by Kim Weber
It’s no coincidence that it’s been 108 years since the Cubs won a pennant. The number is as sacred as it gets. As Grant DePorter pointed out in a Sept. 23 Chicago Sun Times column, there are a weird amount of 108 coincidences with the Cubs: 108 seams on a baseball, which was designed by the Cubs first manager A.G. Spalding whose first office was at 108 W. Madison; 108 meters from left and right field to home plate; Ricketts’ family business is on 108th street; last time the Cubs won a World Series game was 10/8 in 1945.
So, the number 108 is definitely manifested in the Cubs world. But what does that mean?
When you look deeper at the meaning of 108, it becomes clear that our nation’s darlings—the Cubs—are traveling a special path. The number 108 is considered sacred in many Eastern traditions like Buddhism—which isn’t a religion but an all-inclusive practice that guides people closer to their light. It is a number that refers to spiritual completion—1 stands for higher truth, 0 stands for completeness and 8 stands for infinity. In mathematics, 108 is a Harshad Number—an integer divisible by the sum of its digits. Not surprisingly, the word Harshad means joy-giver in Sanskrit.
The distance between the Earth and the moon is 108 times the diameter of the sun. The diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the moon. And according to ancient texts, the universe is made up of 108 elements. (Current counts tally it at 118).
Some say there are 108 types of meditation and 108 paths to God. 108 energy lines converge to form the heart chakra—the seat of love in the body. Yogis often do 108 Sun Salutations to honor or evoke change. 108 beads in a mala—Eastern prayer beads.
Perhaps this seems a bit out there.
But it makes perfect sense.
Led by laid-back skipper and swami of sorts Joe Maddon, the Cubs are taking us home. With the mantra of “Do simple better,” and the players’ early practice of the “base point,” (pointing down at the bases to remind them to stay grounded), the Cubs are teaching us to live in the present moment. One at-bat at a time, the Cubs are shifting our country’s consciousness.
Their joy for the game is contagious. Another Madden mantra, “Try not to suck,” is helping to create peace and unity in a time of unprecedented discord: A contemptuous presidential election. Heated racial tensions in all of our cities, especially Chicago. Religious and cultural intolerance.
The Cubs are already healing us.
The path has been paved.
It began 108 years ago.
One at-bat at a time, we will arrive back home.
Spiritually awakened. As world champions.
UPDATE: They did it! The Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians to win the 2016 World Series after 108 years. Congrats, Cubbies!
Kim Weber is a life-long Chicagoan and Cubs fan. She’s been practicing yoga on the Northwest side for almost 20 years and teaching for about 10. A mother and wife of five Cubs fans, Kim’s baseball and yoga worlds have collided beautifully and exactly on time–108 years since the Cubs’ won it all. At press time, The Cubs are now up 1-0 in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) against the Los Angeles Dodgers.