What is a Samskara or Sanskara? It is the Sanskrit word used in Indian based philosophies and religions. The meaning I wanted to address is what most of us experience in the modern world. Samskara causes mental impressions, recollections, or a psychological imprint in our psyche. They can cause our energy centers or chakras to become unbalanced which causes many problems in our present life. In a sense, they define who we are, how we feel and what triggers us to feel sad, happy, or afraid. They are our memories that are now sitting in one of the seven chakra points of the body.
It’s safe to say that nobody can escape Samskara. It is the cause of our actions, intentions or preparations. It leaves a structure within our mind which can be triggered by any of our senses. This is why a song can bring you back to a moment that passed long ago. It can be a good memory or a sad one and can cause you grief or happiness when dealing with that particular “impression.”
The Samskara impressions we have within us will wait to reveal themselves later on down the road once they’ve imprinted themselves into us. They will be manifested as karmic impulse, strong habits, our disposition, and our expectations. The theory of Samskara was created to help us understand why remember things and why we suffer from past events. Why we cling onto things that have occurred and let them affect our lives in the present moment. Samskara impacts our happiness and contentedness in the moment we are in and can cause great suffering.
Samskara is based on events in our lives and of course how we perceived them. When someone we love dies, we can experience many triggers based on our five senses. When we are in a car accident or have experienced violence, this can leave an impression. It will come up again and again when you see a car accident or a fight on the television. It can’t hurt you physically and yet emotionally, you are thrown back into the terrifying moment. Your heart might even race.
The Samskara can be as far back as childhood, which are very deep impressions. Sometimes wounds, sometimes a beautiful memory. It explains why the smell of a Christmas tree can be a wonderful experience for someone who enjoyed a nice family Christmas when they were a kid. For others who didn’t have a good experience surrounding the smell of pine, it can lead to negative emotions.
Many people will use aids to numb the feelings that derive from Samskara within. They drink, overeat, work out chronically to the point of hurting their body, or put themselves in dangerous situations. It doesn’t matter what your poison is, we all pretty much try to run from the impressions that we carry in us.
A technique you can use:
Instead of trying to shake off or put a band-aid on your Samskara, it might be time to look at it and let it go. This is the only way you can ever truly be free of it.
Sit in a quiet spot. Get yourself relaxed by taking in some deep belly breaths. It helps to put your hands on your abdominal area to feel your belly inflate and deflate as you breathe in and out. You will get seriously relaxed when you do this breathing. Even if you have never meditated in your life, you will find your mind to be very quiet after doing this deep breathing into the belly. If you are battling your dark side right now and you need to dissolve a Sanskara, the breath is the way.
Through witnessing your breath and how it makes you feel, you can begin to notice how your body is feeling. The stillness will allow you to be more present with the mood your body is in. As we manifest our Samskara physically many times, it’s important to address what we can feel. It might be stagnant energy which is quite subtle or a more intense feeling like pain or holding. Holding your shoulders close to your ears is a subconscious movement for many of us. It is keeping us protected in our minds but actually we are stimulating our fight of flight response, causing stress even when there is none.
So feel the physical sensations all over your body as you scan each area. If you notice an area of restriction, breathe into it deeply. Let it soften. Do this over and over until you feel like you’ve released the tension and tightness. You can even ask it to let go out loud. This helps the brain to more powerfully focus on your intention of releasing the tension physically and emotionally. Hold onto the intention that you want to dissolve samskaras from your body.
It is possible to heal old pain and let go of trauma that has occurred. Time and conscious effort will help you to get to know the feelings inside of you. Practicing even five minutes a day will reward you with a life of emotional freedom. You may wish to do some yoga sessions which will help you become more body aware. If you’re already attending yoga classes, you can do this exercise after savasana. A powerful alternative is to see a reiki master so the two of you can work on dissolving the Samskaras within you.