The only miracle, the impossible miracle, is to be just ordinary.
The longing of the mind is to be extraordinary. The ego thirsts and hungers for the recognition that you are somebody. Somebody achieves that dream through wealth, somebody else achieves that dream through power, politics, somebody else can achieve that dream through miracles, jugglery, but the dream remains the same: I cannot tolerate being nobody.
And this is a miracle -- when you accept your nobodiness, when you are just as ordinary as anybody else, when you don't ask for any recognition, when you can exist as if you are not existing. To be absent is the miracle.
This story is beautiful, one of the most beautiful Zen anecdotes, and Bankei is one of the superb masters. But Bankei was an ordinary man.
Once it happened that Bankei was working in his garden. Somebody came, a seeker, a man in search of a master, and he asked Bankei, "Gardener, where is the master?"
Bankei laughed and said, "Wait. Come from that door, inside you will find the master."
So the man went round and came inside. He saw Bankei sitting on a throne, the same man who was the gardener outside. The seeker said, "Are you kidding? Get down from this throne. This is sacrilegious, you don't pay any respect to the master."
Bankei got down, sat on the ground, and said, "Now then, it is difficult. Now you will not find the master here because I am the master."
It was difficult for that man to see that a great master could work in the garden, could be just ordinary. He left. He couldn't believe that this man was the master; he missed.
We are all in search of the extraordinary. But why are you in search of the extraordinary? It is because you also long to be extraordinary. With an ordinary master, how can you become extraordinary, exceptional?
Bankei was talking, lecturing, and one man stood and asked about miracles. He belonged to some other sect, a sect which worked through mantras, holy names. Remember that a mantra is a secret technique to achieve more power. A mantra is not spiritual, it is political, but the politics are of the inner space, not of the outer.
The mind can become powerful if you narrow it down; narrowing is the method. The more narrow the mind, the more powerful it becomes. It is just like the sun's rays falling to the ground. If you focus those waves, those rays, through a lens, fire can be created. Those rays were falling all spread out but now they have been narrowed down through the lens. They have become one-pointed, concentrated; now fire is possible.