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LETTING GO  
INTO LIFE AND DEATH

Guided Meditations on Death and Dying

   

 

This meditation is from the book:

Meditation-The Art of Ecstasy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meditation means surrender, total letting go. As soon as someone surrenders himself he finds himself in the hands of divinity. If we cling to ourselves we cannot be one with the almighty. When the waves disappear,they become the ocean itself.

Let us try some experiments in order to understand what is meant by meditation.

Sit in such a way that no one touches you. Close your eyes slowly, and keep your body loose. Relax completely so that there is no strain, no tension in the body at all.

Now imagine that a river is flowing very fast, with tremendous force and sound, between two mountains. Observe it and dive in...but do not swim. Let your body float without any movement. Now you are moving with the river - just floating. There is nowhere to reach, no destination, so there is no question of swimming. Feel as if a dry leaf is floating effortlessly in the river. Experience it clearly so that you can know what is meant by ,,surrender," by ,,total letting go."

If you have understood how to float, now discover how to die and how to be dissolved completely. Keep your eyes closed, let your body become loose and relax completely. Observe that a pyre is burning. There is a pile of woodsticks that have been set afire and the flarnes of the pyre seem to be reaching toward the sky. And remember one more thing: you are not just observing the burning pyre, you have been placed on it. All your friends and relatives are standing around.

lt is better to experience this moment of death consciously, as one day or the other it is sure to come. With the flames growing higher and higher, feel that your body is burning. Within a short while the fire will go out by itself. People will disperse and the cemetery will be empty and silent again. Feel it, and you will see that everything has become quiet and nothing remains but the ashes. You have dissolved completely. Remember this experience of being dissolved, because meditation is also a kind of death.

Keep your eyes closed now and relax completely. You do not have to do anything. There is no necessity to do anything: before you were, things were as they are, and they will be the same even after you die.

Now feel that whatever is happening is happening. Feel the ,,suchness" of it. lt is so: it can only be this way; there is no other way possible, so why resist? By ,,suchness" is meant ,,no resistance." There is no expectation that anything should be other than what is. The grass is green, the sky is blue, the waves of the ocean roar, birds sing, crows are crowing... There is no resistance from you because life is such.

Suddenly a transformation takes place. What was normally considered to be a disturbance now seems to be amiable. You are not against anything; you are happy with everything as it is.

So the first thing you had to do was to float, rather than swim, in the ocean of existence. For one who is ready to float, the river itself takes him to the ocean. If we do not resist, life itself takes us to the divine.

Secondly, you had to dissolve yourself, rather than save yourself from death. What we want to save is sure to die, and what is going to be there eternally will be there without our effort. The one who is ready to die is able to open his doors to welcome the divine, but if you keep your doors closed - because of the fear of death - you do so at the cost of not attaining divinity. Meditation is to die.

The last thing you had to experience was ,,suchness." Only an acceptance of both the flowers and the thorns can bring you peace. Peace, after all, is the fruit of total acceptance. Peace will come only to one who is ready to accept even the absence of peace.

So close your eyes, let your body be loose, and feel as if there is no life in the body. Feel as if your body is relaxing. Go on feeling this, and within a short time you will know that you are not the master of the body. Every cell, every nerve of the body will feel relaxed - as if the body does not exist. Leave the body alone as if it is floating on the river. Let the river of life take you anywhere it wants to, and float upon it just like a dry leaf.

Now feel that your breath is gradually becoming quiet, silent. As your breathing becomes silent, you will feel that you are being dissolved. You will feel as if you are on the burning pyre, and you have been burnt completely. Not even ashes have remained.

Now feel the sound of the birds, the sunīs rays, the waves of the ocean, and just be a witness to them- receptive and yet aware, watchful. The body is relaxed, breathing is silent, and you are in `suchnessī; you are just a witness to all this.

Gradually you will feel a transformation within, and then suddenly something will become silent inside. The mind has become silent and empty. feel this: be a witness to it, and experience it. The river has taken away your floating body, the pyre has burned it, and you have been a witness to it. In this nothingness, a blissfulness enters which we call divinity

Breathe slowly two or three times, and with each breath you will feel freshness, peace, and a blissful pleasure. Now open your eyes slowly and come back from the meditation.

Try to do this experiment nightly before going to bed and go to sleep right afterward. Gradually, your sleep will turn into meditation.