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Belief Beat

The Masters Golf Tournament 2010 starts today, and all eyes are on Tiger Woods, who is ending a self-imposed five-month exhile after his extremely public fall from grace.

In a press conference this week, Woods reiterated that he has recommitted himself to Buddhism, his family’s faith, in hopes of returning to his core values (which presumably do not condone a stable of mistresses). While watching him swing and putt at Augusta National, notice the string tied around his left wrist — it’s a Buddhist bracelet he has started wearing for protection and strength. It will also be interesting to try to spot any differences in Woods’ demeanor that could be attributed to his new meditation regimen; the techniques may help keep him focused on the tournament, safe from the distractions of his battered personal life and public image.

Coincidentally, “The Buddha,” a  David Grubin documentary narrated by another famous Buddhist, Richard Gere, airs this week on PBS. Perhaps it will give skeptics like Fox News anchorman Brit Hume a better sense of what Buddhism, as opposed to Christianity, has to offer someone in Woods’ sinful situation…

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