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Chapter 42: Alertness through Tantra

But in the beginning everything is going to be an effort, so don’t become a victim of words. It creates problems. Mystics have always been talking about effortlessness. They say don’t make any effort. But in the beginning even this is going to be an effort. When we say be effortless we only mean don’t force the effort. Allow it to come through awareness. If you force it, you will become tense. If you become tense, anger cannot move upwards. Tension is horizontal; only a non-tense mind can be above, hovering like a cloud.

Look at the clouds floating with no effort. Just bring your witnessing in like a floating cloud. In the beginning it is going to be an effort, but remember only that it is going to become effortless. You will be forcing it and allowing it more and more.

This is difficult because language creates the difficulty. If I tell you to relax, what will you do? You will make a sort of effort. But then I tell you don’t make any effort, because if you make any effort that will create tension and you will not be able to relax. I tell you to simply relax. Then you are at a loss, and you are bound to ask, “Then what do you mean? If I am not going to make any effort then what am I supposed to do?”

You are not supposed to do anything, but in the beginning that non-doing will look like a doing. So I will say, “Okay! Make a little effort, but remember that the effort is to be left behind. Use it as a starter just in the beginning.” You cannot understand non-doing; you can only understand doing. So use the language of doing and action. Start, but use effort only as a starter. And remember, the sooner you leave it behind, the better.

I have heard that when Mulla Nasruddin became very old, he became a victim of insomnia, he couldn’t sleep. Everything was tried - hot baths, pills, tranquilizers, syrups - but nothing was of any help. Everything was of no avail. And the children were disturbed because Mulla would not sleep himself, and he would not allow anyone in the house to sleep. So the whole night had become a nightmare for the whole family.

They searched desperately for any method, any medicine that would help Mulla to sleep, because the whole family was going crazy. So finally they brought a hypnotist. The children came very happily, and they told old Mulla, “Now you need not be worried, papa. This is a miracle man. He creates sleep within minutes. He knows the very magic of it, so don’t be worried. Now there is no fear, and you will sleep.”

The hypnotist showed a watch with a chain to Nasruddin and said, “Only very little faith will do the miracle. You need a little trust towards me. Just trust me, and you will fall like a small babe into deep sleep. Look at this watch.”

He started moving that watch left and right. Nasruddin looked at it, and the hypnotist said, “Left-right, left-right. Your eyes are becoming tired, tired, tired. You are falling asleep, asleep, asleep, asleep.”

Everyone was in joy - happy. Mulla’s eyes closed, his head moved down, and he felt like a small babe going into deep sleep. A very rhythmic breathing came. The hypnotist took his fee, and he put his finger on his lips, just to indicate to the children not to be disturbed now. Then he sneaked out. The moment he was out, Mulla opened one eye and said, “That nut! Has he gone yet?”