How to explain the act of Devotion.
For me it is perhaps like taking exercise. The more one does it the easier it gets, and the stronger the link. What is the link I hear you ask. The link is the connection to the Soul. The act of going inwards, withdrawing ourself from the insecurities and disempowerment of most of our external relationships, (be they with our partner, the shop keeper, a drug, alcohol, our body,) and using the journey inside to make a connection that is far sweeter, far more empowering. It requires effort and commitment. But ironically it is that efort and that commitment that bring the strength and the changes, that makes us feel better about ourselves.
The ritual of sitting, to sit, having to make the place to sit. To light the candles, to light the incense. To prepare ourselves mentally for the inner journey, this act is the boost to our sense of self.
And gradually, over time, the effects grow. The sense of self grows. The soul expands and starts to become more important than things outside of ourselves. The expansion of the soul touches and awaks the heart and then the journey is a rollercoaster ride. Compassion becomes the lense through which we view the world. Initially it is a work to put the lens in front, changing a lifetime habit of self obsession, but gradually compassion and kindness become the norm.
Play with the idea. Sit, meditate, just become aware of your breath. 3 minutes of conscious breathing may be the most profound moment you have ever spent. Watch how far you stray from the breath. Pull your self back, like grabbing a monkey by the tail, and make your mind sit.