Is it chemistry, biology, quantum physics or karma?
Is it desire, need, obligation, or curiosity?
What is it that makes us fall on our knees at the feet of our beloved teachers?
In one word: Love (Amor/Miłość)
Even today as 2019 is with us already and Losar is few weeks away, even when we know the nature of mind and understand how to manifest a rainbow body and reincarnate with our previous memories, Love is the oojah that surprises, bewilders, stumbles, and manifests the sheer awesomeness of the universe at play with itself, or Alayah consciousness or Emptiness of whatever you want to call it.
Devotion, which we interpret as loyalty and enthusiasm for someone or something is the most necessary ingredient for wonderful relationships.
The devout life invites constant facing of suffering in all its forms and whether we want to admit it or not, no one, no animal, no human can live without love.
We are all social creatures and we all desire happiness and wellness.
Perhaps what evolution is taking place currently in the world, is the evolution of devotion and elevation of love in a new direction, from patterns of emotional and psychological tendencies of past thinking into new freer ways of being that expand our minds as well as hearts and make us global leaders, helping to alleviate (or create positive stress) samsara.
When we shift our attention from the inner negativities to the positive qualities and when we embrace the darker parts with love and wisdom we are more competent to emerge victorious over samsara.
Devotion which for many cultures (if not all) is the culprit of maintaining tradition becomes a common sense of shared love and concern with the person(s) towards whom we have this devotion. Like in a well functioning government where democratic vote of preoccupied citizens makes for positive changes for everyone, a leader who has devoted people will know how to skillfully fuel positive changes for masses using the devout fuel of love.
We can see these examples in male leaders such as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama with millions of followers or His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa or Pope Francis, Ram Dass, Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, Mooji.
Female leadership continues to increase with figures like Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo a Tibetan Buddhist nun and founder of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in Himachal Pradesh, India.
Sharon Salzberg a meditation teacher and author, who cofounded the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, and has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West.
Lama Tsultrim Allione who is a founder of Tara Mandala and a recognized emanation of Matching Labdron the 11th century Chöd Yoginig
Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche who is one of the very few fully trained female Rinpoches (“precious masters”) in the Tibetan tradition. She was recognized by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa as the reincarnation of the great Dakini of Tshurphu, Khandro Orgyen Tsomo and a respected and revered female master. For the past two decades, Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche has taught in Europe, North America, and Asia.
Malala Yousufzai who was shot by the Taliban for standing up for the education of girls and has electrified the world with her determination and courage in the face of ignorance and hate.
Pema Chödrön who became a novice nun in her mid 40s and received the full monastic ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong. She served as the director of Karma Dzong in Colorado and Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia. She currently teaches in the United States and Canada with the aim of further developing the monastic tradition in the West. Shantimayi who is a Sacha Linage Master
Find out who the 50 most powerful religious women in the world are.
These people through lifetimes of generated merit and practice, became generators of love and wisdom for the global humanity.
Their activity is altruistic and focused at relieving suffering and people who are their students/followers and community share in the love and devotion towards these figures.
What draws you more towards one teacher/person than another has much to do with the development of your love-style and teacher-students relationship.
Love and devotion allows everyone to create better dialogues, broaden horizons, bridge gaps where understanding is needed and form, at the weakest link, proper alliances with others to foster better humanitarian relations.
Creativity opens within us when we have a common view that we share which in turn helps to fuel the minds of people with authentic optimism, instead of false hopes, genuine interest in humanity instead of me-thinking, strengthens our courage and transforms our survival thinking into thriving.
While appreciation and gratitude can jump start devotional fire, practicing love and kindness with all brothers and sisters in humanity helps to develop better human qualities.
Photos: sweet devotion by Monique Felber