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Magazine Web Edition > April/May/June 2009 > The Power of Affirmation

Educational Insight

The Power of Affirmation

How to Impress Your Subconscious Mind with Positive Statements to Mold Your Future



The power of affirmation changes and remolds the putty-like substance that makes up the subconscious areas of the mind. For years we have repeated sayings and statements, attached meaning to them in our thoughts and through listening to ourselves speak. This has helped form our life as we know it today, for the subconscious brings into manifestation the impressions we put into it. Therefore, to change the subconscious pattern and increase its vibration, we must remold with new ideas and new concepts its magnetic forces. This can be done through the power of affirmation. Below is an example.

I let go of the past. I let go of the future. I am a being right now.

Introduction

Every thoughtful person has observed that the one constant we can always count on in life is change. Nothing ever stays the same. There are always surprises. As individuals, we, too, are constantly changing. The key to making progress, lifetime after lifetime, to is keep changing for the better, overcoming complacency and unwanted habit patterns and thus improving our character. My Gurudeva, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, observed, "The subconscious has a natural tendency to resist change. It is slow to realize that life is constant change. That is why it is so easy to fall into a rut. It requires a daring, spirited nature to call forth unused resources, to step out of the routine into a fuller and freer life." For this, affirmations can be a dynamic tool. The idea behind affirmations is that through the repetition of positive statements we can make greater progress on the spiritual path and increase our magnetism to success. To progress spiritually, a positive self-concept is essential. What is a positive self-concept? It is thinking of ourself as a worthy individual deserving of a wonderful life and fully capable of achieving it. Unfortunately, many of us reach adulthood with a negative self-concept, feeling that others are better than we are, and that life has little to offer. A negative self-concept develops when, while growing up, we are criticized constantly or cruelly by our parents and teachers. Having a positive concept about our outer self allows us to identify with our inner, spiritual nature so that we truly feel we are a divine being. Let's look for a moment at changing our self-concept from a negative one to a positive one. Just as we can strengthen the body through exercise and become fit, we can also remold the subconscious mind and change its composition through the power of affirmation. PFor many years, as part of our pre-dawn worship, the monastery has repeated an affirmation. We recite it aloud together. It has been effective in reminding all the monastics of our spiritual purposes and the importance of integrating the blessings of the Deities into our everyday affairs. A few years ago we developed a similar affirmation for families to repeat together every morning. We include it on page 50 with the suggestion that you and your family recite it together each day. PRemember, success with affirmations depends upon utilizing the three-fold key--think about the meaning, create a visualization for this meaning and feel how you will feel when the hoped-for goal is consistently happening in your life. We hope this exploration of the power of affirmations changes your life as much as it has transformed ours.

I can. I will. I am able to accomplish what I plan.

The Power of Affirmation

Affirmation, when used in wisdom for spiritual reasons, is a power, and should be understood through meditation. Before beginning to work with an affirmation, we must understand completely from within what we are doing, being sure that when our subconscious has been remolded we can take the added responsibilities, the new adventures and challenges that will manifest as a result of breaking out of one force field and entering into another. Only then should we proceed. PAn affirmation is a series of positive words repeated time and time again in line with a visual concept. Such a statement can be repeated mentally or, preferably, verbally. Words in themselves, without a pictorial understanding, make a very poor affirmation. To choose the affirmation best suited to our needs, first we must realize what we do not want, and then we must take steps to change it, in the very same way we would discriminate in letting go of our possessions in order to purchase new ones. Whether one is dealing with home and possessions, thoughts and concepts, self-created inhibitions or blocks and barriers of the subconscious, the principle is the same. If one feels, "I can't," he cannot. If he is always criticizing himself and lamenting over what he cannot do, then he has to reverse this pattern and change the flow of magnetic mental force, enliven its intensity by saying orally and feeling through all the pores of his body, "I can. I will. I am able to accomplish what I plan."

Building confidence In applying this tantra, begin by repeating the affirmation fifty or a hundred times a day. In watching your reactions, you may find that the subconscious will not accept these three statements, "I can. I will. I am able." You may still have feelings of "I can't. I won't. I am not able." This then begins a period to live through where the mind's magnetic forces fight with one another, in a sense. The aggressive forces of your nature are trying to take over and reprogram the passive ones that have been in charge for so many years. Of course, the aggressive forces will win if you will persist with your verbal and visual affirmation. You must not give up saying, "I can. I will. I am able," until you find the subconscious structure actually creating situations for you in which you can and are able to be successful, happy and acquire what you need, be it temporal goods or unfoldment on the inner path.

I am the complete master of all my forces. My spiritual energies govern and control the force fields wherever I am for the highest good.

Through understanding, being pure, full of spirited life, I am filled and thrilled with unlimited power, now and forever.

Controlling Awareness

I learn to concentrate the mind so that I can study, not from books but from observation, which is the first awakening of the soul.

The superconscious energies flood easily through me, bringing into my life an abundance of creativity, intuition, perception and bliss.

Facing Hardships

I am equal to whatever challenge I meet.

Living Positively

An affirmation can alter your life by creating mentally the patterns and moods of each day through which you will subsequently move. Here is one that can be used to dynamically begin each day. "I am now open to a flow of spiritual energy in which I perceive the most worthy course of action for this day. My service, being selfless, opens new doors of supply, making available all of the tools required so that my work will be beautiful, energetic and influential to the highest degree." The subconscious mind is like a piece of clay that can be impressed. These impressions go into the subconscious from the conscious mind and remain there vibrating until changed. The intuitive mind, which we call the superconscious, works through the subconscious when the channels of the subconscious are open. Hence, in impressing the subconscious mind, we must be very careful to create positive channels, and not to create a negative block. You can also write your own affirmation, but it must always be positive and carefully worded. PYou have perhaps often heard friends repeat the same complaint over and over again. They were not only making an affirmation, perhaps unknowingly, for their own subconscious mind, but for yours as well. Therefore, it behooves us always to be with positive people, spiritual, life-giving people, in order to be positive ourselves. PIt takes great courage to go from one force field of the mind to another, for this means tearing up long-accustomed patterns and facing a period of adjustment while new subconscious patterns are created. It all has to do with changing the subconscious patterns. This is a power. You can change the patterns of your mind yourself. Try it. It is not too difficult. PEach day we make affirmations with our thoughts and our feelings --and the very words that we speak stabilize these patterns. But as the inner light begins to dawn its life-giving rays, a new, positive power comes into our words, our thoughts and the feelings that well up from the subconscious, making new manifest patterns in the force fields of the conscious world for us to meet and speedily experience.

I am now open to a flow of spiritual energy in which I perceive the most worthy course of action for this day.

My service, being selfless, opens new doors of supply, making available all of the tools required so that my work will be beautiful, energetic and influential to the highest degree.

Spiritual Identity

I am not my body, mind or emotions. They are but shells of the infinite energy that flows through them all. I am this energy. I am its source.

Willpower

My willpower is an inexhaustible resource. The more willpower I use, the more I have to use.

Compassion

I will help weeping ones to smile by smiling myself, even when it is difficult.

I will radiate love and goodwill to others, that I may open a channel for God's love to come to all.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Nurturing Bhakti

Devotion in Hinduism is known as bhakti. It is an entire realm of knowledge and practice unto itself, ranging from the child-like wonder of the unknown and the mysterious to the deep reverence which comes with understanding of the esoteric interworkings of the three worlds--our physical universe, the subtle or astral plane, and the world of the Gods. Here are two affirmations designed to cultivate bhakti.

Appreciation

Appreciation is a beautiful, soulful quality available to me in every circumstance--being thankful for life's little treasures, grateful for the opportunity to begin the day where I am, appreciating the perfect place my karma and God's grace have brought me to.

Siva is the Life of my life.

I affirm that the Gods are given to care for man on the planet and see us through our tenure on Earth, and that their decisions are vast in their implications.

The Power of Feeling

The power of thought is very strong, but only strong for a short time. It is the power of feeling that awakens the knowing consciousness. For example, suppose we repeat an affirmation such as this: "All my needs will always be met." And we repeat it again, "All my needs will always be met." In the initial stating of this affirmation, we understand something about it. However, unless we gain a conscious mental picture of what the words mean, they mean little more than nothing, for they do not reach deep enough to make contact with the limitless powers of your inner self. PGet into the rhythm of the affirmation. This causes strong feelings and impressions deep in the inner mind. Each word has a certain rate of vibration. Feeling is greater than visualization. Although each word of your affirmation may have a certain meaning to you intellectually, the rate of vibration of the word may not impress your mind in the exact same way in which you think it should to produce the result that you desire. An antidote to this is to use affirmations in this way. Repeat the affirmation, "All my needs will always be met," and feel how it is to feel after all of your needs have been met. Until you find this feeling, you should not expect the affirmation to work. Every time that you have a need and that need is met, a certain feeling is then produced in you. That same feeling you have to feel the very instant you speak the affirmation. You then open a channel that instant to your own intuition, through which all good comes. In this state of mind one has inspiration and will. It is from the intuition that, at the eleventh hour, fifty-ninth minute, fifty-ninth second, every need is met. PThe next time you have complete feelings from the innermost sources of your being that your every need will be met, quietly repeat that affirmation over again: "All my needs will always be met." Simultaneously think, visualize and feel deeply with an inner, all-encompassing knowing that each need will be met. This is the esoteric secret of making an affirmation work. PPeople say affirmations work for them but sometimes they do not. Why do affirmations only work sometimes? It is because the subconscious is receiving the affirmation at a psychological moment, and a greater knowing, visualization and feeling has been awakened to some extent. However, at the times when an affirmation did not work, there was no knowing, no visualization or feeling attached to it. Just words. When affirmations are repeated over and over again without feeling or visualization, occasionally negative results are produced, as the vibrations of the words themselves may not register what is intended in the subconscious.

Attracting Abundance

This ancient tantra is often used in gaining the material things of life. Affirmations do work in this respect, maybe even a little better than in gaining spiritual awakening, because the material desires are often stronger. PIf you need some material possession, and if it will do only good for yourself, your family and your friends, use the power of affirmation and see how quickly your need is manifested through one external channel or another. Distinguish carefully a material need from a desire. Desires are dangerous, because it is easy to manifest material desires, but it is not as easy to assume responsibility for what the fulfillment of the desire might entail. That is why people sometimes do attract to themselves material possessions through affirmations and suffer the complications produced in their lives. This happened because they did not understand the full responsibility of having the desired possessions. PAn example of a material need is having sufficient money for necessities. Generate the feeling and the picture that you now have sufficient sums of money to meet every human need, but not necessarily every human desire; just the needs. Then practice this affirmation: "I will always have sufficient money to meet all my needs." Repeat it once. Now stop affirming. Remain quiet, know, visualize and then feel how it is to be open to a sufficient flow of money to meet your every need. Get that feeling! It is a secure feeling, not a flamboyant, reckless feeling, not a feeling that now you can go out and have a good time. No, this is a quiet, secure feeling, born of being in a judicious state of mind. PLet us look closely at this feeling again: "I will always have sufficient money to meet all my needs." Now resolve to hold yourself open to ways and means by which you will have money to meet your every need for yourself and for your family. Be open to ways in which you can better budget the money you now have. Live by the ethic, "Waste not, want not." Soon you will find that you begin to become secure within yourself as the vibrations of your verbal, visual feeling of this affirmation ring through you entirely. Today you will begin handling the funds you have more judiciously, and soon you will begin attracting abundance from unexpected creative sources. Be open to new ideas, new people, new opportunities, expectant and ready to handle the wealth you have proclaimed as yours.

All my needs will always be met.

I will always have sufficient money to meet all my needs.

Keeping Healthy

I keep strong and healthy by exercising at least one half hour each day through such activities as brisk walking, swimming, dancing, salutations to the sun, hatha yoga and vigorous work.

I know that a good diet is the best medicine. I eat in moderation. I drink two liters of water daily, minimize fried foods and avoid junk foods, white rice, white flour, processed sugar and degraded oils.

Managing Karma

How can we work out karma? First, we must know fully that we ourselves are the cause of all that happens. As long as we externalize the source of our successes and failures, we perpetuate the cycles of karma, good or bad. As long as we blame others for our problems or curse the seeming injustices of life, we will not find within ourselves the understanding of karmic laws that will transmute our unresolved patterns. We must realize that every moment in our life, every joy and every sorrow, can be traced to some source within us. There is no one "out there" making it all happen. We make it happen or not happen according to the actions we perform, the attitudes we hold and the thoughts we think. Therefore, by gaining conscious control of our thoughts and attitudes by right action, we can control the flow of karma. Karma, then, is our best spiritual teacher. We spiritually learn and grow as our actions return to us to be resolved and dissolved. Here are some affirmations designed to re-educate the subconscious mind about the events we face in life.

I am the master of my fate.

Sagely Advice for a Good Life

Hold a positive attitude, for expectations have a magnetic power. Develop right thinking, for thoughts are building blocks of life, forming our destiny. Stop complaining, start thanking. Stop criticizing, start appreciating. Learn to speak to your subconscious self, for it is the repository of tremendous powers. Contact the source of success--God--Who is closer to us than our parent, friend, sibling or spouse. Develop a healthy sense of humor, for laughter is an all-round tonic. Finally, never give up.

Dada Vaswani

I am grateful to others for playing back to me my previous actions so that I can see my mistakes and experience the same feelings I must have caused in others.

It is my resolve not to react to life's experiences, but to understand them.

Daily Family Affirmation

We, the (name) family, beseech the grace of Lord Ganesha to manifest His blessings of peace and harmony within our home and to joyfully fulfill the spiritual, social, economic, cultural and educational goals of family life as outlined in Hindu scripture. We dedicate ourselves, individually and together, to our daily worship, spiritual disciplines and study. Knowing that bonding is essential, we hold daily family meetings and weekly gatherings to cooperatively solve problems and create a loving, uplifting atmosphere in which each member develops discipline, responsibility and the spirit of divine service. We remain close-knit and cultivate unity by talking together about the experiences of our day and extend our affection and harmony to other families as well. We take time for training, and we value mistakes as opportunities to learn. To us, the guest is truly God, welcomed and honored with heartfelt hospitality. Through our thoughtfulness, care and compassion, we allow an abundance of gold to accumulate within our home. We give generously of our income and our time to further our religion. We are filled and thrilled with God's Cosmic Energy, creatively alive and in tune with the universe.

Living in the now

There is really very little to be said intellectually about the eternal now. You have to live in it, and in living in it you discover a higher state of consciousness than you have experienced in your life. Because the vibration of the eternal now is so very high, part of your mind and nature does not like to experience the security of the eternal now, which is really the height of security. It takes practice to maintain a continued experience of the eternal now. Affirmations can help you live more and more in the now.

I am satisfied with everything that I do. Drying a dish, cleaning a floor or painting a picture can be a work of art.

I'm all right, right now.

Twelve Keys for success with affirmations

1. Make your affirmations appropriate to the need.

2. Use them regularly.

3. Keep your list of affirmations handy.

4. Start your day with positive affirmations.

5. Make your affirmations straightforward and simple.

6. Use positive words only.

7. Mix strong, powerful and positive emotions with your affirmations.

8. Make your affirmations personal and in the first person.

9. Use affirmations that remind you of your goals.

10. Act as if your affirmations are already yielding positive results.

11. Add the positive energy of God or your higher self to your affirmations.

12. Add the power of visualization.

List by Jayaram V. www.hinduwebsite.com

Guru Bhakti

I know that God exists equally in all souls but is most apparent in the enlightened master.

I revere my Satguru as Siva Himself. He is like the sun, simply being, radiating his very pure energy like the sun evaporates water.


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