Take an hour or two from your schedule. Sit quietly and comfortably, undisturbed by your world, and dream. It’s a simple instruction requiring no interpretation because we all understand what it means. Dream without limitation and ignore the voice in your head which will want to convince you that something isn’t possible. Dream whatever you want. Be free and unrestricted, just like you used to be when the day’s agenda held only play and imagination.
It’s a curious by-product of maturity that we somehow lose the ability or inclination to dream. We allow reality and reason to take a firm hold of us, and our fondness for dreaming slips quietly away. We seem to want to protect ourselves from the possibility of failure and disappointment. But dreaming is about the opposite of those things. It’s about excitement and wonder. It’s about creating whatever reality we desire for ourselves; and rediscovering what it means to stand like a 6-year-old at the centre of the universe and imagine, with the force of infinity, what would happen if everything we desire were to come true.
At the end of my training, Karaj told me I had lost the curiosity and naïvety with which I had begun my time with him. In Zen monasteries, students are reminded to maintain a beginner’s mind at all times. So, when you take those two hours to dream, know that you will almost certainly have to overcome some inertia because of the ‘progress’ you have made. You may also have to quieten the various voices of reality. But persevere and you will eventually rediscover the ease, fun, and creative joy which come your way when you allow yourself to dream.
When you do, make a note to return there regularly. Dream every day; be excited every day; and use your imagination to recreate the magic you had when you believed you could do anything you put your mind to.