Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Buddhist Practice on the Course

I was talking to a friend the other day about our commitments to practice spiritual principles in our daily lives. We are both quite ecumenical and eclectic in our spiritual studies—and we are both golfers.

So as the conversation shifted back and forth we realized that the driving range and the golf course are places to practice mindfulness and non-attachment.

It also became clear—and we laughed to realize—that golf is also a rich ground for all Buddhist “sins” or human attributes that we seek freedom from. Think about it. Golf presents opportunities minute by minute to experience greed, pride, illusion, grasping etc.

So maybe a walk on the green can be a spiritual practice if we are committed to stay aware and gently release these as they pop up.

One of the sutras says, “Desires are endless; I resolve to release all desire.” Yes, this is why golf is a game for a lifetime. And so very humbling.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Can You Do It Together?

I started playing golf because my love-- and later --husband played golf. But I never intended that we'd play together. In fact it was all that "togetherness" that made golf seem so unappealing for years when I watched as an outsider.

When I met Dave and learned that he played alone I was intrigued. I didn't know that golf could work for introverts so I took a lesson, bought a Sunday bag and took off on my own early in the morning. I loved it. I loved the solitude, I loved a beautiful course in morning. And I loved that I really, really was playing against myself.

Then as I got braver and we got closer we experimented with playing together. That required "House Rules" like 1. Don't Watch Me and 2. No Advice. Wisely Dave knew how to do this and the deal he suggested was: "If you ask me a question I will answer but otherwise I won't comment on your game."

Bravo. It worked. It also worked that I can play alongside him by playing the "Marvin Method" named after my friend Marvin who gave me this advice: "Hit your ball three times and then pick it up and move it to where your partner's ball is."  That way a beginner can play with anyone. Brilliant.

I thought of all this today when I read a helpful article in the Wall Street Journal about how couples can share a hobby and what it takes to make partnered play successful.

Here is the article--link below. Take a look.