“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing!” —George Bernard Shaw
Today’s meditation connects us to the playful nature of our joyful self. Vedic wisdom tells us that all creation arises from Lila, or cosmic play. Expressing our playful nature is a valuable way to stay creative, receptive, and revitalized. When we have fun, we are dancing and singing along with the story of our life. We find our hearts, minds and bodies are lighter and happier. Play time not only makes us feel better, it spiritually rejuvenates us as well.
Our meditation today brings our awareness to this source of playfulness deep within, allowing us to bring this sense of fun and joy into our daily life. Let the child in you go out and play.
Our centering thought for today is:
I am playful.
Our Sanskrit Mantra for today is:
“Lila Hum.” I am playful.
Notes On Today’s Meditation
“Today we begin to unleash the essences of happiness and joy that we so far have been reclaiming through play. Does that seem “unspiritual?” Well, not in the least. The happiness we feel when we let go and absorb ourselves in fun, relaxation, and play is pure alignment with spirit. That carefree, untroubled feeling you experience when you allow yourself to relax and to play, it is the language of your soul. Affirming your purpose for being alive. To live in joy. Your base level of happiness is determined by how you choose to view and experience your life. See and experience the world through the magical glasses of play, and the world lights up! When we let go, when we take the time to renew, when we honour the value in play, we become open and receptive; more alive than ever. And then the messages of the Universe reveal themselves in some of the most magical ways. So relax. Breathe. And renew your playful spirit. The miracles will follow.” ~Oprah
We are so used to asking the biggest question of all, “what is the meaning of life?” with such a serious expression, always expecting a deep answer.
But what if we live in a recreational universe? This is what Lila is.
This can come as a shock to see the universe as recreational because we all feel limited and trapped by things we “must” do. Opinions we “must” uphold. A path we “must” follow. All because we are afraid to fall.
Because of this fear, every day feels anything but playful.
Lila, the spirit of joy, embraces play, spontaneity, and fun.
The happiest people make time every day for these things because play time, down time, and time out are indeed important. They allow your brain to refresh itself. They renew the spirit.
Being too serious and heavy takes us away from our playful, joyful self. It also keeps your spirit from expanding. No matter how old you are, you will be young at heart if you know that play renews the spirit.
It is your choice how to release the Lila inside you, but without a doubt, it is there.
The subtlest level feels like the fizzy, effervescent energy that wants to bubble up spontaneously. This is what we will experience today in meditation. The vibrant tingle that makes you want to go out and play.
Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes. Begin to breathe, slowly and calmly. With each breathe, become more relaxed. Gently introduce the mantra, “Lila Hum.”
Repeat it to yourself and imagine yourself playing, singing, and dancing to the cosmic energy of play. With each repetition feel your mind, body, and spirit open and receive just a little more.
If you get distracted from noises or anything else, bring yourself back to the mantra, “Lila Hum.”
Continue meditation for about 5-10 minutes or for however long you wish.
My Thoughts & Experience
It is interesting how the concept of play shifts as we grow older.
It’s funny, the way Deepak describes play as effervescent and bubbly, and I instantly think of champagne. But it is true, play is very much like a celebration, although it is a little concerning that as adults everything we associate with fun and play is often accompanied with alcohol. Perhaps this is because we have forgotten how to get in touch with our inner child, and the simple joy of just playing, doing, and running around the house.
With this meditation, I visualized myself now playing with my Higher Self, me as a child.
I tossed him in the air, and caught him; spun him around in circles. Laughing all the way. We played hide and seek in the field (our inner sacred space), and jumped around catching grasshoppers. We built a swim pool in the brook, and splashed each other as we built up some stone walls. We built a fort in the woods near by, and climbed trees to the very top. We played knights and mongols with wooden swords. We threw Reiki orbs and waves of energy around and about. We played board games in the sand, and built sand castles. We giggled and laughed, and did a running match. He complained “not fair” that his legs weren’t as long as mine, so we stretched them out and had a good laugh there.
All of this reminded me that I need to play more. I don’t do it enough, if at all.
As a child, I went from playing all the time outside doing all of the above mentioned things, to staying inside, playing Super Mario on Nintendo. (Which is and was still very fun.) But even that seemed to lose interest, and discovered the realms of fantasy books: the ultimate playground!
But there, as I continue to play in the woods, climb trees, etc. I don’t laugh as much as I used to. I have grown old and slightly alone. Most of my friends do what I said before, we drink and we play music, and we story-tell and we play cards. Which again, is VERY fun, but I feel disconnected from the very act of play. Of running around and playing ball and building forts and playing tag and other games. It has been so very long since I have done any of this. And I miss it. I miss Super Mario too.
I think it is time to bring some of the old fun back, sans alcohol. To just do fun for fun’s sake.
What say you?