Follow the Sneeze IN – Osho

These techniques help you to move to the center without any accidents, without any danger. But remember, you cannot practice them. When I say you cannot practice them, what do I mean? In a way you can practice them: suddenly you can stop. But the stopping must be sudden; you must not be prepared for it. You should not think about it and plan it and say that “At twelve o’clock I will stop.” Let the unknown happen to you when you are unprepared. Move in the unknown, the uncharted, without any knowledge. This is one technique: Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop. This is one dimension.

For example, you have the impulse to sneeze. You are feeling that the impulse is coming, you are feeling the sneeze coming. Now a moment comes when you cannot do anything – it will happen. But in the very beginning of the feeling, when you feel the sensation of a sneeze coming to you, the moment you become aware, stop! What can you do? Can you stop the sneeze? If you try to stop the sneeze, the sneeze will come sooner, because stopping will make your mind more conscious about it and you will feel the sensation more. You will become more sensitive, your total attention will be there, and that attention will help the sneeze to come out sooner. It will become unbearable.

You cannot stop the sneeze directly, but you can stop yourself.

What can you do? You feel the sensation that the 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 a 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.

That is why physiologists, Pavlov, B. F. Skinner and others, say sex is also like sneezing. They say physiologically there is no difference, sex is just like sneezing. You are overburdened with energy; you want to throw it out. Once it is thrown out your mechanism relaxes, you become unburdened.

Then you feel good. That good feeling is just a release, according to physiologists, and as far as physiology goes they are right. Whenever you have some impulse, Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop! Not only with a physiological impulse, any impulse can be used. For example, you were going to drink a glass of water. You have touched the water, the glass – suddenly stop. Let the hand be there, let the desire to drink, the thirst be there inside, but you stop completely. The glass is outside, the thirst is inside; the hand is on the glass, the eyes are on the glass – stop suddenly. No breathing, no movement, as if you have become dead. The very impulse, the thirst, will release energy, and that energy is used for going to the center. You will be thrown to the center. Why? Because any impulse is a movement outward. Remember, ‘impulse’ means energy moving outward.

Remember another thing: energy is always in movement – either going out or coming in. Energy can never be static. These are the laws. If you understand the laws, then the mechanism of the technique will be easy. Energy is always in movement. Either it is moving out or moving in; energy can never be static. If it is static it is not energy, and there is nothing which is not energy, so everything is moving somewhere.

When an impulse, any impulse, comes to you, it means energy is moving out. That is why your hand goes to the glass – you have moved out. A desire has come to do something. All activities are movements toward that which is without from that which is within – movements from within to without.

When you stop suddenly, the energy cannot be static in you. You have become static, but the energy cannot be static in you, and the mechanism through which it was moving out is not dead, it has stopped. So what can the energy do? The energy cannot do anything other than move inward. Energy cannot be static. It was going out. You have stopped, the mechanism has stopped, but the mechanism which can lead it toward the center is there. This energy will move inward. […]

-Osho

Excerpt from The Book of Secrets, Chapter 17

Here you can find all of Shiva’s 112 Meditation Techniques.

Osho discusses this technique in even more detail in the first chapter of  The Book of Secrets, Chapter 41 or in another edition Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, Volume 2, Chapter One.

—————

I have been telling you that even if you feel a sneeze coming, do not sneeze, do not cough. But if you feel an irritation in the throat, what will you do? If you try to prevent it, it will become more penetrating. If you try to block it, it will become more forcible because this is a sort of suppression. Then you will have to cough. If you feel a sneeze coming, what will you do? If you hold it, it will become more forcible, it will come out with a greater force.

But there is a way: if you feel that your throat is irritated and you want to cough, relax the throat. Do not prevent it. Simply relax the throat; be indifferent to the irritation. Relax the throat. Do not make it tense because tension will create more irritation. Relax the throat and be indifferent; feel as if you are not concerned. Within seconds the irritation will go. If you feel that a sneeze is coming, just be indifferent to it; do not do anything about it. Relax the part where you feel that the sneeze is hitting, and be indifferent.

In that indifference, out of one hundred times, ninety-nine times the sneeze will disappear. Out of a hundred times, there is only one possibility that the sneeze will come – but that too will not disturb you because you are so indifferent that even if it happens you will feel that it is happening to someone else. You will be so unconcerned that even if it comes it makes no difference. You will remain unperturbed within.

And I am not saying to you not to sneeze because others will be disturbed – no! And I am not saying not to cough because others will be disturbed. That is not the point. You will become disturbed. You will lose the whole point of the effort; the whole endeavor will be lost. […]

-Osho

Excerpt from The Supreme Doctrine, Chapter Nine

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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4 thoughts on “Follow the Sneeze IN – Osho”

  1. haha this is so stupid.. if you need to cough, cough then.. there is probably something in your lungs or throat that needs to come out.. lol.. people execute all these old pseudo practices that hold no water and are based on primordial adolescent thought.. if you need to sneeze, sneeze.. again something that needs to come out.. if you practice stopping/ suppressing, you will become more dull to your bodies response mechanisms.. the only energy that will go inward is stupidity energy.. it’s the b.s. energy that people who have a hard time fitting into society and contributing to the greater good use to brainwash themselves into believing there is something “behind the veil”… ooooooo the veil… I am a being of light yet have no idea what that means.. maybe I will write a book and charge people money for copies because that is how holy each and everyone of us are.

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    1. It is a fine line between suppressing and not going with an urge but that is what this technique is pointing at. “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.” This is not the same as “suppressing” (your word) but in order to see that, you will have to experiment for yourself, not just dismiss out of hand.

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