Friday, July 3, 2009

Friends Meeting, Part 2

At our recent Friends Meeting, Richard shared a poem he wrote about Tiger Woods.

Richard started practicing meditation about a year ago. He was a little surprised to find that poetry began to flow out of him. There's probably a connection.

He wrote this poem about the ability to concentrate (an ability meditation can improve) in the game of golf. Richard loves walking—that's how we met—but he also likes to golf.

what was tiger thinking

what was tiger thinking
on the 18th green?
make it and I win
make it and fame is mine
make it and riches are mine
make it and they will cheer


tiger saw the ball
on the green smooth expanse
saw the cup
and saw an imaginary line
he felt the breeze on his neck
felt his feet planted firmly
felt breath flowing softly
the soft feel of the putter
pressing gently in his palms

nothing but the ball
the cup
and the line
and the soft sound of the ball
rattling in the bottom

—Richard Nichols

Richard has his own blog, too. You can see more of his art and poetry here:

Tomorrow I'll share another contribution from the group.


Margaret Pangert said...

That poem shows a lot of insight. I tried Toastmasters at one time for poise, and the first thing they tell you is to be aware of your feet firmly planted on the floor. The second thing was to recognize the flow of breath and only speak on breathing out. Yes, Tiger must have tremendous focus and concentration. I unerstand Asian mothers are very calm and don't rush their children; that must have helped him, too. Perfect example of mindfulness.

Katherine said...

Lovely poem from a fellow blogger. I'm enjoying catching up on all the 'thoughts of Dan' that I missed recently. I especially enjoyed reading your honest scrap 8.

Dan Gurney said...

Margaret, I've heard the same about Asian mothers. I don't know if it's really true, but I heard that in Bali, mothers HOLD their babies next to their bodies for the first 6 months of their lives. Wow! That would make for much more secure infants, don't you think?

Rushing kids through childhood (something our culture SPECIALIZES in) is spectacularly counterproductive. This is a common theme over on my Mister Kindergarten blog.

Dan Gurney said...


Yes, well, the doomsday thoughts I have swirl around our situation ecologically.

I find that I worry a great deal (and probably talk too much) about how we humans are treating the biosphere. I'm probably not as alone in this worry as I think I am.

Alden Smith (Nick name - Pal) said...

Yes Tiger concentrates on the moment, mindfulness, that's why he is so very good.

steven said...

hi dan, when i speak to new teachers i tell them about teaching and about watching and listening to myself teach as i am teaching. they ask "is that like an out-of-body experience?" and i answer truthfully, "no, it's like an out of mind experience" which makes them laugh. what i wish to share with them is that the act of being (much like the act of putting a golfball) isn't an entirely goal-oriented piece.
have a peaceful day. steven

Dan Gurney said...

My friend, Richard, who wrote this poem keeps telling me that meditation seems to improve his golf game. Monday he shot a 74, his second best score in his life. (He's 65 years young.)

I tell Richard that benefits like getting better at golf are beside the point.

He knows that.

Dan Gurney said...

Steven, I experience transcendent moments while teaching quite a lot, but I don't like to talk about them much, because as you say, I'm concerned people think I've lost my mind, which I have, actually.

What age do you teach?