I am not here to talk about divorce between a husband and a wife or between partners, but our divorce with ourselves. Divorce means the end of association. It involves parting away and distancing from people and situations. We may or may not have done that with our partners, but most of us do that with ourselves most of the time. Once a saint went to meet a disciple. The disciple’s daughter said her father was out at the cobbler’s to mend shoes. But the saint could hear the sound of a bell ringing and smell the aroma of incense sticks. After a while the disciple came out of a room and said, "My daughter lied to you, I was doing puja."
The saint said, “No, your daughter said the right thing. You were not in the house when I came.”
Actually, inside the puja room, the father’s mind had wandered off and he was thinking about going to the cobbler’s to get his shoes mended. His body was there and his hands were ringing the bell. But his mind was not there. Both the daughter and the saint could read his mind from distance. His mind and body were not together. So, the disciple was not fully there.
This is the story for most of us most of the time. Our body is at one place, it is doing one thing, and the mind is someplace else. They are separated and disjointed. They are divorced.
Why are we not in unity with ourselves? Why are we fragmented? Where is the harmony? Perhaps we have never thought about it.
When things fall in place and when they sync, we call it harmony. But our mind and body are not in harmony. We all talk about coherence and integrity in life. As body and mind together constitute our life, they must have a coherent relationship. But that is not the case, and we are not aware of it.
If body is the vehicle, mind is the driver. For the drive to be smooth and safe, the driver needs to know about the vehicle and be in tune with it when driving. If the driver does one thing and the vehicle another, then an accident is bound to happen.
If we equate the act of driving with the act of living, then the lack of concord between the vehicle and the driver—the body and the mind—is sure to put us in trouble. This trouble comes either in the form of bodily or mental suffering.
The Indian yogic science is the science of living in harmony. The practice of physical postures of yoga is about bringing the mind and body together. In the Chinese tradition, there are centuries-old practices of tai chi and qigong to establish that harmony.
These elaborate practices may require some time to learn. We can start by bringing our minds to the thing our body is doing, and conversely telling our bodies to go with what the mind is doing. When we start aligning our thoughts and actions thus, we start on the path of living with ease.