is an interesting idea. In the beginning this is is all it is for most of us. An idea. What is zen, really? And how does it relate to your golf game? Zen knowledge and insights are often of the bizarre and wacky variety.
Like the well worn saying "what is the sound of one hand clapping?" This and thousands of other zen sayings serve to break internal modes of thought that have us stuck in self induced trances. These trances prevent us from seeing our world anew.
In this sense a zen mindset can serve to free our perceptions to at least entertain new possibilities in our game. Yet there is more to zen golf than just this, of course. The following conversation revolves around how most people understand zen: an inner state of balance. Zen Mind.
Zen on the course and in your golf game
If we use the term zen in the sense of a meditative inner calmness then most every golfer will agree this could directly benefit our games. Yet how much calmness is best for you? Not many people have the necessary distinctions in their inner game to even ask these kinds of questions.
Yet imagine for a second that you are naturally casual and you begin to acquire even more inner calm. Might this actually prevent you from performing well? It may very well do just that. Too much calm can place the mind in a reflective mode and inhibit some people from applying their inner resources effectively.
I mention this since there is no clear perfect "inner calm" which is best for everyone. Or even desirable at all for some people. There is a decided bias in golf toward the belief that everyone should be as relaxed as possible when they play.
As an inner game coach I can tell you that this is not accurate and these "generalized" notions serve do the very thing that zen golf is seeking to change: they create limited thought patterns. Generalizations form a kind of linguistic trance. The result being our minds move along well worn grooves and we produce the same old limited behavior.
Free your mind and free your golf game
If there is any promise in zen and golf together it lies in breaking free of limited modes of thought. In dissolving generalizations that are really just self induced trances that remove us from our own state of effectiveness. Our own brand of inner peace.
A great technique is to sit still for several moments and reflect prior to your round of golf. Imagining what state of inner calm you would perform best at. Ask yourself this question: If I could play in any state of mind I choose, what would it be?
Meditate on the answer.
Make it a part of your daily life if you want to develop inner peace, yet if this is too much then at least give yourself the gift of a half hour a week of inner reflection. This process releases and balances your inner resources and helps free the mind to perform at its peak.
There are numerous advanced inner game exercises that directly assist you in transferring your optimal inner state into your golf game. This way you can play Zen golf.
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