Smoking helps — on a momentary basis — to forget about your anxieties, your tensions, your nervousness. Other things can do the same; chewing gum can do the same, but smoking does it the best.
In your deep unconscious, smoking is related with sucking milk from your mother’s breast. So as civilization has grown, children are taken away from the breast of the mother sooner and sooner. The longing to drink from the breast goes on in their minds, and whenever people are in some nervous state, in tension, in anxiety, the cigarette helps. It helps them to become a child again, relaxed in their mother’s lap. The cigarette is very symbolic. It is just like the nipple of the mother, and the smoke that goes through it is warm, just as the milk is warm. So it has a certain symmetry, and you become engaged in it, and for the moment you are reduced to a child who has no anxieties, no problems, no responsibilities.
If a man lives totally, his every moment is such a fulfillment that you will not see queues before movie halls — who wants to see somebody else making love? When you yourself can make love, why should you go to the movie house? When your own life is such a mystery and such a tremendous challenge to discover, who is going to be interested in third-class film stories?
The man who lives totally becomes un-ambitious. Because he is so happy right now, he cannot conceive that there is the possibility of more. The ordinary madness of man’s mind — of desiring for more and more — is because you are not living totally.
All around you there are people whose vested interest is that you should not live ..totally. It is surprising: why are they so interested that people do not live totally? Because their whole exploitation of humanity depends on it.
A man who lives totally will not drink alcohol, or take any other kind of drug. Naturally, the people who are earning millions of dollars out of alcohol and drugs cannot allow you to live totally. To live totally is so joyous that you don’t want to destroy your joy by drinking alcohol. Alcohol is needed by miserable people, by people who are troubled, by people who want somehow to forget their problems, their anxieties — at least for a few hours. The alcohol is not going to change anything — but even a rest for a few hours seems to be an absolute necessity for millions of people.
DE ADDICTION / DE-AUTOMATIZE PROGRAMME:-
If we can de-automatize our activities, then the whole life becomes a meditation. Then any small thing, taking a shower, eating your food, talking to your friend, becomes meditation. Meditation is a quality; it can be brought to anything. It is not a specific act. People think that way, they think meditation is a specific act – when you sit facing to the east, you repeat certain mantras, you burn some incense, you do this and that at a particular time in a particular way with a particular gesture. Meditation has nothing to do with all those things. They are all ways to automatize it and meditation is against automatization. So if you can keep alert any activity is meditation, any movement will help you immensely.
Chain smokers, drinkers or any persons who have addiction would have tried many times to stop it, they would have tried hard and they would have suffered much in trying, but only for one day or two days they would have stopped, and then again the urged would come so tremendously, it would simply take him away, and again he would fall into the same pattern.
Because of this addiction they will lose all self-confidence, they cannot do a small thing; they cannot stop addiction also. They become worthless not only in the eyes of the public but also in their own eyes; they think themselves just the most worthless person in the world. they have no respect for themselves.
Nobody can stop smoking. You have to understand. Smoking is not only a question of any decision now. It has entered into your world of habits; it has taken roots. It has taken roots in the body, in the chemistry; it has spread all over. It is not just a question of the head deciding; the head cannot do anything. The head is impotent; it can start things, but it cannot stop them so easily. Once it has started and once it has been practiced so long, practicing smoking! It has become autonomous; it has to be de-automatized.
And that’s what meditation is all about, de-automatization. They should forget about stopping. There is no need either. For long years they have smoked and lived; of course it was a suffering but they have become accustomed to that too. Forget about it; they are not going to stop it at all. Rather, they are going to understand it. So next time, they have to make it a meditation.
Meditation out of smoking, if Zen people can make a meditation out of drinking tea and can make it a ceremony, why not? Smoking can be as beautiful a meditation.
When you are taking the packet of cigarettes out of your pocket, move slowly. Enjoy it, there is no hurry. Be conscious, alert, aware; take it out slowly, with full awareness. Then take the cigarette out of the packet with full awareness, slowly – not in the old hurried way, unconscious way, mechanical way. Then start tapping the cigarette on your packet – but very alertly. Listen to the sound, just as Zen people do when the samovar starts singing and the tea starts boiling … and the aroma.
Then smell the cigarette and the beauty of it …”
The beauty, Yes, it is very beautiful.
Tobacco is as divine as anything. Smell it; it is God’s smell.”
“Then put it in your mouth, with full awareness, light it with full awareness. Enjoy every act, every small act, and divide it into as many small acts as possible, so you can become more and more aware.
“Then have the first puff: God in the form of smoke. Hindus say, ‘Annam Brahm’ – ‘Food is God’. Why not smoke? All is God. Fill your lungs deeply – this is a pranayam. Then release the smoke, relax, another puff – and go very slowly. “If you can do it, you will be surprised; soon you will see the whole stupidity of it. Not because others have said that it is stupid, not because others have said that it is bad. You will see it. And the seeing will not just be intellectual. It will be from your total being; it will be a vision of your totality. And then one day, if it drops, it drops; if it continues, it continues. You need not worry about it. After some months for majority of them it will be dropped, or otherwise also there will be harmful effects of bad habits, because now they are doing it consciously with awareness, the body takes care of it.
As it happens in chain smoking , it can be tried in all other things too like intoxicating drinks, narcotics, drugs etc.
This is the secret, the secret: de-automatize. Walking, walk slowly, watchfully. Looking, look watchfully, and you will see trees are greener than they have ever been and roses are rosier than they have ever been. Listen! Somebody is talking, gossiping: listen, listen attentively. When you are talking, talk attentively. Let your whole waking activity become de-automatized.
A meditator cannot smoke, for the simple reason that he never feels nervous, in …anxiety, in tension.
ALTERNATIVE TO ADDICTION:-
There is alternative to stop smoking, which many of them stopped smoking. “Don’t try to stop smoking, but rather bring a milk bottle that is used for small children. And in the night when nobody can see you, under your blanket enjoy the milk, the warm milk. It is not going to do any harm at least.” It will give you good food before you go to sleep, and there is no harm. That the next day you will not feel so much need for cigarettes. So you count.” Slowly, slowly the cigarettes disappear, because their basic need which had remained hanging in the middle was fulfilled: they are no longer children, they are maturing, and the cigarette disappears.
You cannot stop it. You have to do something which is not harmful, which is healthier, as a substitute for the time being so that you grow up and the cigarettes stop themselves. Small children know this — If a child is crying or weeping and is hungry, and the mother is far away, then he will put his thumb in his mouth and start sucking it. He will forget all about hunger and crying and weeping, and will fall asleep. He has found a substitute — although that substitute is not going to give him food, at least it gives a sense that something similar is happening. It relaxes him. Suck it and enjoy it.
Your stopping is repression, and anything repressed will try to come up again with greater force, with vengeance. Never stop anything. Find the basic cause of it and try to work out some substitute which is not harmful. So the basic cause disappears — the cigarette is only a symptom. So the first thing is, stop stopping it. The second thing is, get a good bottle, and don’t be embarrassed. If you are embarrassed then use your own thumb. Your own thumb will not be that great, but it will help. One day suddenly he cannot believe that he was unnecessarily destroying his health rather than having pure and clean air, smoking dirty smoke and destroying his lungs.
In India they go on chewing pan leaves, or there are many people who use snuff. These are all the same. The snuff looks far away, but it is not that far away. The people who are nervous, tense, in anxiety, will take a dose of snuff. It gives a good sneeze, clears their mind, shakes their whole being, and it feels good. But those anxieties will come back. The snuff cannot destroy them, You have to destroy the very base of your being nervous.