“In a Zone”

Watching a preview of the upcoming Wimbledon tennis championship the other day, I watched Roger Federer being interviewed about his experiences at Wimbledon (much happier than at Roland Garros, I presume). He talked about ‘being in a zone.’ “When you are in the zone, you don’t pay attention to who you are playing with or whether you are making the right shot or whatever, you are only aware of the tennis only,” he seemed to be saying something like this, as far as I remember.

I understand his point. And this is much like being in a meditative state. When we practice meditation, the goal is just to be in this state that Federer is talking about. It is a very alert state, very mindful, very wakeful. There is no chance that dukkha (or suffering, but an alternative translation is ‘unsatisfactoriness’) can enter your sense doors if you are in this state. So when Federer is being very sharp on the tennis court, we can also be very sharp during the meditation. I remember Phakchok Rinpoche say that when you are meditating you have to be like an eagle watching the field for preys. He is of course not advocating that we hunt preys, but the point is that we need to be as alert and wakeful as the eagle. Instead of watching for preys, we watch for any possibility that the defilements will come through our eyes, ears, nose and so on. This is also like Federer watching the tennis ball when he is playing (or should I be talking about Nadal instead? 🙂 )


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