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Posts Tagged ‘Masters’

First, congratulations to Phil Mickelson on winning the Masters. He showed true grit coming down the stretch, a champion’s disposition, the heart of a samurai, a deep meditator without even knowing he was meditating, focused and flexible, a Light Brigade in the form of a golfer. I had advised in a previous post that he go home and be with his wife, that she was too much on his mind to concentrate on golf. I was wrong. Instead, he dedicated his performance to his wife, thereby remaining a man fully in the moment, for the moment was a representation of her and his family. And she came to him, which I didn’t anticipate since I didn’t know her ability to do so. It was one of the great inspirational performances in the history of sport. His approach shot through the trees on 13 from the pine straw, over Rae’s Creek, hitting the green and making birdie was a golfer acting at the very highest levels of skill and courage. I would include it with the best of any shot I’ve ever seen, and will heretofore use it as a model for all the golf I have left to play. Phil, his caddie, Bones, and his wife Amy are true class acts.

Next, Tiger. He impressed me with his golf, of course, but also with his humanness: his connection with the fans, his giving out autographs, his warm relationship with K.J. Choi whom he chatted with and put his hand on his shoulder, his relative restraint around fist pumps and profanity. There’s no quit to this guy, and that too is a trait I highly admire. Given the scandal, (more…)

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At Tiger’s news conference Monday, the most significant revelation was that his troubles started when he stopped meditating, when he stopped practicing the Buddhist religion which he shares with his mother. That’s when he lost his moral compass.Being a Buddhist, Tiger is involved with more than a religion. In fact, Buddhism, at its core, is more a spiritual practice than a set of beliefs that make up most religions. As the late philosopher Alan Watts once said, “Buddhism never uttered its final doctrine.” Essentially, through trial and error, the practitioner finds out what is the truth for himself. It’s a path that requires taking total responsibility. You can’t retreat to God or a set of truths to guide you: You are the captain of your own ship. It’s why monotheistic religions often don’t buy into Buddhism: There’s a basic belief human beings need help, and that help comes from a higher power. These other religions involve prayer and meditation just like Buddhism, but with Buddhism ┬áthe higher power is essentially called your True Self, or that which is always in the present and not subject to birth or death (more on this in another post). It’s a part of you that is always there, if you can get in touch with it. When you meditate according to Buddhist instructions, you simply stay with your own body and mind and breath in the present moment. When Tiger stopped meditating, (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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