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Thread: Zen in Sports

  1. #41

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    ^something being normal does not make it uninteresting for science. The question is why you have to do it so often, while e.g. some savants do it once and can do it the same way forever.

    If those mechanics are more thouroughly researched, they could be optimized, which could be kind of awesome (e.g. mastering piano in five minutes).

    But since the brain is a highly complex system, chances are that external methods will do more harm then good. In light of that, the (re-)research of psychological methods (in the widest sense) can be a useful approach.

  2. #42
    CNagy's Avatar
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    I recommend Zen Body-Being by Peter Ralston. It's good stuff.

  3. #43

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    That was a bit...okay, a lot smart alecky of me. Meh. I didn't intend to stomp all over anyone else's deeply held beliefs, it's just that all this talk of Zen, altered brain states, and meditative trances seems like leftover hippy balderdash and chicanery to my perhaps too logical and rooted in the mundane Western mind.

    I have always believed what made fighting styles like boxing and wrestling superior to many of the Eastern styles was their focus on teaching the student to box and wrestle instead of providing him with vague and contradictory statements that he must ponder on to progress. "When you seek it, you will never find it, but when you do not search for it, it is always there" is a wonderful description of my relationship with the TV remote, but I fail to see how it can improve my sweeps from half guard.

    Not to mention I always read this things with a little gremlin on my shoulder hissing "Why is it always Zen Buddhism and fighting? Why not Catholicism and fighting? Or Islam and Fighting? Or Fighting and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?"

  4. #44
    TaeBo_Master's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince Tortelli View Post
    That was a bit...okay, a lot smart alecky of me. Meh. I didn't intend to stomp all over anyone else's deeply held beliefs, it's just that all this talk of Zen, altered brain states, and meditative trances seems like leftover hippy balderdash and chicanery to my perhaps too logical and rooted in the mundane Western mind.

    I have always believed what made fighting styles like boxing and wrestling superior to many of the Eastern styles was their focus on teaching the student to box and wrestle instead of providing him with vague and contradictory statements that he must ponder on to progress. "When you seek it, you will never find it, but when you do not search for it, it is always there" is a wonderful description of my relationship with the TV remote, but I fail to see how it can improve my sweeps from half guard.

    Not to mention I always read this things with a little gremlin on my shoulder hissing "Why is it always Zen Buddhism and fighting? Why not Catholicism and fighting? Or Islam and Fighting? Or Fighting and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?"
    To me, Zen is not as mysterious as people think it is. It just seems that way because we use the word zen to describe a mental state that all high level athletes achieve at their peaks. They call it being "in the zone" and the descriptions are pretty much the same as zen. External thoughts blocked out, performing actions at high degrees of proficiency without deliberate thought, etc.

    Practice makes you able to perform actions with your body without requiring deliberate mental input, and confidence enables you to shut out the outside world and perform in your own comfort zone.
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  5. #45
    W. Rabbit's Avatar
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    “Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes.

    Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.”

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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaeBo_Master View Post
    It just seems that way because we use the word zen to describe a mental state that all high level athletes achieve at their peaks.
    Athletes are still driven by the fear of losing, or put another way, their attachment to winning....not very Zen, imho, no matter how great their focus is.

    Let's not confuse athletic focus with zazen, or Bodhi will be forced to beat us. Not that that's a bad thing.

    A person experiencing Ch'an scores no points, forgets the game, and wins their freedom.
    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 3/24/2012 12:21am at .

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    A person experiencing Ch'an scores no points, forgets the game, and wins their freedom.
    This may be the innate drive of my Anglo-Saxon blood to demonize the unfamilar (in order to justify setting it on fire) talking, but that sounds very much like clinical sociopathy by way of a few repetitions of "Me and Bobby McGee".

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    Athletes are still driven by the fear of losing, or put another way, their attachment to winning....not very Zen, imho, not matter how great their focus is.

    I agree with this. It reminds me of something I read where Bruce Lee emphasized that you should never think about the result of the fight, only the fight.

  9. #49
    W. Rabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince Tortelli View Post
    This may be the innate drive of my Anglo-Saxon blood to demonize the unfamilar (in order to justify setting it on fire) talking, but that sounds very much like clinical sociopathy by way of a few repetitions of "Me and Bobby McGee".
    That's odd considering it's often done in groups. Doesn't quite fit the sociopath mold.

    Remember I only speak as an extreme neophyte but serious pilgrim in what we are talking about.

    Personally I do think Damo would have been quite the baller.

    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 3/24/2012 12:39am at .

  10. #50
    Mr.Miyagi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince Tortelli View Post
    That was a bit...okay, a lot smart alecky of me. Meh. I didn't intend to stomp all over anyone else's deeply held beliefs, it's just that all this talk of Zen, altered brain states, and meditative trances seems like leftover hippy balderdash and chicanery to my perhaps too logical and rooted in the mundane Western mind.

    I have always believed what made fighting styles like boxing and wrestling superior to many of the Eastern styles was their focus on teaching the student to box and wrestle instead of providing him with vague and contradictory statements that he must ponder on to progress. "When you seek it, you will never find it, but when you do not search for it, it is always there" is a wonderful description of my relationship with the TV remote, but I fail to see how it can improve my sweeps from half guard.

    Not to mention I always read this things with a little gremlin on my shoulder hissing "Why is it always Zen Buddhism and fighting? Why not Catholicism and fighting? Or Islam and Fighting? Or Fighting and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?"
    Well, that's my point. The focus of teaching in WMA is not on ponderous thinking, or a religious moral framework. But through the very act of effective training you can still experience elements that EMAs kind of present themselves as having this "hold" over. I wanted to show there are elements that exist within WMA that reproduce these effects of a meditative mind without even presenting that as what is being done.

    My main paper deals a lot more with Flow states and fleshes out a deeper level of WMA training and practice still providing some pretty cool cognitive effects or ASCs even though no one stands around going "do hip escapes until you are mindless, then the hip escape will become you."

    Now I've done no full research into Zen, because I wanted to keep it focused more on these flow states etc within a Western viewpoint, which was the goal :). But why the focus? Because a lot of the Abrahamic traditions don't openly deal with meditative thought processes, and altered states outside of quite full on aspects (visions and all that jazz).

    If you guys are keen, I'd be happy to post the main work. I'm not sure if I should split it off from this thread though? I've been contemplating for a while submitting it as an article to the site. Deadmeat had a good read of it, had some nice things to say, I think it would stimulate further discussion and I'm interested to see practitioners views on it as well (outside of the people I've talked to at training).
    Last edited by Mr.Miyagi; 3/24/2012 3:34am at . Reason: Last element.
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    Miyagi: Feeling correct.

    Daniel: You sure know how to make a guy feel confident.

    Miyagi: You trust the quality of what you know, not quantity.

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