This is not me. This is not mine. I am not this.
I found this gem of a mantra over at this beautiful site on Buddhist meditation. I’ve been inching my way along the Buddhist path, trying to find the best books and practice that will give me the most comprehensive instruction, so therefore my knowledge of it is kind of all over the place. I wish I had a better knowledge of daily practices, but it’s coming together slowly.
I found this mantra (This is not me. This is not mine. I am not this.) as a great help recently. I will admit to being somewhat surprised at how much it helped me.
I have mala beads and wear them everyday, but I’ve never actually used them in practice, so I wasn’t sure what feeling to expect. I think a part of me was putting off using mantras these past few years because I know how harshly judgmental I can be with everything, including myself. It’s one of the things I’m hoping to clear from my character with the help of Buddhism, but I haven’t quite totally achieved that yet.
Anyway, I’ve had a rough week. On top of everything that was going on, I have another character flaw in over-obsessing. I get absolutely consumed by guilt over the stupidest things. In the past, I have been wracked with guilt quite literally (nauseous, unable to concentrate on anything else, depressed) by something as common place as being short with someone. There is a simple antidote in apologizing and explaining that my emotions got the better of me for a moment, and said victim usually claims that it was no big deal, but for hours or days afterward I am walking on eggshells around them imagining them as considering me to be the worst person imaginable. So, in addition to being stressed and disappointed, I’m sickeningly guilty over how my low mood effects everyone around me.
I read a few passages from the Buddhist books I have and found that they did help me feel a bit calmer, but it didn’t last more than a few hours. Desperately, I started looking online for mantras to help, and am so glad I did.
This is not me. This is not mine. I am not this. You are not your actions. You are not even your guilt. You are separate from all those things. Whatever you may have done, whoever you may be worrying about, whatever you may be regretting, is s e p a r a t e from yourself.
I recited this mantra aloud as I made my way around my mala beads (excuse me, I’m not sure of the language here). I am separate from my actions. Who I am cannot be changed from the choices I made. Who I am is distinct from what I regret, and I will not lose my family or those I love because of what I do. I am not only the sum of my actions. I am distinct.
I encourage you all to write down this mantra and save it. It is unbelievably freeing, and has convinced me to use mantras much more often.