self. And since then everything has changed. Everything is the same but I am not the same, and life has become just a pure song of silence.”

Osho – “Beyond Psychology”
11/14/2016 9:41:10 AM
SELF AND NO-SELF

I have told many times the story of Bodhidharma and his meeting with the Chinese emperor Wu — a very strange meeting, very fruitful. Emperor Wu perhaps was at that time the greatest emperor in the world; he ruled all over China, Mongolia, Korea, the whole of Asia, except India.

He became convinced of the truth of Gautam Buddha’s teachings, but the people who had brought the message of Buddha were scholars. None of them were mystics. And then the news came that Bodhidharma was coming, and there was a great thrill all over the land. Because Emperor Wu had become influenced by Gautam Buddha, that had made his whole empire influenced by the same teaching. And now a real mystic, a buddha, was coming. It was such a great joy!

Emperor Wu had never before come to the boundaries where India and China meet to receive anyone. With great respect he welcomed Bodhidharma, and he asked , “I have been asking all the monks and the scholars who have been coming, but nobody has been of any help — I have tried everything. But how to get rid of this self? And Buddha says, `Unless you become a no-self, your misery cannot end.'”

He was sincere. Bodhidharma looked into his eyes, and he said, “I will be staying by the side of the river near the mountain in the temple. Tomorrow morning, at four o’clock exactly, you come and I will finish this self forever. But remember, you are not to bring any arms with you, any guards with you; you have to come alone.”

Wu was a little worried — the man was strange! “How can he just destroy my self so quickly? It takes — it has been told by the scholars — lives and lives of meditation; then the self disappears. This man is weird! And he is wanting me in the darkness, early in the morning at four o’clock, alone, even without a sword, no guards, no other companion. This man seems to be strange — he could do anything.

And what does he mean that he will kill the self forever? He can kill me, but how will he kill the self?”

The whole night he could not sleep. He changed his mind again and again — to go or not to go? But there was something in the man’s eyes, and there was something in his voice, and there was some aura of authority when he said, “Just come at four o’clock sharp, and I will finish this self forever! You need not be worried about it.”

What he said looked absurd, but the way he said it, and the way he looked were so authoritative: he knows what he is saying. Finally Wu had to decide to go. He decided to risk, “At the most he can kill me — what else? And I have tried everything. I cannot attain this no-self, and without attaining this no-self there is no end to misery.”

He knocked on the temple door, and Bodhidharma said, “I knew you would come; I knew also that the whole night you would be changing your mind. But that does not matter — you have come. Now sit down in the lotus posture, close your eyes, and I am going to sit in front of you.

“The moment you find, inside, your self, catch hold of it so I can kill it. Just catch hold of it tightly and tell me that you have caught it, and I will kill it and it will be finished. It is a question of minutes.”

Wu was a little afraid. Bodhidharma looked like a madman; he is painted like a madman — he was not like that, but the paintings are symbolic. That’s the impression he must have left on people. It was not his real face, but that must be the face that people were remembering.

He was sitting with his big staff in front of Wu, and he said to him, “Don’t miss a second. Just the moment you catch hold of it — search inside every nook and corner — open your eyes and then tell me that you have caught it, and I will finish it.”

Then there was silence. One hour passed, two hours passed and the sun was rising, and Wu was a different man. In those two hours he looked inside himself, in every nook and corner. He had to look — that man was sitting there; he could have hit him on his head with his staff.

You could expect anything; whatever…. He was not a man of etiquette, manner; he was not part of Wu’s court, so he had to look intently, in
11/14/2016 9:41:09 AM
SEEING TOZAN

I was reading about a Zen master, Tozan — a very famous Zen master.

The story says that the Gods wanted to see him, but they couldn’t because he was just an emptiness.

They would enter into him from this side and that, they would pass through him, but he was nowhere to be found. He was a nowhere-ness, a- nothingness… so empty of himself that they could not see him.

They were very curious to see a man who had become empty, so they played a trick.

They went to the kitchen as Tozan was coming from his morning walk and took a few handfuls of rice and wheat and threw it on his path.

In a Zen monastery that is almost a sin because it is very disrespectful to rice and wheat. Everything should be respected because everything is divine.

It is a respect for everything. Everything that exists and has existed, is divine and should be respected.

So in a Zen monastery nothing is wasted; one should be careful, and alert.

They played this trick and threw on his path a few handfuls of rice and wheat.

When Tozan came he could not believe it — that any disciple could do that. Who could do it? Who could be so careless and disrespectful?

This idea arose in him, and suddenly a self was there and the Gods could see him. The emptiness was no more empty.

Suddenly an idea had crystallised; an attitude, a mind had come. For a moment a cloud appeared in the blue sky and the Gods could see this man, Tozan.

Then the cloud disappeared because the idea disappeared. I like the story very much.

Whenever there is an idea, you are, and then a cloud arises. And there is not only one cloud. There are so many ideas in you, millions of clouds which continuously haunt you, covering you in layers and layers of cloud. Your inner sky is completely hidden. You can’t even have a glimpse of it.

Even a small idea like ‘Who has been so careless?’ — it was nothing special, nothing much to worry about. It was just a curious ‘Who has been so careless?’ but it was enough!

If you see the morning sun and you say ‘How beautiful’ — enough! It is just a small fragment but it creates an inner pressure in you, and that’s why you immediately want to say to somebody ‘Look, how beautiful the morning is!’

That is a release. The pressure has been inside and when you talk it is catharted; you release it. You feel good, you have said it. If you cannot find anybody, it will haunt you more.

Our mind is continuously overflooded with ideas, emotions, sentiments.

By and by relax, be empty. Just go as an emptiness.

Quote :Beloved of My Heart
11/13/2016 9:53:10 AM

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