During Satsang we often speak the phrase, “Identification with Mind’. And, as many times as you may have heard it, I’m not certain that it is being understood on the level that is required for the dissolution of the ego. Hopefully, this teaching will make it more clear than its ever been to you. In turn, your practice will become more clear and fruitful. You will realize peace as your natural state.
In order to understand identification with mind we must first look at the word “identification” and fully understand it’s meaning. What does it mean to be identified with something? The word identity means, “The condition of being a certain person or thing.” Therefore, identification with mind means being the mind. What does it mean to be the mind? This is very important – it means that whatever arises in the mind is you.
This is one of the roots of our ignorance. We are so convinced that what is happening in our mind is soooooo important. We spend hours, days, weeks, months, years and for most a lifetime fencing with the thoughts in our minds. Identification with mind is directly causal in this. When we believe that we are the mind it is impossible to get away from it … Away from the thoughts. We would somehow have to separate from ourselves. It cannot be done. So, in this mind identified state we suffer whatever arises in the mind with no hope of separating from it. It is us.
Since we cannot separate from it we get tangled up in this ceaseless figuring out. The purpose of figuring out is to come to some restful place while remaining identified as mind. That restful place is only temporary as thoughts constantly arise in the mind and then need to be figured out. This is the fencing match that goes on in most peoples heads constantly. It’s exhausting.
By now you’re likely nodding your head thinking, “I experience that all the time!” If so, good! Awareness is a key to clarity. We cannot see clearly that which we cannot see at all. Now that you are aware that there are constantly thoughts and ideas rising in the mind and that they need to be figured, out you are abundantly clear of the hamster wheel your mind is constantly running on. How do we step off of the hamster wheel?
… I don’t know …
Just kidding! 🙂
Identification with mind ends when you realize yourself as the observer of what rises in the mind. As you sit in meditation, observe the sensations and energies flowing through your body. Observe the risings in the mind. The more you practice this – just watching – the more you begin to realize something very important. You are not the things you are watching …
Just like when you open your eyes and see the trees, the grass, the birds and so on, you know they are not you. You are watching them. Take that same perspective and turn it inward. Watch what’s happening inside you the same way you watch what’s happening outside you. Do you understand now?
You begin to realize that you are separate from all of it.* YOU are that which is observing all of it – all of it outside and all of it inside. Soon the need to fence with it abates. You simply let it come and let it go. Even the need to argue with reality abates. You let things unfold in their own natural way and do your best to stay out of the way. It is a graceful, harmonious and peaceful state.
This may trouble you at first. It’s natural to think, “If I’m not all these things that I thought I was … If I’m not my mind or my body … If I’m not the thoughts in my head … then what am I?” And, that my friend I truly don’t know. All I can do is show you plainly what you cannot be and help you have peace with your experiencing. The rest is up to you. Namaste.
Tom Notarianni Jr.
* Separate for the purposes of this teaching and to be confused with the oneness of consciousness.