When you go to sleep tonight and every night following, before going to sleep put off the light, sit on your bed, close your eyes and exhale deeply through the mouth with the sound ‘O’ – Ooooo. Go on exhaling with the sound ‘O’, as deeply as possible. Your stomach goes in, the air moves out, and you go on creating the sound ‘O’. Remember, I am not saying aum, I am saying simply ‘O’. It will become aum automatically. You need not make it, then it is false. You simply create the sound ‘O’. When it becomes more harmonious and you are enjoying it, suddenly you will become aware it has become aum. But don’t force it to become aum, then it is false. When it becomes spontaneously aum then it is something vibrating from within. And this sound aum is the deepest sound, the most harmonious, the most basic.
When it happens and you enjoy and you flow in its music, your whole body and your brain relax. With the sound aum you will go on relaxing and your sleep will have a different quality, altogether different. And your sleep has to be changed, only then can you become more alert and aware. So we will start by changing the sleep.
In the night put the light off, sit on the bed, exhale deeply through the mouth with the sound ‘O’. When you have exhaled completely and you feel that now no more exhalation is possible, the whole breath has gone out, stop for a single moment. Don’t inhale, don’t exhale – just stop. In that stop you are the divine. In that stop you are not doing anything, not even breathing. In that stop you are in the ocean.
Just remain in the stop for a single moment and be a witness – just look at what is happening. Be aware where you are: witness the whole situation that is there in that single stopped moment. Time is no more there, because time moves with breaths; breathing is the process of time. Because you breathe you feel the time moving. When you don’t breathe you are just like a dead man. Time has stopped, there is no process anywhere, everything has stopped… as if the whole existence has stopped with you. In that stopping you can become aware of the deepest source of your being and energy. So for a single moment stop. Then inhale through the nose, but don’t make any effort to inhale.
Remember, make all the effort to exhale, but don’t make any effort to inhale; just let the body inhale.
You simply relax your hold and let the body take the inhalation. You don’t do anything. That too is beautiful and works wonders. You have exhaled, stopped for a moment, then you allow the body to inhale. You don’t make any effort to inhale; you simply watch the body taking the inhalation.
And when you watch the body taking the inhalation you will feel a deep silence surrounding you, because then you know your effort is not needed for life. Life breathes itself. It moves by itself of its own cause. It is a river; you unnecessarily go on pushing it. You will see that the body is taking the inhalation. Your effort is not needed, your ego is not needed – you are not needed. You simply become a watcher, you simply see the body taking the inhalation. Deep silence will be felt.
When the body has taken a full inhalation, stop for a single moment again. Again watch.
These two moments are totally different. When you have exhaled completely and stopped, that stopping is just like death. When you have inhaled totally and then stopped, that stopping is the climax of life. Remember, inhalation is equivalent to life, exhalation equivalent to death.
That’s why the first thing a child does when born is to inhale, and the last thing the same child will do when old, dying, will be to exhale. On this earth, the first thing you did while entering life was inhalation, and the last thing you will do will be exhalation. No one can die inhaling. When you die you have to exhale, you die with exhalation. And no one can be born with exhalation, you have to start by inhalation.
Those who know, and those who have watched their inner life process deeply, they say – and you will come to feel it yourself – that with every inhalation you are born again and with every exhalation you die. So death is not something in the end, and birth is not something in the beginning; every moment there is birth and death, every moment you die and are born again. And if you die beautifully you are born again more beautifully, if you die totally you are born totally.
So exhale as totally as possible; that will give you a death moment. That’s beautiful, because a death moment is the most silent, the most peaceful – that is nirvana. Then let the body inhale to the full, and then stop. That moment is a life moment: the climax of energy, power, bio-energy at its peak. Feel it, and feel both. That’s why I say stop twice: when you have exhaled, then; and when you have inhaled, then – so you can feel both life and death, so you can watch both life and death.
Once you know this is life, this is death, you have transcended both. The witness is neither death nor life. The witness is never born and never dies; only the body, the mechanism. You become the third. These two moments are very significant. This very night you have to do this meditation, for twenty minutes you go on doing this and then fall down and go to sleep.
From Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Chapter One
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