108 Ya …re-mixed
The planned 108 at the Kishiwada Kyudojo, did not go as planned, that happens, ne! So It is now New Years Eve and the 108 is done.
I decided to do something different and make it a day of training, and meditation. I started early in the morning with some Yin meditation. Siting Chan. After light breakfast of tea and toast I went over to the local “Jinger” (shrine) for some motion Chan, some yang meditation.
I went through my three short forms of TaiJi, Yang, Chen, Chao. Afterward Hsing-i combined set. That was followed by Bum Bo Mantis. The weather was perfect, cool, but comfortable, when dressed for it. Sunny, and pleasant. Nice to feel the morning Chi at the Shrine.
My next section to my day of meditation, after some tea and a small cake is some garden work. Trim some plants, pick-up stuff, pull some weeds. Basically for me clean the Dojo. Prepare for the afternoon shoot.
Again a short tea break, before changing to shoot. I opted this year not to do the hakama. It took a short time to do some misc tasks needed before beginning.
Once started, I found myself reflecting on how much I learned over the past year. How how my shooting changed. What I still need work on, correcting items for the last instruction, Tenouchi, relax upon Hanare, drop shoulders. A countless array of thoughts, things to remember but do and do not attach to the thought, or the next one…go with the flow of the moment, the flow of the river and wind, riding to your destination, …but stay in the boat. That may not make sense to you…no matter.
Doing the 108 is not a matter of shooting 108 arrows. Each arrow is a “vice”, a meditation, a sin, a treasure, a burden. If one just shoots to get off 108 arrows, it is a waste. It is like doing TaChi thinking of what is for dinner. 108 chances in a row to be totally in the moment, refining, every thought, movement, muscle down to one point.
That is my trip, just shooting 108 arrows is good even mindlessly, takes a certain spirit and dedication.
Lunch time at the halfway mark…more or less.
LZ had off during the day and did the New Year cooking stuff thing. She gave me soba noddle kitsune. Maybe it is called, Kitsune Soba. Whatever. Ot was good. Warming on a chilly day.
The completion of the 108 went without a hitch. I think I made or am making breakthrough. I noticed how my shots got more and more in a tight cluster. There was a few timing when things felt right with a shot, even the sound of the string changed and sound almost musical. Even though a had an interruption from the OBa-chan from next door. It was a good afternoon meditative practice. It was nice to not have cold hands and feet while shooting, like last year. It has been a year to be grateful, thankful on many levels.
Happy New Year, wishes of blessings to you and yours…the Zen Clan