Resetting the Mind

A new series that will start with habitual living or living as we are accustomed to and look into the cause of the many problems we face. It will look into practical ways to live a life that is free of hurt and hurting by bringing about a change in what we choose to think about and how we feel about things. If there can be an awakening that lasts, the mind can be reset to function in its healthy and natural state—and life would be a journey of blossoming.

1. From Habitual to Awakened Living (17 March 2013 / 48:51 minutes)

(video on YouTube / download video 100mb / download audio / download pdf )

Let us start by examining habitual living and see if it is possible to live in a better way so our very lives become the means to lasting peace, joy, inner blossoming and spiritual ascent. Let us then look at the cause of our problems, dissatisfaction and worries, and find a way to be free of the root cause. We will look into the past and from it, bring into the present setting of our lives those things that can work today as well.

2. Lessons from the Past (9 May 2013 / 40:45 minutes)

(video on YouTube / download video 80mb / download audio / download pdf)

Today, let us go back to the flow of life and take a closer look at the qualities that way of living generated. The mind has to be reset by the mind itself and fortunately, the mind can never be corrupted beyond restoration to its original state. The tools, means or way to reset the mind lies in the qualites one must possess in good measure. Let us start where we left off and progressiely come down to what is essential today. In future videos, we will discuss how to give rise to these.

3. Cultivating the Mind (29 June 2013 / 56 minutes) 

(video on YouTube / download video 128mb / download audio / download pdf)

Cultivating the Mind is the third video in the series, ‘Resetting the Mind’.

Today, we start with our problems and a simple exercise to see directly that awareness is distinct from thought—all thought. We then get into inner slipping which results from our habitual reactions that bring and cause pain, and its prevention.

To prevent reactions, we must go deeper than external conditions, internal habits and even likes and dislikes which seem to trigger everything—we must go to the error of outsideness, as consciousness makes the error in seeing thought outside itself and reacts to it. We will come to correcting the error of outsideness in sessions to come when we talk about practice as meditation.

Looking deeper, we see that the mind and all thought must be brought into the field of observation. Next, we went over some practical ways that reduce mental chatter or activity of the mind and make it both easier to observe and calm down.

Lastly, we looked at some new friendships that must be made—friends who hold the keys to the doors of liberation. In the next session, we will look into some practical spiritual practices which, along with living wisely, will reset the mind to its natural state.

4. Practice on the Mat (26 August 2013 / 1 hour: 26 minutes)

(video on YouTube / download video 450mb / download audio / download pdf)

Scope: What is practice? Why practice at all? Fundamentals of practice. Getting started in practice.

Today we talk about practice. And in this particular session, I’d like to talk about practice on the mat – which we generally refer to as spiritual practices or sadhana. In the next session, we’ll talk about practice in life, because in yoga, practice is not for the mat only. Practice encompasses all of life; the mat of yoga encompasses all of life. So why do we practice in a controlled area, like our prayer area, or our room, or our home? Quite simple. When we learned how to drive, we practiced in a parking lot so that we could understand the car, we could understand the principles of driving, and we could get a little practice and comfortable at it. Basically, it was a controlled area where we could learn. But that is not where driving stopped. We didn’t go back every single week after week after week, … year after year after year, … and just drive the parking lot. Driving the parking lot is good but it is not going to go somewhere. We learned there so we could drive efficiently, and go and come on the open roads. It’s a little bit of the same thing. In yoga we practice on the mat so that we can understand ourselves a little bit better. We can develop vigilance, we can develop all these faculties of looking within to keep thought from interfering with action, and then later to keep thought from interfering with self.

5. Practice in Life (21 October 2013 / 62 minutes) 

(video on YouTube / download video 134 mb / download mp3 audio 28mb / download pdf

‘Practice in Life’ is the fifth in the series, ‘Resetting the Mind’. Last time, we discussed practice on the mat. The focus was practice on the mat or ways to learn ‘how to be natural’ and ‘how to live naturally’ in a controlled environment.

Today, we look at transplanting the saplings of our practice in life. For this, we take-up six principles or ways to function where the mind stays undivided and therefore at peace.

Habits are limitations we impose on ourselves and no one or no act can do anything to heal this except each one for himself or herself.

In letting go of the walls we ourselves have constructed in the mind—we once again discover fullness of being where sorrow cannot reach.

1. Self-responsibility and vigilance.

2. Train yourself in these two new habits: thought selection or what you think on and thought association or how you feel about things.

3. Reduce unnecessary input.

4. Don’t lecture others.

5. Never advertise change.

6. Two departments to close down: complaint and fault finding.

Let us see if by letting go of the walls we ourselves have constructed in the mind—we once again discover fullness of being where sorrow cannot reach.

In the next session, let us bring all of what we have talked about into a program that can be adopted for about two weeks. If we can do this—and it can be done—you should have a foundation of self-correction that continues till the mind is reset to a healthy, peaceful and joyful state which reflects in your lives each day.

6.The Reset Program (31 December 2013 / 54 min)

See the video on YouTube / download video 122mb / download audio 38mb / pdf handout

The Reset Program is the sixth video in the series, ‘Resetting the Mind’.

We start with a review of all of what has been covered in the earlier five videos in this series and weave together the main points to form a program that can be practiced for 7-14 days to get a foundation for resetting the mind which includes three sections:

I. Six principles of practice in life: self-responsibility and vigilance training oneself in thought selection and thought association; reducing unnecessary input or information; avoiding lecturing others; never advertising change, and; shutting down the complaint the fault-finding departments.

II. Five areas for practice or sadhana: a little routine of asanas; a little pranayama; a little study; a little meditation, and; a little kirtan.

III. Six other inclusions: Swami Sivananda’s Trident: resolve in writing, daily schedule and self-accountability; a simple vegetarian diet; the importance and benefit of doing your own chores; taking a brisk walk or jog daily; avoiding all forms of negative thinking, and; praying often.

In the earlier videos, we have already covered the details and benefits of each individual aspect. Today, we bring it all together in a program that will bring about real change if you are sincere.

Webpages to read the text online will be ready soon. You can download the video (122mb), audio (38mb) and pdf handout from the links above.

7. Closing Thoughts (9 March 2014 / 50 minutes) New!

Closing thoughts is the seventh and last video in the series, ‘Resetting the Mind’. (50 minutes)

See on YouTube / download video 431mb / download audio 24mb

This video is a heart-to-heart talk on three important themes we have covered so far…

1. Practice in life – with the emphasis on the yoga principles of being vigilant and pursuing the good in each situation.

2. Practice on the mat – with the emphasis on the yoga element or the yoga principle in the five basic practices: asanas, pranayama, study, meditation and kirtan.

3. Think on these things – very useful tools as prescribed by Swami Sivananda to include having a written resolve, daily diary and system of self-accountability and a couple others.

Consider these with an open mind and try it for yourself.