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A Super-Quick Thought-Management Technique

by Acharya Shunya(more info)

listed in mind matters, originally published in issue 270 - May 2021

 

Excerpted with permission from the book Sovereign Self © 2020 Acharya Shunya

This specific technique is called pratipaksha bhavana. I call it the method of thinking deliberate opposite thoughts. When you encounter a bondage-creating thought, simply and deliberately think the opposite point of view. Then your mind will be a sovereign mind. For example, if you tend to be generally critical about someone, find genuine reason to praise them. If you dismiss others’ sorrow, empathize instead and put yourself mentally in their shoes until real compassion is evoked from within. If you put yourself down a lot or are routinely self-minimizing in front of others, restrain such comments and take credit where due. Substitute generosity for greed, discrimination for delusion, humility for pride and conceitful thoughts, and appreciative thoughts for jealousy of another’s success. 

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This helps because when we deliberately think an opposite, constructive, and dharmic thought while restraining a non-dharmic thought, our mind expands from delusion to clarity, from selfishness to selflessness, from the material to the spiritual. In this way, we enhance our opportunity to experience our sovereign, joyful soul potential. 

You can reinforce the practice of deliberate opposite thoughts with actions. When you see yourself being inconsiderate of the needs of others, deliberately act in the opposite way and become accommodating to the needs of those around you. When your higher mind observes you being slothful, for example avoiding a shower or not picking up your room, immediately take a shower and make the bed! If you watch time-wasting shows on television all day, begin with tuning in to the more informative shows on nature, policy, or science. This way, each time you change your thought or act opposite of the initial impulse, you are guiding your mind and senses via the sovereign mind’s decrees. 

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You can choose to not let negative thoughts overwhelm you by mindfully observing them and replacing them with positive thoughts until slowly they become our second nature. Now the mind knows who is boss! Oops, there it goes again . . . Make sure to practice the opposite of what it wants! It will learn in due course who is boss and that you mean business.

sovereign self cover

Excerpted from the book Sovereign Self © 2020 Acharya Shunya, used with permission from the author and the publisher, Sounds True, Inc.

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About Acharya Shunya

Acharya Shunya is a spiritually awake internationally renowned and awarded spiritual teacher and scholar of nondual wisdom (Advaita) and a classically-trained master of Yoga and Ayurveda. The first female head of her 2000-year old Indian spiritual lineage, she has dedicated her life to empowering health and elevating consciousness worldwide. She is president of The Awakened Self Foundation with its headquarters in northern California, and bestselling author of Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom (Sounds True, 2017). Her latest book Sovereign Self , Claim Your Inner Joy and Freedom with the empowering wisdom of the Vedas, Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads (Sounds True, 2020) is being claimed by experts as a masterpiece on eastern psychology and spirituality, and is now available.

Acharya Shunya is a sought-after speaker, delivering keynote addresses to audiences that include the National Ayurveda Medical Association, University of California, Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Stanford University, Kriplau, Sedona Yoga Festival and 1440 Multiversity. She serves as an advisor to the Indian Government in matters pertaining to global integration and cultivation of Ayurveda and Yoga.

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