As my body is fixed my soul transcends….or does it? ok, sometimes it doesn’t…but when it does…oooo girl you know i️m feeling it. Yesterday the ASU Bahai Club had a devotional. It consisted of 6 people and was utterly zen. I️ brought almonds, honey comb, some prayer books, and a small essential oils defused. As we played calming music in the background we wafted the lavender through our nostrils. After a hard day of doing whatever humans do we got to come together and give our souls a little attention. A devotional is not just a space for prayer, but a space for worship and meditation. Being that everyone worships and meditates differently ALL DEVOTIONALS HAVE THE CAPACITY TO BE DIFFERENT. How did the ASU bahai club we end up in this environment and what did we do when we arrived? Well, I️ will tell you.
DIY MAKE YOUR OWN DEVOTIONAL
While this is not necessary, it is nice to have a theme. This way people can think of the theme and as the devotional continues to move forward, keep their intentions in mind. Some people like to do the classics like love, generosity, forgiveness. I️ challenge you to include some bomb virtues BUT get more creative. Some ideas include, how you can contribute to the betterment of the world in your dorm, building resilience, or the importance of our material reality. After this step, DO NOT blindly google “quotes about love.” I️ mean maybe it can be a starting place, but thoroughly read through the quotes and handpick the ones that will be most beneficial.
This is something that is often forgotten. Many people like to incorporate a couple songs into their devotionals. Not only does it liven up the space, but it is a good way to memorize and internalize prayers. Other ways to incorporate art include, visual art expression where people can make art focused on the theme, melody creating (where you workshop a melody right then and there), virtue charades (people act out virtues and come up with skits). devotions does NOT have to be a group of people coming together to read off prayers and dispersing. After prayer readings individuals can split off into groups and express the quotes in their own artistic way. Sometimes I️ feel as though I️ don’t get much out of simply reading a prayer with others. Yes, it can be an amazing experience, but sometimes I️ need more than that to be deeply effected by a prayer. Try something new 🙂
I️ can not say this enough. MATERIAL AESTHETIC IS NOT UNIMPORTANT. MATERIALISM IS BAD BUT LOVE FOR BEAUTY IS A HUMAN CHARACTERISTIC. In setting the ambience think of what can contribute to a nice environment. As a broke college student i️ prefer not to go out and buy flowers every week, but that is not the only way to beautify a space! A small plant that hangs around your house will do. Some other ideas include, a small tapestry (laid in the center), some candles (even if they aren’t lit), a picture of a flower or a beautiful place. Maybe dim the lights as well. Lastly, don’t just focus on how things look. Music in the background is soothing to the ears, and smelling something nice adds to the atmosphere. Ask if anyone has some light essential oils that they can contribute to the space or a candle they can bring!
This is honestly the last thing you need. Invite as many people as you wish! A devotional can be from 2 people in a home focusing on spiritual concepts together to 30 people around a campfire singing. Do not be discouraged if there are not large numbers. As people arrive and enter the prayerful space be grateful and humble. Enjoy! 🙂
Comment your tips and ideas on what worked for you and what didn’t! If you have never hosted a devotional, I️ encourage you to do so! Comment your questions if you have any and i️ will be more than happy to help to the best of my ability.