Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of December 5, 2005


All forms of devotion share the flavor of dedicated service combined with love. In the material world, the paradigm of devotion is that of parents to children. We also find the devotion of a scientist to science, an athlete to a sport, an artist to an art, a healer to healing, a lover to the loved one, and sometimes a worker to a job. Because its aim is service, devotion does not primarily seek profit, though profits may come. Instead, devotion bears its own success, its own inherent payoff in terms of fulfillment, in the satisfaction of doing what one is meant to do.

You may find it illuminating to ask yourself certain questions. To what, if anything, am I devoted? To what degree? Is there anything I wish I could devote myself to? Can I take steps toward that?

These questions relate directly to spiritual growth. Being devoted to other pursuits need not interfere with our spiritual work. Indeed, an important piece of our inner work involves becoming ourselves fully and uniquely, through devotion to our chosen pursuits. Your individuation renders unto God and society what only you can offer.

The spiritual paradigm of devotion is prayer, where devotion describes the inner attitude one adopts in a sincere act of worship. Though it waxes and wanes, in praying we seek moments of utter devotion to the sacred. That is a major part of the work of prayer: to unite the whole of ourselves, body, mind, heart, attention and intention, in complete devotion to the Divine.

With our body we adopt a posture appropriate to the prayer. Our thoughts are the words, if any, of the prayer. Our mind stays in contact with the meaning of the prayer. Our heart fills with reverence, awe, supplication, joy, and love. Our attention encompasses and supports all these aspects. And our intention becomes the core act of devotion, of opening to the spirit beyond our heart and mind, in love and in service, in fulfilling our sacred duty to the Divine.

Doubts, fears, unwillingness, self-centeredness, distractions, and preoccupations block devotion. We grow by allowing ourselves to become more devoted. A life of devotion is a life well-lived.

For this week, reinvigorate your devotion.


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