I have recently been thinking about how the art of devotion figures in my Feri practice, and what importance is placed up on it. First, I’d like to define what devotion is. My computer’s dictionary defines devotion as ‘love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause’. My personal definition is slightly more specific, in that devotion is ‘any act that is done with a sacred intention to bring you into a deeper relationship with divinity’. I know that’s slightly wordy, but I think the emphasis here is on intention and relationship. In Feri, there is a strong emphasis on your personal relationship with the Gods, Guardians and other Beings and it is up to each individual practitioner to deepen that relationship, make the effort, and figure out what each relationship means.
So, what do I do as devotional acts? Usually I use traditionally ‘religious’ acts, such as prayer, meditation, the use of prayer beads, and chanting. However, I have come to think that my morning practice is a form of indirect devotion, in that it does not offer love or energy towards a specific relationship with a God or spirit, rather it gives me the ability to deepen those relationships on another level. It prepares me for direct devotional acts, by increasing my awareness and expanding my soul.
In Feri, my main direct devotional acts include weekly pujas to Ganesh (which I have neglected recently and really need to get back into), the use of prayer beads for the Star Goddess and the Blue God (and eventually I’ll bead for all the Feri Gods) and meditation on their forms.
But I’ve set myself a challenge to include ‘mundane’ acts in my definition of devotion. After all, why shouldn’t my morning shower and breakfast be a devotional act?