truly enjoyable TT and driving

There are countless applications of meditation, and I note some of them here.

As an avid computer user, I used to be quite severely afflicted by this common problem called repetitive stress injury (RSI). It causes severe sharp pain in the wrists due to one out of various very vague reasons – tendons wearing out, constricted blood vessels, etc – different doctors give different reasons. I had also recorded my RSI story where I’d explored a lot of short term solutions.

In the first place, I’m able to maintain a better posture more consistently. I am able to judge when its necessary to give my wrists rest when they need it, instead of being absentminded and going on typing/using mouse till it gets very much worse. With a relatively increased (compared to myself a few years ago) of awareness, I have been able to overcome this problem since I am able to not react and make it worse – just observe the nature of its impermanence. For quite a while its become totally negligible.

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I find that even while playing table tennis there are really interesting observations. TT can become an extremely fast game after some practice.

Its interesting to see most players of TT playing with the idea of having fun and recreation, but actually get tensed and frustrated every time they miss a shot or hit a bad shot. What is supposed to be entertainment, becomes yet another form of misery! [Not that I expect anybody to easily accept such a strange opinion, this is only a private opinion that I share here.]

When I play, I can experience this fluctuation myself – whenever I hit a smash or return a difficult shot, I feel the exhilaration of it – and whenever I miss, I feel the frustration of it.

Another thing is, I find that after every time I dispatch a shot, I am hoping that the opponent will miss it!

This I see as a major yet very very subtle pitfall of a competitive game, that the players, even if they are the very best of friends otherwise, are constantly having bad intentions about each other. [And imagine this extrapolated to international matches… entire nations!! …but let me leave it at that ;-)]

Anyway I find that after a while, I am able to establish a reasonable degree of equanimity. The strange thing is that once this happens, I find the quality of my game has increased drastically.

This might seem a very strange sentence:

I find that usually the reason I miss any shot, is, because I’m trying to hit it.

The more I’m able to “step out of my own way” the better my game improves. I find the learning curve increasing almost exponentially (though not consistently).

I also find that I feel more like helping my opponent improve as well, and bring up the level of his game by pinpointing his mistakes, getting him to practice specific kinds of shots for a particular amount of time, in a more structured way. And when he hits an excellent shot that I miss, I no longer feel disappointment, instead I praise him and motivate him.

And I find that he too starts cultivating a similar cheerful attitude – not that he was not like that earlier, but it merely reminds him and me as well, that that was the whole point behind playing in the first place! 😀

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In car driving, I find the urge to speed up whenever the roads are empty, the mild annoyance at traffic jams or when somebody is blocking the road or being inconsiderate. I find the same principle applies there too, once equanimity is restored, I am able to drive a lot more holistically… taking into consideration the fuel consumption (minimising clutch usage), well-being of the car (avoiding sudden braking or acceleration), compassion to all on the street (no cutting off people, allowing people who want to go to go, minimal honking, not even a trace of road rage). People might argue that such concepts would make me take forever to reach the destination, but nobody who has actually sat with me in the car has complained so far 🙂

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