Zen of Disc Golf (from PDGA geocities website courtesy of "the Chas".)
ZEN DISC GOLF
Disc Golf and Zen are one in the same. Buddha was the true inventor of the game of golf, and disc golf is no exception. Because the game is a metaphor for life, which is a metaphor for Zen." The game and the philosophy, or "The Way," are both about internal peace and understanding.
Most of us think we have a grasp of our ability, but, honestly, we don't. We find ourselves in bad positions and our first instinct is to attempt the miracle throw, often with a result that falls well short of a miracle. We all understand that we shouldn't attempt throws like these. Yet, we do it all the time. Why is it such an assault to our egos to play the smart throw? The fact of the matter is that we think we're better than we are. We think we can walk onto the course, without having thrown a disc for a week (or more), and esecute throws that even the pros would think twice about.
For some of us, the process of learning disc golf takes us on a path that seems to come to a dead end. All the study and practice doesn't lead to an unshakeable confidence and peace of mind about one's game as one might expect. Instead, most of us find ourselves afraid of and angry with our game and ourselves. Few players seem to both enjoy their game and play up to their potential. It is possible to play disc golf with joy while also seeing your level of performance effortlessly go well beyond what you have known before.
The most important thing is to learn to "see" your game and yourself in a completely different way. We approach disc golf the way we do because we believe it works well. But, if you were to "see" that most, if not all of what we try to do on the course is counterproductive, if not destructive, you would begin to doubt the whole way you go about it, and be on your way to a radically different experience.
One needs to discover what is happening behind what we are trying to do. In the background of our effort is something else, something totally integrated and aware which can completely change the way we experience our gane.
All of us have gone out to play one day and found our game has abandoned us to such a degree that no matter what we try, it fails. Because of the good manners of the game, and perhaps because of the pressure we perceive coming from playing partners, we are forced to continue. Angry and embarrassed, we go on at wits end. Suddenly and precisely at the moment when we "give up trying", we go from making a fool of ourselves to playing quite well thank you. When I did this for the first time I went from making bogeys and double bogeys to parring. Naturally, without any way to look at this experience in a way different from what I had been doing before, I ignored what was being shown me.
Again, under pressure many of us have seen someone or ourselves line up a three-foot side hill putt from all directions, carefully take our stance, making sure we are perfectly in line, and then proceed to miss the putt. Angry and flustered, we emerge from our carefully taken stance and, on one foot, reach across and make the putt without any thought at all. At this point, I would reassure myself that I could do it after all - that I knew what I was doing. It was only years later that I noticed that I had nothing to do with making the putt like that. I was too busy being angry and embarrassed, and trying not to act as if others were watching. For a split second something happened and the disc hit the target without me. I had to ask myself how?
There is a "source" at our disposal that we can make use of. This source is neither far away, nor is it beyond any of us. It is powerful, confident, unafraid and a great deal of fun. It can completely change the way you experience the game. You will find yourself playing beyond what you thought was possible, having a great deal of fun and feeling greatly inspired