1. Do you consider yourself to be an enthusiastic person? When have you felt “caught on fire” about something or someone?

2. Where in your own life do you shine naturally and without a lot of effort?

3, Where are you enthusiastic in your life right now?

4. Are there times when you do not freely express your enthusiasm? What ideas or attitudes inhibit you?

5. What sport or physical activity requires you to engage your full self? Share a story about this.

6. Experiment with seeing the bigger picture of your life, as Lawrence Kushner suggests. Where is the meaning coming from?

Possible Practices

1. Who are your mentors of enthusiasm? Give him or her a treat (if an animal, like Putnam the dog) or write a thank you note (if a person, like sunset-loving Emil).

2. Thich Nhat Hanh's poem "The Good News" lists things to be enthusiastic about in daily life. Add you own stanzas to this verse. Be sure to end with his affirmation: "The latest good news is that you can do it."

3. Where in your own life have you “put your whole self in” and “taken your whole self out,” such as when doing the hokey pokey? Can you do more of this through volunteering,a hobby, or a new career path?1. Notice where you are enthusiastic in your life right now.

4. Think of one or two specific ways you can express your enthusiasm at work and at home. Observe how this makes you feel and how others respond to you.

Visit the Enthusiasm homepage for more ways to practice this spiritual quality. Follow the links in the left column to:

  • a collection of quotations on compassion
  • book recommendations
  • book excerpts and teaching stories
  • film recommendations
  • music and art meditations
  • a daily cue, reminder, vow, and blessing for compassion
  • a prayer or mantra
  • personal explorations including imagery and journal exercises
  • practices and spiritual exercises
  • questions for discussion, storytelling, sharing
  • take action with household, group, and community projects
  • and more

Prepared by Persephone Zill with contributions from Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat