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Will, Sankalpa, & Inner Talking

By Thomas Amelio

One of my beloved Western authors is Neville Goddard, who taught extensively in the 50’s and 60’s about the power of consciousness, faith and thought. He drew his teaching not from the “new thought” movement, but rather from his teacher, an Ethiopian Rabbi, named Abdullah, who was steeped in the Kabbalah teachings. I think Neville’s teachings give illumination to the yogic practices of mantra and sankalpa (focused intention). 

One of his teachings I love, and accords with my yogic training, is: 

“ The circumstances and conditions of life are out-pictured inner talking, solidified sound. Inner speech calls events into existence. In every event is the creative sound that is its life and being. All we believe and consent to as true reveals itself in inner speech. It is our Word, our life. ~Neville Goddard

Another beloved teacher is the great Swami Vivekananda, one of the earliest proponents of yoga philosophy in the Americas and Europe: 

“Whatever you do, think well on it. All your actions will be magnified, transformed, deified, by the very power of the thought. If matter is powerful, thought is omnipotent. Bring this thought to bear upon your life.”  ~Swami Vivekananda

I have found there is nothing more powerful than watching our inner thinking patterns, not just in meditation, but throughout the day. They are the mantras that will tend to, as Neville says, “outpicture” themselves and thicken into reality in our daily lives. However, when the mind is too tired to watch the inner thinking, we can at least use these ancient, time-tested, techniques to change the tone of the mind. 

These can take the form of mantras–sound formulas, typically in Sanskrit, or other vibrational languages, or sankalpas –clear word-formulas that help us focus on what is important, without having to think or analyze too much. 

In a sense these ancient techniques “switch the radio station of our mind” quickly. 


Next time you find the mind restless, confused, dull, etc, take a moment, deepen the breath, and internally repeat OM OM OM on the inbreath, and also on the out breath. 

If you want to use a more complex, but powerful, mantra, the classic “OM Namah Shivaya” (Ohm-nuh-MAH ShiVAI-yuh). (“Om, I honor and embody transformation and supreme goodness”.)

Note: you can chant these mantras out loud, or mentally, or do a combination of both. 


There are different approaches to Sankalpa, or focused intent. The one I find that gently and powerfully engenders change are “essence” sankalpas. 


breathe, relax and mentally repeat the quality you would like to better embody in yourself and in your life, and say it in different forms, to see which resonates most. 

You can start with “clarity” which is lovely. 

Then try the word “clearing”  which is similar, but implies movement from the unclear to the clearer. 

Then simply “clear.” 

(Recently, someone I work with came up with “slim” “slimming” and “slimmer!”)

Note:  you can also say these out loud as a variation. 

You can’t really go wrong: The idea is to simply shift the mind to the quality you want to embody, and not to focus on the “how,” or the means to get there. 

On August 3rd, join Thomas for an intimate evening of meditation practice, Q & A, plus a discussion on sound yoga and the practice of sankalpa or will cultivation. Register here