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THE TAO OF PLAY (TOP) defines and refines our attitudes, understandings, habits, and practices; it shows that play is less about a given activity than the state of mind, body, and heart we bring to it. It's the language we naturally speak when we feel safe-whether rearranging a closet, making love, writing a song, or watching clouds shapeshifting in the sky. Play becomes, then, a celebration of Being, and, therefore, "Tao," a way to experience the sacred in everyday life and to come into harmony and balance.

From ancient to modern times, the wisest among us extol the virtues of unselfconscious play. Plato, Lao Tsu, Kahlil Gibran, and Jesus counseled us to emulate the spontaneity, wonder, invention, trust, and friendship of youngsters deep at play. Today quantum scientists, doctors, artists, and business executives urge us to make time for play: Deepak Chopra, Alan Watts, Joseph Campbell, Joseph Chilton Pearce, Clarissa Pinokla Estes, Julia Cameron, Dr. Patch Adams, naturalist Diane Ackerman, corporate consultant Neil Fiore-even Oprah-all sing the praises of wholehearted, free self-expression.

A "Tao of play" would seem to be exactly what our often "edgy" lives need; there's no stress, conflict, angst, or animosity with noncompetitive play. So why don't we all play more often? Like breathing, the answer is invisibly right under our noses. While breathing deeply and playing fearlessly are the most natural things in the world, our deeply rooted, unconscious, hurtful, and stressful habits get in the way. Expert opinion is that by the age of six, most of us have forgotten how.

THE TAO OF PLAY addresses the challenge on all fronts, reminding us what authentic play is and how to be a captivating playmate. You'll learn how simple and important it is to make time in your life to play; even better, to infuse play potentially into any activity, anywhere, anytime, making play a natural way of life, and, ultimately, playing your way to spiritual fulfillment.