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InvisibleSwami
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Registered: 01/19/00
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Zen & Sports
    #3688703 - 01/27/05 03:46 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I am currently watching a Zen Master named Roger Federer take apart his opponents in the Australian Tennis Open. Yes, he is talented and athletic, but his "secret" is his composure and ability to stay in the moment.

In my own sport, I can almost always tell when I have "cracked open my opponent's head". After this, he will usually conspire with me to help me win the game. The psychological aspect is usually the deciding factor.

Rather than saying exactly what Zen is, first let us look at what it is not.

1. Fearing your opponent.

2. Fearing you are going to choke.

3. Trying to overpower your opponent.

4. Stewing over a "bad" referee call (that may well have been good anyway).

5. Remembering and reliving past failures.

6. Thinking about the score.

7. Thinking about winning.

8. Thinking about losing.

9. Failing to note and correct your mistakes.

10. Dwelling on your mistakes. ("I suck!")

11. Playing into an opponents' strength. (Ego)

12. Taking risky shots for the sake of audience approval.

13. Crying over an opponent's "lucky" shot.

Basically anything that takes one's focus away from the present moment of placing the ball exactly where you want it and imbuing special emotional meaning to events will decrease your chance of winning.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: Swami]
    #3688771 - 01/27/05 04:00 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Personally, I just get Jesus to help me win.


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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: Phluck]
    #3688784 - 01/27/05 04:03 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

That is the simpler alternative although I prefer sacrificing a goat to Satan.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleCorporal Kielbasa
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: Swami]
    #3688847 - 01/27/05 04:17 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

So the idea is not to think just do.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: Swami]
    #3688852 - 01/27/05 04:18 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I told a friend that the moment Safin breaks a racquet is the signal that he wants to lose in the semi-finals of the Aussie Open. He just broke a racquet so we will see if my observations are correct. Anger is rarely conducive to winning in any endeavor.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: Swami]
    #3688972 - 01/27/05 04:42 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

ninja balls:
breath
sneaking
and a good mask

play ball


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InvisibleJellric
altered statesman

Registered: 11/08/98
Posts: 2,261
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: Swami]
    #3689089 - 01/27/05 05:12 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Good stuff. I agree with everything on your list. I play my sports while sitting in front of my computer online. Although it's Half-Life the mental aspects are the same. I'm an elite player and often get accused of cheating. I take it as a compliment. My opponents can't conceive of anyone being that good without cheating.

What makes me a great player? Presumably most of my opponents have reflexes and manual dexterity equal to mine if not better- the difference lies in my awareness. I try to eliminate anything that detracts from it.

And yes, the moment you lose your temper.. you've lost. Whether it be on the court, gaming online, or posting your views on a message board.


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: Swami]
    #3689170 - 01/27/05 05:33 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

That is good stuff that can be turned into a philosophy for a winning way in life if you apply it every where. I was inspired to put a spiritual spin on it as well.

Swamis list is a list of your demons to overcome;


1. Fearing your opponent.

2. Fearing you are going to choke.

3. Trying to overpower your opponent.

4. Stewing over a "bad" referee call (that may well have been good anyway).

5. Remembering and reliving past failures.

6. Thinking about the score.

7. Thinking about winning.

8. Thinking about losing.

9. Failing to note and correct your mistakes.

10. Dwelling on your mistakes. ("I suck!")

11. Playing into an opponents' strength. (Ego)

12. Taking risky shots for the sake of audience approval.

13. Crying over an opponent's "lucky" shot.

When you here spiritualist talk about overcoming inner duality and inner conflict or say things like external conflicts are really internal conflicts being manifested, that's what they are talking about.

From a spiritual perspective the other guy, the opposition, is the one in YOU that that does those things mentioned in the list. Only you can give your power to them for them to act on your behalf. Only you can take your power back from them and put it where it belongs, in the center, "present" and in focus of what it is you are intending to accomplish to the best of your know-how, training and skill.

From a spiritual perspective, overcoming the dualistic nature is a matter of overcoming the nature to give way to those demons "apparitions" puffs of smoke that are powerless until you give them validity of being real. By making them matter to you, you turn those puffs of smoke into things of matter and make them appear real, they are not. Your power of belief is the only thing that can make them come alive or make them disappear by not believing in them.


When people talk about working on overcoming their demons, that's what is really going on. If you believe in them with great power, something of matter to the like will show up in your external reality and KICK YOUR ASS.

It really is benevolent, you just asked it to kick your ass because by entertaining the demons, you felt you deserved it to be kicked. They aim to please and do your bidding. Tell them sorry , not today, I deserve to win, they will give you a high five and be on their way. Maybe they will test and tempt you if they sense doubt, but hey, that's what demons are for!

Again, nice post idea swami, hope you didn't mind the spiritual dualistic spin being applied to it just to reach more with it because it is good stuff. :thumbup:


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Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #3689226 - 01/27/05 05:51 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Why would I mind your correlation? That is why I put it here. All external activities are expressions of your inner state.

I was explaining to one of my racquetball students yesterday, that while I study my opponent and try to exploit his weaknesses and avoid his strengths, that essentially I am playing myself. If I maintain focus, I have "won" irregardless of the final score and if I have lost focus and played sloppily, then I have "lost" even if I won the game.

He had a hard time grokking that statement.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Invisibleninjapixie
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: Swami]
    #3690005 - 01/27/05 08:15 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Even zen masters choke.

Roger failed points; 2, 6, 7, 8 and especially 12.

Still one of the best matches I've ever seen.


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Put that monkey back in the oven.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: Swami]
    #3690040 - 01/27/05 08:24 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

The mind is often times not structurally capable enough to be able to direct and focus pure awareness properly. A muscle that is ridden with cancerous cells will not be able to fufill its intended purpose. The pursuit of Zen is really a process of restructuring the mind so that the mind itself is not obstructing one's awareness from being realized in the moment on a conscious, detailed level. Opening oneself to awareness in its purest form possible, by reprogramming the mind so that it only filters that awareness as much as is necessary to act in the moment, is most beneficial and rewarding. :grin:

Every single thought requires some degree of awareness to "power" it. The more thoughts that are unnecessarily coming into existance, the less focus there is for other functions - more important, necessary thoughts; one's awareness of the signals that one's senses are receiving; etc. If one is not capable of being in a position beyond the mind, in order to be able to think or not think, they will have limited capacities to function in the moment, and will not experience life in a more intense, vibrant, alive dimension. If the structure of a mind cannot effectively manage the pure awareness that we are blessed with, it is our unfortunate loss. :wink:

This concept outlined here can be utilized in any and every aspect of of one's life, from keeping a general, cosmically aware perspective and center that runs through all of our experiences to specific, isolated events where almost any thinking at all will hinder our ability to perform. Zen itself is really the resulting state of being that exists without the mind at all - as close to transcendent pure awareness as one can get without completely transcending. :lol:

It comes down to positioning oneself in a higher state of being, essentially "before" the mind, being in a place where awareness from its source is permeating one's total experience, instead of one's awareness of one's experience coming after the mind collects its share of awareness. Being constantly aware of one's own awareness (sorta like reflecting light with a mirror  :tongue:) is most important to the experience of life. :laugh:

I was linked to this thread by a certain someone (;))and decided to note my momentary emergence with a reply.... *slips back into the formlessness* :eek:

:headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :satansmoking:
Peace. :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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Offlineoceansize
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Registered: 08/31/04
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: fireworks_god]
    #3690082 - 01/27/05 08:37 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Swami I agree with your list, but in athletics, how much control do you say one has getting in the 'zone'? In my experiences there are certain things you can do to give yourself the best chance, but after that, it is all situational.

I might dispute anger having no place in most endeavors, or at least some. As Bruce Lee said, "emotional content, not anger" is an aid but I often find the lines between the two are very blurry. I will admit a good deal of control is needed as well but usually the path I take into a 'zen' state or the 'zone' involves a ritual, then a trance or frenzy state. Not until I am pouring my emotional body out do feel released into the ol' 'zone'.


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"And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh." - Friedrich Nietzsche



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InvisibleJellric
altered statesman

Registered: 11/08/98
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: oceansize]
    #3690158 - 01/27/05 09:02 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Swami can answer for himself, but I thought I might take a stab at your question. (Although I think you pretty much answered it yourself). There is no way to control going into the zone because getting there is all about unconsciously relinquishing control, flowing like water, being formless, taking what your opponent gives you.. But yes, like you said, there are certain things one can do (or more accurately not do) to perform at the highest possible level.

But if ones goal is to be "in the zone" you will never get there. It's something that happens as a moment of "grace", unplanned and uncalled for.

I also agree with you that anger can play a role, but should not be the main factor. Anger can provide energy, but at a cost. If anger predominates it will eventually tire you. It can also cloud your judgement. Use it for an energy burst then pull back on the throttle.


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: oceansize]
    #3690522 - 01/27/05 10:16 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Ocean,

Can I ask you if you have control over the thoughts in your mind? If you say you do, do you have control over not entertaining the thoughts and mental states in the list?

Control over getting in the zone is simply maintaining control over what would pull you out of it. Or in reverse, how jell, put it, not letting those thoughts take control via releasing them-letting go of their control on you.

I am curious where anger comes in to this from your perspective? If you are in anger, you have already let one of the mind states on the list, take over some control and pull you out of the zone. The only thing to do to get back in the zone is to release the thought that brought on the anger.

Anger can be useful in this instance. Anger releases adrenaline and gives you Burst of energy. You can use that anger aimed at yourself for letting one of the items on the list gain some control over you and to get yourself back in the zone.

Before that, the anger came from something like, blaming the ref for a bad call or blaming the universe for giving your opponent more "luck" then you and the bottom line is anger comes from blame. If you are putting it on an external, you give your power away. If you look to where you were at fault and take response-ability for yourself, and see where you gave control to one of the items on the list, you can make a quick correction and get back in the zone.

This is KEY. If you give responsibility/power of blame over to the ref or "luck" you're screwed because you do not have control over the ref or the other guys "luck". You are at a power loss at that point. Only by turning it towards yourself and where you gave yourself away can you get your full power back which is only at use when you are in the zone.

I'd appreciate hearing where you fit anger into the mix from your perspective on this. You may have an interesting insight I never thought of and I may be misunderstanding where you are coming from or what you're getting at. The principle I think is pretty sound and if you can find a flaw, I'm curious to know what it is so I can tweak my own out, because mine matches swams as it stands.


--------------------
Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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Offlineoceansize
fuckin' right.

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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #3690750 - 01/27/05 10:50 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I don't know jiggy I think we are in the same ballpark but the nature of the topic isn't something you can talk out too much productively. Where do I think anger fits though- Part of it catharsis, giving into emotion allows one to let go. Part of it biomechanics, a primal reaction allows your nervous system to focus on one task, aiding the mindstate. Then again I almost never, maybe two or three times a year have a problem controlling my anger.

after writing this topic I realized perhaps I may be tackling a totally different beast as swami's orignial example. There are many cross cultural routes to Zen, whether or not the practitioner knows the name. I might practice Zen by way of the primal Body because my background is in different fighting styles and lots of Football in the day with some adrenaline sports. I catch glimses of the moment while surfing and there is much less place for 'anger' or focused emotion there. If one chants or drums to seek satori the same would follow to an even greater degree.


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"And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh." - Friedrich Nietzsche



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InvisibleLunarEclipse
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: Swami]
    #3691027 - 01/27/05 11:24 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

The "Zen Master" Federer lost to the racket cracker angry Safin.

Go figure.


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Anxiety is what you make it.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: fireworks_god]
    #3691110 - 01/27/05 11:33 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Hey FG, good to see you're back (now turn around).  :thumbup:


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: oceansize]
    #3691194 - 01/27/05 11:43 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I was playing "fun" doubles the other day with some hackers. One guy creamed me in the back twice. The second time I let out a scream of rage. Yeah, it hurt, but it was mostly because the guy had to see me standing right in front of him and he was retarded to take a full swing. I walked quietly off the court, not out of anger, but because these clowns were too unconscious; and therefore dangerous.

The guy that hit me apologized a dozen times, but I had no residual anger and accepted his first apology.

The point being, the anger was instantaneous and not a by-product of negative thinking, and the release was almost as quick. THERE WAS NO RESIDUE. That is the important part.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: ninjapixie]
    #3691215 - 01/27/05 11:46 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Even zen masters choke.

Roger failed points; 2, 6, 7, 8 and especially 12.

Still one of the best matches I've ever seen.


Hardly a choke. Both guys gave their all for four hours. The victor almost collapsed and didn't even initially celebrate his victory, he was so tired.

Do you think that Zen masters are infallible? Then you have been watching too many movies. Besides what happens when you pit one master against another?  :laugh:


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleLunarEclipse
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Re: Zen & Sports [Re: Swami]
    #3691291 - 01/27/05 11:56 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

"he was retarded"

"these clowns"

"I had no residual anger."

"THERE WAS NO RESIDUE"

Uh huh... :rolleyes:


--------------------
Anxiety is what you make it.


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