100 Suggestions For Seekers, Spiritual Activists, And Indigo Children

100 Suggestions For Seekers, Spiritual Activists, And Indigo Children
  1. Speak to the homeless.
  1. Become sensitive enough that you’re overwhelmed with awe when you come upon old bridges and other long-standing architectural elements.
  1. Social media fasts every Friday night through Saturday early evening.
  1. Simple gratitude mantra recited every morning – whether you mean it or not.
  1. Read Alberto Caeiro’s poetry in the moments closest to sleep – especially in the summer months.
  1. Stop using the language of “belief” to describe the encounter with God.
  1. Don’t employ hyperbolic cynicism on social media platforms.
  1. If you earn more than $135k give away all monies above $135k.
  1. Keep a small running list of friends who need to be “thought of” and think about them (even briefly) each day.
  1. Annual ritual ablution in any natural (or unnatural) body of water for sake of washing oneself clean” and to reinforce inner-conviction that no matter what we have done, there is almost certainly the possibility to begin anew.
  1. Strive to reach hospitality metrics of 180 people hosted in your home (annually).
  1. Seekers who are also heavy drinkers should give up drinking.
  1. Visit the site of a tragedy or trauma that affected someone else (not you) and sit there quietly, maybe praying on behalf of all those directly and indirectly impacted by the event.
  1. Donate (new) toys to the children of immigrants.
  1. Don’t worry about what people will think about you if you pause to offer (audible) praise for the food you are about to eat.
  1. Occasional genuflection all the way down to the bare earth. Hold for ten seconds.
  1. Always greet passersby with a bright countenance and, if appropriate, greetings.
  1. Get to the place where sometimes you can transform doing the dishes into an act of divine service.
  1. Don’t shirk your responsibility to take care of the people you’re closest to.
  1. Silent retreats are not necessary, but honor any rising feeling that you’ve spoken too much.
  1. Study the spiritual autobiographies of seekers.
  1. Presume that most changes that’ll take place in your life will come about almost entirely by serendipitous or mysterious means and only very partially as a result of your will or intentionality.
  1. Cultivate a recognition that you are not actually you but that what you are is 1) Light 2) Compassion raging to break free 3) God’s breath.
  1. Abandon spiritual teachers who suggest they have the answers. Seek spiritual teachers who ask the best questions.
  1. Don’t worry as much about growing your own food as you do about whether every child in a 5-mile radius of your home has access to fresh food.
  1. Resist popular temptations to wear dark sunglasses inside.
  1. While there may be social benefits to some types of gossip, seekers should never speak ill of others behind their backs, and should gently redirect conversation if someone else wants to gossip in this way with them.
  1. Unless your criticism of another is absolutely centered in a loving desire for that person to grow, do not offer it. And never feign loving desire.
  1. Many friends may come to you seeking advice. Your wisdom will be judged by your capacity to ask open-ended questions that invite friends to answer their own spiritual quandaries.
  1. Don’t sleep with a phone close to your bed.
  1. It’s OK to hang images of saints and other righteous individuals on your walls as long as you understand that these images only represent the inner-saint-and-righteous-individual within your own self.
  1. It’s OK not to be a God person but then you must have another spiritual mechanism that reminds you, “You’re not the center of this universe – It’s not all about you.”
  1. If a beggar walks into Starbucks and folks are ignoring him or her, calmly greet this person and without any fanfare buy them a cup of coffee.
  1. The study of sacred texts is less about acquiring wisdom as much as it is about communing with Wisdom.
  1. Blessing and insight are definitely found within the obstacles of the day-to-day and you should forgive yourself for never finding them there.
  1. Once a week, stand before a mirror and take a really good look at yourself.
  1. When you hear about a wrongful death as a result of police brutality, write the deceased’s name on a piece of paper and go out into a public space and just hold that name up for an hour.
  1. If your heart’s in the right place, religious law can be broken.
  1. All pop love songs are allegories about God’s love for each and every individual.
  1. Reject the commercialism of the holiday season but recognize giving gifts as a vehicle to get beyond your small self.
  1. Restrict your consumption of meat to Sabbaths, holidays, and other occasional celebrations.
  1. The body is the palace of the soul – not the prison of the soul.
  1. In moments of despair: retreat, forgive, and refocus.
  1. It’s OK to be a gentle stoner, but anything that gets shot in your veins is a source of illusion and dead ends.
  1. Even solitary mystics will someday seek a community of practice.
  1. Walk in cemeteries.
  1. Never engage in road rage.
  1. Make generous exclamations of delight whenever you eat.
  1. Light bonfires at the darkest moment of winter.
  1. Ensure that every stranger is greeted.
  1. Strong coffee, for vision’s sake.
  1. Compulsive desire to perform secret acts of charity.
  1. Try and learn the personal story of one new individual every day.
  1. Always live in proximity to a wooded or wild area such that if the need arose, you could be alone in nature within five minutes.
  1. Amulets are OK, but should be worn discretely.
  1. If and when the challenges that beset you are many more and much greater than you can handle, take a vacation day, get hydrated, and recite: “I know that sometimes we go bankrupt. I know that sometimes we bottom out. Dear God, accompany me and walk beside me. I possess the inner resources to get through this. And if I don’t, that will be OK too.”
  1. Wearing a beard is permitted, but the wearer must often joke about being a seeker with a beard and thus reveal certain self-consciousness and self-doubt.
  1. Reverent acknowledgement of very old trees.
  1. Carry small printouts of powerful texts in your jacket pockets.
  1. Be capable of providing a “thick description” of at least one spiritual tradition that is not your own.
  1. Over the course of a spiritual journey, there may be moments in which the God you are familiar with, the God around whom your community is built, will appear to you in an unfamiliar guise and perhaps even in the mask of another people’s God. You should be able to breath through these times, appreciating them for their depth and humor.
  1. After the seeker has glimpsed a little of what she seeks, the seeker must transmit and translate these glimpses to others.
  1. Pay close attention to the deaths of artists and writers. When a writer or poet dies, consider for a moment if you have any of his or her books on your shelf. If you do, take one down and leaf through it for a bit. Carry it with you in your briefcase for the day.
  1. Gather some of your closest friends and everyone’s children and take a walk down through the woods on a rainy, but not bitterly cold winter day. Go further than you might think appropriate for the children. The walk should feel as much “ordeal” as “outing”. Someone should have the capacity and gear to make tea.
  1. Wear clean clothes and brush your teeth a lot.
  1. As you walk through the streets on your way to wherever, keep in mind that you might be called upon at any moment to intervene on behalf of another person’s well being and safety.
  1. Pray for the repealing of the 2nd.
  1. Recite 100 expressions of gratitude and wonder each day.
  1. There is something called mindfulness based meditation and then there is something else called mindlessness based meditation. Both are legitimate paths.
  1. Travel to distant lands is a vehicle for self-discovery, but so is therapy and true friendship.
  1. Your consciousness is the most recent fruit of a billion year evolutionary process. Do not ever forget that.
  1. Elitism is not an aspiration.
  1. No need to follow a regimented diet as long as you eat simply and with plenty of deep-seated gratitude.
  1. Being weird for God is one of the great delights of this life.
  1. Living a happy life is not the goal. Living a meaningful life is the goal. And often the pursuit of meaning is very difficult.
  1. It’s OK to yell at drivers to slow down as long as you’re only concerned about the well being of children and not taking it as an opportunity to enjoy belittling another.
  1. When trying to attend to the question, “How good do I really need to be?” have the chutzpah to insist, “Really fucking good.”
  1. Forgive others for whom the trauma of history has impacted their capacity to accept others without bias, but strive to accept all without bias.
  1. Make time to mentor others, whether personally, professionally or spiritually.
  1. Don’t forget the look of your own handwriting.
  1. Do not practice a spirituality that has you despair having been placed in this world.
  1. Try to undermine your faith in order to stay spiritually limber and soft.
  1. Greetings performed with a kiss to each cheek.
  1. Spiritual leadership means being able to remain calm in moments of communal crisis and being able to fall apart in moments of personal crisis.
  1. For a seeker, the death of a loved one is an opportunity to gaze behind the curtain that is typically drawn over daily consciousness.
  1. Transform sleepless nights into experiences rich with the potential for communion.
  1. Take great pleasure at the sight of people doing silly things, like a pack of friends all holding hands and walking through the city.
  1. Become concerned if your heart is unmoved by scenes of misfortune that get in your way.
  1. Some type of religious costume ought to be worn on occasion.
  1. Do whatever you need to do in order to beam light from your navel.
  1. Be known for zealously seeking to understand what’s going on inside people before judging them.
  1. Every once in a while let in the crushing humility that is induced when contemplating the massive scale of the cosmos and time.
  1. Speak to God as if you are speaking to a close friend.
  1. Forgive crass humor.
  1. Be kind to all animals.
  1. Get up on a hill and stare at the sun toward evening.
  1. Don’t be rough with children.
  1. Don’t own too many shoes.
  1. Smile often.
  1. Always believe there’s more to seek.

 


Josh Bolton

Rabbi Josh Bolton directs the Jewish Renaissance Project at Penn Hillel. Josh received his ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and holds an MFA in poetry from UMass, Amherst.

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