Pic of Chess board with the quote around how life is like a game of chess – you have to make a move to win, which comes with insight.

I have been practising Vipassana meditation for more than a decade. And in some ways, it is like playing a video game – once you conquer one level, you move to the next. When I first started, I would fall asleep all the time, and once I beat that level, it was about focusing on the breath for as long as I could without getting distracted. So on and so forth. Like all pure things, the beauty of this technique is that you hear everything, and when the time is right – the correct phrase jumps at you. Until then, you may listen to some instruction, but it never comes into focus.

Right now, the phrase coming at me is – one more breath. It would be easier to explain if I gave examples for the above statement.

I meditate twice a day for an hour on most days. The first forty-five minutes are the easiest. As in, I have no trouble sitting and focusing on my breath or sensations, but recently, I have noticed that I look at my phone when seventeen minutes are left. After that, every minute passes like an hour.

I also do morning pages, which you are supposed to do three long pages. The first one and a half pages flow easily, and then it feels like I have dredge deep to put something on paper. But it is in the last section that I uncover something profound.

And even with people, I have patience for the first seventy-five per cent, and if it stretches into the remaining twenty-five per cent, then I do tend to lash out or call time out.

Quote: Life is a game and I just leveled up!

What does this tell you? I need to build the muscle for the last mile in my life. This is the next level that I have to master in my life. Have you noticed how, if you can master one single thing, it seems to impact your life wholesale? The first step is awareness – the realization that this is the wall I am hitting against. There is the understanding that it’s time to scale the wall to reach the next level. The second is the acceptance of it. It is hard to leave the comfy level you have mastered that you can cover with your eyes closed to something new with growing pains. Whenever I hit the wall, my instinctive reaction would be to return to the old level. After banging my head on the wall a few times, I will accept that the only way forward is the next level; otherwise, the boredom of the current level will become even more painful. Then, there is the actual work of scaling the wall, setting my intention, giving myself care when I fall, shadowing others who have climbed the wall, and asking for help.

For me, this looks like setting the intention to push through the last seventeen minutes of the call one breath at a time while being kind to myself when I cannot do that. It means being grateful for the last one and a half pages of my journal and sitting with it. And with people being thankful that they are allowing me to scale the wall again and again. It all starts with awareness, intention and equanimity.

Wish me luck getting to the next level with kindness and love as soon as possible. What stage are you in the game of life?

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