|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
Spiritual Tetris, Anyone?
That's why I was intrigued by a new video game designed by meditation master Deepak Chopra to help newbies like me improve our skills. It's called "Leela" (Sanskrit for "play"), it works on the Xbox Kinect, and it involves physical challenges as well as more traditional meditation instruction with Chopra and others (it's as if these spiritual personal trainers make house calls). If you take a look at the the game's web site, you'll see the world of Leela is full of gentle, tinkling Eastern-sounding music, cosmic shapes and glowing patterns. One part of the game, which a spokesperson described to me as similar to "spiritual Tetris," helps you identify different chakras or energy centers in the body, and uses the same ideas behind Wii Tennis to help you dial into those chakras. For example, you connect to your navel chakra, which is supposed to be the center of willpower, achievement and desire, by building energy between your hands and then pretending to launch fireballs at the screen. You can also control icons on screen with your breath: you inhale, they rise; you exhale, they fall. This sounds like a neat trick to make me actually pay attention to my breath, which can be difficult to do when there are other more interesting things to look at (like the cat drinking water. That little pink tongue!). By providing a visual representation of what's happening when we meditate, I think the game could provide a shortcut to focus. At least if I were throwing fireballs at the TV screen, or moving my hips to help center a picture of the earth, I'd feel--and look--like I was accomplishing something.
Deepak Chopra on the 5-step path to a life of love
How to quiet your mind during meditation
Chopra answers what it means to "go inside oneself"
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.