Sleep and death

Sleep and death are similar

Death is just like sleep: if you don't relax, it cannot come. If you remain tense how can you go to sleep? So if you are only a little bit afraid, even then you will not be able to relax.

Everybody comes to a feeling of death some day or other in deep meditation. Whenever meditation touches your inner depth, the feeling of death comes because that very point where you touch yourself is the beginning of you and the end of your ego. So your ego goes through a sort of feeling of death; not exactly death, but… great panic.

Next time it happens don’t be afraid; just move in it. Death is as beautiful as life. And the whole idea about death—that it is something to be afraid of—is based on absolutely wrong notions. Wrong notions about life too, because we think life is the life of the body. That’s why death seems to be so scary.

If you come to understand that life is more than body—body is just the surface of it, the form of it, and life itself is formless—then death is nothing but a door; a door to the beyond, a door to yourself. It is a returning to the source.

Once you have fallen into your source, once you allow it to happen, you will become alive for the first time. Then you know that you are deathless; nothing can destroy you, not even death. Unless one experiences death, death remains. Once you accept it, death disappears—it has been transcended. So the sooner it happens the better.

It was a good experience, but you have misunderstood it. It is just an indication that sooner or later you will have a deeper feeling of it coming again. Allow it. And if you become really very much afraid and it becomes difficult to relax. Because one has to relax.

Death is just like sleep: if you don’t relax, it cannot come. If you remain tense how can you go to sleep? So if you are only a little bit afraid, even then you will not be able to relax. So just as it is coming, relax as if you are moving into a deep sleep. Accept and welcome it. Give yourself to it, be possessed. If it is difficult, just take the locket in your hand and remember me and immediately there will be a let-go. Do it!

But don’t change the rhythm of it, just breathe as you normally do. Simply watch, go with it—breath goes into the belly… the belly comes up. You just go with it. Then for a second, it stops… you stop there. Then it goes back, return journey, you come back… then it goes out… wait there for a second.

No need to force it in any way. You are not to do anything; you are just to watch. If even a slight doing comes in, then the watching is disturbed. So be totally a non-doer. And the breath goes on its own; you are not required to do anything.

That’s the difference between Buddhist breathing and yoga breathing. Buddhist breathing is tremendously beautiful. It is the breathing of a witness—nothing to be done. Yoga breathing is the breathing of a doer. You have to do something—inhale deeply, exhale deeply, count, take as much time in breathing, double-time in exhaling… then it becomes a doing. The Buddhist breathing is simply to watch. And just watching the breathing tranquillises the whole mind and being.

Close your eyes and relax, and forget everything outside. Do it for one hour, and then for fifteen minutes stop it. And in those fifteen minutes, you can do anything—you can sing a song, or hum… or anything, but something has to be done. If you go on doing the breathing for more than one hour, then it can become heavy. You can do it as much as you like, but with a fifteen-minute gap.

Excerpted from Above All Don’t Wobble by Osho

Osho is known for his revolutionary contribution to the science of inner transformation, with an approach to meditation that acknowledges the accelerated pace of contemporary life.


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