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MVRHS meditation team cruises to another championship

By Barry Stringfellow

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School meditation team won an unprecedented third straight state title on Saturday, soundly defeating the Northampton Nitnanyandas, 8 to 2, at Kripalau Ashram in Stockbridge.

The Self-Actualizers were led by team captain Swami Debettencourt, who capped off a strong season by reaching nirvana for the third time this year.

“It was a team effort,” Debettencourt said. “We sat hard in the offseason and did a lot of breathing work and it really paid off. We whupped their hippie butts.”

Zen Bettencourt finished with a hat trick of kundalini points. She appeared to be close to her first nirvana but narrowly failed to convert. “As soon as I realized I was getting close, my conscious mind kicked in and it all fell apart,” she said. “It really pissed me off.”

Bodhi deBettencourt was turning in a stellar performance until he was sidelined with a sprained third chakra.  “I thought it was just a blockage but my focus kept crashing, and I knew it was serious,” he said.

The MVRHS cheerleading squad did its part, urging on the Self-Actualizers with chants of “Be!…Be!…” and “Block that thought!…Block that thought!”

“Even though desire is the root of all suffering, we decided as a team that we wanted win this sucker, and it feels damn good,” Coach Dhani Herman said. “We knew Northampton was going to put up a good fight, especially with those two exchange students from Nepal. But our kids stuck to the game plan and they executed.”

Herman said he was pleased with the way his team handled the playing surface. “We play all our home matches on synthetic fibers and we haven’t had much experience on Berber, but the kids adjusted well,” he said.  

Herman expects to have a solid squad again next year. “We have a lot of good up and coming talent,” he said. “We might even have a levitator.”

Meditation has been the only interscholastic sport played in Martha’s Vineyard schools since all sports that could induce falling or sweating were banned in 2024.

This is the first year that MVRHS has played under the “Self Actualizers” moniker, which was changed from “Vineyarders” last year to settle a discrimination lawsuit by Island “Wash-Ashores.”