- Cultivate the attitude of the witness at all times. Identify with the level of the mind that is aware of all that is happening, rather than the part that is undergoing all the changes. This will help you to maintain your peace in all situations. (photo: Neti neti in Sanskrit)
- Try designating certain times of the day, (e.g., before meals or answering a phone call), when you pause for a moment and just observe the mind.
- As a meditation practice, witness thoughts as they come and go.
- If the mind gets disturbed, question the thoughts. Ask, “Where did these thoughts come from? How did they come? Who is disturbed? How do I know this? Who am I then?” A little analysis will reveal that anything you can observe is not you. This technique is called Self-inquiry. It helps you to transcend the changing mind and attunes you to the eternal Witness within.
- Remind yourself that everything you see has a beginning, middle and end, and therefore, is not eternal or “real.” This is the “neti, neti” approach, meaning “not this, not this.” By negating what is not real, you ultimately arrive at what is real, or always existent and true.
- To help cultivate greater awareness, practice introspection before retiring at night. Replay the tape of the day’s events, noting the actions and reactions of the body and min
About the Author:
Swami Karunananda is a senior disciple of Sri Swami Satchidananda. In 1975, she was ordained as a monk into the Holy Order of Sannyas. She has had over 40 years experience teaching all aspects of Yoga and specializes now in workshops, retreats, and teacher training programs that focus on the science of meditation, the philosophy of Yoga, personal transformation, and Yoga breathing techniques for better health and wellbeing. She developed, and for 25 years has taught, the Integral Yoga Teacher Training programs in Raja Yoga and in Meditation.
Swami Karunananda served as president of Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville in Virginia and in California, as well as director of the Integral Yoga Institutes in San Francisco and in Santa Barbara. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees, and as the chairperson of the Spiritual Life Board at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville, VA.
Interested in fostering interfaith understanding and harmony, she is featured in the interfaith documentary entitled, With One Voice. She also compiled and edited the Lotus Prayer Book, a collection of prayers from various faith traditions, and Enlightening Tales as told by Sri Swami Satchidananda. She served as contributing editor for The Breath of Life: Integral Yoga Pranayama, as well as a senior writer for the Integral Yoga Magazine. In her book, Awakening: Aspiration to Realization Through Integral Yoga, she describes the spiritual path and provides guidance for the journey.