Judy Croome lives, writes and reads in Johannesburg, South Africa. A novelist & poet, Judy loves cats, exploring the meaning of life, chocolate, rainy days and cats (who already appear to have discovered the meaning of life.) Visit Judy on www.judycroome.com or join her on Twitter @judy_croome
Self-discipline has always been something I've, perhaps foolishly, rebelled against. It's a word that reeks of oppression and limitation. And yet, without self-discipline, where does one find the structure and stength to meet goals?
So, when I came across a thin little book called SELF-MASTERY in an old book sale, I was intrigued. Written by yoga master Swami Paramananda (5th Edition, Vedanta Centre, 1961) this book begins with the statement that "the thirst for happiness is a common instinct in all mankind; but every one does not possess the secret of acquiring it, nor the power to retain it when it comes...perhaps for this reason the great men of all countries and ages have laid such tremendous emphasis on a life of self-discipline."
Yearning for that happiness, yearning for the strength of will that great men & women possess I paid the required donation and was reading the book before we got home.
The index lists the chapters:
* mastery of self
* man: his own friend and foe
* control of body and mind
* how to conserve our energies
* self-help and self-surrender
Each chapter contains a wealth of wisdom that, as I read it, felt like a light-bulb had gone off in my head. My view of self-discipline has been changed forever. Where the word self-discipline triggered a knee-jerk reaction against a perceived oppression of my soul, I now eagerly seek to master my soul. (Sounds like William Henley's "Invictus" poem: ... I am the master of my fate/ I am the captain of my soul)
Every page is packed not only with the spiritual importance of learning self-mastery, but also with practical advice on how to apply self-mastery to mind, body and soul. The book ends with paragraph that says "surrender to God is the greatest sign of wisdom ... the (wo)man who surrenders himself to God, s/he alone finds peace ... and his(her) doings are filled with Divine Love and Wisdom."
The path to happiness SELF-MASTERY reveals is not an easy path, but it is a life changing one. Whatever your religion or spiritual beliefs, this book will offer a way to bring you closer to that Divine Peace, the peace of God, which is beyond understanding or knowing and merely is. How lucky I was the day that I was guided to find this book of wisdom.