Oh beloved, put attention neither on pleasure nor on pain, but between these.
Everything is polar, and mind moves from one polarity to another, never staying in between. Have you known any moment when you were neither happy nor unhappy? Have you known any moment when you were neither healthy nor sick?
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Have you known any moment when you were neither this nor that, when you were just in between, just in the middle, right in the middle? Mind moves from one pole to another immediately. If you are happy, sooner or later you will move to unhappiness, and you will move immediately: the happiness will disappear and you will be unhappy.
If you are feeling good, sooner or later you will feel bad, and there is no point where you stay in between. You move immediately from this to that. Just like the pendulum of an old clock, you move from left to right, from right to left, and the pendulum goes on moving. There is a secret law: when the pendulum is going to the left, it appears to be going to the left, but it is gathering momentum to go right. When it is going to the left, it is gathering energy, momentum, to go right; when it is going right, it is gathering momentum to go left. So what appears is not the whole. When you are becoming happy, you are gathering momentum to be unhappy. So whenever I see you laughing, the moment is not far away when you will be weeping.
In Indian villages, the mothers know this, so when a child starts laughing too much they say, “Stop him; otherwise he will weep.” It is bound to be so. If a child is so much happy, the next step can be nothing but unhappiness. Thus, they stop him. Otherwise he will be unhappy. But the same applies to the reverse, and that is not known. When a child is weeping and you try to stop him, you are not only stopping his weeping; you are stopping his next step. He cannot be happy now. When a child is weeping, allow him. Help him to weep more so that when weeping is finished he has gathered momentum. Now he can move to the right, he can be happy.
Now psychoanalysts say that when a child is weeping and screaming, don’t stop him, don’t try to persuade him, don’t distract him. Don’t try to focus his mind somewhere else; don’t bribe him to stop. Don’t do anything. Just remain silent near him, and allow him to weep and cry and scream so that he can move easily to happiness. Otherwise, neither will he be able to weep nor will he be able to be happy. That is how we all have become. We cannot do anything. The smile is half-hearted, the tear is also half-hearted; everything is confusion.
But this is the natural law of mind. It moves from one pole to another. This technique is to change this natural law: “OH BELOVED, PUT ATTENTION NEITHER ON PLEASURE NOR ON PAIN, BUT BETWEEN THESE.” Any of the polarities can be chosen, and try to be just in between. What can you do to be in between? How will you be in between? One thing: when pain is there, what can you do? When pain is there, you want to escape from it. You don’t want it; you try to go away from it. Your effort is to go to the opposite — to be happy, to be joyful.
When there is happiness, what do you do? Your effort is to cling to it so that the other pole may not enter — to CLING to it! When happiness is there you cling; when pain is there you escape. This is the natural attitude. If you want to change this natural law and transcend it, when pain is there don’t try to escape. Remain with it. You will disturb the whole natural mechanism. You have a headache: remain with it. Close your eyes, meditate on the headache; remain with it. Don’t do anything. Just be a witness; don’t try to escape.
When happiness is there and you are feeling especially blissful in any particular moment, don’t cling to it. Close your eyes and remain a witness to it all. Clinging or escaping are natural for the dust-covered mind. If you remain a witness, sooner or later you will fall in between because the natural law is to move to the polarity, to the polar opposite. If you remain a witness, you are in between.
Buddha has called his whole philosophy MAJJHIM NIKAYA — the middle way, because of this technique. He says remain in the middle always; no matter what the polarity, remain always in the middle. By witnessing one remains in the middle. The moment you lose your witnessing you either become attached or repulsed. If you are repulsed you will go to the other extreme; if you are attached you will try to remain at this extreme, but you will never be in between. Just be a witness. Don’t be attracted, don’t be repulsed. The headache is there; accept it. It is there as a fact. As a tree is there, as the house is there, as the night is there, the headache is there. Accept it and close your eyes. Don’t try to escape from it.
You are happy; accept the fact. Don’t cling to it, and don’t try not to become unhappy; don’t try anything. If unhappiness comes, allow it. If happiness comes, allow it. Just remain a watcher on the hill, just seeing things. The morning comes, and then evening comes, and then the sun rises, and then the sun sets and there are stars and darkness, and again the sun rises — and you are just a watcher on the hill. You cannot do anything. You simply see. The morning has come; you note the fact, and you know that now the evening will come because the evening follows the morning. And when the evening comes you note the fact, and you know that now the morning will be coming because the morning follows the evening.
When pain is there, you are just a watcher. You know that pain has come, and sooner or later it will go, and the polar opposite will come. And when happiness has come, you know that it is not going to remain always. Unhappiness will be just hidden somewhere, it will be coming. You remain a watcher. If you can watch without attraction and without repulsion you will fall in the middle, and once the pendulum stops in the middle you can look for the first time at what the world is.
While you are moving, you cannot know what the world is; your movement confuses everything. Once you are not moving, you can look at the world. For the first time you know what reality is. A non-moving mind knows what reality is; a moving mind cannot know what reality is. Your mind is just like a camera: you go on moving and taking shots, but whatsoever comes is just a confusion because the camera must not move. If the camera is moving, the pictures are going to be just a confusion.
Your consciousness is moving from one pendulum to another, and whatsoever you know of reality is just a confusion, a nightmare. You don’t know what is what; everything is confused, missed. If you remain in the middle and the pendulum has stopped, if your consciousness is focused now, centered, then you know what reality is. Only a mind that is unmoving can know what the truth is. “OH BELOVED, PUT ATTENTION NEITHER ON PLEASURE NOR ON PAIN, BUT BETWEEN THESE.”
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Next [do action=”insert-hand”/] Meditation Technique No. 60