Weekly Readings (25th March 2011

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Devotion

We suggest this four step approach to working with this selection • • • • Read this selection! out loud if possi"le! seven ti#es$ Dwell upon the phrase or sentence that touches you$ %sk yourself what relevance or application this has to yourself &inally! sit in the afterglow of these reflections and open yourself to whatever new insight or #essage the Divine #ight have for you

'e(t 1
)*erve +od! so "y chance you #ay "eco#e a lover devoted service is a #eans toward ,ove$ 'he servant desires to "e freed fro# fate! "ut +od-s lover wishes never to "e free again$ *o#e servants seek "enefits and ro"es of honour. the lover-s ro"e of honour is vision of the /eloved$ 0ot contained "y speech or hearing! ,ove is an ocean whose depth cannot "e seen$ 'he drops of this *ea are innu#era"le in co#parison all *even *eas disappear1 (5$222342252)

'e(t 2
)Don-t strive so #uch to co#plete your worldly affairs. don-t strive in any affair that-s not sacred$ 6therwise at the end! you-ll leave inco#plete! your spiritual affairs da#aged and your "read un"aked$ 'he "eautifying of your grave isn-t done "y #eans of wood and stone and plaster. no! "ut "y digging your grave in spiritual purity and "urying your own selfhood in 7is! and "y "eco#ing 7is dust! "uried in love of 7i#! so that fro# 7is "reath! yours #ay "e replenished1 (5$1234152)

8ersonal %ccount a"out Devotion
My e(perience with devotion has "een difficult$ While 9 no longer :uestion #y devotion to +od and the path to which 9 was led! 9 struggle with #anifesting that devotion in #y life$ 9 #any ways it is si#ilar to #y e(perience with diet and e(ercise$ 9 have read #any "ooks on diet and e(ercise and could teach on class on all the infor#ation 9 have ac:uired$ 9 feel co##itted to doing #y part to "e healthy and strong for as long as possi"le$ 9 want so "adly to fit into a particular pair of ;eans$ /ut 91# not going to get there if #y knowledge and devotion to the goal is not put into action4does not affect the choices 9 #ake every day$ 9 have "een so "lessed to have a spiritual co##unity that 9 love and that has given #e so #uch$ 9 have also "een "lessed with ti#e spent with a#a<ing teachers fro# our 'radition and others$ =et 9 know that 9 have not used the gifts 9 have "een given$ 7owever! 9 also know that that +od is ar4 Rah#an! ar4Rahi#! the Merciful! the >o#passionate! al4+haffar! the &orgiving$ 'hese too are gifts$ %ccepting these gifts when 9 "eco#e aware that 9 a# not living up to #y aspirations has helped #e to #ake changes and #ove on rather than get stuck in a cycle of recri#ination and feelings of unworthiness$ 'his is i#portant to re#e#"er in all aspects of our ;ourney$ 9 also try to re#e#"er so#ething 9 was told #y teacher1s teacher often said! ?May #y i#itation "eco#e real$@ We often consciously or unconsciously i#itate *piritual work$ 'his is not necessarily a negative thing$ 9t can "e part of our learning process$ 9t can also "e in #y e(perience a period in which 9 do not feel like doing #y practices andAor the work feels like ;ust another chore$ When 9 have acknowledged it and done it anyway! +od1s +race has "rought #e "ack to a place of love and longing$ 6ur *piritual ;ourney! our devotion is a constant series of choices and reactions$ 9f we ask! +od forgives us and #akes our i#itation real$

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