Free Play is the creative activity of spontaneous free improvisation, by children, by artists, and people of all kinds.
According to Stephen Nachmanovitch, free play is more than improvisation. It runs deeper than our activities involving music and art. It is the essence of our being, something we were born with then strive to recapture.
This book reflects the experience of an improvisational violinist as a doorway into understanding the acts of creation in which every human being engages in his or her daily life. Improvisation and creativity are not the property of a few professional artists or scientists but the essence of all our natural, spontaneous interactions. Every conversation is unrehearsed and reflects the activity of improvising as a basic life function.
From the opening of the first chapter: "There is an old Sanskrit word, Lila (Leela), which means play. Richer than our word, it means divine play, the play of creation and destruction and re-creation, the folding and unfolding of the cosmos. Lila, free and deep, is both 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 it's coming to fruition is a kind of homecoming to our true selves."