Updated: Oct 22, 2020
Imagine a power source that is neither toxic, costly or gimmicky and imagine that this power helps you ignite your deepest determination while effectively training your mind to direct your actions towards this deep determination. Would you want to connect to this power source? You can. This power pill is called Sankalpa.
SANKALPA is a sanskrit word comprised of two root parts:
San: connection to higher truth
Kalpa: solemn vow
When we quietly recite our Sankalpas we are inclining our mind and actions towards a clear direction. A daily recitation 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
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 a strong sankalpa.
So how do you “do” this sankalpa thing?
Be 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. Sankalpa is always included in Yoga Nidra practice and, in some traditions, meditation practice. I bring sankalpha into all of my practices and in the midst of ordinary, daily life.
Once your sankalpa is made return to it, again and again, throughout your daily life. With time you will build a kind of internal structure that nudges you away from unfocused actions and back towards clear, directed actions. 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.
No fuss. No magic. Just you, your strengthening mind and your sankalpa- your power pill.