It Is Difficult To Stay In The Middle
The most difficult thing, the almost impossible thing for the mind, is to remain in the middle, to remain balanced. And to move from one thing to its opposite is the easiest. To move from one polarity to another is the nature of the mind.
If you are balanced, mind disappears. Mind is like a disease: when you are imbalanced it is there, when you are balanced, it is not there. That is why it is easy for a person who overeats to go on a fast. It looks illogical, because we think that a person who is obsessed with food cannot go on a fast.
But you are wrong. Only a person who is obsessed with food can fast, because fasting is the same obsession in the opposite direction. You are not really changing yourself. You are still obsessed with food. Before you were overeating; now you are hungry — but the mind remains focused on food from the opposite extreme.
A man who has been overindulging in sex can become a celibate very easily. There is no problem. But it is difficult for the mind to come to the right diet, difficult for the mind to stay in the middle. It is just like a clock’s pendulum. The pendulum goes to the right, then it moves to the left, then again to the right, and again to the left; the clock’s working depends on this movement.
If the pendulum stays in the middle, the clock stops. And when the pendulum moves to the right, you think it is only going to the right, but at the same time it is gathering momentum to go to the left. The more it moves to the right, the more energy it gathers to move to the left, and vice versa.
Thinking means momentum. The mind starts arranging for the opposite. When you love a person you are gathering momentum to hate him. That’s why only friends can become enemies. You cannot suddenly become an enemy unless you have first become a friend. Only lovers can quarrel and fight, because unless you love, how can you hate? Unless you have moved far to the extreme left, how can you move to the right?
Modern research says that so-called love is a relationship of intimate enmity. Your wife is your intimate enemy, your husband is your intimate enemy — both intimate and inimical. They appear opposites, illogical, because we wonder how one who is intimate can be the enemy; one who is a friend, how can he also be the foe?
Logic is superficial, life goes deeper, and in life all opposites are joined together, they exist together. Remember this, because then meditation becomes balancing.
Buddha taught eight disciplines, and with each discipline he used the word right. He said: Right effort, because it is very easy to move from action to inaction, from waking to sleep, but to remain in the middle is difficult.
When Buddha used the word right he was saying: Don’t move to the opposite, just stay in the middle. Right food — he never said to fast. Don’t indulge in too much eating and don’t indulge in fasting. He said: Right food. Right food means standing in the middle.
When you are standing in the middle you are not gathering any momentum. And this is the beauty of it — a man who is not gathering any momentum to move anywhere, can be at ease with himself, can be at home.