So the first thing is to find any sound that will be helpful: for example, your lover’s name, your beloved’s name. If you love a flower, then “rose” will do, anything – any sound that you feel good using, uttering, listening to, from which you feel a certain well – being coming to you. If you cannot find one, then there are some suggestions from traditional sources. “Aum” can be used, “Amen” can be used, “Maria” can be used, “Ram” can be used, or Buddha’s name, or Mahavira’s name, or any name that you have a love for. But a feeling must be there. That is why the master’s name can be helpful, if you have the feeling. But feeling is essential!
Intone a sound audibly, then less and less audibly as feeling deepens into this silent harmony.
And go on reducing the sound. Intone it more slowly, more inaudibly so that even you have to make an effort to hear it inside. Go on dropping, go on dropping, and you will feel the change. The more sound will drop, the more you will be filled with feeling. When sound disappears, only feeling remains. This feeling cannot be named. It is a love, a deep love, but not toward anyone – this is the difference.
When you use a sound or a word, the love is attached to a label. You say, “Ram, Ram, Ram…” You have a deep feeling for this word, but the feeling is addressed to “Ram,” narrowed down to “Ram.” When you go on reducing the “Ram,” a moment will come when “Ram” disappears, the sound disappears. Now only the feeling remains, the feeling of love – not toward Ram, it is now not addressed. There is simply a feeling of love – not toward anyone, not even toward; there is simply a feeling of love, as if you are in an ocean of love.
When it is not addressed, then it is of the heart. When it is addressed, it is of the head. Love toward someone is through the head; simple love is of the heart. And when love is simple, unaddressed, it becomes prayer. If it is addressed, it is not yet prayer; you are just on the way. That is why I say if you are a Christian you cannot start as a Hindu, you should start as a Christian. If you are a Mohammedan you cannot start as a Christian, you should start as a Mohammedan. But the deeper you go, the less you will be a Mohammedan or a Christian or a Hindu.
Only the start will be Hindu, Mohammedan or Christian. The more you will proceed toward the heart, as the sound will be less and less and feeling more and more, you will be less a Hindu, less a Mohammedan. When the sound disappears, you will simply be a human being – not Hindu, not Mohammedan, not Christian.
It is like the difference between “sects” and “religion.” Religion is one, sects are many. Sects help you to begin. If you think that they are the end, then you are finished. They are just the beginning. You have to leave them and go beyond, because the beginning is not the end. In the end there is religion; in the beginning there is just a sect. Use the sect to go toward religion; use the limited to go toward the unlimited; use the finite to go toward the infinite.