practice for Saturday, March 1: Child’s Play
Children are such blessings. Nobody needs to tell them to be aware of every moment – they exist purely in the now…now this need, now that want, now scraped knee, now lollipop! NOW! (ha, ha, ha!) Nobody needs to remind a young child to sit up straight, either. Slouching is definitely a learned behavior that doesn’t set in unless they are imitating the bad posture of adults. And babies are such good “belly breathers” – every breath is full and round, well supported by the diaphragm, utilizing all the available lung space through good posture and naturally breathing in and out through the nose.
Today is the final day of our retreat together, so it is appropriate that we integrate all of the practices that we have done this week into our being before “returning” to our regular, daily lives. Over the past six days we have opened the chakras of the body, beginning with the feet and ending with the third eye. We have stretched our bodies and our lungs, and practiced different methods of centering and clearing our minds.
Your final assignment is this: to play like a child. Start by exploring your hands in the way a child sees them. Each finger, each joint, each possible movement, touching, textures, pinching, patting, and even tasting. Make your awareness vivid, delicious, fresh. Examine the lines of your palms, the dirt under your fingernails, every tiny detail. Experience your hands like you’ve never noticed them before…the way a baby does at four or five months when she starts discovering her hands for the very first time.
If you have a young child at home, or if you work with young children every day, “child’s play” is readily available to you. Play with your child, get on the floor, make babbling sounds, “ba, ba, ba, ga, ga”…and smile. Look around you and see everything for the first time, hear things for the first time. If you don’t have small children at home, explore your environment like a child would: tasting, feeling, wondering. To exist with the innocence, the purity and the open wonderment of a child is the culmination of our spiritual practices.
Thank you for joining us, for praying, for experimenting and discovering!