In Sutra II.33 Patanjali says: “vitarka-badhane pratipaksha-bhavanam” and this means principles that run contrary to yamas and niyamas are to be countered with the knowledge of discrimination. When one has thoughts of violence, untruthfulness, stealing, indulgences, accumulation, lack of cleanliness, discontent by greed, and anger or delusion, the result is dissatisfaction/sorrow. In general, negative thoughts are ones that negate yama and niyama, ethical norms and individual observances. Therefore, for the purpose of attaining a peaceful mind, yoga philosophy suggests two invaluable techniques, to be applied when one is in the midst of experiencing any of the thoughts listed above. The first is cultivating the opposite, positive type of thoughts. Iyengar1 describes negative thoughts, such as, violence, falsehood, stealing, non-chastity and greed as ‘pratipaksha bhavana.’ On the other hand, the opposite of these are cleanliness, contentment, fervor or dedicated practice, self-study and surrender to the Universal Spirit, God or faith, described as ‘paksha bhavana.’ The former, negative thoughts run contrary to ethical norms or yamas, and the latter, positive thoughts, are consistent with following individual disciplines, the niyamas. For cultivating peaceful states of mind it is important to follow yamas and niyamas and that is helped by nurturing thinking that is wholesome, based on right knowledge and awareness.
There is an ancient Indian adage that compares consciousness to a lamp at the door. It shines both in the house and out into the world. It makes one aware of the external (out there) and the internal (in here) worlds. Cultivated awareness is about creating a relationship between these two. In this context, in the sutra referred to above, Patanjali reiterates the importance of adhering to the ethical norms and individual disciplines while attending to the practice of the replacing habitual negative thoughts and tendencies with positive ones, attending to the weaknesses in the body/mind by nurturing strengthening options.
The Vibrations of Thoughts…
Everyone’s body is physiologically tied to their thoughts, beliefs and attitudes. To be healthy, one needs to recognize the intimate connection that exists between the mind, body and spirit. Cultivating positive thinking is a first step in raising your personal vibration.
Recent scientific studies, and state-of-the-art scientific instruments, are being used to measure the effects of both positive and negative thinking with respect to disease and optimal health. Never doubt that negative thoughts have just as much power as positive ones. Negative thinking can slowly wear you down, resulting in a host of mental, physical and emotional problems and conditions; including poor self-esteem, depression and even illness.
Do you ever wonder how one person can succumb to suffering during a particular circumstance, while another person will thrive in the same situation? Nine times out of ten it simply boils down to their mental attitude!
Whenever you choose a thought (and your thoughts are chosen by you), your brain cells are affected. These cells continuously vibrate, sending off electromagnetic waves. The more you concentrate, focusing on those thoughts, the greater the amplitude of vibration of those cells, and the electromagnetic waves, subsequently, become stronger.
Positive thinking can raise your vibration up to 10 Hz (vibrations per second), whereas negative thinking can lower your vibration by as much as 15 Hz. These measurements come from extensive research done by Bruce Tainio of Tainio Technology in Cheney, Washington. His company developed new equipment that can measure the bio-frequency of both humans and the foods they eat. Mr. Tainio has conclusively shown that the number one way to start feeling better is to start thinking positively.
Begin by striving to establish and maintain the positive attitude that you will be triumphant in the end, no matter what the circumstances might be. To do this, first begin by observing your thoughts and recognize habitual thought patterns. Remain detached from them and pay close attention whenever a negative thought enters your stream of consciousness. As soon as you realize this is happening, immediately replace the negative thought with a positive one.
There is an old saying: “You get what you expect.” In other words, if you think you are going to fail at something, you will probably fail and the reverse is also true; if you think you’ll succeed your chances of being victorious will greatly improve. Why? Because your energy follows your thoughts and you begin to create or manifest what you desire and expect. By remaining positive you will prove to yourself and to others that you are a victor, not a victim.