Science of Living: Lesson-4 by Acharya Mahapragya
Jain Vishva Bharati
Main steps in Practical Training
The following are the main steps in practical training :
1. Yogic Physical Exercises : To give exercise to all muscles, limbs, and other external organs.
2. Yogic Asanas : To give exercise to deep-seated organs and control their activity.
3. Pranayam : Conscious control and regulation of breath results in determination and increase of will-power; control on the autonomic nervous system is reached.
4. Relaxation (with self-awareness) (Kayotsarga) : To make the mind and body free from physical (muscular), mental (nervous) and emotional tensions.
5. Preksha Dhyan : It is a process of awakening one's own reasoning mind (viveka) and thereby control one's passions and emotions. It is based on the principle of engaging one's mind by concentrating on perception rather than on thought. The perception, again, is that of internal phenomena of consciousness and not that of external objects. It is a technique of seeing one's inner self. It consists of : Regulation and ultimate control of (a) respiratory and other physiological functions, (b) nervous system, (c) endocrine (ductless glands) system and (d) subtle inherent vibrations which produce passions.
Practice of self-observation unravels the mysteries of the unconscious mind and brings about catharsis. The technique balances and harmonizes the endocrine system, which in turn controls the nervous system. This results in equilibrium of the Neuro-Endocrine System.
On Physical Level : Preskha helps each cell to revitalize itself; it facilitates digestion; it makes respiration more efficient, it improves circulation and quality of blood.
On Mental Level : Preksha becomes a methodology to train the mind to concentrate; it cleans and relaxes the mind; it offers a way to treat serious psychosomatic illnesses without drugs; it is an efficient exercise in self-discipline leading to the end of addiction and other bad habits; it leads to what lies beyond the conscious mind.
On Emotional Level : The active functioning of reasoning mind controls reactions to environmental conditions, situations and behaviour of others, harmonization of the functioning of nervous and endocrine systems results in control and ultimate eradication of fear, jealousy, anger, lust and sexual perversion.
On Spiritual Level : The firm control of the reasoning mind, regulation and transformation of blood-chemistry through proper blending of the neuro-endocrinal secretions and production of dispassionate internal vibrations lead to attain infinite compassion, equanimity, bliss and happiness.
(i) Perception of Breathing
Preksha-dhyan includes the following exercises
(a) Complete scientific breathing through the proper functioning of diaphragm; long, deep and rhythmic breathing with total awareness; use of full vital capacity.
(b) Breathing through alternate nostrils (together with holding of breath).
(ii) Perception of Body
Concentration on each part of the body for perceiving the subtle vibrations and sensations taking place even on the cellular level.
(iii) Internal Trip (through the spinal cord and brain) (Antaryatra)
Perception of the Sushumna (spinal cord) and the cerebral cortex.
(iv) Perception of Psychic Centres
The specific centres in the body where consciousness is more active and which are interconnected with the endocrine glands and nervous plexuses.
(v) Perception of Psychic Colours
Visualization of selected Colours while concentrating the mind on different psychic centres. Such practice is found to be unbelievably effective to produce internal changes in subtle consciousness levels.