Vigyan Bhairav Tantra Volume 1 Chapter 33
"The spirituality of the tantric sex act"
22 February 1973 pm in Woodlands, Bombay
48. AT THE START OF SEXUAL UNION KEEP ATTENTIVE ON THE FIRE IN THE BEGINNING, AND SO CONTINUING, AVOID THE EMBERS IN THE END.
49. WHEN IN SUCH EMBRACE YOUR SENSES ARE SHAKEN AS LEAVES, ENTER THIS SHAKING.
50. EVEN REMEMBERING UNION, WITHOUT THE EMBRACE, TRANSFORMATION.
51. ON JOYOUSLY SEEING A LONG ABSENT FRIEND, PERMEATE THIS JOY.
52. WHEN EATING OR DRINKING, BECOME THE TASTE OF FOOD OR DRINK, AND BE FILLED.
Sigmund Freud has said somewhere that man is born neurotic. This is a half-truth. Man is not born neurotic, but he is born in a neurotic humanity and the society around drives everyone neurotic sooner or later. Man is born natural, real, normal, but the moment the newborn becomes part of the society neurosis starts working.
As we are, we are neurotic, and the neurosis consists of a split -- a deep split. You are not one: you are two or even many. This has to be understood deeply; only then can we proceed in tantra. Your feeling and thinking have become two different things: this is the basic neurosis. Your thinking part and your feeling part have become two, and you are identified with the thinking part, not with the feeling part. And feeling is more real than thinking; feeling is more natural than thinking. You have come with a feeling heart, but thinking is cultivated; it is given by society. And your feeling has become a suppressed thing. Even when you say that you feel, you only think that you feel. The feeling has become dead, and this has happened for certain reasons.
When a child is born, he is a feeling being: he feels things. He is not a thinking being yet. He is natural, just like anything natural in nature -- just like a tree or like an animal. But we start molding him, cultivating. He has to suppress his feelings because without suppressing his feelings he is always in trouble. When he wants to cry he cannot cry because his parents will not approve of it. He will be condemned. He will not be appreciated, he will not be loved. He is not accepted as he is. He must behave: he must behave according to a particular ideology, ideals. Only then will he be loved.
Love is not for him as he is. He can be loved only if he follows certain rules. Those rules are imposed; they are not natural. The natural being begins to become suppressed, and the unnatural, the unreal, is imposed over it. This unreal is your mind, and a moment comes when the split is so great that you cannot bridge it. You go on forgetting completely what your real nature was -- or is. You are a false face; the original face is lost. And you are also afraid to feel the original, because the moment you feel it the whole society will be against you. So you yourself are against your real nature.
This creates a very neurotic state. You do not know what you want; you do not know what are your real, authentic needs. And then you go on after non-authentic needs because only the feeling heart can give you the sense, the direction, of what are your real needs. When they are suppressed you create symbolic needs. For example, you may go on eating more and more, stuffing yourself with food, and you may never feel that you are filled. The need is for love; it is not for food. But food and love are deeply related, so when the need for love is not felt, or is suppressed, a false need for food is created and you can go on eating. Because the need is false, it can never be fulfilled, and we live in false needs. That is why there is no fulfillment.
You want to be loved; that is a basic need -- natural. But it can be diverted into a false dimension. For example, the love need, the need to be loved, can be felt as a false need if you try to divert the attention of others to yourself. You want that others should pay attention to you, so you may become a political leader. Great crowds may pay attention to you, but the real basic need is to be loved. And even if the whole world is paying attention to you, that basic need cannot be fulfilled. That basic need can be fulfilled even by a single person loving you, paying attention to you because of love.
When you love someone, you pay attention to him. Attention and love are deeply related. If you suppress the need for love, then it becomes a symbolic need; then you need the attention of others. You may get it, but then too there will be no fulfillment. The need is false, disconnected from the natural, basic need. This division in the personality is neurosis.
Tantra is a very revolutionary concept -- the oldest and yet the newest. Tantra is one of the oldest traditions and yet non-traditional, even anti-traditional, because tantra says unless you are whole and one you are missing life altogether. You should not remain in a split state: you must become one. What to do to become one? You can go on thinking, but that is not going to help because thinking is the technique to divide. Thinking is analytical. It divides; it splits things. Feeling unites, synthesizes, makes things one. So you can go on thinking, reading, studying, contemplating. It is not going to help unless you fall back to the feeling center. But it is very difficult, because even when we think about the feeling center, WE THINK!
When you say to someone, "I love you," be aware of whether it is just a thought or whether it is a feeling. If it is just a thought, then you are missing something. A feeling is of the whole: your whole body, mind, everything you are, is involved. In thinking, only your head is involved, and that too not totally, but just a fragment of it. There is only a passing thought; it may not be there the next moment. Only a fragment is involved, and that creates much misery in life -- because with a fragmentary thought, you give promises which you cannot fulfill. You can say, "I love you and I will love you forever." However, the second part is a promise which you cannot fulfill because it is given by a fragmentary thought. Your whole being is not involved in it. And what will you do tomorrow when the fragment has gone and the thought is no more there? Now the promise will become a bondage.
Sartre said somewhere that every promise is going to be false. You cannot promise because you are not whole. Just a part of you promises, and when the part is no more there on the throne and another part has taken over, what are you going to do? Who will fulfill the promise? Hypocrisy is born because when you go on trying to fulfill, pretending that you are fulfilling, then everything becomes false. Tantra says fall down deep within to the feeling center. What to do and how to fall back? Now I will enter the sutras. These sutras, each sutra, is an effort to make you whole.
The first sutra:
48. AT THE START OF SEXUAL UNION KEEP ATTENTIVE ON THE FIRE IN THE BEGINNING, AND SO CONTINUING, AVOID THE EMBERS IN THE END.
Sex can be a very deep fulfillment, and sex can throw you back to your wholeness, to your natural, real being, for many reasons. Those reasons have to be understood. One, sex is a total act. You are thrown off your mind, off balance. That is why there is so much fear of sex. You are identified with the mind, and sex is a no-mind act. You become headless; you do not have any head in the act. There is no reasoning, no mental process. And if there is any mental process, there is no real, authentic sex act. Then there is no orgasm, no fulfillment. Then the sex act itself becomes a local thing, something cerebral, and it has become so.
All over the world, so much hankering, so much lust for sex, is not because the world has become more sexual. It is because you cannot even enjoy sex as a total act. The world was more sexual before. That is why there was no such hankering for sex. This hankering shows that the real is missing and there is only the false. The whole modern mind has become sexual because the sex act itself is no more there. Even the sex act is transferred to the mind. It has become mental; you think about it.
Many people come to me: they say they go on thinking about sex; they enjoy thinking about it, reading, seeing pictures, pornography. They enjoy this, but when the actual moment for sex comes they suddenly feel they are not interested. They even feel they have become impotent. They feel vital energy when they are thinking. When they want to move into the actual act, they feel there is no energy, even no desire. They feel that the body has become dead.
What is happening to them? Even the sex act has become mental. They can only think about it; they cannot do it because doing will involve their whole being. And whenever there is any involvement of the whole, the head becomes uneasy because then it can no more be the master; it can no more be in control.
Tantra uses the sex act to make you whole, but then you have to move in it very meditatively. Then you have to move in it forgetting all that you have heard about sex, studied about sex, all that the society has told you: the church, your religion, the teachers. Forget everything and get involved in it in your totality. Forget to control! Control is the barrier. Rather, be possessed by it; do not control it. Move in it as if you have become mad. The "no-mind" state looks like madness. Become the body, become the animal, because the animal is whole. And as modern man is, only sex seems to be the easiest possibility to make you whole because sex is the deepest, the biological center within you. You are born out of it. Your every cell is a sex cell; your whole body is a sex-energy phenomenon.
This first sutra says, "AT THE START OF SEXUAL UNION KEEP ATTENTIVE ON THE FIRE IN THE BEGINNING, AND SO CONTINUING, AVOID THE EMBERS IN THE END." And this makes the whole difference. For you, the sex act is a release. So when you move in it you are in a hurry. You just want a release. Overflowing energy will be released; you will feel at ease. This at-easeness is just a sort of weakness. Overflowing energy creates tensions, excitement. You feel something has to be done. When the energy is released, you feel weak. You may take this weakness as relaxation. Because the excitement is no more, the overflowing energy is no more, you can relax. But this relaxation is a negative relaxation. If you can relax just by throwing energy, it is at a very great cost. And this relaxation can only be physical. It cannot go deeper and cannot become spiritual.
This first sutra says don't be in a hurry and do not hanker for the end: remain with the beginning. There are two parts to the sex act -- the beginning and the end. Remain with the beginning. The beginning part is more relaxed, warm. But do not be in a hurry to move to the end. Forget the end completely.
"At the start of sexual union, keep attentive on the fire in the beginning." While you are overflowing, do not think in terms of release: remain with this overflowing energy. Do not seek ejaculation: forget it completely. Be whole in this warm beginning. Remain with your beloved or your lover as if you have become one. Create a circle.
There are three possibilities. Two lovers meeting can create three figures -- geometrical figures. You may have even read about it or even seen an old alchemical picture in which a man and woman are standing naked within three geometrical figures. One figure is a square, another figure is a triangle and the third figure is a circle.
This is one of the old alchemical and tantric analyses of the sex act. Ordinarily, when you are in the sex act, there are four persons, not two, and this is a square: four angles are there because you yourself are divided in two -- into the thinking part and the feeling part. Your partner is also divided in two; you are four persons. Two persons are not meeting there, four persons are meeting. It is a crowd, and there can be no deep meeting really. There are four corners, and the meeting is just false. It looks like a meeting, but it is not. There can be no communion because your deeper part is hidden and your beloved's deeper part is also hidden. And only two heads are meeting, only two thinking processes are meeting -- not two feeling processes. They are hidden.
The second type of meeting can be like a triangle. You are two -- two angles of the base. For a sudden moment you become one, like the third angle of the triangle. For a sudden moment your two-ness is lost and you become one. This is better than a square meeting because at least for a single moment there is oneness. That oneness gives you health, vitality. You feel alive and young again.
But the third is the best and the third is the tantric meeting: you become a circle. There are no angles, and the meeting is not for a single moment. The meeting is really non-temporal; there is no time in it. And this can happen only if you are not seeking ejaculation. If you are seeking ejaculation, then it will become a triangle meeting -- because the moment there is ejaculation the contact point is lost.
Remain with the beginning; do not move to the end. How to remain in the beginning? Many things are to be remembered. First, don't take the sex act as a way of going anywhere. Don't take it as a means: it is the end in itself. There is no end to it; it is not a means. Secondly, do not think of the future; remain with the present. And if you cannot remain in the present in the beginning part of the sex act, then you can never remain in the present -- because the very nature of the act is such that you are thrown into the present.
Remain in the present. Enjoy the meeting of two bodies, two souls, and merge into each other, melt into each other. Forget that you are going anywhere. Remain in the moment going nowhere, and melt. Warmth, love, should be made a situation for two persons to melt into each other. That is why, if there is no love, the sex act is a hurried act. You are using the other; the other is just a means. And the other is using you. You are exploiting each other, not merging into each other. With love you can merge. This merging in the beginning will give many new insights.
If you are not in a hurry to finish the act, the act, by and by, becomes less and less sexual and more and more spiritual. Sex organs also melt into each other. A deep, silent communion happens between two body energies, and then you can remain for hours together. This togetherness moves deeper and deeper as time passes. But don't think. Remain with the moment deeply merged. It becomes an ecstasy, a samadhi, cosmic consciousness. And if you can know this, if you can feel and realize this, your sexual mind will become non-sexual. A very deep BRAHMACHARYA, CELIBACY, can be attained. Celibacy can be attained through it!
This looks paradoxical because we have been always thinking in terms that if a person has to remain celibate he must not look at the other sex, he must not meet the other sex. He must avoid, escape. A very false celibacy happens then: the mind goes on thinking about the other sex. And the more you escape from the other, the more you have to think, because this is a basic, deep need.
Tantra says do not try to escape; there is no escape possible. Rather, use nature itself to transcend. Don't fight: accept nature in order to transcend it. If this communion with your beloved or your lover is prolonged with no end in mind, then you can just remain in the beginning. Excitement is energy. You can lose it; you can come to a peak. Then the energy is lost and a depression will follow, a weakness will follow. You may take it as relaxation, but it is negative.
Tantra gives you a dimension of a higher relaxation which is positive. Both partners melting with each other give vital energy to each other. They become a circle, and their energy begins to move in a circle. They are giving life to each other, renewing life. No energy is lost. Rather, more energy is gained because through the contact with the opposite sex your every cell is challenged, excited. And if you can merge into that excitement without leading it to a peak, if you can remain in the beginning without becoming hot, just remaining warm, then those two "warmths" will meet and you can prolong the act for a very long time. With no ejaculation, with no throwing energy out, it becomes a meditation, and through it you become whole. Through it your split personality is no more split: it is bridged.
All neurosis is a "splitness." If you are bridged again, you become again a child -- innocent. And once you know this innocence you can go on behaving in your society as it requires. But now this behavior is just a drama, an acting. You are not involved in it. It is a requirement, so you do it. But you are not in it; you are just acting.
You will have to use unreal faces because you live in an unreal world; otherwise the world will crush you and kill you. We have killed many real faces. We crucified Jesus because he started behaving like a real man. The unreal society will not tolerate it. We poisoned Socrates because he started behaving like a real man. Behave as the society requires; do not create unnecessary troubles for yourself and others. But once you know your real being and the wholeness, the unreal society cannot drive you neurotic; it cannot make you mad.
"AT THE START OF SEXUAL UNION KEEP ATTENTIVE ON THE FIRE IN THE BEGINNING, AND SO CONTINUING, AVOID THE EMBERS IN THE END". IF ejaculation is there, energy is dissipated. Then there is no more fire. You are simply relieved of your energy without gaining anything.
The second sutra:
49. WHEN IN SUCH EMBRACE YOUR SENSES ARE SHAKEN AS LEAVES, ENTER THIS SHAKING.
When in such embrace, in such deep communion with the beloved or the lover, your senses are shaken as leaves, enter this shaking. We have even become afraid: while making love you do not allow your bodies to move much, because if your bodies are allowed much movement the sex act spreads all over your body. You can control it when it is localized at the sex center. The mind can remain in control. When it spreads all over your body, you cannot control it. You may start shaking, you may start screaming, and you will not be able to control your body once the body takes over.
We suppress movements. Particularly, all over the world, we suppress all movements, all shaking for women. They remain just like dead bodies. You are doing something to them; they are not doing anything to you. They are just passive partners. Why is this happening? Why all over the world do men suppress women in such a way? There is fear -- because once a woman's body becomes possessed, it is very difficult for a man to satisfy her: because a woman can have chain orgasms; a man cannot have. A man can have only one orgasm; a woman can have chain orgasms. There are cases of multiple orgasms reported. Any woman can have at least three orgasms in a chain, but man can have only one. And with man's orgasm, the woman is aroused and is ready for further orgasms. Then it is difficult. Then how to manage it?
She needs another man immediately, and group sex is a taboo. All over the world we have created monogamous societies. We seem to feel that it is better to suppress the woman. So, really, eighty to ninety percent of women never know what orgasm is. They can give birth to children; that is another thing. They can satisfy the man; that is also another thing. But they themselves are never satisfied. So if you see such bitterness in women all over the world -- sadness, bitterness, frustration -- it is natural. Their basic need is not fulfilled.
Shaking is just wonderful because when you shake in your sex act the energy starts flowing all over the body, the energy vibrates all over the body. Every cell of the body is involved then. Every cell becomes alive because every cell is a sex cell.
When you were born, two sex cells met and your being was created, your body was created, those two sex cells are everywhere in your body. They have multiplied and multiplied and multiplied, but your basic unit remains the sex cell. When you shake all over your body, it is not only a meeting of you with your beloved. Within your body also, each cell is meeting with the opposite cell. This shaking shows it. It will look animal-like, but man IS an animal and there is nothing wrong in it.
This second sutra says, "WHEN IN SUCH EMBRACE YOUR SENSES ARE SHAKEN AS LEAVES..." A great wind is blowing and a tree is shaking. Even the roots are shaking, every leaf is shaking. Just be like a tree. A great wind is blowing, and sex IS a great wind -- a great energy blowing through you. Shake! Vibrate! Allow every cell of your body to dance, and this should be for both. The beloved is also dancing, every cell vibrating. Only then can you both meet, and then that meeting is not mental. It is a meeting of your bio-energies.
Enter this shaking, and while shaking don't remain aloof. Don't be a spectator, because mind is the spectator. Don't stand aloof! Be the shaking, become the shaking. Forget everything and become the shaking. It is not that your body is shaking: it is YOU, your whole being. You become the shaking itself. Then there are not two bodies, two minds. In the beginning, there are two shaking energies, and in the end just a circle -- not two.
What will happen in this circle? One, you will be part of an existential force -- not a societal mind, but an existential force. You will be part of the whole cosmos. In that shaking you will be part of the whole cosmos. That moment is of great creation. You are dissolved as solid bodies. You have become liquid -- flowing into each other. The mind is lost, the division is lost. You have a oneness.
This is ADVAITA, this is non-duality. And if you cannot feel this non-duality, then all the philosophies of non-duality are useless. They are just words. Once you know this non-dual existential moment, then only can you understand the Upanishads. Then only you can understand the mystics -- what they are talking about when they talk of a Cosmic oneness, a wholeness. Then you are not separate from the world, not alien to it. Then the existence becomes your home. And with that feeling that "Now I am at home in the existence," all worries are lost. Then there is no anguish, no struggle, no conflict. This is what Lao Tzu calls Tao, what Shankara calls ADVAITA. You can choose your own word for it, but through a deep love embrace it is easy to feel it. But be alive, shaking, and become the shaking itself.
The third sutra:
50. EVEN REMEMBERING UNION, WITHOUT THE EMBRACE, THE TRANSFORMATION!
Once you know this, even the partner is not needed. You can simply remember the act and enter into it. But first you must have the feeling. If you know the feeling, you can enter into the act without the partner. This is a little difficult, but it happens. And unless it happens, you go on being dependent, a dependency is created. For so many reasons it happens. If you have had the feeling, if you have known the moment when you were not there but only a vibrating energy had become one and there was a circle with the partner, in that moment there was no partner. In that moment only you are, and for the partner you are not: only he or she is. That oneness is centered within you; the partner is no more there. And it is easier for women to have this feeling because they are always making love with closed eyes.
During this technique, it is good if you have your eyes closed. Then only an inner feeling of a circle, only an inner feeling of oneness, is there. Then just remember it. Close your eyes; lie down as if you are with your partner. Just remember and start feeling it. Your body will begin to shake and vibrate. Allow it! Forget completely that the other is not there. Move as if the other is present. Only in the beginning is it "as if." Once you know, then it is not "as if," then the other is there.
Move as if you are actually going into the love act. Do whatsoever you would have done with your partner. Scream, move, shake. Soon the circle will be there, and this circle is miraculous. Soon you will feel that the circle is created, but now this circle is not created with a man and woman. If you are man, then the whole universe has become woman; if you are woman, then the whole universe has become man. Now you are in a deep communion with the existence itself, and the door, the other, is no more there.
The other is simply a door. While making love to a woman, you are really making love to existence itself. The woman is just a door, the man is just a door. The other is just a door for the whole, but you are in such a hurry you never feel it. If you remain in communion, in deep embrace for hours together, you will forget the other and the other will just become an extension of the whole. Once this technique is known you can use it alone, and when you can use it alone it gives you a new freedom -- freedom from the other.
It really happens that the whole existence becomes the other -- your beloved, your lover -- and then this technique can be used continuously, and one can remain in constant communion with the existence. And then you can do it in other dimensions also. Walking in the morning, you can do it. Then you are in communion with the air, with the rising sun and the stars and the trees. Staring at the stars in the night, you can do it. Looking at the moon, you can do it. You can be in the sex act with the whole universe once you know how it happens.
But it is good to start with human beings because they are nearest to you -- the nearest part of the universe. But they are dispensable. You can take a jump and forget the door completely -- "EVEN REMEMBERING UNION, THE TRANSFORMATION" -- and you WILL be transformed, you will become new.
Tantra uses sex as a vehicle. It is energy; it can be used as a vehicle. It can transform you, and it can give you transcendental states. But as we are using sex, it looks difficult for us -- because we are using it in a very wrong way, and the wrong way is not natural. Even animals are better than us: they are using it in a natural way. Our ways are perverted. Constant hammering on the human mind that sex is sin has created a deep barrier within you. You never allow yourself a total let-go. Something is always standing aloof condemning, even for the new generation. They may say they are not burdened, obsessed, that sex is not a taboo for them, but you cannot unburden your unconscious so easily. It has been built over centuries and centuries; the whole human past is there. So while you may not be condemning it as sin consciously, the unconscious is there constantly condemning it. You are never totally in it. Something is always left out. That left-out part creates the split.
Tantra says move in it totally. Just forget yourself, your civilization, your religion, your culture, your ideology. Forget everything. Just move in the sex act: move in it totally; do not leave anything out. Become absolutely non-thinking. Only then does the awareness happen that you have become one with someone. And this feeling of oneness can then be detached from the partner and it can be used with the whole universe. You can be in a sex act with a tree, with the moon, with anything. Once, you know how to create this circle, it can be created with anything -- even without anything.
You can create this circle within yourself because man is both man and woman, and woman is both woman and man. You are both because you were created by two, You were created by man and woman both, so half of you remains the other. You can forget everything completely, and the circle can be created within you. Once the circle is created within you -- your man is meeting your woman, the inner woman is meeting the inner man -- you are in an embrace within yourself. And only when this circle is created is real celibacy attained. Otherwise all celibacies are just perversions, and then they create their own problems. When this circle is created inside, you are freed.
This is what tantra says: "Sex is the deepest bondage, yet it can be used as a vehicle for the highest freedom." Tantra says poison can be used as medicine, but wisdom is needed. So do not condemn anything. Rather, use it. And do not be against anything. Find out ways how it can be used and transformed. Tantra is a deep, total acceptance of life. It is the only approach of its kind. All over the world, in all the centuries that have gone by, tantra is unique. It says don't throw anything and don't be against anything and don't create any conflict, because with any conflict you will be destructive with yourself.
All the religions are against sex, afraid of it, because it is such a great energy. Once you are in it you are no more, and then the current will take you anywhere. That is why the fear. So create a barrier in which you and the current become two, and do not allow this vital energy to have any possession over you: be the master of it.
Only tantra says that this mastery is going to be false, diseased, pathological, because you cannot really be divided with this current. You are it! So all divisions will be false, arbitrary, and basically, no division is possible because you are the current -- a part and parcel of it, just a wave in it. You can become frozen and you can separate yourself from the current, but that frozenness will be deadness. And humanity has become dead. No one is really alive; you are just dead weights floating in the stream. Melt!
Tantra says try to melt. Do not become like icebergs: melt and become one with the river. Becoming one with the river, feeling one with the river, merging in the river, be aware and there will be transformation. There IS transformation. Transformation is not through conflict; it is through awareness. These three techniques are very, very scientific, but then sex becomes something other than what you know. Then it is not a temporary relief; then it is not throwing energy out. Then there is no end to it. It becomes a meditative circle.
A few more related techniques:
51. ON JOYOUSLY SEEING A LONG ABSENT FRIEND, PERMEATE THIS JOY.
Enter this joy and become one with it -- any joy, any happiness. This is just an example: "On joyously seeing a long absent friend..." Suddenly you see a friend you have not seen for many, many days or many, many years. A sudden joy grips you. But your attention will be on the friend, not on your joy. Then you are missing something, and this joy will be momentary. Your attention is focused on the friend: you will start talking, remembering things, and you will miss this joy and this joy will go.
When you see a friend and suddenly feel a joy arising in your heart, concentrate on this joy. Feel it and become it, and meet the friend while being aware and filled with your joy. Let the friend be just on the periphery, and you remain centered in your feeling of happiness.
This can be done in many other situations. The sun is rising, and suddenly you feel something rising within you. Then forget the sun; let it remain on the periphery. You be centered in your own feeling of rising energy. The moment you look at it, it will spread. It will become your whole body, your whole being. And do not just be an observer of it; merge into it. There are very few moments when you feel joy, happiness, bliss, but you go on missing them because you become object-centered.
Whenever there is joy, you feel that it is coming from without. You have met a friend: of course, it appears that the joy is coming from your friend, from seeing him. That is not the actual case. The joy is always within you. The friend has just become a situation. The friend has helped it to come out, has helped you to see that it is there. And this is not only with joy, but with everything: with anger, with sadness, with misery, with happiness, with everything, it is so. Others are only situations in which things that are hidden in you are expressed. They are not causes; they are not causing something in you. Whatsoever is happening, is happening TO YOU. It has always been there; it is only that meeting with this friend has become a situation in which whatsoever was hidden has come out in the open -- has come out. From the hidden sources it has become apparent, manifest. Whenever this happens remain centered in the inner feeling, and then you will have a different attitude about everything in life.
Even with negative emotions, do this. When you are angry, do not be centered on the person who has aroused it. Let him be on the periphery. You just become anger. Feel anger in its totality; allow it to happen within. Don't rationalize; don't say that this man has created it. Do not condemn the man. He has just become the situation. And feel grateful towards him that he has helped something which was hidden to come into the open. He has hit you somewhere, and a wound was there hidden. Now you know it, so become the wound.
With negative or positive, with any emotion, use this, and there will be a great change in you. If the emotion is negative, you will be freed of it by being aware that it is within you. If the emotion is positive, you will become the emotion itself. If it is joy, you will become joy. If it is anger, the anger will dissolve.
And this is the difference between negative and positive emotions: if you become aware of a certain emotion, and by your becoming aware the emotion dissolves, it is negative. If by your becoming aware of a certain emotion you then become the emotion, if the emotion then spreads and becomes your being, it is positive. Awareness works differently in both cases. If it is a poisonous emotion, you are relieved of it through awareness. If it is good, blissful, ecstatic, you become one with it. Awareness deepens it.
So to me this is the criterion: if something is deepened by your awareness, it is something good. If something is dissolved through awareness, it is something bad. That which cannot remain in awareness is sin and that which grows in awareness is virtue. Virtue and sin are not social concepts, they are inner realizations.
Use your awareness. It is just as if there is darkness and you bring in light: the darkness will be no more there. Just by bringing light in, the darkness is no more there, because, really, it was not. It was negative, just an absence of light. But many things will become manifest which are there. Just by bringing in light, these shelves, these books, these walls, will not disappear. In darkness they were not; you could not see them. If you bring light in, darkness will be no more there, but that which is real will be revealed. Through awareness all that is negative like darkness will dissolve -- hatred, anger, sadness, violence. Then love, joy, ecstasy, will, for the first time, become revealed to you. So, "ON JOYOUSLY SEEING A LONG ABSENT FRIEND, PERMEATE THIS JOY."
The fifth technique:
52. WHEN EATING OR DRINKING, BECOME THE TASTE OF THE FOOD OR DRINK, AND BE FILLED.
We go on eating things; we cannot live without them. But we eat them very unconsciously, automatically, robot-like. If the taste is not lived, you are just stuffing. Go slow, and be aware of the taste. And only when you go slow can you be aware. Do not just go on swallowing things. Taste them unhurriedly and become the taste. When you feel sweetness, become that sweetness. And then it can be felt all over the body -- not just in the mouth, not just on the tongue, it can be felt all over the body! A certain sweetness -- or anything else -- is spreading in ripples. Whatsoever you are eating, feel the taste and become the taste.
This is how tantra appears to be quite the contrary from other traditions. Jainas say, "No taste -- ASWAD." Mahatma Gandhi had it as a rule in his ashram -- "ASWAD: do not taste anything. Eat, but do not taste; forget the taste. Eating is a necessity, but do it in a mechanical way. Taste is desire, so do not taste." Tantra says taste it as much as possible; be more sensitive, alive. And not only be sensitive -- become the taste.
With ASWAD, with no taste, your senses will be deadened. They will become less and less sensitive. And with less sensitivity, you will not be able to feel your body, you will not be able to feel your feelings. Then you will just remain centered in the head. This centeredness in the head is the split. Tantra says do not create any division within yourself. It is beautiful to taste; it is beautiful to be sensitive. And if you are more sensitive you will be more alive, and if you are more alive, then more life will enter your inner being. You will be more open.
You can eat things without tasting; it is not difficult. You can touch someone without touching; it is not difficult. We are already doing it. You shake hands with someone without touching him because to touch, you have to come to the hand, you have to move to the hand. You have to become your fingers and your palm as if you, your soul, have come to the hand. Only then can you touch. You can take someone's hand in your hand and withdraw. You can withdraw; then the dead hand is there. It appears to be touching, but it is not touching.
We are not touching! We are afraid to touch somebody because symbolically touch has become sexual. You may be standing in a crowd, in a tram, in a railway compartment, touching many persons, but you are not touching them and they are not touching you. Only bodies are there in contact, but you are withdrawn. And you can feel the difference: if you really touch someone in the crowd, he will feel offended. Your body can touch, but you must not move in that body. You must remain aloof -- as if not in the body, as if there is only a dead body touching.
This insensitivity is bad. It is bad because you are defending yourself against life. You are so much afraid of death, and you are already dead. You need not really be afraid because no one is going to die; you are already dead. And that is why you are afraid -- because you have not lived. You have been missing life and death is coming.
A person who is "alive" will not be afraid of death because he is living. When you are really living there is no fear of death. You can even live death. When death comes, you will be so sensitive to it that you will enjoy it. It is going to be a great experience. If you are alive you can even live death, and then death is no more there. If you can even live death, if you can even be sensitive to your dying body as you are withdrawing to the center and dissolving, if you can live even this, then you have become deathless.
"WHEN EATING OR DRINKING, BECOME THE TASTE OF THE FOOD OR DRINK, AND BE FILLED BY THE TASTE:" When drinking water, feel the coolness. Close your eyes, drink it slowly, taste it. Feel the coolness and feel that you have become that coolness, because the coolness is being transferred to you from the water; it is becoming a part of your body. Your mouth is touching, your tongue is touching, and the coolness is transferred. Allow it to happen to the whole of your body. Allow its ripples to spread, and you will feel a coolness all over your body. In this way your sensitivity can grow, and you can become more alive and more filled.
We are frustrated, feeling vacant, empty, and we go on talking that life is empty. But we are the reasons why it is empty. We are not filling it and we are not allowing anything to fill it. We have an armor around us -- a defense armor. We are afraid to be vulnerable, so we go on defending against everything. And then we become tombs -- dead things.
Tantra says be alive, more alive, because life is God. There is no other God than life. Be more alive, and you will be more divine. Be totally alive, and there is no death for you.
to see this page in its own window, click on Aum