Is this situation familiar, you’ve had a busy day, your physically and mentally exhausted but as you drag yourself into bed you miraculously and suddenly become wide awake, you start contemplating your future or re-living some event/s of your past.
You start going through all the possible alternate outcomes to a life event or some experience of your past, what you could have done, what you should have said, how you would act differently if you had the opportunity, how you’d deal with that 4th class bully if you could go back in time, you plan the perfect retort. The self chatter may change direction and you start to explore the future, the possibilities are endless.
“Samskaras” are mental impressions left by all thoughts, actions and intentions an individual has ever experienced. Thoughts are repeated and recycled constantly which reflect mental and emotional states. Every time you relive a past experience, when you add to the story, change the ending or add another emotion the neural pathway deepens and that particular thought process becomes a habit. Noel Harrison offers a very good analogy “As the images unwind, like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind” The thoughts go around and around and the cycle can’t be broken, the process is totally futile simply because you can’t change the past, it’s happened. No matter how many times you relive the experience, whatever mental energy/emotional energy you waste reliving an event you’ll never change the outcome, you can learn from it but you can’t change the past. You can’t live in the future because it hasn’t happened, what you do have is the present moment, right here, right now. The “present” is elusive because it’s constantly changing but you can break bad habits of thought by developing mindfulness through movement or meditation.