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Yoga Emotional Damage Control

By Dr Jonn Mumford (Swami Anandakapila Saraswati)

  Fallacy Number Six:

"It is easier for me to avoid rather than face certain life problems and responsibilities."

Problems are best coped with by going through, rather than around them. Why? It is simply a matter of psychic economy - our mental energy must be used wisely and repressing or suppressing problems, ie. trying to ignore them or push them out of conscious awareness, uses up more psychic energy than facing them ever does.

The mind is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor, if he knows not discreetly how to use it. - Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

If I submerge a ping-pong ball (a problem) underwater (out of sight), the minute I release the ball it pops up to the surface (conscious awareness).

The only way I can keep the ball deeply immersed is by constantly holding it down with one hand. This means I have crippled myself, losing the use of one arm, which is devoted entirely to holding the ball under.

Do you cripple yourself emotionally trying to hold down problems? Don't avoid problems - face them! If you need help and encouragement, go to close friend and if necessary don't hesitate to get professional support.

Fallacy Number Seven:

"My past history is a crushing determiner of my present happiness and because something once strongly affected me it must continue to similarly affect me."

When a past event influences your present behaviour your mind is divided against itself. Brooding over the past wastes energy as does day-dreaming of the future.

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrows,
it only saps today of its strength"
- A. M. Cronin

Know that all human enterprise is often accompanied, unfortunately, by an inordinate desire to succeed (living in the future) and an inordinate fear of failure (based on past experience of failure).

"Men suffer from thinking more than from anything else."
- Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

You can actually train yourself to focus your attention upon the now thus helping to release the grip of the past. Refusing to count chickens before they are hatched is good mental hygiene and is the basis of Karma Yoga. Now is the time.

Fallacy Number Eight:

"There is always a right, correct and perfect solution to human problems and it is a major catastrophe if this perfect solution is not worked out."

All problems may be faced but not all can be solved. Some situations are so messy and intricate that they can only be accepted or endured. Avoid flagellating yourself if you fail to find the answer to your marital difficulties or misunderstandings in relationships and business.

Each person's feelings are in a constant state of flux and what was once harmonious understanding may tomorrow become unharmonious misunderstanding. Remember that there seldom is a real right or wrong - there are just people with conflicting feelings.

Human relationships tend to be built upon a flimsy spider web. Often we like people for no better reason than that they appear to like us. When you fully understand how true this is you will cease searching for "perfect" solutions.

It is an illusion that we like or dislike people - what we like or dislike are the feelings that contact with them induces in us.

Fallacy Number Nine:

"I should become extremely upset over the problems and disturbances of other people."

Sympathy, contrary to popular belief, is not the most efficient way to help others with their problems. Sympathy involves identifying yourself with another's emotional state and then two unhappy people exist instead of one.

Empathy, not sympathy, is what is required. Empathy is understanding another person's feelings and above all accepting them. Do not turn their problems into your problems.

Any attempt to give advice or sympathy is based upon the false notion that people cannot solve their own difficulties. Each person contains the solution to alleviating his own stress, given an accepting listener, as surely as the egg contains a yolk. Because others are disturbed do not fall into the trap of feeling you also must be upset.

In fact it would not hurt to quote the great Canadian Physician, Sir William Osler, who nearly a hundred years ago said:

"Physicians should remember that although they can rarely cure, they can usually relieve and they can always comfort"

In India they would call 'comfort' an aspect of Bhakti Yoga.

An extension of this concept is becoming involved in the problems of the world and community at large by reading daily newspapers, watching the news on television every night and listening to the news on radio throughout the day.

This may seem a little fanatical but I strongly suggest that if you are constantly depressed and anxious about the state of the world, try fasting yourself from the media - you may be amazed at how your tension level drops!

Believe me - anything you really need to know someone will always tell you! Psychologists are now becoming aware of how we live in an age of "information overload" and generally speaking absorbing the news daily is a form of mental poisoning more potent than any ecological disasters currently and the equivalent of taking a bath in sewerage.


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Dr Jonn Mumford (Swami Anandakapila Saraswati) is an International lecturer and author whose works include "Ecstasy through Tantra", "A Chakra & Kundalini Workbook", "Magical Tattwas - Hindu Tarot for the West" and "Mind Magic Kit". This article contains excerpts from his books "How to Clear Your Karma in 9 Days" and "Death: Beginning or End" (Llewellyn Publications, USA). For information on Dr Mumford's private consultations, Distance learning Programs contact:

Swami Anandakapila Saraswati
Dr Jonn Mumford
(Swami Anandakapila Saraswati)
Website: Consultations: Distance Learning Programs

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