Phil Jackson and Buddhism

1854 WordsNov 13, 20008 Pages
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…show more content…
By drawing his mind away from what is going wrong or right, he is able to focus on the real goal instead of letting emotions override. Again this ties in with having unselfish thoughts and compassion as the Eightfold Path says. The way Jackson has his team members perform drills also resembles Zen practice. So that they are able to move like "five fingers on a hand" they must perform a repetitive series of drills that train the players just as the Eightfold Path must be performed in order to reach Enlightenment. Jackson says this is done on not only an experimental level but an intellectual one as well. Because of this "They develop an intuitive feel for how their movements and those of everyone on the floor are interconnected" (Jackson, 91). Not only does Jackson have a tedious set of drills including mediation, poetry, and naps, but he has also developed an undoubtedly clear doctrine to use on everyone to minimize conflict created by the critiquing of the players (91). Here Jackson uses Right Speech "to tell the truth and speak in a way that is helpful" (Hewitt, 5). Not only does Jackson use the teachings of Buddhism, but has officially become a Zen Christian. As already mentioned, a

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