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Pharmacy for the Soul
Comprehensive Collection of Meditations, Relaxation and Awareness Exercises, and Other Practices for Physical and Emotional Well-Being
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2004 Osho International Foundation, www.osho.com
All rights reserved.
* * *
Letting Go of Tension Through Release and Relaxation
Consciousness cannot be against the body. Your consciousness is residing in the body, so they cannot be seen as inimical to each other. In every way, they are supportive of each other. I say something to you and my hand makes a gesture without my telling the hand. There is a deep synchronicity between me and my hand.
You walk, you eat, you drink, and all these things indicate that you are a body and consciousness as an organic whole. You cannot torture the body and raise your consciousness. The body has to be loved — you have to be a great friend. It is your home, you have to clean it of all junk, and you have to remember that it is in your service continuously, day in, day out. Even when you are asleep, your body is continuously working for you — digesting, changing your food into blood, taking out the dead cells from the body, bringing new oxygen, fresh oxygen, into the body — and you are fast asleep!
It is doing everything for your survival, for your life, although you are so ungrateful that you have never even thanked your body. On the contrary, your religions have been teaching you to torture it: "The body is your enemy and you have to get free from the body, its attachments."
I also know that you are more than the body and there is no need to have any attachment to it. But love is not an attachment; compassion is not an attachment. Love and compassion are absolutely needed for your body and its nourishment. And the better your body, the better the possibility for growing consciousness. It is an organic unity.
A totally new kind of education is needed in the world, where fundamentally everybody is introduced into the silences of the heart — in other words, meditations — and everybody has to be prepared to be compassionate to his or her own body. Because unless you are compassionate to your own body, you cannot be compassionate to any other body. It is a living organism, and it has done no harm to you. It has been continuously in service since you were conceived, and will be in your service till your death. It will do everything that you would like it to do, even the impossible, and it will not be disobedient to you.
It is inconceivable to create such a mechanism that is so obedient and so wise. If you become aware of all the functions of your body, you will be surprised. You have never thought about what your body has been doing. It is so miraculous, so mysterious. But you have never looked into it. You have never bothered to become acquainted with your own body — and you pretend to love other people? You cannot, because those other people also appear to you as bodies.
The body is the greatest mystery in the whole of existence. This mystery needs to be loved — its mysteries and its functioning need to be intimately inquired into.
The religions have unfortunately been absolutely against the body. But this antagonism is a clue, a definite indication that if a man learns the wisdom of the body and the mystery of the body, he will never bother about the priest or about God. He will have found the most mysterious within himself, and within the mystery of the body is the very shrine of your consciousness.
Once you have become aware of your consciousness, of your being, there is no God above you. Only such a person can be respectful toward other human beings, other living beings, because they all are as mysterious as he himself is — but different expressions, varieties, all of which make life richer. And once a man has found consciousness in himself, he has found the key to the ultimate. Any education that does not teach you to love your body, does not teach you to be compassionate to your body, does not teach you how to enter into its mysteries, will not be able to teach you how to enter into your own consciousness.
The body is the door — the body is the stepping-stone.
* Dissolving the Armor
You carry armor around you. It is just armor — it is not clinging to you, you are clinging to it. So when you become aware of it, you can simply drop it. The armor is dead: if you don't carry it, it will disappear. Not only are you carrying it, you are also nourishing and feeding it continuously.
Every child is fluid. He has no frozen parts in him; the whole body is one organic unity. The head is not important and the feet are not unimportant. In fact, division doesn't exist; there are no demarcations. But by and by demarcations start coming up. Then the head becomes the master, the boss, and the whole body is divided into parts. A few parts are accepted by the society and a few parts are not. A few parts are dangerous for the society and have to be almost destroyed. That creates the whole problem.
So you have to watch where you feel limitations in the body.
Just do three things. The flrst thing: While you are walking or sitting, or whenever you are not doing anything, exhale deeply. The emphasis should be on exhalation, not on inhalation. So exhale deeply — as much air as you can throw out, throw. Exhale through the mouth, but do it slowly so it takes time. The longer it takes, the better, because then it goes deeper. When all the air inside the body is thrown out, then the body inhales; don't you inhale. The exhalation should be slow and deep and the inhalation should be fast. This will change the armor near the chest.
The second thing: If you can start a little running, that will be helpful. Not many miles — just one mile will do. Just visualize that a load is disappearing from the legs, as if it is falling off them. Legs carry the armor if your freedom has been restricted too much; if you have been told to do this and not to do that; to be this and not to be that; to go here and not to go there. So start running, and while running, also put more attention on exhalation. Once you regain your legs and their fluidity, you will have a tremendous energy flow.
The third thing: In the night when you go to sleep, take off your clothes and, while taking them off, just imagine that you are taking off not only your clothes, you are taking off your armor, too. Actually do it. Take it off and have a good deep breath — and then go to sleep as if unarmored, with nothing on the body and no restriction.
Every night sit in a chair and let your head fall back, relaxed and at rest. You can use a pillow so you are in a resting posture and there is no tension in the neck. Then release your lower jaw — just relax it so the mouth opens slightly — and start breathing through the mouth, not through the nose. But the breathing should not be changed; it has to be as it is — natural. The first few breaths will be a little hectic. By and by the breathing will settle down and it will become very shallow. It will go in and out very slightly; that's how it should be. Keep the mouth open, eyes closed, and rest.
Then start feeling that your legs are becoming loose, as if they are being taken away from you, broken loose at the joints. Feel as if they are being taken away from you — they have been cut loose — and then start thinking that you are just the upper part of your body. The legs are gone.
Then the arms: think that both arms are becoming loose and being taken away from you. You may even be able to hear just a click! inside when they break away. You are no longer your arms; they are dead, taken away.
Then start thinking about the head — that it is being taken away, that you are being beheaded and that the head has broken away. Then leave it loose: wherever it turns — right or left — you cannot do anything. Just leave it loose; it has been taken away.
Then you have just your torso. Feel that you are only this much — this chest and the belly, that's all.
Do this for at least twenty minutes and then go to sleep. This is to be done just before sleep. Do it for at least three weeks.
Your restlessness will settle. Taking these parts as separate, only the essential will remain, so your whole energy will move in the essential part. That essential part will relax, and the energy will start fiowing in your legs, in your arms, and in your head again, this time in a more proportionate way.
* Throat Clearing
If from your very childhood your expressiveness has not been as it should be — you have not been able to say what you wanted to say, you have not been able to do what you wanted to do — that unexpressed energy gets caught in the throat. The throat is the center of expression: it is not only the center of swallowing things, it is the center of expressing things. But many people use the throat center only for swallowing things. That is half its use, and the other half, the more important, remains starved.
So there are a few things to do if you need to become more expressive.
If you love a person, say the things that you want to say, even if they seem foolish; sometimes it is good to be foolish. Say the things that on the spur of the moment are born in you; don't hold them back. If you love a person, then go totally into it; don't remain controlled. If you are angry and you want to say something, then say it really hotly! Only cold anger is evil — hot anger, never — because cold anger is really dangerous. And that's what has been taught to people: remain cold even when you are angry, but then that poison will remain in your system. It is sometimes good to shout and so on and so forth, with every emotion.
* * *
Every night, just sit and just start swaying. The swaying has to be done in such a way that when you move to one side, one buttock touches the ground or the fioor — so sit on something hard — and when you move to the other side, then the other buttock touches the ground. Only one should touch at one time, not both together.
This is one of the very ancient methods to hit the energy from the base of the spine.
If something is there in the throat, some energy is there and you have become capable of controlling this much energy, more of a fiood is needed. It is so that your control becomes less and the energy is more, and you cannot control it, so the dam bursts. Do it for fifteen to twenty minutes.
After ten minutes of this exercise, just sway and start saying "Allah ... Allah ..." Say "Allah" when you go to one side, then "Allah" when you go to the other side. By and by you will feel more energy coming and the "Allah" will become louder and louder. A point will come after ten minutes when you will be almost shouting "Allah!" You will start perspiring; the energy will be coming so hot and the "Allah! Allah!" will become almost mad. When the dam is broken one goes mad.
Those two words are very good — they have the same letters! If you read it in one direction, the word is dam, and if you read it from the other, it is mad.
You will enjoy it. It will be weird but you will enjoy it! Then you can do it twice — in the morning, too: twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes in the evening.
* Relax the Belly
Whenever you go in the morning to empty your bowels, afterward take a dry towel, a rough towel, and rub your belly. Pull the belly in and rub hard. Start at the right corner and go around really hard — go just around the navel but don't touch the navel — so that it gives you a good massage. Pull the belly in so all the intestines are massaged. Do it whenever you go for a bowel movement — up to twice or three times a day.
The second thing: In the daytime, between sunrise and sunset — never in the night — breathe as deeply as you can, as many times as you can. The more you breathe, the better, and the deeper you breathe, the better. But remember only one thing: breathing should happen from the belly and not from the chest, so that when you breathe in, the stomach goes up — not the chest. When you breathe in, the stomach goes out, and when you breathe out, the stomach goes in. Leave the chest as if it has nothing to do with it. Just breathe from the belly, so the whole day it will be like a subtle massage.
Watch a small child breathing ... that's the right and natural way of breathing. The belly goes up and down and the chest remains completely unaffected by the passage of air. His whole energy is concentrated near his navel.
By and by we lose contact with the navel. We become more and more hung up in the head and the breathing becomes shallow. So whenever you remember during the day, take the breath in as deeply as possible — but let the belly be used.
Everybody breathes correctly in sleep because the interfering mind is not there. The belly goes up and down and breathing automatically becomes deep; you need not force it to become deep. Simply remain natural and it becomes deep. Depth is a consequence of its being natural.
* Dance Like A Tree
Go into the open if it is possible, stand amongst the trees, become a tree, and let the wind pass through you.
To feel identified with a tree is immensely strengthening and nourishing. One easily enters the primal consciousness; trees are still in it. Talk with trees and hug them. If it is not possible to go out, then just stand in the middle of the room, visualize yourself as a tree — it is raining and there is a strong wind — and start dancing. But dance as a tree and you will be able to get the fiow.
It is only a question of learning the art of how to keep the energy fiowing. This will be your key: you can always unlock it whenever it becomes locked.
* Tense First, Then Relax Into Sleep
Every night before you go to sleep, stand in the middle of the room — exactly in the middle — and make your body as stiff and as tense as possible, almost as if you will burst. Do this for two minutes and then relax for two minutes, standing up. Do this tensing and relaxing two or three times and then just go to sleep.
So the whole body has to be made as tense as possible. Afterward, don't do anything else, so the whole night that relaxation goes deeper and deeper in you.
* Soundless Silence
There is a silence that comes only when you are absolutely uncontrolled; it descends on you. So you have to remember this — that through your control you will be distracting your energy. The mind is a great dictator; it tries to control everything. And if it cannot control something, it denies it; it says it exists not.
Do this meditation every night before you go to sleep. Just sit in the bed, put the lights off — and be finished with anything that you want to do, because after the meditation you have simply to go into sleep. Then don't do anything; the "doer" should not be allowed after the meditation. Simply relax and move into sleep, because sleep also comes — you cannot control it. There is one quality in sleep that is almost like meditation — silence — in that it simply comes. That's why many people are suffering from insomnia; they are trying to control even that, hence the problem. It is nothing that you can do anything about. You can simply wait; you can simply be in a relaxed, receptive mood.
So after this meditation you have simply to relax and go into sleep so that there will be continuity, and the meditation will go on fiowing in you. The whole night the vibration will be there. You will feel in the morning when you open your eyes that you have slept in a totally different way. There has been a qualitative change; it was not just sleep. Something else, deeper than sleep, was present. You have been showered by something and you don't know what it is and how to categorize it.
The meditation is very simple. Sit in the bed, relax the body, close the eyes, and just imagine that you are lost in a mountainous region. It is a dark night, there is no moon in the sky, and it is a very clouded sky. You cannot see even a single star — it is absolutely dark — and you cannot see even your own hand. You are lost in the mountains and it is very difficult to find your way. There is every danger; any moment you can fall into some valley, into some abyss, and you will be gone forever. So you are groping very cautiously. You are fully alert because the danger is tremendous, and when the danger is tremendous one has to be very alert.
The imagining of the dark night and the mountainous region is just to create a very dangerous situation. And you are very alert; even if a pin drops, you will be able to hear it. Then suddenly you come near a precipice. One can feel that now there is no way ahead and one never knows how deep the abyss is. So you take a rock and throw it into the abyss, just to see how deep it is.
Excerpted from Pharmacy for the Soul by Osho. Copyright © 2004 Osho International Foundation, www.osho.com. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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