From Twilight to Light: The Sunlit Path, Part 3: Working with Anxiety – Inside Out
Full session recording is available here
AuroYouth has been conducting a series of talks to help youth to discuss and discover issues which have cropped up aggressively during these uncertain times. The first series titled “From Twilight to light - The Sunlit Path” aims to help youth navigate through issues related to mental & emotional health. In the third talk of the series, we had Anahita Sanjana, our AuroYouth coordinator of the Mumbai region, interacting with the youth on the topic “Working with Anxiety – Inside Out”. About 110 participated online. Anahita dived deep into questions like
- I get anxious many times, what do I do when it hits me?
- What role do thoughts play in generating anxiety?
- Is it possible to live without any anxiety at all? How?
She started the session with an invocation to one’s Gurus (in whatever form one perceived them) and, what a beautiful coincidence that the session itself was on the day of Gurupurnima! She invoked the blessings of the Gurus through a beautiful chant:
Discovering of Power of Youth
She mentioned how Sri Aurobindo has tremendous hope in today’s young generation and how he spoke about them in his epic poem Savitri.
She discussed Sri Aurobindo’s saying that if one has a certain darkness or weakness (a tendency to be depressed, angry etc.) in them, then they carry an equal and opposite potential for life. She then recounted her experience, how she had seen this in the youth.
Working of Mind and How It is Related to Anxiety
Next Anahita directly discussed the workings of the mind and emotions to cut through and arrive at what really is Anxiety. First she established how, most of us believe that the causes of anxiety are due to external circumstances: a bad setup at home, bad relationships, insecurity about finances etc. But in reality, it is about the internal circumstances.
To help us understand, she took up an example of relativity: A fire might feel hot to a human and may burn him but perhaps not a Martian! Similarly, given the same circumstances, different people would feel differently, some could get more anxious, and some lesser anxious than the others.
So why is it that different people react to circumstances differently? It is actually the conditioning of the subconscious. She further explained how our mind is divided into
- Subconscious - 95% of mind; records and contains our past experiences
- Conscious - 5% of mind; tells what is happening in the present
As we can clearly see 95% of the mind is occupied with previous experiences/preconceived notions. Hence when anxiety hits us we should be reminded that external circumstances are just 5% of it, the rest of 95% is past experiences.
What Can We Do About It?
Anahita told us of an important part of ourselves the “superconscient mind”. Sri Aurobindo tells us that the subconscious is there but what we are not aware of is the superconscient – a state of consciousness which supports us and guides us from behind a veil but we are not aware of it.
Anahita also told us how the bridge between the subconscious and the conscious mind is a very weak. The only way to positively change the subconscious is through the conscious mind, but with the help of the superconscient mind. Next followed an exercise to do exactly that.
All the participants were told to write down the negative apprehensions they have and then imagine that the negative element of that apprehension has changed into positive. She told us how this positive affirmation given by the help of the superconscient will actually resolve the negative apprehensions.
Finally, all the participants engaged in deep chanting of the mantra, invoking and realizing that this mantra can help transform the subconscious, and make it full of positivity. The mantra helped us realize the power of the superconscient sitting inside us.
Anandamayi – She, the Delight
Chaitanyamayi – She, the Consciousness
Satyamayi – She, the Truth
Parame – She, the Supreme
Finally the session ended with a Q&A section where the participants opened up with a lot of queries and Anahita wonderfully answered all of these.
Next in the series, AuroYouth is coming up with a session on “Career: By Chance or By Choice?” this Sunday, July 12, 2020; do stay tuned!