Osho explains techniques of harnessing energy and becoming centered culled from the Vigyana bBhairava tantra, an ancient tantric text presented as a conversation between Devi and Shiva.
The world of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is not intellectual, it is not philosophical. Doctrine is meaningless to it. It is concerned with method, with technique—not with principles at all. Tantra means technique. So this treatise is a scientific one. Science is not concerned with ‘why’; science is concerned with ‘how’. That is the basic difference between philosophy and science. Philosophy asks, “Why this existence?” Science asks, “How this existence?” The moment you ask the question ‘how’, method and technique become important. Theories become meaningless; experience becomes the center.
Devi asks, “What is your reality, my lord?” He is not going to answer it. On the contrary, he will give a technique. And if Devi goes through this technique, she will know.
For Tantra, doing is knowing, and there is no other knowing. Unless you do something, unless you change, unless you have a different perspective to look at, to look with, unless you move in an altogether different dimension than the intellect, there is no answer.
The second thing: this is a different type of language. You must know something about it before we enter into it. All the Tantra treatises are dialogs between Shiva and Devi. Devi questions and Shiva answers. All the Tantra treatises start that way. Why? Why this method? It is very significant.
It is not a dialog between a teacher and a disciple; it is a dialog between two lovers. Tantra signifies through it a very meaningful thing: that the deeper teachings cannot be given unless there is love between the two—the disciple and the master. The disciple and master must become deep lovers. Only then can the higher, the beyond, be expressed.
Thirdly, the very words Vigyana Bhairava Tantra mean the technique of going beyond consciousness. Vigyana means consciousness, Bhairava means the state which is beyond consciousness, and Tantra means the method: the method of going beyond consciousness.
Here are some techniques from the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra that could be useful in your day to day life.
As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to down—through both these turns, realize.
The outgoing and ingoing breaths make a circle. Remember, these are not two parallel lines. We always think of them as two parallel lines—breath going in and breath going out. So understand this: first, breathing in and out creates a circle. They are not parallel lines, because parallel lines never meet anywhere.
Secondly, the breath coming in and the breath going out are not two breaths, they are one breath. The same breath which comes in goes out, so it must have a turn inside. It must turn somewhere. There must be a point where the incoming breath becomes outgoing.
Why put such emphasis upon turning? Why the turn?
If you know driving you know about gears. Each time you change the gear, you have to pass through the neutral gear, which is not a gear at all. From the first gear you move to the second or from the second to the third, but always you have to move through the neutral gear. That neutral gear is a turning point. In that turning point the first gear becomes the second and the second becomes the third. When your breath goes in and turns out, it passes through the neutral gear; otherwise it cannot turn out. It passes through the neutral territory.
In that neutral territory you are neither a body nor a soul, neither physical nor mental, because the physical is a gear of your being and the mental is another gear of your being. You go on moving from gear to gear, but you must have a neutral gear where you are neither body nor mind. In that neutral gear you simply are: you are simply an existence—pure, simple, unembodied, with no mind.
So sit in a comfortable position and watch the turning point between two breaths.
Blessed one, as senses are absorbed in the heart, reach the center of the lotus.
The method is for those who have a developed heart, who are loving, feeling types, emotional. This method can be used only by heart-oriented persons. Therefore, understand first who is a heart-oriented person. Then this method can be understood.
With one who is heart-oriented, everything leads to the heart, everything. If you love him, his heart will feel your love, not his head. A head-oriented person, even when loved, feels it cerebrally, in the head. He thinks about it; he plans about it. Even his love is a deliberate effort of the mind.
Step 1: Eyes closed, sitting comfortably, put both the hands on your heart and breathe deeply into the heart center. Feel your heart filled with warmth and softness.
Step 2: Touch a flower or a stone or a person and be present in the touch. Feel the waves of touch going to your heart like a cool running brook. Feel the communication from your heart to the object of your touch. Feel that your hand is just your heart stretched out to touch the earth. Let the feeling of touch be related to the heart.
Step 3: Listening to music do not listen to it from the head. Just forget your head and feel that you are headless, there is no head at all. It is good to have a picture of yourself without the head in your bedroom. Concentrate on it; you are without the head, do not allow the head to come in.
While listening to music, listen to it from the heart. Feel the music coming to your heart; let your heart vibrate with it. Let your senses be joined to the heart, not to the head.
Try this with all the senses, and feel more and more that every sense goes into the heart and dissolves into it.
Step 4: Lie down and be a witness to the lotus blossomed into the heart.
Waking, sleeping, dreaming, know you as light.
This is a technique to make you more present, to bring you here and now. To make you more conscious, to help create a situation in which you can meet yourself.
As if in your heart a flame is burning, and your body is nothing but the aura around the flame. Imagine it. Step 1: Sit, eyes closed, feeling your heart, the area between the armpits. Put your hand on your heart if you like. Feeling your heart as a flame, burning, feeling the warmth, the light. A flame is burning in your heart.
Step 2: With total presence move in a slow walk, eyes lowered. Sense an aura of light around the body. Let the body make any soft movements it wants to while walking.
Step 3: Dance like a flame. Flickering, consuming, warm. Staying aware that in your heart a flame is burning and your body is light around the flame.
Step 4: Lie or sit taking this flame deep inside as you relax.
Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop.
The mechanism of these techniques of stopping is to throw you suddenly into inactivity. The point must come suddenly, because if you try to be inactive you will turn it into activity. So do not try, and suddenly be inactive. That is the meaning of ‘Stop!’ You are running and I say, “Stop!” Do not try, just stop! If you try, you will miss the point. For example, you are sitting here. If I say stop, then stop immediately then and there; not a single moment is to be missed. If you try and adjust, and you settle down and then say, “Okay, now I will stop,” you have missed the point. Suddenly is the base, so do not make any effort to stop—just stop!
You can try it anywhere. You are taking your bath—suddenly order yourself to ‘Stop!’ and stop. Even if it is only for a single moment, you will feel a different phenomenon happening within you. You are thrown to the center and suddenly everything stops—not only the body. When the body stops totally, your mind stops also. When you say, ‘Stop!’ do not breathe then. Let everything stop…no breathing, no body movement.
For a single moment remain in this stop, and you will feel you have penetrated suddenly, at rocket speed, to the center. And even a glimpse is miraculous, revolutionary. It changes you, and by and by you can have more clear glimpses of the center. That is why inactivity is not to be practiced. Use it suddenly, when you are unaware.
This is a group method. Gurdjieff used it as a group method because if you say ‘Stop!’ you can deceive yourself easily. First you make yourself comfortable and then you say ‘Stop!’ You feel the sensation that a sneeze is coming, stop! Do not try to stop the sneeze, just you yourself stop. Do not do anything. Remain completely unmoving, with not even your breath going in or coming out. For a moment, stop, and you will feel that the impulse has gone back, that it has dropped. And in this dropping of the impulse a subtle energy is released which is used in going toward the center, because in a sneeze you are throwing some energy out—in any impulse.
‘Impulse’ means you are burdened with some energy which you cannot use and cannot absorb. It wants to move out, it wants to be thrown out; you want relief.
That is why after you sneeze you will feel good, a subtle well-being. Nothing has happened, you have simply released some energy which was superfluous, a burden. Now it is no more there; you are relieved of it. Then you feel a subtle relaxation inside.
Look upon a bowl without seeing the sides or the material. In a few moments become aware.
Look at anything. A bowl or any object will do, but look with a different quality. Look upon any object, but with these two conditions…Do not look at the sides, look at the object as a whole. Ordinarily, we look at parts. It may not be done so consciously, but we look at parts. If I look at you, first I see your face, then your torso, and then your whole body.
Look at an object as a whole; do not divide it in parts. Why? Because when you divide something in parts, the eyes have an opportunity to move from one part to another. Look at a thing as a whole. You can do it.
First look at a thing moving from one fragment to another. Then suddenly look at this thing as a whole; do not divide it. When you look at a thing as a whole, the eyes have no need to move.
In order not to give any opportunity for movement, this has been made a condition: look at an object totally, taken as a whole. And secondly, without seeing the material. If the bowl is of wood, do not see the wood: just see the bowl, the form. Do not see the substance.
Do not look at the material of which it is made, just look at the form. The first thing is to look at it as a whole. Secondly, look at it as a form, not as a substance. Why? Because substance is the material part, form is the spiritual part, and you are to move from the material to the non-material. It will be helpful.
Try it. You can try it with anyone. Some man or some woman is standing: look, and take the man or woman wholly into your look, totally into it. It will be a weird feeling in the beginning because you are not habituated this way, but it is very beautiful in the end.
And then, do not think about whether the body is beautiful or not, white or black, man or woman. Do not think; just look at the form. Forget the substance and just look at the form.
What will happen? You will suddenly become aware of your self. Looking at something, you will become aware of your self. Why? Because for the eyes there is no possibility to move outwards. The form has been taken as a whole, so you cannot move to the parts. The material has been dropped; pure form has been taken.
So your look will move toward you. It will come back, it will return home, and suddenly you will become aware of your self. This becoming aware of one’s self is one of the most ecstatic moments possible. When for the first time you become aware of your self, it has such beauty and such bliss that you cannot compare it with anything else you have known.
Those who can practice this technique, they can live in the world very easily. Any moment they can make anything disappear—remember this. You are bothered with your wife or with your husband—you can have her or him disappear. They are there sitting just by your side and yet they are not there.
This article is excerpted from The Book of Secrets.
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