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"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

French game of boules hailed by Buddhist master

The French game of boules has been hailed as a tool of meditation by a Buddhist master, Maître Kaisen.

Maître Kaisen, 56, a Buddhist master born to a family of Polish immigrants in northern France, says playing pétanque – boules – increases your ability to ignore outside distractions.

And he has written a book to share his theory. His book, L’Esprit de la Pétanque (The Spirit of Pétanque), is based on 35 years of pétanque practice.

Speaking to The Times, Master Kaisen said: “I play once a week and I have a lot of friends who are top-level players. If pétanque is practiced in a just frame of mind then yes, it can help you to grow. Excellence is achieved by letting yourself go and by not identifying yourself with illusory aspects.

“At a certain moment there is a unity of body, soul and breathing. You forget yourself and others. You’re not here, you’re not there, you’re everywhere.”

The advice comes as the French Pétanque Federation is clamping down on antisocial behaviour. Brawls fuelled by alcohol – in particular pastis – are becoming increasingly common and new rules have had to be introduced to protect referees.

The game is played on an occasional basis by 20 million French people and regularly by 380,000 members of local clubs.


Filed under: Portfolio, UK News,

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