Chapter 31: From Sound to Inner Silence
We always take the breath in. We always take it in, but we never throw it out. We take it in and the body throws it out. Observe your breathing and you will know. We take it in. We never exhale, we only inhale. The exhaling is done by the body because we are afraid of death, that is the reason. If it was in our power we would not exhale at all, we would inhale and then control it within. No one emphasizes exhaling - inhaling is emphasized. Because we have to do exhaling after inhaling, that is why we go on “suffering” it. We tolerate it because we cannot inhale without exhaling.
So exhaling is accepted as a necessary evil, but basically we are not interested in exhaling. And this is not only about breath, this is our whole attitude toward life. We cling to everything that comes to us; we will not leave it. This is the miserliness of the mind.
And remember, there are many implications in it. If you are suffering from constipation, this will be the basic cause: you always inhale and never exhale. The mind which never exhales but just inhales will suffer from constipation. The constipation is the other end of the same thing. He cannot exhale anything, he goes on accumulating, he is afraid. The fear is there. He can only accumulate, but anything that is accumulated becomes poisonous.
If you only inhale and do not exhale, your very breath becomes poison to you; you will die because of it. You can turn a life-giving force into poison if you behave in a miserly way, because the exhaling is absolutely necessary. It throws all the poisons out of you.
So really, death is a purifying process and life is a poisoning process. This will look paradoxical. Life is a poisoning process because to live you have to use many things - and the moment you have used them they turn into poison, they are converted into poisons. You take a breath in, you use oxygen, and then what remains becomes poison. It was life only because it was oxygen, but you have used it. So life goes on changing everything into a poison.
Now there is a great movement in the West - ecology. Man has been using everything and turning it into poison, and the very Earth is just on the verge of dying. Any day it can die because we have turned everything into poison. Death is a purifying process. When your whole body has become poisonous, death will relieve you of the body. It will renew you, it will give you a new birth; a new body will be given to you. Through death all the accumulated poisons are dissolved back into nature. You are given a new mechanism.
And this happens with every breath. The outgoing breath is similar to death - it takes poisons out. And when it is going out, everything ebbs within. If you can throw the whole breath out, completely out so that no breath remains within, you touch a point of silence that can never be touched while the breath is in.
It is just like the ebb and tide: with every breath a tide of life comes to you; with every exhalation, everything ebbs - the tide has gone. You are just a vacant, empty shore. This is the use of this technique.
Silently intone a word ending in “ah.”