Breath - a bridge to the Universe
Meditation: Be aware when breathing stops
Sutra (Technique): Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped of itself, or all in (down) and stopped - in such universal pause, one’s small self vanishes.
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Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped of itself, or all in (down) and stopped -- in such universal pause, one's small self vanishes. This is difficult only for the impure.
But then it is difficult for everyone because, he says, this is difficult only for the impure. But who is the pure one? It is difficult for you; you cannot practice it. But you can feel it sometimes suddenly. You are driving a car and suddenly you feel there is going to be an accident. Breathing will stop. If it is out, it will remain out. If it is in, it will remain in. You cannot breathe in such an emergency; you cannot afford it. Everything stops, departs.
Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped of itself, or all in (down) and stopped -- in such universal pause, one's small self vanishes: Your small self is only a daily utility. In emergencies you cannot remember it. Who you are -- the name, the bank balance, the prestige, everything -- just evaporates. Your car is just heading toward another car; another moment and there will be death. In this moment there will be a pause. Even for the impure there will be a pause. Suddenly breathing stops. If you can be aware in that moment, you can reach the goal.
Zen monks have tried this method very much in Japan. That is why their methods seem very weird, absurd, strange. They have done many inconceivable things. A master will throw someone out of the house. Suddenly the master will begin slapping the disciple without any rhyme or reason, without any cause.
You were sitting with your master and everything was okay. You were just chit-chatting, and he will begin to beat you in order to create the pause. If there is any cause the pause cannot be created. If you had abused the master and he starts beating you there is a causality, your mind understands: "I abused him, and he is beating me."
Really, your mind was expecting it already, so there is no gap. But remember, a Zen master will not beat you if you abuse him, he will laugh, because then laughter can create the pause. You were abusing him and you were saying nonsense things to him, and you expected anger. But he starts laughing or dancing. That is sudden; that will create the pause. You cannot understand it. If you cannot understand the mind stops, and when the mind stops, breathing stops. Either way -- if breathing stops, mind stops; if mind stops, breathing stops.
You were appreciating the master and you were feeling good, and you were thinking, "Now the master must be pleased." And suddenly he takes his staff and begins to beat you -- and mercilessly, because Zen masters are merciless. He begins to beat you; you cannot understand what is happening. The mind stops, there is a pause. If you know the technique, you can attain to your self.
There are many stories that someone attained buddhahood because the teacher suddenly started beating him. You cannot understand it -- what nonsense! How can one attain buddhahood by being beaten by someone, or by being thrown out of the window by someone? Even if someone kills you, you cannot attain buddhahood. But if you understand this technique, then it becomes easy to understand.
In the West particularly, in the last thirty or forty years Zen has become very much prevalent -- a fashion. But unless they know this technique, they cannot understand Zen. They can imitate it, but imitation is of no use. Rather, it is dangerous. These are not things to be imitated.
The whole Zen technique is based on the fourth technique of Shiva. But this is unfortunate. Now we will have to import Zen from Japan because we have lost the whole tradition; we do not know it. Shiva was the expert par excellence of this method. When he came to marry Devi with his barat, his procession, the whole city must have felt the pause... the whole city!
Devi's father was not willing to marry his girl to this "hippie" -- Shiva was the original hippie. Devi's father was totally against him, and no father would permit this marriage. So we cannot say anything against Devi's father. No father would permit his daughter's marriage to Shiva. But Devi insisted so he had to agree -- unwillingly, unhappily, but he agreed.
Then came the marriage procession. It is said that people began to run, seeing Shiva and his procession. The whole barat must have taken LSD, marijuana. They were "high." And really, LSD and marijuana are just the beginning. Shiva knew and his friends and disciples knew the ultimate psychedelic -- soma rasa. Aldous Huxley has named the ultimate psychedelic "soma" only because of Shiva. They were high, just dancing, screaming, laughing. The whole city fled. It must have felt the pause.
Any sudden, unexpected, unbelievable thing can create the pause for the impure. But for the pure there is no need of such things. For the pure, the pause is always there. Many times, for pure minds, breathing stops. If your mind is pure -- pure means you are not desiring, hankering, seeking anything -- silently pure, innocently pure, you can be sitting and suddenly your breath will stop.
Remember this: mind movement needs breath movement. Mind moving fast needs fast movement in breath. That is why when you are in anger, breath will move fast. In the sex act, the breath will move very fast. That is why in Ayurveda- a system of herbal medicine in India- it is said that your life will be shortened if too much sex is allowed. Your life will he shortened, according to Ayurveda, because Ayurveda measures your life in breaths. If your breathing is too fast, your life will be shortened.
Modern medicine says that sex helps blood circulation, sex helps relaxation. And those who suppress their sex may get into trouble -- particularly heart trouble. They are right and Ayurveda is also right, but they seem contradictory. But Ayurveda was invented five thousand years before. Every man was doing much labor: life was labor, so there was no need to relax, there was no need to create artificial devices for blood circulation.
But now, for those who are not doing much physical labor, sex is their only labor. That is why modern medicine is also right for modern man. He is not doing any physical exertion, so sex gives the exertion: the heart beats more, the blood circulates faster, the breathing becomes deep and goes to the center. So after the sex act you feel relaxed and you can fall into sleep easily. Freud says that sex is the best tranquillizer, and it is -- at least for modern man.
In sex breathing will become fast; in anger breathing will become fast. In sex the mind is filled with desire, lust, impurity. When the mind is pure -- no desire in the mind, no seeking, no motivation; you are not going anywhere, but just remaining here and now as an innocent pool... not even a ripple -- then breathing stops automatically. There is no need for it.
On this path, the small self vanishes and you attain to the higher self, the supreme self.
I think this will do for today.