June 2024

The well-known yogi and spiritual teacher Paramahansa Yogananda in his
book, Autobiography of a Yogi, wrote: “The more he realizes his unity with
Spirit, the less he can be dominated by matter. The soul is ever free; it is
deathless because birthless…Man is a soul, and has a body. When he
properly places his sense of identity, he leaves behind all compulsive
patterns…”
p.189.

Those are very important words because it is probably true to say that most of
us identify almost solely with our physical form. Yet, the sages of the past and
of today keep reiterating the fact that man is spirit, and his form is just
temporary; he lives on forever as spirit. That should be a comforting thought
as we grow older, and should make the prospect of death less frightening. We
do not die. We simply leave our physical body behind and move on in spirit
form to another dimension.

A Course in Miracles Lesson 199, entitled, “I am not a body. I am free,” states,
“Freedom must be impossible as long as you perceive a body as yourself.
The body is a limit. Who would seek for freedom in a body looks for it where it
can not be found. The mind can be made free when it no longer sees itself as
in a body, firmly tied to it and sheltered by its presence…”

How do we not identify with our bodies? It may be difficult, but it is not
impossible. We cannot ignore the body and we should take care of it.
However, we can expand our minds through reading; we can become creative
and produce something of beauty, such as a painting or a garden for example.
We can go for long walks in nature; tuning into nature is a wonderful way of
forgetting the physical form. We can listen to uplifting music; we can pray and
meditate. Anything that does not involved thinking about the body would be
helpful.

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