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Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

I was watching the first couple of tournaments recently and was astounded at how lackluster the field was. I would guess the ratings were in the tank, as the only things that would draw viewers were the warm venues. Personally, I tuned into the match between Sam Snead and Bob Hope instead of seeking out David Toms and Mark Wilson. Over at the Champions Tour, there was Brad Bryant apologizing for his 65, more surprised than anyone that he chipped and putted his way to the top of the leaderboard. Tiger hadn’t started his season yet, flying off to Dubai for a huge appearance fee and a joust with the crackerjacks of the European Tour. This blog has predicted he will win just about everything this year, and has advised him to do so then quit competitive golf and concentrate on his foundation. Bobby Jones did this, as did Byron Nelson, and they had no sex scandals to face down. Whether Tiger stays or goes, professional golf goes downhill. He could stay and dominate, or he could go and fade away. Either way, golf suffers. The current crop in their late 20s and early 30s are not strong enough to hold up the high bar of professional golf on all levels of accomplishment. Woods was the last of the lot, and look at the bloody mess he left behind, an irreparable heap of emotional horsecrap laying by the side of the road. And please, don’t feed me all the sanctimonious BS about Tiger haters. I don’t hate Tiger. I’m angry at him for taking himself down along with the game he built up.

Golf requires what the Buddhists call impeccability, which is (more…)

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These interviews were not everything I was suggesting in my last post, but they were on the right track. They take the onus off the Masters media to provide all the answers, and so more free up the Masters to focus on golf. This is a good thing. Thank you to all involved.

As a Buddhist, I also know what it’s like to stop meditating at times. This human plane is a difficult one, involving many decisions, desires, disappointments, and challenges. Without meditation or prayer of some kind, it’s a perilous journey. We need help…often. We need support. And when we fall from grace…and we all do at times…we need forgiveness. Tiger Woods is a fellow human being, a fellow Buddhist, a fellow golfer, and I wish him well in his struggle to return to that Middle Way that provides such a wonderful beacon to light the Path.

In the Dharma.

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Tiger Woods gave quite a plug for Buddhism during his announcement/apology on Friday. He was brought up with his mother’s religion, but strayed from it for the past several years. It’s a religion that has to do, in part, with desire, and one’s relationship to it. It’s a religion that offers forgiveness, mea culpa or no. It offers forgiveness in the very next moment. All it requires is awareness, personal responsibility, and a willingness to do better in the next moment. Tiger’s commitment to return to the religion of his roots, a commitment solidified by the fact that his mother was sitting 10 feet in front of him on Friday, is a reliable one.

In Buddhism, the present moment is one’s only refuge, an inescapable refuge since you cannot escape from your very own eyes. There is no God in Buddhism who looks down and judges and views your every move. There is no heaven or hell somewhere other than your very own soul. Heaven and hell exist right here, right now, in this life, on this earth. Buddhism is relentless in examining your own behavior and thoughts, offering the opportunity to change your life in the next moment. When Tiger hugged his mother so sincerely and heartfelt at the end of his talk, I saw him returning to his Buddhist roots. As a result, if he follows through on that, I think he’ll be OK, not as a golfer but as a human being struggling with the issues we human beings struggle with.

I have been a Buddhist for many years, straying from the path myself from time to time. Many think that the religion has to do with some epiphany called enlightenment but that perception is not quite accurate. It has to do with enlightened action, which can be in response to the most mundane circumstance. For if you avoid stepping on an ant, you have taken that ant’s life into consideration and decided to acknowledge and protect it. That heightened awareness makes you more likely to consider all of life more sensitively, to truly care about human beings, plants, indeed the entire planet and all its inhabitants.

Tiger Woods is back on track, back on the path, and I bow to him, wishing him well on this journey of life. I encourage him and his wife to stick with it and work this out. This will show his kids, his friends, his fans, that as human beings we will fall down from time to time, but that as human beings we can choose to get up and walk a more enlightened path.

Tiger, you have my support and encouragement in finding the courage, faith, and intelligence to do so.

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