The True Meaning of Devotion
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
International 7-Day Retreat, Hsihu Center, Formosa
October 28, 1995 (Originally in English)
Q: Master, please say something about devotion.
M: Devotion? Look at me. I am very devoted to you. That's devotion! [Laughter and applause.] There is no need to explain. Today, I just happen to be very tired and very sick. I don't want to see people, but I still come to see you and that's devotion. [Applause] Not for any selfish gain or for anything for me to be happy, especially not during these days - it's out of duty, out of love. I fulfill my obligation and make you happy. That's devotion.
Now, if you are a householder and you devote yourself to your family - that's devotion. If you love your wife with all your heart, try your best to make her happy, and do everything she requests - that's devotion. If you have a friend, and you lay down your life for him or her in a time of need - that is devotion. You have come all this way, spending all your money for the airplane, and spending your time sitting for your own liberation and world peace - that's devotion. Whatever you do, if it's a good, noble idea and you put in all your effort - that is devotion.
In everyday life whatever you do, if it's good for yourself and other people, put all your best into it. That doesn't mean you have to be successful in order to know that you are devoted. You don't have to be. Whether you are successful or you fail, if you put out all your best, your most sincere desire, to accomplish whatever you do, or to try to make that person happy - that is already devotion.
Devotion brings concentration, one-pointedness; and devotion, one-pointedness, brings success and happiness to you, especially if you do it for a good cause, for a noble ideal. Because at that time, you concentrate everything on that thing, and then you forget everything else, so your mind is very clear. That is also a kind of putting down everything. That is also a way to practice. That's also a kind of samadhi.