play harder

“To get what you’ve never had, you have to do what you’ve never done”

……

I’m reading a book right now, Upside-Down Zen by Susan Murphy, in the middle of a chapter called “The great Way of Play,” which, by directly referencing the playfulfulness found in the practices of meditation and koans, is talking about everyday action:

“We may well be the only animals that play all of our lives – or perhaps only think we are – and we may play all the way up to our death. We may, in this spirit, play even with our own death, meet even that with rigor and playfulness. It is the rigor of what we do, in practice, that raises everything to the state of play. Any seriously undertaken work is play in the deepest sense” -Murphy 43

………

How can you recognize every action as play? As serious? Sitting za-zen in a quiet room seems like obvious, boring, painful work:

“How is this practice, this immensely sobering Way of meditation, also a matter of pure play? Let’s look at some of the ways. First of all, it costs nothing to sit in zazen.  [...] And it has a very strict and serious sense of form, as all great games do. There are no games without rules; the rules are a kind of desirable restriction.” -Murphy 44