Meditation through playing games

Bendang Yanger

Controlling the mind and still remaining focussed on one’s life goals is a difficult task. That leaves all of us with no option but to try the activities that keep us absorbed, entertained and less distracted.
In a series of write ups on meditation earlier we have suggested an option of meditation through music, exercise and sleeping, as awakened and non awakened versions of controlling mind respectively. One such beautiful way of keeping the body and mind under control and check is by playing games that one is interested in. Playing games are the best ways to work out physically and stay focussed on the mechanics of the game. The games may be in form of group games like football, rugby, cricket, hockey, baseball, basketball, volleyball, badminton and individual games like swimming, gymnastics, athletics, tennis, squash etc. It may be in form of some indoor table games like chess, ludo, playing cards, or in an electronic form such as video games.
The physical outdoor games are more of workout exercises where the natural running and body movements of limbs and sweating is involved. One fights to win over the opponent during an allotted time period with a true sportsmanship spirit within the laid down rules of the game. Like in football the whole game is oriented towards scoring a goal over the opponent which involves possession of the ball while running, dribbling and passing the ball to one team’s members by outmanoeuvring and beating the opponents in order to score a goal. In the process we are just restricted to the thoughts related to the game, thus forgetting other unwanted distractions that makes our mind waiver for no reasons leaving us dissatisfied in one aspect or other. Although football games usually last for 90 mins, its duration can be also be curtailed depending upon ones availability of time. The simplicity of football as a game is a good alternative to serious subjects and related aspects involving orthodox way of meditation.
Similar is the case of other physical outdoor games like rugby, cricket, hockey, handball, baseball, basketball, volleyball, badminton and individual games like swimming, gymnastics, athletics, tennis, squash, etc which can be played as per liking, interest and convenience of space and timings by all of us. In all these games, there are two teams in group games and minimum of two people in individual games, who compete with each other, thus exercising their body and mind in a physical and competitive mental workout.
All these social group games whether outdoor or indoor as mentioned above involves socialising, physical workout, enjoyment and restriction of our thoughts. Our mind remains focussed only on the aspect of winning the game by following the rules of the game on the field. During the entire duration of the game, hardly any other stressful thought or distraction come in our way, thus giving us the control of our mind and channelizing it towards one direction only.
These organised games and activities are new forms to stay physically fit as well as to spend quality time with friends or other team members on the ground or court as compared to other monotonous, unattractive and difficult to practice techniques of taming the body and mind.
The indoor games in form of squash, tennis, swimming, badminton , athletics, etc too contain some physical and aerobic exercises that helps us to remain mentally and physically fit in the most entertaining, competitive and gratifying way than other form of activities available to us.
Other than group outdoor and individual outdoor or indoor physical workout games which involves conditioning of body and mind, one has the option of resorting to pure mind games in the form of table games like chess, playing cards, ludo, Chinese checker etc . These are all mind absorbing games which can keep one absorbed for N number of hours as compared to less entertaining and unattractive activities generally associated with orthodox way of meditation. These mind games are socialising games where minimum of one opponent is required to play a game, thus giving one a company and at the same time,allowing one to spend some quality time over social meet-ups. These table games too have computerised versions where one can choose a computerised opponent who plays on behalf of the physically absent opponent, should one prefer solitude over physical presence of ones friends, or unavailability of company or any other form of restrictions which compel or make one play the computerised version of the game alone. One can also keep increasing the levels of games to sharpen their game and mind skills by playing some advanced higher perfect versions where the next to perfection moves have been collected by software professionals and fed as automatic counter moves of the computerised opponent . To exercise it as technique of meditation, one can play a game for half an hour to 1 hour depending upon availability of time thus not getting to addicted to it for long hours so as to continue with other chores of life necessary for good and rich lifestyle.
The domain of video and computer games are no longer restricted to table games and are transformed into some other fine forms as 2D and 3D war games, treasure hunt series, puzzle contests, boxing and UFC fights, real time games, aeronautics, car racing, bike racing, space explorations, etc. These are quite absorbing and addicting pass time games offered by various companies. As a part of pre requisite, a user need to have a laptop, mobile set or any other electronic gadget compatible to play the games software version or play stations, and in some 3D games by having a 3D kit . Some very interesting and number of new games and their versions are being added to make it more enjoyable, entertaining, absorbing and captivating by each passing day. As such, one has more options to choose from and one can keep changing the game if get bored or fed up with the same game everyday.
In modern times with lot of ambition, paucity of open space and time availability in towns, semi urban, urban or metropolitan cities the video and computer technology has given us better options with these games to feel great and have fun with by focussing our mind on something better than less easier than done orthodox meditation techniques which are generally misconstrued by layman as sitting in some uncomfortable position for hours without any enjoyment or pleasurable activity associated with it .
Playing outdoor and indoor physical games thus help us to shape our body, keep it naturally fit by inbuilt running, walking and other body movements involved in playing a game and also help one restrain our minds so as not to waiver on things which are distracting towards achieving our life goals.
Playing games help one in reducing stress, remaining focussed and keeping one in more control of their mind and bodies by mind games involved as natural ingredients for winning the game, and if linked with physical activity in form of physical group outdoor or indoor group or individual games also keep our body fit, healthy and in better shape keeping all sorts of body and mind ailments at bay.