What Do You Own?

What Do I Own?

This was the question of reflection today as part of the 21 Day Meditation Challenge through the Chopra Center.  (This is a FREE online practice going on now - join us here!)

WARNING: This post goes a bit deep.  I recommend not reading it while drowsy or operating heavy machinery.

A fascinating question, it was meant to embrace the ego instead of trying to reject it.  Final suggested reflections included examining whether you are making a decision for your own heart and soul, or whether you are making it because of what someone else might think.  Excellent meditations in and of themselves.

While examining the question, What Do I Own? I was taken down a different path.  That ego I was supposed to be exploring started questioning itself.  I had an insight:


Not content to assume an "aha" moment as ultimate truth, I kept examining that insight.  I own what can be taken from me.

My car, my computer, my artwork, my wedding ring, my purse, my house, ...

On a worldly level, yes - I definitely own those.  But in really thinking about it, I realize that they very well can be taken from me.  If I think of those things as "mine", it creates a great deal of fear and the desire to protect and cling to those things.  Those fears consume my thoughts.


So really - do I own them or do they own me?

If I release my idea that I "own" my car, my computer, even my wedding ring or artwork, then what?  They are still here in front of me.  The only thing that changes is my perception.  I release attachment to them.  If what is in front of me isn't really "mine", then I shouldn't worry about it no longer being mine.

(The objections are SCREAMING in my thoughts right now as I'm sure they are for you.  I encourage you to sit with this...to examine a little bit further every time a "But..." comes up.)

Still with me?

So what about those things you haven't paid money for - the things we consider that we own that were given to us by nature or our own insight?  Do you own your thoughts?  Your ideas?  Your body?

What about space?  Do you own your land?  Those few inches around your body (your personal space)?  Do you own the space into which you are about to walk?

Somewhere in here I know I have caused you to answer "well of course, yes I own that!".  If you are comfortable with going further, I want you to ask,

"Who is the "I" who owns that thing?"  

Can that thing be taken from that "I"?  (For example, who is the "I" who owns the body?  Can the body be taken from that "I"?)  Once you are there, play with releasing the idea of the attachment to that thing just as you did above with the computer or the car.  


Can that "I" you found exist without attachment?


Take a slow inhale.  Allow it to gently release.  Let your shoulders relax and the crown of your head float to the sky.

Return to these thoughts to challenge yourself and hopefully, to bring yourself into a greater peace with what is around you...regardless of who owns it.