Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Buddhist Sudoku

Sometimes I wish there was a game I could play when I was bored that would entertain me as well as orient me. Here's my first attempt to create something like that. Enjoy.

1.      If you ask me to pay attention to my body, the first thing I notice is my
a.      Chest
b.      Legs
c.      Arms
d.      Head
e.      Phantom limb
f.        Stomach
g.      Genitals
h.      Back
2.      I would describe the above feeling as
a.      Painful
b.      Hot
c.      Tingling
d.      Tense
e.      Loose
f.        Unknown
g.      Itching/burning*
3.      When you pay attention to that area of your body, do the sensations change at all?
a.      Yes
b.      No
c.      Not that I’ve noticed
4.      Take a deep breath. Now another. Let yourself breathe 10 natural breaths, nothing special. How would you describe the 10th breath? Select all that apply.
a.      “Breathy”
b.      Flowing
c.      Tense
d.      Hot
e.      Cool
f.        Painful
g.      Pleasurable
h.      It’s hard to describe with a word.
i.         I stopped breathing at 8.
If you can’t decide, do it over.
5.      Did you notice any thoughts pop up during the previous exercise? If you can’t remember, do it again. How many thoughts did you have?
a.      0
b.      1-2
c.      3-5
d.      5-10
e.      10-25+
f.        I lost count at 85
6.      Meditation teachers often distinguish between concentration and mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to remember to do something whereas concentration is the ability to focus your attention on something like your breath or your body so it’s not scattered and weakened. If you were at work, mindfulness would be your ability to stay awake and remember to work, whereas concentration would be your ability to focus on one task at a time and do it diligently. Which of these skills are you better at right now?
a.      Mindfulness
b.      Concentration
c.      Mindful…concentration?
d.      I’m sorry, I need to reread that as I wasn’t paying attention.
7.      When you breathe, where do you notice the sensations of your breathe most?
a.      Tip of the nose
b.      Back of the throat
c.      Chest
d.      Stomach
8.      Start counting your breaths. On each out-breath count one number starting from 1. How high can you go before you lose track? When you do lose track, start over and do the exercise a second time. Did you do better or worse the second time? Stop when you reach 100.
a.      Much better
b.      Better
c.      I got to 100 each time.
d.      Worse
e.      Much worse
f.        Much, much worse

* If you selected “g” for answers 1 and 2, you should probably see a doctor.