A few years ago, I used to have a pattern of being quick-tempered whenever I felt violated by people or situations. So much so that it was taking a toll on my relationship with my loved ones. It was only after I met Swamiji, a living enlightened master (also known as Paramahamsa Nithyananda) that I learned how I actually strengthened certain responses unconsciously and how to get out of the patterns.
According to neurophysiologists, deep-rooted mental patterns (also called samskara in Sanskrit) create mental grooves in our brain, just like rivulets in sand, which makes the water run in certain patterns. They say that each time we react in a certain way repeatedly, we strengthen the power of the pathway. Each time the water runs in the same pathway, the rivulet becomes deeper. Same way, each time we react in a certain way to a situation, we strengthen that pattern. For example, if you have a habit of flaring in anger every time you are stressed, you are encouraging and strengthening that engram of anger due to stress. This is a very important truth that everyone must catch because the worst suffering we have is not recognising our pattern is the source of our suffering.
Swamiji gave this understanding beautifully, he said “The river running in the same direction becomes stronger, deeper, and more permanent. Same way, in your brain you have so many rivers – Ganga, Kaveri, Yamuna, Saraswati, Godavari, Narmada, Sindhu! Some of the rivers in your brain are wild rivers like forest rivers. They have the power to suddenly flood and cause calamities in your life. So you need to make a dam to divert such rivers; to make them flow in a different direction. Making that dam and diverting the river to a different direction is what I call sadhana – spiritual practice.”
Neuroplastic science also says that your brain has the ability to create new grooves and pathways, and the existing ones will heal and disappear if it is left on their own. So whenever you are really feeling the stress, fear or anxiety, do something very active such as doing a cathartic meditation or intense weight-lifting to make the body active. You will create a new engram, a different flow of energy, a new groove in the brain simply by working on the body intensely.
Swamiji explained that the next time whenever fear or stress happens in you again, the whole thing will automatically get converted into useful energy instead. When awareness is added to your rajas (restless energy), it can just become part of your life and can be directly useful to you. If you are stressed, if you have anger or fear towards somebody, just take it out with awareness in the gym, yoga or do some intense cathartic processes. He had given several cathartic processes from different traditions: 1) Manipuraka shuddhi kriya or talking in tongues, 2) pranayamas like bhastrika, kapalabhati, 3) loud chanting of Upanishads or Vedic mantras. In the Christian tradition, talking in tongues is called Glasalolia. In the Hindu tradition, we call it Manipuraka shuddhi kriya.
If you learn how to release your stress and fear through catharsis, you will see that you will be creating new rivulets. You will stop strengthening the old patterns, the ugly mental set-up of suffering and torturing yourself, instead you will be able to divert your energy to something life-positive which strengthens your ability to handle yourself with greater confidence.
From my own experience, the way I got out of my anger pattern was through a regular sadhana of daily yoga practice which included silent sitting with myself to unclutch from the dust I collected unconsciously as well as creating a space to witness my thought currents. After the initiation into Nithyanandoham and Suddhadvaitam processes, my sadhana has evolved to daily manifestation of experiences, powers and revelations. Swamiji taught the world the powerful science of completion (poornatva) and through the power of will and declaration to drop and complete with the incompletions which created the thought patterns and emotional patterns. Recently he has given a more subtle technique called pure questioning, when perform with authenticity, can lead one back to the space of completion and inner peace.
In essence, the next time you become aware of certain blind spot or thought pattern which you are suffering, go for spiritual solutions or practices which can heal the cracks in your inner space as well as create new subtle brain grooves such that your transformation becomes permanent. Namaste 😀