98. In any position gradually pervade an area between the armpits into great peace.
99. Feel yourself as pervading all directions, far, near.
[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ife on the outside is a cyclone — a constant conflict, turmoil, struggle. But it is only so on the surface — just as on the surface of the ocean are waves, maddening noise, constant struggle. But this is not all of life. Deep down there is also a center — soundless, silent, no conflict, no struggle. In the center, life is a noiseless flow, relaxed, a river moving with no struggle, with no fight, no violence Towards that inner center is the search.
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You can get identified with the surface, with the outer. Then anxiety and anguish follows. This is what has happened to everyone: we are identified with the surface and with the struggle that goes on there.
The surface is bound to be disturbed, nothing is wrong in it. And if you can be rooted in the center, the disturbance on the surface will become beautiful it will have a beauty of its own. If you can be silent within, then all the sounds without become musical. Then nothing is wrong; it becomes a play. But if you don’t know the inner core, the silent center, if you are totally identified with the surface, you will go mad. And everyone is almost mad.
All religious techniques, techniques of yoga, meditation, Zen, are basically to help you to be again in contact with the center; to move within; to forget the periphery; to leave the periphery for a time being and to relax into your own being so deeply that the outer disappears completely and only the inner remains. Once you know how to move backwards, how to step down into yourself, it is not difficult. It becomes as easy as anything. But if you don’t know, if you know only the mind clinging to the surface, it is very difficult. Relaxing into one’s self is not difficult: non-clinging to the surface is.
I have heard a Sufi story. Once it happened that a Sufi fakir was traveling. It was a dark night and he lost his way. It was so dark he couldn’t even see where he was moving — then suddenly he fell into an abyss. He was terrified. He didn’t know what was down there in the darkness or how deep the abyss was. So he caught hold of a branch and started praying. The night was cold. He cried but there was no one to listen, only his own voice echoed back. And the night was so cold that his hands were becoming frozen and he knew that sooner or later he would have to leave the branch — it was going to be difficult to keep on holding it. His hands were getting so frozen that they were already slipping from the branch. Death was absolutely near. Any moment he would fall and die. And then the last moment came. You can understand how terrified he was. Dying moment by moment, then the last moment came and he saw the branch slipping out of his hand. And his hands were so frozen that there was no way to hold on, so he had to fall.
But the moment he fell he started dancing — there was no abyss, he was on clear ground. And he had suffered all night….
This is the situation. You go on clinging to the surface, afraid that if you leave the surface you will be lost. Really, clinging to the surface you are lost. But deep down there is darkness and you cannot see any ground; you cannot see anything else than the surface. All these techniques are to make you courageous, strong, adventurous, so that you can stop the holding on and fall within yourself. That which looks like an abyss, dark, bottomless, is the very ground of your being. Once you leave the surface, the periphery, you will be centered.
This centering is the aim. Once you are centered you can move to the periphery but you will be totally different. The quality of your consciousness will have changed altogether. Then you can move to the periphery but you will never be the periphery again — you will remain at the center. And remaining centered at the periphery is beautiful. Then you can enjoy it; it will become a beautiful play. Then there is no conflict; it is a game. Then it will not create tensions within you and there will be no anguish and no anxiety around you. And any moment that it becomes too much, too heavy on you, you can go back to the original source — you can have a dip. Then you will be refreshed, rejuvenated, and you can move to the periphery again. Once you know the way…. And the way is not long. You are not going anywhere else than into your own self, so it is not long. It is just near. The only barrier is your holding on, holding to the periphery, afraid that if you leave it you will be lost. The fear feels just as if you are going to die. Moving to the inner center is a death — death in the sense that your identity with the periphery will die, and a new image, a new feeling of your being will arise.
So if we want to say in a few words what Tantra techniques are, we can say that they are a deep relaxation into oneself, a total relaxation into oneself.
You are always tense, that is the holding, the clinging. You are never relaxed, never in a state of let-go. You are always doing something: that doing is the problem. You are never in a state of non-doing, when things are happening and you are just there not doing anything. Breath comes in and goes out, the blood circulates, the body is alive and throbbing, the breeze blows, the world goes on spinning around — and you are not doing anything. You are not a doer. You are simply relaxed and things are happening. When things are happening and you are not a doer, you are totally relaxed. When you are a doer and things are not happening but are being manipulated by you, you are tense.
You relax partially while you are asleep, but it is not total. Even in your sleep you go on manipulating, even in your sleep you don’t allow everything to happen. Watch a man sleeping: you will see that he is very tense, his whole body will be tense. Watch a small child sleeping, he is very relaxed. Or watch an animal, a cat — a cat is always relaxed. You are not relaxed even while asleep; you are tense, struggling, moving, fighting with something. On your face there are tensions. In dreams you may be fighting, protecting — doing the same things as when you were awake, repeating them in an inner drama. You are not relaxed; you are not in a deep let-go. That’s why sleep is becoming more and more difficult. And psychologists say that if the same trend goes on, soon the day will come when no one will be able to sleep naturally. Sleep will have to be chemically produced because no one will be able to fall naturally into sleep. The day is not very far. You are already on the way towards it because even while asleep you are only partially asleep, partially relaxed.
Meditation is the deepest sleep. It is total relaxation plus something more; you are totally relaxed and yet alert. Awareness is there. Total sleep with awareness is meditation. Fully alert, things are happening but you are not resisting, not fighting, not doing. The doer is not there. The doer has gone into sleep. Only a witness is there a `non-doer alertness’ is there. Then nothing can disturb you.
If you know how to relax then nothing can disturb you. If you don’t know how to relax then everything will disturb you. I say everything. It is not really something else that disturbs you, everything else is just an excuse. You are almost always ready to be disturbed. If one thing doesn’t disturb you, then something else will; you will get disturbed. You are ready, you have a tendency to get disturbed. If all the causes are withdrawn from you even then you will get disturbed. You will find some cause, you will create some cause. If nothing comes from without, you will create something from within — some thought, some idea — and you will get disturbed. You need excuses. Once you know how to relax nothing can disturb you. Not that the world will change, not that things will be different. The world will be the same. But you don’t have the tendency, you don’t have the madness; you are not constantly ready to be disturbed. Then all that happens around you is soothing — even the traffic noise becomes soothing if you are relaxed. Even the market-place becomes soothing. It depends on you. It is an inner quality. The more you go towards the center the more the quality arises and the more you move towards the periphery the more you will be disturbed. If you are too disturbed or if you are prone to be disturbed that shows only one thing: that you are existing near the periphery — nothing else. It is an indication that you have made your abode near the surface. And this is a false abode because your real home is at the center, the very center of your being.
Now we will enter the techniques.
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