Friday, September 3, 2010

The Internal Makeup of a Human Being

I had motivated the need to know about the inner psycho-physical make-up of a human being. Self-awareness is the essential first step towards self-control, and self-mastery.

I had used as study material, Sri Aurobindo's article on A system of national education. I had explained the various sources of errors in human perception such as poor observation skills, misconceptions, hallucinations and distortions, and explained how Yogic Pranayama helps address many of them.

Explained the three layers of man - physical (annamaya), vital (praaNamaya) and mental (manomaya) sheaths. Explained how the vital layer is the seat of our emotions, adamant preferences, rajasic passions, revolts and depressions. Explained how bad habits form and become stronger due to indulgence. Using coffee example, illustrated how to overcome a bad habit via Rajayogic method of Samyama (संयम) via three steps:
recognition, rejection and substitution.

People appreciated why calmness is a cure for many of these maladies. They all felt that this class is very helpful and answers so many of their questions. They haven't heard these things explained like this before.

Then as a first practical step towards self-awareness, taught a simple technique to become calm and increase keen observation. Conducted a simple four-stage breath-awareness session (praaNa-dhaaraNa) to calm oneself and relax. People wanted to make Yoga a regular portion of the session.

The key thing to note is that none of the stuff we discussed or practiced today is at all novel. It is part of any basic Yoga book or teaching. However, it is a fact that people are not even aware of such things and as a result, don't know why they are suffering. We all felt that combining a dose of theory with practice is very helpful.

1 comment:

  1. I feel that the youth of today, usually dislike blindly following or practising something because someone says Yoga is good and helps. I know that yoga is good, but it is even more interesting that this set of meetings will discuss the "whys" of yoga too -- motivating at-least me to practice it regularly.

    Looking forward to learn and benefit myself/others from yoga.