Self-Transformation: The Free and Easy Way to Change

posted Aug 19, 2012, 3:27 PM by Interfaith WS

            Isabel came to my workshop on "Self-Transformation: Secrets of the Mystics." The tension and demands of her job as a day and night waitress had driven her to seek peace in meditation. But many years of careless living habits made it difficult for her to get up early enough to meditate regularly.      "My trouble is discipline," she told us. "I don't have it, especially when it comes to sleeping and eating. I go to behavior modification workshops, but nothing changes. I came here to find out what I can do to get some discipline into my life."

         Darshani. St. Teresa of Avila should have been a psychiatrist. Somebody once asked her a similar question, and she said, "If you want to acquire any virtue, imagine you have it, and you are halfway there."

         Self-image plays the inner tune. Behavior dances to it. For a long time, you have repeated, ''l have no discipline. I have no discipline." So when your alarm goes off at 5:00 A.M., your subconscious mind plays its only relevant record: "No discipline. No discipline. No discipline." That record is like a pattern that a tailor uses to cut out a suit. As is the pattern, so is the suit. When the record plays, the mind activates the hand to shut off the alarm, and the body, to go back to sleep. In Psychocybernetics, Dr. Maxwell Maltz explains this phenomenon succinctly: "Behavior can never be inconsistent with self-image."

            Please study The Power of Affirmation, a short publication written by spiritual master Subramuniya, published by the Himalayan Academy in Hawaii. He teaches us how to break out of one mental force field and enter into another. "lf one feels, 'I can't,' he cannot. He has to reverse this pattern and change the flow of magnetic mental force, enliven its intensity by saving orally and feeling through all the pores of his body, 'I can. I will.'" The master suggests repeating this a hundred times a day to reprogram old patterns of thought.

            Let’s apply these principles to specific habits of sleeping and eating. First, change your general mantra from "I have no discipline" to "I have discipline. I am disciplined." Repeat this as often as possible to offset the influence of your previous mantra. Second, when your mind is receptive to suggestion-for example, before you fall asleep-visualize the mental equivalent of the action that you want. To get up early, picture yourself getting out of bed every morning at 5:00 A.M. and meditating for an hour. Do this as often as you can.

            Let's look at eating habits. If you see yourself as a person who eats anything at any time, then of course you will eat anything at any time. To change that habit, alter your picture of yourself to the mental equivalent of the person you want to be. Visualize yourself as a disciplined eater, eating when and what you plan to eat, and no more. Picture yourself weighing what you want to, wearing what you want to, living as you want to live. The law of the mental equivalent is the key to changing habits, acquiring virtues, and transforming your life.

            Isabel. I would think that most peoples’ minds would continually revert to old habits, and those old records have much more power than the new ones. How do you combat this problem?

            Darshani. In The Mental Equivalent, Emmet Fox offers three keys to surmount this resistance: CCI-Clarity, Constancy, Intensity. Clarity means getting your goal clear in your mind. Constancy means feeding your new self-image with supportive thought at every possible moment. When the old record begins to play through mechanical habit, replace it instantly with the opposite image. Intensity means fueling your new image with deep feeling. It should never be just a mental idea for you; your heart and every cell in your body should feel it. As master Subramuniya, put it, "Feel it through all the pores of your body.”

            The Bible says, "As you believe, so shall it be.” It does not say that as you wish, so shall it be. Wishing is vague, weak, wishy-washy. Believing is power. Believing has power. Believing makes things happen.

            There is a Sanskrit mantra called "the eternal secret”: Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayoh. What the mind is, so is man.