Editor’s Note: “The New Yogi Manifesto” by James Mihaley is a book of poetry containing beautiful prose surrounding the practice of yoga and yogic philosophy. James recently wrote this piece about one of his favorite poems in the book, called ‘Love Thing’.
Whenever I chant a mantra in a language I don’t understand I feel like I’m in the middle of an Indiana Jones movie and at any moment, if I chant in the right key, a magic door will open and I will proclaim to all my friends and family, “See, I told you there was a portal here. No one believed me, but there it is!”
As yogis, we believe that enchantment is alive and pulsing in the syllables of Gurmukhi. We have faith in other languages but not our own. On some level, we are convinced that the English language has run out of juice. I believe that there is a word in English that is as powerful as any word in any language on this planet. In the billions of universes that make up the cosmos, there isn’t a single word that gives off more light than the one you can find in the middle of any Webster’s Dictionary. That word, of course, is Love.
If you look closely at the word Love, very closely, you will discover an artery running from the L to the O, and a network of tiny veins connecting the V to the E. Have you ever watched blood pumping through a word? It can change your life. It can also change your life to chant the word Love. I created the poem ‘Love Thing’ to do just that. It is one of the first mantras written in English, a mantra for our time. It is an interactive poem. A yoga teacher can share it with her students, a lawyer at a big firm can share it with her colleagues, a father can share it at the dinner table with his wife and kids. Although Love is serious business, the poem is sprinkled with humor. I always add two tablespoons of humor in everything I do. ‘Love Thing’ is one of my favorite poems in ‘The New Yogi Manifesto“.
Check out James reciting this poem at a recent book signing below: