There is a well-known anecdote Sufi anecdote: A man walking up to the mountain in the night slipped and fell from an edge. Extremely scared that he would fall down thousands of feet because he thought that just at the edge of the mountain path was a very deep valley, he grabbed hold of a branch that was overhanging the edge. In the darkness of the night, he could only see a bottomless abyss beneath him. In a state of panic, he screamed and his own scream was resounded back -there was nobody to hear his scream. He kept hanging there for the whole night of endless misery–as the time feels like endless in the moments of misery. He was trembling and feeling that he would lose the grip any moment as his hands were becoming cold. But somehow he managed to hold on and at the dawn when the sun came out, he looked down, the valley resounded with his uproarious laugh; there was really no abyss. Just a few inches below his feet there was a rock ledge. Had he seen that, he could have rested and slept the whole night, as there was enough space on the ledge. But what a misfortune that in the thick darkness of the night, he could not see beneath his feet and kept praying to god in absolute fear of death. Happy Ho organizes best Meditation and Tarot classes in Noida and Delhi NCR area in India.
The moral of the story is that the fear is not more than six inches deep. If we could find a way to look within ourselves, it is not more than two inches below our navel center. This center is called the Hara center where our fear resides permanently. The Japanese warriors who decide to commit suicide thrust the knife into their Hara and do Harakiri.
In one of his discourses, Osho says: Death must have a point within your body somewhere. So the Japanese searched the body to find out where the black hole exists. It is just below the navel. Two inches below the navel exists the point of death. It is a very subtle point. You must have heard the word hara-kiri; the word comes from Hara. Hara means the black hole inside the body, and hara-kiri means suicide, to use that black hole. The Japanese have become very efficient in killing themselves; nobody can kill themselves as easily as the Japanese, because they have found the exact point of death. With a small knife, they simply penetrate the Hara; not even a single drop of blood comes out. The suicide is bloodless, and no pain at all is felt, no suffering – life just disappears. They have touched directly the black hole in the body, the point of death.
And to attain to fearlessness, one needs to take care of this center, as Osho explains further: And the whole of Taoist practice is to be alert to the Hara. They have created a different type of breathing for it; they call it belly breathing. You cannot find a more silent man than a Taoist who has been doing belly breathing and has become attuned to it. You breathe from the chest. All over the world chest breathing, which is shallow breathing, exists. Maybe it is because of the fear of death that you don’t breathe from the belly, because when you breathe from the belly the breath goes deep down to the Hara. Then you touch death. Afraid of death, you practice shallow breathing. Remember, whenever you are afraid your breathing will become shallow. Whenever fear takes you, you will not be able to breathe deeply –immediately the breathing becomes shallow. Every fear is basically a fear of death; you may not be consciously aware of it, but your body knows where death is: don’t go that way. Your body is wise, wiser than your mind – has to be, because mind is very much a newcomer. The body has existed longer than mind, has passed through millions of lives, mindless lives, and has accumulated much wisdom. Whenever you are afraid you stop breathing or you breathe very shallow, afraid to come nearer to death.
Deep breathing absorbs death into life, deep breathing creates a bridge between life and death; the fear disappears. If you can breathe deep down through the belly, then fear will disappear completely.