This Zen master is right when he says, “I don’t understand it myself.” Very deep, really deep…the deepest answer possible. But this is the last part of the anecdote. Start from the very beginning.
The disciple comes to the Zen master and says, “In what state of mind should I seek the truth?”
The master says, “There is no mind so there cannot be any state of mind.”
Mind is illusory – that which is not but appears to be, and appears so much that you think that you are the mind. Mind is maya, mind is just a dream, mind is just a projection…a soap bubble – nothing in it, but it appears like a soap bubble floating on a river. The sun is just rising, the rays penetrate the bubble; a rainbow is created and nothing is there in it. When you touch the bubble it is broken and everything disappears – the rainbow, the beauty – nothing is left. Only emptiness becomes one with the infinite emptiness. Just a wall was there, a bubble wall. Your mind is just a bubble wall – inside, your emptiness; outside, my emptiness. It is just a bubble: prick it, and the mind disappears.
The master says, “There is no mind, so what type of state are you asking about?” It is difficult to understand.
People come to me and they say, “We would like to attain a silent state of mind.” They think that the mind can be silent. Mind can never be silent. Mind means the turmoil, the illness, the disease; mind means the tense, the anguished state. The mind cannot be silent; when there is silence there is no mind. When silence comes, mind disappears; when mind is there, silence is no more. So there cannot be any silent mind, just as there cannot be any healthy disease. Is it possible to have a healthy disease? When health is there, disease disappears. Silence is the inner health; mind is the inner disease, inner disturbance.
So there cannot be any silent mind, and this disciple is asking, “What type, what sort, what state of mind should I achieve?”
Point blank, the master said, “There is no mind, so you cannot achieve any state.” So please drop this illusion; don’t try to achieve any state in the illusion.
It’s as if you are thinking to travel on the rainbow and you ask me, “What steps should we take to travel on the rainbow?” I say, “There is no rainbow. The rainbow is just an appearance, so no steps can be taken.” A rainbow simply appears; it is not there. It is not a reality, it is a false interpretation of the reality.
The mind is not your reality; it is a false interpretation. You are not the mind, you have never been a mind, you can never be the mind. That is your problem – you have become identified with something which is not. You are like a beggar who believes that he has a kingdom. He is so worried about the kingdom – how to manage it, how to govern it, how to prevent anarchy. There is no kingdom, but he is worried.