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We continue our series on the 10 Paramitas with Energy called Virya Paramita: Perfection of Energy.  The idea of the power of energy in our lives appears in Buddhism, Taoism, and metaphysics frequently.

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of the Unity movement, wrote frequently about energy. He taught that each of us has 12 powers which are related to the 12 disciples and one of them is the power of zeal which resides in the back of the head at the base of the neck and is represented by the disciple Simon who was often referred to as the zealot. Charles invited us to try a simple technique to increase our energy.  He said when you feel a lack of energy give a good massage with your fingers to the area where the head and neck meet, and it will quickly help bring back your energy.  Stop for a second and give it a try—test it out to see if it works now and anytime when you feel you need a little burst of energy.

At the age of 94 Charles Fillmore wrote this affirmation, “I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm to do the work that is mine to do.”  I sure hope I can feel that way when I am 94!

In Charles’ book The Twelve Powers of Man he wrote, “Zeal is the mighty force that incites the winds, the tides, the storms; it urges the planet on its course, and spurs the ant to great exertion.  To be without zeal is to be without the zest of living.  Zeal and enthusiasm incite to glorious achievement in every aim and ideal that the mind conceives.  Zeal is the impulse to go forward, the urge behind all things.  Without zeal stagnation, inertia, death would prevail throughout the universe.  The man without zeal is like an engine without steam or an electric motor without a current.  Energy is zeal in motion, and energy is the forerunner of every effect.”

In Buddhism we talk about energy this way: “Virya is energy or zeal. It comes from an ancient Indian-Iranian word that means “hero,” and it is also the root of the English word “virile.” So, virya paramita is about making a courageous, heroic effort to realize enlightenment. To practice virya paramita, we first develop our own character and courage. We engage in spiritual training. And then we dedicate our fearless efforts to the benefit of others.[i]

“In the case of Taoist practice, it is the effort, vigor, and diligence applied to our spiritual path. It is a kind of zeal or exertion, a fearless brave activity, which supports us in overcoming the various obstacles that inevitably present themselves — whether our practice is a martial art, qigong, sitting meditation, calligraphy, recitation and ritual … or anything else.[ii]

Each of us at some time or another may need to bring zeal, energy, and enthusiasm into our life.  It really does not matter where you live, what job you do, or situation in life you are currently in, because life without zeal, enthusiasm, and energy is flat, boring, and nonproductive.  Since we are given such a short time on this planet it might be a great thing to realize our full potential and have the mind, body, and spirit energy to do the things we have come here to do.

For some it may be living a life of work in the business world, for others it may be public service, or teaching or the medical field or being a stay-at-home mom or dad, and yet for some others they may be in unique living circumstances where their days are planned for them not by them.  Regardless of which circumstance you may be in take control of your life and direct your zeal, energy, and enthusiasm to the matters at hand.

How about doing the dishes, cooking, walking, eating, reading, studying, or meditating with an enthusiasm that sends electricity through you and fills the air around you?  I have known people like that and when you stepped into their presence you knew there was something special about them, even though you may not have been able to put your finger on just what it was!

Enthusiasm in life is catchy!  Many years ago I worked in Community Theater with a man who was so fantastic his characters were so real; his dedication to the script and the play was incredible.  He left the audience mesmerized.  And when you worked with him your acting was brought up a hundred fold.  It was fantastic!  I caught his love for live theater and have never lost it.  His enthusiasm was catchy!

Imagine what a wonderful world this would be if we did everything, even the most minute and maybe even boring thing, with zeal, energy, and enthusiasm: ZEE.  Think of the little ant that Charles wrote about—that ant can carry from 20-50 times its weight, so the scientists say.  Now that’s energy backed by zeal and enthusiasm!

Imagine if you filled your life with ZEE and you could SEE life through that lens.  How about seeing people, chores, places, and things through the lens of ZEE just think how happy you could BEE!  Remember the little ant: if he can—so can you! Try it out this week and let me know what you SEE!

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