I just saw a news clip of a Buddhist monk talking about how Tiger Woods should have gone to church (and since he is Buddhist, a Buddhist Church of course), and if he had gone, he would not be doing this sin and that. Yikes, that monk was on fire. I’m not so sure where this monk is getting his sense of sin.Maybe I missed that lecture myself since I don’t attend the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temple.
I mean yeah, Tiger Woods cheated, and hurt a lot of friends, family, and fans, but in the end the one who is really suffering? He is. And judging from the transcript of his speech (I don’t need to see the video) its pretty clear that he knows that he made a huge mistake. We can label his actions as stupid, or what not, but the bottom line is this – he knows he created his own suffering, and he knows that his actions made others suffer as well. Endless suffering like a virus.
Now, is there really sin in Buddhism? Not Really. Yeah, you can be the cause of bad happenings, and it can spiral downward, or you can do good things and it will spiral upward. There are no laws, per say, but pointers to keeping the mind in right livelihood. But sins suggest that a lightening bolt, or someone judging you when your life is over. There is no judgement day, or someone banning you to hell. You live with the suffering everyday Now, not some future event. This kind of sin seems ripe for pointing a finger at other people, and in essence trying to control them to be a certain way. In the end, perhaps Tiger Woods was unconsciously playing with fire and wanted to be caught.Perhaps he knew he was not in alignment with his own “stillness.”
I don’t know the answer, but it seems that his mistakes have forced himself to point the finger at himself. Instead of being responsible for just himself, I think he has a deeper understanding that he is deeply interconnected to the world, and that he must take responsibility for…well, everything.
In the end, he is human. And enlightenment cannot be achieve without mistakes. And sometimes, the bigger mistake the better the teacher the mistake is.
I’m cheering Tiger and his family on to keep exploring his/their spiritual side. His Apology is a great example of soemone willing to work on himself. Yeah, there are lawsuits coming I’m sure, but life is suffering, and life is a great teacher that pushes us to find stillness in the midst of all the suffering.
If anything I am learning from Tiger’s apology. He’s a great example of someone with all the fame, money, opportunities, and access, but none of those things (form) ever amount to being aligned with his love of everyone and his being.
I think things are spiraling up for Tiger. Now, if I can only get into watching golf…