If you repress you will be getting into trouble…
Awareness is not a question; it is just trying to become more alert, more mindful.
Listening to people like Krishnamurti or Ramana Maharshi, listening to them speak about awareness… and awareness is all — it is the very essential religion, the central core of all religion… so when you listen to them speak about awareness, and you listen to Ramana Maharshi, Krishnamurti, Buddha, Gurdjieff, and everybody is praising it, you become greedy. You say, “So I must have this awareness too. I cannot allow it to go; I must have it. These people are enjoying so much awareness, and they are feeling so blissful, in such great benediction. I must have this commodity too.” So you start grabbing. But you start wrongly: you start with complex things.
Somebody is suffering from sexuality: he starts becoming aware of sex — this will not be possible. You have taken a very complex thing. Or somebody is suffering from anger, and has suffered his whole life, and his whole life is destroyed by anger and the poison that is created by anger. Now listening about awareness, suddenly he will try it on anger; this won’t do. And if you fail you lose self-confidence; that is very dangerous. Start with very simple things.
Buddha used to say, “Start with breathing, because that is the most simple thing in the world, so simple that you don’t do it at all. It happens on its own.” You don’t breathe. In fact you are never aware of breathing unless something goes wrong. You have some breathing trouble? then you become aware.
Otherwise breathing goes on its own. You can go on sleeping and the breathing continues. And it is good — otherwise, if you had to take care about it, life would be impossible. Someday you would sleep and you would forget to breathe, and… gone. And there is no way to undo it: once gone you are gone forever. Breathing is spontaneous, it is a very simple process: the breath just goes in, goes out — nothing much in it. Buddha says, “Watch it, become aware of it. Sitting silently, simply see the breath going in, the breath going out.” You will feel very bored because it is very montonous: the same breath coming in, the same breath going out.
So the first problem has to be very simple, like breathing. And the second problem will be that you will have to face boredom. And if you can face boredom, boredom disappears and there is tremendous calm behind it. So start awareness with the breathing process. At least for one hour every day, sit silently just watching your breathing, doing nothing — not even chanting a mantra — because then you are making it complex. You simply see the breathing; it is a natural mantra: it goes in, goes out, goes in, goes out. You are not to say that the breathing is going out.
You have to simply go with the breathing: it is going out, the consciousness goes with it; it comes in, the consciousness comes in. You simply SENSE its going in and coming out. You try to remember it, and you will find difficulties even in this simple process. For a few seconds you will be aware, then you will forget. Then your mind has taken you away — to your business, to your woman, to your children, or a thousand and one problems are there.
Again after a few minutes you will remember: “I have forgotten; I am not watching my breath” — then again come back. There is no need to repent, there is no need to fuss about having forgotten. Because now if you fuss about it, again this time is being lost. Whenever you recognize that you have lost track of breathing, come back; again start watching it. Doing it slowly, slowly, one day you will be able to watch your breath. If a person can watch his breath for forty minutes continuously, then there is no problem in life. He can watch any problem. And by watching, ANY problem can be dissolved.
But first you have to learn how to watch — so don’t start with complex things, but with very simple things. Buddha says two things: watch either breathing or walking. Buddha himself did both: for one hour he would sit under the Bodhi Tree and watch’ his breathing, and when his limbs would feel tired, cramped, then he would walk for one hour and watch his walking — one foot goes… another foot, another, then he would turn. If you go to Bodhgaya where Buddha became enlightened, just near the Bodhi Tree there is a small path on which he used to walk.
The breathing awareness in Buddhist terminology is called ANAPANSATIYOGA, and the walking meditation is called JANKRAMANA. These are two simple processes — and both are tremendously beautiful: breathing can be watched sitting silently, and walking can be watched being active. But the walking process is very simple: you need not worry about it, you need not plan about it. Everybody is capable of walking; you need not even learn about it. Small, simple, spontaneous processes have to be made aware first. And then, when you have attained a certain capacity, you can try it on other things: anger, greed, sex, possessiveness, jealousy. Millions are the problems. Then you can try on other problems, and you will be surprised by the miracle of it. It is a very magical process: if you watch something silently, it disappears.
A great sexual desire arises in you: simply watch it arising. It is throbbing in your body, it is moving in your mind, it is stirring fantasies in you — just watch, with neither condemnation nor indulgence. Just watch, and you will be surprised: the more watchful you become, the less power there is in the sexual urge. There comes a moment when you are fully aware; you have become a light unto yourself. In that moment the urge has completely disappeared. AND, this is not repression — because you have not repressed the sexual urge.
If you repress you will be getting into trouble. All repressed people sooner or later are bound to become insane. So this is not repression: you are not against the sexual urge, you don’t have any attitude about it, you simply watch it. And by just watching, the energy changes its quality — the sexual urge becomes a fuel for awareness, and awareness burns bright. And there is no residue, there is no wound, no repression.
The world has known only two things up to now: either you indulge or you repress. Buddha has shown a totally different path: neither do you indulge nor do you repress. You simply watch.
But always start from the very small things. Never try the first time on some big enemy, otherwise you will be defeated. And once you are defeated you will lose confidence, and you will lose trust in the miracle of awareness too.
from : The Discipline of Transcendence vol.4 ch. 10