Kinda Competitive Meditation?
A contest for mindful people to compete for first prize at meditation?
Yup. It's a thing. Guess where...
US of A.
"Who wants to take part in the first ever high-tech competitive meditation tournament?” asked Chris Taylor of Mashable. Most of the respondents answered in the way you're probably thinking right now... "Isn't that a bit oxymoronic?"
It is but that didn't stop the tournament going ahead with some very keen meditators. Some participated for a laugh thinking of it as a bit of performance art. Others were far more serious.
A scoring system was devised because meditation is subjective at best. It turns out there's quite a bit of tech that can measure brain activity. A lightweight EEG reader called Muse would be worn and used to detect specific brainwave activity. Or lack of it.
Coupled with an app, the Muse would read your activity and playback light rain sound effects for a modestly active mind. It would lessen the rain if you were calm. Increase the deluge if you were active. But if you managed to go a certain amount of time with very low brainwave activity, you'd be rewarded with a birdsong.
They simply counted up the amount of birdsongs gathered per session to designate a 'winner'.
In the last mindfulness battle, Chris actually had the opponents go head to head - literally - in the same room with a loud speaker at either end of the room so you could hear if your opponent was thrashing you with birds or floundering in a torrential downpour.
After a smackdown tournament produced two champions, the final battle summoned a resounding victory for Alexio Quaglierini, 29 year old video technician who conjured up a devastating 56 birds in just 5 minutes!
So, I guess the real motive here is that while it certainly mocks the preconceived notions of meditation, it does normalise and celebrate it as A THING.
I don't recommend you go out and purchase a portable brain scanner and and start training yourself to crush fellow meditators with your iron mind. I do heartily suggest you jump into a few great meditation apps for beginners. There's Headspace, Insight Timer, Waking Up With Sam Harris, Calm and many more I'm sure. These are my go-to meditation apps and they're great to get you going.
Stay mindful, quiet your mind, and learn to flex the most complex muscle we have.