Budo/Martial Arts · Image Training

Open

Open.

That’s it.

I was reading an interview of a martial artist who was asked about a particular phrase that rings true with his practice, or something like that, and so it got me thinking about my own. I couldn’t think of a catchy one off the top of my head, or anything that really felt deep down in my bones. I kept thinking, and after I forgot, sometime within the next 24 hours, it appeared from within the mists.

Open.

It’s so easy to get bogged down with technical details and numbered results, making us feel like a neanderthal smashing rocks to make fire.

We open our body, to open our technique, to open our mind, to open our potential.

Our best posture is open. Our best outlook is open.

What can be one of the most exciting experiences to have in the world?

Opening a new door.

What the hell are we doing all this for anyway? I’m not getting paid to shoot arrows. Nobody’s telling me to do it. In fact, there’s a lot of things telling me not to do it, and I still do! If we’re not enjoying all of the precious time and energy we’re putting into our art, what the hell is it all for?

I suppose we can’t be open all the time. For every door that opens, another one closes, we could say. I guess it’s all the searching we do in the dark that makes the opening so divine.

Ah-ha, there’s number two:

Search.

So in order for “open” to be realized, we “search.”

And so what’s the difference between the two?

Nothing.

Just,

Be.

Ha. Well, I guess now I’m just saying single words. We try to so hard to be perfect, only to fall short, when really we’re missing the whole reality of who we are. We don’t have to be perfect to be an archer, or a great archer, or an excellent archer for that matter. We just have to be the archer that we are, and that is perfect. The trick is, it’s not a static form, but a movement. Or rather, a striving …

or searching …

to open.

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