Phil Jackson And Buddhism Essay

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Buddhism is a major Asian religion studied and practiced in countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Although Buddhism is a growing religion throughout the world, in particular, the practice of meditation is spreading in the West. The United States has a center for Buddhists in Hawaii and New York and also a Buddhist community has been established in California. (Hewitt, 13-14) But even closer to home for most is the practicing of Zen Buddhism on the basketball court by former Chicago Bulls and present Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson. In this essay I will discuss how Jackson has incorporated some of the practices of Zen Buddhism into his and the players of his teams lives and how it has been effective for the…show more content…
It’s often an uphill fight. The ego-driven culture of basketball, and society in general, militates against cultivating this kind of selfless action, even for members of a team whose success as individuals in tied directly to the group performance. Our society places such a high premium on individual achievement, it’s easy for players to get blinded by their own self-importance and lose a sense of interconnectedness, the essence of teamwork.”
In this passage Jackson incorporates some very important fundamental Buddhist ideas. One of the aspects of the Eightfold Path, or the “Middle Way”, which Buddha said was the cure of suffering, Right Thought is the basis of this statement. In the introductive book Buddhism Catherine Hewitt spends three pages (4-6) discussing the aspects of the Eightfold Path. She says that Right Thought is when Buddhists, “strive to think unselfishly and compassionately.” Jackson is saying that in our Western way of living, the self is everything. We are constantly worried about how things will effect us (ourselves) instead of as a community, society, or team; where we are going and for others to get out of our way not thinking that they might have somewhere to be too; and also in reflection of the team structure, how we are going to make that

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