The Dark Moon
Let your life sustaining statement begin to form
Welcome to the first step in creating your 40 Day Sadhana. Clearing the space in your life so that you can dedicate time, attention and energy to the needs of your highest self.
There is much of this practice that will require intuition and faith in the unknown, there are also a lot of practical tips that keep your spiritual growth grounded in reality.
As the moon wanes through its last quarter, the diminishing light encourages us to rest, reflect and restore. You may feel more tired than usual, more heavy, extra thirsty or the need to be more introverted. This is a perfect time to draw in and begin to listen for what is needed before the next cycle begins.
The guiding hand behind these 40 Days
kalpa - a law or rule // kala (root of kalpa) - time
sa - the highest // san - connection to the highest truth
A vow and commitment we make to support our highest truth.
To go further, its a connection to the highest truth formed within a window of opportunity. A window of time in which to work on something.
A lifetime - or a period of time within a lifetime to have a law of the highest order to have us moving, breathing, talking and living.
This might be in the area of our health, the output of a project, in relationships, raising children, the phase of our occupation we are in. A deep sense of happiness and fulfillment is not found at a shitty job, however well paid. It isn't found in sugary binges, or by accumulating material possessions.
It is found by doing the things you were put on earth to do. Underneath your constant running day to day conscious thoughts, your subconscious knows what those things are. By delving into that part of you that is beneath the surface, you will be able to discover the guidance towards not only positive change in your life, but a life that has you present and fulfilling your deepest desires.
From the the ancient traditions we have the most fundamental teaching in yoga that explores the shift in our mindset from that searches, grabs and pulls to one that is calm . That you are already whole and complete and have everything you need.
As we work towards this true nature, the purpose with which we were put on this earth will begin to reveal itself. We know it is within us, it has just become hidden by conditioning, expectations, false priorities and fears. As this is happening - we may find our purpose, or dharma requires a lot of unlearning and untangling of these conditions, it isn’t what we expected or it guides us on a very different path.
By formulating a sankalpa, we create a guiding hand from our highest self, a statement to honour the true and divine meaning of our life. We can then use our spiritual practices to focus on bringing that part of ourselves, our hearts desires into fruition and into alignment with our life one step at a time.
By remembering this part of ourselves, we become the person we want to be, the person who has become hidden by conditioning.
If this is your first 40 Day Sadhana, you may find your sankalpa changes and refines itself as you practice with it each day. You may have something very strong and clear come to you and the challenge is to meet the obstacles of your mind and ego to really come out. This is not like learning to ride a bike and once you’ve got it you’re off - its a deep dive beyond everything that makes up you on the outside and into the things within you that are yearning to become part of your life. Learning to channel the divine energy in your body is a very powerful and challenging process but available to every single one of us.
Energy before Matter
Your sankalpa is using the energy of what’s already inside you - what you ultimately already really know - to drive change in your thoughts, words and actions. The things that make up your life.
It describes a state of being that you already are, you just need to do some re grooving of your neural pathways to allow this state to become conscious.
It is a positive statement in the present tense - ‘I am’
It is not for material gains
It may target a habit you specifically want to change
Trust the first things that come up, no matter how wild they are. It’s important to not overthink or tamper with the mind. Your subconscious will send you words, impressions, visualizations, sensations that may often get missed because we are in our heads or being run by our egos or conditioning.
There are many directions you can go. If an overarching vow that rules your life is completely overwhelming then start with small steps. The direction you want to take in life can be broken down. You may start with statements such as "I make healthy choices", "I use my time wisely", "I take care with my words". Then when you see this becoming part of your day to day life, you move on with more focussed statements such as "My body exudes health and vitality", "I have a successful business", "I inspire others by my example".
The heartfelt desire reflects your own true nature. It doesn't actually require you to change, it allows you to recognise the true nature that has become hidden by the busyness and expectations of life. "I embody peace and tranquillity", "Compassion is my true nature", "I am whole and healed".
These statements become a reminder not to lose track of who you really are. The first type of Sankalpa, the direction, allows you to move towards the life you want in a deliberate manner. Seeing each step reached will inspire you to keep moving forward. Recognising your heartfelt desire allows you to reach your full potential.
As the Sankalpa is a statement of your true intentions, it doesn't need a lot of effort to become a part of your life. It doesn't need to be announced or discussed with others. In fact, it is advisable to keep your Sankalpa to yourself.
Create Your Space
Find yourself a place that can be your sadhana space over the next 40 days. It may just be a spot on the floor, a small alter you make for yourself or your favourite peaceful place. It may take a few days to let the spot become ‘home’ but for today make it a place where you can grab some paper or a journal and write.
The recording below will assist you in delving into the subconscious. Sending the ripple of the question “What Do I Really Want?” beneath your mind to start stirring.
Yoga Nidra is practiced lying down on your back (in savasana) warm, padded and comfortable, ideally on a yoga mat or on a blanket on the floor.
Repeat as many times as you need and drop your expectations of what answers may come up.