Sacred Hoops Essay

1566 Words Apr 22nd, 2007 7 Pages
Phil Jackson coached the Chicago Bulls basketball team to one of the longest winning streaks in professional sports. In his book, Sacred Hoops, he describes his approach to coaching a group of acknowledged stars. He clearly understands that simply collecting a set of outstanding players does not a championship team make. One way of understanding his approach is to think of every problem or project having components in four different spheres:
1. Mental, logical, scientific, technical
2. Systems or how the parts all connect and interact
3. Emotional, feelings, intuition
4. Ethical, spiritual and issues of being.
(Aristotle identified three of these so we call this view of problems Aristotle's Insight. Email us if you'd like a handout
…show more content…
I've been throwing basketballs for almost as long as I have been sitting. At about the same time that I began to sit regularly I started attending a Keep Fit evening class where basketball is the staple diet. So most Thursday evenings will see me along with a group of similarly middle aged and slightly overweight (?) men running up and down a gym trying to throw a ball into a suspended basket.
So what has this to do with Zen?
Firstly, most people understand the idea of the 'zen moment' when some seemingly complex series of actions acquire a unity that is beyond thought and intention. I have experienced some of these moments in several ways and the most usual involves throwing a basketball at a basket and it going in without touching the ring. Hand, eye, ball, air, arch, basket; - hold a gesture of oneness. Then when a ball goes in a basket free of the ring a different sound is produced in the mesh of the basket - a sort of ttccssshhh. That sound defines the moment, for it somehow always happens in silence; a silence instantly broken by my triumphant "Yeeesssss". When opposites arise the Buddha mind is lost (but 2 points are scored).
And this book? Well, Phil Jackson is the coach of a professional basketball team known as the Chicago Bulls and he is a Zen practitioner. In fact he bases his coaching method on Zen principles, including the practice of meditation. In the book Jackson tells his story of an upbringing in an overbearing Christian home, the

Related Documents