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Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is...

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda, Swami Ritavan, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice. This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


Swami Rama stresses often on internal dialogue while I find it is a practice on which we (or at least myself) put enough time and effort. It is also hard for me to properly understand what really internal dialogue is. I hope someone will clarify...


Stephen Parker (Stoma) has answered this question.

From Stephen Parker (Stoma):

Internal dialogue happens automatically in the form of a running commentary that we all make on the experience of our lives. Swamiji simply recommends beginning to participate in that dialogue consciously in order to gradually move our mind in a more sattvic direction. It can take many different forms depending on what works for you. The simplest is just to ask your mind when you sit for meditation whether there is anything that needs to be done first so that meditation is undisturbed. You may be surprised how readily your mind answers the question and gives you a "to-do" list so that as you meditate, your concentration doesn't have to be on these items.

We can also begin to alter the quality of our self-conversation about the events in our life as a way to shift our emotions in a more constructive direction. This is the basic premise of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy which is really just a modern rephrasing of the ancient technique of self-dialogue or self-inquiry (atma-vichara).

Editor’s Note:

If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use the "Contact the Spiritual Committee" link on the Ahymsin website to ask it.

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