God is in the Gap Between Breaths

on Monday, July 26, 2010

God is in the Gap Between Breaths

By Swami Chaitanya Keerti

God is in the breath inside the breath, said Kabir. He showed that anyone can become illumined from within. Osho once explained a sutra from Kabir’s song: “Student, tell me what is God?” he asks. He provides the answer. “He is the breath inside the breath.”


God is your subjectivity; He is your innerness. Buddha made it a great technique for meditation, watching the breath, because through watching if you will come to know the breath inside the breath. ‘Breath’ means life. In Sanskrit it is pran or In Hebrew, the word for breath means spirit. In all languages, breath is synonymous with life, spirit or soul. But breath is not the soul.


Try this experiment: sitting silently, just watch your breath from the entrance of the nose. When the breath comes in, feel the touch of the breath at the entrance of the nose – watch it there. The touch will be easier to watch, breath will be too subtle. The breath goes in, and you feel it going in: watch it. And then follow it go with it. You will find there comes a point where it stops – near your navel, for a tiny moment, for a pal. Then it moves outwards again. Follow it – again feel the touch, the breath going out of the nose. Follow it, go with it outside – again you will come to a point, the breath stops for a very tiny moment. Than again the cycle starts.


Inhalation, gap, exhalation, gap, inhalation, gap. That gap is the most mysterious phenomenon inside you. When the breath come in and stops and there is no movement, that is the point where one can meet God. Or when the breath goes out and stops and there is no movement. Remember, you are not to stop it; It stops on its own. Otherwise, the doer will come in and witnessing will disappear. You are not to change the breath pattern, you are to neither inhale nor exhale. It is not like pranayam of yoga, where you start manipulating the breath. You don’t touch the breath at all – you allow its naturalness, its natural flow. When it goes out you follow it, when it comes in you follow it.


Soon you will become aware that there are two gaps. In those two gaps is the door: And in those two gaps you will find that breath itself is not life – maybe a food, not life itself. Because when the breathing stops you are there – you are perfectly conscious. And the breath has stopped, breathing is no more there, and you are there. And once you continue this watching of the breath – what Buddha calls Vipassana or Anapanasati – if you go on watching it, slowly you will see the gap is increasing and becoming bigger. Finally it happens that for minutes together the gap remains. One breath goes in, and the gap… and for minutes the breath does not go out. All has stopped. The world has stopped, time has stopped, thinking has stopped. Because when the breath stops, thinking is not possible. And when the breath stops for minutes together, thinking is absolutely impossible – because the thought process needs continuous oxygen, and your breathing are very deeply related.


Your breathing goes on changing with the moods of the mind. The vice versa is also true – when the breath changes the moods of the mind change. And when breath stops, mind stops. In that stopping of the mind the whole world stops – because the mind is the world. And in that stopping you come to know for the first time what is the breath inside the breath: life inside life. The liberating experience makes you aware of God – and God is not a person but the experience of life itself.

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