Buddhism in contemporary India

Introduction: Buddha and his early disciple’s period.

We all know that Buddhism starts with the Buddha’s experience of enlightenment under the bodhi tree some 2,500 years ago in a place called Buddhagaya in the present state of Bihar in northern India. He gained enlightenment at the age of 35, taught for about 40 years, and gained Parinirvana at the age of 80. After the Buddha’s passing away, Buddhism continued to develop in India for roughly 1,500 years after the first one hundred years covered by the life of the Buddha and his immediate disciples.
The development of ‘three Yanas’

These fifteen-hundred years can be roughly divided into three great phases of development of Buddhism in India. The first five hundred years of development is generally known as Hinayana Buddhism, which holds the Arahanta ideal, the ideal of individual enlightenment. The ideal of gaining Nirvana for oneself was not concerned with helping other people, which in fact was the original ideal of Buddha himself. Hinayana Buddhism was mainly responsible for the development of Abhidharma or higher teaching on mind’s functioning and analyzing in great details.

The second great phase of development of Buddhism was generally known as Mahayana Buddhism. The ideal of Mahayana is one of Boddhisatva, a being striving to gain enlightenment not only for oneself but for all sentient beings. The Bodhisattva realizes that the enlightenment of one is inseparable from the enlightenment of all.
The third phase of development of Buddhism is generally known as Vajrayana Buddhism. The ideal of Vajrayana is to become a ‘Siddha’, which literally means the perfect one. The followers of Vajrayana practice esoteric meditation and symbolic rituals to gain enlightenment within this lifetime. Although we speak of these three Yanas in this way one must not imagine them as completely exclusive. The Mahayana took up many elements from Hinayana and the Vajrayana took up many elements not only of Hinayana but also of Mahayana.

The Revolution and the Counter-Revolution.

During this period Buddhism also spread to other parts of the Asian continent such as east and central Asia, China, Japan, Tibet and the islands of Java and Sumatra. But while Buddhism was taking hold outside it was losing ground in India itself. By the end of the 12th century A.D. Buddhism practically declined in India. There were so many reasons behind its disappearance. Some of the reasons were a revival of Brahmanism; a revived Hinduism, which borrowed certain things from Buddhism, and the overgeneralization of Buddhism in the monasteries, and also partly because of the Islamic invasions as result of that many Buddhist monasteries were destroyed, especially Nalanda. Buddhism gradually disappeared from India and was replaced by a revived orthodox Hinduism.
Revival of Buddhism in India.

In the 19th century Buddhism was virtually extinct from India, leaving aside around 20,000 Buddhists in eastern Bengal and Assam. There was also little influence from Theosophical Society and Dharmapala’s effort to restore Mahaboddhi Temple together with other Buddhist Sights under the auspicious of Mahaboddhi Society. He built many other Viharas including Sarnath. Kripasarana Mahsthavira‘s contribution was also noticeable in founding the Bengal Buddhist Association in Calcutta. He was instrumental in uniting Bengal and north-eastern Indian Buddhists. He also built up many other branches in Shimla, Ranchi, Shillong, Darjeeling and few other places. In the mid 19th century a few intellectuals who supported egalitarian movements looked at Buddhism as an alternative to orthodox Hinduism.

Since the 1950’s the number of Buddhists increased dramatically. The arrival of Tibetan refugees, which was due to China’s invasion of Tibet, was a very important event. Another important phase was when the north-eastern region of Sikkim was incorporated into India in 1975 with a predominantly Buddhist population. The most important of all was mass conversion of half a million untouchables (Dalits) under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar in 1956. Dr. Ambedkar dedicated his life to eradicate untouchablity. He became a great leader in politics, did lots of work in law education and economics to bring about great changes for untouchables and other people in India in all those areas. Now Dalits are embracing Buddhism all over India. They think that Buddhism is the best way out of their terrible state of oppression. For them Buddhism is a path to achieve dignity, self respect and freedom from the hell of caste.

Contemporary Buddhist movement in India.

At present, there are many different Buddhist organizations in India. I could only give a glimpse of a few nationwide important movements such as, Bhikkhu Sangha, Vippasana meditation group, Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayaka Gana and groups of Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala and other parts of India.

One of the very widely known Buddhist groups is the Vippasana meditation center which was inspired by S.N. Goenka. There are many Vippasana centers under the guidance of Venerable S.N.Goenka in many parts of the world including India. They are spread throughout India mostly situated close to big cities. They offer ten-day meditation course for beginners and some courses for advanced students and for facilitators. It provides all facilities free of charge. They mainly depend on beneficiaries’ donation. People volunteer in many different ways to help run centers. They derive their inspiration from vippasana meditation practice in Theravada school of Buddhism. S.N. Goenka says that the Buddha did not teach any sect, so he remains non-sectarian and his meditation center is open for all. They emphasize on breathing practice and then take a close look on human nature according to Vippasana meditation tradition.

Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayaka Gana (TBMSG) is one of the biggest Buddhist movements in the state of Maharastra and they also have centers in other parts of India such as Gujarat, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh Goa etc. TBMSG is the Indian wing of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO), whose members have taken refuge to three jewels and have also taken ten precepts from Ven.Sangharakshita or his senior disciples. The order is central to this new Buddhist movement. The FWBO was founded in 1979 by Venerable Sangharakshita, an English Buddhist who had lived in India for 20 years until 1964. During this time he became well known and appreciated by Dr. Ambedkar. After the latter’s death Sangharakshita did what he could to help the new Buddhist movement in India to survive and grow. TBMSG is actively involved in social work for dalit community in different parts of India. They run many social, educational and developmental projects for children, youth, women and elders through hostels, pre-primary schools, libraries, sewing classes, crèche, medical projects, cultural projects, sports, adult literacy classes, meditation courses, comparative exam training centers, karate classes etc. They have retreat centers which offer courses in Buddhist studies and spiritual practices such as meditation, spiritual friendship, community life and other projects. They are also involved in relief work in natural disasters and running trainings for NGO’s.

Broadly speaking, we can find all forms of Buddhism in India today. We find Theravada Buddhists in form of Bhikkhu Sangha and other Theravada Buddhist organizations, Mahayana Buddhist monastery especially in Buddhagaya and some other parts of India. We also have H.H. the Dalai Lama and Tibetan refugees in many parts of India representing Tibetan Buddhism. After Dr. Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism, we find a large number of Ambedkarite Buddhists, who in fact believe in Navayana (Neo-Buddhism). There are so many Buddhist organizations involved in social, political and economical development of Dalit people. We find people who follow Thich Nhat Hanh and other Buddhist teachers in big cities such as Mumbai, Delhi etc; there are also many Osho Meditation centers. It is not possible to mention all of them on the present occasion.

I am very happy to see these changes taking place in India. Within the last five decades great changes have taken place in the religious life of India. I believe that India will only develop when it will overcome its major form of discrimination of caste and transform each individual’s mind through spirituality. I am very hopeful about the future of Buddhism in India. To me, it would not be surprising to see Buddhism flourishing again in its birth land and bring about great social changes which Dr. Ambedkar had envisioned during his lifetime.

Download the original attachment
Games for participatory learning

Play for peace.


Part one: Trust Games

Backward fall and catch.
Trust lean.
Still pond.
Body lift
Trust walk
Blind explore.
Lifting up with finger
Running free
Slice and dice.
Hug a tree
Trust fall.
Blindfolded walk.

Part two: Community building & Group challenge games.
Group walk
Helium stick
Cross the line
Free fall
Toxic waste
Mine field.
Multy-way tug of war.
Human knot
Group juggling.
Duck walk
Back to back
Part to part
Pass the ball
Turn the circle inside out
Laps sit.
Line up.
Part three: energizers and icebreakers

Fallow in action
Pop up counting
Skip 3 and 5
Simon says.
Cushion catching
Curtain up.
Zip Zap Bang.
Monster’s ball.
Evolution game

Part four: Games for evaluation, introduction, etc.
Throw ball.
Say your name.
Well come song
Means of evaluation.

This booklet of Games is for the use of participatory learning method. It could be used in workshops and trainings. It is an effort to get engaged more with the community, especially to the youth and children in order to enable them to understand various important things, which will shape their life for batter.

I have compiled this Booklet as part of my exchange program service back to deer park institute. The idea occurred, when I was back in Bangkok working with one socially engaged Buddhist’s network called “International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB). I thank to P. Anne (A Secretary of INEB) who encouraged me to compile a small booklet of games. I have received encouragement and support from Jennifer the Administrator and my supervisor at Deer Park Institute.

I am also thankful to all those people with whom I have played many of those games in Training. I have learned how to use them in workshop or training from Wanghsanit Ashram in Bangkok, during my orientation and preparatory course while being youth exchange in Bangkok. Beside that I have taken many games from certain websites mainly http://www.jafi.org.il/education/hadracha/games/ And http://wilderdom.com/games/

I heartily thank to all those people who have given me experience and knowledge to accomplish this task.


This small booklet of games is full of practical ways to create an environment to learn by doing things in participatory learning method. For the sake of convenience, I have divided this booklet in four parts.
In the first part, there are games to create trust among the participant so; they could work together more effectively. Trust is very fundamental to participatory learning method because you need to work together as group to find solutions for yourself in this learning methodology. It also creates an atmosphere for people to open up with each other. It helps people to develop mutual respect, openness, understanding and empathy, as well as helping to develop communication and network skills. In these games the environment is create for two partners in some case as group to go through difficulties, where one partner is with some strength caring for the other partner who has some weakness, for example blindness is the weakness of one partner and the other partner takes him through Obstacles to safe place.
Second part consists of games for community building and group challenge. This kind of games helps to prepare groups to work together to build up communication capacity, working together and develop group strength. This is very essential for learning in participatory method. We create a situation in which, they have to cope with challenge as group to come to solution.
In the third part of the booklet, there are games simply to have fun, to energize and prepare the participants for the fallowing activities in training program. It also helps to overcome laziness, shyness and other feeling which hinders the learning process. These games are good tool to keeping the group engaged, active and alert in learning process. It creates positive group energy, participants feel relax after play, it breakdown social barriers. It helps to think outside the box.

Again in the forth part there are games for introduction; such as for learning each others name, hobbies and basic information about them. There are also game for evaluation.

Together all this games gives power to workshop to penetrate the scattered individual and make them active community members; they become more engaged in taking responsibility and have fun at the same time. It also serves various other purposes in the beginning and at the end of workshop such as introduction and evaluation.


In Paulo Freire’s words the education can never be neutral, either it domesticates or liberates the human being. Either it imposes the values or culture of the dominant class or it can liberate people helping them to become critical, creative, free and responsible member of society. In reality, the main stream prevailing educational system in the most part of the world is one of domesticating people.

Fortunately there are critical people, who have been trying to find ways to liberate people through education. There are various ways to do that, one of the way is participatory learning method. This method recognizes the potentiality of participants and creates an atmosphere, where they can think and find solution to act for creating better world. A world in which, the values such as equality, liberty and love for all form of life is recognized.

In this method of learning there are no teachers with all the knowledge and no student like empty vessels ready to fill in. there are participants ready to change for the better and there are facilitators willing to create atmosphere to make that happen. Facilitator requires the certain knowledge, skills, tools and right attitudes. Here, I would like to introduce one of the tools, which we call games for the participatory learning methods. It is one of the integral parts of participatory learning.

Games are amazing for vary many reasons, firstly, because it requires the active participation of learners, secondly, because it creates atmosphere to build up group energy and trust among participants, thirdly simply because it is a fun. There is a fundamental illusion about learning that it is serious things only to do with intellect. But in this new paradigm of learning, fun and learning can go together. A game requires head, heart and hands to play and learn from it. My effort here is to move toward a better world where everyone is learner and everyone is teacher at the same time for each other.

Part one: Trust games.

1. Backward fall and Catch

This standard trust game is remarkably challenging, which is why the group must be ready for it (choosing partners of their choice) and the leader needs to keep a close eye on reactions of participants.
Please find a partner of your choice from the group.
Form two circles inner and outer standing one meters distance from partner, as if one person is behind the other, both circle should be facing inward.
Person in inner circle will allow himself/herself to fall back and be caught by his/her partner.
After some time; now reverse the role with your partner.
To Person falling: please be relaxed.
2. Trust Lean

Before you could play this game it is advised that You Sequence appropriately e.g., after Energizer, name games and initial get to know you activities, but often before or as part of team building activities.

Please choose large area preferably with soft ground e.g., grass
Please find a partner of similar height, weight and sex and get in to pairs.
One person will become Faller and the other Catcher.
To Faller; bear in mind you must have adopt the falling posture: A. Standing upright B. Feet together C. Hands across chest, resting on shoulders
Tight butt cheeks and keep body stiff.
For Catcher “spotting” A. One leg in front of the other, B. Arms extended, C. “Give” with the weight, taking it mostly through the legs.
Please start with small falls, and then build up slowly.
You have to establish clear communication calls.
Faller: “I am ready to fall. Are you ready to catch me?”
Catcher: “I am ready to catch you. Fall away.”
After about 5-10 minutes, swap Catchers and Fallers.

What made you feel trusting? (E.g., clear communication, positive encouragement, etc.
What made you feel less trusting (e.g., laughing/joking, lack of communication, etc)
What things your partner did to make them feel more or less trusting.
3. Still Pond

Please choose one person to become blindfolded.
Form a circle, blindfolded person has to stand in the middle of circle.
Now everyone starts moving around in the room until the blindfolded person (use name) says “still pond”
He (Blindfolded person) has to go and identify through touching who that person is in the room.
If the guess is right, he takes off blindfold; if not, he or she tries again.
4. Body Lift

This is a good trust activity for a really large group with several leaders.
Please split into groups of eight to ten members.
Chooses one member at a time and elevates him or her to a horizontal position above the heads of the group.
The person should be held there for a specific period, and then lowered carefully to the floor.
The elevated person must relax and close his or her eyes.
It is a good idea to have all the groups raise and lower in unison, by calling “Raise up” and “Set down”. This avoids confusion and helps concentration
5. Trust Walk

It is based on multiple elements to test and build trust: blindness simulation, silence, and unknown terrain. For this reason, participants take a partner of their choice and roles are reversed mid-way.

Cloths to blindfold people (optional),
Outdoor area preferred (reasonable surface required).
Choose partner that you would like to know better, one person would become blindfolded.
You could communicate with your partner only through touch, no verbal communication.
Person with open eyes has to introduce everything around and give him/her good care and kindness. Try to give your partner a beautiful experience.
After 15 minute change the role.

How did you feel when your partner was partner introduce to many things around?
What made you trust your partner while going through game?
What made you feel less cared from your partner?
6. Blind Explore.

This game allows free connection and therefore a wide range of trust opportunities. A non-verbal game with blind simulation, a great deal of gentle feeling involved.

Darken the room if possible.
Everyone please close your eyes and start moving around the room slowly, gently and silently without talking.
As you meet some one, please great them (shake hands) gently without speaking and move on.
After some time; now please stop in front of someone and explore hands, play games with hands, be angry and fight with hands.
Now say goodbye without speaking.
Continue on the same direction and find other people,
7. Lifting up with finger.

Please form a two line facing each other, try to have people of similar height opposite to one another.
Choose one person from the group, he or she will lay down on the ground between two lines of people.
Lift up the person lying down on ground using your Index finger.
To person lying down: please close your eyes and be relaxed.
8. Running Free

Find a large, flat area with soft ground, e.g., grass.
Prepare blindfold clothes.
Make sure people are warmed up, stretched and ready for running

Please find your partner, one person would become blindfolded.
One-person will puts the blindfold on and holds hands with his partner.
Please take your partner on a:
Slow walk (~a couple of minutes)
A normal-paced walk (~1 minute)
A fast walk (~30 sacs)
A jog (~30 sacs)
A run (~15 sacs)
A fast runs (~15 sacs)
After some relaxation reverse the role.
9. Slice and Dice

Please choose large, safe space, preferably outside.
Please line up in two rows facing each other.
Put your arms straight in front, arms should intersect to create corridor.
The first person will peels off and walks down the corridor.
When anyone passes through the corridor, you have to raise your hand and lover again after he goes.
Person leaving from the front joins again at the end of line.
Then Next person, peels off, walks, down, and so on.
As the group gets more confident: now start walking faster, at the end start running.

10. Hug a Tree

The purpose is to get people engaged in non-visual, intimate encounter with trees and feel the nature. Please start track in a pleasant forested area. It also helps to build up trust in the group.

The group needs reasonable maturity, the blindfolded people are cared. A blindfolded person must always be holding someone else’s hand – or a tree. For mature groups, a briefing may be enough for less mature groups, do a demonstration.
Choose forested area with many trees and cloth for blindfolding.
Choose one partner and decide who would like to be blindfolded,
Blindfolded person would go to hug tree, you would take your friend through many trees and then placed next to a special tree.
The tree-hugger touches the tree and tries to memorize its size, shape, location, texture, etc.
Please take back your friend to the same spot from where you started and take off cloth and let him identify his/her tree.
Usually participants like to have a couple of turns at being blindfolded and trying to find a tree.
11. Trust fall

This exercise requires participant, who are matured, have build group energy to some extend. Preferably use this exercise in this middle of training.

Get one table of normal height.
You may need to be careful conducting this activity, preferably show demonstration of posture before you fall backward.
Please form two lines next to table handing each other’s hand preferably strong people about 12 persons each side six.
There would a person falling from table from backward.
To Falling person; be relaxing close your eyes; clasp your arms to chest.
Make sure you’re your hold is strong enough to catch falling person,
Preferably, choose person with whom you could make strong hold to catch falling person such as same height, same sex, etc.
Everyone can take turn one after another; if anyone feels scared let him not do it.
12. Blindfolded Trust Walk

Get in to pairs, one member of the pair puts on a blindfold and then your partner will lead you through an obstacle course
Use classroom with the desks and chairs moved around to make a path or outside with some objects.
The first time through the obstacle course, the “sighted” person can hold on to his “blinded” partner’s hand but should try to do most of her directing vocally.
The second time through, no physical contact between two people is allowed.
Part two: Community building & group challenge

1. Group Walk

Choose ground for the game
Prepare cloths to bind legs together
Four same objects to mark the place to reach together as group or you could also mark it with color or string.
Mark the four equal distant spaces for each group.

Please divide yourself in four groups.
Now the task is to walk together as group from here (marked place) to there (marked place to reach).
Please line up from starting point; now bind your leg with person right and left.
You have to walk together from starting point to end point and back again.
Four groups have equal distance; let’s see who can make it soon as possible.
When I say “go” start walking.

Why it took longer in case of some group and less in some other?
What is it requires to overcome challenge?
What did you learn from this game as an individual and as group?
2. Helium Stick

Deceptively simple but powerful exercise, it helps work together as group. It requires small to medium sized groups of 12 people.

Get Helium Stick- a long, thin, lightweight rod.
Open ground is preferable but you could also do inside the room.

Start counting number 1, 2, 1, 2….until every one get number.
Now form the group with same number.
Line up in two rows facing each other in your group.
Please point your index fingers out.
I will lay down this helium stick on top of your fingers.
The challenge is to lower the Helium Stick to the ground.
Condition: Each person’s fingers must be in contact with the Helium Stick at all times. Pinching or grabbing the pole in not allowed – it must rest on top of fingers.
If anyone’s finger is caught not touching the Helium Stick, the task will be restarted.
After failure-stops the task, discusses the strategy, and then try again.

How did you feel?
Why did you failed in first trial?
Why it was possible to face challenge after discussion?
What skills did it take to be successful as a group?
What did learn about your self while working as group?
3. Cross the line.

Find cloth to bind legs together
Get one string to mark line.
Open ground.

Form a horizontal line and bind your leg with person near to you on both sides.
Everybody walk together stepping toward the line to cross in front of you at distance of some 3 to 5 meters.
You have to step together right left right left.
If anyone is not in unison you have to start all over again.
After first failure: please discuss the strategies to over come challenge.
4. Free fall.

This exercise requires participant with maturity and team work to some extant. Preferably use this exercise in the middle of training.

Get one table.
You (facilitator) need to be careful conducting this activity, preferably show demonstration of posture before you fall backward.
Put cushion, bed or anything to take precaution next to table.


Please form two lines next to table, holding each other’s hand preferably strong people, about twelve persons each side six.
There would a person falling from table from backward.
To Falling person; be relaxing close your eyes; clasp your arms to chest.
Make sure you’re your hold is strong enough to catch falling person,
Preferably, choose person with whom you could make strong hold to catch falling person such as same height, same sex, etc.
Everyone can take turn one after another; if anyone feels scared let him not do it.
5. Toxic Waste

Avoid using this game with groups who are still in the early stages of group development. Works best towards the end of a program. Outdoors is more dramatic because water can be used as the “toxic waste”.
Use the rope to create a circle at least 8 ft in diameter on the ground to represent the toxic waste radiation zone.
Place the small bucket in the center of the radiation zone and fill it with water represents the toxic waste.
Place the large neutralization bucket approximately 30 to 50 feet away.
Put all other equipment (i.e., bungee, and cords in a pile near the rope circle).
1 x boundary rope ~40ft to create a circle of up to 10 ft diameter
8 x 12ft lengths of light cord
1 x dynamic bungee loop
2 x toxic waste containers
2 x toxic waste receptacles (1 small, 1 large bucket)
1 x rope to create a circle for the radiation zone
1 x bungee cord loop
8 x cords
Group sizes of approximately 7 to 9 are ideal, but the activity can be done with as few as 4 or as many as 12.

The challenge for you is to work out how to transfer the toxic waste from the small bucket into the large bucket where it will be “neutralized”,
Using only the equipment provided and within a time frame.
The waste will blow up and destroy the world after 20 minutes if it is not neutralized.
Anyone who ventures into the radiation zone will suffer injury and possibly even death, and spillage will create partial death and destruction.
Therefore, you should aim to save the world and do so without injury to any group members.
The rope circle represents the radiation zone emanating from the toxic waste in the bucket.
Please take some time for planning with no action e.g. 5 min. Then start the clock and indicate it is time for action, e.g., 15 or 20 min.
If someone breaches the toxic waste zone, indicated by the circle, enforce an appropriate penalty e.g., loss of limbs (hand behind back) or function (e.g., blindfolds if a head enters the zone) that lasts for the rest of the game.
If a whole person enters the zone, they die and must then sit out for the rest of the activity.

Facilitator Notes

Toxic Waste is not an easy exercise and most groups will benefit from some coaching along the way.
The solution involves attaching the cords to the bungee loop, then guiding the bungee with the strings to sit around and grab the toxic waste bucket.
Everyone pulling on their cord and with good coordination and care, the toxic waste bucket can be lifted, moved and tipped into the empty neutralizing bucket.
If the group struggles to work out what to do, freeze the action and help them discuss.
If the group spills the waste entirely, make a big deal about catastrophic failure (everyone dies),
Invite them to discuss what went wrong and how they can do better, then refill the container and let them have another go.
Ideas for varying the level difficulty of the activity: A. Adjust timeframe B. Adjust distance between the buckets C. Include obstacles between the buckets D. Include red herring objects in available equipment.

Total time ~30-50 minutes:
5 minute briefing
5 minutes group planning time, no action
15-30 minutes of active problem-solving
Minutes discussion/debrief

Group sharing

How successful was the group?
E.g., consider:
How long did it take?

Was there any spillage?

Were there any injuries?

How well did the group cope with this challenge?
What was the initial reaction of the group?
What skills did it take for the group to be successful?
What would an outside observer have seen as the strengths and weaknesses of the group?
How did the group come up with its best ideas?
What did each group member learn about him/her self as a group member?
What lessons did the group learn from this exercise, which could be applied to future situations?
6. Minefield.

Set up an obstacle course of rows of empty bottles.
Draw the land mine field with string to give boundaries.

Please divide yourselves in-group in middle size group for example six or seven.
You have to select one member of your group to be a Guide to rest of the group.
The leader has to lead all their Group members through land mine.
If you touch the land mine you will die (out in the game).
Your Guide has to standing on the other side of the land mine and the rest on the other side.
No one else is allowed to speak except the guide.
Each one of the group members goes through the land mine one after another.
But one thing you have to do it with your eyes closed.

Group sharing

How did you feel while going through the land mine?
What skill did it requires to be successful?
What did you learn from this game as group and as an individual?
7. Multi-Way Tug-of-War

This game is physically exhausting and emotionally climaxing! Be careful with this activity, especially, if they are unfit or if overexertion is contraindicated (e.g., heart problems). Ideal is large group outdoors.
Be aware that the activity involves close physical proximity and touch potentially in sensitive places.
Group members potentially will have significant problems with such proximity, e.g., due to culture, or social or psychological problems,
Ideal group size is approximately 10, but it can be done with anywhere from about 7 to 16.
Make 4 way tug of war with several good quality ropes each ~60ft+ with attachment e.g., via knots, splicing or ring.
Pick a soft location e.g., grass.
Lay out the ropes as shown in the diagram below
Time ~30-60 minutes

Please take off your watch, chain, etc.
Please get into four groups, make sure each group is of equal strength.
You will be standing in four groups facing each other, the task is to pull the other groups into circle and group in will loose and have to sit aside.
No wrapping or tying rope around anyone or anything – only hold rope with hands.
Watch out for rope burn on hands – let go if rope is moving through hands.
Watch out for rope burn on body – let go if you lose footing.
Now take the strain, make sure the center ring is stable and centered.
Now when group is ready: command “Go!!”
Conduct several rounds, Continue, say, until one team earns 3 victories and the Tug-of-War title.
Allow teams plenty of time to physically recover and debrief/plan after each round.

Group sharing
How did you feel playing the game?
What are the cause behind some groups failure?
What strategies does it require to be successful?
What can you learn form this game personally and as group?
8. Human knot

Please form a circle, shoulder-to-shoulder, encouraging participants to all stands closer. about to come.
Now place your hand in the middle of the circle and to grasp another hand.
Please introduce yourself to the person you are holding hand with.
Don’t let go of hands – some will be tempted to think the activity might then be over – but it is only just starting.
Now you have to untangle yourself, without letting go of hands, into a circle.
There will be a mixture of reactions, often including nervous laughter, fun amusement, excitement, dread, strong suspicion that it can’t be done,
others who may view the task as a somewhat sadistic or inappropriate joke. Often some group members will have done the task before, but this doesn’t really matter, each time the task is unique.
You may change your grip so as to more comfortable, but you are not allowed to unclasp and re-clasp so as to undo the knot.
Stand back and see what happens.
There are also odd times when a very fast solution falls out – too easy. In such cases, you ask a group to try the task again.
In case, the task becomes harder, offer one unclasp, please discuss and decide what unclasp-reclasp would be most useful.
It is important to provide appropriate help if the activity proves too difficult. This might be encouragement that it can be done
help a couple of people communicate to find a solution to part of the knot, etc.

How well did you think the group worked together?
What could have been done differently?
What do you think you’ve learned from this activity which can be applied in future activities?
9. Group Juggling.

this activity is divided into several rounds.
First round: please form a circle, not too close, not too far from one another; include yourself (facilitator) in the circle.
I will throw ball to some one for example; hey Manish my name is Deepak here you go and then Manish thanks me by my name and passes the ball to another person in the group and on.
If you’re not trying to learn names, skip the naming part & just throw.
The challenge from here is simply to get the ball thrown around to everyone in the circle, and finally back to me (trainer).
second round: “Right, well done, now let’s see if we can do that again – making sure we use the same order, and using each other’s names.
Remember to say the name of the person you are throwing to, and thank the person, by name, for throwing it to you, OK?”
On the second round, most people will be challenged to remember who to throw it to, and the two names! Take it slow; help the group out,
Third round: “Good, so how about we do it again, but this time, let’s see how fast we can do it, OK? Here we go…Hi Manish, my name is Deepak….” [Throw].
It will go pretty fast this time, and the group will probably feel quite pleased with themselves.
Fourth round: introducing more balls, That’s great, but I think you can do faster than that. Come on; let’s see how we can really go…” [I then, throw and say the name with super fast enthusiasm to set the tone!
After the first ball has passed through a few hands, I take a 2nd ball out of my pocket (surprise!), and casually, but earnestly say “Hi Manish….” [Throw].
By now everyone is so well trained, the 2nd ball will automatically keep going, and there will be a detectable sense of challenge/excitement.
After a bit, I introduce a 3rd and 4th ball, up to about 6 balls.
Usually I let 4 to 6 balls be juggled for a while (note the balls will be coming back again to the trainer – just keep them going). A group of 12 adults can usually handle 4 to 6 quite well.
10. Duck walk

Make lily pad or use A4 size paper one more then number of participants.
Digital watch to count time.
Preferably large room, if you choose open ground mark boundary with string or color.

Spread out pad e.g. A4 size paper in one big room equal to participant’s number with equal distance to one another through out the room.
Keep one paper extra and put anywhere you like within circle of participants
Choose one person and ask them to be duck and go to empty pad rest are frogs
Give instruction to participants (frogs) that they have to fill the empty space before duck could occupy it.
Participants (frogs) are allowed to run; duck has to walk slowly or normally.

Group sharing

How did you feel playing the game/
Why was you unable to prevent duck from taking lily pad?
How did you manage to prevent her for longer time afterward?
What did you learn from this game to work as community?
Group challenge games

11. Back to Back

Please find the partner that you would like to work with.
Now stand back-to-back elbow interlocked. Players stand back to back with a partner with their elbows interlocked.
Using each other’s back for support, the partners must try to sit on the floor and stretch out their legs.
While keeping their elbows locked, the partners must now try to stand up without slipping or falling down.
12. Part to Part

Form two lines facing each other, line will move on opposite direction.
When you reach the end of your line, you will join the end of the other line.
Next move is to join the end of the other line.
You will be given 10 seconds to follow out instructions and answer questions with the person across from you, then they must move on to the next person.
Ask the following questions to your friend with body parts touching.
Hand to hand — introduce yourself, knees to knees — where do you live? Elbow to shoulder — where were you born? Foot to knee – how old is you? Finger to ear — how big is your family? Hand to hip — what’s your favorite sport? Hand to elbow — what’s your favorite TV show? Back to back — what’s your favorite food? Wrist to chin — what’s your favorite color? Heel to toe — how many times have you been to camp? Cheek to cheek — do you have a pet? What kind? Name? Ear to ear — what’s your favorite music? Group? Heel to elbow — what’s your favorite book? Finger to toe — how long have you been in Guiding? Knee to nose — what’s your favorite campfire song? Chin to chin — what, if anything, do you hope to learn this week? Nose to nose — tell one thing that you’ve always wanted to do but have never tried.

13. Pass the Ball

Everyone please sit down on the ground in circle with your legs out in front.
Everyone please Squeeze together so that your legs are touching to your neighbors.
Now place a tennis ball between the ankles of one player.
The goal of the challenge is to pass the ball around the circle, from person to person, without using your arms at all.
If the ball touches the ground you must start over.
You can also play this game with everyone sitting side-by-side in a line with his or her legs out in front of him or her.
14. Turn the Circle Inside Out

Please form a circle holding hands, everyone’s face inside and eyes closed.
You have to turn to outside without letting go of each other’s hand.
Hint: the solution is that two players hold up their hands and everyone else follows through underneath.
15. Lap Sit

Please form a circle, place your hand on the solder of person in front, Your feet toe to heel.
When everyone is ready, I will count one to three and you have to sit down.
They will be sitting in the lap of the person that is behind them.
If it is unsuccessful, make your circle tighter and try again.
Can you raise your hands from each other’s shoulders? Can you stand up?
16. Line Up

Imagine that all of you lost your voice.
You have no writing equipment, you could not use sign language, etc.
line up by Age, height, date of birth in year, name alphabetically, etc.
Part three: Energizer

1. Fallow in action.

One person in group will start some action without using words in the middle of room.
Example: cutting vegetable, working in farm etc.
Other people of groups will join that person supporting him or her for example one person is cutting vegetable the other will go and wash it again the other will put on stove, etc.
This way they create a chain of people doing action which links.
2. Pop up counting

Walk around in the center of the room.
Now sit down randomly in the room.
You have to count starting from 1, 2, 3… (One number per participant) until 50.
if two people call the same number, at the same time, you have to start again.
There should not be any communication among yourself of who should say which number.
Try to count until 25.
3. Skip 3 & 5

Sit in circle. Start counting in sequence until 50.
Every time number 3 and 5 comes you have to clap instead of calling number.
If anyone forgets to clap, you have to start counting once again from that person.
Try it, until you get to 50 without making mistake in counting and clapping accordingly.
4. Simon Says

I (Facilitator) would play a role of Simon; you have to do exactly what I Simon tells you to do.
But only if I Simon’s sentence starts with “Simon says”.
Any time a player does what Simon tells him/her to do, without preceding that with “Simon says” that player is out.
Tell the players the game starts when you say “Simon says the game has started”.
Play the game until every one is out.
5. Hajji.

Divide yourself in two groups.
Sit down facing each other’s group.
One person from both groups will come forward and sits back to back in the center of the room.
Choose the direction A. same direction B. different direction. To choose direction use coin.
Now we will Count 1 2 and 3 and everybody together call out ohhgyi,
Two people in the middle of the room have to turn their neck.
If they turn to the same direction A. group wins if not then B. group wins.
The person who looses joins the winner’s group.
6. Cushion catching.

A small cushion is placed in the centre of the circle,
You have to form a circle while sitting.
Now Start Counting around the circle, 1, 2, and 3….until every one has a number.
In the middle of circle is a cushion, when I call any number that person has to catch cushion.
The persons on either side of them must try to stop them.
7. Laughing

Everybody lay down on ground and put your hands on stomach.
Now laugh falsely.
Reminder-when they no longer could laugh falsely
Now start laughing for real.
When they can no longer laugh for real, go back to a ‘false’ laugh again.
8. Curtain up.

Get one curtain.
Please divide yourself in to two groups by counting 1-2, 1-2,
Hold a curtain between the participants split into 2 groups;
Group will sit on opposite direction and curtain will be held in between two groups.
Now send one person from your group to side behind curtain.
We will count 1, 2, and 3 and put the curtain down.
who tell the name first, of the person sitting in front wins the round, and loosing person joins the winning group.
Play for some 10 or 15 minutes.

9. Zip; Zap; Bang.

Everyone please stand in circle.
Zip – is a passing of energy from one participant to the next participants in a wave-like motion.
Zap is the sending of the energy across the room directly to another participant; bang is the resisting of the energy with a movement holding hands in the air.
Bang sends the energy back to the last person who passed the energy.
Introduce the three movements one by one until everyone is comfortable with each one.
11. Monster Ball

Everyone stand around in the room randomly.
Please choose one volunteer from group to become monster.
Monster holds the ball and tries to touch other with ball, with one condition that he cannot without moving from the spot.
The person who is being touched by monster also starts killing other people until everyone becomes the monster.
You have to decide the boundaries for the people to move around.
12. Evolution Game

In this game you will go through the experience of human evolution in biological term.
There are five stages of development a mosquito, a bird, a monkey, a gorilla, and a man.
Now I will show you the action you have to make while going through the stages of development, once they get familiar with the action
Explain the rule of game and ask to play the game called scissors, paper stone’.
Now everyone is mosquito, find other mosquito and play, who wins goes to the next stage of evolution and plays again until you get to human stage.

13. Symphony:

Please form a circle, in the middle of group
One person will starts with an action and sound.
Each participant does their own one by one round the circle until
All participants are making a separate action and sound.
The facilitator can ‘conduct’ by signaling for the sound to raise or lower.
Part Four: Games for Introduction games and evaluation.

Introduction games

1. Throw ball.

Please Form a standing circle
First round: pass the ball person next to you and loudly tell your name.
Second round: now through the ball randomly anywhere in the group.
tell your name and the name of person you are throwing ball to.
Third round: Now speak out the name of person to whom you are throwing ball.
Do it as many times as it requires remembering the names.
2. Say your name

Please sit down and form circle.
Put your hands one each on the knees of person next you on both sides.
Tell the name and the name of the person anywhere in-group to pass your love saying,
for example Navin says “Navin loves Pravin”
Now pravin has to pass is his love to anyone in-group,
it goes on for some time until every start remembering each other’s name.
3. Well come song to new Comers

In case some one joins the group, it is group that you organize some kind of activity to enter the group, there are various ways to do that one way is to singing and dancing around the person. You could also use this activity when someone is leaving the group.

Get into circle
Ask new comer to stand in middle facing outer circle.
Go round and round singing song up to desired time.

Song goes like

We are at one with infinite sun forever and ever and ever

Hey yana ho yana hey yen yan-2,

You could also use any other song.

Games for Evaluation

4. Socio-gram.

Please stand randomly in circle starting from an object taken as center.
Put one any object to mark center in the middle of room.
Please stand near or far according to how much you have gain out of training.
Now Ask: Why are you standing here so near to object?
Why are you little further from the object?
5. Means of evaluation

Thumbs up/down
Express in one word
Writing on peace paper
Ask them to express how they are comparing with weather
Ask them to draw in A4 paper
Home group discussion at the end of day
Well being sessions
Gesture following sound
6. Creating Group

Everybody gets up, walking in the space randomly, reminder-I play music.
When music stops, I will call out the number and you have to form a group.
Share with your group-read below given question.
Reminder-Ask the below given questions to share in-group.
At the end-form a group of seven, you are now family group. Please give name to your group.

Examples of questions

What is your name?
What is your favorite food?
Which is your favorite place?
Who is your best friend?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s