Zen lives in the present. The Whole teaching is: how to be in the present; how to get out of the past which is no more and how not to get involved in the future which is not yet, and just to be rooted, centered, in that which is.
For Zen, man is the goal; man is the end unto himself. God is not something above humanity, God is something hidden within humanity. Man is carrying God in himself as a potentiality.
Man has lost one quality, the quality of zestfulness. And without zest, what is life? Just waiting for death? It can't be anything else.
Sex has become more and more attractive because of its condemnation by priests.
Every moment there is a possibility to be total. Whatsoever you are doing, be absorbed in it so utterly that the mind thinks nothing, is just there, is just a presence. And more and more totality will be coming. And the taste of totality will make you more and more capable of being total. And try to see when you are not total. Those are the moments which have to be dropped slowly, slowly. When you are not total, whenever you are in the head--thinking, brooding, calculating, cunning, clever--you are not total. Slowly, slowly slip out of those moments. It is just an old habit. Habits die hard. But they die certainly--if one persists, they die.
If you can become a mirror you have become a meditator. Meditation is nothing but skill in mirroring. And now, no word moves inside you so there is no distraction.
You become that which you think you are. Or, it is not that you become it, but that the idea gets very deeply rooted - and that's what all conditioning is.
You can enter yoga, or the path of yoga, only when you are totally frustrated with your own mind as it is. If you are still hoping that you can gain something through your mind, yoga is not for you.
Zen is not a philosophy, it is poetry. It does not propose, it simply persuades. It does not argue, it simply sings its own song.
First meditate, be blissful, then much love will happen of its own accord. Then being with others is beautiful and being alone is also beautiful. Then it is simple, too. You dont depend on others and you dont make others dependent on you. Then it is always a friendship, a friendliness. It never becomes a relationship, it is always a relatedness. You relate, but you dont create a marriage. Marriage is out of fear, relatedness is out of love. You relate; as long as things are moving beautifully, you share. And if you see that the moment has come to depart because your paths separate at this crossroad, you say good-bye with great gratitude for all that the other has been to you, for all the joys and all the pleasures and all the beautiful moments that you have shared with the other. With no misery, with no pain, you simply separate.
The child can become conscious only if in his past life he has meditated enough, has created enough meditative energy to fight with the darkness that death brings. One simply is lost in an oblivion and then suddenly finds a new womb and forgets completely about the old body. There is a discontinuity. This darkness, this unconsciousness creates the discontinuity. The East has been working hard to penetrate these barriers. And ten thousand years' work has not been in vain. Everybody can penetrate to the past life, or many past lives. But for that you have to go deeper into your meditation, for two reasons: unless you go deeper, you cannot find the door to another life; secondly, you have to be deeper in meditation because if you find the door of another life, a flood of events will come into the mind. It is hard enough even to carry one life....
What meditation does slowly, slowly, a good shout of the master, unexpectedly, in the situation where the disciple was asking some question, and the master jumps and shouts, or hits him, or throws him out of the door, or jumps over him.... These methods were never known. It was purely the very creative genius of Ma Tzu, and he made many people enlightened. Sometimes it looks so hilarious: he threw a man from the window, from a two-storey house, and the man had come to ask on what to meditate. And Ma Tzu not only threw him, he jumped after him, fell on him, sat on his chest, and he said, "Got it?!" And the poor fellow said, "Yes" - because if you say "No," he may beat you or do something else! It is enough - his body is fractured, and Ma Tzu, sitting on his chest, says, "Got it?!" And in fact he got it, because it was so sudden, out of the blue - he could never have conceived it.
One has to reach to the absolute state of awareness: that is Zen. You cannot do it every morning for a few minutes or for half an hour and then forget all about it. It has to become like your heartbeat. You have to sit in it, you have to walk in it. Yes, you have even to sleep in it.
Zen says: be empty. Look without any idea. Look into the nature of things but with no idea, with no prejudice, with no presupposition.
Zen says everything is divine so how can anything be special? All is special. Nothing is non-special so nothing can be special.