It seems like no matter where I turn this month in my study of play, I am led back to the Hindu notion of the play of God. Even when I am studying Ignation spirituality and play, I find reference to the Hindi concept of “leela.” One of the things I have come to appreciate about Iganation spirituality is that is about proceeding in a path which involves reflection, discernment, and self-awareness. It is about an inner transformation and journey which radiates externally. It is not necessarily associated with a specific religious school of thought.
It is through this study that I was introduced to Anthony de Mello, who once wrote:
The Master once referred to the Hindu notion that all creation is “leela”— God’s play—and the universe is his playground. The aim of spirituality, he claimed, is to make all life play.
This seemed too frivolous for a puritanical visitor. “Is there no room then for work?”
“Of course there is. But work becomes spiritual only when it is transformed into play.”
Play does not have to come after the seriousness of spirituality. Play can be a part of every aspect of our spirituality. Play can be within our work, within our religious practices if we have any, and even within our relationships with others and with our Higher Power. Play is about discovering the rivers of joy which flow throughout and within us and making ourselves vulnerable. It is about allowing others to see the side of us that is willing to be playful, silly, and humorous. It is about letting our guard down and allowing others to see the non-serious side of us.
So often we think of play as associated with children, but the spiritual practice of play is for everyone. Play can help others tap into, discover, or rediscover, their connection to the Divine, regardless of how they call upon that Higher Power. Play can not only help to deepen our inward connection with Spirit, but our ability to raise the vibrational frequency of the planet, by radiating love, light, and positive energy.