Sports

A New Appreciation for Sports

Dear Editor: Thank you for the Jan/Feb 2017 issue, “On Competition.” Each of the articles gave me something new to think about. I know Jay Thatcher, so I especially enjoyed what he had written. But aside from the personal connection, I found his essay, “Prophets on the Field of Play,” profound. Weeks later, I continue to re-read it and think about his ideas.

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Prophets on the Field of Play

Competition has a bleak reputation among Friends. It brings out extremes in people, and Friends are inclined toward moderation. For some competitors, the demands of adversity arouse a vile nature in them, and Friends would rather ignore our shadow sides. However, for most of us, particularly most children and youth, our most extreme selves also express the best in us.

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Focus and Immersion in Present Experience

Waiting for sunrise on a desert morning this March, my focus came to the inward Truth only. I had walked in darkness with a quiet dog to a saddle between two hills in the middle of the Mojave Desert Preserve. In wild lands, especially in dry lands, I find less cumber between God and me. I can feel a presence in my middle. With Light arriving, I reflect on my feelings and what I’m led to do.

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Quakers, Sport, and Being in the Zone

It is surprising to me that so few Friends do sports. For me, doing a sport and going to Quaker meeting are of the same intention and compulsion. If I don’t do something physical for a few days, my body hurts. If I don’t center regularly into meditation, either in a group or by myself, I feel out of sorts. For me, Quaker meeting and sports are both essential parts of an authentic life.

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