I trace back this "indoctrination of understanding the mind as being most important tenet in Buddhism" to the first retreat I did. On entering the meditation room, I immediately prostrated myself, which I had always done when I sat down to meditate in front of my own Buddha statue at home. It was only when I looked up that I realized that there was no Buddha statue there. I had prostrated myself out of habit, not out of any genuine devotion, and this was a shocking revelation. Where I had expected a life size statue of the Buddha to be, there was an enormous green flowering plant. Later on, the teacher asked us if we were surprised not to see a statue of the Buddha in a Buddhist meditation room. A few of us nodded our heads.
He went on to explain that meditation is not about worshiping an external symbol but about discovering our own Buddha nature by understanding the nature of mind. That's why there was no Buddha statue there.
In the East, the focus is very much on devotion at the expense of knowledge, discernment, and understanding whilst in the west it is the opposite. Nevertheless, both are one-sided. Devotion is necessary because the ego mind is ready to take any spiritual insight and/or experience and convert it into a ploy for its survival.
Without devotion to a Guru, the ego mind is in charge. This results in students following Gurus who turned out to have feet of clay. How so? These students have no frame of reference outside of their own minds. On the other hand, in those teachers/gurus who have achieved a measure of realization, I have noticed that devotion to a Guru played a significant part in their process. I am particularly thinking about Mooji's devotion to Papaji, who was a devotee of Ramana Maharshi. I have often written that relying on mind alone, i.e., knowledge and understanding to bring about spiritual awakening is like the thief turning detective to catch itself, the thief. It's never going to happen. Devotion and surrender to a Guru is anathema to the ego mind which is why it is so greatly resisted in the West. In the West, spiritual awakening is all about control and "doing it my way." Relinquishing control to somebody else is the ultimate no-no to the ego mind.
How do I know this? I have seen it in myself. Many years ago, I was a part of a Buddhist group and when its leader turned out to have feet of clay, I vowed to myself that I would never give away my power to anyone which is why I have never formally taken a teacher. Everything I have been graced with up to now has been the result of my own intuition. I have taken courses from Landmark Training and others led by temporary teachers, but have always relied on myself. But I have never been a formal devotee of any teacher, which, for many years, was how I liked it.
The ego's refusal to die on its own is the reason there's so much emphasis on ego death on the spiritual path. A sage, like Ramana Maharshi, who put himself through a conscious death, had to surrender to the death process in order for his ego to die and for him to emerge from the ashes of the ego as the Phoenix of Enlightenment — inherently egoless.