Saturday, January 24, 2009

Spirituality - 2: Kyudo Lab

My previous post on spirituality was so confusing to me that I had to spend some time trying to figure out what I was trying to say. I came up with an example that helped me better understand it: Kyudo lab. I try to explain it now.

One round of shooting two arrows in Kyudo takes 10-30 minutes, depending on the number of people in the group (between 2 and 5). It consists of a set of movements in preparation for the shooting and is a detailed ritual. I think of it as a small prototype of the life. It helps me understand some complicated aspects of life.

There are many elements to a round of shooting:

1- Target is the objective of shooting. We have many objectives in life. The first lesson in Kyudo is that target is necessary for focus and alignment, but it should not occupy the whole attention.

2- Form is the physical ways of going through the round. It is the discipline that you keep working on and polishing. Good shooting comes from good form.

3- Breathing coordinates movements and helps in relaxing tensions.

4- Energy comes from tanden (center of body) and a good arrow is shot with that energy.

5- Other archers and everything around must be part of the focus. Coordination with other archers and paying attention to the surroundings.

There are possibly other elements that I missed, but the point is that none of them should be the sole focus of the archer. Ultimately, one needs to keep a balance between all the elements.

Life seems very similar: No aspects of the life can be the sole focus. Reaching a balance in life, is probably the most we can expect.

Even though the main joy in Kyudo comes from the release of arrow with full energy, but this is only a second in the whole 10-30 minutes.


  1. Exactely like what you said in the last part of your post, reading the elements and rules of shooting, I was thinking
    how similar they are to the ruls of life! And as you said "Reaching a balance in life, is probably the most we can expect"
    As life goes on, I am finding many similarities between life and other elements existing in the whole univers;
    Aren't we just some players who have to play the rules?
    Be good dear cuckoo.

  2. "Reaching a balance in life, is probably the most we can expect." Probably the least. Probably it means nothing.


  3. Thank you both for your comments.

    Parinaz: You have a different interpretation of what I wrote, which is always interesting to see. Specifically, I am not sure about "have to play the rules" part. But I keep it in mind, maybe later I make a connection

    Anonymous: I am not sure if "it" means anything or nothing, it is just a choice that I am willing to make ... I can expect much more from life, than reaching a balance, but I am very suspicious that those expectations are ever going to be met/realized

    Again, thank you both ...

  4. Interesting :)
    Most of the far eastern teachings do tend towards and yearn for this balance... but I am still a skeptic, at times this balance comes at a cost :) and the question is, is it worth it?

    Coz at times in history some great peolpe did loose this balance and helped push humanity at large one step forward, no wonder many of them might have had miserable personal lifes, but they sure deserve a lot of thanks and praise for humanity in general.

    So don't you believe that spirtuality is just a tool? or do you think it is in itself a way of life?

  5. Thanks for your thoughts, Esfand.

    1) My personal belief is that nothing dominates living a good and fulfilling life.

    I do not understand "helping humanity" or even "helping a country". I think the best one can do is helping individual people. Some times, by luck or such, helping individuals extends into helping a larger group of people.

    2) Spirituality, as a goal, is misleading and dangerous. As one element of life, however, it deserves some limited attention.


IT'S NOT ...

.. ``It's not your spread, and it's not how strong you are, and it's not how fast you are, because you have all those thing...