I have been watching two granddaughters, ages seven and nine, engage in a world of imagination, storytelling and problem-solving. I forgot how much pleasure and adventure can be had when playing with dolls, pets, little houses, tiny stores and miniature veterinarian offices, filled with dogs, cats, a small -sized veterinarian and little “tools of the trade”. I listened as they carried on conversations about daily chores, troubling dog diseases and magic remedies, gathered from the many moments in their real lives. I quickly “shrank” myself through silly voices in order to be a part of their world, amazed at their attentiveness to detail and their tendency to resolve all presenting problems with happy outcomes. It was their attention to “going inside” their imaginary worlds with amazing ease and lack of self-consciousness that fascinated me. As I watched and occasionally played a minor role, it struck me how their attention to story and play-acting was sustained.
I reflected on the act of attention and sustainability that they fully embraced. I longed to replicate that abandon in my meditation practice. What kept these little girls so enraptured for so long? Was it the joy of simply being? Was it the freedom to engage their imaginations without criticism? Maybe it is result of being in a world filled with love and acceptance of what is.
Suggestion: go to a playground, a daycare center, or your own home and hang out with children to pay attention and sustain that magic.