Chapter 19: Breath Is Your Life
This is the alchemy of meditation: to change the energy that moves into thinking, into observation.
How to change the energy of thought into observation? - that is what the device of meditation basically is: how not to think and to observe, how not to be a thinker but to be a witness.
So, observe your breath the whole day, but don’t be tense about it. If you become tense, the purpose is lost. Remain relaxed. Just observe - playfully. Don’t make it work. Whenever you remember, observe your breathing. If you forget, then forget, but the moment you remember, start observing again. It will come to you. By and by you will begin observing. Through your very observation, the quality will change. Observing the breath will give you no space for thinking, so it will be a good diversion.
Thirdly: simultaneously use your breath as an awareness of life and death. When the breath goes out, it is associated with death. When the breath comes in, it is associated with life. With every outgoing breath you die, and with every incoming breath you are reborn. Life and death are not two things, separate, divided. They are one, and each moment both are present.
So remember this: when your breath is going out, feel as if you are dying. Don’t be afraid. If you are afraid, your breath will be disturbed. Accept it. The outgoing breath is death, and death is beautiful, it is relaxing.
Whenever you are relaxed you say “Ahh!” and the breath goes out. Feel a deep relaxation with the outgoing breath. And when the breath comes in, feel “Ah! Life is coming in” - you are reborn. Make it a circle: life and death. Move and be aware of it. It is a deep cleansing. Die with every breath, and with every new breath be reborn.
Remember this for these eight days. This is going to be your mantra. I give you this as a mantra for the camp. The outmoving breath is death. With it, die, feel as if you are dying. The incoming breath is life. Feel you are being reborn. For the whole day, twenty-four hours, remember this whenever you are aware. It will totally change the quality of your mind.
If the outgoing breath becomes death, and you die each moment, what is happening? - your death means you are dying to your past, the old man is no more. And if you have to die every moment, there is no future: the next moment is death. You cannot project yourself into the future. You cannot be related to the past and you cannot be projected into the future. Only this very moment, this lonely, atomic moment, remains with you. And even in this very moment you will have to die and be reborn.