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The Peaceful Mind
"A mind at peace, a mind focused on not harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe." That's quite an awareness to have when you're playing.
I was enlightened recently to an interesting analogy of what the mind is really like. Imagine yourself standing at the shores of the ocean - the waves crashing to the shore, seagulls fly and the majestic feeling that goes along with just being there. Now, if you were to take a picture of the ocean, as you look at that picture, you would be looking at a good representation of what your body is likened to. It is a moment, a frozen moment in time if you will. The ocean, that vast ominous creation is in fact more like your mind. It is full of so much power, so much untapped potential and beyond anything in this world. It is beyond anything that we think we know.
With the exception of a few gifted teachers and scientists, the mind goes virtually untapped by humanity. Some of this world's most gifted teachers tap into this pure natural power that our mind has potential for. Understanding what these teachings are all about can help us so much in that frozen moment in time which we call our life. It will, of course, help you not only during a round of golf, but some of what has been taught over the centuries by teachers like Jesus, Buddha and the Maharashi. It will help you untangle the stresses that life brings.
The big thing is this "I" consciousness. If "I" am always here and now, why do I not feel like I am? The body does not say, "I am." It is you who say, "I am the body." Find out who this "I" really is. By seeking its source it will vanish. If you can understand that, then the statement, "If you had the faith of a mustard seed you could move a mountain," starts to make sense. It is why Jesus could pull off miracles. He was simply less self-consciousness.
I bring these spiritual issues up in order to achieve your "outside" goals. For these to be met, the goals on your "inside" need to be in line with them. Sometimes we refer to these as material goals, but they could be a simple golfing goal like breaking 70 or 80. If you want such goals to materialize, your inside has to be in line with your outside.
This brings us back to the opening quote about "a mind at Peace." It is how you align your insides that matters the most.
There are moments in golf when gifted athletes like Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus have called upon these uncharted oceans we call the mind. They become what we are sometimes led to believe "superhuman." We have all witnessed it; you only have to watch the Masters' commercials as Tiger prowls up to the ball headed towards the cup at No. 16. Was it his super-humanness or did he tap into the mind that's like the ocean? Was he aligned on his insides? These are interesting questions in this day and age of enlightenment and metaphysical thinking.
I, for one, am a believer. A believer that when you get yourself aligned on your insides with peace and love for this blessing, you can move a mountain, not to mention a golf ball.
Bill Bondaruk is a PGA Class A member and the director of instruction at Catta Verdera Country Club in Lincoln, Calif. He was named the 2006 Northern California Teacher of the Year. Billy learned the principals of golf by such legendary luminaries as Eddie Merrins, Jerry Barber, Paul Runyan, Mike Austin, Ben Doyle, Mac O'Grady, Jim McLean, Mike Labauve, Scott Sackett and his father.
Bondaruk started playing golf and caddying at age 7 at Franklin Park Golf Course in Boston. He played for the University of Massachusetts golf team while pursuing studies in Biomechanics. He took his game to the upper levels at age 24. He's played in over 100 tournaments on various mini tours, including the Hogan Tour in 1990. He was a Benson & Hedges Tour member in Mexico 1992-93, and was a second stage qualifier for the PGA Tour in 1995.
His playing highlights: two-time winner on the NGA Tour, 1985 Arizona; two-time winner on the Sun Belt Tour 1989, Phoenix; winner of the North Atlantic Tour 1991, Massachusetts; winner of the Northern California Section Apprentice Championship 1995; runner-up in the Western States Apprentice Championship 1993, Palm Desert Calif., and Mass State Open in 1996.
After traveling on the mini tours, Bill began teaching at a few world-renowned golf schools such as John Jacobs, Jim McLean, and Scott Sackett's Resort Golf.
He came to Catta Verdera by way of Tucson, where he was the Director of Instruction at Arizona National, Canoa Hills, San Ignacio Golf Club and worked as an instructor for the University of Arizona men's and women's golf teams. Among the Tour pros, sports celebrities and collegiate stars he's worked with are Glen Day, Lorena Ochoa, Natalie Gulbis, Ricky Barnes and Scott McCarran.
Billy's book, "The 7 Myths of Golf," is a video-enhanced web-based learning system, complete with e-lesson capability. The "The 7 Myths of Golf" (visit http://www.7mythsofgolf.com) has grown in popularity as it features videos of Tour pros. He is currently a feature writer for PGA.com's "Improve your Game" section and writes for the Press Tribune of Lincoln, Roseville and Grant Bay.
With his background in Biomechanics, Bill is leading the way on how best to teach and learn golf. Above all, he promises to bring joy and enthusiasm to your game.