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Samskaras – Do We Keep Falling Into the Same Hole?

green sidewalk path

All of us have had times when we have fallen into the trap of repeating the same, unhelpful behavior over and over, even though it leads to something negative.  Usually this stems from unconscious beliefs and habits we’ve learned in childhood.  In yoga we call patterns/habits “samskaras.”  These samskara patterns can be something as simple as regularly losing our house keys to something as serious as being in repeat abusive relationships.  These beliefs and habits are typically so deep they are unconscious to us, but often easy for others to see.

By practicing yoga and meditation we are increasing our ability to notice what we are doing, saying and thinking.  The things that were unconscious start to become conscious.  This gives us more ability to make changes if we choose.  Yoga practice gives us a place to strengthen our “mind muscles” of awareness.  We can work at being present in the moment by focusing on things like, “What is my body doing in this pose?”  “Is my foot really in the correct position?”  “Am I remembering to breathe and notice my body in this moment or is my focus off somewhere else thinking about what text messages might have come in, etc.?”

This poem beautifully illustrates the journey to self awareness, i.e., waking up.  Please read and consider sharing your experiences with ways yoga (or anything) has helped you break unwanted samskaras and replace them with happier, healthier alternatives.

 

Autobiography in Five Chapters

by Portia Nelson

 

CHAPTER I:
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost…
I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

CHAPTER II:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

CHAPTER III:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in…it’s a habit
My eyes are open; I know where I am;
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

CHAPTER IV:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

CHAPTER V:
I walk down another street.

One Response to Samskaras – Do We Keep Falling Into the Same Hole?

  1. Wonderful!

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