Gaming & TV: a passive experience?

Over the passed few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of yoga and reading up on literature about the ego, the pain-body and other interesting spiritual subjects. I’ve noticed that I don’t want to sit behind my pc that much anymore, even TV is boring me and that might come as a shock to people close to me. Lately I’ve been wondering what’s causing this and I think it has something to do with passivity of the body.

During yoga and meditation I become aware of my body and its presence. It calms me down and gives me a peace that I’ve never had before, although music comes pretty close to it. When I’m gaming and watching TV my body is very passive, usually sitting or lying in a wrong position which causes me to get cramps in my feet afterwards, but that’s just me.

It’s not that gaming & watching TV makes a person passive, because it’s a mental activity. But I think that’s where the problem lies. During other activities I’m asked to shut down my intellect, to listen to my body and to get in contact with my own presence. During gaming, watching TV and even reading book it’s all in my head! Even the WII, which ‘requires’ some physical action, has this problem. Since it’s not requiring you to get in touch with your inner presence, with your body and its energy.

I’m still having difficulties shutting down all my mental activities, since it’s what I’ve been doing for all my life. For instance, last Saturday I went horse riding for the very first time. I’ve had two lessons before that, but that was only to teach me how to interact with horses. It’s a form of natural horsemanship, which requires you to communicate with the horse instead of forcing it to do what you want. So, I got this huge horse and she has had some traumatizing experiences in the past which made her edgy and she wanted to start running all the time. I needed to be very relaxed and calm to properly communicate with her, which wasn’t exactly working. I couldn’t calm down, since Holly (the horse) was quite large and I was very frightened to fall off her, but in the end I relaxed somewhat. And then I started to give her mixed messages, because I was still very stressed and my body and voice reflected that. So I couldn’t communicate with her and we both weren’t very relaxed, but at least I learned some basic horse riding.

While I was riding Holly I was continuously thinking about her, if she was comfortable, if I wasn’t hurting her, what she wanted etc. I was also looking at her, trying to read her and looking for signs to tell me how she was doing. This was all wrong. I should have cleared my mind and try to imagine what I wanted her to do. Be in touch with my body and feel how the horse was moving below me. That way I could have known how she was feeling, but I simply wasn’t able to do that.

The horse riding, yoga and meditation all require a certain bodily presence that has nothing to do with intellect. The same is true for a lot of activities, like walking and even shopping! But with gaming and watching TV it is very different, it’s almost a total intellectual experience and nowadays I’m feeling like it’s missing something. It should have some bodily experiences with it, so when we’re playing or watching we become more aware of what we do and who we are. I have recently read something about how entertainment could be changed into making us more aware of our own presence, maybe I’ll dive more into this subject next time!

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