“When you lose your swing, just come back.”
This is my golf koan. From the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a koanis “A puzzling, often paradoxical statement, anecdote, question, or verbal exchange used in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and a means of gaining spiritual awakening.”
The actual Eastern koanis “When you lose your mind, come back.” The origin of the koan comes from teachings about meditation. It is intended as guidance in that “when your mind and your thoughts drift to the past or future – anything other than the present moment (as thoughts will naturally do) – just come back to the breath or the body or whatever the focus is during meditation to achieve peace, silence and serenity.”
Can we transition this koan to our golf game? Sure, simply, “When you lose your swing, just come back.” You may ask, “Come back from what, and come back to what?
When you feel like you are ‘losing’ your swing, just come back from analytical and judgmental thoughts, and come back to feel. What do I feel in my body? What can I feel in my body? Can I come back to what I feel in my hands during my golf swing? I know it’s the only direct connection I have with the golf ball. Can I come back to the simplicity of focusing on the 6 inches before and after impact with the golf ball? Can I come back to the feel of pure impact I’ve experienced with short chip and pitch shots?
As in meditation, can I come back to the present moment, empty of any analytical thoughts? Can I let go of any thoughts about the mechanics of my golf swing? Can I come back to my body? Can I come back to feel?!?