Discovering Sankalpa with Nicole Sciacca
If you've never heard the word Sankalpa then it might help to begin with a definition.
Sankalpa is a personal, heartfelt intention. A positive affirmation spoken in the now reflective of one's deepest desire. The ancient teachings of the Upanishads (a collection of writings passed down orally that encompass the fundamental teachings central to Hinduism) state that we are our Sankalpa, our deepest desire. The idea is that our Sankalpa is not spoken in the future tense, rather in the present tense. Typically a Sankalpa is a purposefully chosen resolution or affirmation made during Yoga Nidra when the body and mind are settling for rest. I've used Sankalpa here through Yoga Wake Up as a morning impression that we can focus on to direct our actions, thoughts, and attitudes for the day.
An example of a Sankalpa might be:
"I am healthy, whole and at peace"
"I am compassionate toward myself and all living beings"
"I am patient and open minded toward growth and expansion"
Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati says that "Sankalpa is a process of training the mind to develop the will and to develop clarity of thought. Through Sankalpa we learn how to train the mind so that the will becomes alive. Sankalpa is not only a thought, it is a power, a force. Whatever you think is projected into the environment. Just as there are radio waves and other invisible waves and frequencies in the environment which can be captured with the right instruments, in the same manner thoughts and desires also have a frequency. Negativity and positivity, pessimism and optimism, have a frequency. What you express leaves an impression on the channel in the mind and waves are transmitted. If there is an intensity behind a thought, behind a Sankalpa, behind a resolution, then the channel selector, the imprint on the mind, will be stronger and you will be able to access that channel more frequently and easily."
- Taken from yogamag.net
Getting to know ourselves by way of hard questions, time spent in meditation, prayer, and honestly observing the actions we take day to day will be a huge asset in discovering our true Sankalpa. Truth stems from a place of love for oneself and others.
The idea that our true Sankalpa's are stepping stones toward presence and acceptance of what is, I find to be so difficult in this day and age. We are bombarded by marketing, media, ideals of past generations that certain boxes need to be checked and completed as we journey through life. Much of my fear currently is that I should be doing more; more for my child, my career, my yoga practice, my family, etc. When I dive into this topic of Sankalpa, I am reminded that great change and growth begin and end with me. In this very moment I can be present with my true nature and speak and act from this resolution. Start with love. Start by loving yourself in whatever condition you find yourself right now. When we agree to be an active part of the streamlining of our lives, the outcome is bountiful and endless.