Ramaraju Mahanthi
Thank You For Everything.


In the Chinese Taoist Tradition, they have a method known as ‘Tai Chi’. It is a method of centering, a method of witnessing. They say: do whatsoever, but remain conscious of the center at the navel. Walking, be conscious of the center at the navel. Eating, be conscious of the center at the navel. Fighting, be conscious of the center at the navel. Do whatsoever you are doing, but remain conscious of one thing: that you are centered at the navel. Again, if you are conscious of the navel, you cannot think. The moment you begin to think, you will not be conscious of the navel.
This is a body technique. Buddha uses breathing, breath. Taoists use hara. They call the center at the navel hara. That`s why Japanese suicide is known as hara-kiri. It means, committing suicide remaining centered in hara... So it is not suicide, it is not just suicide... They call it hara-kiri only if a person commits suicide, remaining continuously aware of the center at the hara. Then it is not suicide at all; he is doing it so consciously. You cannot commit suicide so consciously. With you, suicide is committed only when you are so much disturbed, that you have become absolutely unconscious.

Whether you use the hara or use breathing, you must remain conscious. 

Krishanumurti says: "Remain conscious of your thought process." Whether it is the process of the breathing, or the palpitation of the hara, or the thought process, it makes no difference. The basic thing remains the same. 

Remain conscious of your thought process: A thought arises: know that it has arisen. A thought is there: know that the thought is there. When the thought moves and goes out of existence, then know, witness that it has disappeared. Whenever a thought goes, and another thought comes, there is a gap inbetween: be conscious of the gap. Remain conscious of the thought process; a thought moving, a gap, again a thought ... Be conscious! Use thought as an object for your witnessing.

It makes no difference: you can use breathing, you can use thought, you can use the hara - you can use anything. There are many methods and each country has developed its own. And sometimes there is very much conflict about methods, but if you go deep, one thing is essential and that is witnessing - whatsoever the method can be. The difference is only of the body.

And Krishnamurti says: "I have no method." But he has. This witnessing of the thought process is as much a method,  as the witnessing of breathing. You can witness breathing, you can witness the thought process. And then, then you can appreciate that someone is using a rosary, he can witness it. Then there is no difference between witnessing the movement of the rosary or witnessing breathing or the thought process.

Sufis use dancing, dervish dancing. They use dancing as a method. You might have heard the name 'whirling dervishes'. They move on their heels just like a child moves sometimes. If you move like that you will get dizzy - just moving on your heels, whirling... And they say, "Go on whirling, know that the body is whirling, and remain conscious. Inside, remain aware! Don`t get identified with the whirling body. The body is whirling - don`t get identified, remain conscious. Then the witnessing will happen."

And I think that the Sufi method is more sudden than any, because to witness the thought process is difficult, it is very subtle. To witness breathing is again difficult,  because breathing is a non-voluntary process. But whirling you are doing voluntarily. Dancing, whirling round and round and round, the mind gets dizzy. If you remain aware, suddenly you find a center. Then the body becomes a wheel and you become the hub, and the body goes on whirling and the center stands alone, untouched - akshat - uncorrupted.

So there are hundreds and hundreds of methods, but the soul, the significant, the essential, the foundational thing in all of them is witnessing. 

From: The Ultimate Alchemy, Volume 1, Chapter 15