It is said that God created Adam but Adam was dead. Then God breathed in him and he became alive. The breath is the mostimportant thing. With it life starts and with it life ends. It is the most mysterious thing; without it there is no possibility of life.
Every child born is not reallyalive until he breathes. The child cannot breathe on his own. Toexpect that is impossible because the child does not know how to breathe, nobody has taught him. This is going to be his first and the most significant act -- thats why it cannot be his act. If God does it -- okay; if God is not willing – finished.
The first act of breath bridges you with the whole, makes you one with the whole, and all thatfollows will not be your activity; all that is going to happen after this first breath till you die, tillthe last breath, is going to be the activity of the whole. The whole will live within you.
If you simply go on breathing and thinkingthat this is just air coming in and going out you willnever be able to penetrate the mystery of it. You willnever be able to know that which goes beyond the body, that which is withinbut yet beyond, that which is hidden in the body butnot obstructed by the body, not limited by the body. A beyond within.
Buddha has called his own methods of discovering the innermost core of breath anapana-sati yoga: the yoga,the science, of incoming and outgoingbreath; and Buddha has said no other yoga is needed. If you can deeplywatch your own breathing, and watch so meditatively that anything that ishidden in the breath does not remain hidden but becomes revealed, you will come to know all.
"Sitting, walking, standing, whatsoever you are doing, go on doing these things, but let your consciousness be aware of the breathcoming in, going out. Goon looking at your own breath -- one day with the very continuous hammering on the breath, the temple opens."
The God is hidden in the temple of the breath. Suddenly one day you become aware that it is not just air. If for you it isjust air, you have a scientific mind but youdont have the awareness which can reveal the innermost core of it. You missed the innermost real phenomenon.
After the child has taken his first breath the second phenomenon will arise in him. Thirst will arise. Then hunger will arise. Then there will be a need for physical activity. Then sexwill arise. Then there will be a need for mentalactivity. Then love will arise. Then there will be a need for aesthetic activity: poetry, painting, music.... These are eight activities. And thenthe ninth, the last, arises: the need for spiritual activity -- meditation, samadhi.
And this is the beauty of the whole phenomenon -- that the ninth is again the first, becausethe ninth again pays attention to breath. The circle is complete. Even God can be neglected. Buddhism does not believe in God, does not believe in soul that can be neglected; but breathing cannot be neglected.
First is breath, second thirst, third hunger. Thereare people who finish at thethird, who think: eat, drink, be merry is all. Their life is not complete; they cannot feel fulfillment because the circle is not complete.Fulfillment means that you have completed the circle,the last has joined with the first then there is fulfillment.
The seasons move in a circle, the starsmove in a circle, suns and planets move in a circle, the whole moves circularly, as a wheel? In life, in existence, nothing is linear. Everything is circular. And if youwant to live a life of the whole you have to follow the ways of the whole: move likeseasons, move like stars. Become a circle.
This ninth step is again the first, the circle is complete.Again you start breathing but not like a child, like a sage.
A child breathes in unconsciousness. A sage breathes consciously. He isagain a child, a rebirth has happened.Now he breathes but he is aware. This is anapana-sati yoga Buddha.
One observes. One relaxes into oneself and looks, looks at thebreathing, follows it, moment to moment: incoming, outgoing; and there are beautiful happenings. When one followsthe breathing one immediately becomes calm and quiet.
Just watch. If you watch the breathingeven for a few seconds, you will feel you are settling somewhere. A centering happens. The breathing goes down. Then there is a gap the breathing stopsa very small interval. In that gap there is no breathing only you are only the watcher is -- nothing to be watched. In that moment suddenly you know yourself.
Such a man while dying will see his breath has left him and will be aware, watching it. He will die watchfully, and one who dies watching, never dies. He has come to know the deathlessness. Breathing was just the container. The circle is complete.
"Unless you become likechildren you will not enter my kingdom of God."
Dont be clever with life. Youcannot be cunning with life: all short-cuts are cunning.Let life have its own natural course. You follow it, you dont force it.
Whatsoever is done is done by thewhole, you are not the doer. If youcan remember that, then breath is his thirst, is his hunger, is hissex, is his love, is his whatsoever happens is his, death is his. And you remain completely pure and innocent out of it.
This is the whole message ofthe Gita: Let the whole do, dont you come in because you are the only barrier. If you come in you commit sin. This is my definition of sin: If you say: "I breathe," this is a sin. If you say: "I love", this is a sin. If yousay he breathes this is virtue. If you say he loves, this is virtue.
And the emphasis of Lao Tzu is continuously that you can relax. Thats why he praises the weaknot the strong, because the strong cannot relax. Thats why he goes on praising water not rocks, because water is flowing, and water has no shape of its own.
Whatsoever shape is given by the whole, the water takes it. It does not resist, it does not say:"I have my own shape, what areyou doing to me? Dont force me in this bottle!" Wherever you put the water, it moves, takesthe shape. It is non-resistant. It is non-violent, non-aggressive. It has no mind of its own.
A man should be like water, with no form, no mind, no ideology. A manwho is really alive is responsive. He has no answers. He never knew it!Because there was no situation like this before. When the questionarises he responds to the question and the answer is created.
It is said that when Buddhareached nirvana, the last ultimate home, the doors were opened, there was great celebration, because centuries and centuriespass, then only one person comes and enters in those gates.
But Buddha would not enter. He stood at the gate, his back towards the gate. They were worried, theyasked: "Why are you standing there? The door is open and we have been waiting for you and there is much celebration and much jubilation -- Come in! Be a guest!"
"How can I come in? The whole worldis suffering. I will stand here until the last man passes by, enters into theultimate. I will have to wait -- I will bethe last, I feel responsible. I am aware,and they are not aware so they cannotbe responsible, but I am responsible."
The more aware you become the more responsible youbecome, the more you feel, themore you become a help – not that you start serving people,but your whole life becomes aservice. Not that you are doingsomething for them out of anyobligation. No, you are simplyfulfilling your own awareness. Have A Good Life! Sompong Yusoontorn