A New Series on Divine Talk Radio with Cindy Lindsay Rael
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I had a shamanic teacher who had four rules for living.
2) Love yourself
3) Love Others
4) When things get tough, go back to rule #1
He clearly saw play as an essential way to enter and live our life. Not only was it rule #1 of living, but it was the way through the tuff times and the way to get to being rules number 2 and 3, love yourself and others.
What is Play?
But what did he mean by play? I don’t think he meant to take a recreational time or go on a vacation. I think he meant to enter all aspects of our life from an inner state of play-- the being of play. When we live it for finding peace within, and union with our soul nature and divine energy, it becomes the yoga of play. What would it be like if we entered into each thing in our life as yoga of play?
To really feel that let's break down what is the state of being which is play. In general, it is a state of being in the moment with joy and allowing that to guide our actions.
So first, it assumes joy. Its very purpose is not an achievement, or outcome, or perfection. The automatic assumption is not worth, importance, or usefulness. Its sole reason for being is joy. The focus is happiness/ joy.
What if we saw everything we had to do as a moment for play? Doing the dishes, being in a meeting, putting together a class or report. What if we entered doing that assuming joy, choosing joy, finding joy?
My mother was good at that. When I was a kid, she made everything into a game. When I went to a high school reunion, my mother had passed away, but that was the thing they remembered most about her, her ability to make everything playing. Why can’t we still do that? There is fun to be had even in the most mundane or serious things. Thank you, Mom, for teaching me that.
But I have at many times in life forgotten that crucial teaching. However, when I remember things becomes so much easier. To enter from drudgery creates drudgery to enter from joy creates joy.
Like the old movies with Judy Garland and friends. Whenever they were down someone would say “let’s put on a show”. They would sing and dance their way through their problems. I am dating myself with that. And those of a certain age will have no idea what that reference is.
However, the principle—that we look around and see ourselves with friends and decide we will play our way through our problems to a beautiful creation—that stands the test of time.
Let’s see each other with love and friendship. Let’s sing and dance and play our way through to great creations with one another.
Second, there is an innocence with it, an entering with wonder and exploration. 'Beginners Mind' as the Buddhists say. In this yoga of play there are not a lot of expectations. It is open and allowing and creative.
Still, we must also learn to play within a structure. Structured games and sports are versions of play. But because of the structure or need to win or be good at it, they often lose the yoga of play experience. How many times have we heard that a great ball player entered the game because he or she loved it and then felt they lost that along the way somewhere?
It is not just sports, however. I remember a businessman. I was working as a consultant to design his team retreat. He was having trouble with the team he was leading. They were stuck on a big project with no good ideas. As time went on in that stuck place, their meetings became excruciating. Everyone’s worst sides came out. There was a lot of resistance, need to be right, one-upping, and a need to be acknowledged, and not much else.
As we talked through the retreat, we decided they needed to play. Not go out on the golf course together or do a ropes course to teach trust. Instead, they needed to let loose without expectation, or pressure for achievement. So, we designed several play sessions. This business man’s knowledge of what would get his people laughing and more freewheeling was a great help in this.
Each time after the play we then went back to tasks the team needed to do. It had an amazing effect. Ideas started coming out, people started to play with each other ideas, creating, exploring, enjoying.
Play is a state of creation, innovation, and exploration.
In the Moment
Third, play is in the moment. In fact, in good play, there is a state of being lost in the moment of the doing and the joy. The best play induces a kind of altered state, where time and space disappear and only the direct experience is of the moment and the self, remain. It is a kind of moving meditation.
A being of play is a joyful engagement of being present.
So How Do We Enter Everything from This State of Joy?
Set the Intent
When my husband and I are going for a long drive in the car, even when we drove 3 days to his surgery and back, I like to get in the car and say “Woo hoo—we are on vacation.” After 16+ years of marriage, my husband knows what I mean. We have a long chunk of time off together (a rare thing in our lives). Let’s enjoy it.
Sometimes we just have to reset the expectation of joy and play. So, that means not thinking, 'I have to do this right now,' but 'what fun, I get to do this right now'. Entering a situation with the assumption of joy.
I often go to the Divine Lineage Temple in Laytonville and am assigned there to do seva jobs. For example: At home, I only cook by myself for two people. There (at Divine Lineage), I cook with others for 20 or 30 people. At home, we just clean up after ourselves. I only do any deep cleaning and laundry etc. once a week. There, things need to be cleaned every day. It could be a drudge. And certainly, there were times when it felt that way to me. But when I set my intent for joy. These tasks do become joyful, playful, creative and deeply satisfying.
Yes, seva is a particular form of work. It should always be seen as serving the divine. And we should enter with an open heart of devotion. That mindset is very important in seva. But I think we also need to enter from play. Then it becomes a yoga of devotion, but also of joy.
To Do That: Beginners Mind--Drop Expectation, Maintain Self Esteem
Sometimes I think that our inner daemons are hiding in the expectations we carry around about ourselves and others. Everything we think must be a certain way, is likely formed by our fears, our desires, and our needs (even our survival need). In short, our expectations are likely formed by our childhood experiences and our karmas.
Our expectations have us entering in from a need to be good, to be loved, to be right, to achieve, to do it right, to prove something to ourselves or others, or to do it our way. Not only do we push ourselves like this, but we also put those expectations on others as well.
What if instead we just entered with inner confidence. Self-Esteem that says: “I am held by the divine.” “I am a piece of God.” And then we simply strive to just be that while we do whatever?
As they say, “Let go and let God.” We are not the doers; we are the hearts and hands of God. So just make our hearts open and our hands available to let God do. Then it becomes a play—the play of God through us.
When God is working through us that is dharma. What is my dharma? it is there in every action taken from this state of being.
Go Outside and Play
When I was a kid, my mother used to tell us “go outside and play.” At the time I am not sure I really appreciated it. But now, Wow, yes “go outside and play!!” Yes!
I highly recommend that you go outside and play. Go into nature with that joy, innocence, wonder. Then just be in the moment of the beauty of nature. It will cure your ills. It will decharge the negativities. It is what to do when times are getting rough.
Sri Kaleshwar used to say if you are feeling negative or angry, just be quiet and go out into nature. It works.
A Special Note on Dharma and Play
One of my mentors told me once “When your avocation becomes your vocation, there is no vacation.” I think she meant is that when we choose to have the things we love become our vocation, there is no time off. Which I have found to be very true. But that also means that sometimes the play goes out of it. Just like those ballplayers who have lost the love of the game. But it can happen to us all.
Of course, we long to do what we love as our job. But sometimes when it becomes a job, the play goes away.
As a child, I used to play at the metaphysical. My parents were not religious, so magic, miracles, and witches were my version of metaphysical. I loved that play. Then as a professor and consultant my vacations were spent in metaphysical workshops and journeys to foreign places with medicine people.
When I finally became a metaphysical healer full time, my mentor’s statement started coming true. So, I really had to face myself on this one.
Perhaps you need to as well. So, let me share. I started a rule for myself: each day I remind myself of the play. I have the great fun of life to just sit with the divine and bring that energy to others. I get to play every day. I get to enter with joy and find that joy for others. I am blessed beyond measure.
If the day is tough, I remind myself again to go back to play. After all the shamanic teacher’s rule #4 was: when things get tough, go back to rule #1—play.
Rule # 4: When Things Get Tuff Go Back to Play
Entering with joy, beginners mind, and being in the moment of that, is the solution. It is the way to meet our karmas and win them. It is the way we can “be positive” as Sri Kaleshwar always said. It is the way we get ourselves back to loving our self and loving others.
It is the Yoga of Play.
Cindy Lindsay Rael
has been an energy healer and teacher for 25 years. She has studied with Sri Kaleshwar since 2001. She is a graduate of Kaleshwar's Soul University in India and is a certified teacher of the ancient mantra and yantra systems. Prior to her work in the Vedic tradition, she studied, conducted healing, and taught in the Inca traditions of Peru. Cindy also earned a PhD. in Psychology and was a university professor and consultant.
Cindy conducts both distance and in-person healing sessions and teachings. To read more on her approach to Sai Shakti Healing see www.divinesoulhealer.com. In addition, Cindy offers Divine Baby Blessings to pregnant mothers and works with many issues of the Holy Womb (www.wombhealing.com).