Posture and effort in archery (2)

Posture and effort in archery - II -
Consol Bofill


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Nowadays, there are few objections to the fact that mind and body act as the same biological and functional unit, expressing the same conflicts in different ways. Conflicts are only the expression of opposite while simultaneous directions of movement and prevent any appropriation, clichés nowadays that do not allow for the expression of something important: the fact of connecting with one's own center, the axis of stability around which movement and action, thought and feeling are organized, the axis around which the person finds balance, developing one's own potential, just like a true spontaneous expression of the essential aspects in archery. Appropriation is not in essence a function of the will. It is not a question of doing, but of letting go, in order to be able to feel, perceive and act by oneself.

In general, it happens that we know too much, that we have too many certainties, an accumulation of experiences ... And then we draw conclusions, which interferes with the development of an authentic (singular, clean, real) experience. Often, we act by imposing a discipline on ourselves, to reach our objectives as an act of will, in order to "be", in opposition to the reality of "what is", to the concrete reality of each moment. Thanks to the strength of this will, we may sometimes reach the goal, but we must ask ourselves at the expense of what? What are we abandoning by this process and what are the consequences?

The effort we develop is only in direct proportion to the resistance that reality exerts (for example, when we stretch the bow at the moment of letting the arrow go...) and this generates conflict. Such resistance is part of one's own habits and of neuromuscular patterns that develop contradictory forces and useless tensions. The result is the distancing from our objective, whatever it may be. Thus, sometimes perhaps, we can reach our goal, but at the expense of the real, full and joyful experience of what we are doing, and of the possibility of learning to improve our own capacity.

In the middle of the last century, the physicist Moshe Feldenkrais wondered about the conditions under which a person could learn more easily and satisfactorily. He found the answer in a law discovered in the 19th century in the field of psychophysics: “the Weber-Fechner's law” of “law of small perceptible differences". When the level of effort is decreased, the ability to refine the kinaesthetic sensations is increased and consequently, the ability to perceive differences in internal connections and to perceive unknown and unconscious aspects in the physical organization of movement and action is increased. In this way, we perceive old habits (neuromuscular, mental, emotional, postural), which highlight places of resistance. And then we can recover lost functions throughout the educational process, accidents of life, etc., focusing effectively on our own objectives and, in short, improving the quality of our life, enjoying and gaining autonomy.

Penetrating and refining self-awareness (or auto-awareness) through attention, instead of forcing a result by exerting violence on one's own balance and interfering in an organic process of self-regulation, makes it possible to perceive the tensions, blockages and areas of conflict that make action difficult, as well as the damage we do to ourselves with certain habits, then rejecting them viscerally, not by force of will, but by welcoming and respecting what we perceive, by opening a space for some changes to occur within ourselves, through a deep understanding of what is happening.

In archery as in zazen, posture is the foundation, along with breathing and attitude... A posture which, far from imposing itself as an external requirement, is deployed within us as an immanent force and balance which spreads from the unity of being, welcomed in a contemplative attitude, welcoming "what is", offering itself to the bare experience and the pure future.

Beauty, fascination in front of a world in constant renewal, a world always different, in a game of creative potential and learning for the human being, who - like the baby - deploys his curiosity in front of a changing reality, always to be discovered, always new, giving then an echo to Reality, intangible and elusive.



November 2020.

Tags: nl32

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