How Meditation Could Help Tiger Woods
In a recent interview regarding his infidelity, Tiger Woods cited one of the reasons for his evident fall from grace was the fact that he strayed from the Buddhist principles he previously adhered to and respected.
Many have wondered since then what it is about Buddhist philosophy and practice that could have prevented him making the choices he did and taking the path he took.
At the core of Buddhist wisdom is the concept and practise of meditation. There is a lot of evidence that meditation can be beneficial for a variety of issues like high blood pressure, high stress levels, low mood, anxiety, anger and pain.
One of the key factors that leads to infidelity – particularly of a serial nature, as is alleged to have been the case with Tiger Woods – is a form of detachment. Physical pleasure becomes isolated from the emotional self and so its satisfaction becomes almost a biological pursuit. This is the case, to some degree or another, in almost everyone. In fact, we are hard wired in this way. Our DNA is programmed, above all else, to replicate and so this drives us towards reproducing – ideally with multiple partners – from a biological perspective.
Over the millions of years in which we have evolved, however, we have learned increasingly to integrate our emotional side with our physical pleasure circuits. There is a vast difference between the tenderness of a genuine partner and that of a stranger, and even from the earliest years of childhood we learn to appreciate the gentle touch of a loved one.
In cases of serial infidelity, however, this integration is lost to some degree. As a result, emotional need and sexual need become almost separate. The easy satisfaction of the sexual appetite then starts to become a form of stress relief – a quick high – like taking alcohol or a fix of chocolate or a drug. This leads to a viscous cycle in which the stress reliever then fuels more stress, through guilt etc., which leads, in turn, to more indulgence leading to more guilt and so on.Continued on the next page