The definition of Nirvana:
in Hindu theory, a state of supreme contentment,
with no desires for worldly things,
reached by meditation and right action.
In consideration of the matter of whether
I have achieved pool Nirvana,
I submit the following:
1. Pool on demand. I work at home, just a few feet away from the pool table. If I need a break from sitting at the computer, I can unwind by hitting a few balls, anytime. If I'm on the phone and somebody puts me on hold, I just put the call on the speakerphone and hit some balls until they decide to answer.
2. Quality pool. There aren't ANY better places to shoot some pool than at Mikie's Fun House. Oceanfront. Great music. Excellent food. First class table. Clean restrooms! No drunks. No distractions (no kids, no dogs, no wife).
3. My kind of pool. I really enjoy solo pool. For me, solo pool is a meditation. I get completely lost in the visuals, feelings, and sounds. I don't have a need for competition because, with me, pool is all about the beauty of it, not crushing an opponent. I enjoy pool with others as if I were giving a performance. That's one of the reasons I don't gamble with pool. I'm not trying to get over on somebody, but rather intending to share my art, my experience, and to learn from them as well.
4. Skill. I have shown to be able to sink challenging shots in stressful situations, and to do it enough to win against strong competition. And I keep getting better. I know I have not reached Perfection, but if that were to happen I would probably vaporize, so that would not be a good thing. The key is that Nirvana can happen, I believe, in a place that is not absolute Perfection, but in a place on the path to Perfection, where the Ultimate can be perceived, and appreciated, and in moments of brilliance and privilege, can actually be experienced. In this regard, I do claim to have had such moments, and with relaxation and quiet circumstances, I can go there pretty much at will.
5. Knowledge. I have learned from El Maestro himself. There may be one secret he is keeping to himself, but for the most part he has revealed the secrets of the game, the stroke, the spin, the cushions, the strategy, the mind, and more.
6. Creativity. The best part of all. All of the preceding conditions are fertile breeding ground for some shots which are pure fantasy, and then they actually work! I prefer to try some off-the-wall shot out of curiosity to see if it can happen, rather than to take a shot I know I can make. This is where the "performance art" part of the game comes in. This is the spontaneous, unexpected, completely delightful motion of the balls, creating a moment to remember.
So, El Maestro, you have your answer.
According to the definition of Nirvana, I'm there!