Mastery is usually defined as being highly skilled or proficient in one or more areas of life. Self-Mastery takes this to its highest level. To be the Master of your own Self is to fully understand who you really are. It is a discovery of the Guru within, the inner guiding Light. It means taking full responsibility for your own life. Mastery in this sense doesn’t mean to control in a negative way; it’s the realization that you are the Universe, and that you and everything around you flows harmoniously together in the magnificent dance of your own creation.
The true Yogi is a master of everything in his or her life, so Self-Mastery becomes the foundation for Spiritual Mastery. The first step is to become conscious of who you are and then you can master the gifts and talents that you have. Like your spiritual practice, the path of Self-Mastery unfolds throughout your life. It is an internal and self-directed journey, whose progress only you can determine.
The key to mastery in anything is practice; the more you practice, the more proficient you become. The term “spiritual practice” doesn’t only denote what you do but also implies the necessity of regularity. Without practice and dedication, there can be no mastery. As everything is a projection of the Self, you could practice and become a master of anything. By becoming a master of all the different areas of life, you would ultimately gain Self-Mastery. This, however, would be a long process. The shortcut is to go directly for the Self. By becoming a master of that which controls everything, you spontaneously become a master of everything. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say, “Capture the fort and all the territory will be yours”. This is the victory of Self-Mastery.
Self-Mastery also requires patience, truthfulness, purity, impeccability, and faith. The patience to accept what is and to know when to allow things to unfold in their own time. To be true not only in your words and actions but to be honest with yourself. To be pure in your lifestyle through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good sleep. To be the best you can in all you do, with humility and respect. To have faith in the path you have chosen, faith in your teachers, and faith in your ability to be masterful.