On the topic of devotion I speak of the type of devotion that is a giving of yourself to someone or something. Much like longing (see “Longing”) there is a spectrum of grosser to subtler states of devotion. What they all have in common is that you invest yourself, which includes your heart, into that which you are devoted to.
The grossest level of devotion can be to things like foods or sex, things which are more base desires that primarily give us physical pleasure. We may receive emotional pleasure from these things by associating them with love in some way, but for the pleasure itself, devotion is grosser.
You can also be devoted to things which give you more emotional or intellectual pleasure like being devoted to watching a movie or T.V. series you love, being devoted to your work, or being devoted to some activity you enjoy like jogging or art or anything that you love to do. For these things you are devoting your time and effort, giving of yourself to these things mentally, emotionally, and perhaps physically.
Subtler still is the devotion to people. This we find in relationships, perhaps in the intention of being monogamous, or simply the devotion to your lover that you may fulfill her and your relationship with love. Also you may have a devoted friend, always being there for you no matter what. Or you could have a devotion to a teacher, a coach, or mentor. You could also have devotion to yourself and your well-being mentally and physically.
Even more subtle is the devotion to spiritual insight, action, sensitivity, or love itself. In this way you embody the transcendent in everything you do and learn in order to deepen your understanding. In this you improve your self-discipline with devotion to the transcendent. In this you cultivate the qualities and activities that incline most towards the Transcendent and are most inspired by the Transcendent.
Finally the deepest level of devotion is to the Transcendent. In this way we give all of ourselves to that which gives all of itself by its very nature. We are based in and exist solely in the truth which underlies all things, that which informs and creates them moment to moment. That is the Transcendent. When we tap into that most fundamental and universal level of reality we naturally feel a meaning that is limitless love and limitless intelligence or knowing. By reflecting with deep devotion on the Transcendent we are blessed and empowered to have stronger and stronger love and wisdom.
Devotion is an essential part of any spiritual path. Through devotion you let go of your ego and give yourself over to something greater than yourself. And in devotion to the Transcendent, you give yourself to a Purpose, and a Knowledge, and a Love, and a Meaning, and a Being greater than yourself. May you grow in your ability to have devotion that you may learn to give all of yourself to that which you recognize as being true and worthy.