The challenge of Day 28, by Sam Davidson: [When did you feel most alive recently? Where were you? What did you smell? What sights and sounds did you experience? Capture that moment on paper and recall that feeling. Then, when it’s time to create something, read your own words to reclaim a sense of being to motivate you to complete a task at hand.]
“Getting wiser in life you will”
An archery teacher’s lesson on how to become one with what is.
”Don’t hold the bow so tight”. I am at the archery club for my third time and had just aimed for the target hundred feet away. ”Try to barely hold it at all” he said as he stood diagonally behind me. The teacher was old in the game. He had shot archery for 52 years. He was quite short, had white hair and fingers that seemed casted in a different mould, like resilient and flexible timber. He took my elbow and showed me that I had to pull back my arm all the way so my hand was at the same level as my ear.
“And use three fingers to hold the string. You seem a natural at this, but the trick is to hold the bow lightly” he said and let go of my elbow. “Don’t focus on the target itself, then you lose your ability to relax and let go. Don’t force your will upon the arrow; don’t try to ‘make’ it hit the target, because then you are going to miss it for sure”. I absorbed his words and felt as if no one else was in the room. I felt as a goddess roaming in wilderness or a huntress foraging for food. I thought of my grandfather who hunted. He said it is important the rifle becomes a part of one’s body, one’s arm. If not, you get tense and may hit the animal in a way that forces the animal to die an unnecessary painful death.
“Focus on how your body is facing the target. Then your breathing, your arm, your sight on the arrow and how you stand with your feet will become one with the arrow, the bow and the string and thus part of you. Make a ritual every time you aim with an arrow; inhale, exhale, relax, tighten the string and let go of it. Then let the arrow do its work.” he said and moved away to the left side beside me. I closed my eyes and took a breath and did the steps he said and all scattered fragmented crystal pieces of my Self became fused into one whole piece. I felt very much alive and made into one with something greater than myself.
“Feel it, don’t focus so much on the arrow, the bow is strong enough”. I tightened the string, looked through the sight on the bow and let go. I hit the bulls-eye in the middle of the target three times in a row. This was a symbolic and intuitive moment for me. I ‘saw’ how to connect the dots in my life. If the bow is my soul, the string is my stamina, the arrow is my intention or truth and the target is my change (longing, dream, aspiration and so on) then lesson with my archery teacher was a sort of initiation to higher perception.
So let’s do an interpretation:
”Don’t hold the soul (bow) so tight. Try to barely hold it at all”
“And use three fingers to hold the stamina (string). You seem a natural at this, but the trick is to hold the soul (bow) lightly. Don’t focus on the change (target) itself, then you lose your ability to relax and let go. Don’t force your will upon the intention/truth (arrow); don’t try to ‘make’ it hit the change (target), because then you are going to miss it for sure”.
Focus on how your Self (body) is facing the change (target). Then your breathing, your arm, your sight on the arrow and how you stand with your feet will become one with the intention/truth (arrow), the soul (bow) and your stamina (the string) and thus part of you. Make a ritual every time you aim with an intention/truth (arrow); inhale, exhale, relax, tighten the stamina (string) and let go of it. Then let the intention/truth (arrow) do its work.”
“Feel it, don’t focus so much on the intention/truth (arrow), the soul bow is strong enough.”
There are many situations in my life where I feel alive – good moments and in bad:
• each morning I wake up to my boy friend’s word “ I love you”. I am a very wealthy woman in that respect.
• when I have an engaging conversation even if it’s provocative
• when I listen to people who needs someone to talk to and ‘see’ them and I am good at that. It’s a In’Lakesh exchange; I am another you (Mayan greeting)
• when my kids hug me for no other reason than they want to
• when I feel angry and outraged by ignorance, but can let go if it
• when I have an urge to poke an idiot’s eyes out, but resist because I know I am judgmental (even if I am, of course, right! 🙂 )
• when I cry for any reason I can think of
• when I learn new things, even hard learnt lessons. I want to learn and seek and gain deeper knowledge about life itself.
• when I perceive myself capable of being in between time scales; that I can analyse the past, dream about the future but stay in the present because it’s where the action really is.
• when I realise, in hindsight, that my dark night of my soul was and is a process of ‘emptying out’, so I can be filled with tremendous, deep-seated and bright life force. Not necessarily a situation I had thought of as an alive-est moment before writing this, but it was and is.
The trick is ‘Don’t hold on to the soul so tightly, it’s strong enough’. That was an ‘alive-est’ soul lesson from an old master of archery on how to become one with what is. It’s really about Self Reliance.