The Art of Letting Go…

Cycles, like the rise and fall of ocean tides, come and go.  Obvious as this is, we’re prone to resent the fact, in favorable circumstances, to the point of illusion.  Things and situations that reach to us through intention and struggle often become “objects” of devotion; we give them the possessive pronoun, while in moments of clarity, we might see them as barriers to growth––limitations on creative evolution.   DSC07565

In the archer’s praxis, we spend effortful time with the draw––to “get it right.”  Focused so, we may forget that the draw’s resolution is found only in the release.  More often than not, there’s residual fear as the new archer “stands” on the precipice of “letting go.”  The archer might “freeze,” which is entirely reasonable considering the tactile sensation of the bow’s resistance––a wonderful potency in held potential.  The fear has an inverted twin which triggers haste, and the arrow launches from a careless hand.

The whirlwind of tension that rises with the draw, is tethered at anchor-point––eye of the storm.  For the attentive archer, a dynamic stillness can be here found.  Its a fortunate encounter, an actionless instant––bud to bloom––when an arrow flies with kinetic vibrancy, with breath, with life; its profound to notice.  On the Archer’s Green “there” becomes “here” again, when intention’s arrow meets destiny’s Mark.

The Praxis of Intension or Danny’s Dilemma

In a manner of speaking, and from a certain angle, body leads in archery.  Discipline of form carries the student through the usual awkwardness to a wonderful sense of rhythm and ease.  The archer’s body gradually awakens, pivots from reaction to response––wasting tensions dissolve into the joy of holding a purposeful draw. Engaged with its own sensuous knowledge, the body savors a new kind of tension––the range simply an extension of the archer, as the web is of a centered spider. 

Here, at point-anchor, where vertical and horizontal, spacial and temporal, where stillness and movement meet, the patient moment can ripen into the deeper praxis of surrender.  To what?  What does such an archer be-hold and see?  “Look before you leap,” so the old trope goes.  On re-cognizing the Mark, its established in the devoted eye––a visual Anchorpoint to compliment the body’s harmonic twin.  Twinship is only resolved in unity’s mirror.

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William Blake’s Archer

A beloved teacher of mine once concluded the story of an old archer who’d been invited to share his art:  Students were assembled alongside a long range giving the old man the sublime support of silent regard.  When the archer’s deliberate arrow––his only one––flew and struck ‘Bullseye!’ my teacher was not the only witness who suddenly broke into tears.  “He’d shot himself!”    

In the Platonic mysteries, its said that “the fruit is the cause of the tree.”  What then, dear one, is the archer’s intension?