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Physical Practices

Juggling as Meditation

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Juggling as Meditation
Answer
1/3/11 9:49 PM
Do any of you juggle? I ran across this study that shows white matter growth in the brain after six weeks of juggling. I have read other studies that show an increase in the mass and density of grey matter from a similar period of juggling.

I am not suggesting you can juggle your way to enlightenment, but as a concentration practice it seems that it would have some value. Years ago I used to juggle as a study break in college, I remember being able to achieve a real sense of "flow" from juggling. This sense would often persist for some hours afterward. I am thinking how to add it to my practice to use much as walking meditation is used as an alternative to sitting.

If this idea seems irreverent or too far from the wisdom practices that make up the content of this forum, please disregard this post. I intend no offense, I am just looking for ways to progress my own practice as quickly as possible...

RE: Juggling as Meditation
Answer
1/3/11 10:08 PM as a reply to rex w.
Hi Rex,

I used to be in various circus arts clubs when I was younger, and I can relate to the mental shift juggling engenders. Juggling tends to focus the mind, and can even relax me somewhat, which Is why I keep a set of balls at work.

I remember a study years ago that identified a link between juggling and mathematical ability.

It improves focus and concentration, so I can see where it might provide benefits for meditative practices...

PJK

RE: Juggling as Meditation
Answer
1/4/11 9:05 AM as a reply to rex w.
I used to do it, together with a mantra for creating objectivity:
Good, bad, happy, sad, black, white, day & night, good, bad ...
I learned it from my yoga teacher, you can teach many other things with it, 3 balls both hands or 2 with one hand (keep throwing / letting go because catching is easy, first throw to have a hand free, what comes up comes down, ...)

RE: Juggling as Meditation
Answer
1/4/11 11:16 AM as a reply to Julius P0pp.
How about this:

Left hand = mentality
Right hand = materiality

Ball #1 = not-self
Ball #2 = unsatisfactoriness
Ball #3 = impermanence

Be mindful of the interplay of these five things, and you should attain enlightenment the first time you drop...

Or use torches to help increase your concentration ;)
Patrick

RE: Juggling as Meditation
Answer
1/4/11 4:09 PM as a reply to rex w.
There's a long history of jugglers and acrobats within a variety of mystical traditions, particularly within Sufism. They use physical, almost yoga-like postures and dancing (the Whirling Dervish originates in this tradition) to access trance states, commune with the Divine and suchlike. It's a very interesting area to check out.

RE: Juggling as Meditation
Answer
1/4/11 4:12 PM as a reply to patrick kenny.
That's a beautiful and profound analogy. I really can't comment any more than that, you've basically created a whole excercise for anyone to use and help them understand reality. Seriously, that's just fucking awesome. emoticon