Hunter Pence Reads Gandhi

penceThe spiritual leader of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, right fielder Hunter Pence, is known as “The Reverend.” His teammates gave him that nickname after his memorable 2012 clubhouse speech behind closed doors that helped inspire the team to overcome a two-game deficit and win three games on the road to move on toward their eventual World Series victory. That speech prompted the Giants to include his teammates recreating it  in their video celebrating the World Series.

Then at the end of the 2014 season on the way to another World Series, Pence gave an incredible speech  to a full house of Giants fans at their ballpark.

Now it turns out, as reported yesterday in “He Might Be Giant: A Day in the Life of Hunter Pence,” Pence gets his own inspiration by reading Mahatma Gandhi and The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World by Miguel Ruiz.

RuizWith a 4.7 rating from 175 customer reviews on Amazon, the publisher’s description states:

Building on the principles found in his father’s bestselling book The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz Jr. invites us to gauge how attached we are to our own point of view. In The Five Levels of Attachment, he will help you gain awareness of the agreements you have been implicitly making all these years that shape your reality and affect your future and show you how to release the attachments which no longer reflect who you really are.

This method is twenty years in the making. When don Miguel Ruiz Jr. began his apprenticeship into his family’s Toltec tradition, he was just fourteen years old. His first task was translating his grandmother’s talks from Spanish into English. One day, as he struggled to keep up with her, she asked him: Are you using knowledge, or is knowledge using you?

Finding the answer to this question would shape the destiny of his life. In this groundbreaking work, Ruiz explains each of the Five Levels of Attachment in detail and shows that as our level of attachment to a belief or idea increases, “who we are” becomes directly linked to “what we know.”

Our attachment to beliefs—our own and the beliefs of others—manifests as a mask we don’t realize we can take off. But with don Miguel Ruiz’s help, and some Toltec wisdom along the way, we can return to our True, Authentic Selves, unhindered by judgment and free to pursue our true life’s calling.

The Toltec culture preceded the Aztecs in Mesoamerica. Ruiz and his father are known as “naguals,” masters of transformation of the ancient system of Toltec wisdom, specifically the “Eagle Night” lineage.

In her review, Allyson Gracie reports:

The five levels addressed are: Authentic Self, Preference, Identity, Internalization, and Fanaticism. Ruiz Jr. very simply lays out how our personal belief systems are conditioned from a very early age. We naturally develop preferences and make judgments as well. This book will walk readers through essays to question their own beliefs and look outside the box of their personal attachments. Ruiz Jr. provides simple steps for readers to take action, pausing before jumping to conclusions and giving them permission to experience an alternate story to their conditioned “attachments” that can be applied in any situation. The concepts discussed are not new, but Ruiz Jr. brings a fresh, very masculine and straightforward approach to changing thoughts and behavior that will result in powerful spiritual growth.

Perhaps this kind of thinking has influenced the development of a new, less hierarchical corporate management philosophy on the West Coast and a new approach to sports coaching that has enabled the West Coast to win more baseball, football, and basketball championships than the Northeast since 2005 (seven compared to six), even though New York and Boston teams have more money.

This trend began with Phil Jackson, who studied Native American spirituality closely and incorporated some of its principles into his work and formed the Positive Coaching Alliance to advance his philosophy, which he took to the Los Angeles Lakers. Pete Carroll, with his positive, player-oriented, less militaristic approach has been successful with the University of Southern California and the Seattle Seahawks. The San Francisco Giants have been famously successful as underdogs winning three World Series in five years.

And now the Golden State Warriors appear to be the best team in the NBA!

Maybe the West is best.

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