Words by Ralf Putz About two years ago, I was introduced to meditation through a 21-days program. It had a great impact on me, even though I had no intellectual understanding of it. The experience of meditation lit a flame…
The Sanskrit word sankalpa means “a resolve or intention formed in the heart”.
We’re greatly heartened to know that so many of our students have been empowered to make meaningful changes in their lives, some small, some large, all significant.
The ability to make a powerful Sankalpa – one that empowers us to manifest our intention is difficult to achieve because the mind is innately unstable, full of doubts, and conflicting desires.
To counteract these conflicts and doubts, students of our course are given various tools and exercises to examine each desire. Using Yogic Knowledge, Meditation Practices and Integration Exercises students test their desires and intentions through different perspectives or lenses. For example, how each desire fits into a particular stage of life and how to cognize the different desires that arise from each of the seven chakras. This results in an ability to form a holistic relationship with desires.
If we only listen to what one part of us wants we are silencing another part of us, and sooner or later this part will demand to be heard.
The Clarifying Power Of Adversity
Sometimes it takes a negative experience to stir up a powerful Sankalpa. In this way, adversity can be a blessing because it thrusts us into reconnecting with our will to survive, to overcome the odds, to heal, or to repair. And it is the aim of the course to support all of our students being able to remain on track while facing difficult, challenging and powerful life experiences, experiences that have the potential if they are managed wisely, to change your life for the better.
In our moment of truth we either collapse under the weight of the adversity or, if we are lucky and able, we muster all of our internal resources to rise to the challenge. The course will help you do this.
Case Study: How our student overcame a near death experience and taught her doctors about the power of Sankalpa
The story by Sanyasi Yogamitra epitomizes what we can do, even when faced with life-threatening illness, in what appears to be insurmountable odds.
When you think of all the things you want, your list could be thousands of items long. When you feel what you want, you’re more likely to have only a few things that really matter to you.
This simple meditation can be used to quickly cut through the confusion and can also help you go to sleep, especially if you do a lot of thinking in bed.
Meditation to see what your heart wants, quickly.
One of our students recently wrote to us asking our thoughts about the possibility that meditation is dangerous. She quoted an article that describes the experience of people who had reported that engaging in mindfulness-based meditation resulted in the following negative experiences:
- strange, persistent and obsessive thoughts
- the sense of depersonalization
- extreme sensitivity and vulnerability
- a feeling of being exposed
- anhedonia – the inability to experience pleasure
- lack of meaning and joy
- loss of direction
Like anything in life, meditation can cause problems when it is misused or misunderstood. If you don’t approach meditation with the correct preparation and attitude, you can become excessively introverted and psychological disturbed. It’s also possible to develop physical symptoms such as digestive problems, joint stiffness, muscle pain and metabolic imbalance.
Yogic perspective on the dangers of meditation
From a yogic perspective, these symptoms are described as excessive activity in the ida nadi, the left-hand channel that runs along the spinal chord, which carries mental energy. There are three energy channels running along the spine: ida nadi carries mental energy, pingala nadi carries physical energy and sushumna carries spiritual energy.
For meditation to be successful it’s important to balance ida and pingala nadis, the mental and physical energies, otherwise, your brain and mind can become over-stimulated, and depleted.
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