Jerry Lynch, author of the upcoming The Competitive Buddha, has posted a new blog post on his new book, take a look!
I include this Foreword to my next book because it really matters that Steve is aligned
with this thinking. It inspired me to think that my work reaches all levels of performance. I hope you enjoy
In 1992, early in my NBA playing career, I was lost. I was a marginal player, in my 4th season, hanging onto my position with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I was good enough to make it in the NBA, but I couldn’t get out of my own way. I needed to trust myself and my abilities, to let loose and really go for it. Instead I found myself in a constant state of caution, in ‘don’t make a mistake’ mode, and my game suffered.
My best friend on the team, Danny Ferry, knew I was struggling, and he told me about a book he had been reading, called ‘Thinking Body, Dancing Mind,’ by Jerry Lynch. Danny suggested that I read it as a way of finding the rhythm and flow that I was searching for. At the time I really didn’t know much about Eastern philosophy, so when I learned about Taoism and how it was really just a practical guide to a simple, clear way of living and being, I was intrigued. After all, my own mind was severely clouded with thoughts of failure in my career, and all I really wanted was to let myself play without interference.
Thinking Body, Dancing Mind became a crucial element in my development that year as an athlete and as a person. The book was filled not only with Taoist wisdom, but with practical techniques that I was able to apply to my training on the basketball court every day. With this new approach to my career, I was able to break through that season with one of the best stretches of my career. I started the final 15 games or so for a very good Cleveland team, and I felt freer than I had ever felt on the court. In fact, the basket never looked so big to me in my entire life! Raising my level of play so dramatically helped to increase my stock around the league, and I would go onto play another 11 seasons in the NBA.
Just as importantly, reading Jerry’s book – and later meeting him – changed the way I thought about sports and life in general. I began to realize how much power existed in the delicate balance between the mind and the body. Playing for the Bulls was where I ultimately felt that intersection most strongly, because while Michael Jordan brought an almost maniacal physical competitiveness to the gym every day, Phil Jackson brought a sense of calm and mindfulness. This beautiful balance served as the foundation of those championship Bulls teams, and as my worlds and thoughts continued to collide, it was not a surprise to find that Jerry Lynch and Phil Jackson were friends who shared a deep connection through this evolved yet ancient way of thinking and being. Through Phil, Jerry and I began our own friendship – one that has lasted for more than 25 years. Every season during our trips to the west coast, I would see Jerry and his family and we would catch up on his latest books, my family and career happenings and everything in between.
The decades have passed and times have changed, but Jerry and I have remained in touch, and now, ironically, we are both in the business of helping people find the best versions of themselves. For me, what began as a lesson in new ways of thinking about playing and competing back in my early 20’s has evolved into a full philosophy of coaching in my mid 50’s. Having been blessed with the amazing opportunity to lead the Golden State Warriors the past six seasons, my staff and I have instituted a core philosophy that is built on finding the balance between competition and joy. Jerry, meanwhile, has written a book that jibes perfectly with my vision for the Warriors, called ‘The Competitive Buddha.’ The book exhibits Jerry’s quest to use sports to teach Buddhist values like connection, selflessness, compassion, patience and love, and THEN how Buddhist wisdom can foster healthy, competitive masterful performance environments in sports, business and life. I think this is Jerry’s best book yet, and it’s not by accident. Jerry is a lifelong learner – which I also aspire to be – and a lifetime of living and learning has led to his beautiful work about Buddha for better sports and sports for learning the Buddha – a two way street that ultimately is about helping people find joy and contentment in their craft and in their life.
Enjoy your journey, continue learning and seeking knowledge, and find wisdom and contentment as you travel down your own path. Peace.
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.