by Swami Mukundananda
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Adi Shankaracharya asked a question in his book, Prashnavali :
'Who shall achieve victory in the world?'
The answer he provided was:
'Those who have conquered their own mind'
In this post we will learn to conquer our mind by knowing—
Thoughts are far more than the electro-chemical reactions happening in the brain. They are subtle energy forms created by the mind, with or without the assistance of the brain. It is pertinent to mention that not all thoughts require the brain's intercession. There are varieties of thoughts that can be generated by the mind only.
Brain and Mind are not the same thing. Mind's function extends far beyond the gross tangible workings of the brain's neurons. It encompasses the intangible, invisible and transcendent world of feelings, attitudes and beliefs.
1. Overgeneralization: We make a general assumption based on a single incident.
2. Fallacy of Fairness: We feel that life should be fair.
3. Expecting a Catastrophe: We expect the worst to happen.
4. Filtering Out Positives: We take negative details of a situation and make mountains out of them, while forgetting all the positive aspects.
5. Imagined Mind Reading: The thought process where we are sure we know what another person is thinking. And typically, we assume it is something negative about us.
6. Labelling: We observe a particular behaviour by a person and apply a tag.
7. Personalization: We assume personal blame for things that are outside our control.
8. Blaming: We engage in blaming others that they are responsible for our emotional pain.
9. Imperative Thinking: We set the bar high and then project our expectations on others. And when people do not match up, we detest them for it.
10. Polarized Thinking: This is all-or-none thinking that we must be fully successful otherwise we will be absolute failures.
11. Emotional Reasoning: We think if we feel something is true, so it must be true.
12. Finger Pointing: This thinking is filled with fault finding in others.
→ Automatic: They pop into your mind without any effort from your side.
→ Distorted: They do not connect with all the facts. They jump to conclusions.
→ Unproductive: They undermine your motivation, feed bitterness and rob your optimism.
→ Justification: They provide excuses for you to be less than your best.
→ Intrusive: They are disturbing or even vicious, and yet quite difficult to switch off.
1. Dilution— Distance Yourself From The Thought:
Whenever a negative thought pops into the mind, remember that it is not you. Rather than adopting it, you can distance yourself from it.
2. Substitution— Replace a Negative Thought With A Positive Thought:
When unwholesome thoughts contrary to self-discipline and goodness arise in the mind, the reverse thoughts should be practised.
3. Sublimation— Build A Positive Thought System:
Focus building on the thought chain of positive emotions. Cultivate in your mind wholesome ideas of inspiration, optimism, cheerfulness.
The more a product gives us a dopamine rush, the more addictive it is. There is momentary gratification followed by regret. The more pleasure we seek, the unhappier we become.
The experience of happiness is very different from pleasure. Physiologically it is attributed not to dopamine but to serotonin. This is not an excitatory chemical but a pacifying one, it does not fire the neurons rather, it calms them down.
Do the opposite of mind's urges. Every time we resist the urge for momentary gratification, we break the mind's control over us.
In Sanskrit, mental practice is called Chintan. It means 'deep reflective thought'.
Strategies to train your Chintan:-
This includes a huge variety of thought skills.
Good thinkers are those who can use any or all of these styles depending upon situation at hand.
— Spirituality is the essence while religion is its external form.
— Visit to a sacred place is religion. To sit down in one place and take our mind to the Divine is spirituality.
— To take a bath in the holy Ganga is religion. To bathe our mind in Divine thoughts is spirituality.
— To adorn the body with sacred tilak marks is religion. To adorn our personality with noble and sublime qualities is spirituality.
— To offer oblations of ghee in the sacrificial fire is religion. To offer our obnoxious ego at the feet of God and become humble is spirituality.
Both should be practiced to purify our mind.
We are not material beings having a spiritual experience. Rather, we are spiritual beings having a material experience in this world.
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❤️I enjoy almost every genre but self help books are love❤️ Primary focus is spiritual upliftment❤️ Bookstagrammer Book Reviewer 📚📚
About 2500 thoughts run through our mind every hour. Even at this moment we are bombarded with them. Imagine their potential healing power if they are joyous and optimistic. This book took an in depth approach to understand our thoughts.
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