There are a lot of professional sports players who show their religion and thank God for the help and life they have received. Is the Canadian NBA player, Jamal Murray, one of those religious sports pros?
Jamal Murray may be religious but his stance on religion remains unknown right now. Many rumor him to be Christian but there is no evidence that he follows the faith or attends church. One of the techniques he uses for training is mediation, which his father picked up from watching Bruce Lee films.
Scroll down to read more about how Jamal Murray trains using meditation and meditation’s links to Eastern religions and philosophies.
Jamal Murray Uses Meditation to Train
While it is very common for athletes and professionals to use mediation and visualization to achieve their goals nowadays, that was not the case when Jamal Murray was growing up. However, to train for basketball, Jamal Murray’s father had him practice meditation.
How exactly did Jamal’s father, Roger Murray, come up with this training strategy? Well, it’s a bit of an interesting story.
Roger Murray moved to Canada from Jamaica when he was a young boy. It was while he was young that Roger started watching Bruce Lee and Karate films and fell in love with martial arts.
However, when his son was born he wasn’t interested in martial arts but playing basketball. That was fine by Roger who spent a lot of his time playing games in the local men’s league in Kitchener, Ontario.
It was while training his son to become the star player that he is today that Roger had a brilliant idea. He would train his son to practice meditation and visualization just like the martial artists and Bruce Lee did.
In a piece he wrote for The Players Tribune, Jamal Murray recalled “Learning to meditate is one of my earliest memories. I started when I was maybe three or four. I mean, I didn’t know I was meditating. I just thought it was a weird game my dad had invented. I would sit on the couch and try to remain as still as possible.”
As he got older, Jamal Murray would always find a quiet spot to sit and reflect on what had happened in a game or even visualize what could happen in the game. He would visualize himself completing plays and shots.
Now, he swears that this training helped him to become the success that he is today. Both he and his father swear by this technique for helping him to slow down and see clearer in the moment.
Even though his father didn’t have any formal meditation training and he went on what could be learned from martial arts training, they both managed to harness the power of an old Eastern tradition deeply seated in Eastern religions. One that didn’t see popularity in sports or mainstream health and wellness until the past ten years.
You can watch Jamal Murray talk about the importance of meditation in the below video.
Meditation in Religions and Sports
Meditation is a practice that originates from India and is thought to have been practiced as early as 5,000 BCE. That is over 7,000 years ago!
Practices and references to meditation have also been found in ancient Chinese texts but at later dates, leading many historians to believe that it originated in India. The practice was a part of a larger religious movement known as Vendatism which was based on scripture known as the Vedas.
The Vedas were the base of some modern-day religions like Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. It is also through the Vedas that the common practice of yoga emerged.
Despite originally being linked to religion, both meditation and yoga have been separated from their religious roots by modern Western practices. That’s likely why they have become so popular recently.
In this way, Jamal Murray seems to have done the same thing and taken meditation away from its religious roots to use strictly for success in basketball. He’s not the only one either.
One of Jamal Murray’s heroes also happened to use meditation to achieve success in the NBA. That hero would be Lebron James who even partnered with the Calm app in 2019.
Other athletes who have used meditation to improve their game are Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan, Russell Wilson, and Kobe Bryant who often used the technique while he was still alive.
Even if Jamal Murray doesn’t use meditation for religious purposes, he is still seeing the benefits of calming his mind. Having practiced since he was a kid, it’s almost certain he will never stop either.