February 25, 2012

How to Make Your Thoughts More Powerful ~ The Four Desires Virtual Book Club.

Chapter 16: How intention flowers into fulfillment

 We should begin this conversation with a basic tantric foundation: “energy follows thought.”

“The universe we live in is energy–what yogis call prana–trapped in material form… At a subtle level, the world and everything in it is essentially pranic, composed of energy and intelligence.”

We all have different belief systems and can argue against traditional wisdom, but for the sake of understanding why “seeding the gap” works, lets use assume it is an accurate statement.

Why Seeding the Gap & Departure Point work :

1. Stillness.
Vedic wisdom describes the mind as a body of water. In that body of water are many thoughts, and each thought is like a ripple. Imagine your mind on an average day. If you had to compare it to a body of water what would it “look” like? At times I feel like my mind is like a choppy sea, and other times, huge swells that only a surfer could dream of.

“Intentions like all other forms of thought, are waves that silently ripple, expanding out from the mind and to the universe.” Rod Stryker

When we learn how to quiet the mind and “still” the waters, we can drop an intention (sankalpa) into this stillness.  If the wave of the intention is dropped into stillness, it expands (as energy) into the universe, free of distortion. The energy of thought, when powerful enough, ripples into the material world. An intention formed in turbulent waters, however, will have less potential to expand, thus not carrying as much power as when done effortlessly. It would be like dropping a pebble into an already turbulent sea.  This is why when practicing the departure point exercise, we stop and create a connection to a Higher Source.

“To effect real change, an intention needs to touch the invisible, all pervading world of prana or life force.” Rod Stryker 

2. Change.

Rod Stryker says “there is no single teaching in The Four Desires that could prove more instrumental to your ability and the achievement of your sankalpa than this: The slightest change in the quality of your actions, attitude, or timing can make all the difference as to whether you will be in the right place at the right time to fulfill the destiny you seek.”

In the departure point exercise, we decide to give up a bad habit in order to create space for our sankalpa. When you let something go, you change in many ways. Those changes can create a ripple effect strong enough so that the future itself changes. We don’t realize it, but surrendering something that no longer serves us begins to create positive change in us, and in turn the world we live in. We feel better about ourselves, we get the things that are really important done or we simply have that extra hour to practice in the morning. All thanks to change.

Improving the odds of fulfillment.

The Four Desires mentions three different ways of looking at destiny:

  1. Life is nothing but chance. There is no organizing principle that influences the events in our lives.
  2. Our lives are predetermined; whatever needs to happen is going to happen no matter what.
  3. The Tantric Perspective: It’s a little of both predetermination and chance. We have a role in determining our destiny, we are co-creators of our future.

The Vedic teachings mention that there are no coincidences or chances and everything is based on cause and effect. Those causes and effects are where the unconscious and the soul meet. In The Four Desires Rod calls it the psyche or the intuitive part that is able to create a sequence of events that generate an auspicious outcome. Intuition, supported by inner stillness, is what we need to start to develop in order to make our thoughts more powerful.

Without this conscious planting, we drift through our “predetermined” life in response to our past, fueled by our deepest desires or vikalpas.  The tantric route offers us agency in our lives; the more we solicit the help of the unconscious, the more we become familiar with and begin to trust our intuition.


Learn more about Rod Stryker and ParaYoga at RodStryker.com 
Read The Four Desires book review on Elephant Journal.
The Four Desires: YouTube talks with Rod Stryker
Read other discussions about The Four Desires
Instructions: How the book club works
Rod Stryker travels to the largest spiritual pilgrimage in history in 2013. I’ll be there. Will you?

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