Raising consciousness via sporting achievement
I'm not that keen on reading newspapers and find that I often only buy them because of the sports pages. In fact some of the best, the most moving, writing comes from sports journalists. Sporting participation, whether on a professional or amateur basis is a channel for personal development.
Recently the English national rugby player, Jonny Wilkinson, described that how following some of the doctrines of Buddhism had helped him calm his mind and, it implied, improved his rugby (although he did stress that he wasn't a Buddhist - old habits die hard) In fact in a more recent article he has gone even further in talking about karma and.....
"it is about saying I am going to be of value, looking at the charity side of things, thinking about being compassionate. It is not always about achieving selfish goals. That’s egotistical.”
A few months ago I saw an interview on TV with a German goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn (known for his macho reputation), who mentioned that he often used his intuition when deciding which way to go in a penalty shootout.
I was surprised by his admission, but also the ease with which he mentioned it. I'm not used to people (and men in particular) mentioning their intuition in such a positive way. Although in retrospect, it is obvious, as sport offers the ideal arena in which to exercise it.
Joey Barton, an English soccer player with a "bad boy" reputation, states that: "I don’t think I’ll ever be judged on this earth. Whatever higher power it is, when you finally meet him you’ve got to answer for every decision you’ve made. I believe I can stand in front of my maker and say, ‘Yeah, I did this for this reason, that for this reason". He also mentions that he thinks he has a higher calling, but that football is no longer it.
Sport is a channel for creativity, self expression, personal and spiritual growth and development (whether or not it is always recognised in those terms by its participants) and ultimately a method of raising consciousness.
As Gabby Logan writes in the London Times:
“The journey” is all-important. Every one of these brilliant individuals sets goals and most achieve them, but they all somehow manage to exist in the moment................................It’s about how they find the courage to step back up to the plate when things go wrong and how they deal with increased expectation every time they add to their success.....living in the moment and enjoying the journey is something most of us could aspire to on our new year’s resolution list".
A design for life.