"One is not polishing one’s shooting style or technique, but the mind. The dignity of shooting is the important point. This is how Kyudo differs from the common approach to archery. In Kyudo there is no hope. Hope is not the point. The point is that through long and genuine practice your natural dignity as a human being comes out. This natural dignity is already in you, but it is covered up by a lot of obstacles. When they are cleared away, your natural dignity is allowed to shine forth."
“Kyudo is meditation. The main point of kyudo practice is to polish your heart, deeply. When someone hits the target, you can sometimes see happiness. In kyudo, you cut this happiness. That’s merely the enjoyment of ego. Whether you hit the target or not, whether you have a beautiful form or not, is not the true measure of your practice. In kendo, karate, judo, all these forms of fighting training, victory comes from cutting someone else. Kyudo is completely different. You cut yourself, your own ego. In this way, we can begin to create a peaceful world. We can make a big international WA, a circle of peace the whole world over. That is victory!”
Kyudo Philosophy - Kanjuro Shibata Sensei XX Epigrams
Above: Kanjuro Shibata Sensei XX sitting in the traditional SEIZA position.
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“Kyudo is meditation. You don’t have to belong to any particular religion or organization to practice meditation. Everyone is welcome to practice here. There are three main styles of meditation: sitting meditation, standing meditation, which is kyudo, and walking meditation."
“All the hopes of ego - wanting a good car, a good husband or wife, money, a nice house - in kyudo, we learn to cut this, so that our deep hearts are completely clear. But it is a continual process. If you use kyudo merely to build your ego, you will not have real perseverance. You will likely be a three - day monk and quickly give up. Most important: never forget your beginner’s heart.”
"Perhaps you are thinking that neutrality is some sort of spiritual goal. This is not the case. Looking deeply at our hearts is the aim of spiritual practice. Kyudo practice is not neutral. Kyudo practice is about balance. Balance is not the same as neutrality. Neutrality only seeks the middle. In kyudo practice we are equally aware of the left, the right, the middle, all of it. How long have you been practicing? Once more again, practice. This is my hope."
Celebrating 30 Years of Tradition in Boulder, Colorado, USA