Welcome to the Yoga Church Sunday Sermons.
June 2nd, 2019
This week we’re beginning a new sermon series all about mantra and prayer (two of my very favorite things!).
And we’re starting with a beautiful heart centered mantra.
Most of us spend so much time lost in our over thinking minds. But good things can happen when we decide to spend some time with the truth of our hearts…
The teaching this week will help you use your thoughts to shift your attention down into your heart and connect more deeply with the highest truths within you.
You can transform your thinking patterns. You can transform the stories that play on repeat in your head. You can connect with the eternal truth always, already within you.
This mantra will help.
the Hrdayam Mayi Mantra
We get so lost in our wandering minds. Our culture has trained us to be distracted. I mean, think about it… How many directions does your mind go in a day? In an hour? In a minute? Our minds are constantly wandering, but I would bet that there’s a consistent theme to your thoughts. We all have our own unique thinking patterns. And we all have those particular thoughts that seem to be ever present. The ones that we get stuck on—that seem to get stuck on us. These are the thoughts that become the stories we tell ourselves. And sadly, these stories are often based in some sort of fear or insecurity, judgment, jealously, anger. Pick your poison. You know what it is for you.
These stories play on repeat in our heads. Over and over and over again we listen to these false stories, giving them immense power. We think ourselves into so much trouble because what we think turns into what we say and what we do.
But let’s not get too down on our thinking minds here, because, remember it’s the job of our mind to think. We’re not going to stop the mind from thinking. But we can give the mind the thought to think. Hear that again: We can give the mind the thought that we want to think. We can train the mind. Our culture has trained our minds to be distracted. Our own habits of thinking have trained our minds to tell certain stories over and over again. All of this training may have been unintentional on our part. But we have the ability to interrupt our current habits and do the work of intentional mind training. This is mantra practice. And our mantra practice can become a deep part of our prayer practice when the mantra we choose is infused with meaning and intention. In 1st Thessalonians we’re told to pray without ceasing. Living in constant prayer is a beautiful and serious form of mind training!
We are shaped by our thoughts. Our speech and our actions stem from our thoughts. What we think matters. So what if we chose a thought—chose a mantra—designed to help us connect with something bigger than ourselves? Bigger than our insecurity and jealously? What if we chose a thought designed to help us drop down from the wandering mind into the heart? And what if we made a commitment to chant this mantra several times a day? It might just change our thought patterns…
So I’d like to offer you a simple sanskrit mantra—part of a larger mantra—that roots us in our heart and the eternal wisdom found there. In english it says:
Let my life force be linked to my heart
let my heart be linked to the truth within me
let this truth be linked to the eternal
In many traditions the heart is considered the seat of our wisdom—the seat of our illuminated mind. As we connect more deeply with the felt sensations of our heart, we’re able to strengthen our intuition and align more closely with our own internal compass. When we root ourselves in our heart, we’re able to stay grounded in the depths of our own truth and being.
What if the story that ran constantly through our mind—instead of the false stories of anxiety and judgement that we’re used to—was a prayer asking for connection with heart, truth, and eternal being? I think it could change things!
So I invite you into the practice of mantra. Into the practice of praying without ceasing. Put in the effort and you can learn to direct your thoughts. You can change the stories playing on repeat in your mind. You can remember to stay connected and grounded in the wisdom of your heart.
- Is your mind usually distracted or focused?
- What do you regularly think about? Are your most common thoughts positive? Or based in things like fear, insecurity, anxiety, judgment, jealously, and anger?
- How does what you think about shape how you speak and act?
- What do you want to think about?
- Do you think it’s possible to change what you think about?
We all benefit from the wisdom of spiritual community. And community means more than one voice, so please add yours to the conversation. What did this week’s sermon and reflection questions spark in you?