Masters of Health Magazine September 2018 - Page 97

Whenever we make up our mind to improve an aspect of ourselves, we find that sooner or later life presents obstacles; we appear to fail, and sense no progress. But we learn that mastery in any field takes place one step at a time and every failure on the path is simply a stepping stone to success. This is the story behind everyone’s triumph. The first positive step to intense spiritual practice is right intention and resolution. The next step, which should follow immediately, is that of right effort or exertion.

True commitment to a spiritual life is the ability to translate our ideals into action. Commitment to an ideal is the single most responsible factor for success in spiritual life. Become someone of concentrated effort. Use every moment to perfect yourself. Don’t waste your life trying to change others; they must follow their own path. Every moment is an opportunity to practice, improve, change or simply accept and realize.

Discipline involves a continuous repetition of the particular exercise or a principle, meticulously, until it is well learned, and it has become a part and parcel of your nature and it can be applied with ease at the time of a challenge or temptation.

Discipline is about making the same step in a given direction, but it also allows us to go a step higher – discipline is gradually extended to all activities until whole body and mind become an obedient and creative instrument for the realization of the Highest Goal.

Discipline means harmonization of all our forces and energies, powers and skills for the sake of the highest realization.

If we can control even the smallest negative thought, have mastery over even a single desire, exert command over one of our mental processes, bring order to our feelings, emotions and thoughts, consciously build and express virtuous qualities, have the courage to renounce the unnecessary, and hear the inner voice of Truth, we will know the bliss beyond this world.

Pick a virtue that resonates with your heart and make a commitment that you will practice it for one full day even in the midst of temptation.

For example, concentrate on and exercise the quality of patience if you tend to get irritable.

•Begin with the regular practice of yoga, at least a couple of times a week. Keep the weekly commitment steady.

•Focus on your breath or a mantra for about 15-30 min a day whenever you the mind has wondered off.

Or choose some practices such as:

•I will live with integrity today. I will free my mind from all contradictions and make all my thoughts and feelings stream in a single direction—that of love and wisdom. My goal and my way will be on the same wavelength. When I want peace, peace will be the way. When I want to experience love, love will be the way.

You will emerge as a changed person! There is nothing so wonderful as the feeling that we can be in control of our thoughts and emotions, even if it be only for a short period of time.

‘Hold firm to discipline; never let her go. Guard her well for she is your salvation…

Above all else, guard your heart,

For therein is the source of Life.’

Proverbs 4:13.23