Finding rhythm

| 1 MINUTE READ | A floating ball and a flying racket

Three years ago, I had a rotator cuff injury on the tennis court that kept me off a game I had just begun to learn and enjoy. When I returned intermittently a few months ago, my stroke play was labored and striving to rediscover itself.

On a recent visit to Goa, I found a coach who worked with me daily over a week. On our first day he saw my focus on the ball and the exertion with which I returned them. He called me to the net and reminded me that Federer played with mindless and effortless ease. I visualized that. The way he gently danced around the court, turning the ball and himself into part of a single dynamic continuum.

I stopped focusing on the trajectory of the ball or planning how to return it and instead relaxed, moved my feet around and started getting into my own rhythm with the ball. As it flew towards me, I began to glide towards it, my hands moved on their own to allow my racket to caress, spin or tap the ball back.

Goals and targets bring a semblance of definition into our daily lives. But as we allow them to consume us, they in turn draw away the spontaneous flow that keeps happiness effortless. Everything we do is an opportunity to allow our own rhythm to express itself.

Tennis players find their time on court meditative for this reason. As their muscle memories unfold, the mind dissolves into the patterns of the body and becomes very quiet. Reminding us of how life itself is meant to be lived.

39 thoughts on “Finding rhythm

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  1. so true — however, repeated efforts and practice get us there to get a sense of rhythm… it is also so well described in a very wise adage – Chapter 47 of the Bhagawad Gita —
    कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन |
    मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि || 47 ||

    karmaṇy-evādhikāras te mā phaleṣhu kadāchana
    mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo ’stvakarmaṇi

    and so well captured in the movie about Golf called The Legend called Bagger Vance… where R-Junnuh (Arjuna:) and Bagger Vance is Bhagawan (Krishna) is loosely scripted around Bhagawad Gita

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing and very true! As the lockdown taught me.. cooking used to be very laboured and tension filled. But daily practice made it almost meditative to the point that it just happening as if I am gliding through it without significant effort! For sure I am enjoying it.

    Thanks Anand, always look forward to your writing!


  3. True.
    In this pandemic era, we have restricted the work load of our domestic help to the barest minimum to avoid any contact and do all the work such as brooming, washing etc ourselves.
    Initially, the work we took upon us seemed a big load.
    Slowly, we realised that this labour was inevitable and an inalienable part of our household duties.
    Now we are at ease and feel much relaxed, whatever is the quantum of work we are at.


  4. Everything we do is an opportunity to allow our own rhythm to express itself- Exactly what I needed at this present moment of my life… thank you so so much for an incredible piece of gift today with your words.


  5. Short and to the point. Relaxing into what the body knows is relaxing for the mind and a great lesson. The body was there long before the cerebral cortex; it probably knows a thing or two we don’t. Great writing.


  6. Philosophy is not just a subject of abstract study but a way of life which belongs to all of us in our life. Our culture & experience help us develop critical thinking, shaping our mind _ ATTITUDE.The remarkable thing is we are in charge of it! You embraced a positive attitude towards tennis.


  7. Anand…You have put it beautifully – Scientifically & Philosophically – avoiding poetry (that often drives one away from absolute clarity to abstractness creating entropy for the reader) this time! Every aspect & activity of life can be “YOGA” -ie- collimation & unification of Body, Mind, Intellect & Spirit. This is the same principle adopted in all Martial Arts for training the students…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As usual your thought process and putting them in words is an excellent expression giving food for thoughts!!! Keep it up!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!


  9. Dear Anand,
    Always look forward to your blogs.
    Amazingly insightful.
    You are absolutely correct.
    We get so involved with our goals and how to achieve them , that this causes immense stress in our minds and finally manifests in diseases.
    What you have so beautifully conveyed is how we should get into the rhythm of things and live in the now.Enjoy and live with Gratitude.
    Also go with the flow.
    Thank you.
    You are definitely extremely talented and put your point of view so beautifully and vividly.


  10. Anand, you have told us that we cannot prepare for triumphs or disaster in life. Must evolve our own rhythm in life for whatever we wish to do in a relaxed and consistent way not losing sight of our happiness. We are not legends but only human beings to go out and give our best and enjoy. Your tactical advice for any pursuit is highly appreciated and deserves all credit for providing clear vision.


  11. Dear Anand
    Amazing lesson for life!!
    Find your own rhythm to live it peacefully!
    Such a simple truth . Beautifully written. Loved it.


  12. “Goals and targets bring a semblance of definition into our daily lives. But as we allow them to consume us, they in turn draw away the spontaneous flow that keeps happiness effortless. Everything we do is an opportunity to allow our own rhythm to express itself.”
    Beautifully written, and an important reminder to leave room for effortless joy. Thank you.


  13. Federer is Grace personified and our favourite sports person.
    What you have said is so true. I think in life if we try too hard to do something, it may become forced and stilted. Something natural is lost.


  14. Im athletics, it’s the physical aspect but the mental focus component which defines being elite it seems. Of course, you’ve got to have some natural talent to begin with.

    Liked by 1 person

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