Listen Young Warriors
A long time ago at Kyudo student searched Japan for the greatest archery teacher in all the land. In the city, she found a teacher who could hit a tree from a remarkable distance.
“Are you the best of all teachers? Will you teach me?” The Master answered, “If you seek the best then you must find my master. He lives in the country.” The student travelled to the country and found the Master’s Master. He demonstrated his skill by hitting a leaf off a tree from a remarkable distance.
“Are you the best of all teachers? Will you teach me?” She asked. The Master’s Master answered, “If you seek the best than you must find my master. He lives in the mountains.”
The student travelled to the mountains and found the old, wise Grandmaster. The journey had been long and by the time the student was able to speak with him, it was dark. She asked the old man, “Are you the best of all teachers? Will you teach me?”
The Grandmaster quickly snatched away her bow and with a blur, took an arrow from it’s sheath. He fired the arrow into the pitch black night. The student heard a “thud” from a remarkable distance away and journeyed into the night to find where the arrow had his. When she got there, she saw that the Grandmaster had pinned a falling leaf to a tree…
…in the dark.
The student ran back to the Grandmaster and bowed deeply. In a breathless voice, she said, “Ona-gashey-mas” (please teach me). The Grandmaster smiled and accepted her as a student. Amazed by the grandmaster’s skill, she asked her new teacher, “How did you do that?”
“It’s very simple little flower, I just closed my eyes.”
In our kids Warrior Camps, we speak a lot about fear. What are you afraid of? Our answers vary but most often we hear the same answer…
Kids are surprised to know that adults have the same fears. Adults are afraid of the Dark too…but the adult Dark…the unknown, the void, the “nothing you know” or even worse the “thing you don’t know”.
When was the last time you were rocked off your core, out of your center, completely ungrounded by a situation that didn’t seem to match the current energetic flow of your day? When was the last time you were caught off guard or blind-sided by an experience that shook your foundation? When was the last time you were plunged into the darkness of the unknown?
- Did you set up a camp fire there and pitch a tent?
- Did you curl up and go foetal, waiting for the monsters to come?
- Did you shout for help, only to hear the frightening silence the void provides?
- Did you search for the light? Even if you didn’t find it, was it in vain?
- Or did you close your eyes and start dancing?
What else is there to do in the Dark but dance anyway? Sitting down and wishing it was light won’t get anything accomplished. It won’t take away the darkness, our darkness, our dark night of the soul.
Can you dance that dance? Can you aim your arrow without your eyes into the darkness achieving what you know to be true despite the dark? To aim with your heart? Of course you can.
So the real question is: Do you?