Body: The first step for a seeker
[Note: This is the final edit of the Hindi translation of Antar Yatra, later published as part of Sadhana Path. This is for reference use only, pending publication.]
My Beloved Ones,
In this first meeting of the meditation camp, I would like to talk about the first step for a meditator, a seeker. What is the first step? A thinker or a lover follow certain paths but a seeker has to travel on a totally different journey. For a seeker, what is the first step on the journey?
The body is the first step for a seeker - but no attention or thought has been given to it. Not only at certain times, but for thousands of years, the body has been neglected. The neglect is of two kinds.
Firstly, there are the indulgent people who have neglected the body. They have no experience of life other than eating, drinking and wearing clothes. They have neglected the body, misused it, foolishly wasted it - they have ruined their instrument, their veena.
If a musical instrument - for example, a veena - is ruined, music cannot arise out of it. Music is an altogether different thing from the veena - music is one thing, the veena is another, but without the veena music cannot arise.
Those people who have misused the body through indulgence are one type and the other type of people are those who have neglected the body through yoga and renunciation. They have tortured the body, they have suppressed it and they have been hostile towards it. And neither the people who have indulged the body nor the ascetics who have tortured the body have understood its importance.
So there have been two kinds of neglect and torture of the veena of the body: one by the indulgers and another by the ascetics. Both have done harm to the body. In the West, the body has been harmed in one way and in the East, in another way, but we all are equal participants in harming it. The people going to the whorehouses or to the pubs harm the body in one way, and the people standing naked in the sun or rushing into the forests harm the body in another way.
Only through the veena of the body can the music of life arise. The music of life is an altogether different thing from the body - it is totally different, something else - but only through the veena of the body is there a possibility of attaining it. No proper attention has yet been given to this fact.
The first step is the body and the proper attention of the meditator towards the body. In this first meeting I want to talk to you about this point.
A few things need to be understood.
The first thing: the soul has a connection with the body at some centers - our life energy comes from these connections. The soul is closely related to these centers; from them our life energy flows into the body.
The seeker who is not aware of these centers will never be able to attain to the soul. If I ask you which is the most important center, which is the most important place in your body, you will probably point to your head.
Man's very wrong education has made the head the most important part of the human body. The head or brain is not the most important center of life-energy in man. It is like going to a plant and asking it what its most important and vital part is. Because the flowers can be seen at the top of the plant, the plant and everybody else will say that the flowers are the most important part. So although the flowers seem to be the most important they are not, the most important part are the roots, which are not visible.
The brain is the flower on the plant of man, it is not the root. Roots come first; flowers come last. If the roots are ignored the flowers will wither away because they have no separate life of their own. If the roots are taken care of, the flowers get taken care of automatically; no special effort is needed to care for them. But looking at a plant it seems that the flowers are the most important part and in the same way it seems that, in man, the brain is most important. The brain is the final development in man's body; it is not the root.
Mao Zedong has written a memoir of his childhood. He wrote, "When I was small, there was a very beautiful garden near my mother's hut. The garden was so beautiful, it had such beautiful flowers, that people from distant places used to come to see them. Then my mother became old and fell sick. She was neither worried about her sickness nor about her old age. Her only worry was about what would happen to her garden." Mao was young. He said to his mother, "Don't be worried, I will take care of your garden."
And Mao took care of the garden, working from the morning till the evening. After one month his mother got better, and as soon as she could walk a little she came into the garden. Seeing the condition of the garden she was shocked! The garden was ruined! All the plants had dried up. All the flowers had withered and fallen away. She became very much disturbed and said to Mao, "You idiot! You were in the garden the whole day. What did you do here? All these flowers are destroyed.
The garden has withered away. All the plants are about to die. What were you doing?"
Mao started crying. He himself was troubled. Every day he used to work all day, but for some reason the garden went on drying out. He started crying and he said, "I took great care. I used to kiss each flower and love it. I used to clean and wipe off the dust from each and every leaf, but I don't know what happened. I was worried also, but the flowers went on withering away, the leaves went on drying out and the garden went on dying!" His mother started laughing. She said, "You are an idiot!
You don't know yet that the life of the flowers is not in the flowers and the life of the leaves is not in the leaves!"
The life of a plant is in a place that is not at all apparent to anyone. It is in the roots which are hidden beneath the ground. If one does not take care of those roots, the flowers and the leaves cannot be taken care of; howsoever much they may be kissed, howsoever much they may be loved, howsoever much the dust on them may be cleaned, the plant will wither away. But if one does not bother about the flowers at all and takes care of the roots, the flowers will take care of themselves. The flowers come out of the roots, not the other way round.
If we ask somebody which is the most important part in a human body then unknowingly his hand will point towards the head and he will say that the head is the most important. Or, if it is a woman, then maybe she will point towards her heart and say that the heart is the most important.
Neither the head nor the heart is the most important. Men have emphasized their heads and women have emphasized their hearts. But by emphasizing these two parts the society so formed is continuously being ruined every day, because neither of these parts are the most important part in a human body. Both are very late developments. Man's roots are not in them.
What do I mean by the roots of man? Just as the plants have roots in the earth from which they draw their life-energy and life juices and live, similarly, in the human body, there are roots at some point which draw life-energy from the soul. Because of this the body remains alive. The day those roots become feeble, the body begins to die.
The roots of plants are in the earth; the roots of the human body are in the soul. But neither the head nor the heart is the place from where man is connected to his life-energy - and if we do not know anything about those roots then we can never enter the world of a meditator.
Then where are the roots of man? Perhaps you are not aware of the place. If even simple and common things are not given any attention for thousands of years, they are forgotten. A child is born in the womb of a mother and grows there. Through which part is the child connected to its mother?
Through the head or through the heart? No, it is connected through the navel. The life-energy is available to it through the navel - the heart and the brain develop later on. The life-energy of the mother becomes available to the child through the navel. The child is connected to his mother's body through his navel. From there the roots spread out into the mother's body and also, in the opposite direction, into his own body as well.
The most important point in the human body is the navel. After that the heart develops and after that the brain. These are all branches which develop later. It is on them that the flowers blossom.
Flowers of knowledge blossom in the brain; flowers of love blossom in the heart. It is these flowers which allure us, and then we think that they are everything. But the roots of man's body and his life-energy are in the navel. No flowers blossom there. The roots are absolutely invisible, they are not even seen. But the degeneration that has happened to human life in the past five thousand years is because we have placed all our emphasis either on the brain or on the heart. Even on the heart we have placed very little emphasis; most of the emphasis has gone to the brain.
From early childhood, all education is an education of the brain; there is no education of the navel anywhere in the world. All education is of the brain so the brain goes on growing larger and larger and our roots go on becoming smaller and smaller. We take care of the brain because the flowers blossom there, so it becomes larger - and our roots go on disappearing. Then the life-energy flows more and more feebly and our contact with the soul becomes weak.
Slowly, slowly we have even come to a point where man is saying, "Where is the soul? Who says there is a soul? Who says there is a God? We do not find anything." We will not find anything. One cannot find anything. If somebody searches all over the body of the tree and says, "Where are the roots? I cannot find anything," then what he is saying is right. There are no roots anywhere on the tree. And we have no access to the place where the roots are; of that place we have no awareness.
From early childhood, all training, all education is of the brain, of the mind, so our whole attention gets entangled and ends up focused on the brain. Then for our whole life we wander around the brain. Our awareness does not ever go below it.
The journey of a meditator is downwards - towards the roots. One has to descend from the brain to the heart, and from the heart to the navel. Only from the navel can anybody enter into the soul; before that, one can never enter it.
Normally the movement of our life is from the navel towards the brain. The movement of a seeker is exactly opposite. He has to descend from the brain to the navel.
In these three days I will be talking to you and showing you, step by step, how to descend from the brain to the heart and from the heart to the navel - and then how to enter the soul from the navel.
Today it is necessary to say a few things about the body.
The first thing to understand is that the center of man's life-energy is the navel. Only from there does the child acquire life; only from there do the branches and sub-branches of his life start spreading; only from there does he get energy; only from there does he get vitality. But our attention is never focused on that energy center - not even for a minute! Our focus is not on the system through which we get to know that energy center, that center of vitality; instead our whole attention and our whole education is focused on the system that helps to forget it! That is why our whole education has gone wrong.
Our whole education is taking man slowly, slowly towards madness.
The brain alone will only take man towards madness.
Do you know that the more a country becomes educated the more the number of mad people increases there? America has the highest number of mad people today. It is a matter of pride. It is proof that America is the most educated, the most civilized country. American psychologists say that if the same system continues for another hundred years, it will be difficult to find a sane man in America. Even today the minds of three out of four people are in a shaky condition.
In America alone, three million people are consulting psychoanalysts every day! Slowly, slowly in America the number of physicians is becoming less and psychoanalysts are increasing. The physicians also say that eighty percent of man's diseases are of the mind, not of the body. And as the understanding grows this percentage increases. First they used to say forty percent, then they started saying fifty percent, now they say that eighty percent of diseases are of the mind, not of the body. And I assure you that after twenty to twenty-five years they will say that ninety-nine percent of diseases are of the mind, not of the body. They will have to say so because our whole emphasis is being given to man's brain. The brain has become insane.
You have no idea that the brain is a very delicate, a very fragile, a very subtle thing. Man's brain is the most delicate machine in the world. So much stress is being imposed on this machine that it is a wonder that it does not completely break down and become mad! The whole burden of life is on the brain, and we have no idea how delicate a thing it is. We have hardly any idea of how fine and delicate the nerves in the head are which have to carry all the burden, all the anxiety, all the suffering, all the knowledge, all the education... the whole weight of life.
Perhaps you may not know that in this small head there are about seventy million nerves. Just by their number you can tell how tiny they are. There is no machine or plant more delicate than this.
The fact that there are seventy million nerves in the small head of man shows how delicate it is.
There are so many nerves in a single man's head that if they were spread out one after the other, they would encircle the whole earth.
In this small head there is such a subtle mechanism, such a delicate mechanism. In the past five thousand years all the stress of life has been placed on this delicate brain alone. The result was inevitable. The result is that the nerves have started breaking down, becoming insane, going mad.
The burden of thoughts cannot take man anywhere else other than into madness. Our whole life- energy has started moving around the brain. A meditator has to bring this life-energy deeper, more downwards, more towards the center; he has to turn it back. How can it be turned back? To understand this we must understand something about the body - the 'first sutra'.
The first thing: the body is not seen as a temple nor as a path for the spiritual journey nor as a passage for discovering the center of life-energy. The body is looked at either from the point of view of indulgence or from the point of view of renunciation. Both of these approaches are wrong.
The path to whatsoever is great in life and whatsoever is worth attaining, is within the body and goes through the body.
The body should be accepted as a temple, as a spiritual path - and as long as this is not our attitude we are either indulgers or we are renouncers. In both cases our attitude towards the body is neither right nor balanced.
A young prince was initiated by Buddha. He had seen all kinds of pleasures in his life, he had lived only for pleasure. Then he became a bhikshu, a monk. All the other bhikshus were very much surprised. They said, "This person is becoming a bhikshu! He has never gone out of his palace; he has never walked without his chariot; the paths he used to walk on would be covered with velvety carpets! Now he wants to become a beggar! What kind of madness is he thinking of doing?"
Buddha said that man's mind always moves between extremes - from one extreme to the other.
Man's mind never stops in the middle. Just as a pendulum of a clock moves from one end to the other but never stays in the middle, in the same way the mind of man goes from one extreme to the other. Up to now this man had lived at one extreme - indulgence of his body; now he wanted to live at the other extreme - renunciation of his body.
And this happened. While all the bhikshus would walk on the highways, the prince, who had never walked anywhere except on the most valuable carpets, would walk on the pathways where there were thorns! When all the bhikshus would sit under the shadow of a tree, he would stand in the sun.
When all the bhikshus would eat once every day, he would fast one day and eat one day. Within six months he became a skeleton, his beautiful body turned black and his feet became wounded.
After six months Buddha went to him and said, "Shrona!" - this was his name - "I want to ask you one thing. I have heard that when you were a prince, you were very good at playing the veena. Is it true?"
The bhikshu said, "Yes. People used to say that there was no one else who could play the veena like me."
Buddha said, "Then I have come to ask you one question - maybe you can answer. My question is that if the strings of the veena are too loose, can music arise or not?"
Shrona started laughing. He said, "What kind of question are you asking? Even children know that if the strings of a veena are too loose then music will not arise, because sound cannot be created on loose strings, one cannot pluck them. So music cannot arise out of loose strings."
Then Buddha said, "And if the strings are too tight?"
Shrona answered, "Music does not arise out of strings which are too tight either, because strings which are too tight break the moment they are touched."
So Buddha asked, "When does the music arise?"
Shrona said, "Music arises when the strings are in such a state that we can neither say that they are very tight nor can we say that they are very loose. There is a state of the strings when they are neither loose nor tight. There is a point in-between, a midpoint. Music arises only there. And an expert musician, before he starts playing, checks the strings to see if they are too loose or too tight."
Buddha said, "Enough! I have received the answer! And I have come to tell you the same thing.
Just as you were an expert at playing the veena, in the same way I have also become a master of playing the veena of life. And the rule which applies to the veena also applies to the veena of life.
If the strings of life are too loose then music does not arise, and if the strings of life are too tight then also music does not arise. One who wants to create the music of life, first makes sure that the strings are not too tight or too loose."
What is the veena of life?
Except for the body of man there is no other veena of life. And there are some strings in the body of man which should neither be too tight nor too loose. Only in that balance does man enter into music.
To know that music is to know the soul. When a man comes to know the music within himself, he knows the soul; and when he comes to know the music hidden within the whole, he knows God, the supreme soul.
Where are the strings of this veena of man's body? The first thing is: there are many strings in the brain which are very tight. They are so tight that music cannot arise from them. If somebody touches them, only madness arises and nothing else. And we are all living with the strings of our brains being very tight. For twenty-four hours a day we are keeping them tense, from morning till evening. And if somebody thinks that they may be relaxed at night, he is mistaken. Even during the night our brain is stressed and tense.
Previously we did not know what goes on in a man's brain during the night but now machines have been invented - while you are sleeping the machine will go on reporting what your brain is doing inside.
At this time, in America and Russia, there are about a hundred laboratories testing what a man does in his sleep. About forty thousand people have been experimented upon while sleeping during the night. The results that have been found are very surprising. The results are that whatever a man does during the day, he does during the night. Whatsoever he does the whole day.... If he runs a shop in the daytime then even at night he is running the shop. If the mind worries the whole day then it goes on worrying during the night. If it is angry during the day then it remains angry during the night.
The night is the reflection of the whole day, it is its echo. Whatsoever happens in the mind during the day resounds as an echo during the night. Whatsoever has been left incomplete, the mind tries to complete it during the night. If you were angry and you did not express anger totally towards some person, if the anger was left incomplete or stuck, then the mind releases it at night. By expressing total anger, the string of the veena tries to be reach its proper state. If somebody has fasted during the day, then at night he eats in his dream. Whatsoever has been left incomplete during the day tries to get completed at night. So whatsoever the mind does during the day, it does the same thing the whole night. For twenty-four hours the mind is tense; there is no rest. The strings of the mind are never relaxed. The strings of the mind are very tense.... That is one thing.
And the second thing is: the strings of the heart are very loose. The strings of our hearts are not tight at all. Do we know something like love? We know anger, we know envy, we know jealousy, we know hatred. Do we know something like love? Perhaps we would say that we do. Sometimes we love. Perhaps we would say that we hate and we love also. But do you know...? Can there be a heart which hates and loves also? It is the same as saying that a person is sometimes alive and sometimes dead. We cannot believe this, because a man can either be alive or he can be dead.
Both these things cannot happen simultaneously. That a man is sometimes alive and sometimes dead is not possible, it is impossible. Either the heart knows only hate or the heart knows only love. There can be no compromise between the two. In a heart which has love, hatred becomes impossible.
There was a fakir woman named Rabiya. In the holy book which she used to read, she canceled one line. She crossed out a line in it. Nobody cancels any line in the holy books because what can one improve in the holy books?
Another fakir came to stay with Rabiya. He read the book and he said, "Rabiya, somebody has destroyed your holy book! It has become unholy, one line has been canceled from it. Who has canceled it?"
Rabiya said, "I canceled it."
The fakir was very shocked. He said, "Why did you cancel this line?" The line was, 'Hate the devil'.
Rabiya said, "I have got into a difficulty. From the day that love for God arose in me, hate disappeared within me. Even if I want to I cannot hate. Even if the devil comes in front of me then also I can only love him. I have no other choice, because before I can hate I need to have hate in me. Before I can hate, I must have hate in my heart. Otherwise where will I get it and how will I do it?"
The coexistence of love and hate is not possible in the same heart. These two things are as contrary as life and death; they cannot exist together in the same heart. Then what is that which we call love?
When there is less hate we call it love; when there is more hate we call it hate. They are lesser and greater proportions of hate itself. There is no love there at all. The mistake happens because of the degrees. Because of the degrees you may mistakenly think that cold and heat are two different things. They are not two different things. Heat and cold are gradations of the same thing. If the ratio of heat becomes less, then something starts feeling cold. If the ratio of heat becomes more, then the same thing starts feeling hot. Cold is another form of heat. They seem to be opposite, different, enemies of each other, but they are not. They are condensed and non-condensed forms of the same thing. We know hatred in the same way. The less condensed form of hate we understand as love and the very condensed form of hate we understand as hate - but love is in no way a form of hate. Love is a totally different thing to hate. Love has no relation to hate.
The strings of our heart are totally loose. From those loose strings the music of love does not arise - neither does the music of bliss. Have you ever known bliss in your life? Can you say about some moment that it was a moment of bliss and that you recognized and experienced bliss? It is difficult to say with authenticity that you have ever known bliss.
Have you ever known love? Have you ever known peace? About them it is also difficult to say anything.
What do we know? We know restlessness. Yes, sometimes the restlessness is in a lesser degree - which we take to be peace. Actually we are so restless that if the restlessness becomes a little less, it gives an illusion of peace. A man is sick. When the sickness becomes a little less, he says that he has become healthy. If the sickness that is surrounding him becomes a little less, he thinks that he has become healthy. But what is the relation of health to sickness? Health is a totally different thing.
Health is a completely different thing. Very few of us are able to know health. We know more sickness, we know less sickness, but we do not know health. We know more restlessness, we know less restlessness, but we do not know peace. We know more hatred, we know less hatred. We know more anger, we know less anger....
You may think that anger only happens sometimes. This idea is false. You are angry for twenty-four hours. Sometimes it is more, sometimes it is less, but you are angry for twenty-four hours. With just a little opportunity the anger will start surfacing. It is in search of an opportunity. The anger is ready inside; it is only in search of an opportunity on the outside to to give you an excuse to be angry. If you become angry without an excuse then people will think you are mad. But if opportunities are not given to you, you will start becoming angry even without any reason. Perhaps you do not know this.
For example, a person can be locked in a room provided with every facility and asked to note down any changes which happen to his mind. When he notes them down, he will find that without any reason sometimes he feels good in that closed room, sometimes he feels bad; sometimes he becomes sad, sometimes he becomes happy; sometimes he feels angry, sometimes he does not feel angry. There are no excuses there, the situation in the room is constantly the same - but what is happening to him? That is why man is so afraid of aloneness - because in aloneness there are no excuses from the outside. One will have to assume all the things are within oneself. Any person kept in isolation cannot remain healthy for more than six months, he will become mad.
A fakir told an Egyptian emperor about this but the emperor did not believe him so the fakir asked him to find the most healthy person in his city and to put him in isolation for six months. The city was searched. A healthy, young man, who was happy in every way - was just married, had a child, was earning well, was very happy - was brought to the emperor. The emperor told him, "We will not give you any trouble. We are just making an experiment. Your family will be taken care of - food, clothing, and every arrangement will be made for them. It will be a better situation for them than it will be for you. You will have all comforts but for six months you will have to live alone."
He was locked up in a big house. He was given every facility - but it was so lonely! Even the man who was guarding did not know his language so they could not speak to each other. Within only two or three days the man started becoming nervous. He had every comfort, there were no hardships whatsoever: at the right time food was available, at the right time he could go to sleep. Because it was a royal palace, every facility was available and there were no difficulties whatsoever. Sitting there he could do whatsoever he wanted to do. The only thing was that he could not talk to anybody, he could not meet anybody. Within just two or three days the uneasiness began and after eight days he started shouting, "Take me out of here! I don't want to stay here!"
What was the problem? The problems had started coming from within. The problems that, until yesterday, he had thought were coming from the outside, he now found, in his aloneness, were coming from the inside. Within six months the man became mad. After six months, when he was taken out, he had gone completely mad. He had started talking to himself. He had started cursing himself. He had started getting angry with himself. He had started loving himself. Now the other was not present. After six months he was taken out as a mad man. It took six years for him to get cured.
Any one of you would become mad. Other people give you opportunities hence you do not become mad. You find an excuse: "This man has abused me, therefore I am filled with anger." Nobody gets filled with anger by someone abusing him. The anger is present within; the abuse is only an opportunity for it to come out.
A well is full of water. If we drop a bucket in the well and pull it out, water comes out of the well. If there is no water in the well then howsoever many times we drop the bucket in, nothing can come out. The bucket in itself has no power to get water out. First there should be water in the well. If there is water in the well, then a bucket can draw water. If there is no water in the well, then the bucket cannot draw water.
If there is no anger within you, if there is no hatred within you, then no power in the world can bring anger or hatred out of you. During these moments in-between, when no one drops a bucket in the well, one can maintain an illusion that there is no water in the well. When someone does drop a bucket into it, water can be drawn; but when the well is not being used we would be mistaken if we think that now there is no water in it. In the same way, if nobody gives us the opportunity then no anger or hate or envy comes out of us. But do not think that there is no water in your well. Water is present in the well and it is waiting for someone to come with a bucket and take it out. But we think these empty, in between moments are moments of love, of peace. This is false.
Always after any war in the world, people say that now there is peace. But Gandhi said, "In my understanding it is not like that. Either there is war or there is preparation for war; peace never comes. Peace is a deception." Just now there is no war happening in the world; the second world war has ended and we are waiting for the third world war. If we say that these are days of peace, we are wrong. These are not days of peace. These are days of preparation for the third world war.
All over the world the preparations for the third world war are going on. Either there is war or there is preparation for war. As long as the world has existed it has not seen any peaceful days.
Within a man also there is either anger or there is preparation for anger - man does not know any state of non-anger. There is restlessness - either it surfaces or it prepares to surface. If we think that the moments of preparation within are moments of peace, we are mistaken.
The strings of our heart are very loose. Only anger comes out of them, only distortion and disharmony come out of them. No music can arise. If the strings of our brain are too tight then madness arises out of them, and if the strings of our heart are too loose then only anger, enmity, envy, hatred, arise out of them. The strings of our heart should be a little tighter so that love can arise out of them, and the strings of our brain should be a little looser so that an aware intelligence arises out of them, not insanity. If both these strings become balanced there is a possibility for the music of life to arise.
So we will discuss two things. One is how to relax the strings of the brain and the other is how to tighten, create a tension in the strings of the heart. The method of doing this is what I call meditation.
If these two things happen, then the third thing can happen; then it is possible to descend to the real center of our life - the navel. If music arises in both these centers it becomes possible to move within. That music itself becomes a boat to take us deeper. The more harmonious the personality, the more music arising within, the deeper we can descend. The more disharmony there is within, the more we remain shallow, the more we will remain on the surface. In the coming two days we will discuss these two points - not only discuss them but also experiment on how we can bring these strings of the veena of life into a balance.
The three points that I have just told you about have to be kept in mind so that you can connect them with the things I will now say to you.
The first thing: man's soul is connected neither to the brain nor to the heart, man's soul is connected to his navel. The most important point in a man's body is the navel; it is the center. The navel is not only in the center of man's body but also in the center of life. A child is born through it and his life ends through it. And for the people who discover truth it is the navel which becomes the door.
You may not be aware that the whole day you breathe with your chest but at night your breathing starts coming from the navel. The whole day your chest goes up and down, but at night when you are asleep your belly starts moving up and down. You must have seen a small child breathing; the chest of a small child is not moving, it is his belly that is moving up and down. Small children are still very close to the navel. As a child starts growing, he starts breathing from the chest only, and the tremors of the breath no longer reach the navel.
If you are going along a road, riding a bicycle or driving a car, and suddenly an accident happens, you will be surprised to notice that the first impact will be on the navel - not on the brain or the heart.
If a man suddenly attacks you with a knife, the first tremor will be felt at the navel, not anywhere else.
Even right now, if you suddenly become afraid, the first tremor will be felt at the navel. Whenever there is a danger to life, the first tremors are felt at the navel because the navel is the center of life. The tremors will not happen anywhere else. The sources of life are connected from there, and because our attention is not at all on the navel, man is left hanging in a limbo. The navel center is totally sick, there is no attention paid to it - and there are no arrangements for its development.
There should be some arrangements to develop the navel center. Just as we have created schools and colleges to develop the brain, in the same way some arrangement is absolutely necessary to develop the navel center because there are certain things by which the navel center develops and there are certain things by which it does not develop. As I said, if a situation of fear arises, then it is felt first of all at the navel center. So the more a man practices fearlessness the more his navel will become healthy; the more a man practices courage the more his navel center will develop. The more fearlessness grows the more the navel will be strong and healthy and the contacts with life deeper.
That is why all the great meditators of the world have considered fearlessness to be an essential quality in a seeker - there is no other significance of fearlessness. The significance of fearlessness is that it makes the navel center totally alive; it completely facilitates the total development of the navel.
We will talk about it step by step.
It is essential to give maximum attention to the navel center, so it is necessary to shift the attention slowly, slowly from the brain center and from the heart center so that it can go downwards and enter deeper and deeper. For this we will do two meditation experiments - one in the morning and one at night. I will explain the morning experiment to you and then for fifteen minutes we will sit and do that meditation.
If consciousness has to be brought downwards from the brain it is necessary to leave the brain completely relaxed. We keep the brain tense all the time. We have forgotten that we go on keeping it tense. It is totally tense. We are not aware of it. So first it is necessary to let it relax.
Now when we sit for meditation, there are three things....
The first thing: the whole brain has to be relaxed, so calm and relaxed that it is not doing anything.
But how will you know that it is relaxed? If we close the fist very tightly we become aware that all the muscles are very tense. Then when we open the fist we become aware that all the muscles have become loose and relaxed. Because our minds are tense all the time, we do not even know what it is to be tense and what it is to be relaxed. So we will do one thing. First we will make the brain as tense as we can - then we will relax it suddenly. You will realize what the difference between the brain being tense and being relaxed is.
Now, when we sit for meditation, for one minute make the brain as tense as you can, give it as much stress as you can. And then I will say, "Now let it relax" - then let it relax totally. Gradually you will come to know what it is to be tense and what it is to be relaxed. You should be able to feel it, it should become your experience, and then you will be able to relax it more and more. So the first thing is to relax the brain totally.
Along with the brain the whole body has to be relaxed. One has to sit so comfortably that there is no tension or stress anywhere on the body. There should be no weight anywhere on the body. Then what will you do? The moment you allow everything to be relaxed the birds start singing, there is the sound of the watermill, somewhere a crow may cry, somewhere there will be some other sound - you will start hearing all these sounds because the more relaxed the brain is, the more sensitive it will become. You will start hearing and feeling every little thing. You will also start hearing your own heartbeat and hearing and feeling the coming and going of your breath.
Then, sitting silently, one should experience quietly all that is happening around and do nothing else. You are hearing sounds, listen to them silently; a bird is singing, listen to it silently; the breath is moving in and out, go on watching it silently - nothing else has to be done. You do not have to do anything from your side because as soon as you do the brain will start becoming tense.
You have to just go on sitting in a state of relaxed awareness. Everything is happening on its own, you are simply listening to it quietly. And you will be amazed that as you listen silently, a deeper silence will start arising within you. The more deeply you listen, the more the silence will go on growing. Within ten minutes you will find that you have become an extraordinary center of silence, everything has become peaceful.
So we will do this as the first experiment of the morning. The first thing: you will make your brain totally tense. When I tell you to make the brain completely tense, then close your eyes and make your brain as tense as you can. Then I will tell you to let it relax - then let it relax, go on letting it relax.... In the same way also let the body relax. The eyes will be closed, and, sitting silently, listen quietly to whatever sounds are heard. For ten minutes you have to simply listen silently - nothing else has to be done. In these ten minutes, for the first time, you will start feeling that a stream of silence has started flowing and your life-energy has started descending within. It will start sinking downwards from the brain.
You will have to sit a little farther apart from each other. Nobody should touch anybody else. Some people can come at the back on the lawn. The people who are familiar with this morning meditation, those who have attended previous meditation camps, they can sit at the back on the lawn so that those who are new can listen. That way if I want to say something to them, if I want to give any instruction to them, they can hear. Those who are acquainted should go at the back so that the new people can sit in the front. Yes, old friends can go at the back and new friends can come forward.
Some friends can come up here, some friends can come behind, so that you can hear. Nobody should sit touching anybody else. Nobody should touch the other. You are still touching each other!
Move a little apart! Move a little further! Sit on the sand!
First of all close your eyes softly. Very softly close your eyes. There should be no strain on the eyes; it is not that you close them forcibly. Drop the eyelids slowly, there should be no weight on the eyes.
Close your eyes. Yes, close your eyes, close them softly.
Now allow the whole body to be relaxed and make only the brain tense. Put as much tension as you can on the brain, give it as much stress as you can, stress the whole brain! Force yourself to make the whole brain tense. Make it tense with all the strength you have. Make it tense with all your strength but let the whole body relax. Put all the energy on the brain so that the brain is totally tense - just like a closed fist with all the muscles tense. For one minute keep it tense in every way. Don't allow it to be loose; make it totally tense. Make it as tense as possible. Make the brain within tense in every way. Keep it tense. Make it tense with your full strength, at a climax. With whatever strength you have make it totally tense so that when you let it relax, it can be totally relaxed. Make it tense!
Now let it completely relax. Allow it to relax totally. Let the brain be relaxed totally! Release all the tension. A relaxation will start happening inside. You will feel inside that something has dropped, some tension has disappeared, something has become peaceful. Let it relax totally, just relax....
And the sounds which are all around - the wind passing through the leaves, some birds singing - sitting silently, quietly listen to all these sounds. Just listen! Keep listening to the sounds all around.
As you listen, the mind will become even more silent, even more silent... listen! Listen silently, totally relaxed. Keep listening. For ten minutes just become a listening.... Go on listening and the mind will start becoming silent.... Go on listening silently, just listening, the mind will become silent. A silence will start arising within you on it's own. You just listen... go on listening, the mind is becoming silent.
The mind is becoming totally silent. The mind is becoming silent. Go on listening in silence, the mind is becoming silent....
Enough for today.