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Thought Management - Exercises PDF Print E-mail
Meditation - Techniques
Article Index
Thought Management
Thought Management: Knowing your Thoughts
Thought Management: Managing your Thoughts
Exercises
All Pages

5. Exercises:

  1. Exercise 1. Knowing yourself

  2. Exercise 2: Dropping All Thoughts

  3. Exercise 3: Processing of thoughts

Meditative Exercise for Thought Management

Space and time:
You need to set aside at least half an hour for this exercise. You can find your own timing. It is always better to keep same space and time for any meditative exercise. I call it a meditative exercise because this exercise makes meditation easier. However, any time and any space are better than not doing this exercise. I use flight time for this exercise as well. You can do it on a break in office too. One place I find most useful for any meditative exercise is temples or churches. The vibrations are more conducive to help you get to deeper levels of any meditative exercise in these situations.

Posture:
Sitting position is preferable. Straight back and neck alignment has minimal gravity effect. A back support may be desirable. Sitting on a non conducting surface is energy preservation. Eyes closed and one palm over the other palm is also keeping the energy from going out. The same posture in future can be used for meditation. If sitting on the ground is not practical, a chair will do. This exercise can also be practiced lying down just before going to sleep. Again a quiet surrounding is preferable.

Important
It is important to remember that the exercises are just exercises. This is not a way to live life. Once practiced, life may change. But these exercises are meant for the period of exercises only. It is not a ‘should be’ proposition.

Exercises:
There are three exercises described below. There are some common elements, i.e where, when and how to prepare for the exercises.

The first exercise is for knowing your mind and thoughts that transit through your mind. This should be practiced first alone for few weeks before attempting the next step or next exercise

The second part of the exercise is about dropping of all and any thoughts. This again should be practiced for a month or so before going on to the next set of exercises.

The third part is about processing of thoughts and it emphasizes on processing with positive energy. Again all processed thoughts ought to be dropped as learned from exercise two. Now on all three can be practiced together. The first exercise later becomes a monitoring process to see if there is any fundamental change happening from practice of exercise 2 and 3.

Exercise 1. Knowing yourself

Goals

Knowing yourself
We are what we think. It is important to know ourselves before we can think of having a change. Thoughts are flowing like waves. What thoughts are going to flow through my head is important to know. We all talk about positive thoughts. No body needs to tell me that. Yet, every one is telling every one else the same thing, “Have positive thoughts.” When the crunch happens, negative thoughts flow in uninterrupted and positive thoughts stay outside. How do we change this flow? The first exercise deals with this aspect, knowing yourself.

Control of flow of thoughts
Now that we have learned about what kind of thoughts flow through our heads, can we change the flow? Is it possible to manipulate the thoughts? Can we control the flow of thoughts? We believe that it is possible. It is possible to change the flow. As we are thoughts control our existence. Thoughts (Mind) is the master. It is possible to change the control. It is possible to become the master of thoughts. Practice is the key

Have a break from thoughts
We have not known thoughtlessness. We have not known an existence without mind. We keep on thinking when we are awake. We dream when we are asleep. Mind keeps on minding. It is possible to get to no-mind. It is possible to be without thoughts. This step will be discussed in future. Here we will mention the exercises for the first two components.

A brief
This exercise is meant for knowing what kind of traffic goes through our mind. This exercise is very individual. Honest is the best policy here. Just watch what kind of thoughts your mind allows. You may be a gateway for negative thoughts. You may be a positive person. No explanation or judgment is needed. A pure screening of who you are is the purpose. Awareness of thoughts is important. Thoughts often flow like waves, uninterrupted and abundant. Eyes closed and in meditative pose, watch the thoughts travel your mind.

Attempt this exercise for at least half an hour each day in the first week that you practice it. You have to make sure that you do not to get attached to any thought. Also, don’t stop or interrupt any thought. Let them run through your mind. The mind has a tendency to get attached to some kind of thought – good or bad, try to remain neutral through this exercise. If you find yourself getting attached to any one thought, start afresh. The mind may get bored and you’ll be tempted to abandon the exercise, but stay with it. Set the time as half an hour and persist with getting to know your mind.

The steps:
Sit straight upright with spine and neck aligned as mentioned above. Eyes should be closed or half open looking at the tip of the nostril. I find it easier to close the eyes completely. Now, just watch the thoughts that travel through your mind. Try not to get attached to any of the thoughts. Also, try not to interrupt or stop any of the thoughts. Many good thoughts may start to flow. Again, just because these are good thoughts, there is no need to get attached to them. Mind does not like this ignoring and tries to allure you into getting attached to some kind of thought material. Just try to continue to maintain the neutrality towards any and all kind of thoughts.

At times you will get attached to some of the thoughts. Once you realize it, you need to start again as fresh as ever. You behave as if no interruption has happened. Mind can now start getting bored. You need to be careful. It also starts telling you that you have done enough for today. Let us try doing more tomorrow. You ought to treat all these as traffic on the road. Let it all just transit. You set your time before you start and complete the project, come what may. Half hour is the minimum time I would suggest. If you are doing it on a flight in a plane, you can extend it to the time of the flight or make it an hour. After certain time, it is not boring at all.

I would do this exercise and this exercise alone for at least a week. After that it will be easier to move on to the next exercise. Try to resist going on to second phase before completing a week. You need to practice this for a week to become proficient in knowing your mind fully before moving forward.

Top

Exercise 2: Dropping All Thoughts The next step is Mind Control and is based on the principle of Tyag as described in Gita by Krishna. This technique is going to be a hallmark of all future techniques. So, it needs to be practiced as much as possible in your life.

The steps
Again, Sit straight upright with spine and neck aligned as mentioned above. Eyes should be closed or half open looking at the tip of the nostril. I find it easier to close the eyes completely. Now, just watch the thoughts that travel through your mind. The idea is to drop any and all thoughts that come through. You don’t have to be discriminating in this – any and all thoughts should be dropped. Some thoughts may reappear repeatedly. You need to drop them as many times as they appear. Just the fact that you can drop any thought at will gets you one step closer to controlling your mind. Indiscriminate dropping of thoughts is vital. This exercise is also meant as a half hour to one hour session at the most. This is not an exercise to be practiced in real day to day life. It is only to be practiced at the time of exercise slot. Application in real life is a byproduct. It just happens.

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Exercise 3: Processing of thoughts
The 3rd step of this meditation technique and probably the most advanced – it takes perseverance and persistence. This exercise is going to give us the tool to identify and deal with one thought at a time. This exercise is not about prioritization. It is not giving advice about which thoughts to choose. It is about choice-less choice.
Goals: Processing of Thoughts
1. Directing mind to a particular thought (brain storming)
2. Processing thoughts
3. Generating Positive Energy
   a. Positive Thinking
   b. Positive Imaging
   c. State of Positivity
4. Getting familiar with the Supermind
5. Having an undercurrent of thought themes
6. Understanding the basics of non-attachment

Top

The steps:

Step 1: Pick up a thought
Thoughts are traversing as usual in your mind. The idea is to pick up a random thought and then stay with it for five to ten minutes. The important part is the randomness of choice. You just pick up any thought that comes to mind. Then start dropping all other thoughts. Just play with the one thought you have chosen.

Step 2: Non-Attachment
It is important to understand the fact that you are just picking up the thought randomly and providing energy to the thought for processing purposes. You are not allowing the thought to get attached to you. You will go through all the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, but you are going to maintain a distance between the ‘you’ (self) and the thoughts.

Step 3: Process the thought with positive energy
This exercise is about processing any thought. You need to be able to process all kinds of thoughts, good or bad, right or wrong. Once you are able to process the thoughts that you randomly pick up, it becomes easier to process a thought of your choice. So random thoughts have to be picked up and processed with positive energy for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 4: Dropping of the Thought
At the end of this period the processed thought has to be dropped. The drop should be complete. It is as if the processing never happened. If it tries to come back, it has to be dropped again and again. This thought is not picked up again during this half-hour block and preferably never again in future exercises. Also, it is important that th thought is not allowed to attach to you. The next random thought is then picked up, processed and dropped. There should not be more than 5-10 thoughts that are picked up and processed in the half-hour block. Also important is the fact that no thought is processed for more than 10 minutes. If you are keeping a thought for over 10 minutes, it may mean that you are getting close to getting attached to that thought.

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