"Even the most difficult journey can be made fun"
Fun simply means engaging in an activity which makes you excited and joyful.
It may be about reading a book, playing video games or simply going out with friends.
This article will explore the relationship between fun and enlightenment.
Fun In Depth
In terms of spiritual growth, engaging in fun activities can be both constructive and destructive. It's much like water, if there's too much water then one can drown, if too little water then one can dry up. So like with most things, it's about achieving a healthy balance.
For instance, when we are constantly doing fun things, it can stimulate and excite the mind. As a result we can create a habit / attachment towards the desire to do fun things all the time and when one is not doing something “fun” anymore one may feel an emptiness that needs to be filled up again, thus the need for fun activities begins again.
Thus when one engages in fun activities excessively, one can greatly stimulate the mind which can block the Knowing of The Self. Becoming attached to only doing fun things in life can also create an aversion to doing things that are not fun - and most often these can include avoiding challenging things which can make us grow.
However, when there is a balance, or no attachment towards doing fun things then enjoyable activities can help the mind in a beneficial thing.
For instance, when we are constantly doing things which are not fun it can make life tedious and one can start to experience a great drain in their energy and motivation levels. Doing fun things, even activities which contribute nothing to spiritual growth, can help one to relax the body and mind. Often doing fun things can include activities which keep us very focused and this can be very relaxing to the mind because being in a focused state means that there will be less wandering thoughts, which means that there will be less energy drain from the mind.
Thus learning how to balance boring and tedious activities with more interesting activities can help one to achieve a more balanced state of mind.
Importance Of Knowing Fun
Some of us may have negativity towards fun things believing that it is a waste of time, whist there are us who have become too attached to doing fun things all the time. It's important to realize that doing fun things is neither good nor badbecause it's all about balance so that one can make wiser choices.
Without addressing the imbalance, one may end up taking life too seriously / personally. On the other hand one can also become “addicted” to doing fun things all the time which can affect the stability of one's mind. See Catalyst - Stimulation for more details.
The things that we find fun to do can also be our passions such as buying fashionable things, researching about science, making music, building a car, travelling and so forth. And although the addiction to our passions can be destructive, through it we can develop greater insight as to why that addiction is there and release it. This is how we can use our passions as a catalyst for Self-Transformation.
Path Of Creator
Fun In Relation To The Path Of Creator
When one becomes aware of their greater purpose in life which is to grow then one may question as to whether or not incorporating fun into their life is a good thing or not.
The Path to transforming and releasing our negative states of the mind is indeed a serious Path. It is a journey which will take one to face their fears, to overcome one's challenges so that one can become greater and happier than the day before.
From the perspective of a “serious” mind who is on the Path of challenges, the Idea of fun thus can be seen a bit irrelevant.
However the Truth is that this is not so much the case. The journey towards greater happiness can actually can be accelerated if one knows how to use Fun to accelerate their journey.
Realize that when one takes too seriously on their Path one can become narrowed minded, tense and all wound up. It can be hard to let go of things and not to react when one's mind has become so tight and defensive.
Sometimes doing relaxing / fun things can help one to ease up. Thus fun in this sense can help those people who are spiritually tense and this will help them to release their Negative Ideas and their Negative Habits.
It is like resting. Too much resting will mean that no work is done. But too much work without rest will be exhausting. Thus like rest, one can use doing fun things as a way to relax one's mind.
Thus it can be a good idea to incorporate fun things into one's life to help to ease the mind into a more balanced and stable state.
The journey is not so much about judging which activity is bad and which activity is good. All activities are good, as long as one carries the intention to grow from it. Carrying this intention, one can actually grow by simply live their life pursuing their desires and doing enjoyable things because through the process one will encounter their addictions, their cravings, their fears, their miseries, and simply use these experiences to develop the wisdom to develop a more balanced mind.
The destination however is in addressing our attitude towards everything we do in life - i.e. why can we simply not enjoy everything that we do? And ultimately this will take us towards addressing the lack of Self-Acceptance within.
At The Idea Level
Let us look at some Negative Ideas in relation to Fun.
“It is not ok to have fun”
For those who have been following the tradition of living an ascetic life and not doing anything fun so that they can attain “enlightenment” – the Idea of doing fun things can certainly seem a bit unusual and unnecessary.
Some people may even question -
Wouldn't the act of enjoying something create attachment and then suffering?
When one is in this confusion, simply realize that suffering comes only when we are attached to our desires and pleasant sensations. As long as there are no attachment towards fun activities then one would not experience Suffering. To know whether or not one has attachment one can simply abstain from the activities and observe for any inner-resistances / discomfort.
Thus here one can use Fun as a catalyst to test their levels of attachment towards those things.
For instance, the true test of whether one is attached to money can be said to be measured by how much one can let go of money through abstaining from it. However this is only half of the test. The other half of the test is to see how much one can let go of money when one has to be in society and work with money.
Thus a monk who lives in the mountains for all his life will never truly know the levels of his attachment until he returns to society. Because it is by going both ways that one can truly realize the depths of one's attachment.
Not Enjoying Life
If one cannot find anything Fun in life, then the cause usually will have to do with the Stress of the Mind. The Stress can come from over-working and over-stimulating the mind. When the mind is in a natural state of Stillness, everything, even mundane things such as walking on the road can seem enjoyable. See Catalyst - Focus for more details.
Negative Ideas are the Seed Cause of all stress in the mind. This is because Negative Ideas can generate wandering thoughts in the mind which can take us away from enjoying the Present Moment as it is.
Also, our Negative Ideas can create the subconscious habit of always declaring
“This is not fun”
“I will not enjoy this”
“This is a waste of time”
And so forth.
Thus Negative Ideas can create a pessimistic mind - driving us to only see the negative side of whatever we do.
However, there are ways to open ourselves up again and this is to simply trying to develop the awareness of the brighter side of everything which we do.
The following declarations can help to brighten the mind which has been darkened by Negative Ideas.
“I’m going to try to find things to enjoy about this”
“I’m going to try to make the other person laugh when I talk to them”
“I’m going to try to find interesting things about this topic”
When one is aware of the Negative Ideas happening within one's negative experience one can simply attempt to invert them to ease the Mind and develop the Knowing of The Self from observing the inner resistance towards the potentiated Idea.
“This is worthless” →”This is valuable”
“This is boring” →”This is enjoyable”
“I’m going to keep a low profile” → “I’m going enjoy the attention”
“I’m going to keep the conversation short” → “ I’m going to prolong conversation”
And so forth
The attempt of trying to act out the inverted declarations through action is a way to accelerate the process of releasing one's attachment towards one's negative habits.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Observe your life to see if you are either having too much fun *Stimulating the Mind* or you are having too little fun *Lack of Drive in the Mind*
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
Whenever you experience “boredom” in your meditation sessions, simply observe the experience as it is by trying to pull yourself back into a state of Stillness, i.e. not dwelling in your negativities or wandering thoughts. What you will realize that this will immediately change the quality of the experience - even if it is just for a moment. And this will give you the wisdom of just how the quality of your life experiences are always decided by you. You can even declare “This is fun” to develop the Knowing of how our beliefs can change the way we perceive the world even if that belief only lasts for a moment.
Know and Transform The Self!
There are many free Courses on the website to help you balance your mind!
For example, the Meditation To Balance Energy Through Developing Self-Acceptance will guide you to learn how to balance your inner energy (cakras) through Self-Acceptance so that you can experience peace and harmony within. Often when we do something excessively it can create imbalances within such as working too hard or criticizing ourselves too much. This is a great meditation to help you regain back your balance