Playfulness! Seriousness is scary and boring

By Astiko Schugt



Playfulness, I love this word! It evokes, joy, freedom, innocence, creativity, presence,lightness.

When I was a child the magic moment was when I was told to go out and play. That meant for me freedom, unsupervised time to allow things to happen, to create, move, build, imitate,relate whatever.

As I go deeper into it I realize that it requires a state of high energy, that moves relaxed through the body and the mind and feels free to express itself fully in the now.

Playfulness is a state that requires an open heart, a joyful mind focused on the now and a vibrant body!
To be such it is a a lifetime learning process or a realization of the is-ness in the now!

Too much seriousness in the world, too much judgement and comparison, too much competition and expectation,a goal oriented mind, have created a world full of serious people. Working environments are serious, schools and other educational institutes are serious. Politics, fashion, the music business etc.
My upbringing, school, music school, art school, even the piano and the tennis lessons happened in an environment in which I felt scared, bored or something in between . Everything had to do with tests and good or bad, comparison and judgment, there was very little freedom for creativity to happen, for energy to flower, for joy. I can see with my grandson how eager he is to learn, how happy he engages in playing, building, carrying water, budding in the sand, baking or even vacuuming the house, taking a bath, or any little everyday happening is an opportunity to wonder and play.

Also our relationship with ourselves and others are taken very serious, we feel entitled, we judge, we compare, we have fixed viewpoints of how the other one and I should be, we become hard, we take our feelings and emotions very serious instead of finding playful ways of allowing,embracing and expressing,we analyze hide, repress, manipulate or through them out.


Relaxing into what is and making the best out of it playfully is something I experienced around Osho.

When I arrived at Oshos Commune in the 80s, I discovered that it was possible to learn and to work in a completely different way! I used to work hard for many hours and still never had the feeling that I was working. The whole environment was such that even the hardest work, or the most precise, or repetitive work, seemed to be a wonderful thing to be engaged in. I enjoyed the freshness, the space for innovation, for details, for loving relatedness, for open confrontation, for finding solutions, for playfulness!
I felt happy, cleaning toilets, cooking, translating, doing the laundry, taking care of the children, in the library, etc. Everyday was a new day full of possibilities to play.


At the same time this playfulness was not a hindrance for a job to be well done, on the contrary, one was present in what one was doing, the quality of the job was presence and love for detail, for a job well done with love and creativity. We used to cook for hundreds of people while we where singing or someone was playing an instrument, we used to hug very often , change routines, find new ways of doing things, change the roles, have productive meetings, speak openly about our feelings and relationships amongst each other. We where involved and present. We wanted to be there, doing that and otherwise we would take responsibility and find another job!
The quality of playfulness is also a timeless space and a fluidity that only happens when one is present in the moment with what is.
We humans are very goal oriented there for we become serious about the outcomes. Playfulness is the goal itself, love is a goal in itself and so is creation.

Osho used to say: Leela, Leela.. Life Is Just A Play! If you dance the whole existence becomes a dance.
Hindus say it is a RAS-LEELA, God is dancing, and around God the stars and the moon and the sun and the earths and the whole existence. The whole existence is dancing around God.
In India they consider that the existence is Gods Leela, Gods play, everything that is created he created playing.
If creating this whole perfect wonderful existence is Gods play what makes us humans feel so important and serious?
I have to tell myself this every now and then when I become to serious about something, when I get to late to school and pull my grandchild away from discovering the world, when I get in a hurry about doing, when I am premenstrual or something doesn´t go the way I expected. I get specially serious around banks and legal paper work, ohhhhhh so boring, so terribly complicated this games!
Now I still have the privilege to live a life full of freedom to play in my work, in my home, with my family and friends.
Sometimes when I miss this playfulness in the world around me and in myself, then I know it is time to stop and go back into myself, to meditate and let go of my idea of control.
It is time to free my mind, body and heart of pressure, time and space and goal.
Just being is enough of a miracle!