The Natural Zen Archer

I recall watching Usain Bolt on TV during the 2009 Olympics, breaking the world sprint record with a (then) jaw dropping time of 9.69 seconds. It was an imperious, yet nonchalant performance by Usain. He cockily rubbed salt into his opponents’ wounded egos, easing off by a good distance from the finish line. Sure, this man worked hard at his Sport …… his Career. However, none can deny that such ability is a Gift. A Gift he did not squander or leave undeveloped.

We occasionally chance upon such gifted ones amongst common people like us. Eschewing limelight, unlike Usain but meticulously, calmly, polishing their craft anonymously.

Now, as a middle-aged archer, I know one of us whom we consider to be extraordinarily gifted with the Bow. I will not mention name as this is a shy person. Yet, given the right guidance (if required at all) and perhaps some youth, this archer is easily a world beater.

His is a used wooden club riser and the limbs are basic, entry grade fibreglass. His arrows are beginner grade carbon-aluminium with nibb points weighted with leftover screws from his workshop. Not surprisingly, they are sometimes missing a vane. Often, we see this archer with a mixed tube of arrows as he is a prudent consumer. Waste not, want not.

I study the flight of his arrows. Frankly, they are not elegant…. they barrel, porpoise or fishtail. Confoundedly, they find their target. Here is an Archer who tunes himself to the equipment at hand. We tune our equipment in order to isolate problems down to archer error. Nothing else to blame on for a poor shot but the archer. This Archer accepts his equipment totally. He is ONE with the Bow… It’s a supreme level of Zen-ness.

This Archer truly deserves our Respect.

– contributed by Tyger


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