Discipline in Thinking: Navigate the Mind's Terrain on the Journey to Spiritual Enlightenment

Our goal on the path to spiritual enlightenment, and as we ascend the map of consciousness, is to come closer and closer to attaining Witness Consciousness. Witness consciousness is observing the world as it manifests around you and practicing non-attachment, which means we should actively participate in our environment and life. However, we can practice moving toward the concept of witness consciousness through Discipline in Thinking.


The Mind's Role in Shaping Our Reality

awaken your mind to see the reality

Ultimately, we are the drivers of our reality, which is based on how our mind interprets things happening to us and around us, how we consume through our five senses and translate with our six senses, the mind, our constant companion on our spiritual journey. It has a direct effect on how we live our lives.

In yoga studies, specifically Hindu, the mind is broken into four parts. Therefore, when we think about discipline in thinking, we must discuss each one and why we must practice discipline in them.

Buddhi (intelligence), which focuses on the intellect, uses memories and the brain to come to conclusions about what is happening around us and to us in real-time. Intelligence, therefore, is not just book smarts but also comes from life experiences and reasoning.

As they say, some things cannot be taught in a classroom, but an individual can still be intellectual by nature.

Discipline is essential because not all decisions should depend solely on intellect. In some cases, doing the right thing may contradict what our intellectual brain is thinking.

Manas (the rational faculty of the mind) is the memory stored in every cell of the body and not just the brain. It is also said that these memories can be generational.

It is a vital point as sometimes our body reacts to muscle memory that no longer serves us. So, we must practice discipline in thinking to prevent such actions from occurring.

Ahankara (ego) is the intellect that gives us a sense of identity. We want to discipline our thinking so we do not come from a place of ego that harms our interactions with ourselves and others. It is crucial to have a sense of identity and define who we are to ourselves and others, but it should be done with a humble demeanor.

Intellect driven by Ahankara can delude our humbleness and allow our ego to lead the way, something we should avoid.

Chitti is the cosmic intelligence. It is when we can connect to the source, the divine, to garner information not rooted in our memory or intellect. Through mediation and forms of prayer, we can connect to this cosmic intelligence and draw knowledge directly from the universe. Chitti, one might say, is the highest achievement in the practice of disciplining one’s mind.

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Walking the Path Toward Spiritual Liberation

The mind is of utmost importance when one is on their spiritual path. Through discipline in thinking, one can deeply focus on things, such as the source/the divine, to move closer to liberation.

Samata: An individual can apply faith and trust in the source/the divine to discipline how they think, so they do not focus on negativity, regret, or other stories that garner emotions that do not serve their spiritual journey. With a goal of samata or equanimity, the balanced state of mind in which one’s focus is on the highest. It is the only way to dissolve the anxiety one experiences during physical incarnation.

Contemplation: One must also use contemplation, a form of discipline in thinking, to examine life and make the necessary changes on the path to liberation. Truth seeker takes in all the information from their life experiences and uses it to improve their being through contemplation. They look to see how things apply to them, their journey, and the necessary course correction on their journey.

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Understanding and Navigating Desires

We must also practice discipline in thinking when it comes to desires. We want to be clear here that desires are not always a negative thing. Desires have a functional use when it comes to filling the actual needs of our body or even of our social contracts with others.

What we feed our minds will also affect how we think about certain people, places, things, and situations. When we feed our minds with negative thoughts and emotions, we color our reactions with them. Therefore, we must practice discipline in thinking about the emotions and energy we use to interpret our environment, as our attitude or thought process creates obstacles in our lives.

You must protect your thoughts because good thoughts come from great spiritual work and are not easy to obtain.

A good exercise to practice discipline in thinking is to journal your positive thoughts each day. Then, reflect on these positive thoughts as they will take up the space and purify your mind, keeping negative thoughts to a minimum, thus allowing the mind to strengthen over time and removing any useless thought processes. There are no shortcuts; you must do the work because manifestation is nothing without action, and the start of this is practicing discipline.

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