A favorite spiritual writer of mine (okay, it’s Eknath Easwaran if you must know) said that to cultivate more spirituality in life we should have meditation competitions rather than sports competitions. The idea struck me interesting in the abstract, but more than a little impractical.
How, after all, could you judge a competition like that? I mean, I can sit absurdly still in faux meditation while my mind is whipping through the minutiae of, say, a particularly ugly incident way back in junior high school.
Not too long after reading Mr. Easwaren’s suggestion, I came across an article about research on the brain waves of meditating Tibetan monks.
Research since then had shown that the high gamma brain waves during some forms of mediation actually close down the personality aspect of the self and activate the brainwaves of present moment connection with all that is.
With a brainwave reading machine, you really could judge a meditation competition! I could geek out on this all day and honestly I’d be the first meditate-lete to sign up. But I get that for most people watching competitive meditation would be a real yawner.
Mad Meditation Practices!
Enter the bandhas and rope. The rope comes from the practice of slacklining, which rock climbers use to keep their edge when not actually climbing rocks. Basic slacklining is stringing a 20 foot length of climbing rope between trees like a tightrope (but, tied to trees, the rope isn’t all that tight, hence the name slacklining) and then walking on it.
Bandhas are deep muscular locks in the lower core of the body that yogis engage to bring more energy into the poses and breath, but are also pivotal to certain forms of balance.
Combine slacklining with banda activation and you whiz meditation past the possibility of competitive activity and plunk it right into extreme sport, which is exactly what yogi and rock-climber Jason Magness did.
He started by crossing slacklining with yoga.
No surprise, yoga on a string requires much more concentration than yoga on the ground.
The concentration comes in keeping the bandhas engaged, because once you think about anything else, down you go. From there, it was only a matter of time before Magness combined the single-minded focus of slacklining with the single-minded focus of meditation, and birthed the era of meditation as extreme sport.
Amazingly, before Magness combined them, he had trouble meditating, but now he meditates 20-30 minutes a day—in Lotus Pose—on the slackline. Now that’s what I call focus!
I’ll concede that watching competitive meditation, even on a slackline, may never have the visceral thrill of, say, football, NASCAR or figure skating, but it beats the bandhas off watching televised poker.
How would YOU turn Meditation into an Extreme Sport?
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Pushing the edges of my own consciousness has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I’ve been helping others push past limiting perceptions and expand their minds and realities for almost as long. Conversations are a great way to explore what’s possible, whether through listening to the conversations in this site or talking privately with me or one of my mind-blowing friends.
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