Open Mind Zen Naples

Meditation and Yoga in the heart of Naples, FL

Zen Teachings

Post Reply
Forum Home > Writings on Zen > Zen on a Chess Board, by Laurie Kido Lyons

Laurie Lyons
Site Owner
Posts: 9

Zen on a Chess Board

    Chess is a centuries-old game, loved by people of all ages all over the world.  I am one of the those lovers of the game.  I never examined why I loved the game until I began to see a beautiful metaphor: The pieces of a chess board are like the pieces of the self.  In order to be a skillful chess player, one must be able to incorporate all pieces in an effective way.  If one piece becomes overactice and ignorant of its teammates, the overall goal is unattainable.  

    The Queen is the most powerful piece on the board.  She is the controlling ego.  She can act as protector or attacker, as the situation warrants.  Young chess players often use the Queen in an aggressive way.    If she doesn't understand her function and doesn't work well with the other pieces, the player is bound to lose.  She needs to be aware of the whole board, focusing less on her own needs and more on the Big Picture.   If she doesn't understand her true purpose, she neglects her job: protection of the King (the True Self, our Buddha nature, whatever you like to call It.)  

    The King is the part of the self we lose sight of, and the part we long to return to.  But the King can only thrive with the support of all the other pieces. Young players often fail to realize the importance of the "lesser" pieces.  They don't develop their pawns in a skillful way.   The pawns are like the aspects of the self we often ignore or hide from.  A well-developed pawn in the end of the game, supported by the King can transform into a rook or a queen.  That little "insignificant" pawn can ultimately become the piece that leads to victory.   In order to integrate all aspects of the self into a cohesive whole, we must listen to every voice.  All of the pieces on the board have a vital function.  To be a successful player, we simply have to understand the function of each piece, and incorporate it in a skillful way.  Rather than favoring one piece over another, we have to treat all the pieces equally.  We have to allow them to speak clearly.  When the Queen/Ego understands her true function, she acts as a skillful master.  A skillful queen knows she is not the True Self.  When she functions well, she can oversee the other pieces and help them  work together to achieve the ultimate goal:  Realization of the King/True Self.  On the chess board, the King starts the game very inactively and very vulnerable.  He relies on the other pieces entirely.  But at the end of a well-played game, the King begins to shine.  Our True Nature emerges.      

The Zen Dialogue process we use at Open Mind Zen is a method of understanding and integrating all aspects of the self.  With the guidance of a skilled facilitator, one can access various voices of the self, learn how to understand the function of those voices, and integrate them into a cohesive Self.  

March 12, 2011 at 11:41 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Stephen Singh

Posts: 1

I don't know why I am not having fun of play physical board games, however when it comes to virtual, I am enjoying playing those physics board games.


"enjoy playing construction physics games @"

June 12, 2014 at 1:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

You must login to post.