Awake in the World

At the gates of this beautiful temple, a sari-clad woman prepared her devotion to a tree. In the Indian tradition, much as in Wicca tradition, nature is an embodiment of God and a part of us to be revered and respected. The tree she worshiped was elevated and surrounded by a wall all around its roots. Its thick trunk gave away its age.

The woman laid out thirteen clay pots, carefully filled each one with oil and added a rope wick. Her presence and devotion to the God in and around us moved me into a place of goodness and light. Though she must have performed this ritual a thousand times, she once again lit each wick as if it were for the first time. Her face was fixed in a constant gentle smile. Standing there, observing her deep devotion opened a door to insight and understanding about devotion. In the West we tend to consider ourselves above devotion. Devotion is an act of acknowledging that something is more than the small self — bigger, deeper, vaster. We tend to believe that we know it all and that there is nothing more – not really.

Once the woman finished her ritual, she offered prasad, food that has been blessed by God, to those like me who stood there watching. She did nothing self-consciously or for show. It was all so natural and for the sole pleasure of her Beloved. The woman was one of India’s villagers, probably uneducated, but her radiant connection with wisdom, Nature and Divine Nature shined like a beacon. She held no official role, sought no recognition; her aim was only to give devotion and by doing so to unite with the divine principle.

Today, if you’d like, explore what devotion means to you. Where do you experience feelings of devotion in your life? For some it may be through caring for kids and grand kids, for others it may be through taking care of pets and plants. Discover what moves you to feel devotion and consciously let the experience unite you with Divine Love.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

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