One last thing…

“swinging is liberating and meditative.” Says Jennifer Tschoepe.

Jay Walljasper | October 2004 issue

Isn’t swinging just for kids?
“Sure, it seems so. Why shouldn’t we as adults be able to enjoy this simple escape? Have we grown up so much that we are embarrassed to be seen having fun?”

How does it actually liberate us?
“The movement of the body in a swing, the light aerobic breathing, and the sensation of flying all contribute to the release of worry and increase in oxygen, reducing stress. Whether you become aware of your surroundings, or close your eyes and lose yourself in the rhythm of the swinging, your mind becomes calm, and those things that seemed so important and urgent are put into perspective.”

So, you really believe swinging can be a spiritual practice like meditation or prayer?
“It is very meditative. The rhythm of swinging itself allows you to appreciate the simplicity of the moment, and looking around you and at the sky allows you to recognize how small you are in such a large universe. In fact, I use it as a way to spend time with God.”

What do other kids at the playground think?
“They may think it a little odd for an adult to be on the swingset, but they never say anything. Usually, they try to compete with how high my swing is going. I slow down a little to give them encouragement. However, if there is a child wanting to swing and there is no swing available, I always give up my seat.”

Jennifer Tschoepe is a graduate student in counseling who lives in San Antonio, Texas, United States. She first introduced the idea of swinging as a spiritual practice in a cover story of Spirituality %amp% Health magazine (July/August 2004), in which they published readers’ ideas about how to refresh your soul.

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