It’s really starting to dawn on me that chess is complementary to mindfulness and meditation. Each turn I have a chance to bring myself back to the present moment. After each calculation I must return to the board with fresh eyes to make sure I’m not way off base. If I don’t play mindfully - that is playing without patience, care, energy, focus – I end up regretting it. Often times when I make unmindful moves I find myself in a losing position and get frustrated.
(Yes, I get frustrated too, meditation may help me with my frustration - but I’m still human and I definitely get frustrated sometimes. This leads me into a side topic: meditation does not make you inhuman. I’ve had conversations with people who think that in meditation all thoughts and emotions fade away. This is far from the case! Meditation allows you to be more of yourself and emotions are part of life. Ok, enough of this side tangent)
I’m trying to work on my attitude once things have gone wrong. I tend to only see my opponent’s threats rather than my own opportunities. I’m using my meditation practice to help me let go of my perception of losing so I am more open to the position, more flexible and creative. I think it would be fun one day to teach like a meditation/chess/mindfulness workshop. But first, I have to improve at chess. One day at a time…practice, practice, practice.