Kyudo Notebook: Testing

As we head into the testing season I just wanted to reiterate, if only for my own peace of mind, something my teacher said on the way to Ise last year: that you shouldn’t think of testing in terms of success or failure. Of course we all want to pass the test —  there’s pride, desire, and even money mixed into it — but she said that’s the wrong approach. Better to have a goal that is far off… (8-dan? Win the nationals? Enlightenment?) and think that the level you’re testing this time is just a step along the way. Instead of making a big deal about passing or failing, you’re simply asking the shinsa-in a question: How am I doing? What level am I at right now? Then you take that result back and feed it into the effort to achieve your long-term goal. The only way to fail is to not show up.

Happy testing!

PS Zen has a good quote on this subject from Zhuang-zi here.

This entry was posted in kyudo, kyudo notebook, mind, shinsa. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Kyudo Notebook: Testing

  1. Zen says:

    I try to keep this in mind when i feel myself getting worked up about testing. Perhaps i need to raise my goal from Yondan to Renshi! Yosh!

  2. karamatsu says:

    Good idea! Perhaps the farther off the goal is, the less stressful these intermediate steps become? I’m still working on it myself!

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