"A quick antidote for pain!"
Doing fun things in life can bring joy and relaxation to the mind and soul. And there are many things one can do for fun: reading a book, playing video games, going out with friends, exercising, playing sports, and so forth.
In this article, we will us explore the following question:
"Can doing fun things impede one's spiritual journey towards enlightenment and Self-Transformation?"
Fun In Depth
People enjoy doing fun things because such activities can bring one joy. After all, the pains and pressures from having to study and work five days a week in this day of age are always begging for healing.
However, when one is on a spiritual journey, one can wonder just how helpful, or harmful fun activities can pose to their progress. This is because some spiritual traditions can focus on the art of living simply, of removing oneself from the excesses and stimulating activities of life, often encouraging one to live an ascetic life, go for long pilgrimages, read religious and philosophical scriptures, meditate, do yoga, spend time in prayers, and so forth.
That is why it can be confusing when one tries to understand the connection between fun activities and one's spiritual journey; to the serious mind, it can seem unnecessary, sometimes, even seen as obstacles.
At the end of the day, what is right and wrong will be dependent on what religion or spiritual path one follows because every school of thought will have their own take on what is beneficial or not.
This article will simply focus on the journey of Self-Transformation, which is the journey of creating greater happiness through addressing the Suffering States of mind.
So, let's explore how fun activities tie in with this journey.
In terms of transforming the mind, engaging in fun activities can be both constructive and destructive. It's much like water: it can be destructive enough to destroy and kill, and constructive enough to heal and give life. So like with most things, when fun activities are used in a balanced way, it can help one's spiritual journey.
So, it's important to develop the awareness of whether or not one engaging in fun activities in an imbalanced way.
If one engages in fun activities excessively, it can stimulate and excite the mind; ungrounding it. It can also leave one craving for more excitement when the fun is over. As a result, one can end up developing a habit of only doing fun things in life and avoiding the more painful and challenging that could otherwise be transformative to the mind.
To balance then is to take more rest from stimulating activities so that one can bring Stillness back into one's mind. It's only when the mind is Still that the life lessons can be seen and learnt.
And likewise, if one is always facing challenging experiences, then doing so can stir up the mind too much, and again, ungrounding it. To reach a balance, one can either rest or use fun activities to ease one's tension.
Without fun activities, life can also become monotonous and boring, which can be quite draining, making one less motivated to tackle the challenges of the day.
So, to reach a balance will require one to develop their own Self-Knowing. To know what is too much or too little. So, the spiritual journey of Self-Transformation is not about following rules on what is right or wrong but rather using one's wisdom to make decisions.
Importance Of Knowing Fun
Some serious minds may judge fun activities negatively whilst can become attached to such activities. It's important to realize that doing fun things is neither good nor bad; it's all about balance. When one only follows rules without exercising one's own wisdom, one can end up living their life in an unbalanced way.
Fun activities can come in many forms. It can be about pursuing our passion. It can be about buying fashionable clothes. It can be about researching on a topic one is interested in. Whatever one does, realize that when one experiences tension, stress, unhappiness in their activities—it means that one is living in an imbalanced way and something needs to be addressed.
Often, one can lack such self-awareness. That is why the practice of meditation can help because through the practice, one will learn from direct experience what is a "Stiill Mind" and what is a "Chaotic Mind" This knowledge will help one to become aware when one's mind is veering towards Stress and Unstillness.
Path Of Creator
Fun In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The journey of transforming and releasing the suffering states of mind is indeed a serious Path. It is a journey of facing, experiencing and studying one's fears and negativities, which can be painful and traumatic at times. As such, it's good to incorporate some activities that can bring healing and rest to one's mind.
Realize that when one is too serious about their journey, one can also become narrow-minded, tense and all wound up. When the mind is tense, it can be difficult to let go of things when others have said something that has angered us, or when something wrong happens in life.
On the other hand, when one is lacking seriousness about their journey, they can simply end up doing only fun things and learn nothing.
So, the journey of Self-Transformation is a journey of becoming self-aware of what one needs. Much like bringing oneself water when one is aware of the thirst, one will learn to balance the mind when it becomes imbalanced. And the more one brings themselves into balance, the easier the journey will be.
A balanced mind is one which does not take things too seriously, but at the same time, not too lightly.
And as one works on their suffering states of mind, balance will come into their mind naturally. This is because the cause of imbalance will always be the Suffering States of mind. For instance, the fears of not doing enough can make one do too much. For instance, the fears of pain can drive one to choose only enjoyable experiences in life.
Thus the deeper journey of developing the awareness of one's imbalance is of developing its cause and addressing it.
The destination is towards a state of contentment. Once the suffering states of mind have been addressed, one will be able to enjoy doing everything in life, in every moment.
It is then one will realize that as long as one can live in the Present Moment, every moment can be enjoyable.
Not Enjoying Life
If one cannot find anything Fun in life, then the cause can be a stressed mind. When the mind is stressed, nothing can seem fun.
The solution is to just do less to stress the mind. Either to engage in less work, less worrying, less fearing, and so forth.
When the mind is in a natural state of Stillness, everything, even the most mundane things such as walking on the road, will seem enjoyable.
See Catalyst - Focus for more details.
Also, our beliefs, the maker of our habit patterns, can affect our enjoyment of life.
For instance, activities can become less enjoyable when we are constantly declaring in our minds—
“This is not fun”
“I will not enjoy this”
“This is a waste of time”
To transform one's habit patterns of always being bored with life experiences, one can declare the following ideas in the mind when faced with the tedious tasks in life:
“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”
The more one tries to "believe" in something else, the more their quality of experience will change.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
When the mind is balanced, one would not be experiencing any tension of the mind.
So throughout the day, develop awareness of how balanced your mind is by observing the levels of relaxation and stress within.
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 when you do this is that the quality of experience will change for the better, even if it is just for a moment. This will give you the wisdom of just how the quality of your life experiences have always been decided by you.
You can even declare "this is fun" and try to believe it the next time you experience tremendous pain in your meditation to see how your perception of experience can change so easily.
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