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Body Level: Live in Self-control

Avoid something you like & eat regularly. 

Everyday eat something that you dislike/like less. 

Quote:

Not to do what you feel like doing is freedom.

Life is a death long discipline.

The senses must be controlled if man is to live a purposeful life, designed & planned for enduring success.

Anecdote:

Disciple: What is real freedom?

Master: Freedom is real.  Anything else is illusory.

Disciple: Then what is freedom?

Master: That man alone is free, who having the power of attaching himself to a thing with all his energy, has also the power to detach himself when he should do so.  Remember, nothing can happen to you unless you make yourself susceptible to it.                                         

What is Self Control?

The ability to transact with the sense objects without coming under the sway of strong likes and dislikes is Self-Control. 

Watch a video of Swami Chinmayananda where he explains from Chapter 3 Verse 33 of the Geeta about the power of likes and dislikes and how we should not come under their sway.  https://youtu.be/wlRORcgHLnA

Reduce Raaga and Dvesha

“Raga” means a strong like or special attachment. “Dvesha” is a strong dislike or aversion. We generally run towards that which we like and away from what we dislike.  The art of right living is to neutralize raga or dvesha.

Obects by themselves are not good or bad. They don’t attract or repel us.  It is our Raaga & Dvesha that does so.  If objects were capable of attracting or repelling, everyone would have the same response to it. 

Raaga & Dvesha are strengthened by brooding on the pleasurable or painful aspect of the objects. First time I drink coffee and I enjoy it, I can make an equation: Coffee = Happiness and slowly over a period of time, I start brooding about coffee and it forms a strong like and dependency.  When I am hurt by someone, I keep reliving the incident and it builds strong dislike towards the opposite person. 

Why overcome Raaga & Dvesha?

Raaga & Dvesha make the mind inflexible.

Makes a person distracted from one’s duty.

They make one mis-interpret the scriptures and one sways from right and wrong.

Mind becomes a victim of situations, people and things.

Such a disturbed mind cannot contemplate on the Reality and Realize the Truth. 

How to?

1.     See the pleasure of the pain and the pain of the pleasure

Reflect on the limitations(dosha) and pain(dukkha) of what one is attached to and reflect on the joy and freedom of overcoming a dislike and think repeatedly about this. This is pratipaksha bhavana.  Since Raaga and Dvesha are strengthened by brooding over sense objects, consistent thinking of its limitations is the solution for neutralizing Raaga & Dvesha. 

2.     Enjoy without brooding:

Enjoy what is permitted at your stage in life. Enjoyment must be need based and not indulgent.  While enjoying don’t strengthen the feeling “I like it and I must repeat it”. Enjoy and then just drop it. Don’t prolong the enjoyment in the mind thinking that the next time it will come I will enjoy it again.

Something that you don’t like, do not keep brooding over it and don’t think of ways to run away or avoid it. Invoke the power of forgiveness, patience, accommodativeness, empathy and let go of Dvesha. 

3.     Deny what is harmful

Think about the things that I am indulging in that hamper my growth. If one is convinced, it just stops immediately or one can by effort overcome it.  Find alternatives and substitute them so that there are no withdrawal symptoms. Eg substitute green tea with regular tea or reduce number of cups of tea.

-Be very firm in saying NO! to adharmic things.

4.     Delay Gratification

When the impulsiveness arises to eat something that you like or do, delay it by 10 to 15 minutes. You will notice that you may not even want it anymore after that. This disciplines the mind, avoids compulsiveness.

Watch a video on the importance of delaying gratification in achieving success: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0yhHKWUa0g

Benefits:

1.     Greater flexibility to face life, accept all its variety and enjoy it.

2.     Develops WOW attitude

By understanding this dependency on the desire will drop. One will develop With Or Without attitude ie happy with or without the object of my desire being present. Eg if coffee is there I am happy, if not – I am still happy. That is the WOW attitude, happy at all times – with or without.

3.     No oscillation between extremes of joy and sorrow. Ever self controlled, self content with oneself, by oneself, the person lives in the world with peace and happiness.

4.     One can focus on one’s goal and actions and perform consistently. 

5.     Quieter mind and one can contemplate steadily with it. 

Beginners and Advanced:

Beginners:

1.     Draw up a list of food items that you really like and intensely dislike.

2.     Make a weekly menu for all meals in which you remove one item that you like and add one item that you dislike. The items added must be good for the wellbeing.

3.     While removing something you like from the list think of the pain of pleasure. Eg removing dessert – the extra calories are actually detrimental to your health and how you feel. Is the pleasure of eating it more than the painful outcome?

4.     Then when adding something you don’t like - think about the pleasure of pain. Eg adding salads to each meal. This will reduce the intake of the main course which will help reduce weight, increase fibre content which will aid digestion, skin will glow, more active as less consumption of heavy foods, thus more work gets accomplished!

5.     Now with the above preparation of the mind eat each meal in a cheerful manner with no feeling of aversion towards things you do not like and no craving for what you don’t eat. Just accept it as nutrition for the body.

Advanced seeker:

1.     Do as advised above, but extend to more aspects of your life other than food –exercise, browsing, chatting on phone or internet, entertainment etc.

2.     Draw up a routine with above adaptations where you remove one thing you strongly like and add something that you dislike. 

3.     Neutralize the raga-dvesha from the heart. It is hard work and one needs to be alert and vigilant all the time.

4.     Meditate daily for 10min: Make the mind quiet with some deep breathing for 2-3minutes. Visualize yourself being happy without what you have a strong like for and interacting with what you dislike. 

UNTO HIM OUR BEST