"When all is said and done, each one of us is left abiding in the mystery, longing for the tranquility that is whispered about in the depths of our own hearts. Thus a critical step on the spiritual path, and one that we will take over and over, is to let ourselves experience spiritual hunger long enough and deep enough to follow it to its source. Unless we do that, we will never get the chance to taste the true nourishment that is indeed available, closer to us than we think.

"Take a minute now to make contact with your own spiritual hunger. Put your hand on the spot at the center of your chest where your ribs join together. It is the same spot called the heart center in some spiritual traditions. It's the place in your body you can feel when you quickly inhale in fear, or when you speak of an aching heart or a heart overflowing with joy. When you gently touch that spot and breathe quietly, concentrating with eyes closed for a few minutes, what do you sense? If we allow ourselves to rest in the quiet recesses of the heart, most of us will feel a gentle tugging, a sense of longing. Humming softly in the background of our daily life, this is the call we answer when we journey on a spiritual path."

To Practice: Get in touch with your deepest yearning by trying this exercise.

Elizabeth Lesser in The Seeker's Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure