Don’t rush and don’t over-clench, slightly change position to find “home.” Be intentional and pure of purpose. Stay aware of your breath and feel how all comes from your center. When you let go, let it all go cleanly and without regret. Are these the words of a tantra instructor or yoga teacher? They could be, but they’re also instructions on how to draw, hold and then release an arrow from a bow.
I was reflecting on my love of archery today. It occurred to me that there is so much development involved in micro-skills and focused attention to each point of action. First, there is choosing or fashioning the equipment (which I have often made myself.) Secondly, the archer must pay attention to his/her attitude and stance. Then, there is nocking an arrow and drawing back the bow to the shooting position and aiming for the target. All effort to this point is negated if the actual release is not instant and smooth.
The obvious metaphor is to cleanly release our effort and development of mastery in any area of life. We do our best and then practice a healthy detachment from the results. A specific example is how a good parent devotes everything within his/her power to raising a child. We keep them fed, housed, clothed and loved and connected to their spirit and community and with awareness of their values. We incubate them in a spirit of love and community and then we let them live their own life. This doesn’t have to be “sink or swim,” but we cannot live their journey for them.
Another example is emotional tension in an intimate relationship. If each person can get in touch with their values and communicate them with clarity and respect there is a good basis for restoring harmony. But, holding back honesty or maintaining even a small resentment stands in the way of fully returning to love.
A botched archery release could be from improper grip or poor arm position. It could happen from letting out the fingers too slowly or by clenching the bow too tightly with the opposite hand. My action offerings with my chosen intimate partner and with all of life are done with a spirit of “I’m giving my best self as I best know how at this time and I want the best and highest for all AND no debt is created.”
My “job” is to connect to my center and develop habits and abilities that serve the best version of me and look for ways to serve life.