Monday, April 12, 2010

“I take my hat off to you.”

by Krishna Prem (Mike ‘the bike’ Mogul) 

I have known Axel for more than ten years now. I love being in his company and consider him a best friend… so you can imagine my surprise when he said to me with a light face, “I want to buy you lunch today because I now consider you my friend.” 

In Holland, being a friend is a big deal. For me, as a casual light-weight American, I was once passing a train in the opposite direction in the middle of the night, when a bolt of lightning hit the tracks, lighting up the evening sky. My eyes locked with the whites of a perfect stranger in the passing compartment… he will always be a friend to me. 

Axel drove his car to meet me at the appointed restaurant. I bicycled. If you know Amsterdam, needless to say, I arrived first and on time. I was seated at my table, enjoying my newspaper, when my attention was constantly being torn away by the waiter. I politely asked him to give me space until my friend arrived, at which time, I will need his service. He inferred that it was his job to be my waiter. After constantly annoying me with his attentiveness, I asked him “What are you going to do tonight?” He lit up. He said he was going to see his one-year old son. I asked him if he was going to behave like a waiter or like a father to his son?. He paused dead in his tracks. 

Too often we take our work home with us. In his case, my feeling is that he will wait on his son hand and foot.  I suggested to him that when he gets home tonight, he takes a moment and observe for that instance when he takes his waiter’s hat off and when he puts his father’s hat on. 

He was duly unimpressed. His look suggested that he wanted to act like my daddy and give and old fashioned slap. I picked up his thought in mid mind and said, “There is a moment between when you take off your waiter’s hat and put on your father’s hat when you are wearing no hat at all… when you are naked of all you personalities… naked came not the stranger…  naked came the real you… for once in your life… and from now on.” 

In fact, we are so rushed in today’s world that we simply put one hat on top of another hat, piling one of our personalities on top of another. Take a moment, take a breath, rest in yourself… and then put on the hat of the moment. Anyway, it’s too cold in Amsterdam to be naked all the time. 

My waiter waited for a second, got it and smiled a smile of understanding. Axel arrived on cue. I smiled and ordered two glasses of white wine for us… from my new friend.

Ps… Osho used a more subtle word for hats… what I call hats, Osho calls ‘interludes’… “Meditate more, and in the interludes, in the gaps, in the intervals, when one thought has gone and another has not come in, you will have the first glimpses of satori, samadhi.

This word 'interlude' is very beautiful. It comes from two Latin words: 'inter' and 'ludus'. Ludus means games, play, and inter means between. Interlude means between the games. You are playing the game of a husband or a wife; then you play the game of a father or a mother. Then you go to the office and you play the game of being a banker, a businessman -- a thousand and one games you play, twenty-four hours. Between two games, interludes.

Go into yourself. For a few moments every day, whenever you can get an opportunity, drop all games, just be yourself -- neither a father, nor a mother, nor a son, nor a banker, nor a servant: nobody. These are all games. Find out the interludes. Between two games, relax in, sink in, drown into your own being -- and there is the answer.

I can show you the way to drown in interludes, but I cannot give you the answer. The answer will come to you.” Osho

All Osho quotes copyright Osho International Foundation