Whenever in-breath and out-breath fuse, at this instant touch the energy-less, energy-filled center.
We are divided into the center and the periphery. The body is the periphery; we know the body, we know the periphery. We know the circumference, but we do not know where the center is. When the out-breath fuses with the in-breath, when they become one, when you cannot say whether it is the out-breath or the in-breath… when it is difficult to demarcate and define whether the breath is going out or coming in, when the breath has penetrated in and starts moving out, there is a moment of fusion. It is neither going out nor moving in. The breath is static. When it is moving out it is dynamic; when it is coming in it is dynamic. When it is neither, when it is silent, non-moving, you are near to the center. The fusion point of the in and outgoing breath is your center.
Look at it in this way: when the breath goes in, where does it go? It goes to your center, it touches your center. When it goes out, from where does it go out? It moves from your center. Your center has to be touched. That is why Taoist mystics and Zen mystics say that the head is not the center; the navel is your center. The breath goes to the navel, then it moves out. It goes to the center.
As I said, it is a bridge between you and your body. You know the body, but you do not know where your center is. The breath is constantly going to the center and moving out, but we are not taking enough breath. Thus, ordinarily it does not really go to the center – now, at least, it is not going to the center. That is why everyone feels “off-center.” In the whole modern world, those who can think at all feel they are missing their center.
Look at a child sleeping, observe his breath. The breath goes in; the abdomen comes up. The chest remains unaffected. That is why children have no chests, only abdomens – very dynamic abdomens. The breath goes in and the abdomen comes up; the breath goes out and the abdomen goes down… the abdomen moves. Children are in their center, at their center. That is why they are so happy, so bliss-filled, so energy-filled, never tired – overflowing, and always in the present moment with no past, no future.
A child can be angry. When he is angry, he is totally angry; he becomes the anger. Then his anger is also a beautiful thing. When one is totally angry, anger has a beauty of its own, because totality always has beauty.
You cannot be angry and beautiful; you will become ugly, because partiality is always ugly. And not only with anger. When you love you are ugly because you are again partial, fragmentary; you are not total. Look at your face when you are loving someone, making love. Make love before a mirror and look at your face – it will be ugly, animal-like. In love also your face becomes ugly. Why? Love is also a conflict, you are withholding something. You are giving very miserly. Even in your love you are not total; you do not give completely, wholly.
A child even in anger and violence is total. His face becomes radiant and beautiful; he is here and now. His anger is not something concerned with the past or something concerned with the future, he is not calculating, he is just angry. The child is at his center. When you are at your center you are always total. Whatsoever you do will be a total act; good or bad, it will be total. When you are fragmentary, when you are off-center, your every act is bound to be a fragment of yourself. Your totality is not responding, just a part, and the part is going against the whole – -that creates ugliness.
We all were children. Why is it that as we grow our breathing becomes shallow? It never goes to the abdomen; it never touches the navel. If it could go down more and more it would become less and less shallow, but it just touches the chest and goes out. It never goes to the center. You are afraid of the center, because if you go to the center you will become total. If you want to be fragmentary, this is the mechanism to be fragmentary.
You love – if you breathe from the center, you will flow in it totally. You are afraid. You are afraid to be so vulnerable, so open to someone, to anyone. You may call him your lover, you may call her your beloved, but you are afraid. The other is there. If you are totally vulnerable, open, you do not know what is going to happen. Then YOU ARE completely, in another sense. You are afraid to be so completely given to someone. You cannot breathe; you cannot take a deep breath. You cannot relax your breathing so that it goes to the center – because the moment breathing goes to the center your act becomes total.
Because you are afraid of being total, you breathe shallowly. You breathe just at the minimum, not at the maximum. That is why life seems so lifeless. If you are breathing at the minimum, life will become lifeless; you are living at the minimum, not at the maximum. You can live at the maximum – then life is an overflowing. But then there will be difficulty. You cannot be a husband; you cannot be a wife, if life is overflowing. Everything will become difficult.
If life is overflowing, love will be overflowing. Then you cannot stick to one. Then you will be flowing all over; all dimensions will be filled by you. And then the mind feels danger, so it is better not to be alive. The more you are dead, the more you are secure. The more you are dead, the more everything is in control. You can control; then you remain the master. You feel that you are the master because you can control. You can control your anger, you can control your love, you can control everything. But this controlling is possible only at the minimum level of your energy.
Everyone must have felt at some time or other that there are moments when he suddenly changes from the minimum level to the maximum. You go out to a hill station. Suddenly you are out of the city and the prison of it. You feel free. The sky is vast, and the forest is green, and the height touches the clouds. Suddenly you take a deep breath. You may not have observed it.
Now if you go to a hill station, observe. It is not really the hill station that makes the change. It is your breathing. You take a deep breath. You say, “Ah! Ah!” You touch the center, you become total for a moment, and everything is bliss. That bliss is not coming from the hill station, that bliss is coming from your center – you have touched it suddenly.
You were afraid in the city. Everywhere there were others present and you were controlling. You could not scream, you could not laugh. What a misfortune! You could not sing on the street and dance. You were afraid – a policeman was somewhere around the corner, or the priest or the judge or the politician or the moralist. Someone was just around the corner, so you could not just dance in the street.
Bertrand Russell has said somewhere, “I love civilization, but we have achieved civilization at a very great cost.” You cannot dance in the streets, but you go to a hill station and suddenly you can dance.You are alone with the sky, and the sky is not an imprisonment. It is just opening, opening and opening – vast, infinite. Suddenly you take a breath deeply; it touches the center and the bliss. But it is not so for long. Within an hour or two, the hill station will disappear. You may be there, but the hill station will disappear.
Your worries will come back. You will begin to think to make a call to the city, to write a letter to your wife, or you will begin to think that since after three days you are going back you should make arrangements. You have just reached and you are making arrangements to leave. You are back.
That breath was not from you really; it suddenly happened. Because of the change of situation the gear changed. You were in a new situation, you could not breathe in the old way, so for a moment a new breath came in. It touched the center, and you felt the bliss.
Shiva says you are every moment touching the center, or if you are not touching you CAN touch it. Take deep, slow breaths. Touch the center; do not breathe from the chest – that is a trick. Civilization, education, morality, they have created shallow breathing. It will be good to go deep into the center, because otherwise you cannot take deep breaths.
Unless humanity becomes non-suppressive toward sex, man cannot breathe really. If the breath goes deep down to the abdomen, it gives energy to the sex center. It touches the sex center; it massages the sex center from within. The sex center becomes more active, more alive. Civilization is afraid of sex. We do not allow our children to touch their sex centers, their sex organs. We say, “Stop! Don’t touch!”
Look at a child when he first touches his sex center, and then say “Stop!” and then observe his breathing. When you say “Stop! Don’t touch your sex center!” the breath will become shallow immediately – because it is not only his hand which is touching the sex center, deep down the breath is touching it. And if the breath goes on touching it, it is difficult to stop the hand. If the hand stops, then basically it is necessary, required, that the breath should not touch, should not go deep. It must remain shallow.
We are afraid of sex. The lower part of the body is not only lower physically, it has become lower as a value. It is condemned as “lower.” So do not go deep, just remain shallow. It is unfortunate that we can only breathe downwards. If some preachers were allowed, they would change the whole mechanism. They would only allow you to breathe upward into the head. Then you would absolutely not feel sex.
If we are to create a sexless humanity, then we will have to change the breathing system. The breath must go into the head, to the sahasrar – the seventh center in the head – then come back to the mouth. This should be the passage: from the mouth to the sahasrar. It must not go deep down because down is dangerous. The deeper you go, the nearer you reach to the deeper layers of biology. You reach to the center, and that center is just near the sex center – just near. It has to be, because sex is life.
Look at it in this way: breath is life from above downwards; sex is life from just the other corner – from down upwards. Sex energy is flowing and breath energy is flowing. The breath passage is in the upper body and the sex passage is in the lower body. When they meet they create life; when they meet they create biology, bio-energy. So if you are afraid of sex, create a distance between the two, do not allow them to meet. So really, civilized man is a castrated man; that is why we do not know about breath, and this sutra will be difficult to understand.
Shiva says, Whenever in-breath and out-breath fuse, at this instant touch the energy-less, energy-filled center. He uses very contradictory terms: “energy-less, energy-filled.” It is energy-less because your bodies, your minds, cannot give any energy to it. Your body energy is not there, your mind energy is not there, so it is energy-less as far as you know your identity. But it is energy-filled because it has the cosmic source of energy, not because of your body energy.
Your body energy is just fuel energy. It is nothing but petrol. You eat something, you drink something– it creates energy. It is just giving fuel to the body. Stop eating and drinking and your body will fall dead. Not just now, it will take three months at least, because you have reservoirs of petrol.
You have accumulated much energy; it can run for at least three months without going to any petrol station. It can run; it has a reservoir. For an emergency, any emergency, you may need it.
This is “fuel” energy. The center is not getting any fuel energy. That is why Shiva says it is energy-less. It is not dependent on your eating and drinking. It is connected with the cosmic source; it is cosmic energy. That is why he says energy-less, energy-filled center. The moment you can feel the center from where breath goes out or comes in, the very point where the breaths fuse – that center – if you become aware of it, then enlightenment.
From The Book of Secrets, Chapter Three
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Here you can find all of Shiva’s 112 Meditation Techniques.
Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Whenever In-Breath and Out-Breath Fuse.