Imagine a power source (that is neither toxic, costly or gimmicky) that helps you ignite your deepest determination while effectively training your mind to streamline, and focus, your actions towards this deep determination. Would you want to connect to this power source? You can. This source, this power pill is called Sankalpa.
You don’t need equipment or expensive coaching to work with this power; instead you need to clearly articulate, and own, your resolve and take about 3 minutes, a few times daily, to nourish it.
SANKALPA is a sanskrit word comprised of two root parts:
San: connection to higher truth
Kalpa: Solem vow
When we quietly recite our sankalpas we are inclining our hearts and minds upon a clear purpose; a purpose that fuels our determination to take actions that seed and nourish this deep, unwavering determination.
“ The purpose of sankalpa is not to fulfill desires, but to create strength in the structure of the mind. Sankalpa can create a direction for your whole life if you use it wisely.The purpose of sankalpa is to influence and transform whole life patterns...” ~~Swami Satyananda Saraswati from his book titled: Yoga Nidra
I’ve found that when I’ve kept my sankalpa as the clear directing force in life, my actions, and the results of those actions, have an inherent grace to them. This is not to say that things come easily (they rarely do) but the actions I take- that are congruent with my sankalpa -tend to be fruitful. Strong discernment is a by product of strong sankalpa. The internal truth and BS detector that a sankalpa practices builds, gets pretty good at waking me up when I’ve sailed off into my ocean of distraction. And I can sail away into distraction and procrastination so easily.
A sankalpa practice is not a self help practice and it is not about perfecting oneself into some bigger, better fantasy self.
So how do you “do” this sankalpa thing?
It’s very simple but you have to be consistent. Very consistent.
Nobody hears you do this. You do this inwardly while in a quiet, relaxed state. A sankalpa made in the midst of psychic pain does not penetrate as deeply as one made when one is clear-eyed and settled. Once your sankalpa is made you trust its power to direct your actions and you return to it, again and again, throughout your daily life. With time we build a kind of internal structure that nudges us away from unfocused actions and back towards clear, directed actions. And being focused and aligned with a Sankalpa does not take any of the spontaneity, joy and playfulness out of daily life; it deepens it.
A few guidelines:
When you are alone, maybe walking, sitting or laying down, ask yourself, your heart, what you absolutely must do with this life energy you have. Don’t push for a quick response.
Be patient and listen. Keep listening. If nothing comes or what does come up feels old, tired and not quite right then don’t worry about it. Keep at it and one day your sankalpa will crystallize, you will know it and there will be no second guessing.
Do a little internal editing to ensure that your sankalpa is articulated in a concise, unequivocal manner and state it in the present tense.
State it first thing in the morning and then several times throughout the day.
Keep it to yourself. You don’t need to be explaining it to others or seeking anyones approval.
Some days you might find yourself quietly reciting it like a mantra over and over again.
Don’t get discouraged by setbacks and sails into that enticing ocean of distraction. It’s no big deal to get lost now and again. In fact, the getting lost can refine the workings of the compass bearing that is your sankalpa so while I suggest you take creating your sankalpa seriously, I also suggest you bring a light heart (and sense of humor) to the practice. No fuss. No magic. Just you, your strengthening mind and your power pill.
Questions, comments or anything you want to share? I’d love to hear from you. Just hit the contact button up top.
(If you wish to be guided into a yoga nidra practice simply visit the iTunes Store, Amazon or cdbaby and download my recording: Yoga Nidra: Total Relaxation Practices for Adults and Teens)