This improv game is in the following improv game categories:
Here`s a way to make a point about blanking one`s mind, subconscious thinking
Have all players sit down comfortably, if they want to close their
eyes they can do so. Then ask them to blank their mind, to try and think
about nothing at all. Let them do this for 2 minutes or so. While they do so,
make sure to walk around, to make some minor noise (blow your nose, clear your
throat, walk around) - but don`t overdo this. If you can hear cars drive by
in the street, or other people in the
building, or hear birds sing then you
don`t even have to make a noise.
Then ask the players who managed to think about absolutely nothing at all.
Ask those who say they did whether they heard the birds, the cards, you clearing
your throat. If they did, weren`t they thinking about that, then?
Now ask the players to close their eyes, and to keep repeating the sound
`mihad` in their heads. Have them do this for about 3 minutes. Then ask
them again who thought about nothing but `mihad`. If they are honest they
should all admit they thought of all kinds of stuff.
The point is that our minds just never stop working. Even if you`re trying
to concentrate on a repeating sound in your head - a Mantra - your mind will
We are all capable of thinking about several things at a time, some people
can keep up to 7 lines of thought going in their minds. Who has never driven
a car, being perfectly concentrated on the traffic, without thinking about
groceries, the kids ?
You can use this exercise to show students they never need to be afraid
of a brain freeze - our brains manage to come up with so many things all
the time - if
you let them.
Mantras are used as a technique for (Transcendental and other) meditation.
The idea is to keep the most active part of your consciousness busy, and at
the same time let unconscious processes and lines of thought surface. This
is similar to what happens in our dreams, but it has been proven (we`ve been
told) that these meditation techniques can be more relaxing or cleansing than
sleep. Don`t take our word for that, though.
You can choose any gobbledygook word for a mantra for this exercise, as long
as it`s not an existing word (don`t use `banana`) or strongly resembles an
existing word (`banano` wouldn`t do either) - that could trigger people to
think about monkeys, or a jungle, or whatever.
See also Mantra for examples how you might use Mantras to play