Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Devotional Mind and Writing

The question of what "devotion" is and how it functions in us is something I've often thought about.  The devotional mind is a route to the Dharma and a route to the fulfillment of almost any undertaking. I wonder if "devotion" is another word for "wholeheartedness." We often think that devotion means the doing of prayer or we hear the word as devotions, that is, the litany of prayer. But the mind of devotion has a wider field rather than its simply being about prayer. Of course, we could say that everything is prayer, and I could agree with that under certain circumstances. Violence is not prayer. War is not prayer. Meanness is not prayer. Selfishness is not prayer.

So, I'm using devotion in the sense of how we do our lives and how we express passion, love, and the goodness of daily life. This includes each ones particular expression in vocation, the arts, ones work, ones calling. Today I'm narrowing this down to the writer and writing and how the devotional mind leads the writer toward the doing and uncovering of expression. I think of devotion as the wide circle that encompasses discipline, non-resistance, joy in doing, focus, concentration, research, and all the parts that make up the work of a writer. 

A person can want to write, but if the devotional mind has not been awakened, the want is purely a dream, an illusion. What we actually do is what counts. A writer writes. The devotional mind is the mind that heals us and helps us find the right activity that gives meaning to our lives. The devotional mind is the gateway to the richness of the soul. If we ask ourselves, "What is it that I must do in this life?" and fervently search ourselves for an answer, this is the devotional mind at work in the activity of awakening us to the action that our lives are calling us to do. If we do not respond, we wither. Withering is the opposite of devotion. Withering is the absence of spring and the absence of response to life's callings. Devotion is the mind that nurtures us and helps us see that what we've been running from is what we long for the most. Devotion helps us to manifest the body of activity and the pathway to find what we love doing. Devotion breaks down resistance and supplies the impetus to take up the writing tool and write.