From an interview with Richard Powers
In teaching interactive social dance at Stanford University, Richard Powers has discovered a commonly shared experience he calls Transcendent Play. It’s a high “flow” state in which partners with a similar skillset interact spontaneously, challenging each other in inventive ways. The result is a a state of delight, being fully present in the moment.
When I asked Richard wether he had been able to carry this Transcendent Play off the dancefloor into the rest of his life, he immediately answered, “Yes, in raising my children! With them, I was able to experience the mindfulness of being in the moment.”
Richard followed the advice of every friend who was already a dad: Don’t miss a minute of it, it’s over so quickly. He vowed to himself when his boys were born to always be there for them, and NEVER say “No, I’m too busy.” He agrees with Lao Tzu that ‘time is an invented thing’, so if he were to say he was too busy for them, he would really be saying, “No, I don’t want to.” Without fail in his sons’ childhood, he always said, “Yes!”
He was careful to never impose his world view on them, and instead looked at their world through their lens. Being empathetic with their mindset, he discovered new ways of playing. He and his boys explored together and created things. They put on plays & productions. They went on outings and played together with other children whose parents were of a like mindset.
Richard’s play with his boys happened in the physical, mental and artistic realms. In their discussions they looked for the bigger picture. Playing with his children was a way of being in the moment, a state of mindfulness, that he has always treasured.
Soooo… when your kids or grandkids want to play with you, take the moment and do it!