Acting lessons

Val Kilmer talks about lessons learned on and off the set

ONE OF THE ELEMENTARY lessons you learn when studying acting is that of mastering the senses. Listening, for example. Real listening requires effort, concentration, and focus. If one wants to act well, one needs to receive information free from personal judgments in order to respond spontaneously and honestly. If you're really listening, the ear is turned on to receive, and the inner monologue, your own dialogue, is turned off.

I discovered early on that it's valid to apply this observation to praying, or listening spiritually to God, as well. We turn on to God's voice by turning our own, off. Listening requires humility, commitment, and concentration. So does prayer.

Humility comes with the recognition that God is greater than any of us. He is the sole creator of the universe. When you pray, the aim is not to give God all kinds of information, telling Him what you want or need. Just the opposite. As you listen to the thoughts that God sends, listen with a willingness to accept them for the healing love they manifest. Harmony is present, no matter what the material senses seem to be saying.

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July 10, 2000

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