YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO OTHERS UP TO AN EXTENT, and then you have to start listening to yourself....
And the whole of your life, YOU HAVE TO FIND FEW SPACES IN YOUR LIFE, few moments like oases in deserts, where you simply close your eyes and go beyond society; move into yourself, in your own womb -- THIS IS WHAT MEDITATION IS....
I will tell you one story....
This is a Sufi story: An old man and a young man are traveling with a donkey. They have reached near a town; they both are WALKING WITH THEIR DONKEY.
School children passed them, and they giggled and they laughed and they said, "LOOK AT THESE FOOLS: they have a healthy donkey with them and they are walking. At least the old man can sit on the donkey."
Listening to those children, the old man and the young man decided, "What to do? -- because people are laughing, and soon we will be entering the town... so it is better to follow what they are saying." SO THE OLD MAN SAT ON THE DONKEY and the young man followed.
Then they came near another group of people, and they looked at them and said, "Look! -- the old man is sitting on the donkey and the poor boy is walking. This is absurd! The old man can walk, but the boy should be allowed to sit on the donkey." So they changed: THE OLD MAN STARTED WALKING AND THE BOY WAS ALLOWED TO SIT.
Then another group came and said, "Look at these fools. And this boy seems to be too arrogant. Maybe the old man is his father or his teacher and he is walking, and the boy is sitting on the donkey -- this is against all rules!"
So what to do? They both decided that now there is only one possibility: that they both should sit on the donkey; SO THEY BOTH SAT ON THE DONKEY.
So they again discussed, and then there was the river and the bridge. They had now almost reached the boundary of the town, so they thought: "It is better to behave as people think in this town, otherwise they will think we are fools."
So they found a bamboo; on their shoulders they put the bamboo and hung the donkey by his legs, tied it in the bamboo and carried him.
The donkey tried to rebel -- as donkeys are they cannot be forced very easily. He tried to escape because he is not a believer in society and what others are saying. But the two men were too much and they forced him, so the donkey had to yield.
Just on the bridge in the middle, a crowd passed and they all gathered and they said, "Look at these fools! We have never seen such idiots -- a donkey is to ride upon, not to carry on your shoulders. Have you gone mad?"
Listening to them -- and a great crowd gathered -- the donkey became restless... so restless that he jumped and fell from the bridge down into the river and died. Both men came down -- the donkey was dead. They sat by the side, and the old man said, "Now listen..."
This is not an ordinary story -- the old man was a Sufi master, an enlightened person, and the young man was a disciple. And the old master was trying to give him a lesson -- because Sufis always create situations; they say unless the situation is there, you cannot learn deeply. So this was just a situation for the young man. Now the old man said, "Look: just like this donkey, YOU WILL BE DEAD IF YOU LISTEN TO PEOPLE TOO MUCH. Don't bother what others say -- because there are millions of others and they have their own minds and everybody will say something; everybody has his opinion. And if you listen to opinions this will be your end."
DON'T LISTEN TO ANYBODY, YOU REMAIN YOURSELF. Just bypass them, be indifferent. If you go on listening to everybody, everybody will be prodding you to this way or that -- you will never be able to reach to your innermost center.
EVERYBODY HAS BECOME ECCENTRIC. This English word is very beautiful: it means off center, and we use it for the mad people. But everybody is eccentric, off the center. And the whole world is helping you to be eccentric -- because everybody is prodding you. Your mother prodding you towards north, your father towards south, your uncle is doing something else, your brother something else, your wife, of course, something else -- and everybody is trying to force you somewhere. By and by, a moment comes when you are nowhere. You remain just on the crossroads being pushed from north to south, from south to east, from east to west, moving nowhere. By and by, this becomes your total situation -- you become eccentric. This is the situation.
AND IF YOU GO ON LISTENING TO OTHERS and not listening to your inner center, this situation will continue.
All meditation is to become centered, not to be eccentric -- to come to your own center.
LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE. Feel it, and move with that feeling. By and by, you can laugh at others' opinions, or you can be simply indifferent. And once you become centered, you become a powerful being; then nobody can prod you, then nobody can push you anywhere -- simply, nobody dares.
YOU ARE SUCH A POWER, CENTERED IN YOURSELF, that anybody who comes with an opinion, simply forgets his opinion near you; anybody who comes to push you somewhere, simply forgets that he had come to push. Rather, just coming near you, he starts feeling overpowered by you.
THAT'S HOW EVEN A SINGLE MAN CAN BECOME SO POWERFUL that the whole society, the whole history, cannot push him a single inch. That's how a Buddha exists, a Jesus exists. You can kill a Jesus, but you cannot push him. You can destroy his body, but you cannot push him a single inch.
Not that he is adamant or stubborn, no. HE IS SIMPLY CENTERED IN HIS OWN BEING. And he knows what is good for him, and he knows what is blissful for him. It has already happened; now you cannot allure him towards new goals. No salesmanship can allure him to any other goal -- he has found his home. He can listen to you patiently, but you cannot move him -- he is centered.
Tantra: The Supreme Understanding
Ch #10: The Supreme Understanding
am in Buddha Hall