It is strange for him – it is strange for Western psychology too – that if boredom is used rightly it is going to create serenity, peacefulness and a state of hypnosis. And hypnosis is healthy. It is not meditation, but it still somehow reflects meditation. It is like the moon reflected in the water; it is not the moon, but it is still a reflection of the moon.
So all the religions – in the East particularly, but in the West also – have used very small techniques. Now a Buddhist monk in Tibet, in the silence of the Himalayas, goes on ringing a small bell for hours…no other sound – the whole universe around him is silent – the only sound is the bell. Naturally his mind starts getting bored, starts feeling disinterested. There is no excitement, it is just repetition, but that is the point: if the bell can be stopped – and the bell has to be stopped – the mind will go on listening to it for a little time longer.
The monk has become so accustomed to listening to it that he will go on listening to it. And as the sound of the bell recedes, becomes thinner, becomes distant, more distant, the mind is left in a certain silence. This silence can either give you hypnosis…and hypnosis is another name for deliberately created sleep. It is deeper than your ordinary sleep, healthier than your ordinary sleep; it rejuvenates you within minutes, which your ordinary sleep can do only in eight hours. That is one line that it can move on, but that is not meditation.
The other line is…listening to the bell inside you getting more and more distant, you become more and more alert so that you can listen to it, even though the sound is going away from you.
Now you have to be more conscious to listen to it. First you were unconscious and you were listening to it; now it is getting distant so you have to be very alert, very conscious. And a moment comes when the sound disappears…you have to be perfectly conscious. You have taken a different route.
This state of consciousness is meditation.
I am not against hypnosis; what I am against is, hypnosis should not be understood as meditation. Hypnosis is of the mind, and good for the mind, good for the body. Meditation is neither of the body nor of the mind, it belongs to the third within you – your being. It is good for the being, it is nourishment for the being.
So it is possible that if, sitting in meditation, you suddenly start hearing bells, you may have practiced this in your past lives. I don’t talk about past lives for the simple reason that for you it will be just a belief. But the question was such that I had to bring the past life in, because it had nothing to do with this life. You had not practiced meditation on the sound of bells, so from where can it come into your mind? It can come only from the past conditioning, and a very deep conditioning.