Shooting is meditation

Shooting is meditation

Shooting indeed is a meditation. There are many elements that are common to shooting and meditation.

Although shooting may appear to be goal oriented, it is not! If the shooter is too much focused on the target he becomes tense and misses it.

This reminded me of Zen archery. The principle of both the games is the same. The difference is that in Zen, archery is used for meditation, not for competition.

Osho narrates a lovely story of a German professor called Herrigel who went to Japan to learn archery.

He himself was an expert archer, always successful in hitting the target. But his Zen master said, "The point is not there in the target; the point is within you. Are you grounded?"

The professor said, "In the West we have practiced archery for hundreds of years and nobody has thought about grounding. What is this grounding?"

The master said, "Grounding means you become almost part of the earth and allow the gravitation to flow in you -- particularly below the navel, two inches below to be exact.
The gravitation comes from all around, and settles two inches below your navel."

Grounding means, bringing this life center within you in contact with the gravitational force, so that the gravitational force starts filling it.

But Herrigel could not pass the test even after three years, so frustrated he decided to leave.

Before leaving he came to bid good bye to the master. The master was teaching another disciple, and Herrigel was sitting on the bench, simply watching because he was finished with it. And suddenly he saw the point.

The master was so relaxed, it was not his hands which were shooting the arrow; it was some inner force at work. Spontaneously, he stood up, went to the master, took the bow and arrow and shot the arrow.

For the first time the master said, "I can certify -- you have achieved. You were trying with your mind, you were tense.

Today, because you were finished with it, your eyes were clear, your heart was silent, you were watching in deep peace and silence, and you could see. I can certify that you have achieved not only the art of archery, but simultaneously the art of grounding."

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