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The Art of Developing Memory by Paramhansa Yogananda

Yogoda Course

Physical Method

Perform the “Medulla Exercise”* gently in the night twice before retiring, also in the morning.

Every morning rub the whole scalp and roots of hair pressingly with the tips of all the fingers of both hands. Insert the fingers of both hands at the roots of your hair and graspingly pull them and relax – several times. Then comb your hair or scalp pressingly and gently with a fine comb.

Gently strike all over the skull and forehead with the knuckles of the fingers of both hands for two minutes, concentrating on each hit made by them. With eyes closed, imagine each blow to awaken the sleeping brain cells and stimulate the convolutions in the cerebrum.

Eat an acid fruit, with two walnuts or three almonds every morning with breakfast.

Forsake eating all forms of pig meat, bacon, ham, sausage, pork, also veal or beef, which contain uric acid and other uremic poisons.

Avoid the regular use of all mind stimulants like coffee, tea or tobacco, which contain caffeine and nicotine. Strictly avoid using strong stimulants like liquor, etc. All strong stimulants intoxicate, drug and deteriorate the intelligence of the brain and memory cells in recording noble ideas and sense-impressions in general. Constantly anesthetized memory cells lose their retentive power, and become inert and lazy.

Above all, whether married or unmarried, never allow your soul’s reason to be overruled by your creative animal impulse. Remember that the greater the preservation of the vital essence in the body, by sex discipline and by normal use in married life, the greater will be the power of your memory, intelligence and spiritual perception.

Psychological Method

Perform every action, insignificant or important, with quick alert attention. Remember, attention is the needle that cuts the grooves in the record of memory cells. A man without attention is one without the instrument that wakes memory. Absent-mindedness blunts the needle of attention.

Every day try to memorize some poem and to reproduce it in writing after a week or fortnight, in your leisure moments. Poems from “Songs of the Soul” or any other devotional poems are most suitable.

Try every night to remember in detail, all that happened during the past week. Do same at the end of each month and year; try to remember in detail all the principal events of the month or year in connection with yourself, your city, country and world. By calmness you can understand the thoughts of the world. Remember the good things that are happening.

Be regular in all your activities: sleep, work, eating, service to others, etc.

During the periods of somnolence preceding sleep and hypnagogic state following it at dawn, command your sub-conscious mind to be attentive to all life’s activities, and to retain all valuable experiences. These 2 important periods are the best for impressing affirmations on the mind.

With eyes closed, concentrate your vision and will in between the eye-brows, and feel the Divine Memory of all Past flowing into you.

* the Medulla exercise is part of the Energization Exercises that Paramhansa Yogananda taught. To find out more about these exercises go here.