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Friday, April 4, 2014

The mind is not "I", "I" am not the mind...

When we have doubts about life existence, when we are dissatisfied with the limited knowledge about who we are, and we feel tired and disgusted towards the suffering that exists along with the existence of "I" in this world, we might want to find out who we really are, to know about the truth of life existence.

In the present moment, we think and believe that the mind is "I", "I" am this mind, who is perceiving and experiencing all the names and forms through the senses, who thinks, who feels, who believes, who acts and reacts, who sees, who hears, who smells, who tastes, who enjoys or suffers, who behaves good or bad, who is pure or impure, who is positive or negative, who is right or wrong, who is intelligent or unintelligent, who is knowledgeable or not knowledgeable, who desires this or doesn't desire that, who is kind or unkind, who is happy or unhappy, who is peaceful or unpeaceful, who likes this or dislikes that, who agrees or disagrees, who has this or doesn't have that, who feels honored or insulted, who feels grateful or ungrateful, who is high self-esteem or low self-esteem, who looks good or not good, who knows this or doesn't know that, who performs actions and reaps the fruit of actions, and etc.

And the mind, who we think is "I", also identifies with the qualities (the condition, the functions, the abilities and the appearance) of this physical body as "I".

If this mind is "I", then this mind should belonged to "I", and should be in "my" control of how "I" want it to be.

Same as, if this body is also "I", then this body should also belonged to "I', and should also be in "my" control of how "I" want it to be.

"I", who identifies as the mind, only want to experience something that is good, positive and happy, something that I like and agree with, and I don't want to experience anything that is not good, negative and unhappy, or something that I dislike and disagree with. "I", who also identifies as the body, only want to experience something that is good, pleasant and comfortable, something that I like and agree with, and I don't want to experience anything that is not good, unpleasant and discomfortable, or something that I dislike and disagree with.

But, (if "I" do exists) the existence and the functions of this mind and this body is not in the control of "I" at all. As they don't belong to "I". They belong to the nature that provides the energy and elements for this body and this mind to be existing and to be functioning. Without energy, without fire, water, wind, earth and space, this body and this mind cannot and doesn't exist. Same as all the experiences of the mind and the body are also not in the control of "I" at all.

All the mind experiences are not in the control of "I" at all. Good or bad feelings, positive or negative thoughts, happy or unhappy sensations, they all just come and go as they like. They don't ask for the permission from "I" to come into the mind, or for how long they are going to stay in the mind, or when and how they change, or when they leave the mind. When should the mind takes rest or when should it stays awake, is not in the control of "I" at all. All the thoughts, the feelings, the impurities that arising and passing away in the mind are not in the control of "I" at all. All the egoistic reactions of attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, craving and aversion, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurts, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, anxiety, fear, worry, and etc, are not in the control of "I" at all.

All the physical body experiences are also not in the control of "I" at all. "I" cannot control this physical body or the mind not to experience impermanent changes, nor stop them from experiencing something that "I" don't like and don't want. Every single cell in this physical body and the state of the mind constantly experiencing impermanence, changes, birth and death, arising and passing away, forming and deforming, completely not in the control of "I" at all.

If for prolonged period, there is no food or energy to continue feeding the body and the mind (energy depletion), the body and the mind cannot function properly, and eventually they will stop functioning, and stop existing. There's no live, no thinking, no feelings, no perception of names and forms.

This body is subject to impermanence, it will experience changes, growth, decay, old age, weakness, stiffness, injuries, pain, sickness and decomposition (death), it doesn't matter how much we try to maintain the good condition of this physical body. This mind is subject to impermanence, it will experience changes, and cannot choose nor control what it wants and doesn't want to perceive or experience, of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches, and thinks.

If this mind and this body (Initially who "I" think "I" am) are not in the control of "I", they don't belong to "I", they are not "I", who am "I" then?

In the beginning, when we inquire "Who am I?", we might be looking at some other "qualities" or "names and forms" (other than the body and the mind), to see or to find out who is the real "I", but this will end up in great disappointment or conclusion-less, as there is no "I" that can be found in any qualities of names and forms.

As long as we think there is an existence of "I" as an individual being, or "I" exists as an individual being in this universe to be perceiving and experiencing all the names and forms, and we think we found a "quality" or a "name and form" that we can identify with as who "I" am, thinking and believing that "that" is "I", then this is still an ignorance coming from the egoistic mind identifies with a "quality" that it thinks "that" is who it really is. We are not free yet.

Then we realize we were looking at the wrong place, and we start to inquire who we are not (Negate the "qualities' that are not "I").

In the end when we realize who is this "I" (after negating all that who we are not), we will know that it is not important at all who we think we are in the present moment, or who is the real "I", as there is no "I".

All these life experiences are just a product of the function of the body and the mind which has no controlling power at all towards its own existence and functions.

There's no "I" as an individual being existing here to perceive or to experience good or bad qualities, happiness or unhappiness, enjoyment or suffering.

Upon realization of there's no "I", what else in this world belonged to "I"? What is gain and loss? What is happiness and suffering? What is success and failure? What is praise and condemn? What is there to be fear and worry about? What is there to be angry, hate, jealous, upset, unhappy about? What is there to be proud and arrogant about? What is there to be shameful about? Who is there to feel insulted, humiliated, disappointed, dissatisfied, and hurt?

If "I" exists, "I" can only be aware of all these activities and phenomenon in the body and the mind. "I" am beyond existence and non-existence, birth and death, names and forms, qualities, time, space and causation.

And this is liberation, being free from false identifications with "qualities" or "names and forms" that are not "I". Free from the sense of separateness that derived from the existence of "I".

If we still identify with certain names and forms such like "I" am "human or non-human being", "spiritual or non-spiritual being", "good or bad being", "confident or non-confident being", "wise or ignorant being", "compassionate or incompassionate being", "good or bad yogi", "vegetarian or non-vegetarian", "pure or impure being", "happy or unhappy being", "self-exist or selfless being", "enlightened or unenlightened being", "liberated or non-liberated being", then we are still within the influence of ignorance of who we really are.

The mind is not me. I am not the mind.
The body is not me. I am not the body.
The energy is not me. I am not the energy.
The elements are not me. I am not the elements.
The thinking, the beliefs, the feelings, the emotions, the sensations are not me. I am not the thinking, the beliefs, the feelings, the emotions, nor the sensations.
The cardiorespiratory system, the digestive system, the glands, the hormones, the immune system, the elimination system, the nervous system, the reproductive system, the brains, the memories, the bones, the muscles, the tendons, the ligaments, the connective tissues, the blood, the skin, the hair, the limbs, the sense organs, the senses are not me. I am not the cardiorespiratory system, the digestive system, the glands, the hormones, the immune system, the elimination system, the nervous system, the reproductive system, the brains, the memories, the bones, the muscles, the tendons, the ligaments, the connective tissues, the blood, the skin, the hair, the limbs, the sense organs, nor the senses.

Om shanti.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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