GD Speaks

The Illusion of Ownership

Grasping Experiences

Last week, my mentor GD casually mentioned that a word had been resonating strongly within him since the past few days. The word was ‘ownership’, he said, and proceeded to explain how it was being seen how our taking ownership of thoughts and sensations was creating the illusions of ‘my life’ and ‘my world’. The following afternoon, in the midst of a chaotic and overwhelming day, I sat with what he said and everything fell away into silence around me. Within a few minutes, I experienced the deepest meditation I had had all week. So I requested he put this down in his words to share with others. Here it is:


Like the sound of a passing train,
all experience is just passing by.

Thoughts, images, feelings, sensations…
all appearing and disappearing…
all just passing by.

If a crow makes a sound nearby, we don’t take any ‘ownership’,
But if the mind makes a sound, it somehow becomes ‘mine’.

It’s interesting to explore how the ‘I’ takes ownership
of every sensation, thought and emotion that appears.

And being busy taking ownership and fighting with appearances,
the ‘I’ forgets that it is itself an appearance.

The fundamental ownership is that of the body/mind.
One starts by claiming physical sensations and asserting ‘my body’.
We own every thought that appears and say ‘my mind’…

Once that happens, then on behalf of the body/mind,
one starts owning all the emotions and fluctuations…
and then the wife, the child, the house, the car…
right up to ‘my’ country and ‘my’ planet.

One has to believe the illusion of ‘me’
before one can create the illusion of ‘mine’.

It’s surprisingly blissful
when perception is experienced without any ownership…

Everything is seen as magically appearing and disappearing…
and there is no one catching or claiming ownership,
or even saying good or bad.

There is just effortless witnessing…
just spontaneous experiencing.

Life is experiencing itself moment to moment…
free of any judgement whatsoever.

All concepts of ownership exist only in the mind.

Image used with gratitude under
Creative Commons via Djuliet

34 thoughts on “The Illusion of Ownership”

  1. ….What is interesting is when we realize the illusion, it only brings the sense of coming alive, evolving a little more and moving out of the space of illusion….and of course, illusion ….do we own? …..Amazingly written Aalif~

    1. Thanks Zeenat… I love sharing what resonates for me and brings silence into my life. This word ‘ownership’ has stayed with me since I heard it, and in unoccupied moments becomes a meditation…

  2. It’so easy for me to forget that all I have is pure gift. Thanks for posting, and especially that lovely poem!

    1. LOL… Yes, my friend Jillian said it’s great “food for thought” and I was wondering about whether I should respond to that too… 🙂 Humor is always welcome.

    1. Yes, I realized that though one may not understand it fully at first, it haunts you. For me, it has been appearing uncalled at various points in the day…

    1. Thanks for your comment. Your post was beautiful and insightful though I felt it was not the same subject. 🙂 Best wishes for the new year!

  3. Well, the poem goes several steps further beautifully. And tackles the whole issue of self and body “ownership”. I guess I was talking more about “things” we think we own. Anyhow thank you for reading my post and your generous words. I am going to meditate on the poem you posted.

  4. One has to believe the illusion of ‘me’
    before one can create the illusion of ‘mine’. The injection sufficient to clear all the Mine disorders. Thanks for posting the excavated thought, It also certifies that Meditation keeps on going… meditation is mobile as well!

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