The month of August has been full of rich discussion and conversation in the #SpiritChat community. We have talked about trust, about the role of a student, about inner contentment and about reinvention (second acts). On the surface, all of these topics seem unrelated to each other. However, the common thread that runs through all of them is the engagement of the people who share in the live conversations every week. Some of these people have, over time, taught me a lot about loyalty to a cause, a community, and to each other. One may dare to even call it devotion as in the context of faithfulness, constancy, commitment, or dedication. According to the dictionary,
Devotion is love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause
In the spiritual context, devotion may refer to thoughts and/or actions of piety, religiousness or sanctity. In my native language (hindi), devotion is perhaps best described as shraddha or bhakti – a state of the heart where one is in surrender to a higher state of consciousness. I am sure that there are many interpretations of devotion, particularly in the spiritual context. Some of these interpretations may even be considered negative – for extreme devotion can open the door to, say, fanaticism.
So, what is the purpose of devotion? We have all heard that “loyalty has its rewards” and so on. In the spiritual context, what rewards does devotion bring to us? And how do we decide what cause, community or person to be devoted to? Or are the object(s) of our devotion decided for us, as we live our daily lives, walk our spiritual walk? How do we know when our devotion is becoming extreme? How do we balance the ideas of being “free spirited” and being “in devotion”?
As I have been doing (mostly) every week for a while, I invite you to join me and the #SpiritChat community as we examine some of these questions in our weekly chat on twitter – Sunday, September 1st at 9am ET. I appreciate your enthusiasm, your loyalty and your love. Namaste!
Update: Here are the questions asked during the chat. Feel free to answer in the comments… The full transcript and statistics are available at http://bit.ly/sc-tr-0901 . Enjoy!
Q1. What does “A Spirit of Devotion” mean to you? #SpiritChat
Q2. Where does a spirit of Devotion originate? How does it develop? #SpiritChat
Q3. What would our journeys look like if we lacked a spirit of #devotion? #SpiritChat
Q4. Can too much devotion distract us, hinder spiritual growth? Why or why not? #SpiritChat
Q5. How does the devotion of others towards us affect our spiritual journey? #SpiritChat
Q6. “Perpetual devotion to One come at the cost of perpetual neglect of others”. Agree or disagree? #SpiritChat
Q7. What are some blessings of being devoted to a person, project or purpose? #SpiritChat
Q8. Who or what invokes a spirit of devotion in you? Why? #SpiritChat
Final Q9. What action steps will we take, to be empowered by devotion? #SpiritChat