Tiger Woods, Buddhism, and The Eight Fold Way

Tiger Woods is a trailblazer in a new sense now: he may be the first major athlete to cite Buddhism as his religion of refuge in a public apology, as he did during Friday's public statement. More specifically, Woods is most likely a Therevadan Buddhist, the major stream of Buddhism prevalent in his mother’s native Thailand.

For the layperson, this is “saffron robe” Buddhism, not “red robe Buddhism,” and emphasizes the use of reason and observation to overcome the problems and suffering of this world in order to become an Arhant—one who has attained enlightenment—and thus escape the cycle of death and rebirth and reach nirvana.

Practice-wise, this involves meditation, a trip to the temple once a week to listen to a monk deliver a lesson on the Buddha’s teaching, and an effort by the adherent to stick to the Eight Fold Way: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. and right knowledge/liberation.

Particularly interesting in Woods’ case? The cause of all trouble, according to Theravadan Buddhism? Dukkha, a concept best translated as craving, and something all too relevant in why we’re talking about all of this in the first place.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.