Chapter 5: The Discipline of Transcendence
Or you can go on chanting. Chanting creates changes in the physical body chemistry. That’s why a few sounds have become very important. Down through the centuries many people have tried many mantras. Then a few mantras succeeded and a few failed. Those that have succeeded are the mantras which immediately bring changes to your chemistry. You may call it Transcendental Meditation: it is again a drug. Now, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is very much against drugs, and TM itself is a subtle drug.
Or, you can change your body chemistry through postures, yoga; you can change your body chemistry through certain types of breathing - but all changes are basically chemical. When you breathe deeply you bring more oxygen to the body, and more oxygen in the body starts changing your chemistry - you start feeling high. When you don’t breathe deeply more carbon dioxide collects in the lungs. The proportion changes; you feel dull, you feel low, you feel depressed. Yes, that word is right: you feel very “pressed” by something. It is carbon dioxide that brings depression; you are under a rock.
But these are all changes - physical, chemical. They don’t go deeper than that. Buddha says: Just being aware, just being aware and contented. He does not even preach a certain pattern, a rhythm of breathing. He says: Let the breathing be natural. He does not preach fasting; he preaches right food, the right quantity of food. He does not preach vigilance in the night. There are many sects, particularly Mohammedans, who stay awake the whole night. That too changes the body chemistry.
Buddha simply says: One thing is needed, and that is that you should not move into the future, you should remain present herenow. You should remain contented with the moment. Move with the moment, don’t go ahead, don’t jump ahead. Let there be no passion. “Passion” means: jumping ahead of yourself. Then you create anxiety, then you create frustration, then you create worry, and then a thousand and one waves arise on the surface of your consciousness. You become a mind. When these waves disappear, you are again a consciousness. Try it sometime.
Gurdjieff used to give a method to his disciples. He used to call it “The Stop Exercise.” He taught his disciples to sometimes, suddenly, stop the whole world. By stopping yourself, you can stop the whole world. You are walking on the road; suddenly, with a jerk, you stop. For a half-second you simply remain unmoving. That sudden nonmoving will also help the mind to stop - because the mind takes time. If you stop slowly, slowly, then the mind will not stop; it will get adjusted. If you suddenly stop then there is a shock; the mind stops. In that moment of sudden stopping you will be able to see that the whole world has stopped, because all the waves have disappeared.
You try it. Just dancing, suddenly stop. Running, suddenly stop. Swimming, suddenly stop. Talking, suddenly stop - and for a single moment be absolutely unmoving, as if you have become a statue - and you will see that your mind has stopped, for a split second, of course. Again it takes possession of you, but in that single moment you will see that it is so silent that it will become a glimpse, it will become a great support. And you will know that this is how reality is. In that single moment, that which is will reveal itself to you. That’s what “God” is, or truth, or nirvana.