Holiday time? I wonder if this year will be different. I wonder if we will set down the tradition of over-consumption and discern what we deeply value. I'll be giving attention and devotion this holiday season.
Devotion is bringing the full power of presence and complete attention to the moment, to a person, an activity.
It’s gathering up all of our attention (so often splayed in a million directions) and bringing it to a focal point. The focal point can be a mantra, a breath practice, a deity, or the experience of love. I have found that when I give my thorough attention, it reverberates back.
During this time, it certainly has been challenging to stay in presence and not project myself back to “when I could” or into the future of “when I can.” The power of dropping the story and engaging with the moment—well, it’s not easy, but it’s worth the effort.
This is where sadhana—consistent practice—comes in. The persistent effort to show up and absorb in the effort to align actions with intention. The surrender of my small self and of the ego’s need to make me more and more important is crucial to this process.
The path of practice—of sadhana—calls for me to clarify my deepest intention and to commit (and re-commit) to drawing my attention back to that intention again and again. It’s so easy to veer off path, and one of my deepest learnings has been to return to my intention without berating or regretting the time spent spiraling. The practice is in returning to give focus to where I want to place my time and life energy….to what I am devoted to in this life.
Devotion is not esoteric—it’s the active attention to how we spend our time and our precious life force. It’s a solid, grounded home where the power of focal points can steer us.
It's the best gift we can give ourselves and others.