Shibata Sensei

THE WAY OF KYUDO
How to Polish Your Mind


Excerpts from an interview with Kanjuro Shibata XX, Sensei

For the beginner, the Seven Coordinations provide the basis of kyudo. Beginners should reflect on each and every shot. In sports there are competitors, winners and losers. This is not true in kyudo. Kyudo is based on the idea issha, (one shot). Reflection is the most important thing. Since, in the beginning, kyudo is done at a distance of two meters, it is nothing to hit the target. One first reflects on the technique. Most beginners forget about this and think of the target too much. It is not important where the arrow goes. That is only a reflection of the accuracy of your technique and the purity of your mind. Working on the Seven Coordinations refines your technique.

Continuing to work on the technique, one begins to encounter the Seven Defilements of mind. The way to set aside these defilements is through the way of kyudo. This do (way) is endless. Practice never ends, and begins again with each shot. You don't shoot the target. Keeping to the Seven Coordinations, the arrow will go to the target, just as if the arrow had its own mind. It is not "you" shooting at the target. The right mind and the right heart, not just the right form, shoots the target. This right mind will be gained by the Seven Coordinations, reflecting on both accuracy of the technique as well as on the Seven Defilements.

The Seven Defilements:

1. Happiness- Yorokobu
2. Anger- Okoru
3. Greed-uneasiness Urei
4. Expectation- Omou
5. Sadness- Kanashimu
6. Terror- Osoreru
7. Surprise- Odoroku

The ultimate goal of kyudo is to polish your mind. It is the same with zazen. You are not polishing your style of shooting, but the mind. The dignity of shooting is the important point, Without the right mind, no matter how long you shoot, this dignity won't be gained.

TOP