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Spiritual Practices: Zeal
Passionate life

Unlived life

The Basic Practice
The spiritual practice of zeal means being fully aroused by life. We tap into the divine energy that pulsates within us and around us. We are ready for anything that comes our way, and every moment is a golden gateway to new possibilities.

This spiritual practice includes a wholehearted delight in the senses and a passionate love for who we are and what we have been given. We are encouraged in its pursuit by our companions on the path and the countless teachers who stretch our souls. Our zeal moves us to live compassionately and to serve others. It shows up in our prayers, rituals, family life, and community activities.

Zeal is the last practice in our alphabet and appropriately it incorporates many of those that have come before it. Zeal means living abundantly — and we are more likely to do so when can pay attention, live in the present, have gratitude, and experience wonder. Zeal is an energetic and committed response to opportunities and challenges that come our way. How much more likely that is to be when we have regular practices of devotion, when we are committed to justice, when we have a faith relationship with Spirit, and when we see life as a quest.

Zeal is the essence of the meaningful life. As a wise teacher said long ago, the last shall be first.

Why This Practice May Be For You

It's a terrible feeling — the sense that your life is passing you by, the awareness that your unique self has not come forth. How does it happen? And what counter-measures can you take?

We forfeit life by denying the spirit that is within us. We throw away everything when we don't join the parade because we are too busy, tired, or jaded. The unlived life is one we have squandered by passivity, by trying to prove ourselves to others, or by seeking to fulfill societal expectations.

In contrast to all this, there is the passionate life. Practice zeal and take all that comes your way with an open and full heart.


Resources on This Practice