What makes play a Spiritual Practice? What are healthy ways in which we as human beings engage in play? Is play something one does alone, and does that count as play?
Let’s take one question at a time. First, what makes play a spiritual practice? I imagine it depends on your definition of spiritual and also of play.
First of all, spiritual. My definition of spiritual is the place where I meet the Holy within myself. Where is my heart? What is my relationship to those times of meeting? A non-theistic response might be the places where I experience imagination, creativity or well-being. What is your definition?
My definition of play, healthy play, is a moment when my spirit is enlivened, I experience pleasure, and a certain relaxation of time. I imagine that for some, solving a complicated mathematical equation could be play. For others it would playing a sport. What we play at may be unique for each of us. What is your definition? How do you play?
In closing today’s blog, I want to report on an experience of playing. I had some time free yesterday afternoon to go for a drive. The preparations were simple, a water bottle, sun screen, a hat and gas for the car. I love to drive to places in the wilderness that I have not previously been. I set out on my journey in the afternoon, drove, stopped to take pictures, stopped at a mountain town and got a snack from the local store, enjoyed the sun, the shade, and the fresh air and then returned home. I enjoyed anticipating this car trip, during the car trip and now remembering the car trip. It was play. It enlivened my spirit. I am grateful to the Holy One for it.
So how is your spirit? Does it want to play?