adventures, Wellbeing
Comments 35

How a silent walk made me delete the Candy Crush app (Part One)

Admit it: do you have a game on your phone you love unwinding with? Scrabble with friends? Chess? Candy Crush?

A few years ago- I can’t remember why- my son and I both downloaded Candy Crush, and became a little competitive. Of course, he streaked ahead in levels, then quickly bored of it and never played again.

I stoically continued, and got myself slowly but surely up to Level 691.

Then 2 months ago, I had to get a new phone… and somehow, all my apps froze as I transferred the old info, so I found myself back at the beginning of the Candy Crush map again.

What’s all this got to do with a silent walk you wonder?

Well, last month I had the privilege of going on a 9-day Yatra, which is a Buddhist-based bushwalking adventure, filled with daily meditations, talks on Buddhist philosophies and practices, plus walks and meals in ‘noble silence’.

Farewell candy Crush map, I’ll miss you

30 of us (mainly aged over 50) travelled to the South Coast of Sydney, which had been ravaged by bushfires last year- remember those scenes of whole townships huddled on the beach in eerie orange smoke? That’s where we went. The incredible Australian bush is reviving though, with green epicormic growth sprouting everywhere (it means ‘leaves growing from the trunk’, and I’m just showing off ‘cos it’s a new word I’ve learnt).

We hiked along the coastline, through the National Park, camping for 2 nights in each spot- and the best part for me was that our heavy packs with tents were transported for us, so all we had to carry were our day packs with water and lunch!

So civilised.

We were woken at 6.30 with a bell, then meditated from 7-7.45. Brekky was porridge with multiple toppings, then either more meditating before the day’s walk, or packing up camp before we set off.

So good.

The walks varied from 10-20kms/day, and were always in silence.

So why am I posting pictures of a phone app, not glorious wild scenery?

Because I realised how often I tuned out of my surroundings at home, sitting on the couch or verandah, yet miles away from reality on Facebook or sometimes Candy Crush.

I don’t think I have a serious phone addiction at all, yet still it tugs me away from the Here and Now, every single day.

So I decided to REALLY try and curb my mindless use of it, which meant “See Ya Later CC”.

And I regret nothing. Which is the most important thing.

Six weeks later I am still happily meditating regularly, and can drop into ‘the zone’ more quickly than ever before. I feel like I expanded my brain muscle somehow, and my stamina for sitting quietly built up on the Yatra from 20 minutes to 45.

I wish I’d stuck to this when I first learnt it at age 25! I’d be levitating by now…

*sighs

Anyway: at least I’m no longer wasting my life on a stupid phone game full of pretty moving shapes and quirky sounds…

*sighs again

How about you? Do you meditate? Have you tried, failed or succeeded? And are you a Candy Crusher?

My next post will contain more scenery photos I promise- here’s 3 to tempt you back:

With gratitude for the discipline of breathing, G xO

35 Comments

  1. I reply to notifications on my phone obsessively LOL like if I see a text or email I go as soon as I’m able to check it out. I check Facebook and instagram mindlessly but thats about it. I deleted all the games off my phone a few years ago when J was still a nanny. The kids had my old devices (2 phones and an ipad) and there was no reason for them to be on my personal phone. And now my battery is so bad I wouldn’t be able to play even if I wanted to ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful experience and your surroundings simply magnificent! I do meditate, but believe it would be rewarding to participate in a group on that type schedule. I had a game on my previous phone, but didn’t add it to my new one. There was something about getting the new phone that caused a pause to make it exactly what I wanted. Thanks for sharing and excited to hear more! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting; indeed, meditating in a group was the most powerful experience- some people had done 10+ Yatras and been meditating for years, so Iโ€™m sure they influenced my practice immensely. It was such a gift ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

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  3. I never played candy crush, but I did have a few games on my iPad. Allier this year I deleted everything except words with friends, and I literally only play wwf with my husband. Fir awhile they were stress relief, but then they just got to be time sucks

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a smartphone, but apart from the VicEmergency app, I don’t use it for anything but the odd txt and phone call. That said, I am on my computer all day. Morning to afternoon I’m writing, then dinner prep & eating followed by some online gaming. My current game of choice is Elder Scrolls Online where I build houses. ๐Ÿ˜€

    To me, addiction is anything that deprives me of /choice/. -knock on wood- I’m still the one choosing. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

      • I can honestly say I’m never bored. ๐Ÿ˜€ As for the gaming, it’s a struggle at times, but I’ve been playing MMOs for so long it was a case of learn control or give up entirely. Real life must come first.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never downloaded a game on my phone, but I do spend too much time playing solitaire on my computer. I find it relaxing, but sometimes also addicting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to confess I don’t have a single game on my phone. I’ve only ever downloaded one all, and that’s for my hearing aids. ๐Ÿ˜€ … I do however, have a couple of games on my PC that I play when I’m editing (like now) that I use to unclog my thoughts. I know I could so easily get addicted to them so I have to be quite fierce with my Self. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  7. LOL! I used to play candy crush as well. Not on my phone but on computer when I was first separated from the ex. It was a way to just veg out. That was before I evolved more spiritually and found that meditation or simply being present in nature helped even more. Good for you! But I will say, you rock at CC! I never got that far in the game!! Good for you G!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sallie Williams says

    I’ve never been a Candy Crush player, but I loved Scrabble Free, which is no longer available because it was bought out last year weeks before the pandemic – the timing sucked. And the company that bought it added all these annoying features so I just quit it altogether.

    As for meditating, I tried it about ten years ago and felt that I had failed miserably at it, but am now happily practicing yoga, which is meditation in motion. I’m not sure that it totally is, but I’m not willing to beat myself up by not meditating. I love the ‘just being in nature’ or ‘being alone with one’s thoughts.’ If that really is meditating, then I do it all the time!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I dance too which I consider โ€˜meditation in motionโ€™- whatever works for us hey? Thank you so much for commenting & contributing ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜ƒ G

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so inspired and impressed by your bushwalking adventure and dedication to meditating. I need to live up to my intention by carving out some time each day, or every second day, to do this to connect with myself and my dearly departed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. It has certainly changed my life: sleeping better, focusing more easily, greater clarity of expression, & calmer in arguments. Thoroughly recommend it ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ
      Perhaps find a short course to help you get in the swing of it? Infinitely more powerful in a group or even just a pair. Sending peace ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผโค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

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  10. time wasting Phone apps not me, my phone is pretty much my phone period, although I have music streaming apps. My tablet gets more use but I left gaming/Facebook/Twitter. I guess YouTube is still a timesuck but I’m not on that nearly as much as the other three I quit for good. Most of my free time goes into creating art for my blog and performing reads on my podcast.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That combination of bush walking and meditation sounds very appealing. I do meditate every morning but I’m a firm believer that “there’s no such thing as bad meditation “. Learned that from Eric Harrison of Perth, long time teacher of meditation. I think many digital games like candy crush and solitaire and sudoku (that one is my own guilty secret) can theoretically be quite meditative– but after a few games I feel more stressed. Thanks for a thought provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Losing my Mum to dementia at 85: the terribly sad yet sweet relief – and in other news

  13. And the bush firesโ€ฆ my daughter used her pocket money to sponsor a koala.. he used to write postcards but since his release heโ€™s been too busyโ€ฆ thereโ€™s gratitude for you ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! That’s fantastic of your daughter to do that, thank you so much. Tell her I think he’s wandering around my place in the forest, chasing the ladies: definitely too busy to send postcards!

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