Back at it…from Zen – Now

Back at it…from Zen 2 Now
From Zen...

After the Shinsa, I took a break from Kyudo, mostly because I had to do a boat delivery and there was no reason to continue “code red” training. This lasted, the break, about a week maybe A week and a half. I could have gone a little sooner but my spirit was not there. I needed to re-center and step back for a breath. I went to a couple of open shooting, training sessions. I did poorly, but it did not matter. I did get some tips, suggestions, adjustments from a couple of Sempai Sensei on some small things. Still Feeling xtreme, self-furstration, at the same time mentally philosophical about current skill level. Doing all those “Zennie” things to lift, un-attach, re-balance.
The was a major regional Tai Kai last week at the Osaka Castle Park Dojo. I was not feeling it! If I had not promised to be there I would have not gone. I ended up not going back to the Dojo for my Takeyumi, instead, choose to skip going back to the dojo for it and used my Bamboo/fiberglass hybrid. I figured I was shooting badly with whatever, Bamboo or Glass or Carbon will not matter. I am the issue not the equipment. 
This is the first large local TaiKai of the season, there was a big turnout, so it seemed to me. I noticed different jackets around, the main give away to the “others”. Like I believe this one belongs to “Black Arrow’s” old dojo.
The weather was on the cool side but not too bad. Standing next to the heater was still nice. I did ok overall with a couple of long sleeves shirts on under the dogi, including silk thermos. Toward the end I put on my thermo vest. I was more sleepy than cold though.
I was up late the night before trying to recover my iPad from the new IOS install. That was a mini nightmare. I did lose some data in the process, including my shooting log from the beginning of the year. However…
All of that is another story…
I digress…
Yes, the weather was bearable. This is my second time doing this TaiKai. There I am guessing were about at least a dozen dojos in attendance. At my group’s meeting before the start there was discussion about the tournament, lineups, etc. I did not understand most of it. The was one part I think I understood for some reason, it was when Kaicho said let’s not be concerned with being #1, being #3 will be good! Everyone laughed.
I mostly hung out for a long time. The good shooters at my Dojo, went first from our group. They did, ok, not outstanding but ok. I went on the third round of our group. I hit 1 out of four, however so the Kaicho from our school. Ok, I did not feel so, “the only one sucking in the group”. I had company. 
After lunch, which I, for a change this time, ate with the group in the changing room. I had one other turn on the shai line. I did terrible, again, only worst, no hits. Very close misses, but still misses. Oh well. No surprise from me. Overall it was a sort of fun day. Hanging with the group, grabbing some pictures. Cheering on our people when they hit. It was like a real high school/team sporting kind of feeling , but on a lower, dignified sort of way. Still there was one guy a senior sempai, who was also managing our group, he was pretty Loud with his approvals. A kind of pleasant surprise, from an adult group.
So yeah, my shooting was a bust for the day…”some days you are the windshield, somedays the bug”
I did get some good shots from my camera, at least I was making some hit shots with that. Here is a link to some other shots from the day at Osakajo no Kyudojo.
Which reminds me, if you wanted to see the pictures from the Kokokuji Zen Temple pilgrimage, and have not, here is the link.
2 Now:
I went to the Dojo today, and yesterday. I practiced, tired to put my mind back on the training track. I got some guidance of a couple of things, I am still struggling with. The struggle continues, again very low score. From memory the lowest of the year, or at least the second lowest. I have pretty much given up any short term fast improvements, this will be a major training effort to raise my skill level. I am even considering skipping the next Shinsa, perhaps two, whatever until I can feel more confidant. I should have at least a consistent 60% hit rate. Less than that is running on luck.
I went to Kimono training class today. They have started this recently. Sato Sempai is heading it. She is now a Sensei this is her platform. Good since Watase Sensei stopped having his formal training class. Today was my first attendance. It is also attended by some from the Shrine Dojo. I am still somewhat startled by the closeness of the relationship, between the two dojos.
I watched as the group today went through Shari: 1 mato, three shooters, 1 mato four shooters. I could only watch as my knees could not take the strain. The group did however did go through Shinsa TaiKai. I got to practice and correct my timing, a very good thing.
I decided today, I would continue with the adjustments everyone is telling me. Some of which is just a little at times contradictory. I will also make an adjustment on my targeting. As in unless I really twist my left arm/elbow down, which I have been told is wrong, my ya hits left of the Mato. I shifted my sighting more to the left today. It made a difference. Is that wrong if my form is correct, to make an allowance for the nature of the Yumi?
I will see over the next few weeks how that works out. I have about 3 wks to decide if I will skip the next Shinsa. I am really leaning that way. Wait until the Sept Shinsa…wonder what the iChing has to say about that question. Give me something to meditate on.
fall 7

Q: Should I skip this June Shinsa?

Hexagram 57: SUN
Consistent correctness turns every situation to your advantage.

The image of this hexagram is that of a gentle wind dispersing storm clouds. A wind that changes direction often, even a very powerful one, will disperse nothing – it only stirs up the sky. The wind that causes real change is the one that blows consistently in the same direction. There is an important lesson for us in this example.

When faced with a difficult problem to resolve or a goal we wish to achieve, we often are tempted to take striking and energetic actions. Though it is possible to achieve temporary results in this fashion, they tend to collapse when we cannot sustain the vigorous effort. More enduring accomplishments are won through gentle but ceaseless penetration, like that of a soft wind blowing steadily in the same direction. The truth of the Sage penetrates to us in this way, and this hexagram comes now to remind you that this is how you should seek to penetrate others.

The advice given to you by the I Ching is threefold. First, establish a clear goal; the wind that continually changes direction has no real effect. Second, apply the principle of gentle penetration to yourself; by eliminating your own inferior qualities you earn an influence over others. Third, avoid aggressive or ambitious maneuvers now; these are rooted in desire and fear and will only serve to block the aid of the Creative. The desirable influence is the one that flows naturally from maintaining a proper attitude.

In your interactions with others, bend like the willow. By remaining adaptable, balanced, accepting, and independent, and by steadily moving in a single direction, you gain the clarity and strength that make possible a series of great successes.


When your insight penetrates to the source of the problem, do not dwell on it. The ego will become entangled. Simply make the necessary correction, and persevere in it.


Sometimes the inferior enemy cannot be identified. Do not struggle, but quietly return to improving yourself. In this way a good result can still be obtained.



Hexagram 29: K’AN
Flow like pure water through difficult situations.

The image of the hexagram K’an is that of water: water falling from the heavens, water coursing over the earth in streams, water collecting itself in pure and silent pools. This image is meant to teach us how to conduct ourselves in trying situations. If we flow through them, staying true to what is pure and innocent in ourselves, we escape danger and reach a place of quiet refuge and good fortune beyond.

K’an often appears to warn of a troubling time either drawing near or already at hand, and to counsel you not to fall into longing for an immediate and effortless solution to the trouble. When you become “emotionally ambitious” – when you cling to comfort and desire to be free of the currents of change in life – you block the Creative from resolving difficulties in your favor. What is necessary now is to accept the situation, to flow with it like water, to remain innocent and pure sincere while the Higher Power works out a solution.

It is not that you should not act now; it is that you should not act out of frustration, anxiety, despair, or a desire to escape the situation. Instead, still yourself and look for the lesson hidden inside the difficulty. Correct your attitude until it is open, detached, and unstructured. Abandon your goals and stay on your path, where you proceed step by step, arm in arm, with the Sage. 

Those whose hearts and minds are kept pure and innocent relate properly to all events, understand their cosmic meaning, and flow through them with the strength, clarity, and brilliance of pure water.

from the I Ching, or Book of Changes: A Guide to Life’s Turning Points, by Brian Browne Walker
Hmm interesting…meditation 



2 thoughts on “Back at it…from Zen – Now

  1. Sounds like great training! I’ve taken a little time since the recent test as well and it can definitely help to reset the mind and emotions, I guess to avoid the frustration or emotion in wanting something, (kind of like what it sounds like the I-Ching is saying) instead of just shooting for fun. Don’t recognize the lady with the jacket, can’t read it so well, but does it say Toyama? If so she could be from Toyama Prefecture where I first started, but then it’s a whole prefecture and don’t know what dojo she might be from. Also, I’ve heard of other places called “Toyama” all over the country, so prob not. But thanks for the shotout! I’m about to fill in the papers for the June shinsa. I won’t say I’m 100% confident, but I know pass or fail it’s a great experience, and will at least go for that. Then again, it’s a lot of money and time and stress to go through just for the hell of it. Ganbarou.

    • I did not know there was more than one Toyama. I thought it was a small town near here. Surprised it is a prefecture. So the woman is most likely not from there. Pass or fail yeah it is good “training” if you can afford it. Ganbarimasho!

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