This silent practice helps us to organize our mind and to focus the awareness on the breath and on the bodyposture.
In the exercise with the bow we coordinate our posture, breath, thoughts, skill and movement. Through them we develop a calm mind and body.
In a slow, hushed ceremony, the bow is strained and the arrow is released.
As a practitioner we are on our way to experience more vigilance and harmony in the moment itself. Only what we do in the moment itself, is part of our ceremony. We do not wonder: ‘what do I achieve with this release’? But we just concentrate on every single move towards the goal.
When the arrow has left the bow, we can only accept what has taken place. Cause and effect of the release have already passed. Disappointment or joy about of a shot are released. We cannot change the course of things that are in the past.
This incorporation of concentration, the training in awareness, contrary to ‘achieving’, supports us in our daily actions. Acceptance of what is, brings equanimity and structure. Together they open the mind for the next step.
Working directly and effectively with our disturbing emotions and deeply rooted ego-clinging is like shooting an arrow.
Before we shoot an arrow, we first need to identify our intended target. Only then will the arrow be able to strike it. We identify our target through contemplation and through analytical meditation. When we are looking for our target, we do not simply analyze external appearances—forms, sounds, smells, tastes and tactile objects. Instead, we analyze our mind first. We look at our mind and identify our dominant emotion as accurately as possible— that is our target. Our arrows are the antidotes to our ego-clinging and dis- turbing emotion: our practices of hearing, contemplating and meditating.
At the end of each practice session, we dedicate the merit. As altruistic practitioners, we say, “May I and all sentient beings who have trouble with this particular klesha be able to overcome it and thereby free ourselves from this fear and suffering.” Furthermore, we should also dedicate all of our postmeditation practices for that same purpose.