I am ready on a couple of levels for the up coming Shinsa.
1. For it to be over, pass or no pass. I am ready to move on.
2. Mentally ready for whatever goes down.
I am back to the mind set of ok, most likely I will not pass so, ok I will just enjoy the experience and do my best at the moment.
I went to practice today. We had a dress Tai Hai with several people, one of which is also going for Yon-dan. She is one of three others that was testing for Yon-dan when I was testing for san-dan and did not make it! Yikes! There are more SanDans than I thought there at the Dojo. Plus a Sempai who helped me when I first started at Kinshiwada. So that is four others that I know of that are making a second third or fourth try. The one guy who passed when I did SanDan said it was his 4th entry. I am back to the snowball in hell chance idea mind set. Oh well as I said, I go for the experience.
I have made some progress on my skills, this I do know. No one tells me but i am going by what they do not say. I was access my shooting again today. Problem is I am like the weather, changing daily. Today i started bad, but got better as I went on. Not good but better. Also some advice on my Tai Hai from the Kaicho. Kyudo is a work progress, that is one of the challenges of it. Sometimes I see Sensei and the Kaicho being told something they should correct. Not by an advance person but just by someone they asked to watch. I see a pattern as it is generally chest expansion or back arch. I found today when I am going into Kai, when I have everything in place before I reach Kai, adjust during Hikiwake, I shoot better. When I try to adjust once in Kai, the shot fails, sometime badly! I met another Yon-dan today she said for the time I have been doing this San-san is doing good. Usually it takes longer. That was a nice bit of a pickup. She asked how I was doing today. I said, my Kyudo is like the weather, today cold and raining tomorrow warm and sunny. She laughed.
So yeah, anyway. I have learned a lot over the last few weeks, it will help on my next attempt in June. I should be more consistent by then.
I will go to the Dojo tomorrow for a small bit of shooting to check a couple idea, but at this stage and time for the most part what is in place will be in place and I am just looking at the joy of the experience. There is a person I have been speakng with from time to time , via Facebook, I will finally get to meet. She sent her friend over to meet me last time I was there at this dojo, which is her home Dojo, and sent me a small gift of a snack. That really really came in handy as I did not bring lunch or anything. This time I know better.
There is a Zen meeting tomorrow. I decied to pass on going. I will go into the dojo early just for a few shots, then head back home, and relax for the evening. Get my items together for Sunday, have a shower, do some Zazen, play my Shakuhachi and watch a few movies before turning in early after nice dinner.
It is great I have something to really look forward to after the shinsa, my first offical Shakuhachi class. Besides whch it will be a busy week. Band rehearsal for the gig the following week. Two days of teaching a sailing class for some Americans and ending the week with a inter-dojo Kyudo Tai Kai at Osaka Castle. June is not that far away…knock down seven, stand eight…yosh!
There is one small bummer connected with this. I purchased a new Yugake as a treat for my self for Yon-dan entry. I will need to put it away for later. Not that I HAVE to, but it is suppose to be my treat to myself as a graduation gift…oh well…as said above,…June is not that far off.