August 26, 2009

Buddhist master meditates by playing boules

by David Masters

A Buddhist master has claimed that playing boules is a form of meditation.

Maître Kaisen, 56, said the sport, known as pétanque in France, helps players develop focus and ignore outside distractions.

“If pétanque is practiced in a just frame of mind, then yes, it can help you to grow,” he said.

To explain his theory, Kaisen, who was born in France to a family of Polish immigrants, has written a book, The Spirit of Pétanque.

Speaking to the Times newspaper, Kaisen said: “I play once a week and I have a lot of friends who are top-level players.

”I wanted to do the book for them”

According to Kaisen, getting the boule on target requires focus and discipline.

“At a certain moment there is a unity of body, soul and breathing,” he said.

“You forget yourself and others. You’re not here, you’re not there, you’re everywhere.

“Excellence is achieved by letting yourself go and by not identifying yourself with illusory aspects.”

Around 20 million people in France enjoy an occasional game of pétanque, with 380,000 playing regularly as signed-up club members.

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