Image Training · Kyudo

Rediscover Life

I thank the kami for striking me down,

or I guess myself,

for making many mistakes and running into all the glass walls in front of me.

I’m thankful for forgetting all of the wonderful things I’ve realized in my short life thus far,

because it gives me a feeling of adventure when I finally open my eyes again and find something new. Or everything new.

The various agents that allow me to awaken my imagination,

or even those that close me in on myself,

are things worthy of this world.

Kyudo is one of these for me.

Kyudo helps me to open my mind and explore the world.

It also traps me in. It turns my mind in on itself, and what’s even more is there’s all the other people that inhabit this kyudo world I walk through. They have a great affect on my practice whether I like it or not. I bet it’s the same for others.

We enter the kyudo and find rules and laws. It are these entities that make our kyudo strong. They are ideas, but used practically with real affects. This is good. It’s when the same ideas, or others altogether start to form yucky clouds over your sky and look down upon you. We pray to and fear them. We spit their venom on others and condemn those who think otherwise. This is a sickness we must avoid. But how?

That’s part of our art of expression in kyudo.

How do we deal with walls? How do we deal with learning new techniques? How do we enjoy our practice? How do we communicate it to others?

We are complicated beings as humans, with infinite possibilities. Arguments of “right” and “wrong” start to seem a bit too simplistic.

The other day after feeling extremely stressed from other vents of life, I had a mini explosion. It’s ridiculous the things we expect form ourselves and the world. Anyway, I let a lot of it fall away while I was right in the middle and felt much lighter. I went to kyudo for a short hour after feeling slightly reborn, separated from the past me that I’d usually find in the dojo.

Inside was one of my best training partners and another person I don’t meet often. We started talking, and I felt like the other guys were just talking about the same things they always do regarding kyudo. Is there anything else we can possibly talk about? This world I am a part of all of a sudden felt so small and foreign.

I shot horribly.

I shot like I did maybe two years ago sending arrows far in front of the target. The others were surprised and really worried. I normally would’ve felt really embarrassed but for some reason I didn’t. I felt like the reactions of the others were so predictable. And less then the direction of my arrows, I thought how strange it is how people have only one reaction for the 10,000 things. Stuck in our world we don’t think, and can’t imagine anything else than what first comes to mind.

We eventually went our separate ways with our separate thoughts.

My failures technically in shooting made me realize how vital the tsunomi is in our left hand.

Mentally I realized how important it is to keep our level head in shooting, not getting pulled down by negative happenings, or negative thoughts for that matter.

I’ve gone far off track from what I’ve really wanted to say,

but to finish up, I want to remind myself how important the creative powers of the imagination are to kyudo, and that we should remember color when we get stuck in black and white.

This is one reason why I admire the writings of the legendary archer, Awa Kenzo so much. I get the feeling like he was seeking to free his imagination in shooting and realize the potential of the universe. When I look at pictures of him I feel the same way. So I will hold on to and return to those images to help me open up.

What images do you use?

Go deep into kyudo. Forget it completely.

It’s only one shard of the prism of our lives.

 

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