Self-Realization Fellowship Blog

“Establishing Positive Thoughts in Your Subconscious Mind With Affirmations” by Paramahansa Yogananda

May 06, 2024

The following is an excerpt from “Training the Conscious and Subconscious Minds for Success,” a talk given by Paramahansa Yogananda in Encinitas, California, in 1940. The full talk was published in two parts in the 2015 Spring and Summer issues of Self-Realization magazine, and can be read in its entirety in the Self-Realization online library — an extensive wisdom resource available to subscribers of the magazine.

In that fuller presentation on this empowering and encouraging topic, and in greatest depth in his Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, Paramahansaji discusses not only how one can best use the conscious and subconscious minds, but how it is possible to access the superconscious mind for success — the all-knowing power of the soul that perceives truth directly through intuition.


In order to instill strength and right thinking in the subconscious mind, suggest positive thoughts and improvements to your mind by the practice of affirmation. It is best to be in a state of half-sleep. Much can be absorbed in the period just before and just after sleep; that is why some people advocate “sleep learning” or subconscious training during sleep.

There was a lady who wanted to cure her husband of the smoking habit. Every night she would stand by his bed and intone: “Day by day, in every way, you are losing the smoke habit.” But her husband had not yet gone to sleep. He endured his wife's efforts to cure him as long as he could stand it, and then cried out, “Confound it, I don't want to be cured!” So when you are suggesting a good habit to anyone, be sure he is either willing or is well asleep!

The thing is this: You must not let your subconscious mind hold on to contradictory thoughts as you are affirming. Whatever you are affirming, you must keep on with your mental repetition until all negative thoughts are swept aside. Take your chosen affirmation and repeat it again and again until your consciousness is soaked in that one thought.

For instance, suppose you are sick and in need of healing. You may affirm, “Perfect health permeates all my body cells.” Simultaneously there is an undercurrent in your subconscious mind that says, “You are done for. You can't be healthy!” If you go on affirming good health even though your subconscious mind tries to discourage you, you will eventually drive away that subconscious habit of negative thought and start a new mental pattern of good health. Then you can be healed, for the powerful subconscious mind controls all the internal life processes that maintain and repair the body.

Every night before going to bed, affirm very deeply the attainment of anything you want to have. If you want God, affirm just that, every night: “I and my Father are one.” If you pray for God, you have prayed for everything else. God knows what you need. If you pull the ear, the head comes with it. In finding God, you find complete fulfillment of all legitimate desires.

Your subconsciously doubting mind may say, “Oh, what is the use of meditating? I have meditated, but God has not come to me!” That was the worst thought-obstacle I had to fight. But as I persevered in meditation, and with conscious acts of will and affirmation again and again resisted my subconscious mind until that thought of defeat was gone, then God revealed Himself to me in the glory of samadhi-bliss.

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Mahantesh patil

These affirmations have helped me a lot…love you gurudev!

Julia Ingersoll

Thank you for continuing to remind me of Guruji’s teachings on the use of affirmations- immediately actionable directives!

Yahweh Kent

Thank you Guru. We as humans quite often give up when we do not achieve immediate results. Such is the world we have created outside of our Godness. The reminder to persevere is important and I receive it with great gratitude

Lorlee cain

Thank you for this wonderful practice. I will be putting this in action.
Looking forward to SRF online coarse study!
Jai Guru

Jose Manuel

Gracias por compartir su gran sabiduría y estar con sus estudiantes. Jai Guru 🙏🏼


This is a great reminder to conciously steer myself towards God. I can open myself to God through affirmations.

Lisa Scheibner

Thank you for this message. Sometimes I get pulled in so many different directions in my everyday life. It is a reminder to me that I need to stay focused on only one thing. My wanting God in all things. If I have him, he knows my needs and that’s all that matters.

michele roccella

thanks for this summary, it prompts me to use affirmations in my daily life; through affirmations I realized I can overcome my personal feelings and appreciate every person I meet in life.

João Carlos figueiredo costa

Elucidativo confortande e força para vencer todos obstáculos

Martin Madsen

Thank you, Guruji, for bringing to us the power of affirmations! Jai Guru!

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