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Chapter 66: A Buddha Is a Nobody

All techniques of meditation are similar to hypnosis. This creates a problem. It creates a problem when people go on asking about the difference between hypnosis and meditation. There is no difference. The path is the same but the direction is different.

In hypnosis you are falling more and more asleep, losing awareness; in meditation you are coming out of sleep, gaining awareness. It is the same path. In hypnosis you are conditioning yourself, in meditation you are unconditioning yourself - but the process is the same. Meditation is hypnosis in reverse. So whatsoever you have done with yourself you have to undo it. That’s all.

Try to do a very simple experiment which will be revealing: you can hypnotize yourself. Close your room and make it completely dark, then put a small candle just in front of your eyes. Then without blinking your eyes, stare at the flame, and just go on thinking that you are falling asleep, you are falling asleep. A deep sleep is descending upon you - just let this thought be floating there, within. Go on staring at the candle and let this thought be there as a cloud hovering over you. You are falling asleep, you are falling asleep. When you do it, you have to say, “I am falling asleep. Sleep is descending. My limbs are relaxing.”

You will immediately feel a subtle change, and within three minutes you will feel that the body has become heavy. Any moment you can fall. The lids of the eyes are heavy and now it is very difficult to go on staring at the flame. The eyes want to close. Everything has become numb.

Now you can feel that this is what hypnosis is: being more sleepy, falling into unawareness, becoming more unconscious. Feel the feel of it, what is happening, how your mind has become cloudy. The clarity has gone, aliveness has gone, you are becoming dead. Your body feels more weighty. This will give you the sensation of how your consciousness can become unconsciousness.

Try this for seven days so that you can feel completely what it is, and how you descend into the well. With more and more darkness, more sleep, more unconsciousness, at the last moment suddenly you will not be there and the flame will have disappeared. You are fast asleep. You can feel the grave.

Then after one week try the other experiment. Have the same room, the same flame, the same way of staring, but a different thought in the mind, “I will become more alert, I am becoming more and more alert, more alive, more alert. The body is becoming more and more weightless.” Let this thought be there and go on staring at the flame - you will feel a sudden surge of life awareness and consciousness.

Within seven days you can come to a point where you will feel so alert that you will feel as if the body is not. On one pole the whole spectrum is deep sleep where you forget yourself completely; on the other pole there is deep awareness where everything is forgotten, you remember only yourself.

Then there are many mid-stages. The stage we are in is just in the middle - half asleep, half awake. So whatsoever you do, you are doing it half asleep, half awake. Both the processes are the same, they are the same process.