Series | Lockdown
Lockdown, Day 26
Hello, everybody. I hope you’re all doing well, keeping safe, keeping well. And in the midst of all of this coronavirus fiasco and disaster and whatever is going on, I’m really here to tell you about something that’s beautiful in life, that’s beautiful in this existence.
There are many ways to put the same thing. But if we can have an understanding of who we are and what this life is all about—and it isn’t just a question of this time; it isn’t just a question of the gravity of the situation. And like I have said many times before, that, you know, being scared doesn’t help anybody; it doesn’t accomplish anything.
In fact, when a problem comes, whatever the source of the problem is, we disconnect from that source—and whatever the pain is, we connect to the pain. So we like....
You know, whatever the source of the problem is, okay, fine. And that it’s creating this other thing; it’s called “the pain, the sorrow, the suffering.” And we like to bury our heads into that sorrow, into that suffering. And you know, not to make a heavy point of this by any stretch of the imagination....
But let me tell you a joke today. Because I think—I believe this is the twenty-sixth broadcast and it’s about time we lighten up a little bit and look at the world from a lighter side of things.
So, there was a guy and he was sitting at the bar. And he was there, just very somber, very serious—and he was sitting there, about ready to have his drink when this most unfortunate bully, a big burly guy walks into the bar, grabs the little guy’s drink and drinks it all down.
And at that point, the guy who was sitting at the bar just lost it. And he just started crying; he just started bawling. And the guy who had had his drink, he was, you know, like, “Okay, okay, okay, I’ll buy you another one; don’t worry, you know, I’m sorry. I didn’t know this was so serious....”
And he goes, “No, no, you don’t understand.” He goes, “What-what-what are you talking about?” He says, “Look, today is possibly the worst day of my life. This morning I got up—and my wife walked out on me. I went after her, pleading and pleading and pleading, ‘And please, you know, come back,’” don’t leave him, everything—but she left anyway.
“Meanwhile,” he said, “I realized that I was really late for my office. In fact, you know, I was like two hours late. And I had put some toast in the toaster for breakfast and the toaster had caught fire, so by the time I got home from pleading with my wife, you know, chasing her down the road, my house was on fire.
“Somehow I got to my office and my boss was so upset with me that he fired me. So I finally came to this bar, ordered this drink—and I poisoned it. I put poison in it so I could kill myself. And along you came and denied me even that possibility by you drinking all that poison.”
When I came across this joke, it’s a funny twist of fate. Because that guy who felt he had had enough, he got saved. Somebody did something really stupid by grabbing his drink and drinking it and now, that guy, that bully guy is about to have the worst day of his life, because he’s going to die because he just drank a whole bunch of poison.
Sometimes it is like that—it is a comedy of errors; it’s a comedy of situations that we bring upon ourselves. So, whatever the problem is, then come the consequences of that problem; we bury our head in the consequences of the problem and now we cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel. It gets dark; it gets severe; it gets dangerous and it’s just like, “Oh my God, what am I going to do?”
But what was the problem to begin with? And nobody’s looking at the problem. And when you, you know, detach yourself from that suffering, from that pain, and look at the problem, the problem is going to look like, “I can get around this; I can take care of this. I mean, it may be difficult; I might have to work extra hard; I might have to do something like that. But I can get over it.”
And we forget that this life, its preciousness, the understanding that we should have of going forward, being that warrior that can move and move and move and move.... In fact, like I’ve said many times, it’s not about the battles. Some battles you need to win; some battles you can lose, not a problem. It is the war that you should win; you have to win the war.
Battles come and go. Some you win, great, wonderful. Some you have to win; fine. But some you are going to lose—and no regrets, none whatsoever. Just to move forward, to take those steps that are necessary, that are important.
And to navigate, to navigate those situations that come in life by looking inside, by having a complete perspective, by knowing that it isn’t just one, you know, fixation on one little issue—but you have to always remember the full scope of what existence means.
That yes, this breath is coming and going. Yes, you are alive. Yes, you exist. No judgment is being passed upon you by your breath; no judgment is being passed upon you by your life, by your existence. And that inside of you, still there is a want to be fulfilled, to be content. That there is an ocean of answers within you.
You know, you get a million questions. And if you don’t get an answer to those million questions, (or even one), it can drive you crazy. That’s not what life is about. There is an ocean of answers. You don’t have to tie every answer that you have inside of you to a question. You don’t. Let it be. Let the questions be. But understand that within you is an ocean of answers.
To know. To know that beautiful that is inside of you. And then to look at the beauty that is outside of you—and you can draw a frame; you can draw a reference. Because that’s what it’s all about.
That breath comes into us, brings us life. There is this whole universe, expanding, contracting. The waves that come on the beach, that motion of life is everywhere—is everywhere. It’s bringing existence to everything. You happen to be a part of it.
You are alive, just like there are all these ants that are alive. And they’re so focused; they’re so incredibly focused. They may not be the brightest, you know, bulb on the Christmas tree—but they are focused.
Maybe they can’t figure out what, you know, an algebraic expression is. Maybe they cannot work out a complicated formula. But they have worked out one little formula—their purpose of life in their existence. They stick to it.
They don’t just go wandering off like, “Oh, yeah, let me take a look at this, and let me take a look at”—no, they’re focused. They go; they go; they go; they go. And look at their endurance; it’s fascinating.
Do I want to be like an ant—no, I don’t want to be like an ant; I don’t want to be like a fly; I don’t want to be like a lion; I don’t want to be like a tiger; I don’t want to be like a whale. I don’t want to be like a porpoise. I want to be me. I want to be a human being.
I am in awe of a whale. I am in awe of so many creatures on this planet Earth. And ultimately, I also need to turn within inside of me and be in awe of my existence, of my being on the face of this earth. That there is a respect that I need to give myself, an understanding that I need to have of myself.
Because I’ve been chasing “the outside, the outside, the outside,” the focus of the outside, “what is that; what is that; what is that?” And someday I have to take that question of “what is that” and look at me and go, “Who am I?”
And when that transformation happens and the process of “Know thyself” begins, that is profound—when you’re on your way to that one part of that realization of “Who am I?” And how is that going to ever be?
You know, the path to discovery of the self is not trying to discover yourself; it’s all the other things that are between you and really, who you are—all those ideas that you have of “what it means to know yourself.”
You know, when you learn how to draw, it’s fascinating. Because, you know, people have drawn—and so it’s like, “Oh, yeah, I’m going to go and somebody’s going to teach me how to do this perfectly and do this perfectly and do this perfectly.”
And lo and behold, that’s not what they teach you. They’re teaching you about what a perspective means, a line across a horizon, line this way, line that way, and the references and the lines that, you know, go back. And you have to learn all of that, because that perspective is involved.
In the same way, learning—and the only way you will be able to learn those things is if you can have the ability, the luxury of unlearning, of dropping, of letting go of all of those ideas that are just wrong, that are not how it works. And then when the bucket is empty, then you can begin to fill.
Once a man came to a teacher—and this is a Zen story, so a Zen Master—and he said, “I want to have, you know, questions with you; I want to ask you questions. I want to learn from you.” And the Zen Master said, “Of course; come on in. Let’s sit down and, you know, let me get you some tea.”
So, he made a sign towards the guy who was standing there, his servant, and he said, “Bring some tea.” He brought some tea and he took the tea and he started pouring it in his pot. And he kept pouring and he kept pouring and he kept pouring and he kept pouring and the cup filled and filled over and started overflowing and tea started getting everywhere....
And the Master is just very intentioned; he just keeps pouring in, pouring in, pouring in, pouring in. Finally, the guy just couldn’t stand it anymore—and he looked at him and he said, “What are you doing? Don’t you see that the cup is full? And no more tea will fit in there?” That’s the Zen story.
And the Master, of course, turned to the person and said, “Well, same thing; your cup is really full. And don’t you see, you want to learn from me but nothing will fit because your cup is already full; your bucket is already full.”
There’s another story, the Indian version of it, which is very interesting—which is one day, a man came to this Master and said, “Master, I want to learn from you.”
The Master said, “Fine. I’d love to teach you. But this is what you have to do—is, I’m going to go draw some water from the well. And while I’m drawing that water, please don’t say a word. It’s going to take me a few tries to get the water, but don’t you dare say a word. And if you can hold to that contract that you won’t say a thing, I will be happy to teach you.”
The guy was like, “Hey, that’s easy; I can do that. That’s really easy.” So he walked out there with the Master and the Master took the rope, bucket tied to the rope, put it in the well, pulled it out—and he sees that the bucket comes out with water, but it’s just got holes in it and all the water is just pouring out of the holes. By the time he gets the bucket in his hand, there’s hardly any water left in it.
So, seeing this for the first time, he said, “Oh, well, this is strange—but all I have to do is be quiet. So, I’ll just stay; I’ll be quiet.”
The Master takes that bucket, throws it back into the well, draws it, pulls it up—same thing. The man says, “This is really strange—and he’s done this twice. I’m sure that he can see this; that this bucket is so full of holes that not a drop of water is going to be saved—and he won’t be able to draw any. But my job is to just be quiet; I’ll be quiet.”
The Master throws the bucket in the third time—same thing. And by now the guy’s going, “I don’t know. You know, maybe this Master is not so sane; yeah, maybe he’s crazy. But—maybe all I have to do is be quiet.” So he stays quiet.
The fourth time, he throws the bucket in. Now the guy can’t stand it. And he goes, “Excuse me, sir. Don’t you see that this bucket is full of holes? This can’t hold a drop of water in it.”
And the Master said, “Listen, I had only asked you to observe, not to say a word. But you couldn’t. Your bucket is truly full of holes. You have come to me to learn, but how are you going to learn if you are so full of holes?”
Same thing—we have so many preconceived ideas about “who you are.” And I always say those three things now, “Know yourself; live your life consciously, and have your heart full of gratitude.” In knowing yourself, what do you understand? What do you see?
Do you see only your ideas? Or do you see a question mark, “I don’t know who I am”? Because for a lot of people it’s like, “Oh, yeah, I know who I am.” But who are you? Do you know it by definition—or do you know it by feeling? If you know it by definition, you don’t know yourself. If you know it by feeling, then you know yourself. Because knowing yourself is not a defined point; it is a feeling.
How does that feeling go? When you are in love with someone—and you see their face, is it a definition, “Oh, there goes my lover,” or is it a feeling? It’s a feeling.
Is love a definition or is love a feeling? When the mother sees her baby first thing in the morning, is it like, “Oh, there is my offspring.” Or is it a feeling?
Love is not a definition; love is a feeling. Knowing yourself is not a definition; it’s a feeling. And unless you have that feeling, you truly don’t know yourself.
So anyways, I hope you had a good laugh on that joke. If you didn’t, at least you have something to think about with the rest of what I said.
Know yourself; be well; be safe. Be. Thank you.