Friday, November 4, 2016

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

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

After the All-Star break we went on a long road trip that I hoped would help bring the team closer together. As part of my annual give-each-player-a-book program, I presented Shaq with a copy of Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse’s fictional account of the like of the Buddha. I thought the book might inspire Shaq to reexamine his attachment to material possessions. In the story the young prince Siddhartha renounces his luxurious life to seek enlightenment. The point I wanted Shaq to understand was that everyone has to find his or her own spiritual path—and accumulating more toys was not the way to get there. It was my way of nudging him to explore the road to inner peace—by quieting his mind, focusing on something other than his own desires, and becoming more compassionate toward his teammates, especially Kobe, who was dealing with some attachment issues of his own.

I was amused by the book report Shaq turned in a few weeks later. The gist was: This book is about a young man who has power, wealth, and women (much like me), and gives them all up to pursue a holy life (not so much like me). I would have been surprised if Shaq all of a suddent went on a search for englightenment after reading the book, but I think the message about compassion hit home with him. He has a generous soul.

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