Self observation helps is forming good habits and breaking bad habits!
Step 3:Self Acceptance All-inclusive acceptance of our conditioning as we are, today Do I feel uncomfortable with parts of myself? – E.g 8 hrs of sleep and wake up time Neither our personality, habits nor our body can ever be perfect, nor our financial net worth large enough. Partial reforms, though, typically are needed. – Bodily and Emotional excesses need management Clear seeing leads us to accept our imperfections as imperfections. Self-respect leads us to work on improving in the appropriate places.
STEP 4: ASPIRE FOR HIGHER REWARDS Practice, Detachment and Higher Taste
How can we develop such an internal pause button? Through constant practice and detachment(Bhagavad Gita verses ) Hindsight: We use 20/20 hindsight to reflect at the end of our day using the exercise in the prev page. We remember that we actually did engage in something we did not want to earlier in the day. We jot down notes about our experience, and become curious. (“Hey! Maybe I really do interrupt!”) Hindsight, closer in time: After several days, we become increasingly attuned to the behavior. We begin to notice it sooner. (“Oops! I just interrupted Anita!”) Still hindsight, but closer in time. In the moment observation: Soon, the internal observer, which we’ve been cultivating, begins to notice what we’re doing as we do it. (“I’m interrupting Sheela right now!”) Because the bulk of our awareness is wrapped up in the critically important thing we’re interrupting Sheela to say, we finish saying it anyway, but awareness is dawning. Before the moment observation, followed by alternate action: We begin to notice our impulse before the behavior. (“I feel my energy increasing and my back straightening. I feel impatient. I know what we should do. I’m about to interrupt Anita. No, this time, I’m going to hear him out instead. Slow down, relax, breathe, listen.”) Now, we are changing our behavior. But it happened simply, easily, almost by itself.
BG — The manifestation of the mode of goodness can be experienced when all the gates of the body are illuminated by knowledge. BG How can we cultivate the mode of goodness? Internal pause button. Our internal pause button halts our psychophysical device – our body and mind – in mid-action. How can we develop such an internal pause button? By designing for ourselves a custom-made response to sensitive and provocative situations. This custom-made response may incorporate any or many of the following: Taking deep breaths, Recalling an insightful wisdom passage Reciting an inspiring scriptural verse Chanting an empowering divine mantra. Offering a universal or personal contextual prayer
BG 2.59BG 2.59 — Though the embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, the taste for sense objects remains…………… Current Reward Habit DESIRE Bhagavad Gita Ref:
Efforts to quit or moderate bad habits will fail if they focus solely on depriving oneself of doing the habit. Because – even if you are successful in the short term, your reward/habit system will readjust to your new, more reward deficient environment, and you will become more driven for immediate gratification and more likely to relapse. - Paula DeSanto MS, LSW, CPRP, CCDP- D
Identity based reward system Who do you want to become? Slim and agile Move around Good writer Write everyday Physically strong Exercise Better friend Stay in touch Taken seriously Be on time!
Why do you want to become that which you want to become? What is your motive?
It is impossible to sustain anything permanently within the three modes of material nature!!
Identity based reward system What is your identity? Servant of Krsna All good habits follow automatically All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. On the other hand, a person devoid of devotional service and engaged in material activities has no good qualities. Even if he is adept at the practice of mystic yoga or the honest endeavor of maintaining his family and relatives, he must be driven by his own mental speculations and must engage in the service of the Lord's external energy. How can there be any good qualities in such a man?- SB
Aspire for pleasing Krsna – that is our identity Bhagavad Gita Ref: Bg 2.60 — The senses are so strong and impetuous, O Arjuna, that they forcibly carry away the mind even of a man of discrimination who is endeavoring to control them. Bg 2.60 Bg 2.61 — One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and ﬁxes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence. Bg 2.61
BG 2.59BG 2.59 — …… But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is ﬁxed in consciousness. Current Reward Old Habit Circult TRIGGER New Habit Circuit Changed Needs, wants and likes Bhagavad Gita Ref: Higher Reward (Please Guru and Krsna) Mercy
Is the current reward for your habit worth it? What new reward connected with pleasing Guru and Krsna would you like to aspire for?
To overcome weakness and self-sabotage, we have no other resort but to draw on our innate spiritual strength. Please don't doubt that you have such strength. You were born with it. - HH Sacinandana Swami
STEP 5: PRAYER AND VAISHNAVA SEVA All good intentions and attempts need help from above
Step 4:Prayer We feel humbled by our behavior. We find this internal work very hard to do on our own We cry out the Holy Names so Krsna protects us from ourselves Self AcceptanceHumility Impetus to Change Really cry out to Krsna for help
God helps those who help themselves! Bg 10.10Bg — To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. Bg 10.11Bg — To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.
True prayer is a sincere cry of the contrite heart. “Oh! Lord Please Help me” The Hare Krishna mantra is itself a prayer invoking good fortune and petitioning the Lord, “O energy of God, O Supreme Lord, please accept me and engage me in Your service.”
Vaishnava Seva SB — O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vāsudeva. SB
Vaishnava Seva SB — Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted. SB SB — By regular attendance in classes on the Bhāgavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact. SB
Step 6: Follow a regulated life BG 2.64 — But a person free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord. BG 2.64 – If regulation becomes your theme then it has its effect in all areas and habits of your life.
STEP 7:PATIENCE Enthusiasm and Determination utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt saṅga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with conﬁdence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles [such as śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam – hearing, chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa], (5) abandoning the association of nondevotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous ācāryas. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service.
We sometimes see previously hidden aspects of our own makeup, of our personality and character. – Often these aspects were hidden only from us and not from others. These shocking new glimpses of ourselves, these realizations that we are not exactly who we thought we were, may bring disappointment. They arise naturally as a result of our inner work and present us with a choice. – We may wallow in self-pity and self-hatred and, thereby, short-circuit the process of practice. Or we may simply accept that the good in us exists alongside the not-so-good, and practice with renewed vigor toward transformation. – Not necessarily seeking to change the details of our personality, but rather seeking to change our being. As we do this internal work……..
Our steadiness is in constantly trying …
Steps Review Step 1 Pick the habit you wish to fix Step 2 Self Observation Step 3 Self Acceptance Step 4 Higher Reward (Practice and Detachment) Step 5 Prayer & Vaishnava Seva Step 6 Follow a regulated life Step 7 Patience
References Bhagavad Gita As It Is- By A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada Bhagavad Gita As It Is- By A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada Srimad Bhagavatam- By HDG AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada Srimad Bhagavatam- By HDG AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada MNA Alternatives How can we avoid rash impulsive behavior by HG Caitanya Caran Prabhu How can we avoid rash impulsive behavior by HG Caitanya Caran Prabhu The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business Teachings of all the Gurus and the devotees in the disciplic succession
THANK YOU Questions/ Comments/ Corrections If you want to feel alive with spiritual longing, you need to come in contact with the sacred dimension in your life and to remain in that awareness as much as possible. You'll know when you've touched that dimension because you'll feel yourself escaping the confines of matter; the bird of your soul will take to the free air. - HH Sacinandana Swami
APPENDIX Quotes and Interesting pictures
God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
Detachment "We wear the chains we forge in life." [Charles Dickens] Norman Vincent Peale comments, giving the solution to life's problems through surrender to God: "We do indeed form the links one by one in a chain of fear until we are bound by it and, strangely enough, we love even as we hate, our chains. This curious mental equivocation explains, in part at least, why it is so difficult to rid ourselves of our fears on our own. It has been demonstrated repeatedly, however, that when a person actually makes up his mind that he wants an end to his fear, and honestly admits he can do nothing about it himself and surrenders it completely to God, release comes in a most astonishing manner." When Norman was in a particularly dark time in his life, his wife taught him a prayer of self-surrender to God, which changed his life and that of thousands of others he taught it to. For me, here is another confirmation of the prayers of surrender taught by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and others in our line. Here is the prayer: "Dear Lord I now give myself, my life, my mind, my body, my soul to You. I give you all my fears. If you want me to fail I am willing to accept failure. Whatever You do with me is alright with me. Take all of me, I surrender everything to You." [From "The Tough-Minded Optimist"] – From HG Karnamarita Prabhu’s facebook post
How Bad Habits cause us to have a sinful disposition and suffering