Are you truly convinced that you are not the body?

nancy pro's picture

Average: 4.9 (8 votes)

You read numerous testimonies of realized ones that said you are not the body.

You agreed with the logic in that.

You understood it intellectually.

You even experienced it in some meditations.

Yet, are you truly convinced that you are not the body?

Imagine someone pointing a gun to your head from behind.

He is about to pull the trigger any moment.

You feel the coldness of the steal of the gun touching the back of your head.

You are facing a complete uncertainty regarding when exactly that cold steal will fire the bullet.

Any way, it will be a completely shocking and instantaneous surprise.

Any moment you are going to hear the squeaking loud sound of the gun and then within a microscopic unbearable suspension that seems like eternity you are going to feel the bullet.

Any moment your brain will be blown to pieces.

And you will disappear.

Will you?

Do you feel the fright?

solo | Wed, 10/28/2009 - 06:30
santana's picture

Thank you

You are so unmerciful confronting people with the truth. This is a good exercise. The degree of terror one feels is the degree of his/her attachment with his/her body (unless one has problems to imagine the situation lively).

santana | Fri, 10/30/2009 - 01:02
Asanga's picture

There are no hierarchies of experience when seen from there

I am sorry, but the essential flaw here seems related to the idea that the belief 'I am not the body' implies 'I do not need to preserve this body and I must not experience fear when faced with pain and death'...

If I experience fear and terror when about to be 'shot', as you have hypothetically exemplified (Although in the quest of our real self, such mind games take us nowhere), then I am still 'attached to my body'...

This is a ridiculous argument...

Neo Advaitins, amongst others, have grossly misunderstood 'I am not this body' and made the whole experience so clinical...

Awakening is a celebration of life! It is becoming 100% involved with all that is! It is not a dry and withered consciousness- negating life! It is a dance of the self!

You need not be attached to something, to want to preserve it, and take care of its well being...

If that were true, people who became aware of the reality 'I am not my body' would stop eating, bathing, wearing clothes, etc... after all it all would become redundant...

What possibly occurs is different- things become unreal and unimportant, yet they are cared for MUCH MORE than before...

One becomes tender, caring, loving and gentle with one's body, and the world around...

A saint once said in Urdu:

"Chaandni raaton mein
ik ik phool ko...
bekhudi kehti hai
sajdaa kijiye..."

"In the moonlit nights (of self realisation),
My bekhudi (difficult to translate- it can be, 'being lost within my true self' and/or 'not knowing who I really am') tells me...
'Bow down
to each and every flower (in this world-garden)'..."

You are not your home, yet you live in it and keep it clean; You are not your cat, yet you drive it carefully and maintain it; you are not the food you eat, yet you take care to eat healthy food... and you are not the body, yet you... breathe, bathe, excrete...

You, as the ego, will surely act to preserve the body, AND feel fear- there is no 'achievement' in not feeling afraid when faced with death... If it happens, it happens; if it does not, it is still fine...

You as the self, do not need to 'achieve' any such understanding at all- for fear for and survival of the body, is as unimportant (when seen from 'there') as being imperturbable... all states of mind and ego are equal- there are no hierarchies of experience for the self...

All these 'armchair exercises' are simply mind games which inflate the ego, and leave one unfulfilled.

Better to become a child- without a care and totally innocent- and not bother about whether one is this body or one isn't...

I am, yet I am not...

Asanga | Fri, 10/30/2009 - 04:45
santana's picture

You are confusing between two different things

The point is not whether there is an urge to preserve the body or not but whether there is a horror, a mental reaction which is clearly a result of attachment to the body.

santana | Fri, 10/30/2009 - 07:39
yoda23's picture

Nicely written, good point,

Nicely written, good point, child like qualities makes one see beauty in even the most mundane things, this quality should be in every being, we would learn better this way.

yoda23 | Wed, 04/24/2013 - 17:37
Asanga's picture


Please read, 'You are not your car' instead of 'You are not your cat'...
I am, yet I am not...

Asanga | Fri, 10/30/2009 - 04:50
kaput's picture

Important test

I think that our most deceiving belief is when we believe that we are convinced that we are not the body. It seems as we have transcended this false identification, we have all the logical arguments why we can't be the body, we experienced in meditations that we are not the body... and yet, under radical tests we find out that we are actually deep down there identified completely with the body and that there is still a lot of more work ahead of us to do in order to weaken this identification.

Therefore there is enormous importance to such radical tests that manage to put us in front of our tacit identification with our body.

kaput | Sun, 11/01/2009 - 08:24
dabka's picture

Leave everything and focus on the identification with your body

If someone should focus on one and only spiritual topic, only one then it should be the breaking of the identification with the body - not God, not meditations, not theories about existence, not one soul, not praying, not feeling of "I" - just witnessing and breaking the identification with the body.

Based on my own extensive experience on the path for over 10 years - when you manage to truly and deeply break this identification, when you have even tiny moments of deep realization, not just intellectual understanding, that you are not the body - an explosion happens, a shift. Nothing, not Vipassana, not self enquiry, not drugs - nothing can be compared to this moment.

I would recommend also to contemplate over and over again on the supreme text at

dabka | Mon, 07/26/2010 - 09:18
happy's picture

A great test but hard to simulate authentically

It is a bit hard for someone to really get into that kind of simulation and truly and authentically feel this great fright of a loaded gun pointed to his head by a lunatic.

As one who experienced a similar difficult situation in reality, I can tell you, that no matter how much you feel you are dis-identified with your body and your life, you indeed realize in that intense situation that what you thought was an illusion, that there are mountains of unconscious identifications with the body and life that those spiritual understandings of yours that you are not the body are just the surface.

I don't wish anybody to be in that difficult situation but if you happen to be it can serve as an excellent tool for being truly aware of your enormous identification and attachment and hence for strengthening a bit your dis-identification.

Meanwhile, you have this excellent simulation exercise that is the best you can do...

happy | Mon, 05/07/2012 - 08:02
Nathyogi's picture

Re: Are you truly convinced that you are not the body?

I am even convinced not only the body, but also the senses, the mind, ego, etc. etc.
I am even in the one who points gun at me.

See this for what I am :

*** Salutations to the shoes of Guru Siddha Nath ***

Nathyogi | Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:58