The Truth of Zen is the Truth of Life

How many times have you done all the studying you can about something? You’ve obsessed over a topic, devoured it until you couldn’t any more, and in the end…you didn’t act upon what you learned? I’m all for knowledge for the sake knowledge, but if you’re studying something as a form of empowerment – as a way to change your life, improve your yoga practice, or transform your business – and you do nothing with the knowledge you gained, you’re almost using the act of studying as a form of procrastination, aren’t you?

Maybe this will hit a little closer to home:

How many times have you meditated on a big change you need to make in your life only to do nothing and remain where you are for days, weeks, months, years? This is something we are all guilty of from time to time. After all, it’s easier to think than act. It’s easier to make grand plans in our mind than it is to act on them.

If you’ve been a member of the 42Yogis community for a while, you may remember I badly injured my knee in early December 2014. In the past couple weeks I finally recovered enough I could get back on the yoga mat. I need to rebuild my strength and increase my flexibility again to get back to where I was. But have I been doing it? No. I’ve been doing yoga, but I haven’t been as proactive as I used to be. Instead, I’ve been reading tons of books and articles about yoga, and – admittedly – I have been using studying as a form of procrastination.

But as Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki said, life means to live; to take action.

So the other night I got out a piece of grid paper (which is the only paper I use for notes) and at the top of it I wrote “Ysmay’s Kickass Fitness Plan.” I wrote down everything I should be doing (and how often I should be doing it) to regain the level of fitness I was at a few months ago. The result? I’ve stopped procrastinating, and I’ve started doing. Writing it down made it real. Writing it down is holding me accountable.

Next time you catch yourself studying and obsessing as a form of procrastination, or meditating as an escape instead of implementing changes, write it down. Put your pen to paper and write down your goals. Write down your plans. How are you going to achieve that which you desire? How are you going to use this new knowledge to further your transformation? The simple act of writing it down will make you far more likely to take action.