The purpose of this BLOG is to inspire golfers to become committed meditation practitioners by launching daily meditation and searching for a meditation coach and meditation forum. During ritual on every golf shot the practice of meditation facilitates quieting the mind and offers a spiritual experience of becoming one with the environment, the club, the ball, and the target while creating conditions for zone performance and trust of the well-programmed subconscious mind to swing the club or stroke the putt.
In busy lives, meditation offers mindfulness—a quiet mind; awareness—the quality that differentiates golfers; and self-restraint, a learned skill. A nice place to start is with some definitions…
Meditation is a verb and is engaging in mental exercise, such as concentrating on the breath or repetition of a mantra, for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness. Meditation invites contemplation and intellectual curiosity: learning, receiving information, watching the self in action; perking information, i.e., figuring out where and how the information fits in one’s life; and experiencing the contemplation in life.
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by deliberately focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly and objectively seeing, acknowledging, and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. One becomes the sentinel, the watcher, the personal witness of reflections of the world.
Awareness is the quality or state of being, knowledge, and understanding that something is happening or exists.
Self-restraint is restraint imposed by oneself on one’s own actions, impulses, and emotions. It is self- control.
Ritual follows the pre-shot routine and is the momentary process used by the golfer to create a spiritual relationship with the environment, the club, the ball, and the target, while trusting the subconscious mind and unconsciously pulling the trigger. Example of ritual before a golf shot:
GROUND THE PHYSICAL SYSTEMS
Take a couple of deep breaths and visualize energy circulating between your feet and the earth below you. Feel static and dynamic balance with the feet; and sense a balanced, solid foundation and environment surrounding you.
PASSIONATE INTENTION AND INSPIRATION FOR SHOT-STROKE
Take three-five short, explosive breaths into the upper chest to activate the sympathetic nervous system, increase oxygen and intensify subtle energy currents. Charge the whole body, physically and emotionally; and make a final, visual touch of the target.
On an out-breath, one-pointed concentration on the point of impact of club with ball—mindfulness—channeling all body energies into a laser beam of relaxed, focused concentration, letting go of everything—self-restraint—and sensing the synchronous, flowing swing to impact with a ball creatively floating to the target—awareness.
Squeeze Trigger, with absolute trust, unconsciously trigger the subconscious mind, well- programmed, tension-free stroke.
While one is in the process of searching for a meditation coach and forum, start meditating today. Each morning, practice sitting meditation for at least ten to twenty minutes. Just sit and listen for orders. Find a comfortable, quiet place. You can sit in a chair, on a cushion, in your truck or car, or on the floor. When you sit in a chair, place your feet flat on the ground and sit upright. Do not lean against the back of the chair. If you sit on the floor, sit in whatever way is comfortable: cross-legged, on a pillow, or on a meditation bench. Select a way that fits you! As you begin to take your seat, rock to the left and right, and then back and forth, to settle your buttocks. As you begin to settle in, sit with your head erect and your chin tucked in slightly. Put your shoulders back. Visualize your ears being aligned with your belly button; lift your head and neck as if they were being pulled by the sky. Find a comfortable position for your hands, such as resting them in your lap or one hand on each of your knees. You can sit with your eyes open or closed. If you sit with them open, lower your gaze, pick a spot on the floor in front of you, and let your eyes rest there. In sitting meditation, posture is like a foundation and is quite important for a resting mind: as the body goes, so goes the mind; as the mind goes, so goes the body. Good posture facilitates the easy flow of the breath, too. As you settle into your chosen posture, spend a few moments paying attention to your breathing, focusing on each in-breath and each out-breath. Feel your abdomen expanding when you breathe in. Feel it contracting when you breathe out. Note how the breath tickles the skin between your nose and upper lip. There is nothing to be accomplished, nothing to be gained. Notice your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Do not attach yourself to them, and do not reject them. Just observe them, let them go, and keep breathing. If you find you are having difficulty staying focused on your breath, use the technique of counting your breaths as a support. Take one in-breath and one out-breath, and count one, in, and count two, out, and so forth, until you reach ten. Once you have reached ten, count backward. Keep in mind that the point is not in getting to ten but in staying connected to your breath, being mindful of your breath.
If you experience physical discomfort, sit with that for a few minutes. If it persists, mindfully shift your posture slightly until the pain is relieved. Your “sitting muscles,” both mental and physical, will get stronger after some practice. If you exercise frequently, stretching exercises can contribute to both flexibility and comfort during sitting. Even if you sit for just five minutes, do so each morning and each evening without question. It does not have to be perfect, but it is important to do it. Your perspective about life can change, and you may even begin to experience awareness and transformation. Simply, just sit twice a day and help folks. Sitting practice offers a tremendous sense of freedom and peace. As doubts arise, just sit, and help others. With daily practice, meditation can quite easily become a part of your daily activities. You may want to explore finding others who meditate as a group. Meditating with a group of folks can be an inspiring and beneficial experience. As mentioned, uncover a process that works for you. There is not a wrong way, or a right way, and the best way is your way. The target is simply to learn to quiet the mind, at will.
The deep game is not about being dealt a better hand, but about playing the cards we are dealt with as much intelligence, care, and creativity as we possibly can. Now you are finally free to be the freedom you have been from the beginning. ‘Just this’ is the ultimate reward that comes from inhabiting the cartoon character you drew from this Kosmic deck of cards. Lao-tzu’s wisdom is clear, concise, and complete:
We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.
We work with being, but non-being is what we use.