Friday, 28 February 2014

Just play

"No place to go, nothing to do, nothing to attain."
(Heart Sutra, Mahayana Buddhism)

These words have been so soothing and peaceful to me over the last few days.  Not that I'm particularly busy or stressed at the moment.  Just the usual day to day busyness of raising three children.  On a beautiful, sunny but chilly day we headed out to one of our favourite parks.  We stayed all day, just playing and eating ice cream and just being with each other.  'No place to go, nothing to do, nothing to attain' ran like a mantra in my head.  All I had to do right now was play.  I was far from home, far from the distractions of all that needed to be done there.  We had our picnic lunch with us and I was ignoring my phone.  All I had to 'do' was breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the sun on my face and imitate the ease with which my daughters can just be in the moment and just play.

We played in the sand, we played on the swings, the pirate ship, the slide and the climbing frame.  We stayed for hours.  There was no where else I would rather have been, nothing else I would rather have been doing.  This is the essence of mindfulness.  Freeing my mind from distractions and deliberately rooting my presence in the here and now.  The here and now on this day was just wonderful and I basked in it.  Sometimes, on a beautiful day such as this 'Just play' should be at the top of the to-do list.  It should be the priority of the day.  "What are we going to do today Mummy?"  they asked me.  "Just play," I replied with a smile, "that's all we need to do today."