Becoming Free from Karmic Structure
Q: If our thoughts reflect our karmic structure, can changing our thought pattern impact our karmic structure? And how can we become free from it?
Sadhguru: There is a difference between thought and thinking. Thoughts are simply floating away, depending upon the content of your mind. Thinking means you consciously think about something. How you think may be strongly influenced by the content of your mind, but still your intellect has some discretion to think beyond that if you are willing. In the Inner Engineering and Isha Yoga programs, we spend over thirty hours with you to transmit a twenty-one-minute practice. What we are doing in this time is helping you to consciously think beyond your karmic limitations. When you do a certain kriya or sadhana of any kind and your thought does not facilitate this, energy may burst upwards, but your thought may go downwards. If thought and energy collide, it will create a certain amount of friction and struggle.
This is what is happening to a lot of people. You sat in the program and suddenly realized, “Yes! It’s really me who is doing all this. I always thought it was someone else who is doing something to me, but it’s actually me!” That was true for you for the first three months after the program. It was like a dream – everything transformed. But slowly, people fall back into the same old patterns. You again start to blame others for what is happening in your life. That means you are re-establishing your ignorance. Then there is no ambience for your sadhana to flower. If you do the practice without setting the necessary psychological ambience, it will only create health benefits, no transformation.
This is not because the practice wears out. This is not because your sadhana has become ineffective. This is simply because you are not setting the psychological ambience that is necessary for the practice to succeed. If you do the Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya (from the Inner Engineering program) without setting the psychological ambience, the energy will go up, but your mind will pull it down. That is why those of you who have done the program should give yourself a three-minute crash course in Inner Engineering every day before you do your Shambhavi.
This crash course will create the necessary psychological ambience for you to distance yourself from your karmic structure. If you do not create that psychological ambience, the content of the mind will catch up with you. What we offer you in the Inner Engineering program is a fool-proof way to fix that. There will be no room for you to get stuck to anything. If you fix that every day and do your practice, transformation will be a continuous process. As long as you live, the transformation will go deeper and deeper. Just one practice is enough. You do not have to keep doing different things. If you give yourself to this one thing, it will take you all the way.
To become free from your karmic structure does not mean to forget about it. Forgetfulness is not freedom. It is important to know it but not be stuck with it. Being ignorant of something is not freedom. Knowing it and being untouched by it is the important thing. If you set this ambience, it will take you beyond your karmic structure.
Editor’s Note: For dates and details about Inner Engineering and other Isha Yoga programs, visit innerengineering.com.
A version of this article was originally published in Forest Flower, June 2018.