Bringing the Skills of Basketball
to Our Meditation Practice
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
As much of North America enjoys the college sports competition “March Madness” this month, let’s explore what meditation and basketball share in common. Moreover, how can the winning skills of basketball help us master the technique of meditation? Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj explains.
Throughout the world, sports are popular activities. Many engage in sports such as baseball, football, basketball, golf, soccer, tennis, and cricket. All these sports have one thing in common. They all involve using some type of ball to score points to win. Sports are a popular pastime and millions of people put a lot of attention on hoping their favorite team or player wins.
Due to the highly competitive nature of sports, players have to commit their entire life to winning. They have to practice for long hours daily, keep in shape, and eat right. With all that they do, winning often boils down to one skill. That skill is: Keep your eye on the ball.
A Closer Look at Basketball
If we look at the game of basketball, the aim is to get the ball in the basket. The ball is moved from player to player until someone gets it in the basketball net. One must keep the eye on the ball so one can catch it as it is passed. One has to be able to shoot the ball into the basket while often running, moving, jostling, and being slammed by other players. Furthermore, the team that does not have the ball is always trying to steal the ball from the team that has it. Whether one is playing defense or offense in basketball, one must keep the eye on the ball. This skill of keeping the eye on the ball applies to all ball games – golf, baseball, soccer, and even cricket.
Our Goal in the Spiritual Field
The skill of keeping the eye on the ball also applies to us in the spiritual field, wherein our goal is to reunite the soul with God. In spirituality, we are to keep our spiritual eye on the ball, and the ball in spirituality is the ball of Light that appears to us within during meditation.
Meditation requires concentration. It means sitting with our body still, just as athletes have to position their body in such a way that they can connect with the ball. We have to connect with the inner ball, so our body must remain still or our concentration is disturbed.
To keep our spiritual eye on the ball of Light within, we also have to keep our mind still. Any thoughts cause ripples that disturb our spiritual eye from seeing the Light within.
With time, and regular practice, just as in basketball, we will find that we are able to concentrate better, and maintain our focus without losing sight of the ball in meditation.
Want to Learn More?
When we focus on examining our thoughts, we need to evaluate what aspects of ourselves we want to cleanse. We need to understand what is cluttering our minds and hearts and keeping us from opening up to God’s love.
The secret to desires is that it is not the object we desire. It is the mind’s tendency to always be in a state of desire. It leads us into attachment to things of this world. It distracts us from the true purpose of our human life.
We can avoid much of the stress, anxiety, and tension that faces us at the mental level by learning the technique of meditation. Meditation is a way to relieve stress at the mental level and help us have a healthy mind. A healthy mind means that we can deal with the challenges of life in a calm, composed way without it causing us to feel upset, depressed, anxious, fearful, or threatened.
The next time we think things are going badly and that God is not listening to us, we should sit back, take a deep breath, and relax. We should give God a chance to let things happen, and observe patiently. We will find when all is said and done that God worked things out for the best in the end.
How does anger arise? Does it only affect us at the emotional level or do we do physical harm to ourselves when we give in to anger? How can we break free from its grip and what are the benefits of doing so?
If each of us, individually, learned how to meditate, and applied it to help us through our day-to-day challenges, we would find ourselves calmer and more effective in what we do.