Excerpt from Stephan Nacmanovitch’s “Free Play: the Power of Improvisation in Life and the Arts”

March 3, 2011


There is an old Sanskrit word, lila, which means play.  Richer than our word, it means divine play, the play of creation, destruction, and re-creation, the folding and unfolding of the cosmos.  Lila, free and deep, is both the delight and enjoyment of this moment, and the play of God.  It also means love.

Lila may be the simplest thing there is – spontaneous, childish, disarming.  But as we grow and experience the complexities of life, it may also be the most difficult and hard-won achievement imaginable, and its coming to fruition is a kind of homecoming to our true selves.

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