Devotion as Loving Everyone
I’ve been meditating since the 1960s. My mind is calmer. My ego structure is less intrusive and cumbersome. Insight and wisdom have increased. The longer I am on this wonderful and challenging path to freedom from fear, the clearer it becomes the essence of this journey is devotion, in particular, its expression in loving and serving our fellow beings. Devotion to what? Devotion to whom? From one perspective we are all connected. From a deeper perspective we are one. The Beloved can only be everything – you, me, the Sacred. Our true nature is Love.
When I was in India, Maharaji told us there is no need to do complicated meditation practices – just love everyone, serve everyone, and remember God. The Living/Dying Project offers spiritual support for people facing life-threatening illnesses and those who support them. It’s wonderful work. I truly feel that the best practice for this chaotic and challenging age in which we live is having an intimate relationship with death combined with an inner contemplative practice.
Can I make my support of the dying more than glorified social work? Can this work become the vehicle for expressing my devotion? Can being with the dying shatter complacency and show me that now is the moment to love utterly. As Mother Teresa observed when she picked up the leper from the street, “everyone is Jesus in distressing disguise.” Can I see the sacred in the forms of all the people I meet?
Most of us have a much better disguise than the leper or the dying person. Yet crisis tends to shatter the disguise. Often it is much easier to see God in the eyes of the dying than when looking into the mirror or at your neighbor, but we’ve got to start somewhere.
Ages ago when people were seeking God, they went into the desert or the mountains or a cave to find the solitude to look within. Today we are lucky to have a little time each day, possibly the occasional few days, to retreat from our busy lives to do this inner exploration of the depths of our hearts and minds. We live in a world of relationships. Every day we are meeting people. Everyday when we brush our teeth we look in the mirror. The Object of Devotion, the Beloved, can only be everything and everyone.
Walt Whitman said, “Sometimes touching another human being is almost more than I can bear.” How often do we allow ourselves to be undefended enough to directly experience the vastness that each of us truly is? In this technologically driven age, this time in which so much seems out of balance in our fragile and beautiful world, the most direct path to freedom for many of us is the path of devotion, and the most accessible path of devotion is loving and serving everyone.
I struggle so hard to open my heart. I imagine you do as well. Let’s meet there. Let’s admit face-to-face, heart-to-heart, what we want, what we need as much as air to breathe and food to eat.
— Dale Borglum