“Zone”, Zen and Sport as a form of Meditation


This is what my Master Osho had to say in a TANTRIC understanding, of what relates Sport with MEDITATION:

People who play sports call it being in the “zone”. Suddenly they experience a magical moment when everything seems to go perfectly without their knowing how. Musicians know the moment when the music seems to be coming through them rather than from them. Joggers and long distance runners find themselves in the gap. Young children love to whirl because they feel themselves almost not there. Zen archers spend years practising for the perfect shot, when suddenly, without warning it happens. With a kind of effortless effort, the arrow seems to fire itself and goes straight to the target. In Taoism they call it a -Wei, actionless action. Meditators call the space meditation.

The enlightened mystic, Osho, describes the origin of meditation thus. Millennia ago, in ancient India, people noticed that at the height of sexual orgasm, the time stopped, and they found themselves in a beautifully empty space, albeit temporarily.
Those observations provoked more questions for those intrepid inner explorers of old: was it possible to create those spaces without the need of the other person.Could it last longer? what exactly was happening? Just as a modern sporting enthusiast might ask if the zone might be available without having to play football, tennis or golf… all the time.
Slowly, slowly with arduous experimentation, they discovered the art of meditation They discovered that by watching their thoughts as if they were simply clouds passing across the screen of the mind, the thoughts began to disappear. They found that by watching their emotions, those emotions dissolved.
As they pursued their quest they found that a time came when the mind stopped, time stopped. They disappeared just like the musicians and sports people, who feel as if the existence is playing through them. The hollow bamboo of Zen”.

Then one day, one of them found themselves in the zone for ever. He or she had entered a space of total let-go, of absolute relaxation, where there were no thoughts, no emotions. They compared their state to a sense of ultimate orgasm, of bliss, or ecstasy. They found that when they needed to think, they could think. When they didn’t need to think, the mind was silent. The choice was theirs. The first human being had become enlightened.

What was their method to reach such a state? Anything which allowed the consciousness to grow. One Sufi mystic decided to start whirling and kept going for thirty-six hours before collapsing in a bundle of bliss. He too was in the zone for ever. These people described a sense of oneness with existence, a sense of permanent wonder and awe, a childlike state where every moment was another miraculous gift from a mysterious existence, to be lived totally. They found that in that totality they lived every moment as if it were their last, and in so doing made every moment precious. And of course they discovered that the next moment always came out of this moment, and by giving this moment everything, the next moment had the best possible chance of being as beautiful as possible. Their cup was overflowing. Living every unpredictable moment spontaneously was all. The pilgrimage was the goal. Many could hardly articulate much about the experience. Was it right to call it an experience? The experiencer had disappeared too. It was they essentially inexpressible. But not to try to share such bliss seemed not right either. Some tried to hint at it, like fingers pointing toward the moon, others became great Masters, who through their words and silences transpiring between them, through their sheer magnetism and their presence could give a taste of the beyond to their disciples.
The science of the inner was born. Instead of struggling to maintain objectivity they dissolved into their own subjectivity. Instead of trying to figure out existence from the outside by pretending they were not part of it, they melted into existence and experienced it first hand, directly from the inside. Instead of finding “the other”, they found themselves. Instead of finding “facts” – which lasted until replaced by the next scientist to come along – they found the truth and realised it was eternal. And they were simply radiant.Swami Paribuddha, who lived almost two decades around the enlightened Mystic Osho, says that he is more and more of the same opinion as his Master: that it is everyones birthright to obtain similar heights of “ultimate consciousness”. At least for moments in our life we can experience them. If not reaching for the stars, what other goal should we have in life. From the beginning of his search in India his approach has always been, to include Sport as a vehicle of spiritual growth. Meditation doesn’t mean to renounce any beautiful thing of life and move into the caves. No, it is the transformation of our actions, from routine and automatic doing to awareness.

And sport can be the best playground to teach ourselves this alertness through our actions. Once we have gained a taste of meditation in our life, which we all have done and do without giving it that name or becoming aware of it, we want more. The synthesis of Sport and Meditation can be a wonderful beginning to become more conscious of our movements and as a result a more centered being. However intensive or total we engage in our sport, there is always an inbuilt desire for perfection and mastership. Depending on our general mental space, Meditation is sometimes more or less part of our life-quality. The enjoyment and result of our sports activities again are the mirror of this space and mental status. Sometimes things seem to happen very easily, in other moments nothing fulfils our expectations or set goals.The feeling is gone, we are almost helplessly in a slump. Out of that we often react unintelligently and unproductive, we identify with the slump or trap and hold unwillingly on to it. Ambition, effort and control take over in order to get out of what we believe to have become. From this moment things mostly escalate even more. Instead of becoming the watcher and waiting until the cloud has passed, we become the doer, creating the adverse effect from our initial intention. Meanwhile we dig further into the sand and become more identified with the momentary results and the limitations set by the mind. The innocent childlike playfulness is lost. Although the skill to perform in a certain technique is stored in our brain and the cells of our body, in these moments the access to it is blocked and the harmony of body and mind disturbed.As in all moments of life, we learn, train and exercise also in sports to make the body/mind our servant, rather than let it become our master.

The only way to make this happen, is through meditation, which is beyond both. With such techniques we learn to free ourselves from mind patterns, belief-systems and unconscious habits, responsible for stagnations and slow growth in sport and life in general. Meditation opens the doors to a certain well being and authenticity, we fall more in tune with the here and now. We gain glimpses of how to free us from pull of the past and future. As an example: we have produced a good or bad shot and want to repeat or avoid it, we are fixed or pulled by the past. Or we want to satisfy our or someone else expectations and get trapped by future projections and expectations. If we relax in the here and now, we not only feel instantly more content, but also out of that allow things to happen easier and more effortless.The meaning to relax with sports is to engage ourselves so totally that we experience becoming part of the game and being thoughtless. We unhook from all kinds of busy mind. We leave worries and problems behind and relax into our activity. Sometimes though especially with growing routine, sport is not enough of a catalyst to let go of all that. Or even worse we add to sport the same flavour as we have done to our daily life. We put seriousness, wrong ambitions and goals into it. In that moment we are on the best way to destroy its meaning and joy. All the meditations of the east have the quality, when engaged rightly, that there is no result or goal attached to it. Their function is as a medium or a technique for some inner experiences, non respective of outer achievements. As we go on with its practice, we shift the goal more and more to our inside, almost like chasing a shadow. The real target to reach is our innermost truth and center of being. Still remaining with our competitive mind we sooner or later get more the kick out of the adventurous search, rather than the good results only.The Ego is what we believe to be and not what we really are. The thrive from our Ego to exist and succeed is rooted in our desires behind our repressions and masks. We want to be loved, so we can live a simpler, easier and better life, as success usually guarantees us. The society has imprinted in us, that we should be superior to all humans and nature. This sounds almost like a paradox, if we consider to be part of it. Unfulfilled expectations and the resulting feeling of inferiority are often the only motor for peoples ambitions.Once we have become aware of our mind process, our whole life changes. Our targets are still to be reached, but more through the inner. Thats where all real potential is hidden, where we function in synchronicity and harmony with the heart. That’s what we call the “inner Kingdom” of sports.The conscious and total act of all engagements in life and sports is the goal of meditation. The logic consequence of this is to bring those two more consciously together and enrich one another. A conscious played game of soccer or tennis will enhance our meditation or silence or vice versa. Meditation will make us clearer, more centered and effective during our games. It brings such new qualities and experiences to our sports, that former dimensions of soccer, skiing, tennis, golf….. will be left fare behind. The more we taste from this flavour the more we play to our heart content. We are agin allowed to feel and be, and not only perform. We slowly manage to disentangle from self-imposed stress and mind-structures. Many mystics have told us that consciousness over our body movements is the key to inner experiences. All kinds of people around the world totally involved in sports or any activity have on and off such insights. Very few of them share it with the world, except a few sports people, talking about their mystical experiences. In reality their peak moments in life are not related to their standard in sports, but rather to the intensity of their engagements. Mostly in moments of utter exhaustion, when the doer is no more, something from the beyond takes over. Once we have got in touch with such an understanding, we get almost driven to repeat or enlarge these moments. The goals to achieve great heights on the ladder of success might remain, and we reach them easier and more frequent now, but more and more we get influenced by these spiritual insights. Swami Paribuddha, who reached national fame mainly in Czechoslovakia as the Director of Casinos Austria, to establish more than a dozen of casinos in less than two years and as a former member of the Austrian Golf team and now of the USGTF (United States Golf Teachers Federation), has made it his goal to share the experiences gained and the techniques learned over four decades from his Master Osho, with all sports enthusiastic people (golfers, soccer players and skiers), who feel they haven’t reached their real potential or want to learn to relax.

It is time for a GAMECHANGER

Take a heart

GO 4 IT GO !!
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