Overcoming the Habit of Negation

When one sits still and begins to examine the mind and emotions, one finds that many conflicting thoughts and feelings arise. This inner conflict is what creates obstacles to inner peace. No matter how much we try to attain peace through external means, those unsettling thoughts are always lurking underneath the surface causing inner turmoil and unrest.

The Yogis tell us that resolving inner conflict is the only way to obtain inner peace and enjoy the state of deep meditation. The practical application of the internal Yoga practices prepares the mind to experience peace by helping us resolve inner conflict. One such practice is witnessing or watching the thoughts. By doing this, one starts to become aware of the root cause of inner conflict.

One cause of inner conflict is the habit called negation. We are conditioned that in order to accept one thing, we must negate or somehow diminish something else. This dualistic approach creates conflict because that which we negate is always present on some level either in our day to day experience or within the subconscious mind. That which we negate confronts us no matter how much we try to avoid it.

In order to embrace one’s femininity, one doesn’t need to diminish the masculine. We can practice our religious or spiritual beliefs without negating other belief systems. We can embrace our race or culture without the judgment against other races, cultures, or customs. We can embrace one set of our personality traits or self-expression without condemning other parts of ourselves which may seem contrary to those. We can choose one thing, while still respecting that which we didn’t choose. Black or white is not the only color (life) choices.

The Yogis say “Love all and exclude none”. This love is not the emotional type of love, but love rooted in acceptance and non-attachment. This love emanates from the all-pervading universal consciousness. That ultimate reality that is beyond duality. Through spiritual practice and conscious living in the world, we start to experience and express that consciousness and gradually the mind gives up the habit of negation and conflicting duality. We start to experience a deep inner peace, and at that point meditation and the experiencing of our true spiritual nature becomes effortless.

Pandit Jerome