In the Buddhist world there is the ringing of a bell for 108 strikes symbolizing the 108 sins of man. In the Kyudo world among a small following there is the 108 arrow shoot on New Years, usually just before, but some do it just after. No matter it is the spirit of it that matters, and the training.
It has been my tradition to do the shoot for the last several years. I missed one while in transit to Japan. Yesterday, New Years Eve I again had it at the Bamboo Mantis Hidden Makiwara dojo. The weather was fair and mostly sunny for a while.
It is an interesting thing to do the 108 shoot. The changes the mind goes through during that period. Starting off really focused on each shot, trying to make it perfect. Then fighting the fatigue, then not trying to rush the process to just get done, resetting the mind to, it is all about the practice. Also there is the mind wandering off to think about the reason of the 108 bells, 108 ya in this case. Next the cold is starting to creep in, one must overcome that. It goes on.
It was kind of cool yesterday to be shooting in the semi-darkness of the early evening, and hear the shrine bells from the local shrines. None of them are Buddhist so there was no 108 but even just hearing some bell, set one’s mind off on that direction.
There is also the shooting, looking at one’s errors, tenouchi, arrow level, using the correct muscles, not dropping the arm, not twisting…the list goes on. The training calls, the shinsa creeps closer. Nice thing is now , my neighbors only pay me slight attention now and I can relax while I do it.
Another nice things about having this after all this time, is I have or at least can understand the limits of my HomeMade Makiwara. As well as being grateful for the advantages of the having the home setup.
I started at 3:30 and finished up at 6:00. This included a refreshment break. LZ fixed dinner…and so afterwards…
All in all it was a good day!
And to my readership:
Akimashite Omedetou Gozaimasu. _/|\_