Kyudo Notebook: Courage

An interesting aside from my teacher today. He was talking to a bunch of us at a tutorial and mentioned that the way you progress is essentially a cycle of creation and destruction. You find a way forward, and it works, but rather than get attached to that you have to be willing to destroy it, otherwise you get stuck. He said that if you feel satisfied, then you stop moving forward, so you have to have courage, essentially (my interpretation) the courage to destroy the plateau you’ve reached in order to attain the next level.

I couldn’t help thinking that I was one of the recipients of this message. For a period of about three months I was hitting in the high 90% range, but since incorporating various changes from the international seminar and some tutorials/advice since then, that’s all evaporated. I do feel better about my shooting. Several things seem to be coming together better than before. But it’s hard not to feel a bit disappointed when the target eludes the arrows, even though these ups and downs should be familiar by now. I guess the thing is that, with each new plateau, somewhere in the back of my mind I still think/hope, “Now I have it!” But it’s just a plateau, and I guess a good teacher’s job is to push you off plateaus.

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