Those who think that all Buddhists are meek and wouldn’t harm a fly might be surprised to learn about Keith Thurman. According to the Wall Street Journal, Thurman, the reigning welterweight boxing world champion, is a self-described Christian-Buddhist. His favorite books include The Little Buddhist Handbook and Thich Nhat Hanh’s Living Buddha, Living Christ. About the latter, he told Premier Boxing Champions:
I remember grabbing this book and sitting down and reading 50 pages nonstop one day, and for me, that was a real big deal at the time… In Chapter 2, one thing that really got me right at the beginning was that it focused on mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a technique that Buddhist monks use throughout their daily activities to try and stay in the moment. A lot of times when we’re stressing over things in life, we stress over what happened yesterday or what’s going to happen tomorrow over really being aware of how you feel in the moment.
This book helps bring you more into the moment and it gives you tips on how you can implement little things into your lifestyle. I started to devote 10 minutes a day towards daily mindfulness, meditation. That’s why this book is significant to me.”
Thurman, 27, has been the welterweight champion since he won the title in 2013. Last month, he defended his title for the third time by beating challenger and friend Shawn Porter in one of the most anticipated fights of the year.