UPBEAT’s Entertainment Guide In A Word: The Tao [dow] of Play

I nternational play

Living the Upbeat Life... specialist

Fred Donaldson teaches in his remarkable book, Playing By Heart: The Vision and Practice of Belonging, that play is a “univer- sal language…the pattern that con- nects all living creatures.” Play cuts across ethnic, social and gender dif- ferences, continues across species, melts time and space, and may be ultimately the intergalactic dance. Which reminds me that in the Sanscrit language, there’s a word, “lila” (lee-la) that translates to playfulness, sport, creative pastimes. But Hindu legend also tells that the divine, universal absolute principle called Brahman created the entire cosmos in a wild, spontaneous, free act of supreme Play. I like that! So I named this sheer, native enthusiasm for creating our personal lives the “tao” (way ) of playing the game of Life itself. (I should finish writing that book!)

Play is inherent in any-

thing that’s fun or that we find quiet joy in. Yet Donaldson reports that by the age of six, most children are competing rather than simply playing by heart –vying for love, attention, rewards. As grown-ups,

My role model was my grand- father. He in- stilled in me the feeling that no matter how successful you are you have a responsibility

to help others. Kevin Johnson

by Marcia Singer of Santa Rosa, CA. ~ ~

we often “work hard and play hard” instead. And when we do manage to lose ourselves in the fullness of happy moments, when we stumble into the Play Zone, we mistakenly attach our happiness to a particular activity. We think the magic is in dancing, teaching, playing tennis or making up games with a grand- child. We don’t realize the magic is what we’re bringing to that activity. It’s our openness to playing, our spirited indulgence, our spontane- ity that brings the joy, originality, vitality and con- nection we all need in life. It’s a relationship to being alive. How neces- sary our true playmates are, our trustworthy friends of the

soul. My mentor Fred Donaldson notes that “trusting play is a natu- ral wisdom.” We can be ourselves during play, inventing our experi- ences solo or together moment by moment. And this includes enjoy- ment with furry or feathered play- mateys, or ones with stems and leaves, or made of stone.

forest full of friends. Or pass a weekend discovering all the ways to enjoy a new electronic gadget for the pure joy and challenge of it. Before I had my “aha!” and began to play on purpose, my life often seemed to be missing something. Being successful or smart or even being a nice human being didn’t feel completely fulfill- ing. But I did feel fulfilled when- ever I was simply fully engaged with whatever I was doing, just for its own sake. So whenever I am just being alive, present, and inventing the moment as I go along –impro- vising—life feels wonderful. What makes an act playful, what makes it authentic is its heart --like all forms of love.

So I share with you my

tao of play. As an upbeat, mov- ing meditation, it arises naturally

from a still, grounded place within, spilling out good fun in its wake. Play has been called “fundamental to evolution” by naturalist Diane Ackerman: we can’t live without it.

Storyteller, “cantadora” Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes reminds that play is essential to creativity. And when we are happy, laughing, our whole minds and bodies benefit as stress disappears. We breathe eas- ier, relax, feel more vital, inventive. We belong when we put our best selves into play.

Shall we? And to

all celebrating

-Happy Father’s (or fathering) Day! May you be smiling.

Shining deLight, Marcia

JOKES & Humor #4

An elementary school teacher decides to poll the class on the difficulty of last night's homework assign- ment.

"How many people were able to complete the assign- ment without parent's help?" About 25% of the class raises their hands. "How many people were able to complete the assignment with the help of a

parent?" About 70% of the class raises their hands.

The teacher still notices about 5% of the class did not raise their hands. She then calls out, "How many people had to help a parent complete your assignment?"


you’re in play mode, you can lie in tall, friendly grass and watch clouds making shapes just for you. Or go on a day adventure with a whole

Upbeat in Switzerland

...continued from page 19

Although the park shares a boarded with the Czech Re- public,

it does not share a boarded with Switzerland. The region is so named as it reminded several famous landscape artists, who painted its sandstone mountains, of regions


glimpse of the sandstone for- mations can be seen between Becky & I in the enclosed pic- ture.

We have a responsibility to help those around us and help others in need. Virginia Williams UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • JUNE 2019 • Pg 23

Switzerland. A


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