on Yoga and Controlling the Emotions
Paramahansa Yogananda on controlling the emotions through the practice of meditation.
To be in control of your emotions is important to happiness. Then no one can get you angry, no one can make you jealous. You stand unchallenged in your own consciousness.
The heart requires true love, friendship, and, above all, peace. When through emotion peace is destroyed, it is a desecration of the bodily temple. A healthy nervous system is what will maintain in proper order all the bodily organs and feelings. And to keep the nervous system healthy, it is important to remain free from devastating emotions such as fear, anger, greed, jealousy.
You imprison yourself in various moods, and this is the cause of all your sorrows. To escape, you have to dissolve the feelings and emotions connected with body consciousness. Meditation is the way.
Reality cannot be accurately reflected in a consciousness ruffled by likes and dislikes, with their restless passions and desires, and the roiling emotions they engender — anger, jealousy, greed, moody sensitivity. But when chitta — human knowing and feeling — is calmed by meditation, the ordinarily agitated ego gives way to the blessed calmness of soul perception.
As a means of quickly relaxing body and mind and experiencing the calmness of the soul, Paramahansaji gave the following technique.It is based on his principles of recharging the body with cosmic energy, which are taught in greater depth in the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons.Tense with will: By command of will, direct the life energy (through the process of tension) to flood the body or any body part. Feel the energy vibrating there, energizing and revitalizing. Relax and feel: Relax the tension, and feel the soothing tingle of new life and vitality in the recharged area. Feel that you are not the body; you are that life which sustains the body. Feel the peace, the freedom, the increased awareness that comes with the calmness produced by the practice of this technique.
- Inhale, holding the breath.
- Gently contract the entire body, all muscles at once.
- Hold the contraction for a count of 1 to 20, with deep attention on the entire body.
- Exhale, releasing the contraction.
Repeat 3 times, at any time you feel weak and nervous.
In the following video excerpt from a talk given in Mumbai, India, SRF/YSS President Brother Chidananda speaks on Paramahansaji’s teaching that controlling our emotions is the “key to health and happiness.” He also leads the audience in practicing a highly effective yogic technique, found in the SRF Lessons, for removing negative emotions.