chapter  10
12 Pages

Zen, Movement and Sports: Focusing on the Quality of Experiencing

ByIRENA MARTÍNKOVÁ, JIM PARRY

At fi rst glance, it may seem inappropriate to attempt to connect Zen and sports. To a layperson in the West,2 Zen Buddhism is often considered a mystical religion that has nothing to do with the development of the human body and movement. On the other hand, to a Zen practitioner, it would seem unsuitable to associate Zen with sport and its promotion of development through competition, since this is antithetical to Zen’s view of reality. How then can Zen and sport be reconciled? If we wish to relate these two approaches to human development, we need to set aside the abovementioned prejudices and discover what the two have in common. The common basis of Zen and sport which we shall propose, and with which we shall work in this text, is the focus on practice and the quality of experiencing.