How Can I Improve My Memory?

How can I develop my memory?

—M.R.

Memory is that faculty of the conscious mind which, through the help of the subconscious mind, can recall any past conscious experience. Always awake, the subconscious mind is buried beneath the conscious mind, working during sleep, and constantly memorizing experiences during the state of wakefulness.

In order to perform important duties, recall valuable experiences for daily use, one must be able to work with the material recalled to the conscious mind by the power of memory. The subconscious mind can be trained to recall at will all conscious experiences.

Every night and morning, rub your scalp firmly with the tips of your fingers. Using the knuckles of the fingers of both hands, gently strike all over your skull and forehead for two minutes.

Watch your diet. Avoid eating too much meat and using stimulants. All strong stimulants deteriorate the ability of the brain and memory cells to record ideas and sense-impressions. Constantly anesthetized memory cells lose their retentive power and become inert and lazy. Above all, never allow your soul’s reason to be overruled by your creative animal impulse. The more you preserve the vital essence in the body through sex discipline, and by moderation in married life, the greater the power of your memory, intelligence, and spiritual perception.

Perform every action, insignificant or important, with quick, alert attention. Remember, attention is the needle that cuts grooves in the memory cells. Absent-mindedness blunts the needle of attention.

Every night try to remember in detail all that happened during the past week. Do the same at the end of each month and year. Try also to remember in detail all the principal events of the month or year in connection with your life, your city, your country, and the world.

Be regular in all your activities. Before going to sleep and upon awakening, command your subconscious mind to be attentive to all life’s activities and to retain all valuable experiences. These two periods are the best for impressing affirmations on the mind.

From Inner Culture, April 1939.

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Answers on Spiritual Subjects from Paramhansa Yogananda