Preksha Dhyana: Therapeutic Thinking ► [02] Exercises For Acquiring Desirable Virtues By Therapeutic Thinking And Auto-Suggestion ► [8] Exercise For Acquiring The Virtue Of Discernment

Posted: 12.03.2010

All living organisms are compounds of two elements - a non-material element called soul or spirit and a material element called body. Thus, there are two separate elements—the eternal and indestructible soul and the perishable body. This is because the spiritual self must have a physical body to function and perform through. In other words, a living organism functions in duality, i.e. there is a most subtle spiritual self (soul [1]) within the gross physical body. The purpose of this exercise is to develop a faculty of discernment and attain wisdom to distinguish between

the butter and the whey,
the oil and oilcake,
the eternal and the transient,
the conscious and the material,
the soul and the body.

Once the faculty of discernment is fully developed, the material shell of the body is perceived separately from the spiritual self. This state is neither imagination nor auto-suggestion, but a real experience. Discernment, then, is a philosophical virtue to realise the Truth, and the essence of the exercise is the actual awareness of the truth that the conscious element is not identical with the physical body.

Instructions for Exercise


Steps 1 and 2 - as in exercise no. 1.


Attain total relaxation acquiring motionless state of the body.


Focus your full attention on the Centre of Bliss.


With each inhalation, recite the following sentence first loudly for 3 minutes and then softly for 3 minutes:

  • My spiritual self is not identical with my physical body.


Contemplate on this eternal truth on the following lines.

  • Physical body is a material possession
  • It is the prime object of infatuation.
  • One, who reduces the infatuation of the body, or attachment to it, suffers little pain and less misery.
  • I will, therefore, reduce the infatuation of the body by the practice of discernment


As step no. 7 in exercise no.1.

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