President’s Message: Days of Miracle and Wonder – May 2019

President’s Message for May 2019 – Marshall Fogel

These are the days of sport miracles. The Padres are winning (as I write this), Tiger Woods won an incredible Masters Tournament, and I scored my second hole-in-one at The Vineyard (the third hole, witnessed by my son-in-law Luc) on April 13.

For those of you who are non-golfers, a hole-in-one occurs once in every 12,500 rounds (for average golfers). Rare and wonderful. I got my first one last November at The Journey in Temecula. So, what are the odds of having two in a lifetime? Why did I get so lucky? Was it preparation and skill and experience or a positive attitude? Perhaps I had paid my dues statistically by playing so many rounds of golf. The truth is that I no longer cared. I had given up on the need and the expectation that I would ever achieve the average golfer’s dream. For a few minutes after the hole out I did reach golf Nirvana, a state of liberation and freedom from suffering. Then I drove my cart to the fourth tee box. Nirvana was gone as quickly as it came as my rather average drive landed with a thud.

I had become a golf Buddhist, a believer in the Four Noble Truths:

Dukkha: Suffering exists

Samudaya: There is a cause for suffering

Nirodha: There is an end to suffering

Magga: In order to end suffering, you must follow the eightfold path which includes discernment, virtue, and concentration

According to a concise summary of Buddhist Core Values by the UNHCR the Buddha (who lived in the 6th century BCE) was not a god and Buddhism does not entail any theistic world view. The law of karma (which every golfer has experienced) states “for every event that occurs, there will follow another event caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant as its cause was skillful or unskillful.”

I’m not a Buddhist, but like many of you I find comfort in many of its values promoting good thoughts and qualities, right mindfulness, meditation to achieve a higher level of consciousness, right conduct and speech, and truth. I have a small problem with the alcohol prohibition however. What, you might ask, does all this have to do with Chalice? We are probably all feeling that the Phase One construction will never end and we “suffer” from homesickness, despite the generous hospitality of our wonderful hosts at Temple Adat Shalom. I suggest some Magga (and perhaps a glass of wine) to reach Chalice Nirvana, hopefully sometime in July!