BENGALURU: The single tree on the wide green lawn was the centre of the little world which included the woods, the house and the small lake; the whole surrounding area seemed to flow towards the tree, which was high and spreading. It must have been very old, but there was a freshness about it, as though it had just come into being; there were hardly any dead branches, and its leaves were spotless, glistening in the morning sun. Because it was alone, all things seemed to come to it. Deer and pheasants, rabbits and cattle congregated in its shade, especially at midday. The symmetrical beauty of that tree gave a shape to the sky, and in the early morning light the tree appeared to be the only thing that was living. From the woods, the tree seemed far away; but from the tree, the woods, the house and even the sky seemed close – one often felt one could touch the passing clouds.
We had been seated under the tree for some time, when he came to join us. He was seriously interested in meditation, and said that he had practiced it for many years. He did not belong to any particular school of thought, and though he had read many of the Christian mystics, he was more attracted to the meditations and disciplines of the Hindu and Buddhist saints. He had realized early, he continued, the immaturity of asceticism, with its peculiar fascination and cultivation of power through abstinence, and he had from the beginning avoided all extremes. He had, however, practised discipline, an unvarying self-control, and was determined to realize that which lay through and beyond meditation. He had led what was considered to be a strict moral life, but that was only a minor incident, nor was he attracted to the ways of the world. He had once played with worldly things, but the play was over some years ago. He had a job of sorts, but that too was quite incidental.
The end of meditation is meditation itself. The search for something through and beyond meditation is end-gaining; and that which is gained is again lost. Seeking a result is the continuation of self-projection; result, however lofty, is the projection of desire. Meditation as a means to arrive, to gain, to discover, only gives strength to the meditator. The meditator is the meditation; meditation is the understanding of the meditator.
Meditation is freeing the mind of its own thoughts at all levels. Thought creates the thinker. The thinker is not separate from thought; they are a unitary process, and not two separate processes. The separate processes only lead to ignorance and illusion. The meditator is the meditation. Then the mind is alone, not made alone; it is silent, not made silent. Only to the alone can the causeless come, only to the alone is there bliss.