SANKALPA: Is A Resolution of & In the Heart

  • Sankalpa is A Robust Declaration of Intended Truth.
  • Sankalpa means Intention in the Sense of a Prayer or Resolution formed for the Attained Recognition of a Spiritual Purpose that is for the Benefit of ALL.
  • Sankalpa is the Resolve, Determination and Good Intention that Resonates Precisely in the CORE of Your Being and Aligns Sublimely with Your Essence.
  • In its greatest sense, Sankalpa brings about alignment with the greatest good in the Immortal Self, that Self in which We are All One.
  • Sankalpa is the Subtlest level of Intention at the Cusp of choice-less Awareness and Thought.
  • The Sankalpa is revealed as part of the inner work, our personal path, our spiritual practices that lead us to Experiencing the Purpose of Our Life.
  • When the individual Sankalpa is aligned with cosmic Sankalpa this alignment orchestrates the infinite organizing power of the entire universe so that the individual intention becomes the cosmic intention and the cosmic intention becomes the individual intention.

1. POSITIVE POWER: A Sanskrit word, Sankalpa means “will, purpose, or determination.” To make a Sankalpa is to set an intention—it’s like a New Year’s resolution with a yogic twist. While a resolution often zeros in on a perceived negative aspect of ourselves (as in, “I want to lose weight, so no more chocolate chip cookies or ice cream or cheese”), a Sankalpa explores what’s behind the thought or feeling (“I crave chocolate chip cookies or ice cream or cheese when I’m feeling stressed or sad. I will set an intention to become conscious of this craving and allow my feelings to arise and pass, rather than fill up on fats”). At a deeper level One recognizes a Sankalpa as Truth!

2. In the Siddha Yoga tradition, Sankalpa means intention in the sense of a prayer or resolution formed for the attainment of a spiritual purpose that is for the benefit of all.

3. SANKALPA: Thought, intention, or will directed toward a specific outcome.

4. Sankalpa is a way of taking goal setting to the highest level and infusing it with my deepest knowing and connection to the divine.

5. Sankalpa combines the deepest meditative mind with the power or intention, a combination that is said to have the capacity to change the thought vibrations of humanity.

6. EFFORT COUNTS: A Sankalpa also praises the nobility of the effort rather than focusing on what you are doing wrong.

  • New Year’s resolutions leave me feeling guilty and mad at myself for not keeping them.
  • So, in a conscious effort rather than falling into a reject the resolution rut, consider looking back and let go. Here is a conscious intention, or Sankalpa? I open my heart to new possibilities.
  • An intention has much more of a global sense than a resolution. It helps to be softer with self.
  • With a Sankalpa, the self-loathing that comes from dwelling on past transgressions can begin to dissolve. In its place is an exercise in effort and surrender—create an intention and open yourself to the universe.

7. The juicy, precision of the Sankalpa is the resolve, determination and good intention that resonates precisely in the core of your being and aligns sublimely with your essence. It is fluid enough to insinuate itself through the semi-conscious patterns of self-sabotage, wounded self’s objections and ego discontent.

8. Sankalpa is WILL power that is flexible enough to account for changing circumstances as the Sankalpa begins to manifest in Ones inner and outer world. Yet it is precise enough to be un-diverted by the oldest negative beliefs surrounding the Core of Ones Being that stand against a set Sankalpa.

9. It is important for YOU to word your Sankalpa yourself. If in doubt, try the meditative exercises offered here. They will assist in developing that robust declaration of intent we call the Sankalpa.

10. The Sankalpa has bigger goals than healing one particular life or some aspect of behavior. In its greatest sense, Sankalpa brings about alignment with the greatest good in the Immortal Self, that Self in which We are All One.

11. The Sankalpa is a chosen resolution made during the practice of yoga, prayer, meditation or any spiritual ritual. It could be said that the main purpose of life is to realize one’s Sankalpa. Whether this is true or not, Sankalpa has the potential to release tremendous power by clearly defining and focusing on a chosen goal. Its effect is to awaken the willpower within by uniting the conscious awareness with the unconscious forces lying dormant. It takes the form of a short phrase or sentence, clearly and concisely expressed, using the same wording each time, to bring about a positive change in one’s life.

12. Sankalpa is the subtlest level of intention at the cusp of choiceless awareness and thought. It is like the seed structure of intelligence around which time, space, and matter consolidate into a manifested event. The fundamental mechanics of intention manifesting into reality is based on the principle that intent in the field of pure potentiality organizes its own fulfillment through the synchronicity of space, time, energy, information, and matter.

13. Sankalpa is the subtlest form of intention in the field of pure potentiality. The Hindu’s would say that in the infinite consciousness Brahaman holds the whole universe in his consciousness through Sankalpa.

14. It is Sankalpa that holds together the web of scriptures that uphold all life and inter-dependencies. Sankalpa produces the bases for all synchronicities that co-arise as space-time events in the entire cosmos.

15. When the individual Sankalpa is aligned with cosmic Sankalpa this alignment orchestrates the infinite organizing power of the entire universe so that the individual intention becomes the cosmic intention and the cosmic intention becomes the individual intention.

16. Sankalpa begins All creation. In pure consciousness [In Sanskrit – para ] there is the first stirring of Sankalpa [pashyanti] this evolves into thought [madhyama] and speech [vaikhari] finally leading to that action which is evolutionary.

17. An individual who is established in Being can harness the power of Sankalpa to bring about the spontaneous fulfillment of any desire.

18. The Upanishad Scriptures state:

  • You are your deepest desire [Sankalpa].
  • As is your desire so is your intention.
  • As is your intention so is your will.
  • As is your will so is your deed.
  • As is your deed so is your destiny.

19. Stating the Sankalpa: It’s natural to identify a desire as “I want” and an intention as “I will” or “I won’t.” But these phrases lack the truth of the commitment that comes from heartfelt desire and connection to one’s dharma. “A Sankalpa similar to petition or a prayer yet consciously more and different.” Some would say “It is a statement of deeply held fact, and a vow that is true in the present moment.” For this reason, you’re Sankalpa—both the heartfelt desire and the specific intention—should be stated in the present tense. For example, rather than saying, “I want to be more compassionate,” your Sankalpa might be stated as, “Compassion is my true nature” or “I am compassion itself.” Rather than setting the intention, “I will not eat meat,” your specific Sankalpa might be, “With compassion for my body and for other beings, I eat a vegetarian diet.” Stating your Sankalpa in present tense acknowledges the tremendous will, energy, and truth that arrive with the discovery of your heartfelt desire. It also reminds you that whatever is required of you is already within you.

20. It is frequently held that none of the above would be an issue if the Sankalpa had been given by Ones Higher Power. Most people have to struggle to hear their own true Sankalpa express itself. Being-ness is the Expression of a Knowing Perceived Truth and is the science of the Sankalpa. The Sankalpa is revealed as part of the inner work, our personal path, our spiritual practices that lead us to Experiencing the Purpose of Our Life. Use words that are compatible and consistent with you own Spiritual &/or Religious views and beliefs as Navapashanam, being Love, supports your spiritual intentions. Navapashanam awakens deeper Love that is already who you ultimately Are. Unconditional Love begets Selfless Giving. Selfless Giving is embodied in Navapashanam. Selfless Giving produces a Wisdom Discernment. Wisdom Discernment is one of the faculties of Truth Consciousness; resulting in the capability to differentiate between Truth and falsehood. So, Navapashanam is an expression of Selfless Giving that comes from the Heart of Papa/Boghar, the Master that makes Navapashanam. Navapashanam is Unconditional Love that awakens Unconditional Love. Awakened Love grows toward Un-conditionality. Navapashanam embodies the fulfilling of the commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself” and is embodied in saying ‘Namaste’ to another. The knowledge of unalloyed Truth, and the ability to differentiate appearance from what is Real, is a byproduct of Selfless Giving.

21. It is a Key to Opening the Heart of Love. We can give without loving however we can never Love without giving because Love by its very nature is Selflessly Sacrificial. The subtle shift from gratitude to appreciation involves being more present – more thoughtfully aware and active in reflecting on the reasons we feel grateful about something or someone. Through present moment awareness, we begin to generate feelings of appreciation spontaneously.

22. Sankalpa Setting:

  • LOOK INWARD for several days, set aside time to write in a journal and meditate. Mull over your typical resolutions. How do they make you feel? Anxious? Unsettled? Incomplete? Now contemplate how you would like to feel during the coming year. Is there any way you can reframe your results-oriented resolutions into something that will make this year’s journey more joyful and worthwhile?
  • REPHRASE IT: Create a short sentence or phrase for your Sankalpa. Be careful to avoid setting limitations based on fear. For example, instead of “May life bring me only happiness and joy this year” consider “May I be happy and open to what life brings me.”
  • BE FIRM AND FAIR: Change can happen overnight and over time. When you stray from the essence of your Sankalpa, bring your focus back gently without berating yourself. Instead, gently remind yourself of your intention. Each time Be even FIRMER in your resolve—some find it a good idea to incorporate a Sankalpa into the daily routine. From a 12 Step Recovery perspective taking a 10 step involves setting an intention for what is to be focused upon tomorrow; a Sankalpa.
  • Some see it as a mantra, during pranayama or a meditation practice. Others post it on their computer, phone, or mirror; or simply say it to your-self quietly before going to sleep.

23. The Exercises-PREPARATION

Exercise 1 develops a body sense of the resolve. We go into the positive sense of the resolve we are bringing to birth in our life. This Sankalpa may well evolve over time, even over the time of doing these exercises, but start with at least a first approximation of your essence or the core issue with which you are working such as an addiction or a fear. For instance you might sense you are developing a Sankalpa that has ‘something to do with peace’. It then can be shaped into a simple, clear, present time statement as if the desired outcome was already manifesting such as ‘I am relaxed and at peace with myself’. Another example, something to do with isolation can be shaped into ‘I am interdependent, connected to all and whole.” To help you find words for your essence try this exercise. The exercise will improve if it is taken off the page and spoken slow and gentle onto an audio tape and played back whilst you rest on the floor.
Exercise 1 – In a calm and quiet place in body and mind, bring back to life a moment in the past when you felt everything was right with you, aligned, simple and you were at one with the universe. When all felt well, at peace, when you felt clear, safe and strong.
Now, embody this feeling more deeply by breathing into it, expanding it with each in breath.
Where is the most interesting sensation or feeling in your body?
Bring full awareness to that part of the body. What words or images appear? Let them float up into clear feeling or appear across your visual screen, or come as a soft, truthful voice. Be kind and curious with whatever comes up and gently ask the feeling, the inner voice or the image, ‘what is the essence of you?’
Pause and witness for a moment as some words, images or feelings emerge in response to this. Just let it happen, don’t interfere. Initially, all you may get back is a body sensation, a movement or a feeling. This might take some days or months to evolve into the full certainty of a word or a phrase. Whatever happens, make a mental note or draw a picture or make a gesture. Then come back to awareness of breath and say to yourself with sincerity and reverence ‘I am.’ and allow whatever feeling, sensation, inner voice or image may fall into the space following ‘I am..’. In many languages the name of God is formed from the verb ‘be’. Tillych describes God as ‘the ground of all being’.
Invite the full effect of whatever your body/mind placed in the space after you affirmed ‘I am.’ to begin floating down like a leaf through the still autumn air, or like a drop of color spreading into the clear water that surrounds it. Surrender to this as the body and mind welcomes this essence of you.

24. Exercise 2-PREPARATION

  • This exercise works at a couple of levels to deepen and widen the truth of your chosen Sankalpa and deliver it with greater precision. It will improve as an exercise if you take it off the page and place the questions in the exercises onto an audio tape, with long pauses between and spoken in a soft, neutral voice. Maybe ask someone to speak them to you.
  • Do whatever works for you to get into a calm, quiet frame of mind. The introverted state that is reached during asanas or in yoga are excellent frames of mind for hearing these questions.
  • The idea is to hear these questions whilst holding your Sankalpa in mind and wait for a response from the body/mind, without analysis or interference. The response may be a deepening sense of relaxation or tension, an image of a beach, a childhood dream, tingling in the fingers, a blank screen, silence ¬ whatever comes is useful. Just take a note of it mentally, without judgment, or make a jotting or a quick drawing. Then let it go and listen to the next question, witness the response, take a note, and repeat the process for the each question. The process could take twenty minutes to complete.
  • The Exercise: Whilst thinking of your Sankalpa or a beginning approximation of it, allow each of these questions to rest quietly in your consciousness at the same time as you are holding your Sankalpa in mind. Then, gently wait for an inner response to evolve over some minutes.
    1. Does the Sankalpa resonate with acceptance and consent in your guts?
    2. Is it congruent with your beliefs, values and physiology?
    3. Can its outcome be self initiated and self maintained?
    4. What will you see, hear, feel as the Sankalpa manifests?
    5. What will this development gain for you?
    6. Might the Sankalpa evolve, if so in what direction?
    7. What is the core negative belief against it?
    8. How might you sabotage your resolve?
    9. How can you care for the saboteur and the core negative belief?

25. Exercise 3: Think of your intention as your own wake-up call, reminding you of what changes you hope to achieve. A Sankalpa can explore the root of the thought or the emotion while remaining affirmative and positive. Instead of making your intention to ‘lost weight’ or ‘stop smoking’, your intention could be to notice how you feel when you eat or to focus on breath work when you feel to smoke. You could set an intention to welcome challenges and open your heart to new possibilities or to create more time in your day for healing.

26. Once you have identified and planted the seed of your Sankalpa, you can begin the process of strengthening Sankalpa shakti, the energy to take the action required by your resolve. Every choice you make either supports or undermines your resolve. This is true even for the decisions that seem unrelated to your specific intention. Let’s say you’re aware that meat disrupts your energy and sleep. But time and time again, you ‘forget’ this awareness and eat meat anyway. Each time you do this, you reinforce the part of you that says ‘No’ to awareness and intention. You’re giving power to the part of you that goes against your Sankalpa.

27. Past actions & genetics are the impressions, actions and thoughts that contribute to the conditioning and ultimately create the patterns followed in a life. The environment One grew up in, the relationships, and All lived experiences contribute to the way One thinks and how One acts. Negative thought patterns can hold One back from following the Heart’s desire and even Ones dreams. Often it’s low self-esteem or emotional trauma that reinforces and solidifies these patterns. Cultivating an intention or a Sankalpa, which means ‘firm resolve’ helps still a drifting mind and creates positive change in a life.

28. What sort of thoughts do you have about yourself? If you make a mistake at work, do you automatically think, ‘I’m so stupid’, ‘I’m a failure’ or insist that it wasn’t you fault’? Thoughts established in childhood that are reinforced over and over as the years pass gain momentum. These misperceptions eventually can produce a kind of mis-guided comfort and even become and understanding of who you are! Why does making a mistake mean ‘failure’? If not being perfect is equated with failure in Western Society, then how can anyone achieve so-called success? The only way we really learn is by trial and error. Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘freedom is not worth it if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.’

29. You may find that the full answer to some of these will take days to evolve. Sometimes the answers are not verbal or literal. They can be as way out as a heightened sense of smell or taste for something only vaguely connected to the Sankalpa. They can come in a dream or within a doodle whilst you talk on the phone. Sometimes an advertising hoarding says it to you or you find yourself giving the very piece of advice you need to hear.

30. Being and Becoming:

One might say that what is being suggested here is a contradiction. First One identifies what One wants, but the only way to realize it is to acknowledge that that is wanted already Is and that One already has it!
One then sets specific goals and One commits to breaking habits.
At every opportunity to act in line with these goals, One must first acknowledge that One is already perfect and whole.
31. This apparent contradiction is the essence of both Sankalpa practice and non-dual teachings. It could be said that each of us is both being and becoming. There is:

There are two parts of the Whole that I Am/We Are. Being-ness is Transcendent, inherently One and is complete just the way I Am/We Are.
Being-ness is also the coming into life with a purpose and a destiny and is always becoming.

32. The chore, opportunity and blessing in a life is to find a way to integrate these two seemingly opposite aspects of being. Walking both paths simultaneously, with intention and being mindful that Nature is unchanging as you experience the circumstances of the life because those circumstances are the very stepping stones home![/vc_column_text]