Thursday, October 27, 2016

the last book I ever read (Phil Jackson's Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success, excerpt one)

from Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty:

All I could do was laugh. Though mindfulness meditation has its roots in Buddhism, it’s an easily accessible technique for quieting the restless mind and focusing attention on whatever is happening in the present moment. This is extremely useful for basketball players, who often have to make split-second decisions under enormous pressure. I also discovered that when I had the players sit in silence, breathing together in sync, it helped align them on a nonverbal level far more effectively than words. One breath equals one mind.

Another aspect of Buddhist teachings that has influenced me is the emphasis on openness and freedom. The Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki likened the mind to a cow in a pasture. If you enclose the cow in a small yard, it will become nervous and frustrated and start eating the neighbor’s grass. But if you give it a large pasture to roam around in, it will be more content and less likely to break loose. For me, this approach to mental discipline has been enormously refreshing, compared to the restricted way of thinking ingrained in me as a child.

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