In our search for peace and serenity, we need to remember we are not trying to become motionless lumps of flesh. The Buddha may have sat under a bo tree for 40 years waiting for enlightenment, but that’s not really an option for us. However, there’s another way to bring some joy into our lives, and more than a little fun.
What do you like to do? Woodwork? Watch TV? Sports? Write? Work with technology? Think about the possibilities inside your hobbies Think about how you can take your knowledge about those areas to the next level. How can you leave your mark on the things you do for fun?
Take watching television. That’s pretty passive. Consider though: on the net there are groups dedicated to the shows, that discuss the plots, the characters, the episodes, and allow you to put in your two cents.
Does that sound too geeky? Not really worth the time? Then move on. Find something else you do for fun that can touched by your own unique creative touch. It’s hard, very hard to be at peace, to be serene, by being completely passive in life.
Total passivity can work well for some monks who are totally removed from the world, but I imagine as you’re reading an online blog, you’re likely not wearing a cowl.
We typically think of the things we do for pure enjoyment as throwaway time. We call it “downtime,” as if we were a machine or network that’s gone down, or not on active duty. Given that our days on this earth, do we really want to throw away too much time? Sure, fun is fun.
But when you get bored, and don’t feel like cleaning house, doing yard work, or learning a useful new skill, consider a creative activity. Many therapists will suggest journaling or writing of some form, and that’s a great thing to do—if you enjoy it.
Still, you can add creativity to anything you do. Use your downtime activities to springboard into something active, something that stimulates your mind, body, or both. Having fun is an essential part of serenity. So too is creating.