Chapter 7: The Flowering of Godliness
Buddha has said, “Just inhale and exhale consciously, that’s enough.” What is going to happen just by doing this? This can do everything, because with this method your inner consciousness will begin to awaken. This can also be accomplished through other methods, but whatsoever you do, if you do it consciously your wakeful intelligence will start to grow sharper and because of this your mind will start becoming more silent. When the master appears, the servant will sit quietly and wait for his orders.
Awareness is the essence of all religiousness and unconsciousness is the basis of all that is irreligious. Whatsoever we do, if it is done consciously it is right, if it is done unconsciously it is wrong. No action in itself is either right or wrong: it all depends on what is the state of your consciousness at the time of the action.
Once Buddha was passing through a village. He had not yet become a buddha at that time; he was still in search, he was a seeker, he had not yet become enlightened. He was talking with a friend and a fly sat on his forehead. Buddha continued to talk; he just went on walking and waved the fly away just as you would do. Suddenly he stopped and consciously raised his hand to remove the fly from his forehead - and it was not there anymore. His friend asked, “Are you mad? What are you trying to remove now?” Buddha said, “I am consciously removing the fly, as I should have done in the first place. I was busy talking with you and I removed the fly unconsciously, my hand did it mechanically. I was not aware, so now I have done it with total awareness. Now I am fully aware in the movement of my hand and I have moved with my hand to remove the fly. My mind is totally present in the action and is not anywhere else.” He said, “I again removed the fly, but consciously. The first time I made a mistake so a wrong thing happened.” The fly was not hurt even the first time, so there was no reason for Buddha to call it wrong. But Buddha said, “Because I was unconscious the first time it was wrong. If I can remove a fly unconsciously, I can do anything else unconsciously. I can even kill somebody because how can an unconscious man be relied upon?”
We cannot expect anything from a person who does things unconsciously: he can commit any wrong. Buddha again went through the act of removing the fly as he should have done it the first time.
Buddha used to say to his disciples, “Whatever you do - standing, sitting or walking - do it with the flame of awareness burning continuously within you. If you took a step unconsciously, go back, repeat it again in total consciousness.” As a person becomes conscious of all his actions, eating, breathing or closing his eyes..Try to experiment a little and you will be surprised to see how silent you become. Nothing needs to be done with the mind directly. You do not have to undergo any treatment for your mind. Just by remaining conscious in all your actions you will find that your mind has become quiet. The mind is disturbed because of unconsciousness. There is a sort of drunkenness spread over you. It is necessary to come out of this drunkenness and these sutras are about this.