We’re in the App Store! Download from this link:
Note from Kenneth: Questions or comments? I’d love to give you a personal walk-through of the app and a quick lesson on how to use it. Email me at kennethfolkdharma at gmail dot com. (You’ll have to change that email address back to the proper format. I wrote it like that to confuse spambots).
What is Buddha Pong?
Buddha Pong is mindfulness for two. It is an adaptation of a popular and effective Burmese Buddhist vipassana technique called mental noting. Unlike the original version, however, Buddha Pong allows two people to practice aloud and together.
Does it work?
You bet! And the fact that you are interacting with another human makes it even more powerful and engaging.
How do you do it?
Easy. Use one word to describe your experience in this moment, as though to complete the phrase “there is…”
For example, if you feel an itch, there is itching. If you feel happy, there is happiness. If you feel anxious, there is anxiety. In such a case, you would say aloud, “itching, happiness, anxiety.”
Buddha Pong allows you to bounce this back and forth with a partner, like this:
Your partner: seeing
Partner: Don’t know
There are no wrong answers as long as you follow the format! Whatever you feel or experience at that moment is the right answer. Joy is not better than anxiety, pleasure is not better than pain. The only goal is to accurately describe your experience as best you can without trying to manipulate, coach, or influence your partner in any way. If your turn comes and you don’t have a ready answer, just say “don’t know.” It’s important not to take more than two or three seconds to say something. Pacing is important, so pass the baton back to your partner by saying something, even if it’s “don’t know.” You’ll get another turn right away, as soon as your partner says something.
Are you sure this is mindfulness?
Yes! Paying attention to your experience moment by moment is the very essence of mindfulness meditation. With mindfulness, unlike some other forms of meditation, there is no expectation that you will get calm or that your mind will get quiet. Sometimes it will be quiet, sometimes it will be noisy. Either is fine, and your only job is to “note” it as it is. If you are thinking, you can note “thinking.” If you are nervous, you can note “nervousness.” If you are calm, you can note “calm.” Easy.
What will I get out of it?
There is an enormous and growing body of peer-reviewed literature showing the benefits of mindfulness for mental, physical, and emotional health and well-being. Among the benefits studied are reduced stress, reduced anxiety, reduced rumination, boosts to working memory, improved focus, less emotional reactivity, more cognitive flexibility, increased relationship satisfaction, and more. Your mileage may vary. Try it and see!
What people are saying about Buddha Pong
“best part of my day”
“feel great after”
No chit-chat. The structure is what makes Buddha Pong work. No hi’s or goodbyes necessary. As soon as you are connected with your partner, begin noting your experience, one word at a time, as though to complete the phrase “there is…” Take turns with your partner. Sessions last ten minutes. That’s it! Have fun!