How often during the day do you find yourself dwelling on the negative? Even if you have a committed yoga practice and you are working to become self-aware, is “I can’t” something that you frequently say or think? At home or work, do you find that you have a lot to complain about? When with friends or family, do you gossip or become critical of others, or even of yourself? Do you believe you have a “glass half-empty” outlook on life? These are aspects of the Negative Mind, the second of the ten bodies that are part of the teachings of Kundalini Yoga. While the negative mind provides us with necessary boundaries and protection, it can also limit us. An over-active negative mind may cause us to view challenges as insurmountable and prevent us from tapping into our creative potential.
What can you do about this? The first step is to pay attention to your words and thoughts. Oftentimes we’re unaware that we project or perpetuate negativity. Once you’ve become aware of patterns of negativity, see if you can go 40 days without any negative words or thoughts. Every time the phrases “I can’t” or “I don’t like” pop into your head, dismiss them. Begin negating the negative. For each “I can’t”, turn it around to “I can”. For each “I don’t like”, reverse your opinion, or replace the object of dislike with something that you really do enjoy.
Another step you can take is to begin to differentiate between pain and discomfort, and eliminate the negativity associated with discomfort. If you’re feeling true physical pain, it’s an indication that something is wrong and must be corrected. But discomfort—moving against resistance, stretching muscles that haven’t been used, or developing awareness that is new to us—allows us to grow. For example, in your Kundalini Yoga practice, do you give up quickly if an exercise is too challenging? Even though part of your mind knows that you can keep up, sometimes the “I can’t” voice leads you to give up. But are you feeling true physical pain, or is it discomfort that will pass as soon as you take your arms down or the leg lifts end? Can you transform the “I can’t” mantra to “Sat Nam”, to give you the strength to keep up?
Thankfully Kundalini Yoga offers many tools to teach us how to transform negative energy to a higher frequency and to balance the negative mind. Yogi Bhajan gave us a very simple yet powerful “Meditation for the Negative Mind” that is found in the book The Mind. With this meditation, you let any thought or desire that is negative, or persistently distracting, come into your mind as you breathe. Breathe the thought and feeling in, and release it with the breath as you exhale out. It can be practiced for 11-31 minutes and will help you balance the protective fervor of the negative mind.
The book The Ten Light Bodies of Consciousness is another source to get you headed in the right direction. You’ll find the Kriya for the Second Body (Negative Mind) in here, as well as plenty of other background information on the ten bodies, numerology, and how you can begin to bring yourself into balance.
A powerful mantra that you can use to reverse the negative mind to the positive is the “Magic Mantra”, Ek Ong Kaar, Sat Gur Prasaad, Sat Gur Prasaad, Ek Ong Kaar. Satkirin Kaur Khalsa’s version of this on Lightness of Being is a perfect accompaniment for any of the meditations you can do with this mantra. The book Infinity and Me offers several variations on working with this mantra, including “Using the Magic Mantra as a Gudtkaa to Reverse Negative Energy”. A gudtkaa is a stop lever to reverse the energy of the mind; when negative energy is stopped, it will reverse and become positive.
Of course, right now you have the option to tune into the support of the global community and join the Spirit Voyage 40-Day Global Sadhana Transforming Negativity to Love. This 15-minute daily meditation will drain the negativity right out of you. Collectively, we can work to release negativity and transform the world, but the commitment and effort starts with each and every one of us. Sat nam.