Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kai, in many forms

Kai: the sixth step of the hassetsu, the "eight steps" of kyudo. In English: Meeting. In kyudo, kai creates the seventh step, hanare, "release," the moment when the arrow leaves the string. But the release is one of the greatest mysteries in kyudo; the more you intrude upon the release, the more you intrude upon the very miracle of that release. Speaking from my own experience, the most magical release is the release that happens to you, not the release that you take.

I'm beginning to see the "magic of true meeting" everywhere. Both now, and in my own past.

The magic that the P/T therapist creates by meeting my needs.

The magic that I create in doing the P/T activities, meeting both my own strengths and weaknesses.

The magic in answering a student's question, and the question behind the question, not by repeating answers you've already given, but by approaching them via their own, unique, idiosyncratic understanding, at the moment at which the question was asked.

The magic of truly great teachers in your own life, who told you what you need to do to become more fully you, in this moment, in whatever pursuit they were coaching you.

The magic of the sound you get when you play a percussion instrument in the way that it wants you to play it. (Percussion--the way I was taught it--and kyudo are basically identical. But that's another story.) My best notes are ones the ones that weren't really "mine;" yes, I was holding the stick or the handles, but those notes came from somewhere else, because I was in kai with the instrument and the moment, and the release--the note--happened to me. I didn't play it.

So, I'm beginning to see a pattern... of meeting, of listening, of cooperation.

And here's a question: I don't want to say that the challenge before me is to "meet MS," because that makes MS a separate entity. It isn't. I don't want to say that the challenge is to "meet the MS experience," because it makes that a separate entity. And the challenge isn't to "meet myself," because then me and myself are separate entities. And they're not.

But meeting, listening, cooperation... are all integrative. They are all expressions of unity.

So, the world.. the whole world... is pointing me towards unity.

What then, should I do?

Kai.