By K. N. Krishnaswamy & R.K. Dham
Body-mind programming is a technique developed by the authors to achieve goals through changing the mind’s patterns
Body Mind Programming (BMP) is a technique of self-transformation aimed at achieving one’s goals and ideas. It deals with changing engrams stored in the mind through a seven-step process, based on principles derived from diverse fields like psychology, physics, medicine, computers, eastern mysticism and lives of great achievers. It uses breathing, relaxation and visualization techniques and includes time-tested purification processes and feedback control. BMP can be used in many ways, from self-development to training for creativity.
Sources of BMP
The knowledge base for BMP can be broadly classified into four categories: lives of great achievers; research in medicine, psychology and physics; cybernetics and computers; and mysticism.
Great achievers: They were totally committed to their goals, believed in themselves and put in tremendous effort. They also had a habit of making helpful suggestions to themselves, visualized their own success, had the habit of relapsing into silence, and were in close contact with others with similar interests. These people and their lives offer us several lessons, such as the fact that deeper levels of consciousness (supraconsciousness) are a storehouse of knowledge.
The supraconsciousness of every individual can communicate with the supraconsciousness of every other individual and is an infinite continuum. The supraconscious mind can be reached from the conscious mind (objective mind) and under certain conditions, thoughts and strong desires planted in the supraconscious mind get realized completely.
Research: Findings in the fields of medicine, psychology and physics in recent decades are greatly relevant to BMP. For instance, psychology and medicine have found that meditative techniques induce an altered state of consciousness that makes the mind highly alert and sensitive. In this state, the mind is more creative. It has also been found that the involuntary nervous system can be voluntarily controlled and that the brain and nervous system can function like an automatic goal seeking mechanism. The subconscious mind (supraconscious mind) cannot distinguish between real and created (synthetic) experience.
The left brain has been found to be the seat of logical thinking, and the right brain of integrative, intuitive thinking. Negative emotions are found to produce illness through the nervous system, and positive emotions produce physical balance and maturity. Thus body-mind integrity has become important for healing. Healing and biomedical processes shed light on how methods based on meditative techniques can help people self-heal. This emphasizes a holistic approach to transforming body and mind.
Cybernetics: The well-known analogy of a computer to human brain is used in BMP. Just as a computer programme processes external data in a particular way, programmes in the brain process information from every situation and environment to form individual perceptions, attitudes, beliefs and abilities peculiar to the individual. As a change in the programme causes change in output, changes in the human brain change human personality.
Control is essential in any change process in order to steady and balance the changed state. Classical principles of cybernetics (psycho-cybernetics) of Maltz are used to get feedbacks continually to attain goals. BMP uses the goal-seeking behavior of the human brain by logically and intuitively directing the whole brain to the goal.
Mysticism: Patanjali’s yoga is a scientific method for transforming individuals and taking them to transcendental goals. It emphasizes cleansing the mind, controlled breathing, and questioning the conscious mind to plunge into deeper levels of consciousness through meditation. The key role of visualization has also been stressed. BMP uses breathing and meditative techniques to link the conscious and subconscious portions of the mind in the goal-seeking effort, and suggestion and visualization play a dominant role in the transformation process.
The BMP cycle is a meditative technique to be practiced daily. Each BMP cycle has five steps: alignment, which is orienting the mind to the programming task; entry, which is the diving into deeper levels of consciousness; programming, which is the embedding of the goal into deeper levels of the mind; surrendering, and exit from the cycle.
The BMP cycle runs on vehicles that establish balance and harmony of the body-mind complex, and then embed and augment the goal through programming. These vehicles are: rhythmic balance, pacific harmony, implantation, and synthetic nurturing. These first take the practitioner to deeper levels of consciousness conducive to self-programming. The programming itself consists of using, positively and creatively, techniques of affirmation and visualization.
BMP makes use of breathing, relaxation, and visualization techniques and includes time-tested purification and feedback processes.
It is ideal for self-development and enhancing creativity
Rhythmic balance: The connection between breathing and state of mind is well-known. When disturbed, we breathe faster than normal. When concentrating, we tend to hold our breath. On the other hand, slow and rhythmic breathing pacifies the mind and induces relaxation. In BMP, a simple exercise is used to quieten the mind and prepare it for deeper relaxation. There is little control or effort. Instead of letting chest movement dominate, abdominal breathing is used. Initially, breathing is kept normal, but with practice it can be slowed. This balances and stabilizes the body-mind complex.
Deliberate attention is given to breathing in and breathing out. A comfortable sitting position (sukha asana) is used for the breathing exercise. Other postures, like vajrasana or padmasana, can be used depending upon the practitioner’s convenience.
Pacific harmony: Pacification, which is deep relaxation, is basic for BMP. A few minutes of deep relaxation every day before the BMP exercise will enable us to enter deeper levels of consciousness and programme ourselves the way we want. With pacification there arises a feeling of harmony of body, mind and spirit.
When the conscious mind is peaceful, we can reach our subconscious mind easily. Stilling the body tends to still the mind. Removing physical stresses and strains removes mental tensions, anxieties and worries. Therefore the first step in any pacification exercise is to sit quietly in a time-tested pose, without moving any part of the body.
Implantation: This is a process of consciously planting a desire verbally into the mind and embedding it into the subconscious mind so that it may grow to fruition. This is called affirmation. To be effective, the affirmation should be acceptable to us and should be made with the belief that it will get realized. It is to be strengthened by the imagination through visualization. The will should not be brought into this process. During affirmation, the mind should be receptive and the process should be easy and effortless.
A strong desire tends to produce a positive result through implantation. For a mind driven by strong faith, affirmation may take place continuously and the results tend to be phenomenal. Doubt is the enemy of the implantation process. It nullifies the effect and inhibits the result. If you have strong desire, whip up strong faith and affirm ceaselessly. This is the secret. When doubts crop up, immediately stronger variations of original affirmations are to be made to quell them. The form of the affirmation for implantation has to be designed carefully after a well-enquired framework of goals.
Synthetic nurturing: Our nervous system cannot distinguish between real experience and synthetic (imagined) experience. Thus a strongly formed image will lead to an emotional response or a bodily response. Mental and physical behavior is influenced by images. This aspect of the nervous system is used for nurturing the goal embedded in the implementation process. It augments the implantation, speeds up the development and growth from the seed (goal).
In BMP, we use visualization to help implantation of our desired goals in the deeper levels of our minds. Visualization is seeing through our mental eyes or the deliberate creation of mental images, which are translations of affirmations. The clear goal images we form in the subconscious mind make up the core of the synthetic experience which when provided to the mind, becomes real to it and gets absorbed.
Visualization largely uses right brain features. Therefore, for the most effective use of visualization, it is important that functions of the right hemisphere of the brain are strongly elicited. Visualization works better in a relaxed state of mind. It can be learned and developed.
Importantly, if the will and the imagination are in conflict, imagination always wins. In visualization, it is desirable to avoid the effort of will. However, when one has a definite goal and uses visualization to accomplish it, the will directs imagination and multiplies its strength. Big goals can be achieved in a series of well-defined steps, each step having a well-defined sub-goal. We have to make clear visual plans. For this, we have to picture ourself in our mind’s eye as though we have already achieved the goal. We must visualize how we shall feel, talk, behave and feel on achieving the goal. In other words, we must become successful in our mind’s eyes; we must see it in every way possible to create a strong synthetic experience in our nervous system.
Application of BMP
The flow chart on this page highlights applications of BMP. It has seven steps. The first one is the preparation step prior to the five steps in the basic cycle, and the follow up step comes after the final step. The last two steps are outside the basic cycle of BMP.
Preparation: This includes mind cleansing, selection of goal, affirmations, and emotional fusion with the goal. In mind cleansing, we try to clear mental and emotional blocks that obstruct our efforts to change. This can be achieved through the implantation and synthetic nurturing techniques of BMP.
Since BMP is a means of going from where we are to where we want to be, we must know where we want to go. If our goals are clear, assertions and visualizations become sharper and more readily received by the subconscious mind. To clarify our goal(s), we must first ask, ‘what do I want?’ It must be identified after careful consideration, so that it is not a pseudo-motivation for BMP. But the goal should be reasonable and must carry with it a timeframe and if needed, a hierarchy of component goals which lead to it.
While applying BMP, we have to work up from the bottom of the hierarchy, one goal at a time so that our subconscious accepts it, and brings about habits and unconscious behavior to accomplish it. After all the sub- goals are accomplished, we can concentrate on our major ultimate goal.
Once the goal is clarified, two important things are to be done. To address the left brain, the goal is written in simple, positively oriented language in present tense. This sentence is repeated often in the programming phase. To address the right brain, the goal is translated into a mental motion picture in which you are the recipient (if the goal is to ‘get something’) or a doer (if the goal is to behave in a desired way). In this phase, techniques like yoga nidra and creative visualization can be used.
For emotional fusion with the goal, we must put all our mind’s power into thinking, feeling and picturing the goal. If our goal is ethically sound, however difficult it may appear to be, it is safe to put all modes of thinking behind it.
Alignment: Careful observation of any physical activity shows that it requires preparatory movement and physical alignments by the performer before the activity is performed. We call similar movements prior to BMP as alignment. It consists of withdrawing the mind gently from other engagements and orienting it to BMP. The same place, time and way of sitting helps in this. Relaxing, remembering the goal, intently reading a write-up on it, visualizing and asserting the goal a few times may form the alignment. Using a triggering and anchoring device will finally align the mind to the cycle.
Entry: Further pacification is the beginning of this step. Simply watching the breath is useful. Reverse counting can speed up getting to deeper levels of consciousness. A specific location like a room, temple, or garden is to be visualized. We enter into it and mentally, sit quietly in a posture suitable for our programming and get ready for the next step.
Programming: This is the step of speed implantation and synthetic nurturing by application of visualization and affirmation routines developed in the preparatory phase. The affirmative sentence is repeated several times and mental pictures dwelt upon. In principle, such pictures may be one of irradiation which takes the form of impinging beams of energy or light, or of any scenario representing a desired behavior, with appropriate reaction or attitude. The combination of affirmation and visualization causes both hemispheres of the brain to act on them in unison.
Surrendering: After the programming is completed, it is handed over to the infinite intelligence hidden within deeper levels of our mind. Surrendering is letting go of the attachment to the result of our effort, and allows the higher power residing within all of us to take over and do whatever is needed in whatever way it deems fit. The important thing is to have trust in this supraconsciousness. We are now ready to come out of the BMP cycle.
Exit: Coming out of the cycle should be gentle and appropriately triggered.
Follow-up action: Belief that the programme is working for you is vital to the success of BMP. A keen expectation of the benefits and the realization of the set goal are of paramount importance. The best way to reinforce the programming effort is to act as if you have achieved the result and never think, act or behave in opposition to the goal. This will increase the motivation for the programming effort and aid in reaching the goal much faster.
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