Is My Mind Really Against Me?

Sadhguru answers the question whether our own minds are really working against us on the spiritual path.

Sadhguru answers the question whether our own minds are really working against us on the spiritual path.

Questioner: Is our mind really against us all the time and if it is, then why is it so?

Sadhguru: Now it is because of your mind you heard of a word called spirituality. Yes? It is because of your mind that you are able to understand what I am talking to you right now. So someone who is your friend, don’t make an enemy out of him. Please look at your life and tell me, is your mind your friend or enemy? You are who you are only because of your mind, isn't it so? You made a mess out of yourself, that’s up to you. If you want to be without it, it's very simple; you just need a big knock on your head. The mind is not the problem. You don't know how to handle it, that’s the problem. So don’t talk about the mind, just look at the inadequacy with which you are trying to handle it. Without any grasp or understanding over something, if you try to handle it, then it will become a mess.

The mind is not the problem. You don’t know how to handle it, that’s the problem.

Right now for example, growing rice, do you think it's a big feat? A simple farmer is growing it. I’ll give you 100 grams of rice grains, the necessary land and everything that you need. You grow one acre of rice paddy and give it to me, you will see what a mess you will be. Not because growing rice is such a big thing, but because you don’t understand a damn thing about it, that’s why it is so difficult. Similarly, keeping the mind empty like space is not a difficult thing, it's the easiest thing. But you don’t understand a damn thing about it, so it is so difficult. Life doesn’t work like that. If you want to have the capability of handling something well, you have to have a complete grasp of what it is. Otherwise just by accident a few times you may manage. Every time it won't work.

One day in a very fundamentalist church, the pastor was going at the Sunday school kids before the actual service. You know, they’re all high energy people, so he was really getting at them. Then he found the children were looking a little downcast, so he thought he will make it a little more interesting for them by telling them a riddle. So he said, “Now I’m going to give you a riddle. What gathers nuts for the winter, climbs up trees, hops around and has a furry tail?” One little girl raised her hand. “Okay, tell me what it is.” She said, “I know the answer is Jesus, but for me it sounds like a squirrel.” Okay? So that’s the kind of stuff you’ve received till now. Most of the education you received is in this context. What is right and wrong, what is okay and not okay, what is God and devil, everything is in this context, not from your own experience of life.

Once you are identified with something that you are not, the mind is an express train that you can’t stop. Do what you want, it won’t stop.

So how can you stop this mind? You have gotten yourself identified with things that you are not. The moment you identify yourself with something that you are not, the mind will go on nonstop. Suppose you ate lots of oily food, then you will get gas. Now you try to hold it, you cannot. If you are eating the right food, you don’t have to hold anything, the body is fine. The same with your mind – you are wrongly identified with things that you are not. Once you are wrongly identified, you cannot stop the mind.

If you dis-identify with everything that you are not, you will see the mind will just be blank and empty. If you want to use it, you can use it; otherwise it will simply be empty. That’s how it should be, it has no other business to be any other way. But right now, you have identified yourself with so many things that you are not. Just see how many things you are identified with, starting from your physical body. So many things you are identified with and you are trying to stop your mind, trying to meditate – it won't work. Either you dismantle your identifications or life will do it to you. Whatever you identify yourself with, when death confronts you, it all drops, isn't it? So if you don’t learn any other way, death will come and teach you that this is not it. If you have any sense, you learn right now that this is not it. If you don’t learn now, death will come and knock you out of your identifications.

So you need to dis-identify yourself. Every day just spend 10 minutes in the morning and see what are all the things that you are identified with, which is actually not you. You will be surprised to see in how many ridiculous ways and with how many ridiculous things you are identified. Just mentally break all the things around you in your house and see, you will know all the things you are identified with. Little things, big things, your own house, your family, everything, mentally just break them and see. All the things that hurt you, you are identified with them obviously. Once you are identified with something that you are not, the mind is an express train that you can't stop. Do what you want, it won't stop. So you put the mind on full steam and you want to apply brakes – it doesn’t work like that. You must take your leg off the throttle first, before you brake any vehicle.

Editor's Note: Find more of Sadhguru's insights on the potential of the human mind, in "Mind is Your Business".

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4 years 11 months ago

That's the million dollar question who you are? That's what you have find out. Once you start to dis-identify with the things you are not, you will naturally move towards who you are. Just carry on with the practices which Sadhguru has deviced, you will find your way out to what you are. However, keep in mind this is a gradual process, as you have also picked up the identification gradually, dis-identification will also be gradual.

8 years 2 months ago

 Guru Devo Maheshwara.

thanks for opening my eyes ...nothing more to say !!

4 years 8 months ago

Can someone tell me what does "Identification" means, here? And how can we "dis identify" ourselves? Does Identification means Ego over here?
Thank you ?

8 years 2 months ago

Thank you Sadhguru

4 years 1 month ago

As an individual, you have been conditioned that from the beginning of your life , just look at the infant , the infant doesn't identify with anything because there is no mind, only love exists, here its the instinct of love and compassion in infant which make him cry or laugh. for instance in Reality you are not Indian or south Indian or north Indian, but because a system has been arranged now that India has borders and India means this and that you identify it with that, to god t, to the universe , to the cosmos India doesn't exist , it is this false identity you are identified with, this is what sadhguru is referring to, dis identifying means just understanding yourself as life as what you are, not as a father, mother, brother, lawyer, teacher, engineer, Indian, american etc etc...this is collective unconsciousness of the society you are conditioned with and therefore your mind will work only according to that conditioning, sadhguru says , when you stop identifying with names , countries, religions, professions, relationships, mind works better, otherwise it plays with you.

7 years 10 months ago

i will try my best to disidentify what is not mine

4 years 1 month ago

Even I am wondering the same thing.. What does dis identification means. If I am a father or mother .. And the child calls me mom/dad. He is identifying me as that. What does dis identify means here. Should I do my duty knowing that its the body the child is referring to and I am not this body. And being aware of this feeling I do what's needed?

7 years 9 months ago

How to live in a society without identifications? You are
known as a certain person, with certain qualities and responsibilities. You are
required to discharge your responsibilities, is it not? How to make the mind
blank and empty? How to know what are the things which we are identified with while
in reality we are not such things?

7 years 7 months ago

Last paragraph clearly explains that isnt. Try to mentally break things all around you, and understand that what ever hurts you are things you are identified with... Let me try this process and see, Amazing!

5 years 4 months ago

squirrel and ram , I bow down

5 years 4 months ago

I do not understand what you mean by DISIDENTIFY yourself.

5 years 3 months ago

Is there any step by step instructions or ways by which I can empty my mind? I have tried to meditate so many times and it seems meditation doesn't work for me (most probably there might be any flaw in my understanding).

5 years 3 months ago


5 years 3 months ago

Sadhguru : so simple question say i am a husband to a wife is this a identification that i have attached with that i am a husband ? if i am not a husband then what am i ?