The body cannot function without strict discipline. Digestion, growth, blood-circulation, everything, everything is a discipline. Thought, movement, gestures, everything is a discipline, and if there is no discipline, people immediately fall ill.
Physical exercises are not done for fun or to satisfy one's whims, but as a methodical discipline to develop and strengthen the body, so that it can be a vessel of one’s individual truth.
The vital moves with its emotions, dynamic energy and sensory enjoyments. An outer discipline is necessary for the purification, otherwise, it remains restless and fanciful and at the mercy of its own impulses, without facilitating progress.
Disciplining the vital is long and exacting labour requiring great patience and perfect sincerity. A person’s rational centre is a powerful tool to organise and cultivate discipline. But it must be at the service of something deeper and not for its own satisfaction.
Mental discipline consists of four consecutive movements - to observe, to watch over, to control and to master.
To observe the thought, the first movement then is to step back and look at it, to separate yourself from your thoughts.
Then you watch over them. Learn to look at them as an enlightened judge so that you may distinguish between thoughts that are useful and those that are harmful.
Once the enlightened judge of our consciousness has distinguished between useful and harmful thoughts, the inner guard will come and allow to pass only approved thoughts, strictly refusing admission to all undesirable elements.
The Practice of the Week:
Many a time we tend to start a new activity or routine enthusiastically but in some time the zest comes down and monotony sets in. We might even start questioning why we want to establish a habit or practice, even after making a conscious decision before beginning to discipline ourselves. When this happens, observe the movement that comes in that attempts to dissuade you from being disciplined. Is it a bodily resistance or a sensory pleasure (irresistible cravings while dieting) or doubt (“will this work?”)? Just observe without passing judgements and record them in a notebook or on an electronic device. Continue to do your chosen activities.
This Week We Have a Podcast!
Swati interviews Valentine, an Aurovilian and a former teacher in an Auroville School on the theme of discipline.
Listen to the 33 minute podcast: