A Typical Story of a Golfing Monk
I started playing golf when I was about 13. My father had recently been bitten by the golf-bug, so he bought me a half-set of clubs and we would golf together every now and again, and on family holidays around our native Scotland he had an excuse to play, saying he was taking me out.
I enjoyed golf, I enjoyed it’s history, I borrowed golf books from the library and fantasised about being a great player. But the problem was that I wasn’t particularly good at it, (or so I believed).
So when punk rock came along in 1979 I sold my clubs and saved enough money to buy an electric guitar. After all, there was more chance of meeting girls if I was in a band – right? As it turned out, no! But my clubs were sold and golf just became something I watched every now and again on TV.
In the mid 90’s I became interested in yoga, meditation and natural therapies, and trained as a practitioner. It fascinated me how the mind was the biggest factor in the healing process, and how important attitude was in whether life was experienced as a blessing or a curse.
Personally I devoted many hours per week to meditation and yoga, becoming a happier, more productive, loving and relaxed person. My spiritual journey became my driving force. I began to experience such profound states of joy and inner peace that I realised I wanted to share this with others.
This culminated in me becoming an Ishaya monk in 2003, taking vows and receiving my spiritual name, Mahadeva Ishaya. I then spent six months on retreat in the mountains of Canada and trained to become a teacher of the Ishayas’ Ascension meditation (the techniques which had profoundly helped me).
After graduation I returned to the UK and a desire surfaced to start playing golf again. I was keen to get out on a golf course and have some fun. So I got my credit card out and bought myself a new set of clubs, thrilled in anticipation of the delights that lay in store…
Back to golf
After a six month retreat my life was filled with feelings of peace and calm. I was happy and contented.
And then I went on the golf course!
Holy s**t! All of a sudden my mind became a very noisy place. There were just too many voices in there – a voice telling me that I was useless, a voice that was trying to coach me, there were a ton of swing-thoughts, there was an “I hope no-one is looking” voice. It was way too busy!
Fortunately I was able to put into practice what I had learned from my meditation training and I discovered that I was able to detach from the voices and find a quiet place inside of myself. In fact that still space grew until the voices were like a TV playing in another room – audible, but not intrusive. This state enabled me to play my game, and golf became something I truly enjoyed and loved.
Golf for me has become an exploration, a source of enjoyment and expression, something free from internal judgement and criticism. A round of golf is an opportunity to play – not many people play golf with a playful spirit, but when the inner-critic is silenced the game opens up to a different level.
Golf In The Moment
My experience led me to develop Golf In The Moment as a means to help all of us who play golf to connect with that Silence. As is mentioned in other parts of this site, we have all had the experience (on and off the course) where we are fully present, we are out of our own way, and things flow amazingly well.
Through Golf In The Moment the main focus is on the teaching of The Ishayas Ascension meditation. It’s the most powerful thing I have ever come across.
Golf is one of my big loves. The parallels between the game and life are extraordinary, and it has given me enormous opportunities to learn, meet new friends, have fun and to explore awareness.