Freeing Yourself From Your Samskaras

As we discussed last week with the Introduction to Samskaras email, samskaras are formed from our past experiences and are stored in the unconscious mind.

They are essentially mental or emotional ‘blocks’ that have formed when we couldn’t quite let a past experience go. We absolutely hated experiencing something, so when we face the possibility of experiencing it again, we curl up inside. 

Or we absolutely loved the experience of something and couldn’t stop thinking about it, now we spend the majority of our life either thinking about the experience or trying to get it back.

These are samskaras in action and if you haven’t noticed by now, they tend to both run and ruin our lives.

So what is the answer to our unique, individual samskaras? How do we begin to release them and get our lives back?

The first step is to see them without judgement. Once we become aware of a samskara or blockage within ourselves, we are already most of the way there to releasing it. For as long as samskaras are running our life from behind the scenes, they can never be released. Once they are brought to the forefront and have a light shone upon them, they find it very difficult to dictate our lives. 

To see without judgement is the next most important part. Within Stoicism, for better or for worse, there is always an emphasis on doing and action and fixing. To actively try and “deal” with a samskara actually only digs it deeper into your psyche. 

Releasing or letting go is a completely passive approach. What effort do you need to make to release the sound of a bird when it naturally comes to an end? Or a passing thought about the rain outside? How much effort?

Samskaras are formed from effort and trying to manipulate experience. They can’t be released by doing the same thing.

Samskaras, particularly negative ones, are often stored alongside strong emotions like jealousy, pain, anxiety and anger. As they were stored as such, they will most likely be released as such.

As these blockages naturally arise in our day-to-day experiences, recognise them and fully allow them the space they require to arise and dissipate on their own accord.

There is a reason why many of the great philosophies, cultures and traditions emphasise so heavily Awareness, Acceptance and Letting Go. It is the only way to naturally unravel all of the psychological and emotional knots we have tied ourselves in over the course of our lives.