Last week was focused around forgiveness. Read that blog here. Over the course of last week’s classes, I continually heard myself saying that forgiveness is one pathway to changing one’s “inner design”. I was speaking specifically to how one thinks. And so, I wanted to take a deeper dive into that thinking design. As I continued to process these ideas, they guided me in remembering samskaras. (Isn’t that just perfect, lol! My own mental impressions reminding me of mental impressions, ha!)
Samskaras are our “mental impressions, recollections, or psychological imprints”. -Wikipedia
In Book Two, verse 11, of Patanjali’s ‘Yoga Sutras’, it states that “in an active state, they can be destroyed by meditation”. -Translation by Sri Swami Satchidananda
Yes, your thought patterns and imprints can be destroyed. And, they can also be nourished! You see, samskaras are both negative and positive.
Here is a great article on the samskaras and how they effect us. I drew from it in classes.
Click here to read.
Here is the way in which I supported people to experience this within themselves during class…
I asked people to think about a positive attribute about their characteristic, a belief they knew to be true. Feel free to try it now! I invite you to think about the moment in your life where you started thinking positively towards yourself with this belief. Was it because of an action and experience you lived thru, or a memory of something further back, or just an actionable and conscious shift in the way of thinking towards yourself; what was the moment it started for you? Maybe someone else did something to you; whether negative or positive, for example they reflected back to you your Light? What is the root causation for this belief? How does it make you feel? Carry it with you! Nourish it! Grow it! Integrate it into your already existing Greatness!
Now, in class, I invited people to go a little broader. The flip side of the positive. I invited people to consider something negative imprint in their mind field. And, take the same journey, to get to the root of where this mental imprint came from. In the sutras it says how this is the eradication of the ego, getting to the root, and pulling it out, like the root of a plant. And how when we take that root out, we see that we are truly not that thought, or that action, or our ego, we are divine (or however you name it) , we are Atman, True Self, soul.
Book Four, verse 25, of the ‘Yoga Sutras’ states, as translated by Sri Swami Satchitananda, “To one who sees the distinction between the mind and the Atman, thoughts of mind as the Atman cease forever.” What he is saying is something you might have heard within the yoga world at point or another, “I am of my thoughts, but not my thoughts”. What this means, particularly in association with the samskaras, is that it becomes important to work with your samskaras, and allow that work to ultimately lead you to Self realization in that you are the Divine. You are more than these thoughts you design, and the thoughts that just come into your mind space, your mind’s screen. When we get to the root of all our thoughts we find they are baseless. We begin to eradicate the ego, the smaller self.
So, as the samskara article asks, “Do you want to emphasize eliminating negative samskaras, or do you want to nourish your mind by creating positive samskaras? Or like the third patient, do you want to do both simultaneously? Most of us fall into the third category. That’s why spiritual practices are designed to help us eliminate our negative samskaras while we simultaneously replace them with positive ones.” -Pandit Rajmani Tigunait
AND NOW…”Forget all you have learned; become a child again. Then it will be easy to realize that wisdom.” -Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Truly! To become childlike is to live freely. This liberation is what we are seeking from our mental mind vibrations that distract us from remembering our True Nature. Inevitably, thoughts come in, and we can continue to do the work with our samskaras, but then, be child like! Live in awe and wonder. Let go of judgement. Love deeply and freely. Forgive. Embrace the moment. And love yourself as you are, and everything you are! You are divine!
I closed most classes by reading a meditation by Fletcher Lee Johnson, 5 years old, from Tennessee! Listen at the end of this podcast HERE to hear him! It’s so amazing it made me cry!
Breathe and Believe.