Archive for October, 2009

More Food for Thought

From The Prophet
by Kahlil Gibran

You have been told that life is darkness,
and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness
save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there
is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when
there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love:
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself,
and to one another, and to God.


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As Dr. Shinichi Suzuki so aptly put it:
Only practice on the days you eat.”

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.

I ran across this quote today and immediately thought of how this relates to Kyudo. One of the things brought up at the autumn Kyudo Alliance seminar this past weekend, was the phrase from the Kyohon, “Kyudo is Life“.

On Page 9 of the Kyohon it states:
Kyudo is not simply a way to create well-being and train the body, but a way to bring enhancement and cultivation to your life… we, as practitioners of Kyudo, who are expected to master such virtues as discipline, modesty, gentleness, self-restraint, and reflection through the shooting, can realize these qualities in our own life.

In regard to kai on page 70, the subject is again brought up, stating:
…at the full draw you must wipe away negativity like doubt, anxiety, faint heartedness, fear, and self-depreciation and make the effort to fulfill the spirit with self-control, composure, endurance, and determination, founded on the right belief. This disciplining of oneself in this very precious way is connected to Shasoku-Jinsei-Shooting is Life.

As Blackwell Sensei has said, “Practice as if you are testing…”. I take this to mean with sincerity and determination, doing our very best each time we shoot. The Way is in the training.

Hopefully, if we practice faithfully and strive for excellence in our Kyudo, we will bring excellence into our own lives as well and learn the true meaning of “Kyudo is Life”.

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