The Scripture ~ Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
The Spiritual Focus ~ “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now, without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” ~ James Baraz
Breath Prayer ~ All I have all I need, right here right now, is God.
The Devotion ~ ‘Thought precedes action’ is a much debated philosophical principle in the world of psychotherapy, much like the debate over the old adage, ‘Which comes first? The chicken or the egg?’ No matter where you might fall down in the discussion of what comes first, most of us could agree that there are certainly times we wish we could better control our thoughts and/or our actions. Sometimes thoughts come so fast they slip past our filter and out our mouth or into action that does not represent who we truly are as people of faith. While controlling our thoughts and actions can seem like a lofty goal at times—some would argue even unrealistic—there are tools available to help us with the “renewing of our mind so that we may discern the will of God.”
In the yoga world asana is used to move the body to a place where we can sit in mediation, but it isn’t always that easy. While the body may be calm, our mind can still race; this is often called ‘monkey mind.’ In the case of monkey mind, one might consider creating and using a mantra. A mantra is a phrase based on an experience you wish to name, claim and release. A favorite mantra for monkey mind is, “I am not my thoughts.” This mantra clears the field of the mind to help us discern what is real and what is not; what is and what is not the will of God in a given situation.
May is Mental Health Awareness month and it is not too late for us to consider the mental health benefits of a faith integrated yoga practice that holds sacred space for mindfulness as a way to renew our minds and align our lives with God’s will.