Most of us are actually seeking the meditative state. Have you ever been so utterly, completely involved in something that brought you great joy or a profound peace and when it was over, all your problems and pain shrank to manageable proportions? Maybe you feel it in a nice bubble bath or massage or while playing with children. That, in a nutshell, is what meditation does to you but without the extra props of scented water or a spa, or chocolate ice-cream.
You’ve worked hard for all you’ve achieved till now. But you’ve grown up. You wake up one morning and realise that you’re wearing a pair of shoes that are too small for you. You’re not giving up – you’re growing. And with that you realise that you’ve outgrown certain people, situations and circumstances.
Cutting the belly – seppuku or harakiri – is a form of Japanese ritual suicide originally reserved for the samurai: the medieval military class. The purpose of Seppuku was to achieve an honourable death. The practise was sometimes used to die voluntarily rather than fall into the hands of their enemies – and likely suffer torture. At other times, it was used as a form of capital punishment for samurai who had committed serious offences or had brought shame to themselves.
Growing up, I noticed that boys tend to be more outspoken and loud in classes. This gender difference gets more prominent as people get older. As an adult, I have met a huge variety of women. I’ve also met a lot of women who are dissatisfied with their lives. Usually the reason for that is that they haven’t gone for what they wanted or have just settled with what society expects of them.
At over two metres tall – the bow is heavier and more imposing than I thought it would be. It isn’t the first time I’ve held a weapon in my hand, but there’s something about the kyudo experience that scares some primal part me. I’m wearing a three fingered glove on my right hand. The yugake is a glove with a hardened thumb and a pre-made groove that’s designed to pull the string.
Jiyugaoka. It’s only ten minutes away from the overcrowded and overrated Shibuya – but it has a lot to offer the jaded foreigner that’s been here for too long. I’ve been coming to Jiyugaoka for work the past couple of months. The neighbourhood reminds me a lot of Melbourne: where I lived for five years.
We were born into the physical world of matter for a reason. I don’t believe the spiritual plane is superior to the physical plane or vice versa. Instead, I believe they are deeply intertwined and interconnected. One cannot exist without the other.