Never Keep a cat in House

A great mystic was dying. He called his disciple, the chief disciple. The disciple rejoiced very much that the master was calling him. There was a great crowd and the mystic is calling only him; he must be giving some secret key that he has not given to anybody up to now. “This is the way he is choosing me as his successor!” He came close to the master.

The master said, “I have only one thing to tell you. I didn’t listen to my master—he had also told me when he was dying, but I was just a fool and I didn’t listen, and I didn’t even understand what he meant. But I am telling you from my own experience he is right, although it had looked very absurd when he said it to me.’

The disciple asked, “What is it? Please tell me. I will try to follow it word by word.”

The master said, “It is a very simple thing: Never, never in your life keep a cat in your house!” And before the disciple could have asked why, the master died!

Now he was at a loss—what a stupid kind of thing! Now whom to ask? He inquired of some old people in the village, “Is there any clue to this message? There must be something mysterious in this!”

One old man said, “Yes, I know, because his master—your master’s master—had also told him, ‘Never, never keep a cat in your house!’ but he didn’t listen. I know the whole story.”

The disciple said, “Please tell me so I can understand. What is the secret hidden behind it? I want it to be decoded for me so I can follow it.’

The old man laughed. He said, “It is a simple thing, it is not absurd. Your master’s master had given him a great message, but he never inquired, ‘What is the meaning of it?’ You are at least intelligent enough to inquire about it. He simply forgot about it.

Your master was young when the message was given; he used to live in the forest. He had only just two clothes with him; that was all he possessed. But there were big rats in the house and they would destroy his clothes, and again and again he would have to ask the villagers for new clothes.

“The villagers said, ‘Why don’t you keep a cat? You just keep a cat and the cat will eat the rats and there will be no problem. Otherwise—we are poor people—how can we go on supplying you with new clothes every month?’

“It was so logical that he asked somebody for a cat. He got a cat, but then the problems started. The cat certainly saved his clothes, but the cat needed milk because once the rats were finished the cat was starving. The poor man could not meditate because the cat was always there, crying, weeping, going round and round and round him.

“He went to the villagers and they said, ‘This is a difficult thing—now we will have to supply milk for you. We can give you a cow. You be finished, you keep the cow. You can drink, and your cat can also survive. That way you need not come every day for your food either.’ “The idea was perfectly right. He took the cow now the world started.

That’s how the world starts. The cow needed grass, and the people said, ‘We will come in the coming holidays and we will clear the forest, prepare the ground. You start growing a little wheat, other things, and leave a part for the grass.’ “And the villagers came according to their promise. They cleared the forest, they cleaned the soil, they planted wheat. But now it was such a problem: You have to water.. And the whole day the poor man was engaged in looking after the field. No time to meditate, no time to read the scriptures! “He again went to the villagers. He said, ‘I am getting deeper and deeper into difficulties. Now the question is, when to meditate—no time is left.’

They said, ‘You wait. One woman has just become a widow, and she is young and we are afraid that she will tempt the young people in the town. You please take her with you.. And she is healthy enough—she will take care of your field, the cow, the cat, and she will prepare food for you, and she is very religious, too. So don’t be worried, she will not disturb you.’

“That’s how things move to their logical conclusion. Now from the cat, how far the man had moved! “And the woman came and she started looking after him, and he was very happy for a few days. And she would massage his feet
and slowly, slowly, what was going to happen happened: They got married. And when you get married in India, at least
one dozen children—one dozen is the minimum! So all meditation, all sannyas, disappeared.

“He remembered only when he was dying. He remembered again that when HIS master was dying he had told him, ‘Beware of the cats.’ That’s why he has told you. Now you be aware of the cats! Just one step in the wrong direction and you have to go the wrong way; and your mind is with you wherever you go.”

Kabir the weaver

Kabir was a weaver. He continued his work his whole life. even after his enlightenment he was still weaving; he loved it!

Many times his disciples asked him, prayed to him with tears in their eyes: “You need not work anymore we are here to take care of you! So many disciples, why go on in your old age spinning, weaving?”

Kabir would say, “But do you know for whom I am weaving, for whom I am spinning? For God!—because everyone is now a god to me. It is my way of prayer.”

Buddha and Distress

Once a man came to Buddha and asked, “The world is in such a distress, people are in so much misery—how can you manage to sit silently and so joyously?”

Buddha said, “If somebody is suffering from fever, has the doctor also to lie down by his side and suffer? Has the doctor out of compassion to get the infection and lie down by the side of the patient and be feverish? Is that going to help the patient? In fact, whereas there was only one person ill, now there are two persons ill—the world is doubly ill! The doctor need not be ill to help the patient; the doctor has to be healthy to help the patient. The healthier he is, the better; the healthier he is, the more help is possible through him.”

P. D. Ouspensky and Death

One of the great disciples of Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, was dying. The doctors told him to rest but he would not—instead he continued walking the whole night. They thought he had gone crazy. He was dying, his energy was disappearing what was he doing? This was the time to rest; he would die sooner if he went on walking. But he would not stop.

Somebody asked, “What are you doing?”

He said, “I would like to die alert, awake. I don’t want to die asleep otherwise I will miss the beauty of death.” And he died walking.

Henry Ford and Opportunities

Somebody asked Henry Ford—because he had given a statement: “My success is through nothing but catching the right opportunity at the right moment.

People either think of opportunities that are in the future, you cannot catch hold of them, or they think of opportunities that have passed. When they are gone and only dust is left on the road, then they become aware that the opportunity has passed.”

Somebody asked, “But if you don’t think of an opportunity in the future and you don’t think of an opportunity that has passed, how suddenly can you get hold of it when it comes? You have to be ready.”
 
He said, “Not ready—you have to be just jumping. One never knows when it comes. When it comes, just jump upon it!”
 
What Henry Ford said has tremendous meaning. He said, “You simply keep on jumping. You don’t wait; don’t bother whether an opportunity is there or not: Just go on jumping. One never knows when it comes. When it comes, jump upon it and be done. If you go on looking into the future, wondering when the opportunity is coming … The future is unpredictable. If you wait, thinking ‘When it comes I will catch hold of it,’ by the time you become aware that it is there, it is gone. Time is fleeting, so fast, only dust will be there.
 
“Rather,” he said, “forget about opportunities, simply learn jumping, so whenever it comes .. .”

What is Meditation? (Three Friend and Buddhist Monk)

Three men went for a morning walk. They saw a Buddhist monk standing on the hill, and having nothing to do they just started discussing what that fellow was doing.

One said, “As far as I can see from here, he is expecting somebody and waiting for him. Perhaps a friend is left behind and he is waiting, expecting him.”

The second man said, “Looking at him I cannot agree with you, because when somebody is waiting for a friend who is left behind, once in a while he will look back to see whether he has come yet or not, and how long he will have to wait. But this man never looks back, he is just standing there. I don’t think he is expecting anybody. My feeling is that these Buddhist monks have cows.” In India they have a cow for milk for the morning tea; otherwise you have to go to beg for an early morning cup of tea.

The second man said, “My feeling is that his cow is lost some- where, must have gone to graze, and he is just searching for the cow.’

The third man said, “I cannot agree, because when somebody searches for a cow he need not just stand like a statue. You have to move around, you have to go and look from this side and that side. He does not even move his face from side to side. What to say about his face—even his eyes are half-closed.”

They were coming closer to the man, so they could see him more clearly. Then the third man said, “I don’t think you are right; I think he is meditating. But how are we to decide who is right?”

They said, “There is no problem. We are Just coming close to him, we can ask him.”

The first man asked the monk, “Are you expecting a friend who is left behind, waiting for him?”

The Buddhist monk opened his eyes and said, “Expecting? I never expect anything. Expecting anything is against my religion.”

The man said, “My God! Forget expecting; just tell me—are you waiting?

He said, “My religion teaches that you cannot be certain even of the next second. How can I wait? Where is the time to wait? I am not waiting.’

The man said, “Forget expecting, waiting—I don’t know your language. Just tell me, have you left some friend behind?”
He said, “Again the same thing. I don’t have any friends in the world, and I don’t have any enemies in the world—because they both come together. You cannot sort out one and leave the other. Can’t you see that I am a Buddhist monk? I don’t have any enemy, I don’t have any friend. Please get lost, don’t disturb me.”

The second man thought, “Now there is hope for me.” He said, “This I had told him already, that ‘You are talking nonsense. He is not waiting, not expecting—he is a Buddhist monk; he has no friends, no enemies.’ You are right. My feeling is that your cow is lost.”

The monk said, “You are even more stupid than the first man. My cow? A Buddhist monk possesses nothing. And why should I look for somebody else’s cow? I don’t possess any cow.” The man looked really embarrassed, what to do?

The third man thought, “Now, the only possibility is what I have said.” He said, “I can see that you are meditating.”
The monk said, “Nonsense! Meditation is not some activity. One does not meditate, one is meditation. To tell you the truth, so that all you fellows don’t get confused, I am simply doing nothing. Standing here, doing nothing—is it objectionable?” They said, “No, it is not objectionable, it just does not make sense to us standing here, doing nothing.”

“But,” he said, “this is what meditation is.” Sitting and doing nothing not with your body, not with your mind. Once you start doing something either you go into contemplation or you go into concentration, or you go into action, but you move away from your center. When you are not doing anything at all—bodily, mentally, on no level—when all activity has ceased and you simply are, just being, that’s what meditation is. You cannot do it, you cannot practice it; you have only to understand it.

Whenever you can find time for just being, drop all doing.

Thinking is also doing, concentration is also doing, contemplation is also doing. Even if for a single moment you are not doing