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[NOTE: This is an unedited tape transcript of an unpublished darshan diary, which has been scanned and cleaned up. It is for reference purposes only.]

The only way to know god, to feel god, is meditation. Meditation means a state of consciousness when all thoughts have been dropped.

The Zen masters call the state of meditation the season of autumn, when all the leaves fall and the trees are standing bare, naked. When consciousness drops all thoughts it is like a tree without leaves, without foliage, exposed to the wind, to the moon, to the sun, to the rain uncovered, unhidden. In that exposure there is communion with god. That communion is love. In that communion one becomes a beloved of god.

There is a very famous Zen koan. A monk asked a great master, Ummon, "What will happen when the leaves fall and the trees become bare?" Zen people always ask questions indirectly because life is such a mystery, you have to be delicate about it, you cannot ask directly... To be direct appears to be aggressive and violent; hence Zen has created beautiful metaphors. Now this is a metaphor: the monk is asking "What happens when meditation happens?", but not so directly. He is asking in a more poetic way; not so mathematically, but more metaphorically.

He says, "What will happen when the leaves fall and the trees become bare?" Ummon simply said, "The golden wind." This is the whole story, but all has been asked and all has been said; nothing more is needed. The monk bowed down, touched the feet of the master and thanked him for his great insight and compassion.

In autumn the breeze is very cool, very fresh, very rejuvenating, and when all the leaves have fallen and are fluttering, all those yellow leaves create a golden atmosphere. They make even the wind golden! Although the wind remains uncolored, you can feel the song of the leaves, the dance of the leaves, the joy of the leaves, and you can see the wind enjoying the whole dance.

Once a Zen master was teaching the art of gardening to the king of Japan. After three years of teaching he said, "Now I will come and see your garden -- that will be the examination of what you have done in these

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