“To be aware of one’s central consciousness and to know the action of the forces is the first definite step towards self-mastery.”
NAMAH—The Journal of Integral Health and Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research (SACAR) jointly organized a ‘Living Within’ Study Camp on April 19–21, 2019, titled ‘Steps to Self-Mastery’.
AIM OF THE WORKSHOP
Many of us have no authentic control of our lives. We are ruled by our instruments, which have limited capacity for understanding and endurance. The challenges of life often bring difficulties and sufferings. Our egoistic personality is too limited to handle our issues. Some are driven by anger, passion or lust, while others are dominated by a judgmental or overactive mind. At another extreme, we may sense that our body is going to pieces. We are not truly in charge of ourselves!
Our aim is to live harmoniously and progress, individually and collectively by getting our life back on track. Self-mastery is the key and this seminar identified the common steps that lead to it. Although the path is individual, it becomes easier if we have a roadmap to find the destination.
A variety of styles and approaches was experienced at this 3-day study camp. To master our being, we have to master our consciousness and initially at least, this requires a great deal of effort. Through detailed explanation, guided meditation and visualization, the participants were taken on an illuminating journey inside. The quest for mastery which begins with ego culminates in the realization of the psychic being. It is a long journey indeed, but it was remarkable how many of the participants felt a distinct shift in their consciousness, something irrevocable that they could take into their daily lives. Each of the speakers in his or her own unique way contributed to this process.
The following questions were addressed during the sessions of the Camp:
- What are the essential steps to self-mastery?
- Why do I feel my life spinning out of control?
- How can I bring order to my being?
- Can I learn the art of self-alignment?
- What pitfalls might I face on this climb to self-mastery?
- How best can I quiet the mind?
- How can I harness the vital?
- Can I transform my anger?
- How can I overcome stress?
- Is there a way out of desire?
- How should I deal with this ego?
- Can I lift the body out of this state of inertia?
One of the participants beautifully summed up the learning from the workshop: “Self-mastery is being in control of the internal being that guides your thought processes, feelings, emotions, habits, and behaviors. It is the ability to respond rather than react. The former is done with consciousness, intention and awareness, the latter is primitive, instinctual and without reason.”