In Vedic philosophy, samskaras relate to Karma. Where as karma is the resolution of the energetic entanglement of our past actions, samskaras are the energetic entanglements of past actions.
It is important to understand what samskaras are because here in lies the key and the secret to our healing.
Samskaras are subtle, underlying imprints of our past experiences and actions that have become so engrained that they are now habitual. When I say action, I mean every way in which we interact with the physical world; our thoughts, our feelings, and what we do; our reactions to what we experience and what we set into motion. It is similar to the feeling alchemy concepts I go over in my journal, “My Moon Moody Journal”.
Mindnfulness and Conscious Engagement over Reaction
Action is usually preceded with reaction. For most of us, our actions will be determined by our reaction. And our reaction is determined by what is already existing beneath the surface of our awareness. Our reactions are based on our subconscious. If we desire to consciously take control of our life, we must move out of reactivity and into mindfulness and conscious action. That means rather than reacting to our experiences, we place our awareness on our being and take responsibility for our self and what happens next. We move out of victim-hood and self righteousness and enter into a state of loving awareness. This is engaging instead of reacting.
Whether we react or engage determines: how that experience stays with us—does it burrow into the depths of our unconscious and subconscious mind even deeper to reinforce belief or does it free it?—the energy we send out into the world for better or worse, and how we will interact with the world based on what already exists within us—will we continue the cycle?
I have said this before and I will say it again, the wisest of yogis know that this life is not about healing the physical body and living forever. They know that healing is far more subtle; true healing happens in the emotional/mind body and is not so much about what we have here, but what we are taking with us; our karma AND our samskaras. It is about freedom and liberation.
If we want to set ourselves up for success in the present and the future, we must know what and who we are now. We must become aware of what exists beneath the surface of our mind so we know what exactly is influencing our behavior. This is the concept of samskara, sam which means “planned out”, and kara, which means “action undertaken”. The tricky and ironic thing about samskara is that it influences us most often without us knowing; without us actually planning it out, even though it was designed so that we could become conscious creators.
We Can Take Back the Reigns
Samskara has to do with intention. When we take control of our lives and live from a space of consciousness and awareness rather than living habitually by default, we can override our samskaras and create new ones that benefit us through consciously engaging in life. By doing this, we create samskaras that reinforce good living. What do I mean by good living?
Many of you know I live by the alchemy tradition, which does not focus on good or bad, but on fulfillment. If you want to live a life of fulfillment, you must be able to see and know your wholeness; the good, the bad, and the ugly, and live from a space of non-judgment, acceptance (which alchemizes and dissolves samskaras) awareness, and consciousness. You choose. You are the master. Overriding samskaras is very similar to this notion; we become aware of what is driving us—we learn about our light and shadow—and we love ourselves unconditionally and consciously override that which does not serve us regardless.
Good living is about masterfully crafting your life as you desire for your highest fulfillment. Your intention in this case (sam) is about experiencing fulfillment. We know that in order to experience fulfillment, we must live from our highest nature; love. So we love over everything. Our sam, our intention, then must be rooted in love and rooted in what love would do.
Therein lies the key to healing; know your Love. Act from love. Integrate, but let all else dissolve into Love.
If you would like to know more about samskaras, I encourage you to read this lovely article by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait “What Are Samskaras and How Do They Affect Us"