Meditation in Yoga and Zen



A man used to complain to his teacher that he couldn’t meditate. ‘I can’t hold my thought on it for long -I start thinking what we will be having for breakfast, or some argument we’ve had in the family, or whether I shall be transferred at work.’

One day the teacher suddenly blazed up and shouted, Tm the fool, to have taken on a fool like you at all! I’m going to finish with you – why should I go on? Come back tomorrow, and unless you can give me one good reason why I should still see you, you can take your things and go.’

The pupil tried to stammer an apology, but the teacher cut him short and physically pushed him out.

That night he could not sleep: he was wondering what he could do to get the teacher to keep him on. Next day he brought a present for him, and timidly gave it to the attendant, who then announced his name.

The teacher came out quickly and said, ‘Come in and sit down. How have you been?.

He answered, ‘I could not sleep for thinking how I could appeal to you – please keep me on. I can’t give any reason, but please keep me as your pupil.’

‘You couldn’t sleep for thinking about it? That’s good.

That’s what you needed,’ the teacher told him.

‘When you have trouble with your mind, think back to that, and meditate with the same earnestness.

You’ve learnt what it means to meditate.’


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