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  Vigyan Bhairav Tantra - Meditation Technique 45



Osho - Any word that ends in "AH" -- intone it silently. Emphasis should be given to the ending "AH." Why? Because the moment this sound "AH" is intoned, your breath goes out. You may not have observed it, but now you can observe: whenever your breath goes out you are more silent, and whenever your breath comes in you are more tense - because the outgoing breath is death and the incoming breath is life. Tension is part of life, not of death. Relaxation is part of death; death means total relaxation. Life cannot be totally relaxed; it is impossible.

Life means tension, effort. Only death is relaxed. So whenever a person becomes absolutely relaxed, he is both - alive outwardly and dead within. You can see in the face of a buddha both life and death simultaneously. That is why there is so much silence and calm, they are part of death. Life is not relaxation. You relax in the night when you are asleep. That is why the old traditions say that death and sleep are similar. Sleep is a temporary death and death is permanent sleep. That is why night relaxes you, it is the outgoing breath. The morning is the incoming breath.

The day makes you tense and the night relaxes you. Light makes you tense, darkness relaxes you. That is why you cannot sleep when there is light, it is difficult to relax because light is similar to life: it is anti-death. Darkness is similar to death: it is pro-death.

So darkness has deep relaxation in it, and those who are afraid of darkness cannot relax... impossible, because every relaxation is dark. And darkness surrounds your life on both the sides. Before you are born you are in darkness; when life ceases you are again in darkness. Darkness is infinite, and this light and this life is just a moment in it, just a wave arising and then falling back. If you can remember the darkness that surrounds both the ends, you will be relaxed here and now.

Life, death - they both are two sides of existence. The incoming breath is life, the outgoing breath is death. So it is not that you die someday, you are dying with every breath. That is why the Hindus have been counting life in breaths, they do not count life in years. Tantra, yoga, all the old Indian systems, they count life in breaths: how many breaths you are going to live. So they say if you breathe very fast, with too much breathing in a short time, you will die very soon. If you breathe very slowly and your breaths are less in an interval, you will live very long. And this is so.

If you go and observe animals, those animals whose breathing is very slow live long. Take the elephant: the elephant lives long; the breath is very slow. Then there is the dog: the dog dies soon; the breath is very fast. Whenever you find an animal in which the breath is fast, any animal, the animal will not have a long life. A long life is always with slow breath.

Tantra and yoga and other Indian systems count your life in breaths. Really, with every breath you are born and with every breath you are dying. This mantra, this technique, uses the outgoing breath as the method, the medium, the vehicle, to go deep into silence. It is a death method. 

INTONE SILENTLY A WORD ENDING IN "AH." The breath has gone -- that is why a word ending in "AH."

This AH is meaningful because when you say AH it completely empties you. The whole breath has moved out; nothing remains within. You are totally empty - empty and dead. For a single moment, for a very small interval, life has moved out of you. You are dead - empty. This emptiness, if realized, if you can become aware of it, will change you completely. You will be a different man.

Then you will know well that this life is not your life and this death is also not your death. Then you will know something which is beyond the incoming and outgoing breath - the witnessing soul. And this witnessing can happen easily when you are empty of breath, because life has subsided and with it all tensions have subsided. So try it, it is a very beautiful method. But the ordinary process, the ordinary habit, is to emphasize the incoming breath, never the outgoing breath.

We always take the breath in. We ALWAYS take it in, but we never throw it out. We take it in and THE BODY throws it out. Observe your breathing and you will know. We take it in. We never exhale, we only inhale. The exhaling is done by the body because we are afraid of death, that is the reason. If it was in our power we would not exhale at all, we would inhale and then control it within. No one emphasizes exhaling -- inhaling is emphasized. Because we HAVE to do exhaling after inhaling, that is why we go on "suffering" it. We tolerate it because we cannot inhale without exhaling.

So exhaling is accepted as a necessary evil, but basically we are not interested in exhaling. And this is not only about breath, this is our whole attitude toward life. We cling to everything that comes to us; we will not leave it. This is the miserliness of the mind.

And remember, there are many implications in it. If you are suffering from constipation, this will be the basic cause: you always inhale and never exhale. The mind which never exhales but just inhales will suffer from constipation. The constipation is the other end of the same thing. He cannot exhale anything, he goes on accumulating, he is afraid. The fear is there. He can only accumulate, but anything that is accumulated becomes poisonous.

If you only inhale and do not exhale, your very breath becomes poison to you; you will die because of it. You can turn a life-giving force into poison if you behave in a miserly way, because the exhaling is absolutely necessary. It throws all the poisons out of you.

So really, death is a purifying process and life is a poisoning process. This will look paradoxical. Life is a poisoning process because to live you have to use many things - and the moment you have used them they turn into poison, they are converted into poisons. You take a breath in, you use oxygen, and then what remains becomes poison. It was life only because it was oxygen, but you have used it. So life goes on changing everything into a poison.

Now there is a great movement in the West - ecology. Man has been using everything and turning it into poison, and the very Earth is just on the verge of dying. Any day it can die because we have turned everything into poison. Death is a purifying process. When your whole body has become poisonous, death will relieve you of the body. It will renew you, it will give you a new birth; a new body will be given to you. Through death all the accumulated poisons are dissolved back into nature. You are given a new mechanism.

And this happens with every breath. The outgoing breath is similar to death -- it takes poisons out. And when it is going out, everything ebbs within. If you can throw the whole breath out, completely out so that no breath remains within, you touch a point of silence that can never be touched while the breath is in.

It is just like the ebb and tide: with every breath a tide of life comes to you; with every exhalation, everything ebbs - the tide has gone. You are just a vacant, empty shore. This is the use of this technique. SILENTLY INTONE A WORD ENDING IN "AH." Emphasize the exhaling breath. And you can use it for many changes in the mind. If you are suffering from constipation, forget intaking. Just exhale and do not inhale. Let the body do the work of inhaling; you just do the work of exhaling. You force the breath out and do not inhale. The body will inhale by itself; you need not worry about it, you are not going to die. The body will take breath in, you just throw it out and let the body take it in. Your constipation will go.

If you are suffering from heart disease, just exhale, do not inhale. Then you will not suffer from heart disease. If while just going upwards on a staircase, or anywhere, you feel tired - very much tired, suffocated, breathless - simply do this: just exhale, do not inhale. Then you can climb up any amount of steps and you will not be tired. What happens? When you go with an emphasis on exhaling, you are ready to let go, you are ready to die. You are not afraid of death; that makes you open. Otherwise you are closed -- fear closes you.

When you exhale, the whole system changes and accepts death. There is no fear, you are ready to die. And one who is ready to die can live. Really, only one who is ready to die can live. He alone becomes capable of life - because he is not afraid.

One who accepts death, welcomes it, receives it as a guest, lives with it, goes deep into life. Exhale, do not inhale, and that will change your total mind. Because of simple techniques tantra never appeals, because we think, "My mind is such a complex thing." It is not complex - just foolish. And fools are very complex. A wise man is simple. Nothing is complex in your mind, it is a very simple mechanism. If you understand, you can change it very easily.

If you have not seen anybody dying, if you have been protected from seeing death as Buddha was protected, you cannot understand anything about it. Buddha's father was afraid because some astrologer said that "This boy is going to be a great sannyasin. He will renounce the world." The father asked, "What is to be done to protect him from doing such a thing?" So those astrologers thought and thought, and then they concluded and they said, "Do not allow him to see death, because if he is not aware of death he will never think of renouncing life."

This is beautiful - very meaningful. That means all religion, all philosophy, all tantra and yoga, is basically death-oriented. If you are aware of death, only then does religion become meaningful. That is why no animal except man is religious, because no animal is aware of death. They die, but they are not aware. They cannot conceive or imagine that there is going to be death.

When one dog dies, other dogs never imagine that death is going to happen to them also. Always someone else dies, so how can a dog imagine that "I am going to die"? He has never seen himself dying. Someone else, some other dog dies, so how can he connect that "I am going to die"? No animal is aware of death; that is why no animal renounces. No animal can become a sannyasin. Only a very high quality of consciousness can lead you to renounce - when you become aware of death. And if even by being a man you are not aware of death, you belong to the animal kingdom; you are not yet a man. You become a man only when you encounter death. Otherwise there is no difference between you and the animal.

Everything is similar; only death makes the difference. With death encountered, you are no more animal, something has happened to you which never happens to an animal. Now you will be a different consciousness.

So Buddha's father protected him from seeing any type of death - not only man's death, but the death of animals and even of flowers. So the gardeners were instructed not to allow the child to see a dead flower, a pale flower dying on the branch, a pale leaf, a dry leaf. No, nowhere should he come to realize that something dies -- he may infer from it that "I am going to die." And you do not infer it even seeing your wife dying, your mother, your father, your child. You weep for them, but you never conceive that this is a sign that "I am going to die."

But the astrologers said, "The boy is very, very sensitive, so protect him from any type of death." And the father was over-conscientious He would not allow even an old man or an old woman to be seen, because oldness is just death heard from a distance; death is there from a distance, just coming. So Buddha's father would not allow any old man or old woman to be seen by the child. If Buddha suddenly became aware that just by stopping the breath a man could die, it would be very difficult for him. "Just because no breath is coming in, how can a man die?" he would wonder. "Life is such a big, complex process."

If you have not seen anyone dying, even you cannot conceive that just by stopping the breath a man will die. Just by stopping the breath? Such a simple thing! And how can such a complex life die?

It is the same with these methods. They look simple, but they touch the basic reality. When the breath is going out, when you are completely emptied of life, you touch death: you are just near it, and everything becomes calm and silent within you.

Use it as a mantra. Whenever you feel tired, whenever you feel tense, use any word which ends in "AH." "Allah" will do - any word that brings your total breath out so that you exhale completely and you are emptied of breath. The moment you are emptied of breath you are emptied of life also. And all your problems belong to life: no problem belongs to death. Your anxiety, your anguish, your anger, your sadness, they all belong to life.

Death is non-problematic. Death never gives any problem to anyone. And even if you think that "I am afraid of death and death creates a problem," it is not death that creates the problem but your clinging to life. Only life creates problems; death dissolves all problems. So when the breath has moved completely out, "AH," you are emptied of life. Look within at that moment when the breath is completely out. Before taking another breath in, go deep down in that interval and become aware of the inside calm, the silence. In that moment you are a buddha.

If you can catch that moment, you have known a taste of what Buddha might have known. And once known, you can detach this taste from the incoming-outgoing breath. Then the breath can go on coming in, going out, and you can remain in that quality of consciousness that you have come to know. It is always there; one has just to discover it. And it is easier to discover when life is emptied out.


And when the breath goes out, "HH," everything is emptied. EFFORTLESSLY: in this moment, there is no need to make any effort. The SPONTANEITY: just be aware, be spontaneous, be sensitive, and realize this moment of death.

In this moment you are just near the door, just near the door!- very, very near to the ultimate. The immediate has moved out, the superfluous has moved out. In this moment you are not the wave: you are the ocean - just near, just near! If you can become aware you will forget that you are a wave. Again the wave will come, but now you can never be identified with it, you will remain the ocean. Once you have known that you are the ocean, you can never again be the wave.

Life is waves... death is the ocean. That is why Buddha so much insists about his NIRVANA that it is death-like. He never says you will attain life immortal, he says you will simply die totally. Jesus says, "Come to me and I will give you life, and life abundant." Buddha says, "Come to me to realize your death. I will give you death totally." And both mean the same thing, but Buddha's terminology is more basic. But you will become afraid of it. That is why Buddha had no appeal in India; he was uprooted completely. And we go on saying that this land is a religious land, but the most religious person couldn't get roots here.

What type of religious land is this? We have not produced another Buddha; he is incomparable. And whenever the world thinks India to be religious, the world remembers Buddha - no one else. Because of Buddha, India is thought to be religious. What type of religious land is this? Buddha has no roots here; he was totally uprooted. He used the language of death - that is the cause, and brahmins were using the language of life. They say THE BRAHMAN and he says NIRVANA: `Brahman' means life -- life, infinite life; and `Nirvana' means just cessation, death - total death.

Buddha says, "Your ordinary death is not total; you will be born again. It is NOT total! You will be born again! I will give you a total death, and you will never be born again." A total death means now no birth is possible. So this so-called death, Buddha says, is not death. It is just a rest period, you will become alive again. It is just a breath gone out. You will take the breath in again, you will be reborn. Buddha says, "I will give you the way so that the breath will go out and will never come in again - total death, nirvana, cessation."

We become afraid because we cling to life. But this is the paradox: the more you cling to life, the more you will die, and the more you are ready to die, then the more you become deathless. If you are ready to die, then there is no possibility of death. No one can give you death if you accept it, because through that acceptance you become aware of something within you which is deathless.

This incoming breath and outgoing breath are the life and death of the body, not of "me." But "I" do not know anything other than the body; "I" am identified with the body. Then it will be difficult to be aware when the breath comes in, easy to be aware when the breath goes out. When the breath is going out, for that moment you have become old, dying, emptied completely of the breath; you are dead for a moment.

IN THE "HH," EFFORTLESSLY, THE SPONTANEITY. Try it! Any moment you can try it. Just riding in a bus or traveling in a train or moving to the office, whenever you have time intone a sound like "Allah" - any sound ending with "AH." This "Allah" helped so much in Islam - not because of any Allah there in the sky, but because of this "AH." This word is beautiful. And then the more one goes on using this word "Allah, Allah..." it becomes reduced. Then what remains is "Lah, Lah..." Then it is reduced further; then it remains as "Ah, Ah..." It is good, but you can use any word that ends in "AH" - or just "AH" will do.

Have you observed that whenever you are tense you will sigh -- "AH" -- and you will feel relaxed. Or whenever you are in joy, overjoyed, you say "AH," and the whole breath is thrown out and you feel within a tranquility that you have never felt. Try this: when you are feeling very good, take the breath in and then see what you feel. You cannot feel that well-being that comes with "AH." It is coming because of the breath.

So languages differ, but these two things never differ. All over the world, whenever someone feels tired he will say "AH." Really, he is calling for death to come and relax him. Whenever one feels overjoyed, blissful, he says "AH." He is so overfilled with joy that he is not afraid of death now. He can relieve himself completely, relax completely.

And what will happen if you go on trying it, trying it? You will become fully aware of something within you - the spontaneousness of your being; of SAHAJ of being spontaneous. That you are already, but you are too much engaged with life, too much occupied with life. You cannot become aware of the being which is behind.

When you are not occupied with life, with the incoming breath, the being behind is revealed; there is a glimpse. But the glimpse will become, by and by, a realization. And once it is known you cannot forget it - and this is not something which you are creating. That is why it is spontaneous: it is not something you are creating. It is there, you have simply forgotten. It is a remembrance! It is a rediscovery!

Try to see children, very small children, taking their breaths. They take them in a different way. Look at a child sleeping. His belly comes up and down, not the chest. If you are sleeping and you are being observed, your chest comes up and down; your breath never goes down to the belly. The breath can go down to the belly only if you exhale and do not inhale. If you inhale and do not exhale, the breath cannot go down to the belly. The reason why breath goes to the belly is that when one exhales, the whole breath is thrown out and then the BODY takes it in. And the body takes only that amount which is needed -- never more, never less.

The body has its own wisdom, and it is more wise than you. Do not disturb it. You can take more -- then it will be disturbed. You can take less -- then it will be disturbed. The body has its own wisdom, it only takes that amount which is needed. When more is needed, it creates the situation. When less is needed, it creates the situation. It never goes to the extreme, it is always balanced. But if YOU inhale it is never balanced, because you do not know what you are doing, you do not know what is the need of the body. And the need changes every moment.

Allow the body! You just exhale, you just throw it out, and then the body will take breath in - and it will take it deeply and slowly, and the breath will go down to the belly. It will hit the navel point exactly and your belly will go up and down. If you inhale then really, you never exhale totally. Then the breath is in and you go on inhaling, so the breath which is already in will not allow your breath to go down to the very bottom. Then just shallow breathing happens. You go on taking breath in, and the poisonous breath is there, filling you up.

They say that you have six thousand sacs in your lungs and only two thousand are touched by your breath. The four thousand are always filled with poisonous gases which need to be exhaled, and that two-thirds portion of your chest creates much anxiety, much anguish and misery in the mind, in the body. A child exhales, he never inhales. Inhaling is done by the body itself.

When the child is born, the first thing he is going to do is cry. With that cry his throat opens, with that cry comes the first "AH." The oxygen and air that had been given by the mother is exhaled. This is his first effort with breathing. That is why if a child is not crying, then the doctor will become uneasy, because he has not shown the sign of life. He still feels dependent on the mother. He must cry! That cry shows that now he is becoming an individual; the mother is not needed, he will take his own breath. And the first thing is that he is going to cry in order to exhale that which was given by the mother, and then his body will start functioning, inhaling.

A child is always exhaling, and when the child starts inhaling, when the emphasis moves to inhaling, be aware. He has already become old; he has learned things from you. He has become tense. Whenever you are tense, you cannot take a deep breath. Why? Your stomach becomes rigid. Whenever you are tense your stomach becomes rigid, it won't allow breath to go down. Then you have to take shallow breaths.

Try with "AH." It has a beautiful feeling around it. Whenever you feel tired, "AH" -- throw the breath. And make it a point to emphasize exhaling. You will be a different man, and a different mind will evolve. With the emphasis on breathing in, you have developed a miser mind and a miser body. With exhaling, that miserliness will disappear and with it many problems. Possessiveness will disappear.

So tantra will not say leave possessiveness. Tantra says, change your system of breathing; you cannot possess then. Observe your own breathing and your moods, and you will become aware. Whatsoever is wrong is always associated with the emphasis that is given to the incoming breath and whatsoever is good, virtuous, beautiful, true, is always associated with exhaling. Whenever you are speaking a lie, you will hold your breath in. Whenever you speak truth, you never hold the breath. You fear that "I am speaking a lie," so you hold the breath. You are afraid something may go out with it - the out-moving breath. Your hidden truth may be revealed, so you are afraid.

Go on trying this "AH" more and more. You will be more healthy in body, more healthy in mind, and a different quality of calm, at- easeness, tranquillity will develop.


Vigyan Bhairav Tantra -

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