[A sannyasin who is returning to the West says: I feel vulnerable and somehow strong... I just hope you'll be with me... through all of this turbulence.]
Yes, I will be with you. And this is really important, to be vulnerable and strong. There are people who feel strong only when they are not vulnerable; that strength is bogus. It is just a facade, a camouflage; they are weak - -persons. Then there are people who are vulnerable but they feel weak. These people, who are feeling weak when they are vulnerable, cannot feel vulnerable long:
sooner or later that weakness will make them so afraid that they close.
So this is the right mind - to feel vulnerable and strong. Then you can remain vulnerable and each day your strength will grow, and you will become courageous enough to become more and more vulnerable.
A really brave person is absolutely open - that is the criterion of courage. Only a coward is closed, and a strong person is as strong as a rock and as vulnerable as a rose.
Paradox is there - and all that is real is always paradoxical.
So always remember: when you feel something paradoxical don't try to make it consistent, because that will be false. Reality is always paradoxical: on one hand you feel vulnerable, on another hand you feel strong - that means a moment of truth has arrived. On one hand you feel you don't know anything, on another hand you feel you know all - a moment of truth has arrived.
On one hand you always feel one aspect, and on the other hand just the diametrically opposite aspect, and when you have both these aspects together always remember that something true is very close by.
So feel exhilarated - this is beautiful. And I will be with you....
[A sannyasin says: ... my heart is opening up. I feel very weak and defenseless, vulnerable.
I find it hard to maintain being vulnerable and being open because I don't know what's happening to me.]
I think you have some attitude of rejection towards your weakness. You don't want to be weak, you don't want to show your weakness. You want to show strength, you want to be a strong man. That deep desire is creating the trouble but that desire is just an ego desire.
We are weak! It is just natural: we are born one day and we will be dying another day - how can we be very strong?
And existence in the body is very precarious. Any moment just a little more oxygen, or a little less oxygen, and you are gone! A little less sugar in the blood and you are gone... a little disfunctioning in the brain and you are gone! So how can one be strong?
Life exists in vulnerability... it exists in danger, insecurity. There is no security and there cannot be.
Security is only for dead people. They are very strong. Can you kill a dead man? - you cannot. Can you destroy a dead man? - you cannot; he is very strong.
The higher the quality of life, the weaker. Look at a roseflower, look at a poem, look at a song, look at this music [from the ashram's music group which can be heard in the distance] - it vibrates for a second and it is gone! Look at love: one moment it is there, next moment it is not. Look at meditation....
As you go higher you will find that things become more and more vulnerable. So vulnerability is nothing wrong; it is understanding how life is. To pretend to be strong is foolish because it is wrong.
Nobody is strong, nobody can be strong; it is just an ego game. Even Alexander is not strong: one day comes and all his strength is gone.
So just learn to accept it and then there will be a very very deep understanding and a deep flow of energy. You will not feel it as a problem. It is not a problem; it is something very significant happening to you - don't make a problem out of it.
... Just don't do anything about it. It is there - enjoy it! If it is weakness, it is weakness. Let it be as it is.
Don't try to improve, don't try to do anything about it. Accept it totally and suddenly you will see it is not a problem at all. Rather than being a problem, it is something to be happy about, to celebrate.
[A couple ask about doing the mother-son, father-daughter meditation: where the two play daughter and father and son and mother.]
Do it alternatively: one day you be the father and she is your daughter, the next day she is your mother, you are the son. Mm? that will be a more harmonious experience and the change will help you.
It is always good to feel each other from different angles, because a man has multi-aspects. And when we are related only in one way, sooner or later that possibility is finished - one starts feeling a little bored because it becomes repetitive. And always playing the same game, the same game, it loses taste and meaning.
This type of exercise is of tremendous value - each couple should learn it.... Because she is not just your beloved - no person can be defined by any single relationship, a person is such a vast entity.
She is a mother too, she is a daughter too, she is a sister too. She is the whole humanity - so are you!
Each person carries a world within him, and if you really want to know the person you have to know him from all the angles possible. Then two persons can remain charmed by each other for infinity, because then no role is ever fixed. And after a few days when you are again wife and husband, for a change sometimes, then it is beautiful, it is something new! Then it is as if you are meeting after many many days.
So make it alternative... and the other exercise will be even more meaningful, because a woman naturally tends to be a mother. Even a small girl tends to be a mother - all the games of girls are of being a mother - and a man, even an aged man, tends to be a child. So whenever a man falls in love he becomes a fool - immediately - because he becomes a child, and he starts doing things he himself will think are foolish.
Man is basically a child and a woman is basically a mother, so the other one you will enjoy even more. And different kinds of love will arise because a mother has a different kind of love flowing - it is non-sexual, it has more of compassion in it and no passion; it has a different flavour.
And a child has no sexuality, at least not that he is aware of. His relationship with the mother is certainly more deep-rooted than any other relationship, because a child lives in the mother's womb for nine months. (To the man) So when you think about her and meditate on her being your mother, you become very deeply rooted in her - there is no other way to be so deeply rooted in a woman.
Go on playing this game. This is a very beautiful process, and it will help your meditation.
But change it: one day this way, another day... otherwise this will become fixed. Change is always good, and always find ways and means to relate with the person in a new way, in a new situation.
Never get into a routine. Then the relationship is always flowing. There are always surprises, and it is good to surprise the other and be surprised by the other; then the relationship is never dead.
Once surprises are finished and you know the whole map of the woman and the woman knows the whole map of you, then the relationship is almost finished. You can carry it on, but it will be just a duty now; it will not have that charm, that magnetism. That romance will not be there... it will not have any poetry. It will have a certain grammar and structure but it will not have any poetry.
You continue, mm? make it a point. And many things are involved in it. This is not a simple process; there are great implications in it. Every girl wants to make love to the father.
... Every girl wants to compete with the mother and possess the father. And girls, small girls, start becoming very coquettish, they start flirting - and the father is their first love object, naturally.
And it is so with the boy too: the boy wants to make love to the mother and he wants to compete with the father.
He is very disturbed in seeing that the father is more deeply related with the mother: their intimacy is too much and he is not allowed in that intimacy.
Even fathers start feeling jealous of the boy, of the son, because the son is so close to the mother, continuously hangs around the mother, and the father starts feeling as if the son is some other man.
The small boy tries to pretend that he is a man; he wants to possess the woman.
These are fantasies from the childhood If husbands and wives can fulfill these fantasies, their minds will uncoil and these deeply repressed things will disappear. They will become more open, more simple, more innocent.
Nothing is wrong in the girl's idea of possessing the father. It is simple, very simple - because that is the first man she has come to know and naturally she falls in love. That is her first love, and so is the boy's first love his mother.
In fact every man is searching for his mother again and again in every woman. Whenever you fall in love with a woman, watch deeply, analyse it and you will always find that some characteristic that has appealed to you, belongs to your mother: the way she walks or the way she looks or the eyes or the voice or the way she gets angry. Something is bound to reflect your mother - that has attracted you.
And so is the case with the woman: she is always searching for the father that she could not get - and it hurts. It was a failure, her first love affair was a failure: she could not possess the father. In the nature of things the father cannot be possessed, so she will find a man somewhere - someone who is fatherly or who gives some impression of the father.
You will he surprised - it happens here every day and it happens all over the world: a woman tends more to fall in love with a married man than with an unmarried man, because the father, the first love affair, was with a married man. She feels more attracted towards a married man than an unmarried man; the unmarried man does not feel to be very attractive. In fact because he is unmarried it simply proves that no woman has yet been interested in him - it is not worth trying.
And so is the case with a man - a man also tends to fall in love with a married woman. She feels more attractive because the first love affair, in the deep unconscious, was with a married woman, with the mother.
Just today I was reading....
After the wedding, the father-in-law was kissing his son's beautiful wife rather too ardently.
'Say, pop' called the jealous groom, 'have a heart. After all, it was I who married felice.'
'What's wrong with my kissing your wife?' replied his pop. 'I have often caught you kissing my wife!'
So this is very good - it has many implications - continue it.
[A visitor who has been studying yoga asks about it. She says: I was always doing yoga without really discipline.]
You can continue that way. Sometimes it happens that when you do something on your own it may go well, and when you follow a rigid structure it may not fit you. So you have learned, you know.
Now follow your feeling, you need not follow any structure.
In fact everybody has to create his own yoga, because everybody is so different - how can one follow just a dead rule? The dead rule is just an indication.
It is just as when you purchase material from the shop and then you cut it according to your body and make a dress out of it.
So these rules that are given by patanjali are just material - you have to cut it and make something out of it for your own use. Nobody can give that to you ready-made.
That's why I am not much interested in yoga. I am more interested in Patanjali - he gives the basic philosophy of it. If you have understood it, then you can find out your own way. So just don't bother about it.