Month of Written Devotion 20 – Loyalty

What is loyalty if not another way to describe devotion?

I am a very loyal person. If you befriend me, you pretty much have a friend for life. I wrote about this somewhat on the Friendship topic.

How do I express my loyalty to Kuan Yin?

All the statues and prints of her around my house could just be part of interior decorating but really, they’re not. They make me think of her and I smile whenever I look at them, just like looking at a photograph of someone dear to me.

I pray to Kuan Yin nearly every day. And at night, I light a candle for those friends and loved ones I know who are suffering.

I think the spiritual work I do with Spirit Babies and the volunteer work I do with women with cancer as doing her work. It’s never easy but whenever I do it, Kuan Yin gives me some sign that it was the right thing to do.

I am also working on a devotional photography project dedicated to Kuan Yin. While it’s not quite ready to share with the internet yet, it’s something very meaningful to me.

How does Kuan Yin show me she understands my loyalty? Here’s one example. On the day I was to receive my 3rd degree in Circle of Cerridwen earlier this year, I spent the day in the South Bay while my husband was at work there (to make sure he’d make it to the ceremony with me on time that evening). While he worked, I drove around the area. At one point, I went looking for a Starbucks and found a Buddhist Society.

I stepped inside. I don’t think I said much before people saw my Kuan Yin tattoo and started handing me books about her, cards with her image on it [see picture below], and CDs with chants. A few people went in search of batteries for a chanting box. If you haven’t seen one, a chanting box is about the size of a smartphone and looks like a radio. When you turn it on, it plays a chant or mantra to a particular deity. They found the batteries and gifted me with the chanting box. I thanked them profusely before I left.

I did eventually find a Starbucks. I sat down with my tea, plugged my headphones into the chant box and listened until it was time to go pick my husband up from work. Listening to the chant helped calm my nerves before the ceremony that evening. It also felt like an “attagirl!” from the Goddess of Mercy.

On this very important day for me, Kuan Yin kind of hit me over the head and showered me with gifts. To me, that shows she understands my loyalty to her and it was something I’ll never forget.

Note: This series was inspired by the Month of Written Devotion idea. If you want to participate, go there for the list of daily prompts.

One of the gifts I received at the Amitabha Buddhist Society on the day of my 3rd degree ordination ceremony in Circle of Cerridwen

One of the gifts I received at the Amitabha Buddhist Society on the day of my 3rd degree ordination ceremony in Circle of Cerridwen.