This week I participated in a summer sadhana (sadhana is said to be a means of accomplishing something) with my favourite sangha, where we channeled the Hindu god Hanuman. All week, we learned all about Hanuman and his loyal, devoted ways.
All the talk about devotion in our practice brought me back to when I was in the church choir (I know, those of you who’ve heard me sing are wondering “What the frack?!” The secret to singing in a choir is blending your voice in with those of people with actual talent.) One of our duties was to attend devotional prayers, which were held every night for a week leading up to a significant event. Back then, I was just going through the motions. Ever the rule-keeper, I never missed a night, even if my intentions were the furthest thing from “devotional.”
After all these years, I’m finally understanding true devotion. My intention for this week was to bring devotion to an aspect of my life where I’ve been feeling unsure of myself. I’ve had barriers, both real and imagined, that, like any rocks along the road, have made my journey difficult. But how do you know how strong you are unless you actually use your strength? Moving these barriers has made me stronger. There’ll be more rocks, requiring more strength, and more devotion.
Today we learned that in our devotion we are the ones doing the work, but we are not the ones to realize the fruits of our labour. I immediately recognized how this particular journey of mine serves a force bigger than myself. Nothing has humbled me more. By renewing my faith and devotion in to what I’m doing (and how I’m doing it), I’ve been able to cultivate the strength that I’ve felt waning and continue to make these (sometimes difficult) steps further down my path.