Updated: Jan 15
One of my favorite new activities that I carried forward into the new year is my intention to revisit the timeless classic of life’s purpose (dharma) through study of the Bhagavad Gita: resolution of conflict and successful action from a state of anxiety, panic, grief, guilt, and despondency arising from inaction. Lord Krishna, the teacher, helps Arjuna, the great warrior through dialogue and discussion of his dharma or life’s purpose. I have studied this vast book of knowledge since youth, again through my Yoga Teacher Training in adulthood, and now my intention is to take a deeper inquiry into the teachings to better understand myself, my habits, my actions, and ultimately understand my dharma or purpose beyond the day to day roles as I move into a different phase of my life. A Creative Mind Life coaching colleague of mine from the UK and I started to connect on the verses from this body of knowledge last year and vowed to continue until we finish the book in its entirety. We have two different translations, so we take turns reading the verses, sometimes we chant the mantras, discuss the specific verses and how we can apply it to our current life circumstances, ending with a meditation. In the near future, I hope to share the wisdom of Bhagavad Gita with participants who are also interested in seeking higher knowledge, so stay subscribed to be first to know when I launch the deeper learning book group.
This brings me to the subject of this blog, Sankalpa - which translates to wholehearted intention. I was working with a client recently who asked me “is intention like setting a resolution?” I replied kinda but not goal specific, it's connection to the true, internal focus, and strength that grows out of Sankalpa or intention. San means meaningful devotion to the higher truth, and Kalpa is to vow. Instead of setting a resolution to “I want peace of mind,” an intention deeply rooted in Sankalpa would be, “I have peace of mind.” We create the right actions that follow the intention without worrying about the results.
“Be involved in action and have unwavering faith in the power of intention (sankalpa).” - Bhagavad Gita
Our subconscious mind is very intuitive, it takes messages and puts them into action which may come to us in dreams, journaling, creative writing, and images that appear out of nowhere that give us those aha moments. When we give ourselves permission to access this deeply relaxed and reflective state, we are tapping into the depth of our heart's true desire, without ego driven judgment. Once that deepest desire is embedded subconsciously, it lights up, sparks the conscious mind to carry out the action steps with courage. Through repetition and steady faith, we attune into our higher knowledge, and over time it will reveal not only what’s stagnant in our lives but why and how to gain strength to work through it in mind, body, and soul.
The 3 P's of Setting Sankalpa
It can be quite simple if you welcome the intention from a space of pure listening, not the intellectual mind, but from the depth of knowing and surrendering to resolve with reflection. The mind will direct the right actions from that space of stagnation and doubt to adapting helpful habits with faith and courage that will cultivate a higher purpose. The first P is:
1. Personal - create the Sankalpa from self-inquiry, a heartfelt asking of your true desire. The best way is to get still, first thing in the morning preferable before sunrise, sit upright with a straight spine on your bed or any comfortable space, close your eyes and listen, deeply. Create a habit of it everyday for five and up to twenty minutes, welcome the word or phrase of intention that arises, then write it down in your journal because when its spelled out, it casts a spell of energy in your favor.