The first question:
When does the boat reach the other shore?
There is no other shore, this is the only shore there is. And it is not a question of reaching somewhere else, it is a question of awakening here and now. It is never there, it is always here; it is never then, it is always now. This moment contains the totality of reality.
The boat I am talking about is not really a boat. I am talking about becoming aware. Man has fallen asleep – man is already where he needs to be, where he is meant to be. Man is in paradise. The Garden of Eden has never been left, nobody can expel you from it. But you can fall asleep, and you can start dreaming a thousand and one things. Then those dreams become your reality, and the reality fades far away, becomes unreal.
You need not go anywhere. Meditation is neither a journey in space nor a journey in time, but an instantaneous awakening. If you can be silent now, this is the other shore. If you can allow the mind to cease, not to function, this is the other shore.
But the mind is very clever and cunning; it distorts every great teaching. It jumps upon words, catches hold of the words, and starts giving meanings to them which are not real meanings.
Yes, I talked about the other shore. And your mind must have caught the words the other shore, the boat. “Where is the other shore, and where is the boat, and how can I get to the boat, how can I get into it, and when will I reach the other shore?”
You misunderstood the whole thing. Be awake, and this shore becomes the other shore, and this very moment becomes eternity. This very body the buddha, and this very place the lotus paradise.
And awakening does not need time; not even a split second is needed for it to happen. It is only a question of a tremendous desire arising in you of such a quality of intensity that you become afire with it. In that fire, the old is gone and the new has arrived. The old was never there in the first place, you only believed in it. And the new has always been the case, you had only forgotten it.
I declare to you that this is the only world there is, and this is the only life there is. Don’t start thinking of some other life somewhere after death, beyond the seven skies, in heaven. Those are all just mind dreams, mind trips, new ways to fall asleep again.