Creation and Intention of the Book

geshe-and-jesseIn 2020 Jesse Moussa had just arrived as the new Head Professional at Glacier Greens Golf Course, in Comox, BC. He was looking forward to meeting new faces, revisiting old friends from other clubs in the area and sharing his love of golf with all of the members and golfing guests that came across his path. Yongdong Losar was one of the keen members at the facility who was an avid golfer and fervent student of the game.

Jesse came to know Yongdong as ‘Geshe La’, which is a title awarded to academically credible Tibetan Buddhist monks and means ‘Spiritual Teacher’. Geshe loves golf for both the pleasure and wisdom that it gives him while enjoying the golf course – the fresh air, water, bunkers, trees and artfully cut fairways. Geshe is always grateful to those who create and maintain the course and he respects the time and effort dedicated to creating this beautiful environment.

Both Geshe and Jesse enjoy walking the course instead of taking a golf cart so as to enjoy the rhythm and environment of the game. Geshe loves the physical pleasure of his tiredness after 18 holes and three or four hours of play. Jesse loves the exercise and relaxing rhythm of the walk, as a way to be present and relaxed. He likes to try to get to know members by going to play golf with them once in a while and that is how he and Geshe got to discover each other and share their knowledge and passion for the game. Geshe also became a student of the game, learning from both Jesse and Nadine, Jesse’s wife.

Geshe holds the secret environment of wisdom and mindfulness in great value. He tries to let go of everything other than being fully present in the moment. He says that when he is fully present, his club swings free and true, and that a mishit demonstrates his lack of mindfulness in that moment. He shared these thoughts with Jesse during their rounds. He also explained his feelings of compassion for himself when he was hard on himself and his compassion for others as they struggle to improve their game and lives too.

tee-offJesse shared his thoughts on life, his goals, values and his golf journey, both as a player and a teacher, with Geshe during their rounds and relaxed conversations as friends. He has, like many golfer, worked tirelessly beating the drum of golf swing improvements, dwelling in opportunities lost, and riding the rollercoaster of ups and downs on the journey of achieving his goals. He shared his journey of anger, disappointment and frustration and his distaste of the negative energy that those emotions gave him. Jesse’s own journey led him to discovering a new outlook on life and golf – a more relaxed effort and focus to teaching and learning. He shared with Geshe, his observation that relaxation does not mean doing less, but instead leads to ‘doing more effectively.’

Through all of their discussions of life journeys and evolutions of teaching and learning, Geshe and Jesse started to realize that their thoughts on focus, relaxation and acceptance resonated with each other. Some of Jesse’s golf teaching style paralleled Geshe’s teachings for life and well-being through his Tibetan Buddhist traditions. As Geshe learned golf, he realised more and more how he could practice his life focus on the golf course and reap its benefits as he does in other parts of his life. Recognizing the connection has helped Geshe improve his game rapidly, and Jesse has seen big changes in his playing and teaching skills that keep evolving all the time. Their relationship grew through the link in their perspectives on growth, the beauty in life and the world around them, and especially in their love of golf and the golf course.

Through this connection with the love and respect of this great game and their belief in similar life philosophies and principles, they decided to compose a book with parallel writings about the non-tangible skills that take you on a journey of learning to become your own master on the game of golf. Due to the nature of the teachings of the book, it also provides guidance and focus on how to enjoy and grow as a person in your life journey too.

Geshe La’s intention is that people truly learn that three to four hours on the golf course is an excellent opportunity for spiritual practice. As he and Jesse agree, to play golf well you must manage your emotions. We all have stress, trauma and challenges. Geshe asks: “Do we run away to the golf course to avoid them? How important is it to deal with these issues internally?” Both teachers agree that golf does not have to be about the scorecard only, but instead it is an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness, develop wisdom, relax and take pleasure in your life.

geshe-and-jesse-backJesse’s intention with the book, is to show people a different perspective from which to learn the game. A wider more creative perspective that allows for more effective personal growth and awakening that allows for skills to develop in a more relaxed and inspiring way – instead of relentless beating of information and tiresome repetition that beats up one’s soul. Learning to be your own master of golf to Jesse, has also meant becoming a compassionate master of himself daily, and learning how to be a compassionate and creative master to his students of the game as well.

In the same way, Geshe La learns and practices all of these skills on the golf course and when he leaves to go home or to work, he again practices the virtues he has learned. “We can choose to learn instead of wasting four hours on the course. We can learn, not just how to play golf, but how to be happy mentally and physically, and how to have peace and take pleasure in our life. Don’t waste this precious moment of your life.”

Geshe feels great gratitude for this life and he wishes to give all his wisdom, joy and pleasure to those who play the game of golf, and that this wisdom and joy bring benefit throughout the golfer’s life. Jesse loves the challenge of the game of golf and the environment that it provides to learn about your own habits, strengths and misgivings. Teaching and observing others have been a great mirror of wisdom to help him understand and learn the game for himself. Through this book he hopes to mirror back the wisdom, knowledge and joy that he has garnered on his journey and continue to learn from sharing this co-authored book with other fans of the game.

Geshe La noticed that after writing this book and sharing some of its ideas with students, that its concepts can apply to all sports. His friend, John Coleman, PhD, who is an Olympic coach, stated that the biggest reason for losing is lack of focus and mental strength. Golf can teach people how to focus both on and off the golf course and the hope is that the psychological support offered in this book will benefit players of any game.

There are many books that offer techniques to help manage the mental game of golf or sports in general, but this book is extraordinary, because all 21 chapters focus on mental and spiritual benefit. As Geshe La says, “May the pleasure of golf help people overcome the struggle of daily life. You must discover the master within yourself. We don’t see the master within because we don’t have the mirror of wisdom. We can develop this wisdom on the course. Golf can be a method of reflecting your life’s journey.

This book is a very special collaboration between Geshe and Jesse. Geshe La, a man who spent his whole life from the age of 13 in spiritual practice; and Jesse a professional golfer who dedicated his life to mastering golf. They both love the game and writing this book together has clarified their purpose on the course.

“May this book bring great benefit to the reader,” Yongdong Losar.

“May this book give renewed hope, relief and freeing joy to the burdened, determined golfer in his pursuit of improvement,” Jesse Moussa.