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MEDITATION TIMES

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A PRODUCTION OF www.taoshobuddhameditations.com Published by: www.taoshobuddhameditations.com Country of Origin: Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies. Chief Editor/Graphics Layout & Design: Swami Anand Neelambar
Editorial Team: Taoshobuddha, Swami Anand Neelambar International Contributors: Hadhrat Maulawi Jalaluddin Ahmad Ar-Rowi, Lars Jensen
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In This Issue
Editorial Sadness Deep Understanding Let Sadness be your Meditation From Sadness to Celebration Enlightenment beyond duality Depression side effect of sadness Polarity of Emotions Polarity of awareness and unawareness Unawareness and the mind Laughter the Sadhana Meditative energy-field of Laughter Zen Master Hotei Laughing Buddha Sufi Mystic Mulla Nasruddin Zen Laughter Meditation and Zen Vision Laughter one more Dimension Laughter the only Meditation Laughter the essence of religion

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From Sadness To Laughter


Meditation Times

Taoshobudhha Meditations

MEDITATION TIMES
Published by Taoshobuddha Meditations Trinidad, West indies

EDITORIAL
Swami Vivekananda has said long faces do not make us religious. Religion should make you happy, it being the fullness of life. Goswami Tulsi baba says in the Samashti Vandana that the Sadhu is muda mangala maya full of both internal and external joy. He is not only muda maya expressing internal joy or mangala maya displaying external gala; but rather muda mangala maya. The Sadhu is an integral being. The Sant as he is also called is a being of totality and his very presence transforms and sanctifies any place. He is a moving dynamic cyclone of spirituality; jo jaga jagam teerath raajoo, as Maharishi Tulsi baba describes him. Goswami Tulsidasa describes the charita of the Sadhu in Doha 1, Chaupai 3: Sadhu charita subha charita kapaasoo, Niras bisad gunamaya phal jaasoo. Jo sahi dukha parichhidra duraawaa, Banda neeya jehi jaga jasa paawaa. He says that the life of a Sadhu is similar to the life of a cotton plant. We all know how dull and unattractive the cotton fruit is. And how the fruit has to be processed before it can serve any purpose. From this metaphor we can appreciate how apt is the comparison of Goswami Tulsidasa. The outward appearance of a Sadhu maybe uncouth but his spirit and heart are always pure and untainted. The Sadhu or Sajjan undergoes very rigorous sadhana and tapasya in order to fulfil his ii Taoshobudhha Meditations Meditation Times ishta or chosen ideal. The Sajjan pursues a life of voluntary sufferings and hardships and burns himself as it were in order that humanity may receive light. The Sadhu as described by Goswami Tulsi baba functions as a catalyst and prompts others to manifest divinity within their lives. He is not a half crazy lunatic who sports a saffron robe, and with long unkempt beard with matted locks. He is not an invalid in any quest. He is the true representative of the Vedantic ideals. In him one can perceive the aura of sanctity. His very presence transmits spiritual vibrations. He is of universal characteristics, and not a biased bigot, nor sectarian fanatic. The Sadhu charita is the transformation from sadness to laughter or bliss divine. Sadness has beauty and go meditatively into transform the energy easily. Sadness is roots flowers. depth and when you sadness you can into laughter very and laughter is the

As such as you have been conditioned sadness is considered negative. Sadness can become a very enriching experience with awareness. You have to work on it. It is very easy to escape from your sadness. This is what everyone does. All your relationships ordinarily are escapes. You simply go on avoiding it under one pretext or the other. Sadness can become a meditation and you can be transformed through it.

Meditation Times

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Volume IV Issue X

TRANSCENDENCE FROM SADNESS TO LAUGHTER

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adness is beautiful when you understand it. Sadness transforms your consciousness when you make sadness a meditation. You will get surprised when I say make sadness meditation. When you make sadness meditation then you are going deep into it. And when you go to the core of your sadness suddenly there is one hundred and eighty degree turn. Suddenly the grip of sadness loosens. Sadness is on the surface as the outcome of inner unhappiness and misery. It is certainly the lack of understanding that makes your unconsciousness misery and sadness. Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness is like your roots. Happiness grows like numerous branches. Like a tree happiness grows to reach the stars in the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Sadness gives nourishment at gross level and the air and sunlight of happiness gives subtle nourishment. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its
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roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That is its balance. You have always looked at things and phenomena wrongly. You consider sadness as something bad. You mean darkness is bad and there should be no night and its darkness. This is insane. Darkness of night is needed as much as the bright sunlight of the day. After the days work when tired you sink into the darkness of night to recuperate and rejuvenate. Therefore when sadness surrounds you, be really sad, sink into sadness. What else can you do? It is already there. Nothing can be done now. Sadness is needed. It is very relaxing. Like a dark night it surrounds you. Fall asleep into it. Accept it, and you will see that the moment you accept sadness, it starts becoming beautiful. Sadness is ugly because of your rejection of it. As such sadness is not ugly. It is your perception that makes it ugly. Once you accept it, you will see how beautiful it is, how relaxing, how calm and quiet, how silent. It has something to give that happiness can never give.
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You cannot bring the balance. The balance that you bring is of no use. It will be forced. Balance comes spontaneously. It is already there. In fact, when you are happy, you become so excited that it is tiring. Have you watched? The heart immediately moves then into the other direction, gives you a rest. You feel it as sadness. It is giving you a rest, because you were getting too

excited. It is medicinal, and therapeutic. It is just as in the day you work hard and in the night you fall deeply asleep. In the morning you are fresh again. After sadness you will be fresh again, ready to be excited. So too, sadness is like the night of the being and happiness is the day or the sunshine. Together these nourish and nurture your consciousness.

ith awareness anything can become meditation. And when something situation, or emotion, or feeling becomes meditation the process of transformation begins. Meditation is the quality of your being like creativity that you bring to any activity, emotion or the state of mind. As such as you have been conditioned sadness is considered negative. Sadness can become a very enriching experience with awareness. You have to work on it. It is very easy to escape from your sadness. This is what everyone does. All your relationships ordinarily are escapes. You simply go on avoiding it under one pretext or the other. And it is always there underneath. Like the current it continues waiting for any situation wanted or unwanted to explode. Even in relationship it erupts many times. Then
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one tends to throw the responsibility on the other, but it is not the real thing. It your own sadness transformed as your loneliness. You have not settled with it yet, so it will erupt again and again. You can escape in work. You can escape in some occupation, in relationship and society, this and that, in traveling, but it is not going to go way, because it is part of your being. You are born alone in the world. Alone one day you come through the parents, all alone. So too you die alone or move out of the world alone. And between these two states of loneliness you go on deceiving and fooling yourselves. It is good to take courage and enter into this loneliness. However hard and difficult it may look in the beginning, it pays tremendously. Once you settle with it, or
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start enjoying it, or feel it not as sadness but as silence, and you understand that there is no way to escape, you relax totally. Nothing can be done about it, so why not enjoy it? That is really the way to go beyond. Go into it deeply to have a taste of it, and see what it is? Why be unnecessarily afraid? If it is going to be there and it is a fact and it is existential, not accidental then why not come to terms with it? Move into it and see what it is. The key is whenever you feel sad, sit silently and allow sadness to surface. Do not try to escape from it. Make yourself as sad as you can. Do not avoid it cooperate with your sadness. Remember this. Cry and have the whole taste of it. Cry to death. Roll on the ground and let it go by itself. There is no force it to go. It will go on its own, because nobody can remain in any permanent mood. This applies to all moods. Remember sadness is one mood. When it goes you will be unburdened. It will be indeed absolute relief, as if the whole gravitation has disappeared and you can fly. That is the moment to enter your innerness. First bring sadness. Ordinarily you do not allow it. You are ready to find some ways and means so

that you can look somewhere else. So, you go to the restaurant, to the swimming pool, meet friends, read a book or go to a movie, play musical instrument you go on doing something or the other. This is to keep engaged and you can put your attention somewhere else. When you are feeling sad, do not lose the opportunity. Close the doors, sit down, and feel as sad as you can, as if the whole world is just a hell. Go deep into it. Allow every sad thought to penetrate you, every sad emotion to stir you. And cry and weep and say things and say them loudly, there is nothing to worry about. So first live sadness for a few days, and the moment that momentum of sadness goes, you will feel very calm, and peaceful. It is like one feels after a storm. In that moment sit silently and enjoy the silence that is coming on its own. You have not brought it. You were bringing sadness. When sadness goes, in the wake, silence settles. Listen to that silence. Close your eyes. Feel it deep within. Feel the very texture of it and the fragrance too. And if you feel happy, sing and dance.

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When sadness and sorrow overtakes you in life, this implies you must have taken some wrong step. Suffering implies you have gone astray and there is discontinuity. The suffering is only a pointer, dont make it your life style; dont become masochist, for masochism is a disease from which many people suffer. Any moment of great happiness will also be a great moment of sadness. The meditator looks at everything but he does not to jump into it. Whatsoever passes is good. Sometimes happiness comes, sadness, anger, and jealousy follow. You need not make them your problems. You have the attitude as if you are waiting at the airport in the waiting longue. So many people coming and going good and bad; saint and sinner; it is none of your concern you simply sit in your chair unconcerned. You are waiting for your flight, and these people are not coming for you. You do not even know who they are. You are not there to judge who is good and who is bad, because you judge only when you think this is your home. You know that hypocrisy hurts and creates sadness. Hypocrisy means you pretend to be something that you are not. The whole world is full of sadness
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because the whole world has been directed to create falseness, character, and morality. A master is not interested in character or morality at all. I am not telling people to be immoral instead I am telling you all to be conscious, and to create more and more consciousness. Indeed meditator cannot be sad. If meditation has really happened there can be no sadness. However throughout the entire past of humanity we have created sad saints and sages. It has been like a nightmare. Now we need cheerful sages, saints who are capable of love and laughter. If you decide not move into sadness, instead you want only happiness, then you cannot flow. Flow is only possible if you accept everything as it is, unconditionally. Indeed life is flow of opposite shore into harmony. Silence has something in it that makes it look very much like sadness. It is not sadness, although it is very much like it. So when you start becoming silent, you may also feel a certain type of sadness. There is no need to be afraid of that, or you will start trying to get out of it. It is not sadness, instead just the feeling of silence, and its depth, that gives you certain sadness. It is beautiful. People who go into silence have to encounter
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this problem, and have to understand that there are different types of sadness. There is a sadness that comes out of frustration. There is another sadness that comes out of inner emptiness, and inner poverty. Still there is a sadness that

comes out of silence, out fullness, but it is also alive.

of

total

Silence will give you sadness, and aloneness. You will need time to be familiar with those different shades and different flavors of sadness.

There is only one thing that you need to do. Change from misery to bliss and from sadness to celebration. And it can be done very easily because misery is an unnatural thing. Only meditation can transform sadness into celebration. The path Buddha is the path of bliss. It is not of sadness or seriousness. Sadness and seriousness are both pathological. The so-called saints, who appear very serious, are really ill people. They are not whole. They are incapable of laughter, and cheerfulness. Indeed it is like committing suicide. They have committed suicide. And down the ages humanity has worshipped these people because we are worshippers of death, not of life. And we worship a person who becomes dead even while he is alive, who starts living a kind of post-humus existence. He is recognized as a mahatma, a sage, and a saint. You have to live a life of bliss. Bliss is the meditation. Drop all seriousness, and become more playful. They have to look at life not as a problem but as a mystery. If you look at it as a problem you
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become serious because then a great temptation arises to solve it and it is insoluble. It will lead you into more and more seriousness, frustration and into sadness as well. Indeed blissfulness is the only beautiful thing and the only ugly thing is sadness, or misery. But because the majority of human beings live in misery, they start worshipping misery. They are afraid of bliss, they are afraid of blissful people. They cannot believe that somebody is really blissful. Man becomes identified with anything that comes in front of him. When the cloud of anger is there he thinks he is anger. When love overwhelms he thinks he is love. In moments of compassion he thinks he is compassion and in sadness he identifies with sadness. This is how it goes on. You are none of these. You are the watcher. Anger will come and go and the watcher abides. Sadness comes and passes by and the witness remains. To remember that witness more and more will make you integrated, because that is the only center which is everlasting, and
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eternal? Remember only on the eternal rock of witnessing indeed a real life can be built. Otherwise you are making your houses on sand totally instable. You cannot even complete it. It always falls in the middle. Let this become your key. Next time when anger comes, just watch it. Do not say I am angry; instead say Anger is there and I am watching it. And see the difference! The difference is vast. Suddenly you are out of the grip of anger if you can say I am just a watcher not anger. When sadness comes, just sit by the side and look at it and say I am the watcher instead of sadness and see the difference. Immediately you have cut the very root of sadness. It is no more nourished. Certainly it will die of starvation, because we feed these emotions by being identified with them. Be aware of the body and its action. While Walking, let there be alertness. Do not walk like a robot. When thinking, watch thoughts floating on the inner sky. Just go on watching the desires spinning and weaving their nets around you. Just go on watching. Go on watching how subtle dreams are moving like an undercurrent deep down in your unconscious. Watch your feelings, moods, how they suddenly arise as if from nowhere; just a moment before you were so full of joy and now you are suddenly so sad. Just watch how it happens, see the bridge how joy becomes sadness, and how sadness becomes joy. Slowly and slowly then your moods start disappearing. You are no more very joyous and no more very sad. The difference between joy and sadness
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starts becoming less. Soon a moment of equilibrium is reached when you are neither sad nor joyous. And that is the moment when bliss is felt. That tranquility, that silence, and that balance, is bliss. One who is surrendered to god need not say anything, the very surrender will transform his life. All that is needed on the part of the seeker is to drop the ego because ego is the only cause of all our misery and sadness. Blissfulness has totally disappeared, and the strangest thing is that it has disappeared because of the so-called religious people in the world. The religious people have created a kind of seriousness. In the process cheerfulness is destroyed. Cheerfulness is condemned as something mundane, profane, and sacrilegious. They have raised sadness, seriousness, to the heights of saintliness. One has to become more and more alive, full of zest, gusto, and intensity. One should not withhold. When you are full of life love starts overflowing on its own accord, because what you will do with life, what you will do with that overflowing energy? You will have to share it and that sharing is love. Love is sharing of your life energy. And the moment you share your life energy all sadness disappears, then life is just a heartfelt laughter. Now this indivisible atom of consciousness can exist in two ways. It can exist in sadness then it is of the finite world. Also it can exist as bliss then it is of the beyond. These are just two possibilities. And the same energy is needed for both. And when the same
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energy is not allowed to move it becomes stagnant, stale, and creates sadness. On the contrary when the same

energy is allowed, to express, flower, and overflow it becomes bliss.

nlightenment is the ultimate flowering. The enlightened one is beyond all dualities. The real man one day becomes enlightened. The unreal man never becomes enlightened. When someone becomes enlightened all dualities vanish from his consciousness. Then there is no joy and no sadness. Then his being is just a witness. Joy comes: he watches it. Sadness comes: he watches it. You are sad because you are still unawareness. Your consciousness is divided into its components and more often it is unconsciousness that surface. Therefore try to be more and more aware. Practice mindfulness. Whenever any mood comes, be mindful of it. Anger, sadness, doubt, fear, misery are all moods that arise when your sense perception interacts with the objects and beings in the outer world of duality. These emotional moods are the outcome of human unconsciousness. Be mindful of your sadness. Let sadness become your meditation. You are angry be aware. You are in love be aware.
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Use all possibilities, all opportunities to be more and more aware. Slowly and slowly, the momentum gathers, and one day something explodes in you. That explosion is known in the East as the flowering of the one-thousand-petalled lotus or in Buddhist terminology as Nirvana or Enlightenment. As such you go on living in a fantasy world. Your life is nothing but your imagination or thinking. This is a pseudo thing and so is your death. Your illness, health, happiness, and sadness are all so bogus that how can you die a real death? A real death has to be earned. One has to become worthy of real death. And one becomes worthy only by living truly. Your mind is a chooser. And because of this the problem arises. Remain choiceless. And whatsoever happens and wherever you are, right or left, in the middle or not in the middle, enjoy the moment in its totality. While happy, dance, sing, and play music. However under all circumstances and situation be happy! And when sadness comes, which is inevitable be mindful of it. And if you try to avoid it you will have to destroy
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the very possibility of happiness. Just as the day cannot be without the night; and the summer cannot be without the winter; and life cannot be without death so too happiness cannot be without sadness. Remember, one who enjoys more is bound to suffer more because he becomes very sensitive. But suffering is not bad. If you understand it rightly, suffering is a cleansing. It is cathartic. If you understand it rightly, sadness has a depth to it which no happiness can ever have. A person who is simply happy is always superficial. A person, who has not known sorrow and has not known sadness, has not known the depths. He has not touched the bottom of his being. He has remained just on the periphery. One has to move within these two banks so that the river of life can flow. Sadness has come. It has happened to you. However it is not you. The moment you remember this, suddenly you will see a distance arising between you and the sadness. It does not affect you anymore. When you lose awareness, it affects you. And when you gain awareness, there is a distance. The more awareness rises to a higher peak, the more the distance becomes farther and farther. A moment comes when you are so far away from your sadness that it is as if it is no longer there. Life consists of sadness too. And sadness is also beautiful. It has its own depth, delicacy, deliciousness, and taste. A man is poorer if he has not known sadness. He is impoverished. His laughter will be shallow. Depth in life comes only through sadness. A man who knows sadness if he laughs, his laughter will have depth. His
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laughter will have something of his sadness too and his laughter will be more colorful. When you are sad go into your sadness rather than escaping into some activity, rather than going to see a friend or to a movie or turning on the radio or the TV. Rather than escaping from it, turning your back towards it, drop all activity. Close your eyes, go into it, see what it is, why it is and see without condemning it. Remember if you condemn you will not be able to see the totality of it. See without judging. If you judge, you will not be able to see the totality of it. Without judgment, without condemnation, and without evaluation, just watch it. Look as if it is a flower, sad; a cloud, dark. But look at it with no judgment so that you can see all the facets of it. That is how it should be. If you can like your sadness also, then the sadness is no longer sad. The sadness is sad because you dislike it. The sadness is sad because you would not like to be in it. The sadness is sad because you reject it. Even sadness becomes a flowering of tremendous beauty, of silence, of depth, if you like it. Nothing is wrong; thats what I want you to be: to like everything that happens, even sadness. Even death has to be loved; only then will you transcend death. If you can accept death, love and welcome it, now death cannot kill you; you have transcended it. When sadness comes, accept it. Listen to its song. It has something to give to you. It has a gift which no happiness can give to you, only sadness can give it.

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Happiness is always shallow while sadness is always deep. Happiness is like a wave, sadness is like the innermost depth of an ocean. In sadness you remain with yourself, all alone. In happiness you start moving with people, you start sharing. In sadness you close your eyes. You delve deep within yourself. Sadness has a song a very deep phenomenon is sadness. Accept it. Enjoy it. Taste it without any rejection, and you will see that it brings many gifts to you which no happiness can ever bring. If you can accept sadness, it is no more sadness. You have brought a new quality to it. You will grow through it. Now it will not be a stone, a rock on the path blocking the way. The same rock that was a hindrance will now become a stepping stone. And remember always: a person who has not known deep sadness is a poor person. He will never have an inner richness. A person, who has lived always happy, smiling, and shallow, has not entered into the innermost temple of his being. He has missed the innermost shrine.

Remain capable of moving with all the polarities. When sadness comes, be really sad. Do not try to escape from it. Allow it to deepen in you and cooperate with it. Let it dissolve in you and you be dissolved in it. Become one with it. Be really sad without any resistance, conflict, or struggle. When happiness comes, be happy again dance, and be ecstatic. When happiness comes, do not try to cling to it. Do not say that happiness, should remain always, that is the way to miss it. So too, when sadness comes, welcome it, and do not say no. That is the way to miss it. Do not reject sadness and also do not cling to happiness. And soon you will understand that happiness and sadness are two aspects of the same coin. Then you will see that happiness also has sadness in it, and sadness also has happiness embedded in it. Then your inner being is enriched. Then you can enjoy everything: the morning and the evening also, the sunlight and the dark night also, the day and the night, the summer and the winter, life and death you can enjoy all.

epression is the side effect of sadness. The first thing in life is to find meaning in the present moment. The basic flavor of your being
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should be of love, rejoicing, and celebration. Then you can do anything. Money will not destroy it. But you put everything aside and simply run after
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dollars thinking that dollars can purchase everything. And then one day you find they cannot purchase anything and you have devoted your whole life to dollars. This is the cause of depression, sadness and your misery. Whenever you are depressed, wait for the moment when depression disappears. Nothing lasts forever. The depression too will go. And when it leaves you, wait be aware and alert because after the depression, after the night, there will be a dawn and the sun will rise again. If you can be alert in that moment you will be happy that you were depressed. You will be grateful that you are depressed because only through your depression was this mint of happiness possible. But what do we do? We move in an infinite regression. We get depressed. Then we get depressed because of the depression a second depression follows. If you are depressed that is okay! Nothing is wrong in it. It is beautiful because through it you will learn and mature. But then you feel badly. Why do I get depressed? I should not get depressed. Then you start fighting with the depression. The first depression is good, but the second depression is unreal. And this unreal depression will cloud your mind. You will miss the moment that would have followed the real depression. When depressed, be depressed. Simply be depressed. Dont get depressed about your depression. When depressed, simply be depressed. Dont fight it, dont create any diversion, dont force it to go. Just allow it to happen; it will go by itself. Life is a flux; nothing remains the
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same. You are not needed; the river moves by itself, you dont have to push it. If you are trying to push it, you are simply foolish. The river flows by itself. Allow it to flow. When depression is there, allow it to be. Dont get depressed about it. If you want to remove it sooner, you will get depressed. If you fight it, you will create a secondary depression that is dangerous. The first depression is beautiful, God-given. The second depression is your own. It is not Godgiven; it is mental. Then you will move in mental grooves. They are infinite. If you get depressed, be happy that you are depressed and allow the depression to be. Then suddenly the depression will disappear and there will be a breakthrough. No clouds will be there and the sky will be clear. For a single moment, heaven opens for you. If you are not depressed about your depression you can contact, you can commune, and you can enter this heavenly gate. And once you know it, you have learned one of the ultimate laws of life. Indeed life uses the opposite as a teacher. In the East depression has never been a problem. The poor learned to enjoy whatsoever little they had, and the rich learned that having the whole world at your feet means nothing. You have to go in a search for meaning. There are examples, for thousands of years people have gone in search of truth and have found it. There is no need to be in despair, or in depression. Buddha wandered in vain for eleven years from the age of 29 until forty when he attained Nirvana. He did not go into depression.
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You just have to move into an unknown dimension. They have never explored it but as they start exploring the new dimension, it means a journey inwards, a journey to their own self. All that they have lost starts returning. The man today needs very urgently a great movement of meditation; otherwise, this depression is going to destroy people. And these people will be the talented ones because they achieved power, they achieved money; they achieved whatsoever they wanted and the highest degrees in education. These are the talented people and they are all feeling despair. Depression means that somehow anger is in you in a negative state. Depression is a negative state of anger. The very word is meaningful. It says something is being pressed. This is the meaning of depressed. You are pressing something inside, and when anger is pressed too much it becomes sadness. Sadness is a negative way of being angry, the feminine way of being angry. Only, understanding flowers not depression, and if you cannot flower, existence is not going to shower flowers on you. Existence simply responds to you whatsoever you are existence gives you more of that. If you have many flowers within flowering, a million times more flowers will shower on you. If you have a deep depression, the existence helps that too a million times more depression will come to you. Whatsoever you are will knock at your door. Whatsoever you are will be given to in abundance. If you suffer depression this simply means you have repressed too much.
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Depression is nothing but repression. You are depressed so much because he has not been allowed to express you. Dynamic Meditation is expression. In expressing yourself, or catharsis all that has been repressed in your unconscious finds expression without harming anyone and you will be unburdened. This will make you saner, and healthier. Human ego is the source of all his problems, wars, conflicts, jealousies, fear, and depression. Feeling oneself as a failure, continuously comparing with others makes everybody hurt tremendously. Remember you cannot have everything. Somebody is more beautiful than you that hurt; somebody has more money that you that hurts; somebody is more knowledgeable than you, that hurt. Millions of things are there to hurt you, but you do not know, it is not those things that are hurting you, because they do not hurt me or buddhas. They are hurting you because of your ego. Ego is surrounded with depression, anxiety, anguish, and all kinds of sick ideas. If you compare yourself with the people who are greater in some way than you, you will become very bitter. Your life will become poisoned by the comparison. You will remain always in a state of depression, as if God has deceived or betrayed you. Or if you compare yourself with people who are smaller than you, in some way lesser than you, then you will become very egoistic. This is one of the reasons why politicians are always surrounded by people smaller than themselves. They collect them for their joy. They collect smaller people around themselves so that they can look bigger than they are
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by comparison. It is stupid, but one cannot expect anything more from a politician. Make it a point whatsoever sadness, anger, depression, or unhappiness be with it. And you will suddenly become surprised that if you remain with sadness, sadness changes into a beautiful thing, sadness becomes a depth. If you remain with anger, not thinking about, just being with, anger is transformed into forgiveness. If you remain with sex, sex takes on a different quality and it becomes love. Meditation is the only answer to all the questions of man. It may be frustration, depression, sadness, meaninglessness, anguish the problems may be many but the answer is one. Meditation is the answer. And the simplest method of meditation is just a way of witnessing mindfulness. There are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation, but witnessing is an essential part of all one hundred and twelve methods. So as far as I am concerned, witnessing is the only method. Those one hundred and twelve are different applications of witnessing. The essential core, the spirit of meditation is to learn how to witness. You are seeing a tree you are there, the tree is there, but cannot you find one thing more that you are seeing the tree, that there is a witness in you which is seeing - you seeing the tree. The world is not divided only into the object and the subject. There is also something beyond both object and subject, and that beyond is meditation.

Whenever you are depressed, wait for the moment that the depression goes. Nothing lasts forever; the depression will go. And when it leaves you, wait again be aware and alert because after the depression, after the night, there will be a dawn and the sun will rise. If you can be alert in that moment you will be happy that you were depressed. You will be grateful that you are depressed because only through your depression was this mint of happiness possible When depression is there, allow it to be. Do not get depressed about it. If you want to remove it sooner, you will get depressed. If you fight it, you will create a secondary depression that is even more dangerous. The first depression is beautiful, God-given. The second depression is your own creation. It is not God-given instead it is mental. Then you will move in mental grooves. They are infinite. If you get depressed, be happy that you are depressed and allow the depression to be. Then suddenly the depression will disappear and there will be a breakthrough. No clouds will be there and the sky will be crystal clear. For a single moment, heaven opens for you. If you are not depressed about your depression you can contact, you can commune, and you can enter this heavenly gate. And once you know it, you have learned one of the ultimate laws of life: that life uses the opposite as a teacher, as a back-ground. Hope means simply a hopeful attitude about everything. About everything an optimistic view, a hopeful attitude is indeed looking at the golden side of things. Whatsoever happens you remain hopeful, you are not depressed. Depression comes only if you look at the
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wrong side of things. Everything has two sides: the wrong side and the right side. You can look at the wrong side and then you will be depressed, or you can look at the right side, the golden side, and you will be happy. So, it depends. The person who is hopeless always looks at what is wrong. The first thing he tries to find is what is wrong. It all depends on you, whether you live in hell or you live in heaven. Living in hate, in anger, in jealousy, in depression, you are living in hell. And living in love, in compassion, in truth, in sincerity, you are living in heaven. If you are depressed, so it be do not do anything. And what can you do? Whatsoever you do will be done out of depression, so it will create more confusion. You can pray to God, but you will pray so depressingly that you will even make God depressed through your prayers. Do not do that violence. Your prayer is going to be a depressed prayer. You can meditate, but what will you do? The depression will be there. Because you are depressed, whatsoever you do the depression will follow. More confusion will be created, more frustration, because you cannot succeed. And when you cannot succeed you will feel more depressed, and this can go on ad infinitum. It is better to remain with the first depression than to go on creating a web of depression. Remain with the first. The original is beautiful. The second will be false, and the third will be a far-off

echo. Do not create these. The first is beautiful. You are depressed, so this is how existence is happening to you at this moment. You are depressed, so remain with it. Wait and watch. You cannot be depressed for long because in this world nothing is permanent. This world is a flux. This world cannot change its basic law for you so that you remain depressed forever. Nothing is here forever. Everything is constantly moving and changing. Existence is a river that cannot stop just for you, so that you remain depressed forever. It is moving, it has already moved. If you look at your depression, you will feel that even your depression is not the same the next moment. It is changing and different each moment. Just watch, remain with it and do nothing. This is how transformation happens through nondoing. This is what is meant by effortless effort. Feel depression, taste it deeply, and live it. It is your fate. Then suddenly you will feel it has disappeared because the man who can accept even depression cannot be depressed. A man, a mind that can accept even depression cannot remain depressed! Depression needs a non-accepting mind. This is not good, that is not good; this should not be that should not be; this must not be like this. Everything is denied, rejected and not accepted. No is basic. Even happiness will be rejected by such a mind. Such a mind will find something to reject in happiness as well.

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n all our emotions the basic polarity continues. This is polarity of man and woman; yin and yang; and the male and the female. Anger is male, sadness is female. So, when you are in tune with sadness, it is difficult to shift to anger, but I would like you to shift. Just exploding it within would not help much because again you are seeking some way of being passive. No. Bring it out, act it out. Even if it looks nonsense then too express it. Be a clown in your own eyes, but bring it out. So there is no need to be worried. Just get more and more in tune with this tranquility, this silence where opposites are no longer functioning as opposites. It feels as if one is empty, sad. However it is neither sad nor empty. One feels strange, empty, and different, but this is your interpretation. But you do not know what silence is. When it comes it feels like sadness. We know what sadness is, and silence has a certain quality of sadness too. Sadness is familiar, silence is unfamiliar, and so when for the first time you encounter silence, you immediately interpret it as sadness. Certainly pain is not to make you sad, remember. That is where people go on missing. This pain is just to make you more alert because people become alert only when the arrow goes deep into their heart and wounds them. Otherwise they do not become alert. When life is easy, comfortable, and convenient, who cares? Who bothers to become alert? When a
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friend dies, there is a possibility. When your woman leaves you alone in those dark nights, you are lonely. You have loved that woman so much and you have staked all, and then suddenly one day she is gone. Crying in your loneliness, those are the occasions when, if you use them, you can become aware. The arrow is hurting. It can be used. The pain is not to make you miserable instead pain is to make you more aware! And when you are aware, all misery and sadness disappears. Anger and sadness are both the same. Sadness is passive anger and anger is active sadness. Because sadness comes easy, anger seems to be difficult. And you are too much in tune with the passive. It is difficult for a sad person to be angry. If you can make a sad person angry, his sadness will disappear immediately. It will be very difficult for an angry person to be sad. If you can make him sad, his anger will disappear immediately. If you can float between anger and sadness, both become similarly easy. You will have transcendence and then you will be able to watch. You can stand behind the screen and watch these games, and then you can go beyond both. But first you have to be moving easily between these two. Otherwise you tend to be sad and when one is heavy, transcendence is difficult. Remember, when two opposite energies, are exactly alike, fifty-fifty, and then it is very easy
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to get out of them, because they are fighting and cancelling each other and you are not in anybodys grip. Your sadness and your anger are fifty-fifty, equal energies, so they cancel and neutralize each other. Suddenly you have freedom and you can slip out. But if sadness is seventy percent and anger thirty percent, then it is very difficult. Thirty percent anger in contrast with seventy percent sadness means forty percent sadness will still be there and it will not be possible. You will not be capable of easily slipping out. That forty percent will hang over you. So this is one of the basic laws of inner energies to always let the opposite polarities come to an equal status, and then you are able to slip out of them. It is as if two persons are fighting and you can escape. They are so engaged with themselves that you need not worry, and you can escape. Do not bring the mind in. Just make it an exercise. You can make it an everyday exercise. Forget about waiting for it to come. Every day you have to be angry that will be easier. So when anger grips you jump, jog scream, and express it. Once you can bring it for no reason at all, you will be very happy because now you have a freedom. Otherwise even anger is dominated by situations. You are not a master of it. If you cannot bring it, how can you drop it? Gurdjieff used to teach his disciples never to start by dropping anything. First, start by bringing it in because only

a person who can create anger on demand can be capable of dropping it on demand. This is simple mathematics. So Gurdjieff would tell his disciples to first learn how to be angry. Everybody would be sitting and suddenly he would say, Number One, stand up and be angry! It looks so absurd. But if you can bring anger to the surface and remember it is always available, just by the comer, you just have to pull it in. It comes easily when anybody provides an excuse. Somebody insults you and it is there. So why wait for the insult? Why be dominated by the other? Why cannot you bring it yourself? Bring it yourself! In the beginning it looks a little awkward, strange, and unbelievable, because you have always believed in the theory that it is somebody else whose insult has created the anger. That is not true. Anger has always been there somebody has just given an excuse for it to come up. You can give yourself an excuse. Imagine a situation in which you would have been angry, and become angry. Talk to the wall and say things, and soon the wall will be talking to you. Just go completely crazy. You have to bring anger and sadness to a similar status, where they are exactly proportionate to each other. They will cancel each other out and you can slip away. Gurdjieff used to call this the way of the sly man to bring inner energies to such a conflict that they are engaged together and then start cancelling each other, and you have the opportunity to escape.

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n life everything is a rhythm. You are happy and then unhappiness follows. Night and day; and summer and winter; one follows the other. Life is a rhythm between two opposites. When you try to become aware the same rhythm will be there: sometimes you are aware and sometimes not. There is no need to create any problem, because you are such experts in creating problems that out of the blue you can create a problem. And once you have created a problem then you want to solve it. And then there are people who will supply you with answers. A wrong problem is always answered by a wrong answer. And then it can go on ad infinitum; then a wrong answer again creates questions. From the very beginning you have to be aware not to create a wrong problem. Otherwise entire life goes on and on in the wrong direction. Always try to understand not to create a problem. Everything pulsates into a rhythm, and when I say everything, I mean everything. Love, and there is hate; awareness, and there is unawareness. Do not create any problem instead enjoy both. While aware enjoy awareness, and unaware enjoy unawareness nothing is wrong, because unawareness is like a
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rest. Otherwise, awareness will become a tension. If you remain waking twentyfour hours, how many days you think you can be alive? Without food a man can live for three months. However without sleep within three weeks you will go mad and you will try to commit suicide. In the day you are alert and in the night you relax, and that relaxation helps you in the day again to be more alert, fresh. Energies have passed through a rest period; they are more alive in the morning again. The same will happen in meditation too. For a few moments you are perfectly aware, at the peak and then for next few moments you are in the valley, resting and awareness has disappeared, you have forgotten. But what is wrong in it? It is simple. Through unawareness will arise again awareness, fresh, young, and this will go on. And if you can enjoy both you become the third, and that is the point to be understood. When you can enjoy both it means you are neither awareness nor unawareness, you are the one who enjoys both. Something of the beyond has entered. In fact, this is the real witness. Happiness you enjoy. Nothing is wrong when happiness has gone and you have become sad. What is wrong in sadness? Enjoy it. And once you become capable
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of enjoying neither.

sadness,

then

you

are

If you enjoy, sadness has its own beauties. Happiness is a little shallow; sadness is very deep, it has a depth into it. A man who has never been sad will be shallow, just on the surface. Sadness is like a dark night very deep. Darkness has a silence into it, sadness also. Happiness bubbles, there is a sound in it. It is like a river in the mountains. Sound is created. But in the mountains, river can never be very deep. There it is always shallow. When the river comes to the plain it becomes deep, but the sound disappears. It moves as if not moving. Sadness has a depth. Why create trouble? While happy, be happy and enjoy it. But do not get identified with it. When I say be happy, I mean enjoy it. Let it be a climate which will move and change. The morning changes into the noon, the noon changes into the evening, and then comes night. Let happiness be a climate around you. Enjoy it, and then sadness follows enjoy that too. I teach you enjoyment, whatsoever be the case. Sit silently and enjoy sadness, and suddenly sadness is no more sadness. It has become a silent peaceful moment, beautiful in itself, nothing wrong in it. This brings the ultimate alchemy, the point where suddenly you realize you are neither happiness nor sadness. You are the watcher. Watch peaks and valleys too you are neither. Once this point is attained, you can go on celebrating everything. You celebrate life and you celebrate death too. You celebrate happiness, unhappiness. You
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celebrate everything. Then you are not identified with any polarity. Both the polarities have become available to you together, and you can move from one to the other easily. You have become liquidlike, you can flow. Then you can use both, and both can become a help into your growth. Always remember this there is no need to create problems. Try to understand the situation and also the polarity of life. In summer it is hot, in winter it is cold so where is the problem? In winter enjoy cold, in summer enjoy heat. In summer enjoy the sun. In the night enjoy the stars and the darkness, in the day the sun and the light. You make enjoyment your continuity, whatsoever happens, matter irrelevant. In spite of it you go on enjoying. You try it, and suddenly everything is transfigured and transformed. You are creating the problem, and people who try to be aware, almost always create the problem. The first thing: awareness can only be of the moment. The very idea that it should always remain, that it should become a permanent state, is wrong. And why be worried about the next moment? The very idea of permanence is part of greed. Greed is part of unawareness, so unawareness is playing a trick and creating a problem. It is not out of awareness that the problem is coming instead it is out of unawareness. This moment is enough. Be aware in this moment and also to this very moment. And the next moment you forget. Be aware of your forgetfulness. One has to be attentive even to ones unattentiveness, un-mindfulness, and unPage 18

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awareness. There are moments you are aware. Then you are aware of awareness. It is not a simple awareness. It is complex. You are aware of your awareness. Then there are moments when you are aware of your unawareness, but awareness continues as a substratum. So whatsoever happens, let it be. Sometimes you forget what can you do? There is no point in crying for the spilled milk. That which is gone is gone. If one moment has passed and you were not aware, and later you became alert that this moment has gone and you were not aware, do not waste any moment for it now, because this other moment is passing by. Just be aware of it. One person never gets two moments together. You always get one moment. When that one is gone, another comes. So if you can remain alert in one single moment that is enough! Whatsoever time will be coming in front of you, your torch of awareness will be there. Asking for permanent awareness is as if you are going for a thousand-mile journey in the night, and I give you a small torch and you say, with this torch you can only see a few feet ahead. The journey is very long one thousand miles. How are you going to manage? It is impossible. This torch is too small. But if I will tell you to go four, five feet ahead, and then the torch will be falling four, five feet ahead again. Just by a small torch, one can move into the darkest night, and one can go on moving for a thousand miles there is no problem. But if you start calculating, and you sit down and put it on paper and you see that the torch is only capable of lighting
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four, five feet, and the journey is one thousand miles long and impossible too. One moment is enough for your awareness. Then another moment comes in. Your awareness is there. Another moment will be lighted, then another and then so on and so forth. The whole eternity can pass in front of you. Why be worried about making it permanent? That too is a sort of greed. Life is momentary. Let awareness also be momentary. That is why Buddha called his philosophy chhanikawada the philosophy of the moment. It comes from two words chhanik means moment; and wada means the way. He said it is enough to be mindful of the moment. Only the moment exists all else is imagination. So the past is gone. It is no more. If you missed, you really missed. Forget about it. There is no need to worry. The future has not come. There is no need to bring it in. Just look at the moment that is passing right now, and look with awareness. Still you will miss many times, but nothing is wrong in it. When you miss, just note with full alertness that you missed and that is all. By and by you will miss less and less. Just take a simple note, observe it and be finished! Go ahead. By these observations, more and more awareness will be happening. However this will not be permanent. Awareness is going to remain of the moment. It can be shallow, or it can be deep. That is a totally different dimension. It will become more and more deep. It will become so deep one day that whatsoever comes in front of you will be
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illuminated. But do not think in terms of permanence. It can certainly become eternal, but not permanent. Permanence is part of time. And eternal is beyond time. But we always think of making things stable. If something is fleeting we become worried. Then we think, What is the point of making so much effort and it is disappearing again, and again?

Simply drop that worry. Awareness is the key word and the key question as well. If you can open it, you have found the master key. It opens all the locks. No other question is necessary then. But do not let it become greed. It will certainly come.

nawareness is to be in the mind. Unawareness is to be identified with the mind. To think that I am the mind, is unawareness. When you come to recognize mind as a mechanism just like the body indeed it is the realization that mind is separate. The night comes, followed by the morning but you do not get identified with the night. You do not say, I am night, or I am morning. The night comes, and then morning follows, the day comes, again the night follows. The wheel goes on moving, but you remain alert that you are none of these things. The same is the case with the mind. Anger comes, but you forget you become anger. Greed comes, you forget you become greed. Hate comes, you forget you become hate. This is unawareness. Awareness is watching that the mind is full of greed, full of anger, full of hate or full of lust, but you are simply a watcher. Then you can see greed arising as a
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great, dark cloud, and then dispersing but you remain untouched. How long can it remain? Your anger is momentary, your greed is momentary, and your lust too is momentary. Just watch a little and you will be surprised it comes and it goes. And you are remaining there unaffected, cool, and collected. I have heard once a great king asked a Sufi mystic to give him something in writing a sutra, a small maxim which would help him in every possible situation, good, bad, which would help him in success, in failure, in life, in death. The Sufi gave him his ring and told him, There is a message. Whenever you are really in need, in a real emergency, just open the ring lift the diamond, and inside you will find the message. But do not do this out of curiosity. Only when there is real danger which you cannot face on your own and you need me, you can see the message then.
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Many times the king became curious what is in there, but he resisted his temptation because he had given his promise. He was a man of his word. After ten years he was attacked and defeated. He ran away into the forest, into the mountains for life, and the enemy was following him. He could hear the horses coming closer and closer certainly it was death coming closer. They would kill him! But he was going as fast as he could on his horse. Tired and wounded he was so too tired and wounded was his horse. And then suddenly he came to an impasse. The way ended and there was an abyss. And there was no possibility of turning back because the enemy was closing in at every moment. He could not take the jump into the abyss that was sure death. Except for waiting there was nothing to do. Suddenly he remembered the ring. He opened the ring, removed the diamond. Inside there was a piece of paper; on the piece of paper just a simple, single sentence: This too will pass away. And suddenly a great calmness descended on him: This too will pass away. And it happened exactly like that. He was hearing those noises coming closer and closer by and by he started hearing them going farther away. They had taken a wrong turn. He had passed a crossroad, they must have moved on some other road. Then he gathered his armies, fought the enemies again and won back his kingdom. He was received with great joy, garlanded, flowers showered, the whole capitol decorated for his welcome.
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Suddenly he felt great ego arising in him. Again he remembered the message, This too will pass away, and the ego disappeared. And all those garlands and all that welcome became just a childs play. In failure it helped, in success it helped. That became his meditation that became his mantra. So whatsoever would come he would repeat deep down not verbally, but the feeling would be there in his heart, This too will pass away. If you can remember it, then whatsoever comes into your mind you remain simply a witness: This too will pass away. That witnessing is awareness but we are identified. We become greed, we become anger, and we become lust. Whatsoever comes in front of our consciousness, we become identified with it. It is as foolish as when it happens to very small children. Have you tried it? Just put a mirror before a very small child. He will look in the mirror very surprised, with wide open eyes he will look: Who is this fellow? He will try to catch hold, but he cannot catch hold of the person. And then, if the child is intelligent, he will try to go to the back of the mirror: Maybe the child is hiding behind the mirror. He is not yet aware that it is only a mirror; there is no reality. So too mind is only a mirror that goes on reflecting the clouds of the world. Mind reflects all that happens around in the world. Somebody insults and there is anger. This is a reflection. Somebody beautiful passes by and it reflects it as lust. And you immediately become identified with it.
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Keep a little distance and slowly and slowly, you will find that the distance goes on growing. One day the mind is so far away that it does not affect you at all. This is coming home, this is buddhahood. Buddha called this Aes Dhammo Sanantano - the inexhaustible law of life. If you can be a witness you will be able to pass through a great transformation and you will know your real self. The really religious person never asks anything from God. He says, Thy will be done, thy kingdom come. Because what can I ask out of my unawareness?

Whatsoever I ask is going to be wrong. He asks only one thing: Thy will be done or what Nanak says, Jo Tudi Bhave Sai Bhalikar, Tu sada salamat nirankar whatever appeals to you let that prevail. And you the formless remain forever. Be meditative, and prayerful. Remember these two sutras: This too will pass away this will help you to meditate and the second sutra, Thy will be done that will help you to be prayerful. And when meditation and prayer meet, you are at the highest peak of consciousness possible.

aughter is therapeutic because it is the antidote of boredom. When you are bored in life that everyone is then laughter becomes the therapy. This is worth considering. It is significant. The first thing to understand is that except for man, no animal is capable of laughter. Therefore laughter indicates a very high peak in the evolution of life. If you go out on the street and see a cow or a dog laughing, you will be scared to death. And if you report it nobody will believe that it can happen. It is impossible. You wonder why animals do not laugh or why trees cannot laugh. There is a very deep reason for laughter. Only that animal can laugh which can get bored. Animals and trees are not bored. Boredom and laughter represent duality. They are the polar opposites. They go together. And man is the only animal that
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is bored. Boredom is the symbol of humanity. Look at dogs and cats; they are never bored. Man seems to be deeply engrossed in boredom. Why are not other animals bored and why does man alone suffer boredom? Boredom depends on intelligence. The higher the intelligence, the greater is boredom. The lower intelligence is not bored so much. That is why primitives are happier. You will find people in the primitive societies are happier than those in civilized ones. Bertrand Russell became jealous when for the first time he came into contact with some primitive tribes. He started feeling jealous. The aboriginals were really happy and not bored at all. Life was a blessing to them. They were poor, starved, and almost naked. In every way they had nothing yet they were not bored.
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In all metropolitan cities around the world everybody is bored. The higher the level of intelligence and civilization the greater is the boredom. So the secret can be understood. The more you can think, the more you will be bored because through thinking you can compare time as past, future and present. Through thinking hope breeds in. Through thinking you can ask for the meaning of it all. And the moment a person enquires: what is the meaning of it boredom enters, because there is no meaning in anything, really. If you enquire, the meaning of it, you will feel meaningless. And when meaninglessness is felt, one will be bored. Animals are not bored. Trees are not bored. Rocks are not bored. They never ask what the meaning and purpose of life is. They never enquire so they never feel it is meaningless. As they are, they accept it. As life is, it is accepted. There is no boredom. Man feels bored. And laughter is the antidote. You cannot live without laughter; because you can negate your boredom only through laughter. You cannot find a single joke in primitive societies and aboriginals. They do not have any jokes. Jews have the largest number of jokes. And they are the most bored people on the earth. They must be bored because they win more Nobel Prizes than any other community. During the entire last century, all the great names are almost Jews Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and Karl Marx. And look at the list of Nobel Prize winners majority are Jewish. Almost half the Nobel Prize winners are Jews. They have the largest number of jokes. And this may be the reason why all over the world Jews are hated. Everybody feels
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jealous of them. Wherever they may be, they will always win any type of competition. Everybody feels jealous of them. The whole world is united against Jews. When you cannot compete with someone, hatred is the result. Jews must be feeling very bored. So they have to create jokes. Jokes are the antidote for boredom. Laughter is needed for you to exist. Otherwise, you will commit suicide. Now try to understand the mechanism of laughter and how it happens. If I tell a joke, why do you laugh? What makes you laugh or what happens? What is the inner mechanism? If I tell a joke expectation is created. You start expecting. Your mind starts searching for what the end will be. And you cannot conceive the end. A joke has two dimensions. First is the logical dimension. You can conceive it. If the joke goes on logically to the very end then it will cease to be a joke and there will be no laughter. So suddenly the joke takes a turn and becomes so illogical that you cannot conceive anything out of it. And when the joke takes a turn and the result becomes illogical then the expectation, the tension that was created in you, suddenly explodes. You relax and then laughter is the outcome. Laughter is the relaxation. However tension must precede. A story creates expectation, suspense and tension. You start feeling the crescendo. Now the crescendo will come. Something is going to happen. Your backbone is straight like that of a yogi. You have no more thoughts in the mind. The whole being is just waiting. All the energy is moving toward the conclusion. Suddenly something happens which the mind could
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not think of. There is something absurd, illogical, and irrational. The end has to be something impossible for logic to think about it. And you explode. The whole energy that had become tense inside you suddenly gets relaxed. Laughter comes out through this relaxation. Man is bored. Hence he needs laughter. The more bored, the more laughter he will need. Otherwise, he cannot exist. Also it has to be understood that there are three types of laughter. The first is when you laugh at someone else. This is the meanest, the lowest, the most ordinary and vulgar when you laugh at the expense of somebody else. This is violent, aggressive, and insulting type. Deep down this laughter there is always a feeling of revenge. Then there is laughter when you laugh at yourself. This is worth achieving. This is cultured. And this man is valuable who can laugh at himself. He has risen above vulgarity. He has risen above lowly instincts of aggression, hatred, and violence. And the third type of laughter is the highest. This is not about anybody neither the other nor oneself. The third type is just Cosmic. You laugh at the whole situation as it is. The whole situation, as it is, is absurd no purpose in the future, no beginning in the beginning. The whole situation of Existence is such that if you can see the Whole such a great infinite vastness moving toward no fixed purpose, no goal laughter will arise. So much is going on without leading anywhere nobody is there
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in the past to create it; nobody is there in the end to finish it. Such is nature of whole Cosmos moving so beautifully, systematically, and so rationally. If you can see this whole Cosmos, then laughter is inevitable. I have heard about three monks. No names are mentioned, because they never disclosed their names to anybody. They never answered anything. In China, they are simply known as the three laughing monks. And they did only one thing throughout the life. They would enter a village, stand in the market place and start laughing. They would laugh with their whole being and suddenly people would become aware. Then others would also get the infection and a crowd would gather. The whole crowd would start laughing just because of them. What was happening? The whole town would get involved. Then they would move to another town. They were loved very much. That was their only sermon, or message - just laugh. And they would not teach; they would simply create a situation for laughter to happen. They became famous all over the country as three laughing monks. Entire China loved and respected them. Nobody had ever preached in such a way that life must be just laughter and nothing else. They were not laughing at anyone in particular. They were simply laughing as if they had understood the cosmic joke. And they spread so much joy all over China without using a single word. People would ask for their names, but they would simply laugh. So that became their name the three laughing monks.

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Then they grew old. And while staying in one village one of the three monks died. The whole village became very much expectant because they thought that when one of them had died, the other two would surely weep. This must be worth seeing because no one had ever seen these people crying. The whole village gathered. But the two monks were standing beside the corpse of the third and laughing such a belly laugh. So the villagers asked them to explain this. So for the first time, the two monks spoke and said, we are laughing because this man has won. We were always wondering as to who would die first and this man has defeated us. We are laughing at our defeat and his victory. Also he lived with us for many years and we laughed together and we enjoyed each others togetherness, and presence. There can be no better way of giving him the last send off. We can only laugh. However the whole village was sad. And when the dead monks body was put on the funeral pyre, then the village realized that the remaining two monks were not the only ones who were joking, the third who was dead was also laughing. He had asked his companions not to change his clothes. It was conventional that when a man died they changed his clothes and gave a bath to the body. So the third monk had asked, not to give him a bath because he has never been unclean. So much laughter has been in my life that no impurity can accumulate, can come to me. I have not gathered any dust. Laughter is always young and fresh. So do not give me a bath or change my clothes. So just to respect his wishes,
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they did not change his clothes. And when the body was put to fire, suddenly they became aware that he had hidden some Chinese fire-works under his clothes and they had started going off. So the whole village laughed and the other two monks said: You rascal, you are dead, but you have defeated us once again. Your laughter is the last. There is a Cosmic laughter which comes into being when the whole joke of this Cosmos is understood. That is of the highest. And only a Buddha can laugh like that. These three monks must have been three Buddhas. But if you can laugh the second type of laughter, that is also worth trying. Avoid the first. Do not laugh at anyones expense. That is ugly and violent. If you want to laugh, then laugh at yourself. That is why Mulla Nasruddin, in all his jokes and stories, always proves himself the stupid one, never anybody else. He always laughs at himself and allows you to laugh at him. He never puts anybody else in the situation of being foolish. Sufis say that Mulla Nasrudin is the wise fool. Learn at least the second laughter. If you can learn the second, then the third will not be far ahead. Soon you will reach the third. But leave the first type. That laughter is degrading. But almost ninety-nine percent of your laughter is of the first type. Much courage and confidence is needed to laugh at one. For the spiritual seeker, even laughter should become a part of Sadhana. Remember to avoid the first type of laughter. Remember to laugh the second. And remember to reach the third.
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aughter has meditative powers and its medicinal powers. Laughter creates a meditative as well as medicinal energy-field around you. It certainly changes your very chemistry. It changes your brain waves pattern. And thus it changes your intelligence. You become more intelligent. The parts of your mind that have been asleep suddenly wake up. The laughter reaches to the innermost part of your brain and to your heart. A man of laughter cannot have a heart attack. A man of laughter cannot commit suicide. A man of laughter automatically comes to know the world of silence, because when laughter ceases suddenly there is silence. And each time laughter becomes deeper it is followed by deeper silence. It certainly purifies you from the traditions and the garbage of the past that you have been carrying within. It gives you a new vision of life. It makes you more alive, radiant, and more creative. If you are a singer, your song becomes more celestial; if you are a musician your music starts going beyond sound, and starts reaching silences. If you are a sculptor, then your sculpture will not be what Gurdjieff calls objective. It will begin to represent your subjectivity. Ordinarily a painter or architect or any other dimension of creativity is only your
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projection, and your imagination. Such creativity is object oriented. Yet there is another kind of art, which is not the outcome of your imagination instead it is the expression of your insight. For example, sitting in silence near the Taj Mahal in the full moon night you will find yourself falling into silence without any effort. The Taj Mahal was the creation of Sufi mystics. History tells only about the man who for thirty years paid thousands of artists, but the history has no idea that the people who were the architects were Sufi mystics. And it was not an imaginative thing. Instead it was created as a device so that if you sits silently looking at it, it will create the same feeling and the same vibration in which the architect was living. The Taj Mahal is not a monument instead it is a scripture, it is a message, it is not just a beautiful building. It is not just for the tourists to come and take photographs, it is for meditators to sit and just watch. The very form of the architecture creates something in you. The people who made the building were aware that they were making a device for meditation. Sadly enough this is lost and there is no room for meditation there. It stands merely as the unique architectural mausoleum. Similar is the case with the pyramids in Egypt. When for the first time, in the
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beginning of the last century, the pyramids were opened the biggest pyramid was opened first. They had remained closed for three thousand years. And the scientists were surprised to find a cat, dead, inside the pyramid but it was not deteriorated, no sign of deterioration, no sign that it has been dead for three thousand years. When the pyramid was being closed somehow the cat must have remained inside and must have died. But there were no signs. It looked as if it had just died, and they could not figure out what is the matter? Finally they decided that it was because of the shape of the pyramid. If you sit in any structure in the shape of a pyramid, you will fall into deep silence and meditation without difficulty. And a dead body can be preserved in a pyramid-shaped grave; it will not in any way start stinking. It will remain fresh, as if it has just died this very moment. Now pyramids are being used as the device of meditation. Small pyramids are being sold in the market. You sit underneath them, and they are healthgiving. They do not do anything, just their shape reflects the rays of the sun in such a way that you get only the healthgiving rays, and the other rays which are not health-giving are reflected back. The very shape is the cause. People were wondering for centuries why these pyramids were made in such a shape. And the oldest pyramid is three thousand years old. It shows that the people of those times were aware that certain shapes of clothes, of buildings are health beneficial while others are not.
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Now we do not bother about it, or think about it. When you are making a house you do not think whether this house is going to nourish your health, long life, or is going to cut your life short. When mind disappears and leaves behind a silence a new space of meditation is created. This inner space or harmony transforms your vision about everything. And then your gestalt is changed and whatever you do is completely different. If you are a painter you will paint something not with the mind, but with the clarity that your painting will give health, insight, peace, and silence, to anyone who will just look at it. In this sense we are more primitive than people like Mozart or Beethoven. Our music is very poor, because our music is simply clumsy. It does not create any spiritual peace. It does not give any meditative silence. And more often it is sexual and excites only such vibrations. It functions on your sex center and makes you closer to the animal rather than closer to the Buddha. Classical music takes you very high, beyond your reach. Perhaps you would not have been able to reach such heights alone. Just listening to that music and you are on a new journey, far away from your thoughts, and your emotions, into spaces of eternity. And you are asking how to distinguish true, authentic laughter from hysterical, exhibitionist, or hypocritical laughter. Two things to be remembered: one, you should not bother about others. You should not judge. There is no way to judge from outside whether the persons
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laughter is authentic or not, healthy or hysterical; exhibitionist, hypocritical, or real, coming from the very deepest sources of his being. So first thing, do not be bothered about the other person. It is uncivilized. Just think about yourself, and that is enough, and then the distinction it not difficult. The authentic laughter is not about anything. It is simply arising in you as rose blossoms on a tree. It has no reason, no rational explanation. It is mysterious hence the mystic rose. The hysterical laughter is sick. It is about somebody else. It is not healthy and it is not going to give you all the benefits I have talked about. It is insane. The exhibitionist is one who is laughing just to show others, but the laughter is not coming from his being. It is just superficial and social. If everybody else is laughing and you are not laughing you are being somewhat unsocial. It is said if you tell a joke to an Englishman he laughs twice: once just to

be social. And the second time in the middle of the night when he understands the joke. If you tell a joke to a German he laughs only once, just to be social. The second time to laugh never comes because he never understands a joke. Remember never to tell a joke to a Jew, because he will stop you in the middle. He will stop you saying it is all rotten, an old joke, and anyway you are telling it all wrong. It is useless to tell a joke to a Jew. In the first place he will not laugh. And more so he will even make you sad and look foolish - why did you talk to this man? Different cultures behave differently to such situations of laughter. But one point you can understand yourself: when you are laughing just to be in tune with others then laughter is only exhibition. You have not understood the joke and you are laughing. This is hypocritical. But always remember not to judge others. That is very primitive, uncivilized, and inhuman. Only look at yourself.

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aughing Buddha has many alternative names as Hotei, Bu-Dai, Laughing Buddha, Prosperity Buddha, and Abundance Buddha. Chinese Name Budai or Putai is said to be an incarnation of Miroku Bosatsu Miroku Bodhisattva (Maitreya in Sanskrit). Miroku in China is known as Miluo Fo (or as Miluo Pusa). Hotei is known as the Fat Buddha or Laughing Buddha in the West. Hotei is one of Japans Seven Lucky Gods. Laughing Buddha is known as Hotei in Japanese. He is a Chinese folkloric deity. His name means Cloth Sack, and comes from the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying. He is usually identified with (or as an incarnation of)
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Maitreya Buddha, so much so that the Budai image is one of the main forms in which Maitreya Buddha is depicted in East Asia. He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, is the Laughing Buddha. The image of Hotei is almost always seen carrying a cloth or linen sack, which never empties, and is filled with many precious items, including rice plants (indicating wealth), sweets for children, food, and the woes of the world. Sometimes it can be filled with children, as they are seen as some of those precious items of this world. His duty is patron of the weak, poor and children. In some scenes he may be found sitting on a cart drawn by boys, or wielding a fan
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called an oogi which is said to be a wish giving fan. In the distant past, this type of fan was used by the aristocracy to indicate to vassals that their requests would be granted.

and takes the sadness from people of this world. He most certainly is a loving and cheerful character, strikingly similar to Santa Claus in the West, and is a common statuette found in homes and businesses in China and Japan as symbol of prosperity. Recently, Hotei statues, statuettes and amulets have become relatively wellknown in Western cultures. Misconceptions have arisen because of this new enthusiasm, including the false connection made between the Laughing Buddha and Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. He is the god of contentment and happiness, guardian of children, and patron of bartenders. Hotei has a cheerful face and a big belly. He is supposedly based on an actual person, and is widely recognized outside of Japan as the Fat, Laughing Buddha. He carries a large cloth bag over his back Nunobukuro one that never empties, for he uses it to feed the poor and needy. It includes an inexhaustible cache of treasures, including food and drink.

The statue of laughing buddha depicts a stout, smiling or laughing bald man in robes with a largely exposed pot shaped belly stomach symbolic for happiness, good luck, and plenitude. The stomach is also considered the seat of the soul in Chinese mythology and so the large stomach can be taken as an allegory for Hoteis Open Heartedness. Some sculptures have small children at his feet. Another item that is usually seen with the Hotei figure is a begging bowl. This represents his Buddhist nature. All of these images display Hotei as a wandering monk who goes around
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In recent times, Hotei is also referred to as the patron saint of restaurateurs and bartenders. When, one over eats and over drinks one may sometimes jokingly attribute it to Hoteis influence. In Japan, a great mystic, Hotei, is called the laughing Buddha. He is one of the most loved mystics in Japan, and he never uttered a single word. As he became enlightened, he started laughing, and whenever somebody would ask, why are you laughing he would laugh even more. And he would move from village to village, laughing.
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A crowd will gather and he will laugh. And slowly and slowly his laughter will become very infectious somebody in the crowd will start laughing, then somebody else, and then the whole crowd is laughing. Nobody knows why is he laughing? Everybody knows it is ridiculous to ask. But this man is strange, but why are we laughing? But everybody was laughing; and everybody was a little worried, what will people think? There is no reason to laugh yet they are laughing. But people would wait for Hotei, because they had never laughed in their whole life with such totality, or intensity that after the laughter they found their every sense had become clearer. Their eyes could see better, their whole being had become light, as if a great burden had disappeared. People would ask Hotei, to come back again, and he would move, laughing, to

another village. His whole life for near about forty-five years after his enlightenment, he did only one thing and that was laughing. That was his message, his gospel, and his scripture. And it is to be noted that in Japan, nobody has been remembered with such respect as Hotei. You will find in every house, statues of Hotei. And he had done nothing except laugh; but the laughter was coming from such depth that it stayed with anyone who heard it and triggered his being, and created a synchronicity. Hotei is unique. In the whole world there is no other human being who has made so many people laugh for no reason at all. And yet, everybody was nourished by the laughter, and everybody was cleansed by the laughter, felt a wellbeing that he had never felt. Something from the unknowable depth started ringing bells in peoples hearts.

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Mullah Nasruddin was a local priest in a small village in Turkey. He was a simple man, but his intelligence and razor sharp wit made him very popular with the people. His stories are related with humor and each one has a moral, making it a favorite for children. The tales of Mullah Nasruddin are widely told throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Idries Shah collected the Nasruddin as a Persian stories of Sufi folk

In Turkey, he is known as Nasreddin Hodja of Anatolia, a historical character from the days of Seljuk rule which in the West is known as the Middle Ages. Nasreddin or Nasruddin is claimed as well by Afghans, Iranians, Uzbeks, Arabs, as well as the Turkic Xinjiang area of western China. Since the Seljuk Empire of 1000-1400 stretched from Turkey to the Punjab in India, as did the Achmaenid Empire a thousand years earlier, carrying enlightening stories along with war, from east to west and back again, such a personage as Nasruddin can well be shared by all, whether as Nasreddin Hodja or Mulla Nasruddin. His Venerable and Outrageous Holiness Mulla Nasruddin, originally Nasruddin, has returned to modern life with a thing or two on his mind. One of those things is the proper spelling of his name. Nasreddin, Nasrudin, Nazrudin, and Nazrudeen are all popular. The most honored Mullah indicates that all spellings are acceptable when they are on invitations to dinner. No one knows exactly how long it has been since anyone actually saw him, and his return in 1996 was not widely heralded. Richard Merrill, a puppeteer from the little town of Brooksville, Maine, where Nasruddin made his triumphant return, says, He arrived in the middle of things, which is typical of him, and immediately started throwing his intellectual weight around. Despite what you may have heard, this is considerable.
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character. Thus Mullah became known to Richard Merrill a puppeteer through the stories. And thus this incredible personage comes to life as a direct manipulation puppet in the hands of puppeteer Richard Merrill of Brooksville, Maine.

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Mulla Nasruddin says that the world is a cosmic joke and he represents that. He is a very serious joker, and if you can penetrate him and understand him, then many mysteries will be revealed to you. Mulla Nasruddin illustrates that the world is not a tragedy instead a comedy. And the world is a place where if you can learn how to laugh you have learned everything. If your prayer cannot become a deep laughter which comes from all over your being, if your prayer is sad and if you cannot joke with your god, then you are not really religious. Christians, Jews and Mohammedans are very serious about their god; Hindus are not, they have joked a lot about their God. And that shows how much they believe - because when you cannot joke with your god you do not believe in him. You feel that through your humor, your joke, he will be insulted. Your belief is shallow, it is not deep enough. Hindus say that the trust is so much that they can laugh. The trust is so much that just by laughing it cannot be broken. Bodhidharma, one of the greatest followers of Buddha, used to say to his disciples, Whenever you take the name of Buddha immediately rinse out your mouth, because this name is dangerous and it makes the mouth impure. Another Buddhist monk, Bokuju, used to tell his disciples, While meditating, if this fellow Gautama Buddha comes in kill him immediately, because once you allow him then he will cling to you and it will be difficult to be alone. And they were great followers, they loved Buddha but they could laugh.
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Why? The love was so intimate and so close, that there was no danger that something might be taken wrongly. But Christians have always been afraid, so immediately anything becomes blasphemy. They cannot take anything humorously, and if you cannot take anything humorously, or you cannot laugh at yourself, or at your god, then you are ill, you are not at home, and your god is something to be feared. In English we have a word, God-fearing, for religious people. A God-fearing person can never be religious, because if you fear God you cannot love him. Love and fear cannot exist together. With fear, hate can exist, love cannot. With fear, anger can exist, love cannot. With fear you can bow down but you cannot surrender. With fear there can be a relationship between a slave and a master but there cannot be a love relationship. Hindus and Buddhists have a totally different attitude, and that attitude is different because they think the whole existence is a cosmic play, you can be playful. Sufis are very playful; they created Mulla Nasruddin. And Mulla Nasruddin is an alive figure you can go on adding to him. To me he is a constantly alive figure. And in many ways he is symbolic of human stupidity. But he knows it and he laughs at it, and whenever he behaves like a stupid man he is just joking at you, at human beings at large. And he is subtle enough. He will not hit you directly, he hits himself; but if you can penetrate him then you can look at the reality. And sometimes even great scriptures cannot go as deep as a joke can go, because the joke directly touches the heart.
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A scripture goes into the head, into the intellect; a joke directly touches the heart. Immediately something explodes within you and becomes your smile and your laughter. Nasruddin must have attained enlightenment, or he is already enlightened, there is no need to attain. I go on mixing Mulla Nasruddin with Mahavira. This is impossible however this is the merger of poles that are apart. I go on mixing Mulla Nasruddin with the Upanishads, because he gives sweetness and melody to the whole serious thing. And nothing is serious nothing should be serious in life. To laugh wholeheartedly is the greatest celebration that can happen to a man. To laugh so wholeheartedly that you become the laughter then no meditation is needed, just laughter is enough. I will take one or two anecdotes from Nasruddin. Once it happened, that Nasruddin and his friend Sheikh Abdullah lost their way in a forest. They tried and tried to find their way but then evening came and now the night was descending, so they had to wait for the whole night under a tree. It was dangerous. There were many wild animals, and they had to keep awake because any moment they could be killed. They tried every way to keep awake, but Mulla was tired, yawning, and feeling sleepy, so he said to Sheikh Abdullah, Invent something, because I am feeling sleepy and it seems impossible now to stay awake. The whole day we were traveling, and I am tired. Sheikh Abdullah asked, What should I do?
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Nasruddin said, We should play a game, a game of guessing. You describe a film actress just become the film actress and describe through gestures and I will guess who this film actress is. Then I will do the same and you guess. Even Abdullah became interested it seemed to be a good game. So Abdullah said, Okay. He contemplated and then he said, My eyes are like Noor Jahan my nose is like Cleopatra, my lips like Marilyn Monroe, and so on and so forth. This made Mulla Nasruddin very excited, his blood pressure rose high. Even in the dark you could have seen his eyes, they became so fiery. And then when Sheikh Abdullah said, Now the my body statistics thirty-six, twenty-four, thirty-six. Nasruddin jumped over to Sheikh Abdullah. Sheikh Abdullah said, Wait, and guess! Nasruddin said, Who is bothered about guessing? I do not care who you are. Quick! Kiss me! The human mind is such, imagination, desire, passion, projection. You project, imagine, and then you become the victim. And this is not a joke, instead this is reality and this is about you. The Invisible Walls NASRUDDIN - Keeper of Faith in Turkey, where some people claim Nasruddin is buried, there are huge locked gates at his grave site. Yet his headstone reads Sometimes you do not need a key to get through gates. All you need to do is walk around them as there are no walls.
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Light at night One day Mullah Nasruddin entered his favorite teahouse and said: The moon is more useful than the sun. An old man asked Why Mullah? Nasruddin replied: We need the light more during the night than during the day.

Keep words A friend asked the Mullah How old are you? Forty replied the Mullah. The friend said but you said the same thing two years ago! Yes Replied the mullah, I always stand by what I have said.

he Zen monks laugh as a meditation every morning not once instead twice and thrice as well. 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. Then your laughter will not have anything serious in it. 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.
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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 Christianity, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, and Jainism. You will have to drop all that nonsense. It is rot. To understand Zen is very, very difficult not because of its intrinsic quality instead 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 Zen. Zen is so pure that even a single word arises in your mind and you miss Zen.
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Once a Zen master Chou-Chou was enquired, 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. The master finished. This is his answer: Look at the cypress tree in the courtyard. It is exactly the same as when Buddha handed over the flower to Mahakashyap and thus the unspoken emerged as Zen. Buddha looked at the flower, and thousands who had gathered to listen to him could not understand what was happening. Then one monk, Mahakashyap, smiled, and then 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 Mahakashyap. 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 and 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 here. Now is revealed 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. Conditioned mind will not be able to understand what Zen is. It will be completely beyond the grasp of the mind that is 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 and true. Sometimes he will be sad, and 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 his authenticity. 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
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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, or surface, which you have been hiding for long and do not want others to see. That is why serious people do not laugh. Sincere people laugh and their laughter is childlike, and innocent.

Serious people will not cry, will not weep, because that will again show their weakness and they want to prove they are 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 they are 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.

en was founded in laughter, and for twenty-five centuries the tradition has continued to produce enlightened people. Most of the traditions have died but Zen still brings flowers. Perhaps, rooted in laughter, it is rooted in the highest consciousness. When you are hungry you do not want somebody to speak on food! When you are in a river drowning, you do not want somebody else to talk about the art of swimming. There are right moments and right situations, and there are things which can be talked about, yet misunderstood. Laughter is a mystery. It is better to experience it than to hear someone talk about it. But one becomes curious, What
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is laughter? Laughter is the most intelligent factor in you. Cows and Horses do not laugh. If you come across any animal laughing, then it will be impossible to bring you to sanity. No animal laughs. Laughter needs a very sensitive intelligence. It means that you can understand the ridiculousness of a certain situation. What are jokes? They are a very clever arrangement. They take you in a direction logically and rationally that you start expecting that now this or that is going to happen, and it may go on happening according to your expectations. Then comes a sudden turn and something happens which you could never have imagined. That moment the illogical

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element enters and brings laughter to you. It is a very internal process of your rational expectation. If what you were expecting happens, there will be no laugh. But if you see something that you could not have conceived and everything went well up to the end and then suddenly something happens that makes you immediately forget all your reason, logic, and mind laughter is inevitable. Laughter is the only ordinary experience when you are no longer a mind, and I use it to give you glimpses of no-mind, of meditation, and of a transcendence of mind. It will be good to understand a small incident which began the tradition of Zen. Those are the people who understand -the only people on the earth, a small stream who have understood the meaning of laughter because their origin is in laughter. It was again Mahakashyap He was sitting under his tree for twenty years. It had almost become his tree; nobody else used to sit under that tree. Everybody knew that that was the place for Mahakashyap and not to disturb that man. He never asks or says anything or even talks. It had become an accepted fact. But one day he laughed and that day was his day of enlightenment. A great king, Prasenjita, asked his wife who was a disciple of Gautama Buddha, but not a sannyasin, however she was immensely interested in Gautama Buddha and hoping that one day her husband would allow her to become a sannyasin.
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Prasenjita was not interested in sannyas; he was interested in increasing his kingdom, to make it bigger and bigger. He was always fighting, and invading new areas. By chance, Buddha happened to visit the capital of Prasenjita, and the wife was insisting, on Prasenjita to come with her to welcome Buddha because it does not show culture, if he does not come. A man of the caliber of Gautama Buddha happens in millions of years. Kings and queens are available Dime a dozen! You can find them anywhere; they are not worth much. You will be forgotten, but Gautama Buddhas name will remain till the last man has become enlightened. You may be remembered if you go to Gautama Buddha and touch his feet. Just this small act on your part will make you historical. And that is true who would have heard about Prasenjita? There were hundreds of other kings at that time, and nobody knows anything about them, but Prasenjita is known. And because the wife was insistent, he decided to present something to Buddha. He had a very beautiful diamond. Other kings were jealous of that diamond; perhaps that was the best diamond available in those days. So Prasenjita thought of offering this diamond to Buddha. The wife told him to take a lotus instead of Diamond. It will be better that you take a lotus flower, because to him the lotus flower represents a revolution it comes out of dirty mud. And it is the most beautiful flower on the earth, most
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fragrant, the biggest flower. It comes from the dirt it crosses the water and stands on top of the water. This is a great revolution: dirt turning into such a beautiful... Lotus is so velvety that when dewdrops in the night gather on the big petals and big leaves, they are so velvety that the water cannot touch them. They remain on the lotus leaves, but the lotus leaf remains untouched by them. The lotus flower remains in the water but the water does not touch it. And that gives it another significance that a man should live in the world untouched by its duality. He should live in the world but not allow the world to enter him; he should live in the dirty world, but he has the possibility of becoming a lotus flower. So the lotus became a symbol for the transcendence from the trivial matters of the world. Gautama Buddha is represented in thousands of temples sitting on a lotus flower. That lotus flower represents his philosophy and it has become a symbol. So she said, In our beautiful pond at the palace I will find the best and biggest lotus flower and you take the lotus flower for Buddha. The husband did not think that a lotus flower had any value in comparison to his diamond which could purchase a whole kingdom. So he agreed to take both, to see which Buddha prefers. This is his first meeting, so he wanted to judge Buddha. He touched the feet of Buddha and wanted to give the great diamond. Ten thousand disciples were present. They could not believe the radiance of the diamond, its clarity, purity, and its perfection. Indeed the diamond was so
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great. There was complete silence, because everybody was watching what Buddha was going to do now, because it was against his disciplines to have anything more than three changes of clothes and one begging bowl that had to be the only possession for any sannyasin. Now what was he going to do? Was he going to refuse the king then that will be insulting? Was he going to accept it but that will be against his discipline. So there was great silence and great curiosity. Buddha saw the diamond Prasenjita, Drop it! and told

Very reluctantly, he dropped it, because now there was no way and he has presented, and the man is asking to drop it. Under the impact of Buddha and those ten thousand people in which there were nearly two dozen enlightened ones Prasenjita dropped the diamond. Then he brought from the other hand the lotus flower, thinking that perhaps his wife was right. Buddha said, drop it too! Prasenjita could not believe what kind of man Buddha was, and he started thinking, I have brought presents and he goes on saying to drop it. The third time, when he had dropped the lotus flower, his hands were empty, but Buddha said loudly, Drop it! Prasenjita said, I do not have anything to drop. That was the moment when Mahakashyap for the first time in twenty years started laughing, madly. Prasenjita was very much offended, but Gautama Buddha
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called Mahakashyap gave him the lotus flower, and told him, From you will start a totally new and unique, fresh stream. That fresh stream has developed into Zen however it was born in the laughter of Mahakashyap. Prasenjita said, I do not understand what is happening and why this man laughed. Gautama Buddha said, He laughed because you could not understand my third request to drop it. I wanted you to drop your ego. I am not concerned with lotus flowers, or with diamonds. I only am concerned with one thing, your ego. Unless you drop it, you have not dropped anything. And I cannot accept your diamond or your lotus flower, because that will enhance and nourish your ego. That is why Mahakashyap laughed because the poor emperor does not understand the language of a mystic however he understood it. In ten thousand sannyasins he was the only one who understood what I meant and he laughed. I have chosen him to be the first for a new stream of seekers, so he is the founder of Zen.

Zen was founded in laughter, and for twenty-five centuries the tradition has continued to produce enlightened people. Most of the traditions have died but Zen still brings flowers. Perhaps, rooted in laughter, it is rooted in the highest consciousness. In the moments of a hearty laugh, mind stops, because mind cannot laugh. It is structured seriously and its function is to be serious, miserable, and sick. The moment you laugh, it does not come from your mind instead it comes from the beyond, from your very inner spirit. According to me, all the religions have missed one of the dimensions of the greatest importance, a sense of humor. And they have made the whole world serious. Fill the world with laughter, joy, songs, and dances. We are not seeking for any paradise instead we are seeking how to create the paradise, herenow, because we are not interested in things after death. If we can create a paradise herenow, certainly you will be able to create the paradise anywhere.

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If you can laugh totally every day for at least one hour, without any reason, then you would not need any other meditation. That would be enough, because while you are laughing you cannot think. While you are laughing you cannot be in the past, you cannot be in the future. You have to be here now. Laughter can open a door to the ultimate.

If you can laugh rightly, in the right moment, it will bring you out of unconsciousness into the open sky, from the darkness to the light. Indeed laughter is a meditation because nothing makes you as total as laughter. Nothing makes you stop your thinking as laughter does. Just for a moment you are no more a mind. Just for a moment you are no more in time. Just for a moment you have entered into another space where you are total and whole and healed. You cannot laugh partially. Try and you will fail. You can laugh only totally. That is a unique quality about laughter. That makes laughter an authentic meditation. In laughter you are total without anyone saying to you. Laughter is the only ordinary experience when you are no longer a mind. And in the state of no-mind you get the glimpse of meditation, and transcendence of mind. I am against seriousness because it is a spiritual sickness. Laughter is spiritual health. And laughter is very unburdening. While you laugh, you can put your mind aside very easily. For a man who cannot laugh the doors of the Buddha are closed. To me, laughter is one of the greatest values. No religion has ever thought about it. They have always been insisting on seriousness, and because of their insistence the whole world is psychologically sick
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Before you enter into your daily meditation, use laughter as a preface, or a foreword to the coming silence. Laughter recedes into silence. Therefore the greater or more total the laughter, the greater the silence that will follow behind it. To laugh wholeheartedly is the greatest celebration that can happen to you. Laugh wholeheartedly that you become the laughter. Then no meditation is needed, it is enough. The idea has gone very deep in the human mind that religious people have to be serious and sad, with long faces. Laughter seems to be too mundane. However, it is not so. Laughter is one of the most sacred phenomena on the earth. In fact in profound laughter mind disappears exactly like it disappears in meditation. That is why laughter is so relaxing, and rejuvenating. A good belly laugh act as a tonic, it is very vital for your well-being. The man who cannot laugh is ill, sick. A heartfelt laughter releases your hidden sources of energy. One thing is certain when you are in real laughter you understand the humor of the situation or the meaning of the joke. When it is really arising out of your heart, it is total, and your whole being is throbbing with
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it, then it meditation.

gives

you

taste

of

Mind disappears because it cannot exist in laughter. It melts, and evaporates, and for a moment there is no mind, there is only laughter. There is no one who is laughing, there is pure laughter. And that's exactly what meditation is. When the dancer disappears and there is only dance it is meditation, when the singer disappears and there is only singing it is meditation, when the lover disappears and there is only loving it is meditation, when the walker disappears

and is only walking it is meditation. And laughter gives you the taste of meditation more easily than anything else. Laughter is tremendously healthy. Playfulness is as sacred as any prayer or maybe more sacred than any prayer, because playfulness, laughter, singing, and dancing all will relax you. And only the truth is possible in a relaxed state of being. When, you are totally relaxed in a state of let-go then impossible starts happening within you. Let-go is the secret of meditation.

Laughter is the very essence of religion. Seriousness is never religious. Seriousness is of the ego and the very disease. Laughter is egolessness. Certainly there is a vast difference between when you laugh and when a religious man laughs. The difference is that you laugh always about others the religious man laughs at himself, or at the whole ridiculousness of mans being. Religion is the celebration of life. And the serious person becomes handicapped because he creates barriers. He cannot dance, sing, and celebrate. The very
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dimension of celebration disappears from his life. He becomes desert-like. And if you are a desert, you can go on thinking and pretending that you are religious but you are not. Flowers do not blossom in the desert. You may belong to a section, but cannot be religious. You can be a Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, or Mohammedan, but you cannot be religious. You believe in something, but you do not know anything. You believe in theories. A man too much burdened with theories becomes serious. A man who is
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unburdened, and has no burden of theories over his being, starts laughing. The whole play of existence is so beautiful that laughter can be the only response to it. Only laughter and gratitude can be the real prayer. Hotei is tremendously significant. Rarely has a man like Hotei walked on the earth. It is unfortunate more people should be like Hotei. More temples should be full of laughter, dancing, and singing. If seriousness is lost, nothing is lost and then in fact, one becomes more healthy and whole. But if laughter is lost, everything is lost. Suddenly you lose the festivity of your being; you become colorless, monotonous, and in a way dead. Then you energy is not streaming any more. Laughter is a flowering. If Buddha was the seed, then Hotei is the flower on the same tree. If Buddha is the roots, then Hotei is the flower on the same tree. And if you want to understand Buddha, try to understand Hotei. And it is right that people used to call him the Laughing Buddha. Buddha has come of age in Hotei. Buddha has laughed in Hotei. Enlightenment has come to its very crescendo. But it is difficult to understand Hotei. To understand him you will have to be in that festive dimension. If you are too much burdened with theories, concepts, notions, ideologies, theologies, and philosophies, you will not be able to understand Hotei. You will not know his significance because he will laugh looking at you. He will laugh because he will not be able to believe that a man can be so foolish and so ridiculous.
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It is as if a man is just trying to live on a cookery book and has forgotten to cook food. He just goes on studying books about food and how to prepare this and that and how not to prepare it, and argues his way then he is all the time hungry and has forgotten completely that one cannot live on books. That is what has happened to humanity. People are living on Bibles, Korans, Dhammapadas, and Gitas. They have completely forgotten that religion has to be lived. It is something that has to be digested. It is something that has to circulate in your blood, become your bones, your very marrow. Religion has to become your understanding. You cannot just think about it. Thinking is the most superficial part of your being. You have to absorb it! Make Laughter your everyday religion. Laughter brings strength. Now, even medical science says that laughter is one of the most deep-going medicines nature has provided man with. If you can laugh when you are ill you will get your health back sooner. If you cannot laugh, even if you are healthy, sooner or later you will lose your health and you will become ill. Laughter connects your inner source of energy to your surface. Energy starts flowing. Energy follows laughter like a shadow. Have you watched it? When you really laugh, for those few moments you are in a deep meditative state. Thinking stops. It is impossible to laugh and think together. They are diametrically opposite: either you can laugh or you can think. If you really laugh, thinking stops. If you are still thinking, then
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laughter will be just lukewarm. It will be a crippled laughter. When you really laugh, suddenly mind disappears. And the whole Zen methodology is how to get into no-mind. Laughter is one of the beautiful doors to get to it. As far as I know, dancing and laughter are the best, natural, easily approachable doors. If you really dance, thinking stops. You go on and on, you whirl and whirl and you become a whirlpool. Then all boundaries, all divisions are lost. You do not even know where your body ends and where the existence begins. You melt into existence and the existence melts into you there is an overlapping of boundaries. And if you are really dancing and not merely managing it but allowing it to manage you, or to possess you and if you are possessed by dance, thinking suddenly stops. The same happens with laughter. If you are possessed by laughter, thinking stops. And if you know a few moments of no-mind, those glimpses will promise you many more rewards that are going to come. You just have to become more and more of the sort, of the quality, of no-mind. More and more, thinking has to be dropped. Laughter can be a beautiful introduction to a non-thinking state. There are methods for this. You can concentrate on a flame or on a black dot, or you can concentrate on a mantra, but the greater possibility is that by the time the mind is disappearing you will start feeling sleepy, you will fall asleep. Because before the mind disappears there open two alternatives: sleep or sushupti and samadhi: sleep and satori.
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When thinking disappears, these are the two alternatives left: either you move into satori a fully alert, no-thought state; or a fully asleep, no-thought state or sleep. And sleep is more natural, because you have practiced it long. If you live sixty years, twenty years you have been asleep. It is the greatest activity that you have been doing; one third of your life is spent in sleep. In no other exercise do you spend so much time and so much energy. In a few Zen monasteries, every monk has to start his morning with laughter, and has to end his night with laughter. The first and the last thing is laughter! You try it. It is very beautiful. People will not understand. If you are happy, they always ask why. The question is foolish! If you are sad, they never ask why. Sadness is taken for granted it is okay and natural. Everybody is sad. There is nothing new in it? Even if you want to tell them, they are not interested because they know all about it, they themselves are sad. But if you are laughing for no reason, then they become alert as if something has gone wrong. This man seems to be a little crazy because only crazy people enjoy laughter; only in madhouses will you find crazy people laughing. This is unfortunate, but this is so. It will be difficult, if you are a husband or a wife it will be difficult for you to suddenly laugh early in the morning. But try it. Certainly it pays tremendously. It is one of the most beautiful moods to get up with, to get out of the bed with. For no reason simply, you are again there, still alive and it is a miracle! It seems ridiculous! Why are you alive? And
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again the world is there. Your wife is still snoring, and the same room, and the same house. In this constantly changing world that Hindus call the 'maya' at least for one night nothing has changed? Everything is there: you can hear the milkman and the traffic and the same noises certainly it is worth laughing for! It is the cosmic joke and you can laugh. One day you will not get into the morning. One day the milkman will knock at the door, the wife will be snoring, but you will not be there. One day, death will come. Before it knocks you down, have a good laugh. While there is time, have a good laugh. And look at the whole ridiculousness. Again the day starts in the same mechanical way. You have done the same things again and again for your whole life. Again you will get into your slippers, rush to the bathroom for brushing your teeth, or taking a shower but for what? Where are you going? Getting ready and nowhere to go! Dressing and rushing to the office - for what? Just to do the same thing again tomorrow? Look at the whole ridiculousness of it and have a good belly laugh. Do not open your eyes. The moment you feel that sleep is gone, first start laughing, then open the eyes and that will set a trend for the whole day. If you can laugh early in the morning you will laugh the whole day. You have created a chain effect because one thing leads to another. Laughter leads to more laughter.

And almost always I have seen people doing just the wrong thing. From the very early morning they get out of bed complaining, gloomy, sad, depressed, and miserable. Then one thing leads to another just for nothing. Zen people are saner. In their insanity they are saner than you. They start with laughter and then the whole day you will feel laughter bubbling, welling up. There are so many ridiculous things happening all over! God must be having belly laugh seeing this ridiculousness of the world down the centuries, for eternity. The people that He has created and all the absurdities that they are engaged in, it is really a comedy. He must be laughing. If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing including the trees, stones and stars with you. And the Zen monk goes to sleep in the night again with laughter. The day is over and so too the drama is closed again. This is the time for laughter he says Good belly laughter, and if I survive again, tomorrow morning I will greet you again with laughter. Start and finish your day with laughter, and you will see, by and by, in between these two more and more laughter starts happening. And the more laughing you become the more religious.

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