Chapter 3: Breath - A Bridge to the Universe
When the breath touches your nostrils, feel it there. Then let the breath move in. Move with the breath fully consciously. When you are going down, down, down with the breath, do not miss the breath. Do not go ahead and do not follow behind, just go with it. Remember this: do not go ahead, do not follow it like a shadow; be simultaneous with it.
Breath and consciousness should become one. The breath goes in - you go in. Only then will it be possible to get the point which is between two breaths. It will not be easy. Move in with the breath, then move out with the breath: in-out, in-out.
Buddha tried particularly to use this method, so this method has become a Buddhist method. In Buddhist terminology it is known as Anapanasati Yoga. And Buddha’s enlightenment was based on this technique - only this.
All the religions of the world, all the seers of the world, have reached through some technique or other, and all those techniques will be in these one hundred and twelve techniques. This first one is a Buddhist technique. It has become known in the world as a Buddhist technique because Buddha attained his enlightenment through this technique.
Buddha said, “Be aware of your breath as it is coming in, going out - coming in, going out.” He never mentions the gap because there is no need. Buddha thought and felt that if you become concerned with the gap, the gap between two breaths, that concern may disturb your awareness. So he simply said, “Be aware. When the breath is going in move with it, and when the breath is going out move with it. Do simply this: going in, going out, with the breath.” He never says anything about the latter part of the technique.
The reason is that Buddha was talking with very ordinary men, and even that might create a desire to attain the interval. That desire to attain the interval will become a barrier to awareness, because if you are desiring to get to the interval you will move ahead. Breath will be coming in, and you will move ahead because you are interested in the gap which is going to be in the future. Buddha never mentions it, so Buddha’s technique is just half.
But the other half follows automatically. If you go on practicing breath consciousness, breath awareness, suddenly, one day, without knowing, you will come to the interval. Because as your awareness will become keen and deep and intense, as your awareness will become bracketed - the whole world is bracketed out; only your breath coming in or going out is your world, the whole arena for your consciousness - suddenly you are bound to feel the gap in which there is no breath.
When you are moving with breath minutely, when there is no breath, how can you remain unaware? You will suddenly become aware that there is no breath, and the moment will come when you will feel that the breath is neither going out nor coming in. The breath has stopped completely. In that stopping, the beneficence.