A Buddhist Like Richard Gere

I was in Kentucky for five and a half years, and in Indiana for a few years more. There is nothing you can teach me about race I don't already know. On the other hand, I am much less knee-jerk on social issues these days, and more capable of stepping back a little and finding the exotic in the offensive. And having fun has been important all along the way.

Like I would approach students at college freshly back from Spring Break, burns and all, extend out an arm, and say, "You getting there, you getting there."

The school that I attended - I feel like both a high school and a college dropout - you would hear this question: So are you a Christian or are you a Catholic? I grew up Hindu, my family still is, but one year into America and I started calling myself a Buddhist. Other than a few visits to a Buddhist monastery in Bloomington, Indiana, years later and several trips to the Mahayana Temple by the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown in my years in NYC, I have not been able to pursue my Buddhist faith as much as I have wanted to.

But I have long said, at many opportunities I have sought out, "I am a Buddhist, like Richard Gere." There is obvious glamor to that statement.

Now I learn Tiger Woods is a Buddhist. I am going to see some glamor in that statement. I don't watch baseball, football, basketball, golf. I am in solidarity with a lot of women who are made to feel lesser because they might not share the same passion for mind numbing sports. Actually not. My thing is soccer. This is World Cup year. I don't watch golf. But Tiger Woods is Maradona, Michael Jordan, Pele, one of those guys.

Tiger Woods is human excellence, and I have been eternally fascinated by the mix of cultures in his origin.

How have I reacted to the recent bimbo eruptions around his name in the media? A few different ways. It was hard to skip the news. So I did read my fair share of articles. I looked at the pictures of the women. None of them really stood out for me. His wife is more beautiful.

And I took it for granted that it was not possible all the women who surfaced were telling the truth, and nothing but the truth. It is very possible some of the women Tiger had never met, some women he had met who exaggerated the extent of what actually happened. Light bends near the sun. Reality bends around a famous person.

I also tried to look at him as a person going through this. This was between him and his wife. I was not about to pass judgment. I liked his wife going to visit him in rehab. I liked it when she went to pick up their child in Nike gear.

The intense glare of public attention amplified by the media that surrounds someone like Tiger must take its emotional toll. His wife did not try to hit him with a golf club, the apple did not fall on Newton's head. Those two facts we know. So if the wife did not try to hit him with a golf club like the media stories kept repeating, you have to try and differentiate between Tiger's disgressions and media porn. At least a few of the women must have made up and embellished their stories. It is the nature of the beast.

Most important, I am really liking the ending of the story. I am glad Tiger's family is intact. And I am glad he will be back on the golf course. I might even watch some golf here and there.

I am a Buddhist like Tiger Woods: http://twitter.com/paramendra/status/9303470925.
Telegraph: Dalai Lama Admits He Has Never Heard Of Tiger Woods: said he was returning to the Buddhist faith he had practised as a child....... the self-effacing exiled Tibetan monk called his own lack of knowledge about sports of all kinds "my disgrace". ..... he said self-discipline is among Buddhism's highest values and, when it comes to adultery, all religions "have the same idea". ...... In his apology, which was televised worldwide, Woods said he had "lost track" of his Buddhist faith in recent years. ....... "I have a lot of work to do and intend to dedicate myself to doing it. Part of this is Buddhism. Buddhism teaches me to stop following every impulse and to know restraint. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught."
New York Times: Mea Culpa, At Arm’s Length: “Why do they have to know everything?” he asked Jaime Diaz of Golf Digest. At the time, Mr. Woods — Tiger — was 14 years old. ...... Athletes and actors would like for us to focus on the work, while reporters know that their editors and audience want more, because while the work is visible, we want our celebrities to show a little leg. ....... Some wear fame as a loose garment. Mr. Woods wore his as a shirt that was a few sizes too small. ........ “He stopped being impressed by coverage at a very young age, and after that, he became very cold-eyed and wondered, ‘What’s in it for me?’ ” Mr. Diaz said. “He would love to play golf and never have to answer a question.” ....... Mr. Woods has never used his family as accessories on his brand as say, Phil Mickelson has, and he has asked paparazzi to stay away from his children. 

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