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Yoga Philosophy

2 Ways To Improve Self-Awareness

August 16, 2021

Have you ever heard the phrase “where the attention goes, energy flows“?

This is crucial if we want to apply Saucha (Purity), in our minds.
And this is exactly the topic we are going to discuss together today…

How to cleanse our minds and cultivate more purity in our spirit by following the first Niyama, Saucha.

The Yoga Sutra 2.41 goes into the impact of being established in mental purity:

“Moreover, one gains purity of sattva, cheerfulness of mind, one-pointedness, mastery over the senses, and fitness for Self-realization.”

(Translation by Swami Satchidananda)

Which means…
From mental cleanliness, the mind becomes sattvic (purified) and cheerfulness arises.
This leads to one-pointedness and, as consequence, to the control of the senses.
Mastery over senses helps the yogi to get a ‘darshan’ (direct vision) of his own true nature.

How we can cultivate mental cleanliness?
First of all, through

The more we are aware of our thoughts, the more we can discern and focus on the ones that are useful to us.

It is not a question of mere ‘positive thinking’.
It’s about stripping away all those layers that we add to experiences, people, life circumstances…

Made of judgments, regrets, fears, expectations, or illusions that weigh us down and soil the very essence of the moment.

As you know, our mind is very powerful. Our thoughts are fertile ground for words, actions, habits, behaviors, and a whole reality that surrounds us.

It is thus important to understand the mechanism of our mind and in particular of our thoughts.

To distance ourselves from them, even if only for a few minutes a day… to observe them like a spectator watching a show from the outside, without identifying with it.

Only in this way can we lighten our mind, remove all the layers that we add every day and make it more and more ‘clean’ in its true essence.

But how can we put this into practice?

Meditation is, for sure, the first and most important tool to cultivate Saucha in your mind.

There are different, I would say infinite, meditation techniques.

If you are not yet used to meditating here’s a very simple technique:

Focus on your breath and observe your thoughts as if they were clouds, without trying to hold them back or chase them.

If, on the other hand, you are already used to exploring mantras or would like to explore this aspect further… then the Gayatri Mantra is the best way to cultivate Saucha in your spirit and mind.

Gayatri Mantra purifies one’s body, mind, and heart.
That’s why it is also called “the Purification Mantra”.

I will certainly offer you a dedicated in-depth look at it in the future.

But for now, it is enough for you to know that, among its many benefits, this mantra purifies negative emotions, strengthens the mind, improves concentration, and builds good intentions.

Gayatri Mantra:

oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tat savitur vareṇyaṃ
bhargo devasya dhīmahi
dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt

– Rigveda 3.62.10

Translation of Gayatri Mantra:

Let us meditate on Isvara and His Glory who has created the Universe, who is fit to be worshipped, who is the remover of all sins and ignorance. May he enlighten our intellect.

(by Swami Sivananda)

Chant the Gayatri silently or softly to yourself for clarity or balance in your life.

How much time you put in, is entirely up to you.
You can choose to chant it at any time of the day, but it’s always better if you can do it early in the morning or at the night before sleeping.

Another way of practice suggested by Om Swami is to chant Gayatri on your chakras:

For example, if you want to build intuition and physical health, you could chant Gayatri mantra on your manipura, solar plexus chakra.

If you want to build calmness in your heart and bliss, you could meditate Gayatri on your Anahata, heart chakra.

If you want sharper vision, or tap into other forms of consciousness, meditate Gayatri on your Ajna, or brow chakra.

Each kind of meditation will give you different results.

Test yourself these days and train your awareness with one of the techniques suggested.

You can also use a journal to keep track of the meditation’s effect or the mantra on your mind.  

If you would like to share your journey with your community, I’d love to read about your experience. Stop by the Facebook Group to share.

With love,

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