How to Break Bad Habits

As a collective, we have a goal: to be useful to the need of the time, whatever that greatest need is, in whatever way we individually can fulfill that need.

Entrenched habits of creating a mistaken identity for yourself, having some false identities about who you think you are, block you from being the best for the need of the time.

To rid ourselves of this habit, or any pattern of behavior for that matter, requires regular examination of new, more successful, and more joyful ways of operating.

the anatomy of a habit

Do you know how we build a habit?

More than 2,500 years ago, the great Shankara, one of the masters of my tradition, used an analogy of a thread and a rope.

You lay down the thread. Anyone can break one little thread.

You lay down a second, a third, a fourth, a fifth, 15, 20, 30, 40 threads. Now you have a cord. A cord is a little harder to break.

If you lay down a hundred, 200, 1,000 threads, now you have a rope. That rope is almost impossible to break.

This process is how we establish habits, whether they’re good or bad.

How do you break a bad habit? You break the habit the same way that you built the habit.

As Adi Shankara said, you use a sharp knife. In this analogy, the sharp knife is the intellect. Take a razor-sharp knife and really sharpen that intellect. Then, you apply the knife’s blade to the rope, which begins to sever the rope, thread by thread.

In the same way that one builds a habit or pattern of behavior, one breaks a habit thread by thread. Like a sharp knife, the sharpened intellect can cut through all of the layers of behavior we’ve created, dismantling these actions, thread by thread.

And what is this habit we’re looking to break? From the broadest perspective, it’s the habit of misassessing what you are and who you are.

there is only one problem

This is the only problem anybody actually has: You’re inaccurately assessing not just who you are but also what you are.

Consequently, we misunderstand our alliance with the totality of the laws of Nature. We miss the mark on what we’re capable of. And, from all this, we end up with a lackluster life and a life of wanting.

So now, what do we have to do?

In the same way that we regularly laid down the threads of negative habits, we need to cut through the threads of negative habits until all those threads are severed. Only then are we truly liberated from the shackles and fetters of our previous creation.

This entire process requires regular examination and application and a willingness to change, thread by thread, how we assess who and what it is we really are.

contentment vs. enlightenment

I recorded a lecture discussing how we approach removing irrelevant behaviors in our life, through understanding the nature of contentment and the phenomenon of enlightenment.

Mentor’s Circle

I’ve created a program called Mentor’s Circle for Vedic Meditators who are ready to dive into the regular examination application of being the best for the need of the time.

Mentor’s Circle is a program where meditators self-elect to meet with me regularly, every month, to expand and develop their knowledge. You will learn how to let go of entrenched thinking habits that actually block your ability to be useful to the need of the time.

At the end of each month, I’ll create a recording based on what the Mentor’s Circle members and I have come up with and what we have yet to do next. I’ll summarize and then create the next steps.

I’ve designed Mentor’s Circle to give you more regular and systematic training, similar to how my master, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, trained me. By getting together regularly, bit by bit, we will systematically break old habitual ideas about what and who you are and what your usefulness is.

Together, we’ll get rid of the wrong assessment of ourselves and, as a result, liberate our internal and inner capabilities for full use for all of humankind.

Jai Guru Deva