Chapter 5: Five Techniques of Attentiveness
The vice versa is the case also. If you are focused in the third eye, you will become a witness. These two things are part of one. So the first thing: by being centered in the third eye there will be the arising of the witnessing self. Now you can encounter your thoughts. This will be the first thing. And the second thing will be that now you can feel the subtle, delicate vibration of breathing. Now you can feel the form of breathing, the very essence of breathing.
First try to understand what is meant by “the form,” by “the essence of breathing.” While you are breathing, you are not only breathing air. Science says you are breathing only air - just oxygen, hydrogen, and other gases in their combined form of air. They say you are breathing air! But Tantra says that air is just the vehicle, not the real thing. You are breathing prana - vitality. Air is just the medium; prana is the content. You are breathing prana, not only air.
Modern science is still not able to find out whether there is something like prana, but some researchers have felt something mysterious. Breathing is not simply air. It has been felt by many modern researchers also. In particular, one name is to be mentioned - Wilhelm Reich, a German psychologist who called it “orgone energy.” It is the same thing as prana. He says that while you are breathing, air is just the container and there is a mysterious content which can be called orgone or prana or elan vital. But that is very subtle. Really, it is not material. Air is the material thing - the container is material - but something subtle, non-material, is moving through it.
The effects of it can be felt. When you are with a very vital person, you will feel a certain vitality arising in you. If you are with a very sick person you will feel sucked, as if something has been taken out of you. When you go to the hospital, why do you feel so tired? You are being sucked from everywhere. The whole hospital atmosphere is ill, and everyone there needs more elan vital, more prana. So if you are there, suddenly your prana begins to flow out of you. Why do you feel suffocated sometimes when you are in a crowd? Because your prana is being sucked. While you are alone under the sky in the morning, under the trees, suddenly you feel a vitality in you - the prana. Each person needs a particular space. If that space is not given, your prana is sucked.
Wilhelm Reich did many experiments, but he was thought to be a madman. Science has its own superstitions, and science is a very orthodox thing. Science cannot feel yet that there is anything more than air, but India has been experimenting with it for centuries.
You may have heard or you may have even seen someone going into samadhi, cosmic consciousness - underground samadhi - for days together, with no air penetrating. One man went into such underground samadhi in Egypt in 1880 for forty years. Those who had buried him all died, because he was to come out of his samadhi in 1920, forty years afterwards. In 1920 no one believed that they would find him alive, but he was found alive. He lived afterwards for ten years more. He had become completely pale, but he was alive. And there had been no possibility of air reaching to him.