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Nyogen Senzaki

Nyogen Senzaki


Paul Reps

Paul Reps

Osho - Rather than Senzaki and Paul Reps, listen to your own heart

Question - On commenting on ten zen bulls, nyogen senzaki and paul reps write in the book, `zen flesh, zen bones,' "may the reader, like the chinese patriarch, discover the footprints of his potential self, and carrying the staff of his purpose and the wine jug of his true desire, frequent the marketplace and there enlighten others." Beloved osho, what is the purpose and true desire they are indicating? Their comment seems to be contradictory to your explanation.

Osho - I don't know what Nyogen Senzaki's and Paul Reps' inner meaning is, because their hearts are not available to me. I have also read their words and wondered that without explanation they are using words which are meaningless in themselves.
What purpose? Life has no purpose. The very use of the word `purpose' shows that both these people, Senzaki and Paul Reps, have not understood the meaning of Zen.

Zen is rejoicing in purposelessness. What purpose is in a flower? What purpose is in the sun rising? For what purpose are you here? There seems to be no purpose to me.

I have looked deep enough in every corner of my being -- there seems to be no purpose at all, and I consider it a great freedom. If there were a purpose, then you would be in bondage, then there would be a destiny you have to fulfill. Then you could be a failure.
Every purpose creates failures and successes. But if there is no purpose, nobody is a failure. Wherever you end up, that is the place you were destined to end. Wherever your boat leads you, and wherever the river moves, that is the direction. If you have any direction, you are going to be in conflict with many directions.

Don't have any direction, and don't have any desire. That does not mean repress desire. That simply means, rejoice in every desire, rejoice in every moment. Whatever is available, whatever has come across your path, love, be friendly.

Don't make any demands on existence, otherwise you will be in suffering. All those who live in misery, live in misery for the simple reason they are thinking that a certain purpose has to be fulfilled, a certain success has to be achieved, a certain ambition. And when it is not achieved -- and there are more possibilities of not achieving it -- you will be in misery. And even if you achieve it, it makes no difference, you will be in misery. You will be in misery because when you achieve it you will find nothing is achieved.

You have become the world's richest man, and suddenly you find you are surrounded by all kinds of junk. You cannot live if you are trying to be richer. You will be richer if you live.

Live each moment in as much intensity as possible, and you will be richer. But if you are living for riches, then it is always tomorrow, the day after tomorrow... and you are wasting all these valuable moments, you are becoming poorer every moment.

You are forgetting the language of living the present, and that is the only poverty.
I know of no other richness than to live each moment without bothering about the past which is no more, and without desiring of the future which is not yet. Live it! When it will come you will be able to live it too. You will be more efficient in living tomorrow if you are intensely living life today.

So I don't know what Paul Reps and Senzaki mean by "purpose." As far as Zen is concerned, there is no purpose. And I don't know what they mean by "the wine jug of his true desire."

Zen knows about the wine, but it is not of desire, it is of a silence.
It is of a desireless deepening of your life.
It is a silent song without sounds.
It is a music without instruments.
It is pure being.

At such a moment where being and non-being become equivalent, their presence and absence are synonymous. You are so present that you are almost absent, or the other way round -- you are so absent that you are totally present.

Rather than Senzaki and Paul Reps, listen to your own heart. When you are no more, you are. When you are no more, you are the whole vastness of existence. When there is no desire, you are fulfilled. It is not that any desire has to be fulfilled. When there is no desire, when you have learned the art of remaining in a non-desiring moment, you are fulfilled.

When you are not doing anything, your action is perfect. Only non-doing can be perfect. Any doing is bound to be imperfect. No man is capable of doing anything perfectly. Perfection is of the imagination.

Life consists of all kinds of imperfections. You have to love the imperfect, and you have to respect the imperfect -- not only in others, but in yourself too. What Paul Reps and Senzaki are thinking of -- the wine of desire -- has nothing to do with Zen. Zen knows about one wine, and you have all tasted it. It is the wine that comes through the silent, meditative ecstasy of your being. It has nothing to do with desire. It has nothing to do with purpose.

Every day, whenever you reach to the point of your innermost being where everything is silent, where you cannot even say you are, a pure isness, unbounded, a tremendous drunkenness arises. I have called it divine drunkenness. That is the only wine I am acquainted with. And I don't think either Paul Reps or Senzaki understand the essence of Zen, otherwise they would not have used such wrong words.

Source - Osho Book "The Zen Manifesto : Freedom From Oneself"

Related Osho Discourses on Zen:
Why is Zen Paradoxical
Osho on Ten Bulls of Zen
What is the Zen Approach towards Sex?

Osho on Zen Swordsmanship as a Meditation method
Beloved Osho, How does the Man of Zen take his Tea?
Zen Koans are for meditation to help you to go beyond mind
Zen is a very creative experience; it is not like other religions
Osho on Zen Master Yoka Saying "Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen"
Osho on Zen paintings - Watching a Zen painting you will feel uplifted
Osho on Kakuan Ten Bulls of Zen Paintings, Story of Zen Ten Bulls Paintings
Osho on Zen Master Ekido - Ekido's tradition is one of the most significant traditions in Japan

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