Meditation applied to larp

 

Meditation is a powerful tool when applied to larp.
Whenever it is used to free participants´thoughts, enhance a state of mind or provide the break required to reflect; meditation can have a huge impact in a larp development.


Several studies have shown meditation not just as a religious/philosophical element, but as a powerful tool that has both short and long term effects in our brains.
With this in mind it is clear that meditation, visualization and other techniques can have strong effects in a larp.
In this post I will talk briefly about different practical applications I have experimented with, which does not mean that there are not many more uses awaiting to be discovered.
Meditation can be the first workshop exercise to let problems behind and center in the workshops and larp to come. It can be used in workshops that build the participant’s character details using guided processes.
Organizers can lead meditation sessions to collectively guide characters in an intended direction.
It can help participants perform collective rituals and follow mystic paths towards the unknown.

Or it can be used individually to perform diegetical/extra-diegetical steering. 

In short whenever we need to free ourselves from blockades, limitations and taboos, meditation can represent the key to unlock our conscience.

Use examples

Meditation can be used in numerous ways, during workshops and larp methatechniques (both diegetic and non-diegetic), some examples are:

  • Relaxation

Meditation used as a workshop relaxation tool allows participants to free themselves from their daily problems. Participants should focus only on getting rid of their thoughts (E.G. counting their breathing) and not in the relaxation of body parts. 
The duration depends on the time destined to workshops and the peace of mind required. However a minimum of 5 minutes is recommended.

 

  • Guided visualization
Visualizations allow participant’s imagination to fill gaps and grant revelations.
Through a visualization workshop participants can recall past experiences of their characters, while larp visualizations are perfect to set moods, create sensation of collective or to allow characters find new solutions and desires.
When used for a guided visualization the guide should wait until the breathing is stable and the participants fully relaxed before start talking, always in a soft voice.

  • Character’s triangle

Described in detail in this article, the character triangle workshop fills the physical, mental and emotional uniqueness of a character.
Similar to guided visualizations, participants should be fully relaxed before the guide starts talking, always with a soft voice.

 

  • Steering

If used for steering the participant should focus on freeing their mind, only allowing relevant character’s thoughts to stay in their mind.

  • States of mind

Certain larp themes call for specific states of mind. From the soft relaxed mind of a sect, to the one open towards the uncanny for those who play with the forbidden.
Deep states of mind are hard to achieve and require of long processes free of interruption, that contain some of this elements: constant meditation, mantras, music, dance, action/reaction freedom, placebos (the use of real intoxicating substances is not recommended since they can turn simulation into reality)
A quite complex process that needs to be strongly addressed into the larp design, that can reward in exchange unforgettable larp experiences.

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