Acharya Prashant: (Reading from listener’s notebook) Be poised, rock firm that you are not the body.
You are already poised that way. And if you talk of being poised that way then you are just dealing in petty change – 10 cents, 20 cents. Then, you are not dealing in the infinite.
You must know the body; you must not say that you are not the body. This is a very important distinction, you must please appreciate this.
Know the body, instead of entertaining yourself with the thought that ‘I am not the body’.
If you are not the body, tell me who is thinking?
Listener 1: I have been trained for many-many years to always think, it was almost like a mantra that I am not the body, I am not the mind.
AP: If you are not the body, who is thinking? Come; think this thought without the body. Show me how you’ll do it! By thinking again and again that you are not the body you are only reinforcing your sense of the body-self. There is no need to fool oneself this way.
Don’t say you are not the body, instead, know the body.
In knowing the body, obviously, it is established that you are beyond the body.
What must be done in a not so direct way, in a very subtle way, cannot be achieved through a gross method.
The only way to live as the one beyond the body is to realize the body; is to see that the body is the body. Now, that appears very close to saying the body is the body and I am not the body, but no, these are different and the difference is huge.
Just see what the body is and the body is always available for observation, so seeing it must never be a problem. Just see what the mind is, and the mind too is always running around, you can always watch it.
See, here and there, jumping, hopping, climbing, falling, the mind is always busy with something, is it not? That way it is always a nice object to look at, like a pet monkey. There on the sofa it is, then hiding behind the television, in the closet, always there. So, know what the mind is and for that, you don’t have to go anywhere. The mind is. Your world is the mind, observe it.
Just see it without condemnation, without identification, without expectation; maybe with a little bit of wonderment, if you can afford that, if you can’t then that’s alright. Maybe with a very faint smile if it comes on its own, if it doesn’t come on its own then it’s alright. Maybe with a little bit of love if it comes on its own, if it doesn’t come on its own, alright. Just observe.
Do not need to repeat I am not the mind. Do not need to repeat I am not the body. Can you repeat ‘I am not the mind’ even in your sleep?
When you repeat that you are not the mind, you know that you are not only the mind but also a particular state of mind, which is the waking state. Have you ever heard anybody recite in his deep sleep, ‘I am not the mind, I am not body’?
But, these are the very simple and basic questions that no one asks. When you are told by a teacher, ‘Go, and say I am not the mind’, why don’t you ask, ‘My mind exists in the waking state as well as in the sleeping state, and if you are really telling me that I should say I am not the mind then I should be honest and continuous and even in my sleep I should say that I am not the mind. Then, Sir, please tell me how to say that in my sleep.’?
Why don’t you ask that to your teachers?
Why don’t you ask how in your deep sleep will you say ‘I am not the mind’?
Okay, let’s say that the body is not there. But, isn’t deep sleep just another state of the mind? So, at least in deep sleep you should be able to say that ‘I am not the mind’. Why don’t you say that? Let there be a demonstration at least, a little bit.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Know the body, don’t say no to the body
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 2: Discipline – that which breaks the patterns
Books by Acharya Prashant