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Zen and Golf

Posted by marshal on November 22, 2012 in Thoughts |

I should start by saying I know about as much about Zen as I know of golf. That is, I know both exist, and have had some experience with both, but I am not good at either one. What I do know is that golf strikes a chord that reminds me of what I know about Zen. There is nothing else but the stick, the ball, and me. When I slice a drive, dig a divot, or make a long putt that lets me break par, there is no one else to blame or to praise, just me. I can’t dodge responsibility and I really can’t lie. I mean, how can I lie when I know it’s a lie, and a lie about something that really doesn’t matter?
Golf takes me out to a park to spend some time with my wife, with the birds and trees, and of course, the greens. There is an “is-ness” about golf, and while people can go on and on about the artistry of golf, when you strip it down, it is simply the interplay between muscle memory and mental calculations.
There are times when I can see why someone would want to wrap a club around a tree. I have frequently thought about doing it myself, but I don’t because I am aware of my “alone-ness.” I recognize that it’s just me, the club and the ball, and only one of us is at fault. So far, I haven’t thrown my clubs away or wrapped one around a tree, even though I’ve felt like it.
I will continue to play golf as long as I can, and I will continue to look for the flow of Zen through the universe and through my life as long as I am able. I suppose this flow is the reason why I write and why I share ideas, not knowing if there is anyone out there that ever sees them.

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