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Chapter 13: A Listening Heart

He rushed out of the chapel, went to the friend, asked his forgiveness and told the whole story. “For days together I have been working, but I cannot bring out Jesus’ face as it should be. Something angry remains in it” - because something was angry inside him. And if there is anger and a hurt feeling - and you are going to paint, your hands will paint - your painting will represent you, your painting will basically reflect you. And the day he asked forgiveness and was forgiven, he came into a totally different mood. And just a few minutes’ work and the painting was complete. And it is one of the most beautiful paintings of Jesus. Just a few strokes and the painting came alive and Jesus surfaced, because now Michelangelo’s heart was in tune.

Tao can be shared. But then you have to learn the ways of how to share it with the master, and you have to be very watchful about many things. It is simple in a way and yet very complex too - simple, because if you are really open and in harmony, it can happen in a single split moment; complex, because you will have to change your very small habits of which you are not aware at all. You will have to change your total life.

That’s why I say I have nothing to offer to you as a teaching; I have some energy to impart to you as a provocation. I am not giving you a system of philosophy, a theology; I am giving you myself. It is a challenge. My effort here is to wake you up. You will have to be open, rhythmic, and you will have to watch small things in your life. And the breath is the most important. You will have to learn how to breathe in satsang, how to breathe in the company of a master, how to breathe when you are in love.

The breathing continuously changes with your emotions. When you are angry, your breathing is unrhythmic, asymmetrical. When you are in sexual lust, your breathing is almost insane. When you are calm and quiet, joyful, your breathing has a musical quality to it - your breathing is almost a song. When you are feeling at home in existence, when you have no desires and are feeling contented, suddenly breathing almost stops. When you are in a state of awe, of wonder, breathing stops for a moment. And those are the greatest moments of life, because only in those moments when breathing almost stops are you in utter tune with existence: you are in God and God is in you.

Your experience of breathing has to be more and more profound, scrutinized, observed, watched, analyzed. See how your breathing changes with your emotions, and vice versa, how your emotions change with your breathing. For example, when you are afraid, watch the change in your breath, and then one day try to change the breath to the same pattern as when you were afraid. And you will be surprised that if you change your breath to exactly what it was when you were afraid, fear will arise in you - immediately. Watch your breathing when you are deeply in love with somebody; holding his hand, hugging your beloved, watch your breathing. And then one day, just sitting silently under a tree, watch yourself again breathing in the same way. Make the pattern, fall into the same gestalt again - breathe in the same way as if you were hugging your beloved, and you will be surprised: the whole existence becomes your beloved, again there is great love arising in you. They go together. Hence in Yoga, in Tantra, in Tao - in all these three great systems of human consciousness and the science of expansion of human consciousness - breathing is one of the key phenomena. They have all worked on breathing.

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