Jul 162013
Kyudo-Dojo of Engaku-ji in Kita-Kamakura (Winter 2007)

Kyudo-Dojo of Engaku-ji in Kita-Kamakura (Winter 2007)

When I am in Tokyo I usually do a day-trip to Kamakura and visit the Engaku-ji Temple in Kita-Kamakura. To the Temple compounds belongs a Kyudo (Japanese archery) Dojo, where visitors can observe the students shooting from the veranda facing a Japanese style garden. While the old master, Suhara Koun Osho, was still in good health he sometimes invited me for a coup of tea or to enter the Dojo and watch from the elevated position next to him. I always admire his friendliness and vitality, as well as the excellent performance of his students.

Once I read, I forgot where it was, that the advanced archer does not even loose concentration when the string of the bow ruptures. I have never seen this happen, but I imagine the concentration must be extraordinary to not be startled or even shocked by such an unexpected event.

Yesterday I had the pleasure to see another ever-vital master in action, the 72 years old Chick Corea with band. During the concert suddenly a big bang: the lower string of Christian McBride’s acoustic bass exploded in the middle of a solo. As if nothing had happened he just said “sorry” and played on. “You didn’t need this anyway” Chick Corea commented after the piece was finished, and McBride answered with a smile “no, three is enough…”.

That moment I was sure he’d even continued to play without any bass … true independence doesn’t just come from an intellectual decision to let it go, but from superior skills acquired through years of practice, in a moment of perfect concentration.

Thank you for reading! If you liked it, why not share it with your friends? Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Email this to someone