How the inner game of golf (or any sport) is just another way to meditate?
What is awareness, really?
One of the common goals of meditation is to bring your attention to the moment, to notice any thoughts that may arise in the mind, let them go, and eventually come back to being simply aware of all the sensations that come and go in your consciousness.
One of the goals of meditation for people is to gain peacefulness. But actually, if you feel, say agitated, but were able to notice it for however long it lingers and then let it go, you are demonstrating and practicing your ability to meditate. At least to me, becoming more aware is the goal, not the peacefulness that might come after. With awareness, the possibility opens up. With peacefulness, the possibility is just one.
I was playing golf today. Focusing on my Inner Game, I notice something extraordinary. Sometimes I was able to come to the ball, with strong confidence, take the stance assertively, and locking my eyes with the ball, and — feel the extreme clarity in the 2 seconds leading to the impact of the ball.
The extreme clarity almost always leads to extraordinary shots. The impact sound was beautifully solid, the ball takes good backspin so it flies even higher the further it goes like it has wings.
If you don’t play golf and cannot connect with this extreme clarity, here’s a compatible one — Feel shocked and suddenly awake after almost falling asleep while driving. (Please have as less of these experiences as possible)
So, I cannot help but ask, “How do I make those moments of extreme clarity on demand? Can it be longer? even always present?” And very quickly I realize, “Isn’t this clarity the very same one as the heightened awareness for meditation?” “How does being in the flow compare to these?”
I have three pieces of advice for myself for the next range session:
- Bodily awareness: tense every single muscle from head to toes for 3 seconds then releases it.
- Thoughtlessness: Use meditation techniques to catch any thoughts and let them go before the swing. When it’s all cleared, hit the ball with pure intention for the ball.
- Confidence: Never hit a ball if there’s any doubt. Step off the mat and start again.