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Chapter 1: Mastery over the Five Elements

One child was saying to another child, “I am so full of energy that I wear out my shoes within seven days.”

Another said, “That’s nothing. I am so full of energy I wear out my clothes within three days.”

The third said, “That too is nothing. I am so full of energy I wear out my parents within one hour.”

In America they have done an experiment: that one very powerful man - an athletic body with tremendous energy - was told to follow a small child and imitate. Whatsoever the child is going to do, this athlete has to do; just imitate for eight hours. Within four hours the athlete was gone, flat on the floor, because the child enjoyed it very much and he started doing many things - jumping, jogging, shouting, yelling. And the athlete has just to repeat.. The child was perfectly full of energy after four hours; the athlete was gone. He said, “He will kill me. Eight hours! Finished! I cannot do anything more.” He was a great boxer, but boxing is one thing. You cannot compete with a child.

From where does the energy come? It comes from pranamay kosh. A child breathes naturally, and of course breathes more prana in, more chi in and accumulates it in his belly. The belly is the accumulating place, the reservoir. Watch a child; that is the right way to breathe. When a child breathes, his chest is completely unaffected. His belly goes up and down. He breathes as if from the belly. All children have a little belly; that belly is there because of their breathing and the reservoir of energy.

That is the right way to breathe; remember not to use your chest too much. Sometimes it can be used, in emergency periods - you are running to save your life - then the chest can be used. It is an emergency device; then you can use shallow, fast breathing, and run. But ordinarily the chest should not be used. And one thing to be remembered: because the chest is meant only for emergency situations, because it is difficult in an emergency situation to breathe naturally - if you breathe naturally you remain so calm and quiet you cannot run, you cannot fight, you are so calm and collected you are buddhalike.. And in an emergency - the house is on fire - if you breathe naturally you will not be able to save anything. Or if a tiger jumps upon you in a forest and you go on breathing naturally you will not be bothered. You will say, “Okay, let him do whatsoever he wants.” You will not be able to protect yourself.

So nature has given an emergency device; the chest is an emergency device. When a tiger attacks you, you have to drop natural breathing and you have to breathe by the chest. Then you will have more capacity to run, to fight, to burn energy fast. And in an emergency situation there are only two alternatives - flight or fight. Both need a very shallow but intense energy - shallow but a very disturbed, tense state.

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