At 9:37 AM the cell phone rang. The regional Vice President requested I come play golf with him the following day. Ah yes, the business thing.
Normally I honor such requests, but there was on little problem: I literally haven’t played golf in fourteen years. So, I scrounged through the storage and found my father’s set of Wilson clubs. Ah, the magic of the clubs, the finely crafted steel as they glittered in the light.
From a Buddhist perspective, what I am to do? Fourteen years are a long time. Will this event be more suffering or will I find the true pinnacle of golf and Buddhism, that everything is connected. From a ‘Karma’ viewpoint, will this be the Buddhist law of cause and effect, where every shot has an effect? Every action I do causes a ripple in the cosmos, ending either in the water, the sand, the green or the back of some vehicle’s rear windshield?
Maybe I can call in sick. “Hack,” my throat states … “Oh God, I feel a bad one. Hack!” Maybe it will rain. But as I glance at the weather forecast, it’s clear for forever. Rain is only a century away.
So I pluck a three (3) wood, a five (5) iron, pitching wedge and short wedge from the bag and throw them into my car. Peace to my body, as I state ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ while driving fifteen minutes to the driving range. I shelled out twelve (12) bucks for eighty (80) practice range golf balls. Exit the pro shop left and head for a place where no one can see.
Hiding behind the evergreen I drop one range ball onto the green practice mat. I limber up and beg the Gods for wisdom by quoting from Baggar Vance:
“Yep, inside each and every one of us is one true, authentic swing.
Something we was born with, that’s ours…
…and ours alone. Something can’t be taught to you or learned.
Something that got to be remembered.
Over time, the world can rob us of that swing…
…and get buried inside us under…
…all our woulda’s and coulda’s, and shoulda’s.
Don’t worry about the ball or where it’s gonna go…
Just swing the club.
Close your eyes.
– Close my… – You can’t make that ball go in.
You have to let it.
Feel the club. Feel the weight of the club.
A deep perfect line. Dropping in, soft as butter.
Listen to the sounds of the night. Keep swinging that club.
Feel the breeze coming off the sea.
Inside every one of us is one true, authentic swing.
Keep swinging that club…
…until you’re part of the whole thing.
Something we was born with.”
I step up, repeated ‘Om mani padme hum.’ Swinging easy, ‘whack,’ as the ball glided perfectly down the middle of the fairway. Ah, I said, we are all interconnected.