“Yogis look to connect thought, speech and action.”
Last weekend, Luke Ketterhagen presented three workshops focused on the art and practice of developing a happy life of purpose and meaning.
During one of the workshops his attention was on the power of our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious. The entire yoga world, traditionally and fundamentally, is oriented toward unity, harmony, peace and understanding. Even the word “yoga” means “to unite, to join, to yoke, to connect.”
Yoga joins the body, mind and breath together during the practice of the postures (asanas). Yoga also preaches connecting our thoughts, speech, and actions so that we act as whole people. This is yoga’s goal—making what we think, say and do an experience of oneness. That’s what “integrity” means.
We often experience ourselves as fragmented and separated from our highest good because of the pull of culture. We start to think and say negative things because the political craziness of the times or the environmental problems related to climate change or family discord bombard us with negative energy. We listen too much to the junk that is happening in the world and we begin to allow that experience as a majority focus in our mind.
During one of Luke’s workshops, he introduced us to a thought pattern that might be considered a form of positive prayer, called the Sri Sukta, the Song of Beauty. This song of beauty, when spoken over and over again, on a regular basis begins to penetrate our thoughts and then triggers positive, loving thoughts, speech and actions.
We all have experienced saying something to ourselves over and over again and later seeing that saying unfold physically before our eyes. What we think really does become a physical reality.
The heart of the song in Sanskrit is verse 9:
gandhadvaram duradharsham nityapushtam karishinim
ishvarim survabhutanam tamihopahvaye shriyam
The translation is:
I invoke the Divine Mother Sri, who is the gateway to inner fragrance,
who is invincible and eternally nurturing. I invoke the Divine Mother Sri,
who is the fuel for the fire and lord of all beings.
As a yoga sadhana (practice), one can repeat this phrase in Sanskrit 11 times a day. That repetition eventually will sink into the 5 cognitive senses, the 5 active senses and the mind. When we pray this song every day to the Highest Being of all, eventually all our wandering thoughts move to that Highest Being (God). We begin to think, act and speak, as yoga teaches, with loving wholeness; in other words, loving integrity. The negative thoughts, speech and action begin to melt away.