If you wish to find the Way follow the signs that read “This Is Not the Path” or at least some of them. If you ask me directions I will hand you a blank sheet and ask you what does it contain. You may say it is void and you would be correct, or you may say it is a thousand dharma texts and you would be correct.
A reflection on Case 48 of The True Dharma Eye (Shobogenzo)
He can remember it as though it was just yesterday. Actually it was just yesterday, but for him that had little to do with memory. Bits of his childhood would come flooding back: the city, the cousins who took him in for the few dollars his mother could offer. But his grandsons are a vague shadow, sometimes present, sometimes faded into the background. He ex-wife is ever present, and he clings to her, despite her death, wondering if they will get back together. I don’t want to tell him that his wish will require a firm belief by them both in a hereafter, and that neither of them was very good at directions in any event, so who knows where they will end up.
The hardest prison to escape is the one whose walls are built by the mind with fear and trepidation. It is like the open gate you dare not enter, fearing that you are leaving and will not be allowed to return. Atop a pole there are an infinite number of directions to go and only one is straight down, but you dread selecting any, for gravity is a fear as great his death yet you know you can feel neither. The prison of the mind is impregnable for there, fear and pain live in concert and you are a small boat on an angry sea, staring always at the roiling waves.
They gather this time every week, they would feel lost if they did otherwise. The don’t do it out of any sense of duty or higher calling, and they expect nothing in return for having done so. They aren’t even following directions or obeying some unwritten rule. They object to most rules, demand logic before even pausing to consider requests for action. Holidays do throw off their schedule but they work around them as best they can. Theirs is a joyous group and only the swings groan under their laughter as their feet reach up to kick the clouds, before night falls on the playground.
The hardest prison to escape is the one whose walls are built by the mind in fear and trepidation. It is like the open gate you dare not enter fearing that you are leaving and will not be allowed to return. Atop a pole there are an infinite number of directions in which you can go and only one is straight down, but you fear selecting any, for gravity is a fear as great as death, yet you can feel neither. The prison of the mind is impregnable, for there fear and pain live in conflict and you are a small boat on an angry sea staring always at the roiling waves.
The cranes slowly gather one upon another upon still another, wings unfurled, invoking senbazuru, each one of a whole, each threatening to fly off in ten directions, and none. Still others, sit around, patiently awaiting completion of their senbazuru, uncertain of, uncaring for, its arrival.
Sitting atop a hundred foot pole you are convinced there are only two directions: pole and down. Old Osho asks: “How will you proceed?” and you stare back at this lunatic. “How will you proceed?” he repeats.
You release the pole and step slowly away, looking in all ten directions before you, only then do you you move your feet, and each one touches the path of each of the three worlds. Osho gently touches your elbow and walks a bit by your side.