Letter from the Editor: Vacations and Fun, by Pranada Devi

Vacation can be a way for us to press the reset button on our harried lives. It can be an opportunity to step back from our day-to-day habits and gain some perspective that then helps us make changes when we return to the world. The root of the word vacation is the same as that of the verb “vacate”, to move out of something and make it empty. When we vacate, even for a short period, the place we had been occupying in the world, we can decide to re-occupy it differently, or to find a different space entirely to spend our daily time.

Years ago when I worked in a callcenter between university degrees, I recall that one co-worker of mine quit her job the day she came back to work from vacation. Time away from the grind of the job helped her realize immediately when she came back how unhappy she was there, and that it was time to move on.

I am not suggesting that everyone feeling wistful about returning from a beach in Maui to a cubicle in a downtown high-rise should quit their jobs when they come back from vacation! It is important to witness the arising of likes and dislikes, and practice discernment before deciding to leave (or stay in) a given job. But a vacation may give us much-needed perspective on what our real needs are and remind us, when we go back to the regular world, that we cannot put those needs on hold.

Whether we are at work or at home, on vacation in an all-expenses-paid tropical resort or undertaking a gruelling long-distance hike with skimpy resources of money, food and water, we need to retain a sense of fun. The best way to do this is actually to go beyond our likes and dislikes and find a sense of rooted, vital expansion. When we stop resisting the moment, even paying the bills or scrubbing the toilet can be fun, to say nothing of our yoga practice, workout or time spent playing with friends and family.

Real fun is not disconnected denial that seems to throw caution to the wind, dancing about drunk on anything that takes us away from the present moment. Real fun is keenly aware of the moment as it is, and its delight stems from not denying or wishing away what is.

In this issue, we present articles to help you find a sense of fun wherever you are, as well as to stay on track with your health and well-being even as you break from your regular routine with a vacation. Enjoy!

 

Since everything is but an illusion,

Perfect in being what it is,

Having nothing to do with good or bad,

Acceptance or rejection,

One might as well burst out laughing!

– Longchenpa (1308-1364)

 

Parvati Devi is on tour and will return.

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Pranada Devi is a communications professional living in Toronto, Canada. She manages the Politics, Books and Activism sections for Parvati Magazine in addition to serving as Managing Editor for the magazine overall. She serves as an advisor on marketing communications for Parvati’s various projects.

2 Responses

  1. When I see references to “discernment” in this magazine or Parvati’s blog, I reach for the “je ne comprends pas” file. What exactly is discernment.

    • Keval, you may wish to refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discernment . I believe the way I use the word is in keeping with how it is generally defined. I see discernment as the practice of determining things like whether a given choice is wise, based on whether it is dharmic, feels rooted, vital and expansive, whether a given energy is supportive to our spiritual growth, or whether a person is all they are cracked up to be. – Pranada

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