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Discipline brings freedom. Discipline is not rigidity. It is not exertion. It is not weary routine or imposition of a regimented living. Discipline is not an unhappy space. Discipline that arises out of love for self and followed through voluntarily on any change sought, gives definition to the essence of discipline.

Freedom through discipline

Freedom is the yearning of soul. Discipline is the paved path towards it. When one feels caged within their habituated patterns of thoughts, actions, attitude, reactions that causes affliction, discipline helps free one from these entanglements.

Discipline is multi-aspected and can be practised at physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels. These aspects are interwoven in human energy. Discipline frees up one’s life force, expands their energy field to enable following through higher/meaningful pursuits, which one cherishes and values.

How does discipline help? When thoughts are disciplined, they take the shape of positive affirmations and prayers, when actions are disciplined, they hold the potential of selfless acts, when words are disciplined, they turn into blessings, when reactions are disciplined, they add depth and quality to life. Deeds, when disciplined encourages dharmic living, food, in discipline makes its intake as ‘prasad’ (sacred offering to body). Discipline in imagination becomes guiding force to visualisation towards one’s vision. Discipline guides the life-force energy towards contended living. At subtle level, it begins to balance cause and effect relationship.

Discipline ends distractions

Freedom arises in the mind. When mind is disciplined, it obtains freedom from afflictions and one’s life force-energy opens up. To discipline mind, one needs to discipline the five perceptive senses (gyanendriyas); when eyes consume all nature of things, ears hear all sorts of input, without positive discriminations, the mind clutter is high. When the senses of mouth/taste are not-disciplined, it is subjugated to negative verbalisations/lack of taste in life, in food and so on.

Because the five senses are habitually projected outward, human mind is mostly distracted. Outward projection brings in all nature of inputs/energies clogging one’s energy field. When outward entanglements are high, mind distractions are high. When mind is engaged with several activities, mind fragmentation is high. Such minds will struggle to meditate. Getting senses ‘back home’ takes time. One needs to practice the opposite.

With discipline and sustained practice, all is possible. When senses begin to project inward, one’s inner guidance, inner spark beings to guide life. This is healing to the body, mind and spirit.

Discipline expands life-force

The essence of discipline lies in self-regulation, done voluntarily and practised with joy. In that, one willingly tones down superfluous engagements, be it of physical, mental and/or emotional nature. At physical level, discipline frees up physical time and space, at mental level it frees up thought-space, at intellectual level it opens up higher discriminative faculties (vivek), at emotional level, it reduces sufferings and at spiritual level, it allows serious practitioners towards focused spiritual goals.

When life-force energy stands free from outside influences, it gets directed inward, and that is when the real shift begins; random thoughts and actions get focus and direction, aimless wanderings of mind get a meaningful parking space and life seems valuable.

Disclaimer: Urmila Rao is an emotional healer and a forgiveness teacher. All the ideas expressed herein are her own and not professional advice or medical prescription. Her email: