Dramatic Improvisation for Fun and Spiritual Upliftment
August 3rd, 2008
I played the part of a Self-realized master last Thursday. A small group of us at Ananda Village had gathered to do theater improv “for fun and spiritual upliftment.”
One improvisation game we played went like this: 4 people got on stage, each inventing a character with a specific level of consciousness. Everyone else watched from the audience.
Their levels of consciousness were chosen from these options:
- Heavy: avoiding effort whenever possible, seeking self-gratification only
- Ego-active: willing to make effort for personal gain
- Ego-light: interested in helping others, primarily in an outward way
- Light: more interested in the energy of a situation than accomplishing any specific thing; and one whose primary goal is serving God
I chose “ego-light.” We were then given a situation: going out to dinner.
It started badly. The “heavy,” playing his role well, suggested we stay home and watch television, but the “ego-active” character put on pressure to go out for a steak. Conflict ensued. The “light” character made a plucky attempt to harmonize the group while I suggested that we carry the television and remote with us while we went to eat. This idea resulted in confusion and opposition, and we reached an impasse.
But – we were saved by the game’s hidden catch. At any point, an audience member could signal our characters to move up a notch in consciousness. As they did so, the “heavy” character became “ego-active,” the “ego-active” character became “ego-light,” and so on, while the “light” character became Self-realized!
The “ego-active” character, originally “heavy,” now said that he could drive if we gave him enough money for gas. Thus we had enough forward moving energy to make it out onto the road.
Before long we stopped at a gas station, and the driver went inside while the rest of us waited and talked. An audience member signaled for us to raise our consciousness again.
The driver, who had started with a “heavy” disposition, was now “ego-light.” Suddenly, with all the characters at least “ego-light” or “light,” it felt like being at Ananda. It was harmonious. Everyone wanted to work together. Everyone felt that people were more important than things.
In his new state of consciousness, the driver thoughtfully returned with water and snacks for the rest of us. It was actually quite sweet.
If there was a downside to this, it was that the drama disappeared from our performance. (This happened in our short improvisation, but I haven’t known it to happen at Ananda! Divine Mother continually finds ways to bring drama into our lives.) There was no longer anything to argue over or have a problem about.
This harmony between our characters peaked when they were finally elevated to the highest level of consciousness possible: Self-realization.
At that point, we each went into a meditative state, and – end of story.
Posts from Nabha Cosley
- How I Found My Guru
- Steve Jobs and the Autobiography of a Yogi
- My First Prayer Was About a Cat
- An Open Letter to Myself Before My Move to Ananda Village
- Day by Day
- The Prayer of Discipleship
- It’s Never Too Late
- “I Will” – A Tribute to Nayaswami Maria
- Behind the Scenes of the “Rescuing Yogananda” Website
- The Trip to Los Angeles
- Are We Ready for This?
- My First Three Months of Meditation
- Much More is Needed
- The Joy of Renunciation – What I’m Telling My Family About My Lifetime Monastic Vows
- Why Be Grateful? — Thoughts from Thanksgiving
- Writing Swami Kriyananda’s Website
- No Regrets
- What Makes Something a Success? (The Story of an Ananda-Style Photo Shoot)
- Daily Inspiration
- The Job of the Guru
- Ananda’s Future
- Dramatic Improvisation for Fun and Spiritual Upliftment
- Smoke, Clouds; Moods, Depression; and Freedom
- How Living in Spiritual Community is Changing the Way I See the World
- The Deer of Ananda Village
- My Parents Visit Ananda Village
- Why I Became a Monk
- Every Kriya Can Take Us To God
- Tea with Swami Kriyananda
- Life is Precious
- Paintings from the Joyful Arts Festival
- Prayer Vigil for Swami Kriyananda
- How to Build a Monastery
- The Easiest Way to God
- Traveling Within in India, Part 2: Our Visit to Vanamali Devi
- Traveling Within in India: Our Pilgrimage to Rishikesh, Part 1
- How to Start Meditating Daily
- Sweetness, Sincerity, and Swami Kriyananda
- Meditating in India
- What is Ananda?
- Thanksgiving blessings, and a way to develop gratitude
- Tibetan Buddhists visit the Ananda Meditation Retreat