Controlled Meditation for Changing a Habit
Conscious vs. Subconscious – Logic vs. Imagination
By: Rahayu Ratnaningsih
"self control doesn’t come from controlling our feelings but from feeling our feelings"
Have you ever tried to change a habit, or become more self-motivated, only to find your subconscious mind resisting? There is a basic law of the mind at work here: whenever your conscious and subconscious are in conflict, your subconscious invariably wins. This is called the law of conflict. It can also be stated another way, whenever imagination and logic are in conflict, imagination usually wins.
People usually try to change their habits through will power and/or self-discipline. While they may convince themselves what the logical course of action is, they still imagine themselves doing what they subconsciously desire to do. For example, smokers trying to quit still imagine the taste or smell of cigarettes, or dieters imagine how good junk food would taste –and then wonder why they backslide into old habits.
Logic works with the conscious mind, but often not with the subconscious. Controlled meditation or subconscious programming helps the subconscious.
Controlled meditation, also known as dynamic meditation, is a simple procedure that doesn’t cost anything or take too much effort, yet the result is compelling. It combines autosuggestion and creative visualization in a very relaxed state of mind. What one needs to do is simply to get relaxed and visualize the desired traits or conditions as having been gained together with the contentment that goes along with them. This is combined with affirmation or autosuggestion constructed in present tense. Below are a few autosuggestions which have proved useful to others. You can create more specific ones to deal directly with your own problems:
I am free of fear and feel more confident.
Whatever happens, I do not lose my temper.
I value myself and behave with pride.
I am sticking to the diet and losing weight.
Smoking is for sick people. I quit.
I am master of my fate, captain of my soul.
All pain is going and soon will be gone.
To understand how this works, first you must understand the four states of mind. We are in the beta state for most of our waking hours. Our brain radiates these waves (13 cycles per second, often greatly higher) when we are thinking, reasoning or engaging in problem solving. As our brain waves slow to between 8 and 13 cycles per second, we enter the alpha state of mind. The door between our conscious and subconscious mind is opened, and it becomes easier to access the memories and storage of new information. This is also often referred as the meditative state, in which the mind and body become so relaxed. We are also more suggestible in this state.
Below the two conscious states are theta (between 4 to 8 cycles per second), the dream state, and delta (below four cycles per second), which is deep sleep or total unconsciousness. We are actually familiar with these states since we must pass through theta on the way to and from delta. Likewise, we must pass through alpha on the way to and from sleep. When we are just going to sleep but not quite there yet, or just awakening but not yet awake, we are either in Alpha or theta.
At alpha and theta our words have enormously increased power. These are the two areas controlled meditation is focused on.
There are six functions of the subconscious. One, as a memory bank (like a computer), two, to regulate involuntary functions (heart, thinking, etc.), three, as the seat of emotions, four, as the seat of imagination, five, to control habit, and six, as a dynamo –directing energy that motivates us.
As mentioned above, imagination is the language of the subconscious, and imagination always seems to win over will power. A person knowing it is safe to fly still might not feel safe, and people who are afraid of the dark could be reacting to something being imagined.
Why does controlled meditation work? There are six reasons that are also categorized as the Rules of The Mind as professed by the late Charles Tebbets, “the grandmaster of hypnotheraphy.”:
(1) Every thought or idea causes a physical reaction. The mind can make you sick or keep you well. Ideas that have strong emotional content almost always reach the subconscious mind, because it is the feeling mind. Once accepted, these ideas continue to produce the same body reactions over and over again. In order to eliminate or change chronic negative bodily reactions we must reach the subconscious and change the idea responsible for the reaction.
(2) What’s expected tends to be realized. The brain and the nervous system respond only to mental images, either self-induced or from the external world. The mental image formed becomes the blueprint, and the subconscious mind uses every means at its disposal to carry out the plan. That’s why it is important to always maintain a positive state of mind because we become what we think about.
(3) Imagination is more powerful than knowledge when dealing with the mind. This is an important rule to remember in controlled meditation. Any idea accompanied by a strong emotion such as anger, hatred, love, or political and religious beliefs usually cannot be modified through the use of reason. In using controlled meditation we can form images in the subconscious mind and can remove, alter or amend the old ideas. This is also called the law of conflict mentioned above.
(4) Opposing ideas cannot be held at one and the same time. Many people try to hold opposing ideas simultaneously. A man might believe in honesty and expect his children to be honest, and all the while be engaging daily in slightly dishonest business practices. He may try to justify this, however he cannot escape the conflict and its effect upon his nervous system.
(5) Once an idea has been accepted by the subconscious mind, it remains until it is replaced by another idea. The longer it is held, the more it tends to become a fixed habit or thought pattern. This is how habits of action are formed, both good and bad.
(6) An emotionally induced symptom tends to cause organic change if persisted in long enough. We are a mind in a body and the two cannot be separated. Therefore, if you continue to fear ill health and constantly talk about it, in time organic changes will occur.
(7) Each suggestion acted upon creates less opposition to successive suggestion. Minor victories lead to major victories. Small commitment lead to large commitments. An object in motion tends to stay in motion, whether it’s a speeding car, an emotion, a habit, or a belief. This can also be called the rule of compound suggestion.
(8) When dealing with the subconscious mind and its functions, the greater the conscious effort, the less the subconscious response. This proves why “will-power” doesn’t really exist! If you have insomnia you’ve learned “the harder you try to go to sleep, the more wide awake you become.” The rule is when dealing with the subconscious mind, TAKE IT EASY. This means you must work to develop a positive mental expectancy that your problem can be and will be solved.
The simple and safe procedures of controlled meditation consist of five components: motivation, relaxation, concentration, imagination and autosuggestion. Combined with belief, expectation, and conviction, this works well for many people to get a better, healthier and more fulfilling life.
“We possess within us a force of incalculable power, which if we direct in a wise manner, gives us mastery of ourselves. It permits us not only to escape from physical and mental ills, but also to live in relative happiness.” (Dr. Émile Coué, exponent of the theory of autosuggestion, The Coué Method)
Rahayu Ratnaningsih - Director of the Satori Foundation, a center for study and development of human excellence through mind programming and meditation techniques.
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