VBT – Meditation 3.3
Centre Is The Master
Someone gives you news of the death of a loved one. Go back to the navel. Then let the news go within you. “Then,” Lao Tzu says, “No one’s death will cause a blow to the mind.” You may not have observed, or perhaps you have or may be you realised later on, recollecting the incident — that whenever you have been given news of great joy or sorrow, the first effect has always been on the navel. You are walking on the road, or cycling, or going in a car, and suddenly an accident occurs. The first impact is on the navel. It begins to tremble. Then, the whole body begins to tremble.
Lao Tzu says, “Whenever anything happens, go back first to the navel centre.” Your first work is remembrance of the navel. Then, do what you like. Then happiness will not make you mad with joy, and sorrow will fail to make you unhappy. Then your centre will stand apart from the happenings that take place on the periphery. Then you remain the witness only. Yoga says, “Practice the sadhana of witnessing.” Lao Tzu says, “Remember the navel centre constantly and the witness state will result by itself.”
You will step outside of birth and death the day you become conscious of your navel centre, because this centre arises before birth and is the only thing that remains after death, when all else is lost. So he who knows and recognises his navel centre, knows that there is no birth for him nor death. He becomes beyond birth and death.
Keep constant remembrance. Seek the centre and keep incessant remembrance (SMARANA). The first thing is to find the centre, second is to keep on remembering it, and third is to remember the frequent loss of the remembrance. “This is going to be rather difficult however. People say, “I try to keep my attention on the (NABHI), the navel, but I cannot. What should I do?”
To this I say: Keep attention on the fact that you have lost attention. Make it a part of your meditation. Be attentive to inattention also: don’t let it pass unnoticed by you. Whenever you slip, be conscious of the slip and you will go back to remembrance, the current of meditation will join the mainstream again.
Now, the last thing. When the remembrance is complete and the centre becomes clear to you — when you experience the centre — then surrender everything to the centre. Say to the centre, “You alone are the master. Release me!” This surrender is easy.
Surrender is very difficult until the centre is experienced. People say, “Surrender to God,” but we have no knowledge of God. How is surrender to an unknown entity possible? And even if God is known, you still remain the owner of your surrender. If you feel sometime that God is not to your taste, you will withdraw your surrender. We are the givers and we are the withdrawers — what can God do? But the surrender that can be withdrawn is no surrender; in fact, it was never a surrender.
Lao Tzu’s method is different. Lao Tzu says: “The day the centre is known and felt, you begin to understand and experience that the centre is the master that does not need your assistance. The breath comes and goes; sleep comes, then awakening; birth happens, then death. The current of life flows on from the centre, without your help.” Then the question of surrendering does not arise because surrender just happens.
So the third and last stage of sadhana is to experience the surrender to the centre. Then there is no way for the ego to save itself. In the state of such surrender a person reaches the highest attainment.