Rinzai’s famous saying Sitting silently, doing nothing, and the grass grows by itself.
Rinzai was a great zen mystic – a Chinese – founder of the Rinzai sect of zen. Literally the word means: one who helps people to cross the river, the boatman. And he helped many people to cross the river; he was one of the greatest boatmen. There are only a few names in the history of religion which can be compared to Rinzai.
… Rinzai was one of the greatest meditators. His meditation is the simplest – just sitting and doing nothing. It is the simplest and yet the hardest, because if people are told to do something, they can; even if it is difficult they can manage to do. But when they are told not to do anything and just to sit it becomes almost impossible.
Nobody knows how to do nothing, nobody knows how not to do. People know how to do things; it is easier. Once the knack of it comes to your consciousness, you will laugh that it was so simple; one can simply sit.
So, start at least one hour sitting… Make it a point that whenever you have time to just sit silently under any tree. Go to the river or anywhere and just sit. There is nothing else to do, just go on sitting for one hour. Thoughts will come – let them come and go.
Rinzai’s famous saying is: Sitting silently, doing nothing, and the grass grows by itself. There is no need to do anything – the grass-is growing by itself. And so grows the soul… so grows the inner being! It needs nothing; no prop is needed….
Excerpt from the darshan diary: Don’t Just Do Something. Sit There, Ch 17
From the Desiderata: “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste…”
… The world can be really silent only when there are many many meditators. Only when the world consists of a great majority of meditators will there be a profound silence, an almost tangible silence.
You can touch it, you can taste it, you can smell its perfume.
We are living out of noise and everybody is in a hurry. There is great haste, everybody is rushing.
Nobody knows where, nobody knows why – just a deep restlessness. You can’t sit; if you sit, others won’t allow you. They will say, “Don’t just sit there, do something!” And I say to you, “Don’t just do something, sit there!” Nothing is better than something. But people say just the opposite; they say, “Something is better than nothing. Do something!”
One woman was saying to another woman, “I have heard that your son has become a Rajneeshee. He meditates?”
The other woman said, “It’s better than doing nothing.”
Now the poor woman does not know what meditation is. Meditation means doing nothing! That’s what I teach here: doing nothing, just sitting there, just being.
Why is there this hurry? Are you really trying to reach somewhere? Are you conscious about the goal, the target?
One pilot said to the passengers, “All our engines are okay, the plane is functioning perfectly well. There is only one bad piece of news, otherwise everything is good. The bad news is that we have lost contact with the earth so we don’t know where we are and we don’t know where we are going. The good news is that we are going with full speed!”
Everybody is going with full speed; that is the good news. Who cares? Who has time to think about where he is going? When you see the whole world rushing, you start rushing. We force children to run. That’s what our whole educational system is meant for, from the primary school to the university.
Twenty-five years we waste on every person – almost one-third of the life to teach him to rush. Then twenty-four hours in his day it is rush hour! He is never anywhere for a single moment. He cannot see the beauty of the trees because he cannot sit underneath the trees – Buddha must have known the beauty of the trees – he cannot see the beauty of the stars, he cannot see the beauty of people.
In fact, when he is in Kabul he is rushing to Katmandu, when he is in Katmandu he is rushing to Poona, when he is in Poona he is rushing to Goa! He is never where he is; his mind is always ahead of him, planning how to reach there. And if you ask him, “For what?” he will say, “We will enjoy!” And he is not enjoying this moment – how can he enjoy any other moment? He has lost all capacity to enjoy herenow; his only enjoyment is planning, always planning, planning to enjoy.
There are people who are working their whole lives just waiting for their retirement; then they will relax and enjoy. And they know perfectly well: six days they work in the office and wait for the seventh day, the holiday, and hop, “Soon Sunday will come and we will relax and enjoy.” And they cannot relax and they cannot enjoy. In fact, the holiday seems to be so long and so boring; they have to fill it with something.
They go for a picnic. The same things that they would have eaten at home, relaxedly, now they rush towards a picnic spot miles away to eat. And they are sitting in the grass, and ants are very clever; they know perfectly well where the picnic spots are. Their astrologers tell them, “Go ahead, that is the place!” And the mosquitoes, they are always there waiting for you. They say, “Hello, so you have come!” And then quickly people finish because they have to reach home, and they rush. And cars are going there bumper to bumper. And many more accidents happen on Sunday than on any other day, many more deaths on the road than on any other day. Strange! Some holiday!
And the whole city is going towards the same picnic spot, the same beach! I have seen pictures of beaches and I cannot believe what is happening. There is not even space to walk! They are packed – no marketplace is so packed! And all kinds of fools are there. Six hours it takes them to reach the beach, then for one hour they lie down amidst this whole mass of fools under the sun, and then back home… And the whole way they were quarrelling with the wife and the wife is quarrelling with…
This you can do at home more at ease, relaxed in an armchair – nag each other, do whatsoever you want! What is the point of going to the beach? Nobody is seeing the sea, nobody is seeing the sun.
Nobody has time.
And these same people think that when they are retired they will rest – they cannot. Sixty years of habits, how can you drop them? Impossible. They have become so deep-rooted that people suffer more when they are retired than they have ever suffered, because nobody knows how to rest, how to relax. This is sheer madness!
And these people go on saying beautiful things. They say, “Time is money.” They have beautiful proverbs to drive you crazy: “Time is money, so save time.” And everybody is always looking at his watch – as if they are missing something. They have to reach somewhere, and there too they will do the same thing. If the train is five minutes late everybody is complaining, all are angry.
I had been traveling for twenty years all over this country and I was puzzled. Just if the train is one hour late, everybody is so angry and condemning the government and the society and everything.
Why can’t you rest? If the train is one hour late it is a great opportunity. One hour is yours! – you can rest. You have at least one excuse: “The train is late, what to do? So I rested, relaxed.” But no, they cannot; they become more and more boiled up. They start spitting fire.
And these same people when they reach home will sit before the idiot box, TV, for five hours.
The average American is doing that for five hours per day. There is a great danger for America because of this idiot box. If you look at an idiot box for five hours it has a hypnotic effect – you are bound to become idiotic! And only an idiot can look at a box for five hours. And they are glued to their chairs; they cannot get up. I have heard they will take their food just sitting before the TV. Not only that – they will even make love just before the TV so they can do both the things, making love and watching the TV, because something may be missed!
Now these idiots are in the majority. And they will play cards and if you ask why they will say, “Killing time.” One minute the train is late and they are angry, and then what do they do with the saved time? They kill it! Going to the movie, killing time… sometimes going to see the same picture again!
Stupidity seems to be infinite. Now what are you going for – the same picture again? But the time has to be killed.
They will go to the Rotary Club, to the Lions Club. And all these clubs exist for people to kill time, to meet the same fools, to say the same foolish things, to gossip about the same old nonsense – to kill time. They will go to the restaurants, to the hotels, to the parties – to kill time.
And look at their faces – they are bored everywhere. Whatsoever they are doing they are bored, obviously, because they are not into it. They are trying somehow to finish it to save time, And then they have to kill time. Killing time, saving time, killing time, saving time…. The whole life is gone! And you come empty-handed into the world and you go empty-handed.
“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”
The only thing worth remembering again and again is: What peace there may be in silence.
Give a little time, energy, to silent moments, because only in silent moments will you know what peace is. And the person who has tasted something of peace is rich, is immensely rich – all others are beggars – because he starts knowing the inner kingdom of God. Peace is the door to the inner kingdom of God. Silence helps you to know peace and peace leads you into God.
Excerpt from Osho, Guida Spirituale, Ch 11f45