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Devotion

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Devotion?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Devotion

A Journey of Love, Devotion, Passion and Union

The inner journey is many things. It is a journey of adventure and discovery; a journey of maturation and completeness; a journey of truth and authenticity; a journey of love, devotion, passion, and union; a journey of compassion, giving, and service. It is a journey of realization of the nature of soul and reality; a journey of insight and learning; a journey of fulfillment of life and human potential; a journey of liberation from suffering and limitation; and a journey of inner freedom. Yet, all these reflect one thing, and only one thing. For the journey is essentially a journey home, to our original primordial ground and source. To be at home is to be whole, contented, and at peace, for no reason but that we are abiding in our true nature. There is no need then, no restlessness, no stirring of dissatisfaction, no ambition for anything at all. Abiding at home, we can live any life that fits our circumstances, and it will be a life redeemed, where one’s fulfillment is identical with serving others. Such connection can take us through the vicissitudes of life and its unavoidable adversities, with grace, dignity, and maturity.

The Inner Journey Home, pg. 481 (epilogue)

For those Who are Genuinely Motivated, We need to Realize that the Poverty of Spirit Requires Tremendous Devotion and Struggle

Remember the story of Buddha before his enlightenment? The devil Mara came to him, sending dark forces against him, in the hope of distracting him from finally letting go of attachment. First he threw spears at him and sent monsters to scare him, but Buddha didn’t budge. Then he started sending wonderful, beautiful women with luscious breasts who tried to tempt him. The detached heart of Buddha didn’t move. That is when Mara himself acknowledged the Buddha and was converted. This state of poverty and purity, this depth and level of work, require that we really want the truth as it is. We have to be intimately touched and moved by reality, by truth, by essence, to be able to even contemplate venturing into a condition like the poverty of spirit. For most people, it is not their concern. Moving into this realm is not part of ordinary life; it is only needed when we are moving deeply into the truth of reality. For those who are genuinely motivated, we need to realize that the poverty of spirit requires tremendous devotion and struggle. We must develop purity, nonattachment, understanding, love, and many other qualities, all the way to perfection, all the way to completion. Mystical poverty is the entrance into the Divine Essence, the window into the deepest mystery of reality, the absolute truth of Being. Only those with a powerful pull toward that most beautiful of all beloveds will dare to venture here. And of these, only those who love this Beloved to the extent of complete annihilation into its mystery chance upon this doorway.

It Doesn’t Matter How Much We Love the Beloved, We Will be Separated as Long as We Do Not Clearly Discern Our Inherent Unity with what We Love

Many methods do not use understanding or inquiry directly, such as those based on action or devotion, but all methods produce understanding at some point. If they don’t, they won’t liberate us. If at some point, through devotion and passionate love, we don’t recognize and understand that we are part and parcel of the Beloved, how will we be liberated? It doesn’t matter how much we love the Beloved; we will be separated as long as we do not clearly discern our inherent unity with what we love. Understanding is our natural, inherent faculty. We see that this is all we’ve got when finally left to ourselves. When we forget all methods and techniques, when we just rest and be, only our own recognition of what is true is left. From this place, when we recognize our true nature, we understand who and what we are. And when we are convinced—with certainty and without question—that this truth is really our nature, then we change. So liberation is actually a change of mind. At some point, we change our mind about what reality is in a very fundamental way. The Diamond Guidance is the faculty in our soul that makes it possible for our inquiry to arrive at understanding. As we have seen, each essential aspect functions in the operation of the Diamond Guidance as a faculty needed for inquiry and understanding. And together, all the elements of the Diamond Guidance make it possible for our inquiry to become precise enough to arrive at objective understanding.

Loving the Truth for Its Own Sake Brings the Heart to a Devotional Attitude, an Attitude of Selfless Affection and Dedication

The motivation we need is the sincerity of wanting the truth for its own sake, loving the truth for its own sake. This happens when truth becomes what we want, what we value, what we appreciate, what makes our heart happy. This is not a matter of ethical sincerity—of telling the truth—which is how sincerity is usually understood. The attitude here is more of a state of the heart, a devotional attitude. We want something for its own sake when we truly love it. There’s no other way to want something for its own sake. Conversely, when we appreciate something for its own sake, we call that love. So loving truth for its own sake brings the heart to a devotional attitude, an attitude of selfless affection and dedication. It is the heart’s openness, the heartfelt appreciation and longing, the gravitational pull that makes us want to see the truth, to be closer to the truth, to be intimate with it. The heart’s love of the truth is not a thought or an idea. It is not a matter of trying to live according to an ideal. It’s not a motive that comes from the mind. It is an impulse from the depth of the soul, a deeply felt motive from the heart. It is not that we think and deliberate and decide that truth is good for us, so we end up wanting it. Love of the truth is not utilitarian. The truth often ends up being utilitarian, but that is not what inspires the right attitude for the journey. The correct attitude is that of a lover who wants to be close to the beloved.

Our Devotion to Practice Reflects our Love of the Truth, Our Love of the Condition of Realization, Our Love of Reality

So practice is not simply the specific activity with which we are engaged. It also includes the orientation, the intention, the motivation, and the attitude of devotion to practice. Our devotion to practice reflects our love of the truth, our love of the condition of realization, our love of reality. Practice is remembering that appreciation, expressing it, and being harmonized with it as much as possible. Practice is the interest, the love, the drive, the tendency, the movement, to be as authentic as possible, to be as real as possible. When I say that living our realization means continual practice, I don’t mean that we have to be meditating all the time or inquiring every minute. Our formal practices are important because that is when practice is concentrated, but practice continues in our life. We are practicing when we talk to each other. Before we are engaged on the path of discovery, we relate to each other unconsciously—we say what we say and do what we do automatically. When we relate to each other after we are on the path for a while, we don’t relate only to each other. When practice becomes important, the interaction and the conversation have an added dimension of value, a dimension of truth, an interest in authenticity for ourselves and for the other and for the situation. Continual practice includes that kind of attitude, that kind of devotion, that kind of interest, that kind of love, that kind of commitment that is continually remembered. I don’t simply mean mentally remembered, although it might sometimes be like that. I mean that as we are living our life, we recognize and don’t forget the deeper values that are reflected in our practice.

Our Spacecruiser Journey Requires All-out Commitment and Dedication and Total Devotion to the Truth that Ultimately Reflects Our True Nature

Every time we discover truth, we need to put it into action. We have to change our life according to that truth. We have to change our behavior so that it takes that truth into consideration. Otherwise, we will be acting from a place that disregards what we have discovered. We can’t be couch-potato explorers. Our spacecruiser journey requires all-out commitment and dedication, and total devotion to the truth that ultimately reflects our true nature and the nature of reality. For instance, you discover that you are really not the unlikable person that you thought you were. You find that you are really pure love. How are you going to live your life now? How are you going to interact? Are you going to go through life as pure love or as that old unlovable person? If you continue to act as that unlovable person, it’s as though your discovery never happened. And that pure love is not going to move to a deeper dimension. In fact, it’s going to get blocked again. However, if you don’t forget, and you begin to do your best to integrate that insight of being pure love into your life, it will help the process of exploration to go deeper, to reveal more truth. This might mean using the implications of the insight to question the beliefs that support your old identity. Such an inquiry will challenge the inertia of your old identification as unlikable. So what does it mean to live your life as if you were pure love? That is something you will have to find out yourself, because there are no definite rules to follow. Of course, the moment you inquire into this question, you will come upon various barriers—either about love itself or about the roots of the identification with being unlovable.

Religious Component of the Diamond Approach

In the Diamond Approach, the religious component arises when it comes to the transition between the personal, individual experience and the experience of boundlessness, pure being, or unity. That’s where I see it as useful, and that’s where my own experiences of a kind of religious feeling of devotion arose, a committed devotion to some kind of force that didn’t feel like it was inside me. The notion of it being inside me wasn’t relevant at that point. It was useful to my process that a devotional attitude to that force arose naturally and spontaneously, even though I wasn't normally oriented that way at all.

The Heart is the Source of the Energy of Unfoldment

So it is important to see that loving the truth for its own sake is not just an invitation to the Guidance, it is also the quickening of the unfoldment itself. We’re not usually in touch with our heart in this way, but the heart is the source of the energy of unfoldment. Even if we have a great capacity for clarity and discernment, it may be that nothing new will arise. Many people are very good at logical analysis and discernment, but they don’t know anything important about reality. Their experience is limited because the heart is not open. The love of the truth is not active. This also teaches us that techniques and practices on their own are not that effective. Merely having a method or technique for accessing Being is not going to be very effective because the unfoldment has to do with love. At some point, which practice we use is not that important if we don’t have the devotional energy. Some practices might help open the heart and put us more in touch with that love of truth, such as prayers and invocations. But whatever practices we do, what’s needed is to develop our love for the truth. This is something innate, inherent in us, not something we impose on ourselves. It is something we discover, nurture, and allow to grow. The heart is love, and love means appreciating what is real. When I say that techniques or practices are not effective on their own to activate the unfolding, this applies equally to inquiry. Inquiry will not work if we don’t love the truth for its own sake. It just becomes an intellectual exercise. If we are disengaged from our heart, we might understand something but it won’t bring about the revelation or unfolding. Our experience won’t evolve.

When the Heart Moves Toward the Secret, when You Move Toward the Guest, it is because You are Pulled

Yet even this is still not the true objective perception of the situation. We do not move toward the Secret because we love it. That’s how we see it at some point, that’s how our mind formulates it, but that’s not the truth about what’s happening. When the heart moves toward the Secret, when you move toward the Guest, it is because you are pulled. You are attracted, as if by a magnet, the most powerful magnet there is. From within the heart itself, from the depths of the heart, from the innermost chamber of the heart, the pull originates. It is not that you feel, “I want to go there,” and through your work and devotion you move nearer. That might be how you feel it sometimes, but that is only the mind feeding you more stories. In reality, there is an inner attraction, something is pulling you from deep within, and you cannot help but experience that as your devotion and love. The mind does not know about this inner attraction. You are not aware of the inner pull because you are distracted by all the external pulls, by the gravitational pulls of the debris that fills the inner space. You are normally pulled by so many things external to the Secret. External to the Secret includes both outer and inner attachments. All of it is external to the Secret. The less you are pulled by these distractions, the more you will feel the real pull. The more you feel this inner attraction, the more it penetrates your consciousness. The more the Guest penetrates your consciousness, the more the heart annihilates the mind. You will see your attachments as just that—attachments.

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