Emptiness is a name for nothingness, a name for ungraspability, a name for mountains, rivers, the whole earth. It is also called the real form. In the green of the pines, the twist of the brambles, there is no going or coming. In the red of the flowers and the white of the snow, there is no birth and no death.
Joy, anger, love, pleasure – these are beginningless and endless delusion. Enlightenment, practice, realization – these are inexhaustible and boundless. Thus, emptiness is the name for nothing else; all things are the real form. In all worlds, in all directions, there is no second, no third.
Therefore, in the fundamental vehicle there is no delusion or enlightenment, no practice or realization. Even to speak of practice and realization is a relative view.
In our school, from the first entry, this point should be practiced whether sitting, lying down, or walking around. When sleeping, just sleeping, there is no past or future. When you awaken, there is no sleep either. This is called the absolute host.
Maneesha, Ryusui is pointing to a very fundamental question which Gautam Buddha raised for the first time in human history.
The question is, is enlightenment something to be achieved, desired, longed for? If so, then there must be practices, disciplines, rituals, and the whole paraphernalia. And millions of people have gone astray in search of enlightenment. Buddha is the first human being who has said that everything is absolutely arbitrary because you need not go anywhere. Enlightenment is your very nature.
It is consciousness that you are built with; this house, this body is not you. And this mind also is not you. And there is not much problem to stand aside and watch the mind and its functioning, to stand aside and watch the gestures of the body. This watcher is your reality, your truth. It is already here, so don’t go in search somewhere else. Whenever, wherever you find it, you will always find it here and now. Now is the time and here is the space. If you can be now here, you are a Gautam Buddha.
I have heard a small story about a man who was a great atheist. The whole day he was arguing against religion, against all kinds of superstitions. He had written in his sitting room in big letters: God Is Nowhere.
Then a small child was born to him.
One day the small child was looking at the writing. He was just learning to write, learning the alphabet, so he could not manage to read God Is Nowhere; on the contrary, he read: God Is Now here – nowhere can be divided into two.
The father heard it and was amazed. He had never thought about it, that “nowhere” consists of “now” and “here.”
The small child changed the man’s whole approach; he started thinking about now and here. And he was puzzled…because he has never been now; his mind has been wandering in the past or in the future, but never now, never in the present.
Mind has no relationship with the present.
This moment, if you are here, the mind is no more.
Mind needs the past as memory, and mind needs the future as projection. Without future and past, the mind cannot exist. And the present is so small, just a split second. In the present, there is no work for the mind to do – either it can do some work for the future or some work for the past, but it is absolutely impotent as far as the present is concerned.
The father had defeated many philosophers, but this small child changed his whole life because he started to be here, and to be now, and he found a new area opening within himself.
That area is meditation.