First you have to dance, so in dance your armour drops. First you have to shout in joy and sing, so your life becomes more vital. First you have to cathart, so all you have repressed is thrown out and your body is purified of toxins and poisons, and your psyche also is purified from repressed traumas and wounds. When this has happened and you have become able to laugh and you have become able to love, then Vipassana.
SITTING silently, just start watching your breath. The easiest way to watch is from the entrance of the nose. When the breath comes in, feel the touch of the breath at the entrance of the nose – watch it there. The touch will be easier to watch, breath will be too subtle; in the beginning just watch the touch. The breath goes in, and you feel it going in: watch it. And then tallow it, go with it. You will find there comes a point where it stops. Just somewhere near your navel it stops – for a tiny tiny moment, for a pal, it stops. Then it moves outwards again; then follow it – again feel the touch, the breath going out of the nose. Follow it, go with it outside – again you will come to a point, the breath stops for a very tiny moment. Then again the cycle starts.
Inhalation, gap, exhalation, gap, inhalation, gap. That gap is the most mysterious phenomenon inside you. When the breath comes in and stops and there is no movement, that is the point where one can meet God. Or when the breath goes out and stops and there is no movement.
Remember, you are not to stop it; it stops on its own. If you stop it you will miss the whole point, because the doer will come in and witnessing will disappear. You are not to do anything about it. You are not to change the breath pattern, you are neither to inhale nor to exhale. It. is not like Pranayam of yoga, where you start manipulating the breath; it is not that. You don’t touch the breach at all – you allow its naturalness, its natural flow. When it goes out you follow it, when it comes in you follow it.
And soon you will become aware that there are two gaps. In those two gaps is the door. And in those two gaps you will understand, you will see, that breath itself is not life – maybe a food for life, just like other foods, but not life itself. Because when the breathing stops you are there, perfectly there – you are perfectly conscious, utterly conscious. And the breath has stopped, breathing is no more there, and you are there.
And once you continue this watching of the breath – what Buddha calls Vipassana or Anapanasati Yog – if you go on watching it, watching it, watching it, slowly slowly you will see the gap is increasing and becoming bigger. Finally it happens that for minutes together the gap remains. One breath goes in, and the gap … and for minutes the breath does not go out. All has stopped. The world has stopped, time has stopped, thinking has stopped. Because when the breath stops, thinking is not possible. And when the breath stops, for minutes together, thinking is absolutely impossible – because the thought process needs continuous oxygen, and your thought process and your breathing are very deeply related.
When you are angry your breath has a different rhythm, when you are sexually stimulated you have a different breath rhythm, when you are silent a different breath rhythm again. When you are happy a different breath rhythm, when you are sad a different rhythm again. Your breathing goes on changing with the moods of the mind. And vice versa is also true – when the breath changes, the moods of the mind change. And when breath stops, mind stops.
In that stopping of the mind the whole world stops – because the mind is the world. And in that stopping you come to know for the first time what is the breath inside the breath; life inside life. That experience is liberating. That experience makes you alert of God – and God is not a person but the experience of life itself.
Meditation is just being delighted in your own presence. Meditation is a delight in your own being.
Find a comfortable place to sit for 45 to 60 minutes. It helps to sit at the same time and in the same place every day, and it doesn’t have to be a silent place. Experiment until you find the situation you feel best in. You can sit once or twice a day, but don’t sit for at least an hour after eating or before sleeping.
It’s important to sit with your back and head straight. Your eyes should be closed and the body as still as possible. A meditation bench can help, or a straight-backed chair or any arrangement of cushions.
There is no special breathing technique; ordinary, natural breathing is fine. Vipassana is based on the awareness of the breath, so the rise and fall of each breath should be watched, wherever the sensation is felt most clearly – at the nose or in the area of the stomach or solar plexus.
Vipassana is not concentration and it is not an objective to remain watching the breathing for a whole hour. When thoughts, feelings or sensations arise, or when you become aware of sound, smells and breezes from outside, simply allow the attention to go to them. Whatever comes up can be watched as clouds passing in the sky – you neither cling nor reject. Whenever there is a choice of what to watch, return to awareness of breathing.
Remember, nothing special is meant to happen. There is neither success nor failure – nor is there any improvement. There is nothing to figure out or analyse, but insights may come about anything. Questions and problems may just be seen as mysteries to be enjoyed.
There are daily Vipassana sittings during the monthly meditation camps at the ashram.
My guru Osho talks about the upsurge of energy often felt by people starting Vipassana.
In Vipassana it can happen sometimes that one feels very sensual, because you are so silent and energy is not dissipated. Ordinarily much energy is dissipated and you are exhausted. When you simply sit, not doing anything, you become a silent pool of energy, and the pool goes on becoming bigger and bigger and bigger. It almost comes to a point where it is overflowing … and then you feel sensuous. You feel a new sensitivity, sensualness, even sexuality – as if all the senses have become fresh, younger, alive, as if the dust has fallen from you and you have taken a bath, and are being cleansed with the shower. That happens.
That’s why people – particularly Buddhist monks who have been doing Vipassana for centuries – don’t eat much. They don’t need to. They eat once – and that too a very meagre meal, very small you may call it almost a breakfast … and once a day. They don’t sleep much but they are full of energy. And they are not escapists – they work hard. It is not that they are not working. They will chop wood and work in the garden, in the field, on the farm; they will work the whole day. But something has happened to them, and now the energy is no more being dissipated.
And the posture of sitting is very very energy-conserving. The lotus position in which Buddhists sit is such that all the ends of the body are meeting – feet upon feet, hands upon hands. These are the points from where the energy moves and flows out, because for the energy to flow out, something pointed is needed. Hence the male sexual organ is a pointed thing because it has to leak much energy. It is almost a safety-valve. When the energy is too much inside you and you cannot do anything, you release it sexually.
In the sexual act a woman never releases any energy. A woman can even conserve energy if she knows how; she can even get energy.
From your head no energy is released outside. It has been made by nature in a round shape. So the brain never loses any energy; it conserves – because that is the most important, the central management of your body. It has to be protected – so it is protected by a round skull.
Energy cannot leak out from any round thing. That’s why all the planets – earth and sun and moon and the stars – are all round. Otherwise they will leak energy and will die.
When you sit, you become rounded; hands touching hands. So if this hand releases energy, it moves into another hand. Feet touching feet… and the way you sit becomes almost a circle. Energy moves within you. It is not going out. One conserves it; one becomes by and by a pool. By and by you will feel almost a fullness in your belly. You may be empty, you may not have eaten, but you feel a certain fullness. And then the onrush of sensuality. But it is a good sign, a very very good sign. So enjoy it.
Becoming an astronaut of the inner space
Many times in deep meditation, you will suddenly become aware as if the gravitation has disappeared. That now nothing holds you down, that it is now up to you to decide whether to fly or not, That now it is up to you, if you want you can simply fly up to the sky. The whole sky is yours. But when you open the eyes, suddenly the body is there, the earth is there, the gravitation is there. When you were with closed eyes meditating you forgot your body, you moved to a different dimension; the dimension of grace.
Enjoy it, allow it, because once you start thinking it is crazy, you will stop it and that stopping will disturb your meditation. Enjoy it as in a dream you fly. Close your eyes. In meditation go wherever you want, rise higher and higher into the sky, and many more things soon will become available to you. And don’t be afraid. It is the greatest adventure, greater than going to the moon; becoming an astronaut of the inner space is the greatest adventure.
this beautiful technique for those who are disturbed by sensations of physical instability and flying.
Just sit in your bed for five or ten minutes and visualise with closed eyes… feel that your body is becoming bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger. Make it as big as possible – so big that it almost starts touching the walls of the room.
You will start feeling that now you cannot move your hands – it is difficult… your head is touching the roof. First for two, three days just feel this; then start spreading out of the room. Fill the whole house, and you will feel that the room is inside you. Then spread outside the house – fill the whole neighbourhood, and feel the whole neighbourhood inside you. And then fill the whole sky, and feel the sun and the moon and the stars moving inside you.
This you continue for ten, twelve days. By and by, slowly, fill the whole sky. The day you have filled the whole sky, start the reverse process. For two days again, become small. In the reverse process, sit and then start imagining you are becoming very small. Just move the other way. Your body is not as big as it appears – it has become one foot high. You are just like a tiny toy – and you will feel it. If you can imagine the hugeness, you can imagine the smallness. Then even smaller – so small that you can hold yourself in your hand. Then even smaller… then even smaller. And within twelve days bring it to such a point that you cannot find yourself. You have become so atomically small that it is impossible to find where you are.
Make yourself as huge as the whole space and then make yourself as small as an invisible atom – twelve days one, then twelve days the other. You will feel so beautiful, so happy and so centered that you cannot imagine it.
Meditation can give you the greatest glimpses, because it is the most useless thing in the world. You simply move into silence. It is greater than sleep because in sleep you are unconscious, whatsoever happens, happens unconsciously. You may be in paradise, but you don’t know. In meditation you move knowingly, then you become aware of the path: how to move from the useful world of the without to the useless world within. And once you know the path, any moment you can simply move inwards.
Sitting in a bus you are not needed to do anything, you are simply sitting; travelling in a car or train or an aeroplane, you are not doing anything, everything is being done by other’s; you can close your eyes and move into the useless, the inner. And suddenly everything becomes silent, and suddenly everything is cool, and suddenly you are at the source of all life.
But it has no value on the market. You cannot go and sell it, you cannot say: I have great meditation. Is anybody ready to buy it? Nobody will be ready to buy it. It is not a commodity. It is useless.