“When eating or drinking, become the taste of the food or drink, and be filled.”
We go on eating things; we cannot live without them. But we eat them very unconsciously, automatically, robot-like. If the taste is not lived, you are just stuffing. Go slow, and be aware of the taste. And only when you go slow can you be aware. Do not just go on swallowing things. Taste them unhurriedly and become the taste. When you feel sweetness, become that sweetness. And then it can be felt all over the body – not just in the mouth, not just on the tongue, it can be felt all over the body! A certain sweetness – or anything else – is spreading in ripples. Whatsoever you are eating, feel the taste and become the taste.
This is how tantra appears to be quite the contrary from other traditions. Jainas say, “No taste – aswad.” Mahatma Gandhi had it as a rule in his ashram – “aswad: do not taste anything. Eat, but do not taste; forget the taste. Eating is a necessity, but do it in a mechanical way. Taste is desire, so do not taste.” Tantra says taste it as much as possible; be more sensitive, alive. And not only be sensitive – become the taste.
With aswad, with no taste, your senses will be deadened. They will become less and less sensitive. And with less sensitivity, you will not be able to feel your body, you will not be able to feel your feelings. Then you will just remain centered in the head. This centeredness in the head is the split. Tantra says do not create any division within yourself. It is beautiful to taste; it is beautiful to be sensitive. And if you are more sensitive you will be more alive, and if you are more alive, then more life will enter your inner being. You will be more open.
You can eat things without tasting; it is not difficult. You can touch someone without touching; it is not difficult. We are already doing it. You shake hands with someone without touching him because to touch, you have to come to the hand, you have to move to the hand. You have to become your fingers and your palm as if you, your soul, have come to the hand. Only then can you touch. You can take someone’s hand in your hand and withdraw. You can withdraw; then the dead hand is there. It appears to be touching, but it is not touching.
We are not touching! We are afraid to touch somebody because symbolically touch has become sexual. You may be standing in a crowd, in a tram, in a railway compartment, touching many persons, but you are not touching them and they are not touching you. Only bodies are there in contact, but you are withdrawn. And you can feel the difference: if you really touch someone in the crowd, he will feel offended. Your body can touch, but you must not move in that body. You must remain aloof – as if not in the body, as if there is only a dead body touching.
This insensitivity is bad. It is bad because you are defending yourself against life. You are so much afraid of death, and you are already dead. You need not really be afraid because no one is going to die; you are already dead. And that is why you are afraid – because you have not lived. You have been missing life and death is coming.
A person who is “alive” will not be afraid of death because he is living. When you are really living there is no fear of death. You can even live death. When death comes, you will be so sensitive to it that you will enjoy it. It is going to be a great experience. If you are alive you can even live death, and then death is no more there. If you can even live death, if you can even be sensitive to your dying body as you are withdrawing to the center and dissolving, if you can live even this, then you have become deathless.
“When eating or drinking, become the taste of the food or drink, and be filled by the taste”:
When drinking water, feel the coolness. Close your eyes, drink it slowly, taste it. Feel the coolness and feel that you have become that coolness, because the coolness is being transferred to you from the water; it is becoming a part of your body. Your mouth is touching, your tongue is touching, and the coolness is transferred. Allow it to happen to the whole of your body. Allow its ripples to spread, and you will feel a coolness all over your body. In this way your sensitivity can grow, and you can become more alive and more filled.
We are frustrated, feeling vacant, empty, and we go on talking that life is empty. But we are the reasons why it is empty. We are not filling it and we are not allowing anything to fill it. We have an armour around us – a defense armour. We are afraid to be vulnerable, so we go on defending against everything. And then we become tombs – dead things.
Tantra says be alive, more alive, because life is God. There is no other God than life. Be more alive, and you will be more divine. Be totally alive, and there is no death for you.
Osho, Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, Ch 33 (excerpt)