I’ve never been much of a sports fan so the Olympics have generally passed me by. There is something to be said however about non-duality and sport, even from the weedy kid who always found excuses to get out of PE (Physical Education).
We’ve just finished hosting the biggest sporting event on the planet here in the UK. And the winners and the losers create the kaleidoscope of variety that makes life so vibrant. Sporting success is enjoyed only when there are sporting failures. One team or player wins and another loses. It’s no fun otherwise. It’s much the same in life: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
It seems to me that for both winners and losers a combination of persistence and flexibility is called for. In non-dual terms, we’re taking about the form and the formless, about nothingness and something-ness. Persistence requires effort and physical strength and flexibility calls for trust and letting go.
Life can be an Olympic sport in that it is sometimes made up of Olympic style failures and successes. There can be physical failure of the body, failure of the mind and failure to hold up the story of my life. It’s all part of the dance of the form and the formless, the changing colour of the kaleidoscope that makes life such a rich and diverse experience.
Sometimes we need to keep on keeping on. And that takes persistence and flexibility. It takes physical effort and the effortlessness of breathing, which of course you do not do. It’s done for you. In order to breathe freely, there has to be some trust, some letting go. What is revealed in that letting go is that you were never wholly responsible for anything. Life has it under control, even when you appear not to.
Losing one’s health or one’s mind reveals the formlessness that it all happened in anyway. When life has finished playing at being you or me, it will play at some other game. It’s the greatest and the only game there is. It is the game we are.