My Buddhist goal for the summer

kobe_philI just finished Phil Jackson’s basketball memoir, Eleven Rings: the Soul of Success, and in it he espoused the Buddhist philosophy of learning to live in the moment. According to Phil (who probably knows a thing or two about basketball), it is essential for successful basketball teams to stay highly focused in each moment of activity. Even the slightest distraction can result in disastrous turnovers and missed opportunities.

If the ability to live in the moment is important for winning a basketball game, I wonder how important it is for winning at life?

In recent years I’ve become tragically inept at living in the moment. In my desire to reach my personal goals and remain highly productive, I have developed the bad habit of never being fully present in a given moment.

  • When I’m coaching soccer, I think about my work that’s piling up.
  • When I’m studying, I feel like I’m not taking enough appointments.
  • During appointments, I fear that I haven’t studied enough.
  • When I’m with my family, my mind races with ideas for my job, and when I’m at my job, I lament the fact that I spend so much time away from my family.

Something needs to change.

Martyred missionary, Jim Elliot, once said, “Wherever you are, be all there. Live every experience you believe to be the will of God to the hilt.”

That’s how I want to live this summer—to the hilt! Whether I’m praying, preaching, counseling, surfing, getting sun burned, or enjoying quiet moments with my family, I want to be all there.

I’m probably not alone with these issues so let’s make this a collective summer goal: to honor God and our loved ones by savoring each moment as it comes instead of ever rushing towards the next task, goal, or event.

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