Heartfulness sport – part 2

Heartfulness sport – part 2
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PAOLO LEZZELLE draws simple parallels between the Heartfulness system and sport, in this article focusing primarily on how we master time.


Time, Timing, Timelessness


I wish to speak about one of my favorite topics in the sporting field, which is a “sense of time” or, more appropriately, timing. I’ve always been fascinated by it since I was a child watching sports on TV. Of course, I could not understand it in detail way back then, but I sensed that any kind of athletic action was strongly determined by the capacity of the athlete to catch the right moment to do something. Be it running, jumping, or hitting a ball, it seemed to me that the basic dynamics was the same, namely, to be there in the right way at the right moment. I didn’t know it, but this is what timing is in its essence.

Later on, as a tennis trainer, I could give a sound meaning to these observations, and come to understand the importance of this aspect of sport, which in my opinion is hidden behind more apparent aspects. Needless to say, I’m deeply grateful to some extraordinary mentors whom I’ve been so lucky to meet.

Oddly enough, the topic of timing is very much related to the topic of strength. Assuming that there are different types of strength (I won’t go into detail), it may appear that specific physical acts require a lot of strength to be performed successfully, which implies muscular mass. But it is not so. Most efforts, even the hardest, are much easier if performed with synchronicity among body segments. This means that the kinetic chains performing the act function without interruption, with smoothness and at the right time (kinetic chains are interlinked muscular groups).

This synchronicity is mainly responsible for strength or energy. Therefore, the right timing is the factor that reduces effort and enhances the endeavor of the whole performance.

Then magic can happen! The more we become familiar with this mechanism, the more we seem to enter a dimension where time is sort of suspended. Slowly we realize that it is no more a question of timing, and becomes instead a kind of timeless matter.

We could propose an equation:

More timing = more feeling of timelessness.

That is to say, less and less effort. Personally, I find it fantastic!

Any sportsperson knows that when they find themselves out of tune, out of synchrony, for any reason, they start making mistakes. At that point there is only one thing to do: slow down. Slowing down allows us to regain the necessary detachment to restart afresh. There is no other way. When you are fighting against time (as in biology, so in sport) you will never win!



This question of time, in all its permutations, is a theme innate to life itself. It appears obvious. Life can often appear to be incessant confusion, a continuous weaving of so many things, often out of our control. Viewed from this perspective, sport is an invaluable teacher.

There is a time to study, a time to ponder, a time to be idle, a time to have fun, etc. Timing is so precious, even in apparently small things; in conversation for instance, there is a time to speak and a time to listen. Good radio DJs are expert in this. Even in cooking, time is essential. Needless to say that in music timing is everything!

So also in life, as in sport, we should not apply too much strength to reach a result. On the contrary we should do the right things in the right way at the right time. The formula is the same.

The right predisposition to timing is also acquired through the practice of meditation. It helps us find an easy flow of things (the famous “here and now” of atavic memory), the functional juxtaposition of the many elements of chaos, where we can perceive more clearly the best solution to follow with the least effort. A good practice always promotes good timing. If we are touched by grace and this daily timing takes us by the hand to lead us gently into the dimension of timelessness, then it all gets a lighter and wonderful tinge.



The right predisposition to timing is also
acquired through the practice of meditation.
It helps us find an easy flow of things
(the famous “here and now” of atavic memory),
the functional juxtaposition of the many elements of chaos,
where we can perceive more clearly
the best solution to follow with the least effort.




After many years of practice in both sport and meditation, I can say that a sporting practitioner, who wants to reach a certain level of performance without implementing a meditation discipline, will find insurmountable barriers sooner or later. His or her work will look like a computer painting – beautiful, excellent perhaps, but alas without a soul.

Time and space are interlinked. Spiritual masters tell us this all the time, Einstein explained it to us, and toddlers prove it to us while they innocently play lost in their joyful present. And novice Yoga practitioners can also get lost in meditation, finding themselves in an undefined elsewhere, still keeping a certain state of presence. We can’t explain what it was, but it was beyond space and time. From time to timing, and going beyond into timelessness.



Article by PAOLO LEZZELLE


Paolo Lezzelle

About Paolo Lezzelle

Paolo has been a tennis instructor in Italy for 25 years and is an international ATP coach. He has also been a Heartfulness practitioner for 30 years. His passions include physical activity in nature, writing and rock music.


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