How can you bring devotion to practical everyday events? Devotion can be more than something you do once a day or once a week; it can be an integral aspect of daily life. Devotion is a link to the Divine. Divine Mother is the goddess of devotion, she creates the world, she gives birth to our spiritual life, and leads us to our potential. She is the most accessible force, and our hearts naturally lead to her. She manifests in many forms, encompassing what is human in us and helping us to become more human.
President and spiritual director of Yasodhara Ashram in British Columbia, Canada
Divine Mother is energy. In the Ananda Lahari it says, "She is the energy in the sun, the fragrance in the flowers, the beauty in the landscape. She is the primal life force that underlies all existence." Ask yourself: Can I see her in my day? Can I be on that wavelength where I begin to observe the manifestations as a whole with the invisible becoming visible? Can I respect the miracle of my eye that sees it? Can I see the life leaving the cut flower or observe my energy draining away in idle talk? Is she in the stillness of a morning practice?
Devotion will be different for each person and must be experienced to be truly understood. I've had difficulty writing this article on devotion because the language of the heart is beyond words. I have seen glimpses of her in my life and this experience generates a desire to worship, a desire to listen and look for her. Yet, how do we recognize the Divine when it is such a personal experience and so intertwined with the everyday -with speech, action, eating, drinking, sleeping, pleasure?
The intention of devotion is like following a thin bright line of awareness that weaves through our lives. The more we concentrate on these vibrations, the more we can step out of ourselves and gain a broader view. There is less self-interest and more curiosity about what a situation is bringing to us. Then we notice how life begins to flow. Devotion brings events and actions to life; otherwise work, practices and life have a mechanicalness and dullness.
Divine Mother brings things to life, destroys and ends things in time, arouses and subdues the mind to keep looking for the inspirations in daily life. Bringing the mind back to a simple prayer, such as the Divine Mother Prayer, cultivates awareness in the moment. Thinking becomes more reflective; speech becomes truthful, clear, compassionate and fierce. By remembering the sacredness of action in work we can become openhanded, generous and willing to do what needs to be done.
Life is a wave. The secret is not to resist the movement because that leads to a bumpy ride or a stuck place. Learn to ride the wave. When we ride the wave of bliss, we are connected with something greater in ourselves. We need our own experiences of who or what the Divine is to awaken the heart to a new, fluid approach and adapt to what this life brings us. We can also enter that sacred place in our spiritual heart centre where we have memories of those precious moments with the Divine. The storehouse of intuition opens and we gain understanding of many realities. The synchronicities of life give us these glimpses into how the world and the Divine intercept our realities. The wave and the depth of the water are not separate; the everyday world and the Divine world interweave and interact. This discovery is the wave of bliss.
The secret of devotion is to find what focuses your mind and keeps it intrigued, real, engaged and involved. It is very hard to keep the mind on something that doesn't appeal to you. For some people, the Divine is as real as their best friend and they can imagine a very distinct image; for others, she is the breath; and for some, she is as subtle as the Light. That is why within the spiritual teachings we have so many options and methods of connecting with the Divine. When I choose Divine Mother, she is the image that I have created in my mind. She is the perfect match for me.
Create what is most beautiful, most loving, most compassionate, the most of everything you need. You can call on her in the aspect that is most helpful to you. You are calling on that aspect of the Divine in you. Then you need to act from that place. Remember your practice is meant to be a stepping-stone to higher consciousness.
Ways to keep your focus on the Divine:
Silently repeating a prayer or mantra
Keeping your image of the Divine close
Watching your breath in intense moments
Looking for the Light in another person
Remembering the surprises and connections in the day
Remembering the positive and the victories of change
Chanting, offering your emotions back to the Divine
Creating an image through paint, colour, clay, etc.
Ascent Magazine/ Back Issues/bhakti (devotion)
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