Be Conscious of What You Do
14. Be Conscious of What You Do
The trouble with most people is that when they are performing an action they are thinking about something else. They don't know how to concentrate on what they are doing when they are doing it.
You should learn to think of one thing at a time
with all the power of your mind.
Your whole attention should be there.
Don't drag along. Doing things in a lackadaisical way leads to failure and misery.
Man should not be a psychological automaton, like the animal, which acts only through instinct. To be unthinking is a great sin against Spirit, which abides in you;
we are meant to be conscious of what we do.
We should reflect before we act.
We should learn how to use our minds so that we can evolve and realize our oneness with the Creator. Everything we do should be the result of premeditated thought. (me)
Anything worth doing,
is worth doing well.
The yogi masters the art of mind control. He shuts off mental restlessness and imagination, and avoids absentmindedness by practice of the following:
(a) passivity, or even-mindedness under all conditions;
(b) positive concentration (keeping the mind on one particular thought at a time);
(c) negative concentration (using discrimination and will to eliminate unwanted thoughts);
(d) transferring consciousness from feeling to will or ideas;
(e) transferring consciousness from emotions, such as love or hatred, to self-control, or creative thinking, or pure feeling;
(f) holding the thought on one sensation (sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch) at a time;
(g) visualization of mental images, and creating and dissolving dreams at will;
(h) mental anesthesia (receiving sensations of pain as informative reports rather than experiences of suffering). (dr)
Protect yourself within the fortress of wisdom. There is no greater safety. Complete understanding will bring you to a point where nothing can hurt you. But until you have attained wisdom, when temptation comes you must first stop the action or urge, and then reason. If you try to reason first, you will be compelled in spite of yourself to do the thing that you don't want to do, because temptation will overcome all reason. ...
Don't let your environment and sensory desires control you. Virtue and spiritual living are far more charming than sensual indulgence, but the habit chains of temptation hold people fast. ...
When you are strongly tempted, your wisdom is momentarily a prisoner of your desires and habits. (me)
To solve the mystery of life you must be born anew every day. This means you must strive daily to improve yourself in some way. Above all, pray for wisdom, because with wisdom everything else comes. Be controlled not by moods, but by wisdom. And with that wisdom, develop creative thinking and activity. Keep busy doing constructive things for your own self-improvement and for the benefit of others, for whoever would enter God's kingdom must try also to do good for others every day. If you follow this pattern, you will feel the mood-dispelling joy of knowing you are advancing, mentally, physically, and spiritually. You will surely reach God, for that way leads to the kingdom of heaven. (me)
‘Lead me from darkness to light. Lead me from hatred to love. Lead me from limitations to Thine inexhaustible power; lead me from ignorance to wisdom. Lead me from suffering and death to everlasting life and enjoyment in Thee. Above all, lead me from the delusion of human attachment into realisation of Thy love eternal, which plays hide-and-seek with me in all forms of human love.’ (me)
Characteristics Of Wisdom (Gita XIII:7-11)
(The sage is marked by) humility, lack of hypocrisy, harmlessness, forgivingness, uprightness, service to the guru, purity of mind and body, steadfastness, self-control;
Indifference to sense objects, absence of egotism, understanding of the pain and evils (inherent in mortal life): birth, illness, old age, and death;
Nonattachment, nonidentification of the Self with such as one's children, wife, and home; constant equal-mindedness in desirable and undesirable circumstances;
Unswerving devotion to Me by the yoga of nonseparativeness, resort to solitary places, avoidance of the company of worldly men;
Perseverance in Self-knowledge; and meditative perception of the object of all learning—the true essence or meaning there-in. All these qualities constitute wisdom; qualities opposed to them constitute ignorance.
(aoy) — Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
(bg) — God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita by Paramahansa Yogananda
(dr) — The Divine Romance by Paramahansa Yogananda
(jt) — Journey to Self-Realization by Paramahansa Yogananda
(me) — Man's Eternal Quest by Paramahansa Yogananda
(os) — Other Sources... Talks, Booklets
(sc) — The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda
(sm) — Self-Realization Magazines