Letters to the Editor

Overcoming negative thoughts not impossible

Last week we began to discuss the nature of Samskaras. I described them as latent ruts that develop in the physical, mental, and emotional body, whenever our actions are motivated by one of the five Kleshas, or root causes of suffering.

When Samskaras lie within, we unconsciously fall into patterns of behaviour, seemingly helpless to do otherwise. We often mistakenly believe that these patterns are who we are, that these patterns are our personality.

As difficult as Samskaras may be to avoid, they are by no means impossible to overcome.

The release of Samskaras usually takes time since they are latent and lie rooted, often deeply, in the subconscious mind.

To release Samskaras, we must draw these latent impressions first into the conscious mind. This takes practice, the kind that one develops through yoga and meditation.

Through both yoga and meditation, the mind begins to slow down. Thoughts from the subconscious mind that would usually zoom by undetected by the conscious mind begin to move a little slower – just slow enough that you can catch them.

And when you catch the thought, trapping it in the arena of the conscious mind, you enter the realm of choice. It is here that you can see the Klesha from which the thought springs. It is here that you can choose to continue to react to this Klesha, or you can choose to release your attachment to this Klesha and act free from this motivation.

This second choice results in an action which is non-karmic, non-samskaric. The Samskara that originally triggered the thought you caught begins to lose its power.

When this becomes a common practice in your daily living, the Samskara eventually lifts out of the body, mind and spirit altogether. It is here you witness a change in “personality.”

Once in a while Samskaras can be released in a spontaneous moment of letting go. It is not terribly unusual for me to witness these spontaneous moments taking place within my yoga classes.

Every so often a student will be in the middle of a class and feel a sudden, overwhelming release of emotion. Sometimes tears flow or laughter comes out. In most cases, the student is unaware as to what has spurred their release of emotion, but they do know that something within has changed, and for the better.


Kavita Maharaj is the owner and operator of Red Door Yoga. She can be reached at 751-1458 or www.reddooryogacanada.com for questions.

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