In any easy position gradually pervade an area between the armpits into great peace.
This is a very simple method but it works miraculously — try it. And anyone can try it, there is no danger. The first thing is to be in an easy relaxed position — relaxed in a position that is easy for you. Don’t try a particular position or ASANA. Buddha sits in a particular posture. It is easy for him. It also can become easy for you if you practise it for a time being, but in the very beginning it will not be easy for you. And there is no need to practise it: start from any posture that comes easy to you right now. Don’t struggle with the posture. You can sit in an easy chair and relax. The only thing is your body must be in a relaxed state.
So just close your eyes and feel all over the body. Start from the legs — feel whether there is some tension or not. If you feel there is some tension, do one thing: make it more tense. If you feel there is some tension in the right leg, then make that tension as intense as possible. Bring it to a peak — then suddenly relax so that you can feel how the relaxation settles there. Then go all over the body just looking everywhere for some tension. Wherever you feel the tension make it more so, because it is easy to relax when it is intense. In just a mid-state it is very difficult because you cannot feel it. It is easy to move from one extreme to another, very easy, because the very extreme creates the situation to move to the other. So if you feel some tensions in the face then strain all the face muscles as much as possible, create tension and bring it to a peak. Bring it to a point where you feel that no more is possible — then suddenly relax. In this way see that all parts of the body, all the limbs are relaxed.
And be particular about the face muscles, because they carry ninety per cent of the tensions — the rest of the body carries only ten per cent. All your tensions are in the mind so the face becomes the storage. So strain your face as much as possible, don’t be shy about it. Make it intensely anguished, anxious — and then suddenly relax. Do it for five minutes so that you can feel that every limb in the whole body is relaxed. This is an easy posture for you.
You can do it sitting, or lying in bed or howsoever you feel is easy for you. IN ANY EASY POSITION GRADUALLY PERVADE AN AREA BETWEEN THE ARMPITS INTO GREAT PEACE.
The second thing: when you feel that the body has got to an easy posture, don’t make much fuss about it. Just feel that the body is relaxed, then forget the body. Because really, remembering the body is a sort of tension. That’s why I say don’t make much fuss about it. Relax it and forget it. Forgetting is relaxation. Whenever you remember too much, that very remembering brings a tension to the body.
You may not have observed this, but there is a very easy experiment to try. Put your hand on your pulse and count it. Then close your eyes, bring your attention to your pulse for five minutes, and then count. The pulse will now be beating faster because the attention for five minutes gives tension to it. So really, whenever a doctor counts your pulse it is never the real count — it is always more than it was before the doctor started counting it. Whenever the doctor has taken your hand in his hand you have become alert. And if the doctor is a lady doctor you will be more alert, and it will go faster. So whenever a lady doctor counts your pulse reduce it by ten. Then that will be exactly your pulse count — otherwise there will be ten more counts per minute.
Whenever you bring your consciousness to any part of the body, that part becomes tense. You become tense when someone observes you; the whole body becomes tense. When you are alone you are different. When someone enters the room you are not the same. The whole body is going at a faster rate. You have become tense. So don’t make much fuss about relaxation or you will be obsessed with it. For five minutes simply relax easily and forget. Your forgetting will be helpful and it will bring a deeper relaxation to the body.
…. GRADUALLY PERVADE AN AREA BETWEEN THE ARMPITS INTO GREAT PEACE. Close your eyes and just feel the area between the two armpits: the heart area, your chest. First feel it just between the two armpits with your total attention, total awareness. Forget the whole body, remember just the heart area between the two armpits, the chest, and feel it filled with great peace. The moment the body is relaxed, peace automatically happens in your heart. The heart becomes silent, relaxed, harmonious. And when you forget the whole body and bring your attention just to the chest and consciously feel it filled with peace, much peace will happen immediately.
There are areas in the body, particular centers, where particular feelings can be created consciously. Between the two armpits is the heart center, and the heart center is the source of all the peace that happens to you, whenever it happens. Whenever you are peaceful, the peace is coming from the heart. The heart radiates peace. That is why people all over the world, every race, without any distinction of cat, religion, country, cultured or uncultured, have felt this: that love arises from somewhere near the heart. No scientific explanation exists. Whenever you think of love you think of the heart. Really, whenever you are in love you are relaxed, and because you are relaxed you are filled with a certain peace. That peace arises from the heart. So peace and love have become joined, associated. Whenever you are in love you are peaceful; whenever you are not in love you are disturbed. Because of peace the heart has become associated with love.
So you can do two things. You can search for love, then sometimes you will feel peace. But this path is dangerous, because the other person whom you love has become more important than you. And the other is the other, and you are becoming in a way dependent. So love will give you peace sometimes but not always. There will be many disturbances, many moments of anguish and anxiety, because the other has entered. Whenever another enters there is bound to be some disturbance, because you can meet with the other only on your surface. The surface will be disturbed. Only sometimes when the two of you will be so deeply in love with no conflict, only then will you sometimes be relaxed and the heart will glow with peace.
So love can only give you glimpses of peace but nothing really established, rooted. No eternal peace is possible through it, only glimpses. And between two glimpses there will be deep valleys of conflict, violence, hatred and anger.
The other way is to find peace not through love, but directly. If you can find peace directly — and this is the method for it — your life will become filled with love. But now the quality of love will be different. It will not be possessive; it will not be centered around one. It will not be dependent and it will not make any one dependent on you. Your love will become just a lovingness, a compassion, a deep empathy. And now no one, not even a lover, can disturb you, because your peace is already rooted and your love comes as a shadow of your inner peace. The whole thing has become reversed. So Buddha is also loving but his love is not an anguish. If you love you will suffer, if you don’t love you will suffer. If you don’t love you will suffer the absence of love; if you love you will suffer the presence of love. Because you are on the surface and whatsoever you do can only give you momentary satisfaction — then again the dark valley.
First be established in peace on your own, then you are independent, then love is not your need. Then you will never feel imprisoned when you are in love; you will never feel that love has become a sort of dependence, a slavery, a bondage. Then love will be just a giving: you have too much peace so you want to share it. Then it will be just a giving with no idea of return; it will be unconditional. And it is one of the secrets that the more you give, the more it happens to you. The more you give and share, the more it becomes your own. The deeper you enter into the treasury, which is infinite, the more you can go on giving to everybody. It is inexhaustible.
But love must happen to you as a shadow of inner peace. Ordinarily the reverse is the phenomenon: peace happens to you just as a shadow of love. Love must happen to you as a shadow of peace, then love is beautiful. Otherwise love also creates ugliness, it becomes a disease, a fever.
…. PERVADE AN AREA BETWEEN THE ARMPITS INTO GREAT PEACE.
Become aware of the area between the armpits and feel that it is filled with great peace. Just feel peace there and you will feel it is filled. It is always filled but you have never been alert about it. This is only to increase your alertness, to bring you nearer home. And when you feel this peace you are farther away from the surface. Not that things will not be happening there — but when you try this experiment and when you are filled with peace you will feel a distance; the noise is coming from the street but there is a great distance now, a great space. It happens, but it brings no disturbance; rather, it brings you a deeper silence. This is the miracle. The children will be playing, someone will be listening to the radio, someone will be quarrelling and the whole world will be going around, but you feel that a great distance has come between you and everything. That distance comes because you have retreated from the periphery. Things are happening on the periphery and they will appear to you as if they are happening to someone else. You are not involved. Nothing disturbs you so you are not involved — you have transcended. This is the transcendence.
And the heart is naturally the source of peace. You are not creating anything. You are simply coming to a source which is always there. This imagining will help you become aware that the heart is filled with peace — it is not that the imagining will create the peace. This is the difference between the Tantra attitude and Western hypnosis. Hypnotists think that you are creating it by imagination but Tantra thinks that you are not creating it by imagination, you are simply becoming attuned to something that is already there. Because whatsoever you can create by imagination cannot be permanent: if it is not a reality then it is false, unreal, and you are creating a hallucination. So it is better to be disturbed and real than to be in a hallucination of peace, because that is not a growth, you are simply intoxicated by it. Sooner or later you will have to come out because sooner or later the reality will shatter the illusion. Reality has to shatter all illusions; only a greater reality cannot be shattered.
A greater reality will shatter the reality which is on the periphery, hence Shankara and others say that the world is illusion. Not that the world is illusion, but they have come to know a higher reality and from that altitude this world looks dreamy. It is so far away, the distance is so infinite that it cannot be felt as real. The noise on the street will be as if you are dreaming about it — it is not real. It cannot do anything. It just happens and passes and you remain untouched. And when you are untouched by reality how can you feel that it is real? The reality is felt only when it penetrates you deeply. The deeper the penetration, the more you feel it as real.
Shankara says the whole world is unreal. He must have come to a point from where the distance is so vast, so tremendously vast, that all that happens there becomes just like a dream. It comes but no reality comes with it because it cannot penetrate. Penetration is the proportion of reality. If I throw a stone at you it hits you. The hit penetrates you and that penetration makes the stone real. If I throw a stone and it touches you but doesn’t penetrate you, deep down you will hear the thud of the falling stone on you, but there will be no disturbance. You will feel it as false, unreal, MAYA, illusory. But you are so near the periphery that if I throw a stone at you, you will be hurt. Not the body — the body will be hurt in either case. If I throw a stone at a Buddha the body will be hurt as your body will be hurt, but Buddha is not on the periphery, he is rooted in the center. And the distance is so great that he will hear the thud of the stone without being hurt. The being will remain untouched, unscarred. This unscarred being will feel the stone as if it is something thrown in a dream. It is illusory. So Buddha says that nothing has substance to it, everything is `substanceless’, without any substance. The world is empty of substance — which is the same thing as Shankara saying that the world is illusory.
Try this. Whenever you are able to feel the peace between your two armpits filling you, pervading your heart center, the world will look illusory. This is a sign that you have entered meditation — when the world feels and appears to be illusory. Don’t think that the world is illusory, there is no need to think it — you will feel it. It will suddenly occur to your mind, “What has happened to the world?” The world has suddenly gone dreamy. It is there, a dreamlike existence, without any substance. It looks so real, just like a film on the screen. It can even be three dimensional. It looks like something, but it is a projected thing. Not that the world is a projected thing, not that it is really unreal — no. The world is real but you create the distance, and the distance gets more and more. And you can understand whether the distance is getting more and more or not by knowing how you are feeling about the world. That’s the criterion. That is a meditative criterion. It is not a truth that the world is unreal — if the world has become unreal, you have become centered in the being. Now the surface and you are so far away that you can look at the surface as being something objective, something other than you. You are not identified.
This technique is very easy and will not take much time if you try it. With this technique it sometimes even happens that with the very first effort you will feel the beauty and the miracle of it. So try it. But if you don’t feel anything with the first effort, don’t be disappointed. Wait. And go on doing it. And it is so easy that you can go on doing it any time. Just lying on your bed at night you can do it; just in the morning when you feel that you are now awake you can do it. Do first and then get up. Even ten minutes will be enough. Ten minutes at night just before falling asleep, do it. Make the world unreal, and your sleep will be so deep that you may not have slept like that before. If the world becomes unreal just before falling asleep, dreaming will be less. Because if the world has become a dream then dreams cannot continue. And if the world is unreal, you are totally relaxed because the reality of the world will not impinge itself upon you, hammer on you.
I have suggested this technique to people who suffer from insomnia. It helps deeply. If the world is unreal, tensions dissolve. And if you can move from the periphery, you have already moved to a deep state of sleep — before the sleep comes you are already deep into it. And then in the morning it is beautiful because you are so fresh, so young; your whole energy is vibrating. It is because you are coming back to the periphery from the center.
And the moment you become alert that now sleep is no more, don’t open your eyes. First do this experiment for ten minutes, then open the eyes. The body is relaxed after the whole night and is feeling fresh and alive. You are already relaxed; so it will not take much time. Just relax. Bring your consciousness to the heart just between the two armpits: feel it filled with deep peace. For ten minutes remain in that peace, then open the eyes. The world will look totally different because that peace will also be radiated from your eyes. And the whole day you will feel different — not only will you feel different but you will feel that people are behaving differently with you. To every relationship you contribute something. If your contribution is not there, people behave differently because they feel you are a different person. They may not be aware of it. But when you are filled with peace everyone will behave differently towards you. They will be more loving and more kind, less resistant, more open, closer. A magnet is there. Peace is the magnet. When you are peaceful people come nearer to you; when you are disturbed everyone is repelled. And this is so physical a phenomenon that you can observe it easily. Whenever you are peaceful you will feel everyone wants to be closer to you because that peace radiates, it becomes a vibration around you. Circles of peace move around you and whosoever comes near wants to be nearer to you — like you want to move under the shadow of a tree and to relax there.
A person who is peaceful within has a shadow around him. Wherever he goes everyone would like to be closer to him, open, trusting. A person who has inner turmoil, conflict, anguish, anxiety, tensions, repels persons. Whosoever come near becomes afraid. You are dangerous. To be near you is dangerous. Because you will give whatsoever you have, you are constantly giving it. So you may want to love someone but if you are very disturbed within, even your lover will be repelled and he will want to escape from you because you will drain his energy and he will not feel happy with you. And whenever you leave him, you will leave him tired, exhausted, because you don;t have a life-giving source, you have a destructive energy within you.
So not only will you feel you are different, others will also feel that you are different.
Your whole life-style can change if you move a little closer to the center — and the whole outlook and the whole outcome. If you are peaceful the whole world becomes peaceful to you. It is just a reflection. Whatsoever you are is reflected all over. Everyone becomes a mirror.