“Serious mind is always exhausted,but play mind always has energy.”
-Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
“Through awareness, we can learn to move with astonishing lightness and freedom at almost any age.”
– Moshe Feldenkrais
“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”
When I read the above quotes, there is a common thread: Play…Lightness…Creativity….Spontaneity…
Earlier in the week Erin and I had the chance to see Bobby McFerrin perform in Ogden. Most people know of Bobby from his “Don’t Worry Be Happy” hit, but to me, he is one of the great musical geniuses of our time.
What was so powerful in the show was how he embodied these qualities of play, lightness, spontaneity through music – and that they were contagious.
Whether he was engaging his drummer in an improv duet, or inviting the audience to sing along, or passing the mic to a random woman in the front row and inviting her to sing the next verse, everything he touched lightened, became more alive, more playful. It reminded me of a line from one of our favorite Mary Oliver poems: “Make of yourself a light said the Buddha before he died.”
At one point, Bobby paused and said “We are so fortunate – we PLAY for a living.”
May we all be so fortunate to play for a living, whatever we do – to play in our relationships, to play in our various practices, disciplines and passions. The quality of play is so under-valued for adults in our culture, and yet is such a key for learning, for creativity, for not taking ourselves and our situation so damn seriously all the time.
As I am beginning another round of Tai Chi In The Park in May (click here for more details), I appreciate how people who practice tai chi are referred to as “tai chi players,” and you can see the lightness and the twinkle in those who have dedicated decades to disciplined practice.
Ken Cohen says “You can tell the level of a tai chi player’s practice by the fullness of her laughter.”
Wishing you great joy in the play of being exactly who you are, as you are.