Take one method and play with it for at least 3 days. If it gives you a certain feeling of affinity, if it gives you a certain feeling of well-being, if it gives you a certain feeling that this is for you, then be serious about it.
Osho, The Book of Secrets, Ch 1
With these words, Osho encourages us to explore the 112 meditation techniques from The Book of Secrets. The blog post below is part of a series of chats with people, who travelled the path with one of the meditations for a longer period of time. Here is the fifth story. It is about finding peace in your heart.
Starting out on my journey with sannyas, I was looking for a suitable technique and found it in the compilation Meditation: The First and Last Freedom (which contains many meditations from the Book of Secrets). Shiva said: In an easy position, gradually pervade an area between the armpits into great peace.*
I was immediately attracted to it for several reasons: It is simple. It can be done in any easy position. It includes the heart. I was looking for something that would help me to relax and this meditation is all about relaxation. But what convinced me more than anything else – it actually worked for me!
At that time in my life, I was working as a flight attendant for a major airline. Work could be stressful. Sometimes there were tense situations with colleagues or passengers, or my body was tense. I felt the tension mostly in my hands and in my face. Osho says that even 10 minutes would do, and this is how I started. I took a short break while on the plane, sat quietly in a seat, relaxed my body, my hands, my face following his guidance, and then tuned into the area between the armpits – and had a feeling of peacefulness. I can’t explain it but for some reason it was easy and accessible for me.
I did this meditation whenever I felt it was needed. It turned out that it stayed with me over many years soothing me and allowing me to sink into the peace and silence of the heart again and again. Then it faded away, my attention turned to other things, and I almost forgot about it. However, existence brought it right back. A number of years ago, my heart itself reminded me. I had a health scare and was diagnosed with heart arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. Luckily, I don’t need to be on medication, but when it happens, the meditation is there for me: In an easy position, gradually pervade an area between the armpits into great peace.
Now, this meditation is truly very close to my heart. I have been doing it over so many years and it goes deeper and deeper. Sometimes just the remembrance of the space in the heart brings it back to me. This peacefulness inside is like a sanctuary within. In that space there is no judgement. It is like a home that stays with me wherever I go. I am so grateful that the meditation has “found me”.
There were and are challenges too. Meditation is a shy guest and disappears when I am trying too hard or expect results. We need to be gentle. Osho’s instructions are there to guide us but the mind wants to interfere, evaluate and judge. It helps to read his words attentively in a trusting, receptive mood without adding or editing what he says. Sometimes, I’ve tried to do this meditation when I couldn’t sleep. I saw my thoughts, the turmoil in my mind. We tend to fight with darkness instead of bringing in the light – it’s a constant learning. For many years I thought that others were the ones with the big, open hearts whereas I was closed or didn’t have a heart. This changed when I did the Path of Love – but this is another story.
Accepting myself as I am, respecting and loving myself as I am, this also applies when choosing a meditation. For example, the meditation with being aware of the gaps between the breaths wouldn’t work for me. I can imagine that for some people the prospect of 112 meditations to choose from is overwhelming. My experience is when it is right it sticks with you. It is like a friend and supports you from within. Then there is an inner feeling of joy and anticipation.
You can do it in the morning when you wake up or in the evening before you fall asleep. It is so easy and any easy position is right. Find a quiet place, be by yourself, and relax. It can be done any time, and then the peace in the heart will call you from the inside. It is hard to find words for it. It is a space where judgements vanish. The sun shines from that space – not only for others, also for you.
You can find Osho’s commentary on this meditation in chapter 71 of The Book of Secrets.
* Osho, Meditation: The First and Last Freedom, page 101