Golf is a game that requires intense concentration and focus. The tiniest mistake – a millimeter to the left, a millimeter to the right – can make the difference between a hole-in-one or spending the rest of your day stuck in a sand trap. But what does any of this have to do with the practice of meditation? Well, believe it or not, golf and meditation have more in common than you might think.
When a pro golfer is on the putting green, about to attempt his final shot to win the match, his mind is like a steel trap. His focus is entirely on sinking the putt, and nothing else. Nothing. That is living in the moment. During that moment right before he swings his putter, his mind is in a meditative state, whether he realizes it or not.
Have you ever wondered what someone is actually doing when they’re meditating? Well, it’s not any different than the putting scenario I just presented. When a person is meditating, they are focusing. They are focusing on the moment, the “now,” and nothing else. They are not thinking about the past, or the future. They are not thinking about the bills they have to pay, or what they are going to have for dinner, or what they are going to wear tomorrow… They are only pay attention to right now.
It may not sound all that impressive or difficult, but training your mind to only focus on the moment you’re experiencing requires a lot of practice. A pro golfer who consistently sinks his putts has the ability to do this. I’m not saying all pro golfers are meditation gurus. Some people are just naturally better at focusing than others. But if you find yourself feeling distracted on the golf course, or maybe you don’t feel distracted but your game just isn’t as good as you’d like it to be, meditation is just the kind of practice and training you need.
Think about it this way: Instead of golf, pretend football is your sport. Now, you’re a good football player, but you’re the smallest guy on your team. What you possess in skill, you lack in size. So, you put in extra hours at the gym lifting weights and building muscle so you can level the playing field. The next year you’re 20 lb heavier and you’re plowing through linebackers with ease. When you step out onto the football field, you’re putting that time you spent in the gym into practical application.
This is analogous to golf and meditation. If you take up meditation and spend 30 minutes a day training your mind to focus, when you step out onto the green and are now able to zone out every distraction and focus only on your game, you are putting the time you spent meditating into practical application on the golf course. It’s just like building muscle to become a better football player. You are building mental-muscle to become a better golfer.
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