Title: Five techniques of attentiveness
Meditation: Focus on the gap during your daily activities
Sutra (Technique): When in worldly activity, keep attention between two breaths, and so practicing, in a few days be born anew.
When in worldly activity, keep attentive between the two breaths, and so practicing, in a few days, be born anew.
when in worldly activity, keep attentive between the two breaths... Forget breaths -- keep attentive in between. One breath has come: before it returns, before it is exhaled out, there is the gap, the interval. One breath has gone out; before it is taken in again, the gap. in worldly activity keep attentive between the two breaths, and so practicing, in a few days, be born anew. But this has to be done continuously. This sixth technique has to be done continuously. That is why this is mentioned: when in worldly activity... Whatsoever you are doing, keep your attention in the gap between the two breaths. But it must be practiced while in activity.
We have discussed one technique that is just similar. Now there is only this difference, that this has to be practiced while in worldly activity. Do not practice it in isolation. This practice is to be done while you are doing something else. You are eating -- go on eating and be attentive of the gap. You are walking -- go on walking and be attentive of the gap. You are going to sleep -- lie down, let sleep come, but you go on being attentive of the gap. Why in activity? Because activity distracts the mind, activity calls for your attention again and again. Do not be distracted, be fixed at the gap. And do not stop activity, let the activity continue. You will have two layers of existence -- doing and being.
We have two layers of existence: the world of doing and the world of being; the circumference and the center. Go on working on the periphery, on the circumference; do not stop it. But go on working attentively on the center also. What will happen? Your activity will become an acting, as if you are playing a part.
You are playing a part -- for example, in a drama. You have become Ram or you have become Christ. You go on acting as Christ or as Ram, and still you remain yourself. In the center, you know who you are; on the periphery you go on acting as Ram, Christ or anyone. You know you are not Ram -- you are acting. You know who you are. Your attention is centered in you; your activity continues on the circumference.
If this method is practiced, your whole life will become a long drama. You will be an actor playing roles, but constantly centered in the gap. If you forget the gap then you are not playing roles, you have become the role. Then it is not a drama; you have mistaken it as life. That is what we have done. Everyone thinks he is living life. It is not life, it is just a role -- a part which has been given to you by the society, by the circumstances, by the culture, by the tradition, the country, the situation. You have been given a role and you are playing it; you have become identified with it. To break that identification there is this technique.
Krishna has many names. Krishna is one of the greatest actors. He is constantly centered in himself and playing -- playing many roles, many games, but absolutely non serious. Seriousness comes from identification. If you really become Ram in the drama then there are bound to be problems. Those problems will come out of your seriousness. When Sita is stolen you may get a heart attack, and the whole play will have to be stopped. If you really become Ram a heart attack is certain... even heart failure.
But you are just an actor. Sita is stolen, but nothing is stolen. You will go back to your home and you will sleep peacefully. Not even in a dream will you feel that Sita is stolen. When really Sita was stolen, Ram himself was weeping, crying and asking the trees, "Where has my Sita gone? Who has taken her?" But this is the point to understand. If Ram is really weeping and asking the trees, he has become identified. He is no more Ram; he is no more a divine person.
This is the point to remember, that for Ram his real life also was just a part. You have seen other actors playing Ram, but Ram himself was just playing a part -- on a greater stage, of course.
India has a very beautiful story about it. I think that the story is unique; nowhere else in any part of the world does such a thing exist. It is said that Valmiki wrote the ramayana before Ram was born, and then Ram had to follow. So really, the first act of Ram was also just a drama. The story was written before Ram was born and then Ram had to follow, so what can he do? When a man like Valmiki writes the story, Ram has to follow. So everything was fixed in a way. Sita was to be stolen and the war had to be fought.
If you can understand this, then you can understand the theory of destiny, bhagya -- fate. It has a very deep meaning. And the meaning is, if you take it that everything is fixed for you, your life becomes a drama. If you are playing the role of Ram in the drama you cannot change it, everything is fixed, even your dialogue. If you say something to Sita it is just repeating something that is fixed. You cannot change it if life is taken as fixed.
For example, you are going to die on a particular day -- it is fixed. When you will be dying you will be weeping, but it is fixed. And such and such persons will be around you -- it is fixed. If everything is fixed, everything becomes a drama. If everything is fixed, it means you are just to enact it. You are not asked to live it, you are just asked to enact it.
This technique, the sixth technique, is just to make yourself a psychodrama -- just a play. You are focused in the gap between two breaths and life moves on, on the periphery. If your attention is at the center, then your attention is not really on the periphery -- that is just "sub-attention"; it just happens somewhere near your attention. You can feel it, you can know it, but it is not significant. It is as if it is not happening to you. I will repeat this: if you practice this sixth technique, your whole life will be as if it is not happening to you, as if it is happening to someone else.