Techniques to penetrate the inner centers


We talk about the sufi meditation tradition  but we also have a few other web pages, the Sufi Meditation master and Sufis People are Sleeping or Are You Angry, Mr Sufi? OR generously, Sufi is a Feeling of the Heart explained by Osho. Or perhaps you like ZEN Zen Meditation Stories or Zen and the Stars or TAOISM KO HSUAN Stories of the Tao by Ko Hsuan and other Taoist Meditations. Or PATANJALI The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali One or The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Two or TANTRA Tantra and Tantric Meditations or even the Meditations of the Peace of the Guida Spiritual and now DON JUAN AND CARLOS CASTENADA The Teachings of Don Juan, and Don Juan, Castaneda and A Separate Reality AND  JESUS - WHEN JESUS WENT UNTO THE MOUNT OF OLIVES.   OR THE UPANISHADS This Direct Knowing Natchiketa with the Lord of Death, Yama From the Katha Upanishad AND The Kundalini Energy of Prana and Apana - None Can Transcend It and Lao Tsu's Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching one

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Techniques to penetrate the inner centers





Meditation Energy Enhancement SymbolMan is as if he is a circle without a center. His life is superficial; his life is only on the circumference. You live on the outside, you never live within. You cannot, unless a center is found. You cannot live within, really you have no within. You are without a center, you have only the without. That is why we go on talking about the within, about how to go in, how to know oneself, how to penetrate inwards, but these words do not carry any authentic meaning. You know the meaning of the words, but you cannot feel what they mean because you are never in. You have never been in.

 Even when you are alone, in your mind you are in a crowd. When no one is there outside, still you are not within. You go on thinking of others; you go on moving outwards. Even while asleep you are dreaming of others, you are not within. Only in very deep sleep, when there is no dreaming, are you within; but then you become unconscious. Remember this fact: when you are conscious you are never within, and when you are within in deep sleep you become unconscious. So your whole consciousness consists of the without. And whenever we talk about going within, the words are understood but the meaning is not -- because the meaning is not carried by the words, the meaning comes through experience.

 Words are without meaning. When I say 'within', you understand the word -- but only the word, not the meaning. You do not know what within is, because consciously you have never been within. Your mind is constantly outgoing. You do not have any feel of what the inner means or what it is.

 That is what I mean when I say that you are a circle without a center -- a circumference only. The center is there, but you drop into it only when you are not conscious. Otherwise, when you are conscious you move outwards, and because of this your life is never intense; it cannot be. It is just lukewarm. You are alive as if dead, or both simultaneously. You are deadly alive -- living a dead-like life. You are existing at the minimum -- not at the maximum peak, but at the minimum. You can say, "I am," that is all. You are not dead; that is what you mean by being alive.

 But life can never be known at the circumference. Life can be known only at the center. On the circumference only lukewarm life is possible. So really, you live a very inauthentic life, and then even death becomes inauthentic -- because one who has not really lived cannot really die. Only authentic life can become authentic death. Then death is beautiful: anything authentic is beautiful. Even life, if it is inauthentic, is bound to be ugly. And your life is ugly, just rotten. Nothing happens. You simply go on waiting, hoping that something will happen somewhere, someday.

 At this very moment there is just emptiness, and every moment has been like that in the past -- just empty. You are just waiting for the future, hoping that something will happen someday, just hoping. Then every moment is lost. It has not happened in the past, so it is not going to happen in the future either. It can happen only in this moment, but then you will need an intensity, a penetrating intensity. Then you will need to be rooted in the center. Then the periphery will not do. Then you will have to find your moment. Really, we never think about what we are, and whatsoever we think is just hokum.

 Once I lived with a professor on a university campus. One day he came and he was very upset, so I asked, "What is the matter?"

 He said, "I feel feverish."

 I was reading something, so I said to him, "Go to sleep. Take this blanket and rest."

 He went to the bed, but after a few minutes he said, "No, I am not feverish. Really, I am angry. Someone has insulted me, and I feel much violence against him."

 So I said, "Why did you say that you are feeling feverish?"

 He said, "I couldn't acknowledge the fact that I was angry, but really I am angry. There is no fever." He threw off the blanket.

 Then I said, "Okay, if you are angry then take this pillow. Beat it and be violent with it. Let your violence be released. And if the pillow is not enough, then I am available. You can beat me, and let this anger be thrown out."

 He laughed, but the laughter was false -- just painted on his face. It came on his face and then disappeared, it never penetrated in. It never came from within; it was just a painted smile. But the laughter, even false laughter, created a gap. He said, "Not really... I am not really angry. Someone said something before others, and I felt very much embarrassed. Really, this is the thing."

 So I said to him, "You have changed your statement about your own feelings three times within half an hour. You said you were feeling feverish, then you said you were angry, and now you say that you are not angry but just embarrassed. Which one is real?"

 He said, "Really, I am embarrassed."

 I said, "Which? When you said you were feverish, you were also certain about that. When you said you were angry, you were also certain about that. And you are also certain about this. Are you one person or many persons? For how long a time is this certainty going to continue?"

 So the man said, "Really, I do not know what I am feeling. What it is, I do not know. I am simply disturbed. Whether to call it anger or embarrassment or what, I do not know. And this is not the moment to discuss it with me." He said, "Leave me alone. You have made my situation philosophical. You are discussing what is real, what is authentic, and I am feeling very much disturbed."

 This is not only with some other person -- X, Y or Z -- it is with you. You are never certain, because certainty comes from being centered. You are not even certain about yourself. It is impossible to be certain about others when you are never certain about yourself. There is just a vagueness, a cloudiness; nothing is certain.

 Someone was here just a few days ago, and he said to me, "I am in love with someone, and I want to marry her." I looked into his eyes deeply for a few minutes without saying anything. He became restless and he said, "Why are you looking at me? I feel so awkward." I continued looking. He said, "Do you think that my love is false?" I didn't say anything, I just  continued looking. He said, "Why do you feel that this marriage is not going to be good?" He said by himself, "I had not really thought it over very much, and that is why I have come to you. Really, I do not know whether I am in love or not."

 I had not said a single word. I was just looking into his eyes. But he became restless, and things which were inside began to come up, to bubble up.

 You are not certain, you cannot be certain about anything; neither about your love, nor about your hate, nor about your friendships. There is nothing which you can be certain about because you have no center. Without a center there is no certainty. All your feelings of certainty are false and momentary. One moment you will feel that you are certain, but the next moment the certainty will have gone because in each moment you have a different center. You do not have a permanent center, a crystallized center. Each moment is an atomic center, so each moment has its own self.

 George Gurdjieff used to say that man is a crowd. Personality is just a deception because you are not a person, you are many persons. So when one person speaks in you, that is a momentary center. The next moment there is another. With every moment, with every atomic situation, you feel certain, and you never become aware that you are just a flux -- many waves without any center. Then in the end you will feel that life has been just a wastage. It is bound to be. There is just a wastage, just a wandering -- purposeless, meaningless.

 Tantra, yoga, religion... their basic concern is how first to discover the center, how first to be an individual. They are concerned with how to find the center which persists in every situation. Then, as life goes on moving without, as the flux of life goes on and on, as waves come and go, the center persists inside. Then you remain one -- rooted, centered.

 These sutras are techniques to find the center. The center is already there, because there is no possibility of being a circle without a center. The circle can exist only with a center, so the center is only forgotten. It is there, but we are not aware. It is there, but we do not know how to look at it. We do not know how to focus the consciousness on it.



 This is one of the oldest techniques -- very much used, and one of the simplest also. Close all the openings of the head -- eyes, ears, nose, mouth. When all the openings of the head are closed, your consciousness, which is continuously flowing out, is stopped suddenly: it cannot move out.

 You may not have observed, but even if you stop your breathing for a moment, suddenly your mind will stop -- because with breathing mind moves on. That is a conditioning with the mind. You must understand what `conditioning' means, then only will this sutra be easy to understand.

 Pavlov, one of the most famous Russian psychologists, has created this term "conditioning" -- or "conditioned reflex" -- a day-to-day word used all over the world. Everyone who is acquainted with psychology even a little knows the word. Two processes of thought -- any two processes -- can become so associated that if you start with one, the other is also triggered.

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 This is the famous Pavlovian example. Pavlov worked with a dog. He found that if you put dog food before a dog, its saliva begins to flow. The tongue of the dog comes out and he begins to get ready, prepared for eating. This is natural. When he is seeing the food, or even imagining the food, saliva starts flowing. But Pavlov conditioned this process with another. Whenever the saliva would start to flow and the food was there, he would do some other things. For example, he would ring a bell, and the dog would listen to the bell ringing. For fifteen days, whenever the food was placed, the bell would ring. Then on the sixteenth day food was not placed before the dog, only the bell was rung. But still the saliva started flowing and the tongue came out, as if the food was there.

 But there was no food, only the bell ringing. There is no natural association between the bell ringing and saliva, the natural association is with food. But now the continuous ringing of the bell had become associated with it, and even the ringing of the bell would start the process.

 According to Pavlov -- and he is right -- our whole life is a conditioned process. The mind is a conditioning. Thus, if you stop something in the conditioning, every other associated thing also stops.

 For example, you have never thought without breathing. Thinking has always been with breathing. You are not conscious of breathing, but breathing is there continuously, day and night. Every thought, every thinking process is associated with breathing. If you stop your breathing suddenly, thought will also stop. And if all the seven holes -- the seven openings of the head -- are closed, your consciousness suddenly cannot move out. It remains in, and that remaining in creates a space between your eyes. That space is known as the third eye.

 If all the openings of the head are closed you cannot move out, because you have always been moving out from these openings. You remain in, and with your consciousness remaining in it becomes concentrated between these two eyes, between these two ordinary eyes. It remains in between these two eyes, focused. That spot is known as the third eye.

 This space BECOMES ALL INCLUSIVE. This sutra says that in this space everything is included; the whole existence is included. If you can feel the space, you have felt all. Once you can feel inside this space between the two eyes, then you have known existence, the totality of it, because this inner space is all inclusive. Nothing is left out of it.

 The Upanishads say, "Knowing the one, one knows all." These two eyes can only see the finite. The third eye sees the infinite. These two eyes can only see the material. The third eye sees the immaterial, the spiritual. With these two eyes you can never feel the energy, you can never see the energy; you can see only matter. But with the third eye, energy as such is seen.

 This closing of the openings is a way of centering, because once the stream of consciousness cannot flow out, it remains at its source. That source of consciousness is the third eye. If you are centered at the third eye, many things happen. The first is discovering that the whole world is in you.

 Swami Ramateertha used to say that "The sun moves in me, the stars move in me, the moon rises in me. The whole universe is in me." When he said this for the first time, his disciples thought he had gone crazy. How can stars be in Ramateertha?

 He was talking about the third eye, the inner space. When for the first time the inner space becomes illumined, this is the feeling. When you see that everything is in you, you become the universe.

 The third eye is not part of your physical body. The space between our two eyes is not a space which is confined in your body. It is the infinite space which has penetrated in you. Once this space is known, you will never be the same person again. The moment you know this inner space, you have known the deathless. Then there is no death.

 When you know this space for the first time, your life will be authentic, intense, for the first time really alive. Now no security is needed, now no fear is possible. Now you cannot be killed. Now nothing can be taken away from you. Now the whole universe belongs to you: you are the universe. Those who have known this inner space, they have cried in ecstasy, "AHAM BRAHMASMI! I am the universe, I am the existence."

 The Sufi mystic Mansoor was murdered only because of this experience of the third eye. When for the first time he became aware of this inner space, he started crying, "I am God!" In India he would have been worshipped, because India has known many, many persons who have come to know this inner space of the third eye. But in a Mohammedan country it was difficult. And Mansoor's statement that "I am God -- ANAL HAK!" -- was taken to be something anti-religious, because Mohammedanism cannot conceive that man and God can become one. Man is man -- the created -- and God is the creator, so how can the created become the creator? So this statement of Mansoor's, "I am God," could not be understood; thus, he was murdered. But when he was being murdered, killed, he was laughing. So someone asked, "Why are you laughing, Mansoor?"

 Mansoor is reported to have said, "I am laughing because you are not killing me, and you cannot kill me. You are deceived by this body, but I am not this body. I am the creator of this universe, and it was my finger which moved this whole universe in the beginning."

 In India he would have been understood easily. The language has been known for centuries and centuries. We have known that a moment comes when the inner space is known. Then one simply goes mad. And this realization is so certain that even if you kill a Mansoor he will not change his statement -- because really, you cannot kill him as far as he is concerned. Now he has become the whole. There is no possibility of destroying him.

 After Mansoor, Sufis learned that it is good to be silent. So in Sufi tradition, after Mansoor, it has been consistently taught to disciples, "Whenever you come to the third eye, remain silent and do not say anything. Whenever this happens, then keep quiet. Do not say anything, or just go on formally saying things which people believe."

 So Islam has now two traditions. One is just the ordinary, the outward, the exoteric; another, the real Islam, is Sufism -- the esoteric. But Sufis remain silent, because since Mansoor they have learned that to talk in that language which comes when the third eye opens is to be unnecessarily in difficulty -- and it helps no one.



 The fourth technique:


 Every technique is useful for a certain type of mind. The technique we have been discussing, the third -- closing the openings of the head -- can be used by many. It is very simple and not very dangerous. You can use it very easily, and there is also no need to close the openings with your hands. Closing is needed, so you can use ear plugs and you can use a mask for the eyes. The real thing is to close the openings of your head completely for a few moments -- for a few moments or for a few seconds. Try it. Do not practice it -- only suddenly is it helpful. When it is sudden it is helpful. When lying in your bed, suddenly close all your openings for a few seconds, and see what is happening within.

 When you feel suffocated, go on -- unless it becomes absolutely unbearable, because breathing will be closed. Go on, unless it becomes absolutely unbearable. And when it is absolutely unbearable, you will not be able to close the openings any more, so you need not worry. The inner force will throw all the openings open. So as far as you are concerned, continue. When the suffocation comes, that is the moment -- because the suffocation will break the old associations. If you can continue for a few moments more, it would be good. It will be difficult and arduous, and you will feel that you are going to die -- but do not be afraid, because you cannot die. You cannot die just by closing the openings. But when you feel now you are going to die, that is the moment.

 If you can persist in that moment, suddenly everything will be illumined. You will feel the inner space which goes on spreading, and the whole is included in it. Then open your openings. Go on trying it again and again. Whenever you have time, try it. But do not practice it. You can practice stopping the breath for a few moments. But practice will not help, a sudden jerk is needed. In that jerk, the flow into your old channels of consciousness stops, and a new thing becomes possible.





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 Many practice this even today -- many persons all over India. But they practice it, and it is a sudden method. If you practice, then nothing will happen. If I throw you out of this room suddenly, your thoughts will stop. But if we practice it daily, then nothing will happen. It will become a mechanical habit. So do not practice it. Just try it whenever you can. Then suddenly, by and by, you will become aware of an inner space. That inner space comes only to your consciousness when you are on the verge of death. When you are feeling, "Now I cannot continue for a single moment; now death is near," that is the right moment. Persist! Do not be afraid. Death is not so easy. At least up until now not a single person has died using this method.

 There are built-in securities, that is why you cannot die. Before death one becomes unconscious. If you are conscious and feeling that you are going to die, do not be afraid. You are still conscious, so you cannot die. And if you become unconscious, then your breath will start. Then you cannot prevent it. So you can use ear plugs, etc. Hands are not necessary. Hands were used only because if you are falling into unconsciousness, the hands will become loose and the life process will resume again by itself.

 You can use plugs for the ears, a mask for the eyes, but do not use any plugs for the nose or for the mouth, because then it can become fatal. At least the nose should remain open. Close it with your hands. Then when you are actually falling into unconsciousness, the hands will become loose and the breathing will come in. So there is a built-in security. This method can be used by many.

 The fourth method is for those who have a very developed heart, who are loving, feeling types, emotional. BLESSED ONE, AS SENSES ARE ABSORBED IN THE HEART, REACH THE CENTER OF THE LOTUS. This method can be used only by heart-oriented persons. Therefore, understand first what is a heart-oriented person. Then this method can be understood.

 With one who is heart-oriented, everything leads to the heart, everything. If you love him, his heart will feel your love, not his head. A head-oriented person, even when loved, feels it cerebrally, in the head. He thinks about it; he plans about it. Even his love is a deliberate effort of the mind.

 A feeling type lives without reasoning. Of course, the heart has its own reasons, but it lives without reasoning. If someone asks you, "Why do you love?" if you can answer why, then you are a head-oriented person. And if you say, "I do not know, I just love," you are a heart-oriented person.

 Even if you say that someone is beautiful and that is why you love, it is a reason. For a heart-oriented person, someone is beautiful because they love him. The head-oriented person loves someone because he is beautiful or she is beautiful. The reason comes first, and then comes love. For the heart-oriented, love comes first and then everything else follows. The feeling type is centered in the heart, so whatsoever happens touches his heart.

 Just observe yourself. In your life, many things are happening every moment. Where do they touch you? You are passing, and a beggar crosses the street. Where are you touched by the beggar? Do you start thinking about economic conditions? Do you start thinking about how begging should be stopped by law, or about how a socialist society should be created so that there are no beggars? This is a head-oriented man. This beggar becomes just a datum for him. His heart is not touched, only his head is touched. He is not going to do something for this beggar here and now -- no! He will do something for communism, he will do something for the future, for some utopia. He may even devote his whole life, but he cannot do anything just now.

 The mind is always doing in the future; the heart is always here and now. A heart-oriented person will do something now for this beggar. This beggar is an individual, not a datum. But for a head-oriented man, this beggar is just a mathematical figure. For him, how begging should be stopped is the problem, not that this beggar should be helped -- that is irrelevant. So just watch yourself. In many situations, watch how you act. Are you concerned with the heart or are you concerned with the head?

 If you feel that you are a heart-oriented person, then this method will be very helpful to you. But know well that everyone is trying to deceive himself that he is heart-oriented. Everyone tries to feel that he is a very loving person, a feeling type -- because love is such a basic need that no one can feel at ease if he sees that he has no love, no loving heart. So everyone goes on thinking and believing this, but belief will not do. Observe very impartially, as if you are observing someone else, and then decide -- because there is no need to deceive yourself, and it will be of no help. Even if you deceive yourself, you cannot deceive the technique, so when you do this technique you will feel that nothing is happening.

 People come to me, and I ask them to what type they belong. They do not know really. They have never thought about it -- about what type they are. They have just vague conceptions about themselves, and those conceptions are really just imagination. They have certain ideals and self-images, and they think -- or rather, they wish -- that they are those images. They are not, and often it happens that they prove to be just the contrary.

 There is a reason for it. A person who insists that he is a heart-oriented person may be insisting only because he feels the absence of heart, and he is afraid. He cannot become aware of the fact that he has no heart.

 Look at the world! If everyone is right about his heart, then this world cannot be so heartless. This world is our total, so somewhere, something is wrong. Heart is not there. Really, it was never trained to be there. Mind is trained, so it is there. There are schools, colleges, universities to train the mind, but there is no place to train the heart. And the training of the mind pays, but the training of the heart is dangerous. If your heart is trained you will become absolutely unfit for this world, because the whole world is run through reason.

 If your heart is trained, you will just be absurd in the context of the whole pattern. When the whole world will be moving to the right, you will be moving to the left. Everywhere you will feel difficulty. Really, the more man becomes civilized, the less and less the heart is trained. We have really forgotten about it -- that it exists, or that there is any need for its training. That is why such methods, which can work very easily, never work.

 Most of the religions are based on  heart-oriented techniques -- Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and many others. They are based on the heart-oriented person. The older the religion, the more it is based on heart-oriented persons. Really, when the Vedas were written and Hinduism was developing, there were people who were heart-oriented. And to find a mind-oriented person then was really difficult. But now the reverse is a problem. You cannot pray, because prayer is a heart-oriented technique. That is why even in the West, where Christianity -- which is a religion of prayer -- prevails, prayer has become difficult. Particularly, the Catholic Church is prayer-oriented.

 There exists no such thing as meditation for Christianity, but now even in the West people are becoming crazy about meditation. No one is going to church -- and even if someone is going, it is just a formal thing, just Sunday religion -- because the heart-oriented prayer has become absolutely unknown for man as he is in the West.

 Meditation is more mind-oriented, prayer is more heart-oriented. Or we can say that prayer is a technique of meditation for heart-oriented persons. This technique is also for heart- oriented persons: BLESSED ONE, AS SENSES ARE ABSORBED IN THE HEART, REACH THE CENTER OF THE LOTUS.

 So what is to be done in this technique? AS SENSES ARE ABSORBED IN THE HEART... Try! Many ways are possible. You touch someone: if you are a heart-oriented person the touch immediately goes to your heart, and you can feel the quality. If you take the hand of a person who is head-oriented, the hand will be cold -- not just cold, but the very quality will be cold. A deadness, a certain deadness will be in the hand. If the person is heart-oriented then there is a certain warmth, then his hand will really melt with you. You will feel a certain thing flowing from his hand to you, and there will be a meeting, a communication of warmth.

 This warmth comes from the heart. It can never come from the head, because the head is always cool... cold, calculative. The heart is warm, non-calculative. The head always thinks about how to take more; the heart always feels how to give more. That warmth is just a giving -- a giving of energy, a giving of inner vibrations, a giving of life. That is why you feel a different quality in it. If the person really embraces you, you will feel a deep melting with him.

 Touch! Close your eyes; touch anything. Touch your beloved or your lover, touch your child or your mother or your friend, or touch a tree or a flower, or just touch the earth. Close your eyes and feel a communication from your heart to the earth, or to your beloved. Feel that your hand is just your heart stretched out to touch the earth. Let the feeling of touch be related to the heart.

 You are listening to music. Do not listen to it from the head. Just forget your head and feel that you are headless, there is no head at all. It is good to have a picture of yourself without the head in your bedroom. Concentrate on it; you are without the head, do not allow the head to come in. While listening to music, listen to it from the heart. Feel the music coming to your heart; let your heart vibrate with it. Let your senses be joined to the heart, not to the head. Try this with all the senses, and feel more and more that every sense goes into the heart and dissolves into it.

 BLESSED ONE, AS SENSES ARE ABSORBED IN THE HEART, REACH THE CENTER OF THE LOTUS. The heart is the lotus. Every sense is just the opening of the lotus, the petals of the lotus. Try to relate your senses to the heart first. Secondly, always think that every sense goes deep down into the heart and becomes absorbed in it. When these two things become established, only then will your senses begin to help you. They will lead you to the heart, and your heart will become a lotus.

 This lotus of the heart will give you a centering. Once you know the center of the heart, it is very easy to fall down into the navel center, very easy. This sutra does not even mention this -- there is no need. If you are really absorbed in the heart totally, and reason has stopped working, then you will fall down. From the heart, the door is opened toward the navel. Only from the head is it difficult to go toward the navel. Or if you are between the two, between the heart and the head, then too it is difficult to go to the navel. Once you are absorbed in the navel, you have suddenly fallen beyond the heart. You have fallen into the navel center which is the basic one -- the original.

 That is why prayer helps. That is why Jesus could say, "Love is God." It is not exactly right, but love is the door. If you are deeply in love -- with anyone, it doesn't matter who... Love matters; the object of love doesn't matter. If you are in deep love with anyone, so much in love that there is no relationship from the head, if just the heart is functioning, then this love will become prayer and your beloved or your lover will become divine.

 Really, the eye of the heart cannot see anything else, and that is why it happens with ordinary love also. If you fall in love with someone, that someone becomes divine. It may not prove to be very lasting, and it may not prove to be a very deep thing, but in that moment the lover or the beloved becomes divine. The head will destroy the whole thing sooner or later, because the head will come in and try to manage everything. Even love has to be managed. And once the head manages, everything is destroyed.

 If you can be in love without the head's management coming in, your love is bound to become prayer and your beloved will become the door. Your love will make you centered in the heart -- and once you are centered in the heart, you automatically fall down deep into the navel center.


 The fifth technique:


 Only this much is the sutra. Just like any scientific sutra it is short, but even these few words can transform your life totally. UNMINDING MIND, KEEP IN THE MIDDLE -- UNTIL.

 KEEP IN THE MIDDLE... Buddha developed his whole technique of meditation on this sutra. His path is known as MAJJHIM NIKAYA -- the  middle path. Buddha says, "Remain always in the middle -- in everything."

 One Prince Shrown took initiation, Buddha initiated him into sannyas. That prince was a rare man, and when he took sannyas, when he was initiated, his whole kingdom was just amazed. The kingdom couldn't believe it, the people couldn't believe that Prince Shrown could become a sannyasin. No one had ever even imagined it, as he was a man of this world -- indulging in everything, indulging to the extreme. Wine and women were his whole milieu.

 Then suddenly Buddha came to the town, and the prince went to see him for a DARSHAN -- A spiritual encounter. He fell at Buddha's feet and he said, "Initiate me. I will leave this world." Those who had come with him were not even aware... this was so sudden. So they asked Buddha, "What is happening? This is a miracle. Shrown is not that type of man, and he has lived very luxuriously. Up to now we couldn't even imagine that Shrown is going to take sannyas, so what has happened? You have done something."

 Buddha said, "I have not done anything. Mind can move easily from one extreme to the other. That is the way of the mind -- to move from one extreme to another. So Shrown is not doing something new. It is to be expected. Because you do not know the law of the mind, that is why you are so much taken aback."

 The mind moves from one extreme to another, that is the way of the mind. So it happens every day: a person who was mad after wealth renounces everything, becomes a naked fakir. We think, "What a miracle!" But it is nothing -- just the ordinary law. A person who was not mad after wealth cannot be expected to renounce, because only from one extreme can you move to another -- just like a pendulum, from one extreme to the other.

 So a person who was after wealth, mad after wealth, will become mad against it, but the madness will remain -- that is the mind. A man who lived just for sex may become a celibate, may move into isolation, but the madness will remain. Before he was living only for sex, now he will be living only against sex -- but the attitude, the approach, remains the same.

 So a BRAHMACHARI, a celibate, is not really beyond sex; his whole mind is sex-oriented. He is against, but not beyond. The way of beyond is always in the middle, it is never at the extreme. So Buddha says, "This could have been expected. No miracle has happened. This is how mind works."

 Shrown became a beggar, a sannyasin. He became a BHIKKHU, a monk, and soon other disciples of Buddha observed that he was moving to the other extreme. Buddha never asked anyone to be naked, but Shrown became naked. Buddha was not for nakedness. He said, "That is just another extreme."

 There are persons who live for clothes as if that is their life, and there are other persons who become naked -- but both believe in the same thing. Buddha never taught nakedness, but Shrown became naked. He was the only disciple of Buddha who was naked. He became very, very self-torturing. Buddha allowed one meal every day for the sannyasins, but Shrown would take only one meal on alternate days. He became lean and thin. While all the other disciples would sit for meditation under trees, in the shade, he would never sit under any tree. He would always remain in the hot sun. He was a beautiful man and he had a very lovely body, but within six months no one could recognize that he was the same man. He became ugly, dark, black, burned.

 Buddha went to Shrown one night and asked him, "Shrown, I have heard that when you were a prince, before initiation, you used to play on a VEENA, a sitar, and you were a great musician. So I have come to ask you one question. If the strings of the veena are very loose, what happens?" Shrown said, "If the strings are very loose, then no music is possible." And then Buddha said, "And if the strings are very tight, too tight, then what happens?" Shrown said, "Then too music cannot be produced. The strings must be in the middle -- neither loose nor tight, but just exactly in the middle." Shrown said, "It is easy to play the veena, but only a master can set these strings right, in the middle."

 So Buddha said, "This much I have to say to you, after observing you for the last six months -- that in life also the music comes only when the strings are neither loose nor tight, but just in the middle. So to renounce is easy, but only a master knows how to be in the middle. So Shrown, be a master, and let these strings of life be just in the middle -- in everything. Do not go to this extreme, do not go to that one. Everything has two extremes, but you remain just in the middle."

 But the mind is very unmindful. That is why the sutra says, UNMINDING MIND... You will hear this, you will understand this, but the mind will not take note. The mind will always go on choosing extremes.

 The extreme has a fascination for the mind. Why? Because in the middle, mind dies. Look at a pendulum: if you have any old clock, look at the pendulum. The pendulum can go on moving the whole day if it goes to the extremes. When it goes to the left it is gathering momentum to go to the right. When it goes toward the right, do not think that it is going toward the right -- it is accumulating momentum to go toward the left. So the extremes are right-left, right-left.

 Let the pendulum stay in the middle, then the whole momentum is lost. Then the pendulum has no energy, because the energy comes from one of the extremes. Then that extreme throws it toward another, then again, and it is a circle... the pendulum goes on moving. Let it be in the middle, and the whole movement will then stop.

 Mind is just like a pendulum and every day, if you observe, you will come to know this. You decide one thing on one extreme, and then you move to another. You are angry; then you repent. You decide, "No, this is enough. Now I will never be angry." But you do not see the extreme.

 "Never" is an extreme. How are you so certain that you will never be angry? What are you saying? Think once more -- never? Then go to the past and remember how many times you have decided that "I will never be angry." When you say, "I will never be angry," you do not know that by being angry you have accumulated momentum to go to the other extreme.

 Now you are feeling repentant, you are feeling bad. Your self-image is disturbed, shaken. Now you cannot say you are a good man, you cannot say that you are a religious man. You have been angry, and how can a religious man be angry? How can a good man be angry? So you repent to regain your goodness again. At least in your own eyes you can feel at ease -- that you have repented and you have decided that now there will be no more anger. The shaken image has come back to the old status quo. Now you feel at ease, you have moved to another extreme.

 But the mind that says, "Now I will never be angry," will again be angry. And when you are again angry, you will forget completely your repentance, your decision -- everything. After anger, again the decision will come and the repentance will come, and you will never feel the deception of it. This has been so always.

 Mind moves from anger to repentance, from repentance to anger. Remain in the middle. Do not be angry and do not repent. If you have been angry, then please, at least do this: do not repent. Do not move to the other extreme. Remain in the middle. Say, "I have been angry and I am a bad man, a violent man. I have been angry. This is how I am." But do not repent; do not move to the other extreme. Remain in the middle. If you can remain, you will not gather the momentum, the energy to be angry again.

 So this sutra says, UNMINDING MIND, KEEP IN THE MIDDLE -- UNTIL. And what is meant by UNTIL? Until you explode! Keep in the middle until the mind dies. Keep in the middle until there is no mind. So, UNMINDING MIND, KEEP IN THE MIDDLE -- UNTIL there is no mind. If mind is at the extremes, then the middle will be no-mind.

 But this is the most difficult thing in the world to do. It looks easy, it looks simple; it may appear as if you can do this. And you will feel good if you think that there is no need for any repentance. Try this, and then you will know that when you have been angry the mind will insist on repenting.

 Husbands and wives continue to quarrel, and for centuries and centuries there have been counsellors, advisors, great men who have been teaching how to live and love -- but they go on quarreling. Freud, for the first time, became aware of the phenomenon that whenever you are in love -- so-called love -- you are also in hate. In the morning it is love, in the evening it is hate, and the pendulum goes on moving. Every husband, every wife knows this, but Freud has a very uncanny insight. Freud says that if a couple has stopped fighting, know well that love has died.

 That love which existed with hate and fight cannot remain, so if you see a couple never fighting, do not think that this is the ideal couple. It means no couple at all. They are living parallel, but not with each other. They are parallel lines never meeting anywhere, not even to fight. They are both alone together -- parallel.

 Mind has to move to the opposite, so psychology now gives better advice. The advice is better, more deep, more penetrating. It says that if you really want to love -- with the mind -- then do not be afraid to fight. Really, you must fight authentically so you can move to the other extreme of authentic love. So when you are fighting with your wife, do not avoid it; otherwise the love will also be avoided. When the time for fight is there, fight until the end. Then by evening you will be able to love: the mind will have gathered momentum. The ordinary love cannot exist without fight because there is a movement of the mind. Only a love which is not of the mind can exist without fight, but then it is a different thing altogether.

 A Buddha loving... that is a different thing altogether. But if Buddha comes to love you, you will not feel good because there will be no fault in it. It will be simply sweet and sweet and sweet -- and boring, because the spice comes from fight. A Buddha cannot be angry, he can only love. You will not feel his love because you can feel only opposites; you can feel it only in contrast.

 When Buddha came back to his home town after twelve years, his wife wouldn't come to receive him. The whole city gathered to receive him except his wife. Buddha laughed, and he said to his chief disciple, Ananda, "Yashodhara has not come. I know her well. It seems she still loves me. She is proud, and she feels hurt. I was thinking that twelve years is a long time and she might not be in love now, but it seems she is still in love -- still angry. She has not come to receive me. I will have to go to the house."

 So Buddha went. Ananda was with him; it was a condition with Ananda. When Ananda took initiation he made a condition with Buddha, to which Buddha agreed, that he would always remain with him. He was an elder cousin-brother, so Buddha had to concede.

 Ananda followed him into the house, into the palace, so Buddha said, "At least for this you remain behind and do not come with me, because she will be furious. I am coming back after twelve years, and I just ran away without even telling her. She is still angry, so do not come with me; otherwise she will feel that I have not even allowed her to say anything. She must be feeling to say many things, so let her be angry, do not come with me."

 Buddha went in. Of course, Yashodhara was just a volcano. She erupted, exploded. She started crying and weeping and saying things. Buddha stayed there, waited there, and by and by she cooled down and realized that Buddha had not even uttered a single word. She wiped her eyes and looked at Buddha, and Buddha said, "I have come to say that I have gained something, I have known something, I have realized something. If you become cool I can give you the message -- the truth that I have realized. I have waited so much in order that you could go through a catharsis. Twelve years is a long affair. You must have gathered many wounds, and your anger is understandable; I expected this. That shows that you are still in love with me. But there is a love beyond this love, and only because of that love have I come back to tell you something."

 But Yashodhara could not feel that love. It is difficult to feel it because it is so silent. It is so silent, it is as if absent. When mind ceases, then a different love happens. But that love has no opposite to it. When mind ceases, really, whatsoever happens has no opposite to it. With the mind there is always the polar opposite, and mind moves like a pendulum. This sutra is wonderful, and miracles are possible through it: UNMINDING MIND, KEEP IN THE MIDDLE -- UNTIL.

 So try it. And this sutra is for your whole life. You cannot practice it sometimes, you have to be aware continuously. Doing, walking, eating, in relationship, everywhere -- remain in the middle. Try at least, and you will feel a certain calmness developing, a tranquility coming to you, a quiet center growing within you.

 Even if you are not successful in being exactly in the middle, try to be in the middle. By and by you will have the feel of what middle means. Whatsoever may be the case -- hate or love, anger or repentance -- always remember the polar opposites and remain in between. And sooner or later you will stumble upon the exact middle point.

 Once you know it you can never forget it again, because that middle point is beyond the mind. That middle point is all that spirituality means.






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