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Posts Tagged ‘Archery’

I read an interesting blog this morning. In it, the author broaches the subject of spirit. He makes some interesting points. I especially liked the way he tied-up the article.  I had to smile a bit.

http://karamatsu.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/kyudo-notebook-%E5%BF%83/#like-1249

From my viewpoint, spirit is one of those concepts I think may never be explained aptly. Much like love, we can talk endlessly about it. We can describe love, or spirit, in many contexts, but there really is no combination of words that come close to describing the feeling. I think what is of importance here is that we are continually willing to amend, re-shape and mold, our philosophy on any subject. Varied perspective is essential to form a more complete concept of the whole, if this is even totally possible with our mental limitations.

I ran across a few words of wisdom my friend Arun Drummond had shared, wherein he stated, “If you are not open to new ideas or experiences, the knowledge that you already posses will remain incomplete and lose any opportunity to grow. To believe that what you know is final is a fallacy and will be challenged until the end of time.”

Let me try to explain through example the thought I’m trying to convey here.  After dating a short while, the man I was to marry down-the-road told me that he loved me.  In response, I said, “I think I love you too.”  Now, he gave me a hard time about that response for many years.  Obviously, it wasn’t very romantic, but it was an honest response.  Being young, I wasn’t sure of exactly what love was at the time, and I knew that. As it turned out, that spark of love would continue to grow and become stronger through the years. That love grew to be a fluid emotion, expansive. It ebbed and flowed, with twists and turns, with knots.  That love endured, even the toughest battles.  My concept of love at the beginning of our relationship and at the end, when he passed away, were totally different.

I believe the same will be true for most of us as we “search” for “spirit”.  (Much as searching for love, we probably would be better off not “searching” for spirit, but rather relaxing and allowing it to happen.)

We are told that we must posses spirit to grow in Kyudo.  It may be that in the beginning we cling to some pre-conceived concept of what we think spirit is.  We have to open our hearts to the concept and allow it to form, allow that “spark” to take hold, to grow, to become entwined with our being.  I’m quite sure that if we are flexible in our thinking and feeling, what we thought as a mudan will certainly be different than that as a godan and so on. We have to let go of what we once thought and allow new input to let us re-shape our beliefs.

As Karamatsu states in his blog, “I always thought I understood what he (Sensei)  meant, but it turns out I only thought I did because I knew the words. It wasn’t until today that something sort of “clicked” inside and I caught… not a glimpse, but more like the reflection, in the window of a passing car, of the shadow of the tracks left in blown snow by a glimpse that had gone by earlier. So… not very substantial, but everybody has to start somewhere, and I guess for me this is it. I hope I can get a whole glimpse before I die.”

Many writers, of both words and music, have made attempts to describe love, as well as spirit, working all around the edges, but never making it quite to the heart. This seems to be another case of “telling”, versus actually “experiencing” something. Sometimes I think that when we are there we will know it. But where is “there”?  As I read somewhere the other day, legendary cellist Pablo Casals was asked why he continued to practice with such diligence at age 90.  He stated, “Because I think I am making progress.”

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Archery on the Squirrely Side

Okay, granted it’s not Kyudo, but mos def  it is  “The Road Less Traveled”.

While I have been absent in many ways for a while (No, it wasn’t jail.), I hope I will be sharing more of my musings here in the upcoming year.

It is my wish that the related article brings a smile and maybe even a little laugh as you read it.  May we take the positive into the new year and have a great future ahead, in Kyudo and in life, for “Kyudo is Life”!

Happy 2014!

Green-Arrow“Just don’t point that at Squirrel Girl, if you know what’s good for you.”

WASHINGTON MAN SHOOTING POT ARROWS AT JAIL WAS JUST TRYING TO GET THE SQUIRRELS HIIIIIIIGH

by DOKTOR ZOOM
There’s no gunshots or stripper poles, and sadly no alligators guarding a stash, but this story from Washington nonetheless warms the cockles of Yr Wonkette’s cruel dark heart:

A Bellingham man wrapped a baggie of marijuana around an arrow and fired it at the second-floor recreation area of Whatcom County Jail on Tuesday morning, Aug. 27, according to the sheriff’s office.

David Wayne Jordan, 36, later claimed he had been aiming at a squirrel.

“He had no explanation as to why squirrel hunting requires attaching marijuana to an arrow,” said Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo.

Is there anything about this story that is not perfect? Marijuana arrow, insane explanation – squirrel!! – Whatcom County, a suspect whose middle name is Wayne, and “Sheriff Bill Elfo,” who we suspect may be from The Shire.

Fuck it, we are DONE for the day.

We are informed by our Editrix that we are not actually done for the day.

Mr. Jordan’s attempt to play Green Arrow (sorry Hawkeye fans, no love for you here) was seen by a civilian jail employee who noticed Jordan getting out of his pickup with a hunting bow outside of the jail. We’ll just let the Bellingham Herald’s Caleb Hutton describe the event, because he clearly loves his job as much as we love ours right now:

He fired the marijuana missile upward toward a mesh screen near the top of the second-floor, fresh-air exercise area for inmates, Elfo said. If fired at a perfect angle, the sheriff added, an arrow might squeeze through the screen.

But, apparently, this marksman was no Robin Hood. The arrow — along with a few grams of marijuana and a yet-to-be-identified substance — missed its target and landed on the roof. Jordan fled the scene in his Ford, but the civilian employee wrote down its license plate, Elfo said.

The targeted recreation area was empty at the time, so “deputies aren’t sure if the arrow had an intended recipient.”

Jordan had previously been jailed earlier this month on charges of assault and resisting arrest, and had just gotten out last Friday, August 23. He was arrested and booked Tuesday “on suspicion of introducing contraband to a corrections facility” and other charges. In some of the best local reporting we’ve seen in a long time, Hutton notes that Jordan’s “current cell is on the first floor.”

Well played, Mr. Hutton. Well played.

Me-and-My-Arrow

Read more at http://wonkette.com/527076/washington-man-shooting-pot-arrows-at-jail-was-just-trying-to-get-the-squirrels-hiiiiiiigh#mO1OP3zJtRlWBYJI.99

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Breathe in and let yourself soar to the ends of the universe; breathe out and bring the cosmos back inside. Next, breathe up all the fecundity and vibrancy of the earth. Finally, blend the breath of heaven and the breath of earth with your own, becoming the Breath of Life itself. -Morihei Ueshiba

In our discussions of Kyudo, religion, psychology, philosophy and such, a friend once asked me to define spirit. He said that he would then tell me how he defined it. He never did. We don’t talk anymore. I suppose we are still “friends” in some loose sense of the word. We are cordial in passing at seminars, but little more. If this person did nothing else, he gave me cause to investigate other ways of viewing things. I am thankful for that, though I suspect he had little respect for my viewpoint.

I truly think that things happen for a reason. Our paths intersect with others for the purpose of teaching us that which we need to learn. I believe this friend fulfilled this purpose for me and moved on. I hope I left him with some lesson of goodness.

One of the problems we encounter in life is the assumption and expectation that we can define everything and wrap it up neatly in words.

Spirit is one of those areas. We know it when it touches us, but we reach to touch it and it slips through our fingers. It comes and goes, but somehow is ever present.

I relate the word spirit to the word love in certain senses. I’m sure no sane person would argue the existence of love. Love gives us strength, gives us purpose. We search for it. It can seem forever evasive or flowing like wine. Whether it is the pure and simple love of the sunshine, a mother’s love for her child or as complex as two lovers, it warms our heart and fills us completely.

Spirit? Some would say spirit is connected to religion. Some would say it is related to a state of mind. Some may even say it is related to nature. I cannot say that any of these are wrong. I simply cannot say. You will know it when it finds you.

For the naysayers of the world that don’t believe in much of anything beyond the material, I would suggest they begin with consideration that the English word spirit comes from the Latin word spiritus, meaning breath.

As you shoot, consider the importance of breath in your Kyudo.

Sha Soku Jinsei.

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The way is not with the bow, but with the bone, which is of the greatest importance in shooting.-Junsei Yoshimi (Shaho-Kun)

I ran across the following in an email notification from one of Rick Beal’s blogs:

The very marrow of our bone carries electricity & Chemistry throughout our bodies. Kido is the artistry of painting the flow of these energies in a natural way.

It brought to mind something a ran across several years ago and still find intriguing:

In The Bodhisattva Warriors by Terrance Duke, on page 465, he states:

“Long before Western medicine had arisen, the Ksatreya Vaidya (healers) taught that the elements of Fire and Air combined in the marrow to create, or revitalize, the blood. The marrow was therefore considered to be an important source of life energy.

If the marrow became imbalanced, the balance of the body’s elements (dhatu) would be thrown out of order and, in turn, all the bodily functions suffered. In addition to the blood, the physical vital energies also were held to “mature” within the marrow, and thus the marrow was a point of contact between the different energy systems of this, and other, worlds.

So, here, we draw on the Five Element Theory that Miyamoto Musashi writes of in his Book of Five Rings. If we think of the aforementioned energies in terms of Kyudo, we might refer to this as ki.

In the 2011 Second Quarter issue of the Journal of the South Carolina Kyudo Renmei, Blackwell sensei discusses the Five Element Theory. (http://sckrjournal.org/issue/2011-second-quarter/article/japanese-culture-in-kyudo-the-oriental-paradigm)

And… as I have been told… “the essence is in the marrow.”

Something worth thinking about.

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