Jerry Lynch, author of the upcoming The Competitive Buddha, has written a new blog post on the late Kobe Bryant, his legacy, his mentality, and much more- read Jerry’s post here.
What many do not know is that the late, great Kobe Bryant was a daily meditator. His mentality, as well, was very much like the Buddha mind. Here is an excerpt from my next book, out in Spring and now available at Amazon pre-order.
I was smack dab in the middle of writing this section of the book, “Buddha Brain, Sports Mind” when I received the heartbreaking news that Kobe Bryant left this world with his daughter Gianna and seven other friends in a devastating helicopter crash. This unfortunate loss awakened in me how Kobe, indeed, was more of a Buddha than most ever knew. I immediately had the thought that I wanted somehow to honor this iconic athlete’s life and his mission which was to impact the world of the female athlete. I choose to take various aspects of his character and mentality and integrate them into the content of this book in an appropriate way. I was talking to one of Kobe Bryant’s close friends recently, George Mumford, and he encouraged me to follow through with this idea, come from my heart and let my intuition do the writing with no pretension and put my ego aside. The outcome was the new title for this pivotal section PART TWO, now called “Buddha Brain, Mamba Mind.” By doing this I hope to promote his legacy and inspire you to embrace what is now called the “Mamba Mentality,” a variation on the theme of THE COMPETITIVE BUDDHA.
Let me begin this section with a word about the Buddha Brain, which believes that life and performance in sports is all about our thoughts. If you change your thoughts you change your life and performance. If you wish to take charge and experience mastery, your thoughts must align with your vision. In this section I present impeccable, time-honored Buddhist truths that will influence your thoughts and help create an environment of mastery that supports that vision. But something else is essential to achieve mastery. You must connect the Buddha Brain with the power of the Mamba Mind.
Where the brain is the physical organ in the head manufacturing all thought, the mind is the physical brain plus the body, the world you inhabit and all of your essential being and culture coming together to develop your mentality, a mind-set that helps define masterful performance. It is a behavioral package that results in particular ways of going about a certain task. This is where the Mamba Mind gets interesting.
Kobe’s brain apparently was marinated in most of the Buddha values that I present in this section during his long career thanks to his connection with Phil Jackson and George Mumford. Therefore, he developed a way of performing on the court and in life and brilliantly labeled it the Mamba Mentality. This mentality drove him on a constant quest to find answers. He had an endless curiosity to figure things out. His approach, like Buddha Sports athletes, was all about the process and his belief and trust in the wisdom of diligence…he worked hard. He refused to harbor fear about results and focused instead on the Buddhist concept of being present now. He believed in intentional practice. It didn’t matter what others thought about him. He followed the Eightfold Path’s teachings especially Right Action, Right Thought, Right Effort, Right Livelihood, Right Mindfulness, and
Right View. In order to perfect his craft, he acted in faith of his convictions. Kobe was an unusual person who, to the time of his death, took refuge in his practice of daily meditation. His intention was to practice being the best version of himself daily, one of the strongest hallmarks of the Buddha athlete.
The Mamba mind is the Zen mind or beginner’s mind, made up of the list of values and thoughts of this section. It is a child’s mind free of judgment, free of fear and free of expectation. When athletes and others experience this mind-set, they feel a sense of divine liberation. It is only then, when we control our Buddha Brain thoughts, that the state of mastery can be attained.
THE PATH OF MASTERY
Speaking of mastery, here are a few thoughts to better help you to gain a perspective on the Buddha Sports concept of mastery. There is no path to mastery; mastery is the path. It is a state of mind achieved through a consistent day-by-day lifestyle of high-level, intentional practice of your sport or other activity. In Buddhist teaching, practice is the way of mastery. This path is often a thousand miles or more but it begins with a single, high-quality first step called intentional preparation. Focusing on this single act alone is considered mastery. And that movement is repeated over and over and over until you feel it is time to move ahead.
Practice as if you are preparing for the national championship or perhaps an important talk or presentation. Prepare as if it were your last chance to prove your level of competency. It takes courage to prepare consistently in practice with game time mastery and intensity. The Buddha Brain and Mamba Mind will help you to achieve this.
Mastery means “time in the saddle,” a consistent, gradual, continual and intentional preparation. It is a principle easily learned. I have prepared well to write this book by diligently exercising my Buddha Brain and Mamba Mind for thousands of hours over a thirty-year span. However, this can only be accomplished when there is love, passion and joy for the work you do. Kobe had this in his life. Mastery in all of life is only possible when these three heart-felt values are present. When they are, the sky’s the only limit and you experience mastery.
How to Up Your Game in Sports, Leadership and Life
Connect Spirituality to Sports. The Competitive Buddha is about mastery, leadership, and spirituality. Learn what you need to keep, what you need to discard, and what you need to add to your mental, emotional, and spiritual skill set as an athlete, coach, leader, parent, CEO, or any other performer in life. Understand how Buddhism can help you to be better prepared for sports and life, and how sports and life can teach you about Buddhism. Discover how people from all parts of the world have brought together the Buddha and athletics for greater fun, enjoyment, and pleasure during their performances. Dr. Jerry Lynch demonstrates how certain timeless core Buddha values inspire you to embrace and navigate unchartered waters, and understand the Buddha-mind and the Kobe Bryant Mamba Mentality.