Tiger Woods ReligionIn case you didn’t see today’s Tiger Woods “press conference”, it was an interesting event to say the least. Tiger came out and definitely spoke from what appeared to be his heart - that is if we can believe him after his lies of the past. While I’ve heard that he followed Buddhism that his mom taught him, today was the first time I’ve heard him bring up the topic on his own. Until today, I thought Tiger’s religion, or religions, were golf and making money so this new religion was interesting to hear from my perspective.
Obviously Tiger isn’t the first athlete to bring up his religion as a means to remove himself from a difficult situation. However, he might be the first US athlete to bring up Buddhism as the means to return to being a good person. What is Buddism and why does anyone think Tiger Woods religion be important to his salvation?
Buddism is largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha who was a teacher in India during sometime between the 4th and 6th centuries. The foundations of Buddhist tradition and practice are the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the community). Taking "refuge in the triple gem" has traditionally been a declaration and commitment to being on the Buddhist path and in general distinguishes a Buddhist from a non-Buddhist. Other practices may include renouncing conventional living and becoming a monastic, support of the monastic community, meditation, cultivation of mindfulness and wisdom, study of scriptures, physical exercises, devotion and ceremonies. Buddism is estimated to be the world’s 4th largest religion behind Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.
So how does this all apply to the life that Tiger has lived up until this moment of desperation. First and foremost, any discussion of the life that Tiger has lived must include his enormous charitable foundation and the good work that it does to teach children to do the right things – it appears he should have been a student himself. In terms of Tiger’s religion, it appears that Tiger has always renounced traditional living as very few of us know the lifestyle of private jets, $100 million yachts, and multiple mansions – his lifestyle is the ULTRA rich lifestyle which seems a departure from Buddhism. As for becoming “monastic”, this is probably the most outrageous part of the religion as Tiger has made nearly $1 billion and has never lived the life of giving away his fortune and devoting himself to the teaching of the religion. There are many religions that have some forms of similar vows of “renouncing worldly goods” but Tiger Woods religion has been capitalism so this seems like an odd time to bring it up unless you are trying to get out of trouble through religion as a “marketing” tool.
What role does Tiger Woods religion play in his life from now on? Taking out the obvious ways he will not be a traditional buddist, it appears the opportunity lies within being mindful as well as showing devotion to his family – wife specifically. Meditation is probably something that Tiger has already practiced as evidenced by the calm he shows on the golf course in pressure situations. What this all comes down to is Tiger sorry for getting caught or will Tiger’s religion be a path to becoming a better person. Only time will tell, as Tiger’s wife told him, so this episode will only be the first chapter of a new life’s work and I hope that he can do the right thing.