Cultivating Devotion
Volume XVI Number 2

Table of Contents

  • Our Relationship with God
  • Recent Avatars of India, Part I
  • George Washington Carver: Scientist and Teacher
  • Bread of Life
  • A Review of Guide My Feet: Prayers and Meditations on Loving and Working for Children
  • Activities
  • To the Divine Mother
  • Choosing to Live in the Present

Cultivating devotion: Is this something we can do in our busy, modern lives?

The dictionary defines devotion as "profound dedication or consecration." To be devout is to express devotion and piety, reverence for God. Devotion is, if you will, a fundamental value in human life, for it alone draws us from the narrowness of the limited self and leads us to open to the presence of the Divine in our daily lives, in all our relationships, in our thoughts and in our prayers.

In our Feature Article by Jorge Waxemberg, "Our Relationship with God," we learn that, by harmonizing and expanding the system of relationships we already participate in, we can gradually unfold our consciousness and move toward a state of union with the Divine. Thus the means to cultivating devotion are right in our hands, at this very moment.

The inspiring lives of devotional souls who made lasting contributions to humankind are also this issue. Another Feature Article, "Recent Avatars of India: A Comparative Study of Ramakrishna and Satya Sai Baba" by Fredrica Halligan, focuses this time on the extraordinary life and teachings of a holy man, Ramakrishna. Gandhi described Ramakrishna's life in these words: "No one can read the story of his life without being convinced that God alone is real and that all else is an illusion."

"George Washington Carver, Scientist and Teacher" is the title of the article in our section Lives of Spiritual Unfolding. His life spanned the last four decades of the 19th century and the first four of the 20th; he was catapulted out of slavery into a world where ignorance, injustice and fear still held sway over the human heart. Yet his devotion triumphed over all odds and all conditions and shed light on the lives of generations of souls. In the words of his student: "Color of skin or form of hair mean nothing to me now, but length, and width, and breadth of soul and loving kindness mean everything."

Our new section, Prayers for Children, brings ideas for devotional practices in the home for children of all ages. As an ongoing new feature of Seeds, this section will draw on both contemporary and traditional sources from around the world.

Our book review, Guide My Feet: Prayers and Meditations on Loving and Working for Children by Marian Wright Edelman, looks at devotion from the perspective of a contemporary woman whose life is imbued with the strong ideals and values of the black community, in which the combination of family, church, and teachers provided support for children. The method of life she describes, with its focus on daily prayer, family time, service to the sick, and modest living, can, in very simple ways, be integrated into the lives of anyone today who is seeking to live a more devotional, more meaningful life.

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