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 Samskaras

Theme: Samskaras

Samskaras are the grooves or patterns of the mind that cloud our perception, and hold us back from seeing live clearly as it is. They are formed through life’s experiences: the mind is designed to look for similar situations that it takes in through the senses. It is quite efficient because of this: when someone raises their hand in a classroom, there is a patterned response that instantly allows us to assume that this person has a question. Any school teacher knows that sometimes this isn’t always the case, as sometimes someone is just adjusting their shirt or stretching. This is how we can easily misperceive a situation and then be so sure that we have it right and they have it wrong. No? How about let’s reverse it: ever get in an argument with someone and they are so sure they are correct and you are wrong? who is seeing it clearly? We are always quick believe ourselves to be correct because our thought patterns are a collection of rights and wrongs based on what we have experienced. The problem? Our experience is limited to the past, our patterns are based on what happened, not what IS happening, or what might happen. Our thoughts, emotions, and actions are all wrapped up in something that no longer exists.  

Do we need to abolish all patterns of our mind? absolutely not. Burning samskaras is about releasing the thought, emotional, and behavioral patterns that no longer serve our sense of well being. That means, yes it is your choice, and only you know what is serving you and what is not, but it requires radical honesty with your self, which requires the courage to be vulnerable. Most Samskaras are formed out of emotional self defense, which means they will be our blind spots. They will be uncomfortable to see, and even more uncomfortable to confront when deciding to make the change.

How to burn samskaras? Though process is ironically very simple given how challenging it is to execute. Here it is:

 

  • AWARENESS: First you need to develop awareness, the willingness to self reflect. Start with asana to open up your receptivity to and balance your state of mind, and then move to meditation practice and more contemplative exercises: focus on observing thought and emotional patterns that arise throughout your day. at first this will be hard but like a muscle you will get stronger every time you practice.
  • ANCHOR: In Chromatic Yoga we have something called an Anchor – an intention that we tie our self to when the waters get rough. This is created by asking yourself these primary questions. How do I want to feel? How do I want to think? How do I want to act? While you can’t choose the thought or emotion or urge of action that arrises you can choose what you do when you observe them. These answers need to be contemplated, then engrained inside you so that when a Samskara is triggered your go to response is to ask your self those questions and then respond with the answers immediately
  • ACTION: The final step is to act on your intention – choose to focus your attention on what will serve you. Choose to focus on a different thought, emotion or take another action. What if the the samskara is too strong and the mind is spinning out of control – PRACTICE. You need to get in your body to disrupt the pattern. THIS already is a NEW pattern that burns the old one. “When I am triggered, I disrupt the pattern by getting into my body and harnessing the power of my mind to feel my body and remember that I am alive, and that this life is a gift”

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