* If you're not involved in ongoing study or practice of some kind, any kind, then it's not likely that much of any part of your life will change in the ways you hope or dream. It's not that studying "makes us better," it's that it makes us different, and difference leads to change...one of the essential ingredients for the pursuit of our dreams and the health of our imagination.
* Don't let someone tell you that some studies are holier or more divine than others...comparisons of these sorts are like the hiccups....eventually you'll do anything to make them go away
* Don't bullshit yourself, if you don't make room in your life for studying and practicing and learning more about what you love, then your interests will be just fantasies you have about yourself
* Don't let go of perfectionism...just let go of the idea that perfection is literal
* Don't be too proud to ask questions...more important than the answers you get when you ask questions are the people and voices you meet when someone answers
* Faith is an attitude, not a set of concepts
* The heart is unconditional...it just beats and beats and beats...this is more than a metaphor...but unconditional is not the same thing as accepting.
* I have my opinions, you have yours, but they are not automatically equal
* Age and experience still count...equality and rebellious creativity sometimes need to zip the lip and listen to someone older speak about their experiences
* Problems are problematic...that part doesn't change and its still there in all the answers we find to our problems
* Solving cosmic and spiritual problems happens while you're alive...when you're dead you don't know what happens or whether the same problems exist or the answers we think matter still matter...think about this as often as you try to solve your good problems
* Read books and write and turn off the TV and cell phone
* Make something with your own hands
* Sweat and work your body so that it's tired
* Do things that you'll say you'll do and finish things you start
* Remember that work is holy, but the way we do work is what counts more than the results...
* When you do things, really do them...don't just "kinda" do them
I am the gym coach of your spiritual training. I am serious and kind of old school and often depressing. But here's what I need you to do. I need you to "work" your depression..work into it...and right now this should be done through whatever you're learning, studying, or practicing.
Once a man prayed this prayer to me: "Depression is an answer to widespread manic activism, and is a dying to the wild world of literalism. Feeling low and heavy, we are forced to move inward, turning to fantasy rather than the literal action of the ego. And that turn is necessary for the soul, for it creates psychic space, a container for deeper reflection where soul increases and the surface of events becomes less important."
And so you need to take your studies seriously...go into something and keep going into it and don't stop...or I'm telling you...your life will feel unreal. Everyone says I'm about "reality" versus "fantasy," but I'm not. I'm about how unreal life feels without the deeper and more committed focus of the imagination.
Use it or lose it, party people. smile emoticon