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February 18, 2012

What Are Your Bad Habits? ~ The Four Desires Virtual Book Club

Chapter 15: Building Momentum to Achieve Your Sankalpa~The Departure Point
Rod Stryker’s Four Desires (4D) Virtual Book Club

Giving up a bad habit is not an easy task, but when we give one up for greater goal, it changes the forces at play in our life, be they mental, material or spiritual.

This Chapter will guide us on how to use our departure point to “seed the gap.” It is a very simple and basic practice but extremely powerful.

The Departure Point technique is

“based on the principle that by giving something up, you can create an opportunity for the universe to fill the resulting gap with something new, and specifically something you desire-your sankalpa.”

~Rod Stryker

In this context, we can see the absence of a habit as space for the universe to fill with our sankalpa, as opposed to a strict suppression of a habit. I have to say, it works! Let’s discuss how it works.

We will first outline the steps for giving up one of those “bad habits” or “time wasters” (if you prefer) from our list at the end of chapter 13.

• Pick one of those bad habits. It should be something that creates obstacles, is unproductive or distracting.  A habit could be any thought or action that crops up on a regular basis.

• Pick something that you can track.  It is hard to manage your thought habits.  So for this activity, choose a bad habit that is concrete.

• Remember it does not need to have any direct connection to your sankalpa.

• The habit you want to discard should be substantial enough so that renouncing it will create a material change in your life.

The Practice: Seeding the Gap

If we have picked out a sufficiently powerful “bad habit,” we will catch ourselves doing it a lot. Lets say we are going to quit smoking (a very powerful habit). As an ex-smoker I know I would want to smoke after every meal and of course with each cup of morning expresso. The moment you either begin to look for your cigarettes or ask someone for a light, stop! That is the departure point.

Deliberately choose the moment you begin to engage your bad habit what ever it may be. Maybe you need to pass on the ice cream purchase at the grocery store.  Perhaps you need to make fewer phone calls while driving. What ever it is, stop.

“Stillness is a more compelling force to influence and attract, and thereby help you fulfill your desires, than is desperation or even willpower alone.”

~ Rod Stryker

Once you have stopped engaging in your habit, turn your attention to a Higher Source.   This can mean a number of things:  God, Nature, The Divine, an inner calmness and peace, etc. Take a moment to rest and relax in this inner life and be present. Steeped in that presence, recall your sankalpa and repeat it using the same words, remembering feelings and images you associate with it and confident that your resolve has already been fulfilled. Then give thanks or feel gratitude. This pause is similar to the beginning of Relax into Greatness. 

This process is “seeding the gap.” You are creating a pause or gap in your day that was previously filled with your habit and then connecting to a force greater than yourself and repeating your sankalpa (seed).  Lets go back to the analogy of the garden. If you are growing tomato plants and you put one seed in the ground, the chances of harvesting tomatoes are going to be slimmer than if you plant a bunch of seeds.

The more seeds we plant, the greater the possibility of reaping a harvest.  Each time you stop and connect with a Higher source and affirm your sankalpa, you’re placing another seed in the earth.  The inner stillness and gratitude creates a fertile soil in which to plant the seed.

This week we should pick out a bad habit and begin “seeding the gap.” It should be interesting to see what happens in just one week. Remember that the habit you choose to eliminate should be substantial enough so that in its absence you feel more connection to your sankalpa.  Next week we will discuss why this works according to traditional wisdom.

Aloha,
Chanti

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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