For the third week, February 17th - 23rd of our syllabus on the Five Koshas, we move deeper into the human system to explore the Mental Body. This Kosha is known as the Manomaya Kosha, from manas, which means “Mind” or “Thought Processes.” This third layer corresponds to our mind, emotions, and nervous system, and is expressed as unconscious stream of thought, feelings, and sensations. The Manomaya Kosha is the part of us that creates meaning out of the world we inhabit. This Kosha allows us to receive, absorb, and process input from the world around us, governing our automatic responses and reflexes.
But just as the physical body has layers of skin, fat, blood and bones, the mental body has its own layers. Its most superficial level comprises of passing thoughts, images, perceptions and emotions that occasionally bubble up. Persisting patterns of thoughts and behaviour may create deeper levels in this Kosha. The deeper levels typically consist of fixed mental constructs that have been inherited from family, society or culture, and the accumulation of our mental patterns. Called Samskaras in Sanskrit, these deep thought grooves in the Mental body cause our perception of ourself and of our life to run in certain fixed patterns. Patients suffering from depression, anxiety and trauma often find it difficult to free themselves from certain thought loops without healing the Manomaya Kosha.
When a person faces a traumatic event, the memory and the emotion associated with the incident are often split and stored separately in the subconscious. People often try to address the memory but unless they have accessed its deeper emotional core, they cannot properly move on. In severe cases, trauma survivors can develop multiple personalities that each hold different memories and emotions about their experiences. Studies have shown that the splintering of the personality is the subconscious mind’s emergency response to protect the trauma victim. It is so remarkable to consider that the mind is self-aware, has its own defence mechanism in place, and is capable of acting beyond our control!
Have you ever struggled with meditation? You are not alone. Many practitioners struggle with runaway thoughts, but we must understand that everything the brain does is meant to protect us. The Ego perceives itself threatened when we attempt to silence our mind and seek oneness with the Universe. So the mind starts to chatter, weighing us down with our human worries, telling us stories about our experiences, creating our personalities. The mind, in a sense, is fighting for its right to exist. By tuning into our breath, we can begin to slow these thoughts down. We may not be able to turn the thoughts off completely, but we can begin by regulating our emotional response to them. We can replace a negative thought with a positive thought, effectively dismantling persisting thought patterns with empowering self-affirmation. I am safe. I am worthy. I deserve to be happy.
Protecting the Mental body is an ongoing practice that requires so much more than meditation. It requires us to actively disengage from toxic people, environments and ideas. If someone’s seemingly perfect life makes you feel lousy about yours, then maybe you should unfollow them on Instagram. We need to be honest about our bad habits and choose to gently release them with loving compassion. We can choose to cultivate better habits and better boundaries against the things that destabilise our Mental body. Just as the Physical body needs to be fed nutritional foods to be healthy, the Mental body also needs proper nourishment. Pay attention to the media you consume, the shows you watch and the people you spend time with. All of these things will influence the way you think, the mental constructs you may form and your perspective of everything. Train yourself to think critically and independently. Question everything. Stay curious.
When we feed the mind with quality content, we upgrade our perception and free our minds. We feel stimulated, inspired and awake. We discover newer and newer things, and feel the expansion of our awareness.
Join us at HOA this week to explore the Manomaya Kosha and learn how to nourish the Mental body. Book your spot today!
February 18th, 7pm - 9pm Week 3: The Mental Body, Manomaya Kosha
We will tend to each of the seven chakras with Brainwave Entrainment, and observe how we feel in the body. Through movement, breath-work, sound bath, aromatherapy, and contemplation our energy system becomes ever-more subtle and takes us further towards connecting us to the absolute.
Cost: 2 sessions from package or drop in $56
* Cancellation for February 11th should be done 3 days prior or you will be charged for late cancellation.
Written by Izzy Liyana, content creator & writer for HOA