Krishna Prem explains a quick meditation and recounts an anecdote (from his book ‘Gee You Are You’).
This is a great meditation: Hats. I call it hats. Just notice which hat you are wearing now. I am a boss. I am a student. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a lover. I am a joker, and I’m a midnight toker. And watch how many roles you play every day, in every way. And just remember to look at yourself as you put one hat on and take another hat off.
Just yesterday I went out for lunch. I went on a bicycle and the gentleman that I was having lunch with was driving a car. And often times in the city, like in Amsterdam, the boy on the bike gets there first. And I went to the restaurant and I sat at the table that was reserved for us. And the waiter was being a waiter.
And I said to him, “I don’t need a waiter right now, I’m going to wait for my friend. Could you possibly just relax?”
And he said, “It’s my job to be a waiter.”
And I said, “I understand, I understand… tell me one thing, when you go home tonight, who are you?”
And he said, “When I go home today, I’m going to be a father to my one-year-old son.”
I said, “Well, that is really great. So during the day you’re wearing a hat called ‘I’m being a waiter.’ And at night you’re wearing a hat called ‘I’m being a father.’ Well, I just want to say one thing, there is a moment when you have to take off your waiter-hat, and put on your father-hat. And in that moment, you are naked. In that moment, you are simply you. So I want you to be aware that in that moment, you are not a waiter, you are not a father, you are only you. And then when you greet your son, as his father, you’ll feel freshness, because you also know that you are you first and a father second. You are you first and you are a waiter second. So right now I don’t need a waiter. Is it possible for you to be naked? Is it possible for you to just treat me like a human being?”
And it was so cute, maybe it was an unconscious thing on his part, but he actually just sat down on a chair beside me. I think he was so amazed that I was asking him to be himself, he relaxed so much that he was sitting down next to me. And actually I got a little nervous. Who is this guy sitting next to me as a human being? I can actually remember saying to myself, “My God, you are a waiter. Stand up and take care of me. Go and get me a glass of water. I can’t handle being with another human being right now.”
I think in this situation the guy got my teaching, and it became real for him and it made me nervous. The waiter disappeared, the father did not appear. Naked came the stranger. This is meditation. For me it is divine to be with a friend who remembers not to put one hat on top of another hat on top of yet another, until gravity becomes the grave.
My lunch partner arrived and the waiter jumped back into action. After a great meal and wine my friend insisted on picking up the tab. I insisted on leaving a tip. The waiter called me aside and stuck my ten euro note in my breast pocket and whispered “Thank you.”
I just took out the tenner and I said, “Dad, this is for your son.”
Krishna Prem (aka KP) grew up in the USA where he graduated from Boston University. He came to Mumbai in 1973 at the age of 29 where he met Osho and took sannyas. He was part of all the communes founded by Osho and is a steady visitor of the Meditation Resort in Pune. Krishna Prem is the author ‘Gee You Are You, The Book’. geeyouareyou.com