7 Steps to Success.

Via Chanti Tacoronte-Perez
on Dec 31, 2011
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Chapter 10: The Sankalpa Exercise
Rod Stryker’s Four Desire (4D) Virtual Book Club

This chapter clearly takes you through the 7 steps to formulating your sankalpa or resolution. In this post I want to clarify those 7 steps so we don’t forget any of them. We will also go over exactly how a sankapa should be stated, as this is key.

Step 1: Know the 4 Desires
Something that really helped me was to look back into the other chapters and clearly write down on a single sheet of paper the four desires and their meaning. Rod says to have the book handy, but I felt that writing the 4 desires down separately helped me start the process of creating a sankalpa.

Step 2: Bliss Meditation
This may be the most important step in the process, I don’t think you can really formulate a sankapa without it. The bliss meditation opens the door so you may step into that place of creativity and intuition. I really enjoy listening to this meditation on The Four Desires companion practice CD, as I feel it really gives you the time you need. I think if I did the meditation out of the book, I may have rushed though this; be sure to take about 15 minutes if you practice the Bliss Mediation directly from the book.

Step 3: You are Your Own Guide
This is a time, as Rod says, to “tune in to a feeling of knowingness and certainty within you.”  This step took me a little time to develop, and it was helpful for me to physically feel a sensation in my body. This true knowingness is your guide in discerning which desire your sankapa will come from.

Step 4: Choosing Your Desire
“Which one of the for desires, if it was fulfilled in the next six to eighteen months, would best serve my highest purpose or dharma?”, asks Rod.

This is the question you ask yourself as soon as you open your eyes and look at the definition of four desires in the book. Your guide is that feeling of true knowingness from step 3, and it is important to answer this question from that guide.

Recently I Skyped with several other dedicated yogis (4D nerds) and we decided to take this step-by-step process together. We listened to the Bliss Meditation on the The Four Desires companion practice CD. When it was over and I settled into the feeling of my own guide, I opened my eyes and was surprised with my choice of desire. Of course my brain thinks it knows what’s best for me, but that sense of true knowingness just knows better. I ended up drafting my sankapa from a completely different desire that  I had anticipated.

Step 5: Mind Mapping
This, I have to say, is my favorite part! I absolutely love mind mapping. It allows you to explore feelings and ideas that you normally wouldn’t. I am constantly amazed at what comes up in my mind map, and this one was no different. There is a level of spontaneity in this step. Have fun with it and don’t over think it. Take about a minute to write down all the words that you associate with the desire of your choice.

In the first mind mapping lesson I had at the Yoga of Fulfillment ParaYoga Master Training, Rod stated the following key element which has really helped me: set up the mind map on a horizontal sheet of paper. Our minds do not think linearly and our ideas have more space to be expressed when the page is horizontal.

Step 6: Short Description of Your Accomplishments
In this step, we visualize accomplishing our desire. This should be 2-3 paragraphs and take no more that 10 minutes. I feel that the most important part of this step is becoming aware of the feelings that arise. These feelings can also be incorporated into your final sankalpa draft.

Step 7: Writing Your Sankalpa
Using the short description from Step 6, write exactly what it is that you want to accomplish in the next six to eighteen months. The best way is by answering two questions:
What do you want to achieve or become?
What would it look and feel like to achieve?

When answering these questions it is important to make sure that the sankalpa:

~is a result you are seeking and/or expresses the attitude or feeling of that achievement.
~is specific with what you want.
~is achievable in the next 6-18 months, especially if it is your first sankalpa!
~is something you BELIEVE! 51% of you must believe that it will happen.
~is worded in the present tense. “ I meditate each day” vs. “I will meditate every day”
~is in your own words. This is coming from you, so these are words that you would actually say.  Keep it simple and real!

Go and get your sankapa! It seems like a long process, but get friendly with it, enjoy the process, and allow yourself time to do this. You don’t want to rush something that is coming from your soul! With an authentic sankalpa, there is a different vibration in your every day life; let’s experience that and start manifesting our wants and needs in service to our soul’s purpose.

The feeling of accomplishing a sankalpa reminds me of one of my favorite sanskrit words Shraddha.

The word shraddha is made of two parts: shrat  meaning ‘truth’ and dha meaning ‘to hold’. Thus shraddha means ‘that which holds truth’…Shraddha arises from true experience. Belief is always learned from other people; it is not an outcome of realization of truth, but shraddha never fails. Shraddha is the first essential principle required by a student of yoga.”
–Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Did you follow the 7 steps to a successful sankalpa?
Tell us about your experience of the process.
Remember we are not sharing our sankalpas, just the process of writing them.


Learn more about Rod Stryker and ParaYoga at RodStryker.com
Read The Four Desires book review on Elephant Journal.
Read other discussions about The Four Desires
Instructions: How the book club works


About Chanti Tacoronte-Perez

As a traveler and painter Chanti has grounded her roots in the path of yoga wherever she has landed. Chanti began practicing Yoga during her first year in college & continued when she left for Hampshire College to complete her BA in Painting/Fine Arts and Special Education. From 2001-2004 she lived and worked in Havana, Cuba as the Hampshire College Cuba Program Coordinator where she studied Iyengar Yoga. Chanti has been studying and teaching yoga in the Tantric Hatha Linage since 2005 with her teacher Rod Stryker, founder of Para Yoga. He has taught her that everyone has the ability to know their destination and find that road to walk on. She has currently completed the Para Yoga Certification (level I) & her Restorative Yoga training with Judith Handson Lasater. Her study of Sacred Art and Yantra Painting merge her love of Yoga with her passion for painting and education.


11 Responses to “7 Steps to Success.”

  1. […] Chapter 8: The Science of Manifesting Intention A New Year’s Resolution Without Fail: Sankalpa […]

  2. Paula says:

    I have to say, I am a bit disappointed with the process at the moment. I did the whole thing and figured out my sankalpa a while back, but I just found out there are obstacles to achieving it, and it may not be achieved for a while. I'm starting to think that this process of setting out your goals and getting clear on them, similar to the law of attraction, leads to disappointment. It seems to be contrary to the yoga sutras in that it focuses on the future, and results in attachment to a particular outcome, rather than allowing us to be detached from outcomes and finding happiness independent of circumstances.

    I can't see how holding on to this sankalpa will help me in the moment. Perhaps it is about the wording, not focusing on a particular outcome but on a feeling I can create in the present. My Dharma code helps me in this, as I can fulfill it now.

    Am I missing something?

    • Ashley says:

      seek first to cultivate and 'hold on to' gratitude for your current circumstances and positive thoughts . . . . it's not as clear-cut as many things we use in America are, it takes time and I found that the thing I was seeking came in a very different package than was expected! But, still, the practice moved me forward – stay in it 🙂 namste. I think the most powerful thing for me in Stryker's 'Relax Into Greatness' is 'imagine yourself as if you have already achieved that which you are seeking, picture yourself engaging with/in the wish and responding to it' . . . that made it real and was something I could hold onto in 'the now'. 🙂

  3. Amy Whelan says:

    My sankulpa is/was not so much as a manifestation of something physical, but a mere attitude change (not as easy as it sounds!) Attitude, I believe, is everything. We can invite so many people, experiences, and gifts into our lives just by opening ourselves (yep! being vulnerable!) to positive thoughts, feelings, and interactions in general. When I speak from my heart and I'm completely honest with myself, I find abundance pouring into my life.

  4. Zunit says:

    I stay in Hawaii and Rod is doing the sun, moon, fire workshop.I started reading the book and making an effort to transform my life.I came out of the moon practice with tears streaming down my face. I saw in my own images and words that my Dharma code, and sankalpa where out of alignment with my deepest driving desire. I wasn't getting what I wanted because it wasn't what I needed. My intuition spoke to me and said gently and lovingly. "you have to want to let go of your deepest driving desire"
    I refuse to run and hide from my destiny any longer.
    From this moment on, I chose to live with purpose driven intent.
    On that path to Allahabad 2013 baby!

  5. plaintain1 says:

    Loved the article. Is it okay to use the sankalpaa to become and actor or musician? Or would ths be a selfish act?

  6. Suryakiran says:

    Hi everyone, I am happy to see people commenting on this, I hope we can keep the conversation going as its pretty complex (yet simple) stuff. Bob, I can see what you mean, once you set your sankalpa, then it doesnt work, or you find obstacles to reaching it, it could become very disappointing. I also think that if you set your sankalpa, then other people dont let it work, as other people are often players in the goals we want to achieve, too, obviously, then what does that mean? Were your efforts or months you focused on that sankalpa wasted time? Was your sankalpa wrong or do you just need to refocus with and make sure more beneficial people are involved? I am certainly no sankalpa expert, I am just trying to figure it out alongside you. Just thinking about this made me think that a sankalpa's main concept is most likely true and right, but the physical method in which you assumed it would work out, could be less than workable or take longer than we thought. I think we may be overthinking this instead of simply identifying our soul's desire for the specified time via a sankalpa, then allowing it to manifest. while steadily working towards it focused ways. Let me know what you think, as quite some time has passed since you posted, and perhaps you have some new insights by now. Take care!

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