Spiritual Practice is Devotion

August 11, 2012
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When I was a teenager I had chores and responsibilities in my family. One time I forgot to wash the kitchen floor and my Father said “But you remembered to call your friends, didn’t you? You remembered what was important to you.” He was right.

My responsibilities in the family weren’t as important to me as my friends. My family would always be there, the chores would always be there, my friends were immediate, temporal, needy – and so was I.

To this day my Father’s words help me to remember what is important is not always the thing that I most enjoy doing and that I always prefer to make a conscious choice. If I choose from what I’m “wanting,” then I’m always left wanting and never having. I prefer to be highly intentional with each choice. I am training my mind to always see and choose the most loving choice. This has helped me to develop a joyful attitude towards the things that support excellence in my life and in this way I deeply and truly honor my Father.

When I began a practice of daily prayer and meditation it felt like a chore. Very often I didn’t want to do it. My teachers said how much they loved to pray. I didn’t get it. For me it was a task, a burden. It was work to get myself to be still, to take the time. I wasn’t feeling the joy. I wasn’t really receiving the benefits. It was like when I was a teenager. Yes, I “wanted” a clean kitchen floor, a high consciousness, but I also wanted to put my attention elsewhere. If I had not been committed to seeing the higher choice for Love, I’d still be wanting, endlessly wanting.

I see this endless wanting and in so many spiritual seekers. They “want” to be more loving, but they lack a sense of devotion. It’s like being the needy one in the relationship – taking, but never sharing.

I’ve learned that wanting and having are two different things. The one who is wanting is not devoted to having and being. Wanting never ends. The one who awakens from the dream of separation is committed to seeking the Kingdom first. This becomes their joy, their devotion and their passion. It’s not hard. It’s happy-making. Wanting is magical thinking. Wanting is thinking something is missing. Nothing’s missing. You must look where you can find it. And that requires devotion.

Think of this – if the love of your life was “missing” would you be devoted to finding them? Or would you simply “want” to find them? Look in your heart for the answer. That’s where the love of YOUR life is waiting for YOU! Get this – YOU are the love of your life. You ARE the love of your life. No one else.

Ramakrishna taught us, “Work, apart from devotion or love of God, is helpless and cannot stand alone.” Over the years I’ve continued to pray, to meditate and, just like with a daily yoga practice, I’ve become stronger, more flexible. I’ve felt the cleansing effects of prayer and meditation. The healing has taken over my awareness. Now, I cannot imagine getting out of bed in the morning without praying. I cannot imagine not going back to prayer again and again throughout the day. My practice is the embrace of my Beloved, the One TRUE LOVE of my life. The One who never tires of me. The one who always loves me and offers me the very best without restriction.

What a blessing is available for the one who is devoted!

Affirmation:

I AM devoted to God and God is devoted to me!

 

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