How to practice non-attachment or non-identification with the body and mind?

There are many people who are interested in practicing yoga and meditation, but they say it is not easy for them to practice the basic teaching of non-attachment or non-identification with the body and mind. They will be easily being determined by the attachment towards the body and mind, and couldn’t help themselves being disturbed physically, mentally and emotionally all the time. They are affected, disturbed, influenced and determined very much by what they see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think. They want to have peace, but it seems like very difficult for them to be peaceful.

The body and the mind is just like a car and the driver. And the life experience in this world is like the experience of driving on the road.

We cannot expect everyone will drive, follow the same rules, act and react on the road like us. We can pay full attention on the road and try to drive safe, but we cannot have expectation onto other drivers also should do the same. We will be risking ours and other beings safety, and be very frustrated and disappointed, if we expect everyone to drive, follow the same rules, act and react on the road like us.

It’s the same in life. We cannot expect everyone to think, behave, act or react in the same way as we think, behave, act or react. We can do our best trying to perform what our mind believes is good and right, but we cannot expect other beings to have the same ideas and mentality. We cannot control or change other beings to think, behave, act and react like us. We will only hurt ourselves by getting disappointed, frustrated and angry, and will cause further tension and harmful effect onto other beings when we react out of disappointment, frustration and anger, if we expect other beings to be the way that we want them to be.

Without the car, there’s no need of a driver. Without a driver, the car doesn’t go anywhere. Having the car and a driver, but it still depends on fuel, battery, air, water, and all the parts of the car to be functioning properly, and etc for the car to be moving and go where the driver wants to go.

Without the body, there’s no need of a mind. Without the mind, the body is useless, it doesn’t act nor perceive anything. Having the body and a mind, but it still depends on energy, oxygen, water and nutrients for it to be functioning.

The car needs maintenance and so does the physical body. The car will have problems if it is being over-used and not well-maintained, so does the physical body. And no matter how well we take care of the car or the physical body, the car or the body will still be conditioned by impermanence, and will go through ‘old age’, ‘weakness’, ‘injury’, ‘illness’, and ‘death’ or ‘decomposition’. They belong to the elements of fire, water, wind, earth and ether. The car owner doesn’t own the car, and the mind (what we think we are) doesn’t own the body. It is the body that is made of elements and being conditioned by qualities who is experiencing impermanence and ‘death’. There is no ‘I’ being there to experience impermanence and ‘death’.

The driver needs to be endowed with certain qualities for him to drive the car safely and responsibly. Such like proper driving skill and ethics, calmness, attentiveness, responsibility, patience, thoughtfulness, clear vision, obeying the traffic rules and etc, so that his action of driving the car doesn’t cause any harmful casualties or damages to himself or to other beings, people, or the environment. If the driver is reckless and irresponsible, he is risking his own and other beings safety as well.

Same as the mind, it needs to be endowed with certain qualities for it to use the physical body, hands and feet, and the organ of speech, morally and responsibly. Such like purity of thoughts, calmness, concentration, responsibility, patience, forbearance, perseverance, self-control, self-discipline, thoughtfulness, respect, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, forgiveness, generosity, open-mindedness, loving kindness, clear thinking, right conduct or action, right speech, right view, right intention, right understanding or knowledge, right livelihood, right effort, right concentration. right mindfulness, and etc, so that its action and reaction through the physical body doesn’t cause any harmful damages to itself or to other beings, people, or the environment.

The one who needs to be purified, and who is performing yoga and meditation practice, is the mind. The one who needs to practice non-attachment and non-identification with the functions, conditions and abilities of the body and the states of mind, is the mind itself. The one who needs to let go of the egoism, is the mind itself. The one who needs to realize the truth and be free from ignorance, is the mind. The one who is observing the thoughts, action and reaction, feelings, emotions, and sensations, and not generate craving and aversion towards all these experiences or perceptions of names and forms, is the mind itself. But there is no ‘I’. There is no ‘I am’. There is no ‘I am performing action’. There is no ‘I am receiving the fruit of action’.

Ignorance causes the mind to attach and identify with the physical body. The mind thinks and believes that the conditions and the abilities of the physical body is what it is. It feels good and bad, happy and unhappy, positive and negative, being influenced and determined by the impermanent conditions and abilities of the physical body, as well as whatever it perceives through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin and thinking.

The mind thinks and believes that the body belongs to it, and thus, it thinks and says, “This is my body. This body is mine”.

The mind thinks and believes that all the sensations, feelings, emotions, beliefs and thinking belongs to it, and thus, it thinks and says, “These are my sensations, my feelings, my emotions, my beliefs and my thinking”.

The mind attached to the appearance, conditions and abilities of the physical body as ‘I’, and thus, it thinks and says, “This is my look, my conditions and my abilities”. As well as attachment towards all the ideas of “This is my study, my knowledge, my pride, my confidence, my self-esteem, my culture, my religion, my country, my point of views, and etc”. And so, whatever changes and experiences that is happening in the body and in the mind, the mind attached to them and identified with them, and be disturbed, affected, influenced and determined by all these changes and experiences of the qualities of names and forms.

But all these pleasant and unpleasant, desirable and undesirable changes and experiences are impermanent and they don’t belong to the mind. They come and go as they like, without asking any permission from the mind. That’s why all the idea of ‘I’ and ‘my’, is incorrect understanding as all these names and forms don’t belong to the mind at all.

From the attachment towards the physical body, the mind attached to all the relationships that come in contact with this physical body, and thus, it thinks and says, “My family, my partner, my children, my friends, my enemies, and etc”. And this generates separation and distinction of superiority and inferiority, priority and less priority, likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants. And hence, the mind is being conditioned by all kinds of relationships with people, animals, insects, plants, nature, material belongings, jobs, and etc, and be determined to be happy or unhappy according to the conditions of all these names and forms, whether they are something that the ego likes or dislikes, agrees or disagrees with.

And the mind becomes restless, anxious, agitated, depressed, dissatisfied, disappointed, frustrated, irritated, have fear and worry, as it attached to all the impermanent qualities of names and forms that it perceives from moment to moment.

The point is, all the different qualities of names and forms have no intention or power to affect, or disturb, or influence, or determine the mind to be happy or unhappy, to feel good or bad. All the names and forms are not something good or bad, positive or negative, happiness or suffering. It is coming from the mind itself, being attached to what the mind thinks and believes what things are, categorizing and labeling everything with the judgment of good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and suffering. And what the mind thinks and believes what things are, is not necessarily the truth of things. What the mind thinks and believes is being contaminated or influenced by ignorance and impurities, as well as likes and dislikes, agreement and disagreement coming from the ego.

When the mind comes in contact with what the mind recognizes as good, positive and happiness, the mind will feel good and happy. When the mind comes in contact with what the mind recognizes as bad, negative and suffering, the mind will feel bad and unhappy.

The car doesn’t belong to the driver. The driver doesn’t own the car, as it is not in his control of the function of the car. The car doesn’t drive the driver. The driver drives the car. The driver will be affected by the condition of the car, if the driver attached to the car. But the driver will not be affected by the condition of the car, if the driver doesn’t attach to the car. The driver make full use of the car for conveniences, but the driver shall not be determined by the car.

Same as the body and mind. The body doesn’t belong to the mind. The mind doesn’t own the body, as it is not in the mind’s control of the function of the body. The body doesn’t make use of the mind. The mind makes use of the body. The mind will be affected by the condition of the body, if the mind attached to the body. But the mind will not be affected by the condition of the body, if the mind doesn’t attached to the body. The mind makes good use of the body for performing meaningful and beneficial actions in the world, but the mind shall not be determined by the body. And there is no attachment towards all the actions being performed through the body. And thus, the mind is free from being conditioned by the action and inaction, and the fruit or the result of the action.

By understanding the truth of things and who we really are, there is no gain or loss whether it’s coming from action or inaction. There is no guilt or pride whether it’s coming from action and inaction. As this body and mind is not ‘I’, there is no ‘I’ being here to gain anything or lose anything. But this life, the body and mind, have all the opportunities to be doing something that is meaningful and beneficial for ourselves and others. There is also plenty of ‘time’ that doesn’t belong to ‘I’ waiting to be spent, without attachment, without expectation, without to give or to receive. Make good use of this life existence to do something meaningful without attachment or identification, and not being determined by life existence to be who we are and how we feel. There is no success or failure, gain or loss when we understand this.

There is no fear and worry about getting the things that we don’t like and don’t want, or not getting the things that we like and want, or losing the things that we love. There is no craving or clinging towards ‘good’ things, ‘good’ happenings, ‘good’ experiences, or happiness. There is no aversion or fear towards ‘bad’ things, ‘bad’ happenings, ‘bad’ experiences, or suffering.

Free from craving and aversion. Free from egoism. Free from being conditioned by the subjective conditional beliefs and thinking in the mind. Free from anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, agitation, depression, frustration, irritation, anxiety, defensiveness, offensiveness, fear and worry. Free from generating good or bad karma. Free from being conditioned by the qualities of names and forms. Free from being conditioned by the impermanent condition of the body and mind. Free from duality, attachment, judgment and expectation. Free from ignorance.

These are real freedom for the mind. And the mind will dissolve itself into its true nature of without qualities and dualities, without birth and death, without existence and non-existence.

The true nature of all beings doesn’t need to be liberated from suffering, as there is no suffering. The one who experiences suffering is the mind. The mind needs to be free from ignorance. The mind is not something good or bad. The mind is just being what it is, and it is not ‘I’. There is no ‘I’ being here to be liberated.

And thus, there is no attachment towards the mind or the identification as ‘I’.

Contemplate on this teaching and be free.

Om shanti.

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