Breathing: The Game
Breathing: The Game is about noting the obstacles you face when staying focused on your breath, and welcoming them in as part of your practice.
This game is based on mindfulness of breathing – one of the most basic meditation techniques. The basic instruction is to pay attention to your breath as closely as possible and when distracted, just come back.
Number of Players:
What Else You Need:
Each player needs five pieces of paper, a lego figurine, a stick, some blu-tac and a pen.
How To Play:
To begin, stick five pieces of paper on the wall in a horizontal line. Label them one through 5.
Stick your mini fig to the end of your stick. The figure denotes your focussed mind, travelling along your breath. Each page denotes one cycle of breath, in and out.
Begin by practicing one breath. Allow the figure to travel over the page in the time it takes you to breathe in and out. Get used to what that pace feels like.
Now, you’re going to try and travel through all five breaths. If you lose focus, stop right where you are and don’t worry – just try to note as carefully as possible what it was that caused you to lose focus on the breath.
Was it a thought? A feeling? A memory? A planning need? Something that triggered one of those things, like a sound?
Whatever it was, draw something on the paper that represents it. Design an obstacle for your game that describes the thing that caused you to lose focus.
The next time, perhaps you’ll pass by this obstacle (if you make it that far). Allow yourself to pass by the obstacle, knowing that it impeded you in the past, but keeping your focus on the breath, letting yourself pass the obstacle this time.
Now begin again, and repeat until you have reached the end of the fifth breath. Look at the landscape of obstacles you made for yourself that you have just passed by.
Note: this game has yet to be extensively play-tested and as such may need refinement so do please send us your experience & suggestions so we can make them better.
[homepage image courtesy of Flickr user Rob Young]