October 11, 2015

Experiencing The Joy Of Non-Attachment

Hakuin and the infant child

[source: Osho International]

Go on feeling something in you that is the same no matter what happens on the periphery. When someone is insulting you, focus yourself to the point where you are just listening to him--not doing anything, not reacting, just listening. He is insulting you. And then someone is praising you--just listen. Insult-praise, honor-dishonor, just listen. Your periphery will get disturbed. Look at that also, don't try to change it. Look at it; remain deep in your center, looking from there. You will have a detachment which is not forced, which is spontaneous, which is natural. And once you have the feeling of the natural detachment, nothing can disturb you.

In a village where the great Zen master Hakuin was living, a girl became pregnant. Her father bullied her for the name of her lover and, in the end, to escape punishment she told him it was Hakuin. The father said no more, but when the time came and the child was born, he at once took the baby to Hakuin and threw it down. "It seems that this is your child," he said, and he piled on every insult and sneer at the disgrace of the affair.

Hakuin only said, "Oh, is that so?" and took the baby in his arms. Wherever he went thereafter, he took the baby, wrapped in the sleeve of his ragged robe. During rainy days and stormy nights he would go out to beg milk from the neighboring houses. Many of his disciples, considering him fallen, turned against him and left. And Hakuin said not a word.

Meantime, the mother found she could not bear the agony of separation from her child. She confessed the name of the real father, and her own father rushed to Hakuin and prostrated himself, begging over and over for forgiveness. Hakuin said only, "Oh, is that so?" and gave him the child back.

For the ordinary man what others say matters too much, because he has nothing of his own. Whatever he thinks he is, is just a collection of opinions of other people. Somebody has said, "You are beautiful," somebody has said, "You are intelligent," and he has been collecting all these. Hence he's always afraid: he should not behave in such a way that he loses his reputation, respectability. He is always afraid of public opinion, what people will say, because all that he knows about himself is what people have said about him. If they take it back, they leave him naked. Then he does not know who he is, ugly, beautiful, intelligent, unintelligent. He has no idea, even vaguely, of his own being; he depends on others.

But the man of meditation has no need of others' opinions. He knows himself, so it does not matter what others say. Even if the whole world says something that goes against his own experience, he will simply laugh. At the most, that can be the only response. But he is not going to take any step to change people's opinion. Who are they? They don't know themselves and they are trying to label him. He will reject labeling. He will simply say, "Whatever I am, I am, and this is the way I am going to be."

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