GO HAVE FUN!!!
Nearly everyone I meet with seems to struggle, especially in these days, with feeling they should be doing something to change the world. Of course, there is so much that needs changing right now. At the same time, these folks (including me) are drawn to do things like read a novel, watch TV, do crossword puzzles. And we/they feel torn and guilty about doing something that has no ulterior meaning. On the whole, we have a hard time allowing ourselves to have fun! People I meet with often are seeking some “serious” spiritual discipline – usually they have tried sitting meditation and not found it satisfying. Getting people to give up that effort and try something that they actually WANT to do often brings cries of. “but that’s not spiritual.” It’s true that reading a novel, doing a crossword puzzle or watching TV would generally not be seen as legitimate spiritual practices! Nevertheless, this Puritanical feeling of I should do something I don’t want to do, also does not strike me as meaningful.
The spiritual director and writer Cynthia Winton-Henry. says; “Too often we think that spiritual discipline involves suffering; “unless I suffer, I’m not learning or growing.” But, if we are seeking joy, does it make sense to get there through pain? … A sacred practice calls for an ethic of play where fun as a spiritual principle takes priority, even if it undermines the calcified, puritanical assumptions of the past with such “radical” ideas as;
~ I don’t have to be articulate
~ I have all the time in the world ~ Everything belongs
~ All creations are welcome
~ Curiosity rules
~ I can surprise and be surprised
~ I decide how I want to play
~ I decide when to rest
Sound too good to be true? Sound insane? Think of fun this way: Playfulness is not the opposite of work; it’s just a terrific way to get work done. Fun keeps imagination greased and spirit at the ready. It balances out egocentric ambition and elevates the most mundane acts to the heights of holy amusement.” *
So in these difficult days, I’d like to spread far and wide the suggestion to allow yourself to HAVE FUN! I hereby give you a pass on meditating every morning and instead ask yourself what would truly bring you joy. What would feed your spirit? Try it for a week and let me know what you do and how it goes! Paint, read, garden, do a jigsaw puzzle, walk, draw on the sidewalk with chalk…. Just to shake you out of your own seriousness. We all are in serious need of being able to have fun in this time of quarantine. I wish you luck in this assignment!
Quote from the book *Dance, The Sacred Art. by Cynthia Winton-Henry
And here's a poem from Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. for you too!
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
It’s not because anything special happened. Though I’ve sat in silence in desert canyons and climbed iron rungs on overhanging cliffs and sung in cathedrals and sung in snow caves and hiked naked through juniper and washed dishes in inner city shelters and wandered the cobblestones of ancient villages, today, sitting on the couch in my own house, I finally understood with my whole body how life puts us in the places we need to grow.
And so I made tea. And sat a while longer with the windows open, listening to my longing as it wove with the sound of the sprinklers and the oven fan and I said to the moment, what do you ask of me?