GIUSEPPE DOTTORINI recently travelled to New York with the Italian National Basketball Artists to participate and also to offer Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation to all the players, coaches and spectators, of the Italian Brands Basketball League. He shares the experience of combining relaxation and meditation practices before each game of the competition.
The month of February marked the beginning of a collaboration between Heartfulness and the Italian National Basketball Artists, when we flew to New York with the team for the opening game of the Italian Brands Basketball League (IBBL).
It all began with Simone Barazzotto, President of IBBL, who had the idea of launching a “never-ending basketball tournament” in New York, involving the National Basketball Artists. They are a team of former professional players, journalists, actors, singers and others from the world of entertainment, and they compete with other teams representing brands from around the world wanting to expand their business in the United States.
Heartfulness joined the initiative as a partner with the aim of bringing its own special contribution to an event rooted in the values of sport, excellence and joy. Not only did Heartfulness send a team, but also offered players and spectators a relaxation session and a few minutes of meditation at the beginning of each event. The purpose was to create a feeling of unity and to bring a subtle inner awareness to the competition.
The inaugural event took place on February 5, at the Barclays Center in the heart of Brooklyn, home to the NBA league team, the Nets. The match was between the Italian National Basketball Artists and an All Star team from the brands that have joined the initiative.
Before the starting whistle, all the players gathered in a circle in the center of the court and were led through guided Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation. It only took a few seconds to create a sensation of well-being and to bring a sense of oneness to a group of individuals from completely different worlds.
For almost all it was a first experience of this kind. Many came from backgrounds that might seem the very antithesis of meditation!
There was radio DJ, Ringo, a well-known Italian with a pure rock soul, who confessed that in those few minutes he became so relaxed that he felt he could fall asleep! There was Pippo Palmieri, director of a very successful radio program (Lo Zoo Di 105), who went as far as to say that the link between meditation and sport “is something that must absolutely be there, because meditation leads you to have total control of body and mind.” He also confided that “in those few minutes, I understood how to visualize some things. I immersed myself in that moment of absolute relaxation and sincerely managed to find benefit.”
Some asked to meditate with a trainer again in the following days. One of them was Chris McNealy, former NBA player from the New York Knicks and several European clubs. After his first individual meditation, he told us, “It was a beautiful experience that I’d never had before. During the meditation I no longer felt my body. I had the experience of being present, not knowing where, but knowing I was there, with thoughts coming in and going out, and not feeling any discomfort. It was an experience that from now on in my life I should like to practice regularly.”
The next round of the tournament will take place in New York at the end of May, when it is expected that further teams will join. Everyone felt that this initiative has great potential, as it offers a winning combination of sporting excellence and a joyful atmosphere, blended by the subtle condition created by Heartfulness.
Article by GIUSEPPE DOTTORINI
Giuseppe is a lawyer from Milan, and founder of BMD LEX Law Firm, specializing in corporate, sports, and entertainment law. He started Heartfulness meditation in 2003, served as the president of Heartfulness Italy from 2018 to 2022, and is now the European ambassador for the Peacefulness project.
Heartfulness Meditation is sure to help them achieve a relaxed state of mind free from the stress of success and failure. My heartfelt congratulations to everyone who introduced such a project to the teams.