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Zen attracts silliness

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Post by Sa-tevp 3/7/2019, 9:05 pm

Although I have been an Allan Watts fan since the late 1970s when I started listening to weekly radio rebroadcasts (along with the original Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy) I favor the Theravada Forest Monk tradition. Zen leads to too many show-offs, too many dancers-and-prancers, too much pretensions and decorations.

I find target shooting an excellent form of meditation. Very relaxing compared to other things I do or experience. (Allen Fulford mentioned this) The shot hits the X when I get out of the way of the process.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_Forest_Tradition

I always like one monk telling a group of us in a meditation class about trying to stay calm while he listened to a snake (in Northern Thailand) traveling along the platform he was meditating on. I'll take hot brass on me over that.
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Post by willnewton 3/8/2019, 6:54 am

If it were not for John Dreyer’s postings on Zen in the Art of Pistol Shooting, I may not have taken up Bullseye.  

I definitely have a more American take on Zen, with a preference on how it can help the mind work through issues, but without the pomp and ritual.  Most any books on mental performance in sports show aspects of focus, clarity, and mindfulness that fit right alongside Buddhist practice.

 I am not a practicing Buddhist, but there are very good ideas available there.  I do feel like it is a good antidote for the mega stimulation of ‘Mericanism.   Smile

John Dreyer’s articles on the Encyclopedia of Bullseye:
http://www.bullseyepistol.com/zeninfo.htm

Also, Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in the Art of Archery was what initially led me to searching for something similar for pistols, which led me to John Dreyer via Google search.

Amazon link to the book:
https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Art-Archery-Eugen-Herrigel/dp/0375705090/ref=sr_1_1?crid=84KLTJ2LL4YJ&keywords=zen+archery&qid=1552048657&s=gateway&sprefix=zen+arch%2Caps%2C129&sr=8-1

Might as well add Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Tennis, regarded by many shooters as an excellent read. It is a very modern take on the mental games we play with ourselves and how to help you overcome the obstacle of your own self. That is a deeply rooted practice in Buddhist tradition for sure.

Amazon link to the book:
https://www.amazon.com/Inner-Game-Tennis-Classic-Performance/dp/0679778314/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3683O9JJU8KX3&keywords=inner+game+of+tennis+book&qid=1552050255&s=gateway&sprefix=inner+game%2Caps%2C126&sr=8-2
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Post by dronning 3/8/2019, 10:45 am

If you want to be really good at Bullseye eventually you have to face it, this sport is >95% mental.  Books like Lanny Bassham's "With Winning in Mind" go a long way to help with the mental part of this sport.

If you aren't training your mind/subconscious you will never reach your potential.
- Dave
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Post by willnewton 3/8/2019, 2:27 pm

Been thinking about Sa-tevp’s post.

If you condemn Zen for it’s trappings and repetitive ritualistic aspects and poseurs, etc.   Why wouldn’t you equally apply that to Bullseye shooting?

Everyone needs that Bullseye box.  The right red dot. The custom or high end pistol. The Dillon reloading press.  There is a materialistic chase for points in pursuit of being a better BE shooter.  These frills and trappings come as we grow into the sport and increase our focus.  Does it help or hinder?

In Bullseye we embrace the ridiculous rituals of standing in organized lines, handling our equipment in specific manner, following the prescribed rules in the proper manner.  Uniting as a group to participate in the shared experience under the leadership of the Director.  Sounds like many religious organizations, eh?

Of course there is the fella that has the shiniest gear, knows every rule, comes to the range to be seen looking cool, yet shoots the same score ten years running!  These guys show up everywhere in life, wanting to seem, rather than to be.

I just thought it was an interesting way to think of how one could have a distaste for Zen, yet love of a sport that incorporates aspects of what is disliked in Zen practice.

Not meant offensively, Sa-tevp, just doing some navel-gazing on your post.  Thanks for giving me something to think about.  Wink
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Post by Sa-tevp 3/8/2019, 2:59 pm

"There is the one story where a disciple had to go into the army and came begging Ajahn Chah for a little buddha necklace (amulet) to protect him from bullets.. and Ajahn Chah pointed to the only Buddha that could stop bullets.. a 15 foot tall buddha statue."


Field proven amulets are a big business in SEA.

When I was working on a motorcycle racing team we noticed the more expensive motorcycles (Ducati, Aprillia) did not perform as well on the track as our riders on Suzukis and Yamahas. For us the Suzukis and Yamahas were a consumable tool to win races with, not butt jewelry. We expected to crash several times and prepared repair kits. We usually fielded whatever bike that had the most opportunities to win contingency money from the manufacturer that season. 

As soon as a contract with a sponsor stopped we removed or covered up their logos on our race gear and outfits.

We tested and tuned. At times I made counterfeit parts to look like a sponsor's part if the sponsor's component did not give the performance we needed.


Also...
http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/CriticalZen/The_Myth_of_Zen_in_the_Art_of_Archery.pdf




Zen attracts silliness 6a00e55180ed5c883401156fad4428970c-800wi

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Post by mhayford45 3/12/2019, 3:56 pm

Interesting topic. I think all endeavors, quests, hobbies etc are ultimately spiritual in nature as we are predominantly spirit in nature. Some may deny this; but I think they are deluding themselves. 

Ritual is just another activity that can aid in settling/stilling the thinking mind. I like ritual, but too much ritual for the sake of ritual can be counter productive to settling/stilling the mind. Therefore ritual should be minimized to only those acts which create consistency and stillness of the mind. 

However, in the last week, I have been reevaluating everything ritual, especially in regards to my shooting. I shot my first 100 SF indoors in league last week. Which sent a mental thinking storm through my mind on the line. I had to step back and calm my mind quickly to continue. All my ritual shot processes were abandoned as the next string of SF was called. I stepped up to the line, picked up the .22 and loaded and breathed. Lowered the dot and thought all I really need to do is shoot a good group. Simple, clean, calming and followed up with a 95 SF. 

What did I learn? Ritual is good on the path to, but not necessary for enlightenment.

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Post by 1joel1 3/13/2019, 8:56 am

Sa-tevp wrote:
When I was working on a motorcycle racing team we noticed the more expensive motorcycles (Ducati, Aprillia) did not perform as well on the track as our riders on Suzukis and Yamahas. For us the Suzukis and Yamahas were a consumable tool to win races with, not butt jewelry. We expected to crash several times and prepared repair kits. We usually fielded whatever bike that had the most opportunities to win contingency money from the manufacturer that season. 

As soon as a contract with a sponsor stopped we removed or covered up their logos on our race gear and outfits.

We tested and tuned. At times I made counterfeit parts to look like a sponsor's part if the sponsor's component did not give the performance we needed.



Stephen

Ha, well I raced a "butt jewelry" Aprilia RSR125 back in the day. It costs a LOT more than a Honda, but it was lighter, faster, and handled better than any of the kitted Honda's that I had. The carbon fiber, titanium, and magnesium parts weren't actually for show, they had a purpose and a most definitive outcome. I couldn't afford the Aprilia 250, but I had TSRs and Hondas. Why did Aprilia bikes win all the championships that they did? Once Honda built a bike to compete, dual crank though still reed valve rather than rotary, they built a fast bike that could win. 

Sounds like the parts you made were very cool and I bet you got some great stories to tell. Thanks for sharing.

My 2 cents,

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Post by Sa-tevp 3/13/2019, 10:23 am

1joel1 wrote:
Ha, well I raced a "butt jewelry" Aprilia RSR125 back in the day. It costs a LOT more than a Honda, but it was lighter, faster, and handled better than any of the kitted Honda's that I had. The carbon fiber, titanium, and magnesium parts weren't actually for show, they had a purpose and a most definitive outcome. I couldn't afford the Aprilia 250, but I had TSRs and Hondas. Why did Aprilia bikes win all the championships that they did? Once Honda built a bike to compete, dual crank though still reed valve rather than rotary, they built a fast bike that could win. 

Sounds like the parts you made were very cool and I bet you got some great stories to tell. Thanks for sharing.

My 2 cents,

Joel

Did you need to submit a resume for the Aprilia like the Yamaha and Honda Formula 2 bike before purchase? One of our riders on the national team had a Honda RS250 and I loved the maintenance manual compared to the converted road bikes I worked on. Plans for expansion chambers? Check. Part numbers to change every gear ratio combination in the gearbox? Check. Warm up spark plugs? Check.

Were the riders the owners of the championship winning Aprilias or hired guns riding someone else's bikes? Usually the Ducatis etc that win benefit from the rental-cars-always-handle-better (and are off-road capable) mindset non-owning riders have. Owners are usually worried about crashing and won't push the bike hard. We planned for crashes to the point that new riding suits were considered bad luck.

The team I worked for won regional series and we were also the fastest privateer team in AMA Superbike in 1998-1999. We found that placing higher than a factory team rider would usually lead to a tech protest.
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Post by 1joel1 3/14/2019, 9:21 am

There was very little Aprilia Support. I had to call Italy for parts. The Honda and TSR250 (AC28m) had fantastic manuals. I was an owner/rider and yes, I would push maybe 95%, but still enough to win at local events and run upper mid-pack (maybe 10th position or so) in national events. Never fell off the Aprilia due to price, but still won a championship (club level) with it. Fell off the Hondas a couple times a season as parts were much cheaper and I did all my own engine work. 

I'm not surprised about the tech protests. Factories have a lot at stake and can be nasty. It sucks, but I hope your protests went unfounded.

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Post by r.tornello 5/9/2020, 2:16 pm

I supported a Yamaha motorcycle team here in the WDC  (Summit Point) metro area and raced KT100 enduro karts. We knew we were going to crash. We had spares we road and raced hard. We never cared about any factory team. They could order a tear down of any of our machines bike or kart.

Short of forgetting to swap fuel tanks that once held alcohol for a TKM 135, we never lost because of tech. That happened only once and it was my fault. I didn't know that aluminum kept alcohol embedded in the metal. I thought a through cleaning and fresh 76 racing fuel would be enough. WRONG!

BTW Don Nygord had a bunch on ZEN and meditation and shooting to get back to the point.


The Zen of It.
 
By, RdotTornello :copyright: 2016
&
The Village idiot Press
 
______________________________
 
It’s an elegantly simple machine, designed to do one thing and do it well.
 
I inhale and exhale. I feel my heartbeat through my clothes, hands, skull and eyes.
 
As I position myself I think of my eyes, the refractors I’m wearing and I clearly remember years ago when I was a kid, in my friend’s basement with a 22 repeater. His dad was there to supervise. I was legally blind, 20/400 and too proud to wear glasses and be called 4 eyes. I couldn’t even see a softball heading straight for me. I played left out most of the time. And pride comes before the fall. Or, in the case of school, bad grades and ridicule.
 
Silly ignorant prideful kid, but still I shot that silver quarter from 50 feet. I sensed its position and hit it dead center. There was something about a rifle in my hands that just felt right. It would be the same for a competition pistol years later.
 
Since my dad never allowed weapons in our house, I would have to wait. It would be the same for pistol competition years later and now with this precision tool laying on the rest.
 
In that basement, we had no hearing protection. My ears rang. My head hurt. Still the quarter was mine. I was the only one to hit it.
 
All that runs through my head in an instant as I pick up the first round. I laugh to myself thinking how funny memories run quicker than the actual event, an awake dream; all this in milliseconds of thought.
 
Cancel- cancel
 
The 223 Federal 77 grain is carefully placed in the short action single shot receiver and the bolt pushed forward.
 
I can feel the right hand lug just scrape as the bolt is slowly turned clockwise and locked into position. It’s like driving a racecar where I can feel the movement of the entire vehicle. Here I can feel the metal against metal, and the slight clink of the brass as the round is guided to the chamber and locked in place.
 
The safety is clicked off.
 
I inhale slowly and exhale just as slow.
 
The custom stock is pushed against the stop on the bag as I look down the scope. 55 power lets me see the small X less than 1/8 inch in the center, 100 yards down range, and just as quickly, blurs, my heart is beating faster. Some how that beat causes me to lose the clarity I just had.
 
I used to be able to slow it down to about 55 beats a minute. But that’s when I trained 4 or 5 days a week with a pistol. And that was over 13 years ago.
 
Age, and a‘nuff said about that.
 
I sit up… finger off the trigger guard, safety clicked on and I wait until I feel that calmness come over me. And then on to the raised cheek piece I lay my right cheek my eye level with the scope. The scope is focused, the crosshairs clear. My heartbeat is transmitted through my chest and hands to the stock, through the steel and the photons back into my eye. I know that my brain registers the visual site about 1/8 of a second after the photons hit my retina and passed on to be processed by my brain. I accept the picture. It’s a time delay that everybody has. It’s the way it is.
 
I know to force the action is to have, not to have.
My finger slides off the guard to the trigger. The feel is right.
 
I inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale slowly and an increase in pressure, slight, smooth, no thought, it just is and crack/surprise. The first shot of the day is away. My head stays on the stock for a few more seconds. My mind is clear.
 
The suppressor does its job. Hearing loss is permanent. I wonder about the harmonics of the barrel the projectile and the suppressor. The suppressor causes the projectile to drop 3 inches for the same distance as opposed to when it’s not attached. It’s an interesting observation. I’m not sure if it’s energy absorbed causing the drop or for some reason the trajectory is flatter and the site requires that resetting.
 
Cancel-cancel.
 
Center right, less than the diameter of the projectile, just above dead center.
 
I leave the windage and elevation adjustments alone. Let’s see if I can duplicate this and if so then I know, a fine tune is just a click or two.
away. But then I think, I won’t be able to see the center if it’s shot away. Leave it.
 
The bolt is turned, I feel the release from the locked position as I lift the arm and pull back. The spent brass is ejected. The sound of the spent brass hitting the wall and floor can be heard. When I’m the only one at the range all the sounds can be heard. The totality of it is just that, encompassing and total.
 
I sit up and relax. Another round is taken from the box. I feel it in my fingers. It has no imperfections that I can tell.  
 
I look it over and, I look at the weapon. It’s so simple. A chemical reaction takes place, a projectile is propelled at roughly 2700 feet per second down the steel barrel with 1265 foot pound of energy. I hold it until its warm and I place it in the action.
 
 
And I repeat the act again. Breath control, hand control, mind control, mind control, exhale, surprise, follow through, eject… and to myself a smile. My body relaxes with a deep slow inhale and exhale.
 
I check my heartbeat. It’s about 60 beats per minute. Shoot between the beats. ‘Rock and roll’, the thought runs through my brain and I almost start to laugh.
 
Cancel-cancel.
 
No need to shoot fast. It just heats the barrel up and that has an effect on accuracy. No need to shoot fast, I can purchase fireworks if I wanted to make a lot of quick noise.
 
5 shots, and I disengage the bolt from the receiver and unscrew the suppressor. It’s hot, real hot.  I brush the loose brass filings from the bolt face. I Insert the bore guide and run a few patches to clean the bore, allowing the barrel cool and keep the precision in my shots.
 
Smile.
 
An hour of this and I use maybe 20 to 30 rounds in groups of 5. Know when it’s time to stop. Sometimes when I don’t the rushed and hurried results are quickly visible.
 
Clean, pack, and sweep my area and then wash.
 
The ride home is calm, no need to speed.
In hale, exhale. I’m aware of the sound of the tires and the slight wind noise from closed the driver’s window.
 
Perfection? Not even close. And I laugh at the thought.
 
 
Where are the revenue enhancing radar pickets today? Ah yes, I wave and they wave back.
 
END
 
 
 

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Post by mikemyers 5/9/2020, 4:50 pm

Very enjoyable reading.  Thank you for posting!
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Post by r.tornello 5/9/2020, 5:02 pm

you're welcome, rt
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Zen attracts silliness Empty SILLY original meaning FYI

Post by r.tornello 5/10/2020, 10:27 am

"The word derives from the old English word seely, meaning happy, blissful, lucky or blessed. From there it came to mean innocent, or deserving of compassion, only later mutating this sense of naive childishness into a more critical, mocking term, signifying ignorance, feeble-mindedness, and foolish behaviour - the meaning we know today."

sources: HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, Professor Seth Lerer and WIKI

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Post by mikemyers 5/10/2020, 12:12 pm

r.tornello wrote:"The word derives from the old English word seely, meaning happy, blissful, lucky or blessed. From there it came to mean innocent, or deserving of compassion, only later mutating this sense of naive childishness into a more critical, mocking term, signifying ignorance, feeble-mindedness, and foolish behaviour - the meaning we know today."........

I'm happy not to be part of this "we". :-)
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Post by r.tornello 5/10/2020, 12:42 pm

Yeah, knowing the history of words and their meaning can change the way you consider them and their usage. I will use an older usage such as in "silly" in some of my stories and poems that I write giving them multi-level meanings, just like the names of some of my characters.

Whenever I hear someone call another silly I have to step back and look at just what the person is referring to and then apply both sets of definitions.

Now the word dumb-ass holds as far back as Apuleius's  THE GOLDEN ASS  and probably further.
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Post by r.tornello 5/10/2020, 12:47 pm

[size=37]Strange Noises In My Head[/size]
by Richard Tornello
 
BEEP BEEP BOW BOP BEEP
These signals, in my head… while I sleep.
In alpha state, they’re clear as day.
When fully awake, they go away!
If I nap, I’ll catch a beep, or two.
So I’ll force myself to my feet and try to figure what I hear.
But fully cognizant,
so weird I fear,
the transmission in my head,
well,
IT
All,
but disappears.
To add some data to this tale:
This nail-pop bump upon my head,
corresponds to the noise, that I’ve just said.
How it got here I don’t know (nor do remember).
No time was missing; no wandering lost.
Alien abduction? Not a thought.
I had an MRI today and found
Embedded deep within,
on a deep spaced frequency band:
This Space For Rent, Inquire Within
 
:copyright: 2010 Richard Tornello

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Post by mikemyers 5/10/2020, 1:31 pm

Do what I used to do.

Keep a notepad and pen near your bed.
Set your alarm.
When the alarm goes off, immediately write down what you were thinking about.

(....and include enough detail that you can fill in the blanks when you fully wake up.)
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Post by r.tornello 5/10/2020, 2:44 pm

I do keep a note book by my bed, and what you do also sounds like the words from Salvador Dali as he would drift into the alpha state.

I have a lot more published in:
www.short-humour.org.uk and www.aphelion-webzine.com (look in archives too)
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Post by Roe Hicks 5/15/2020, 11:38 am

Ah, Grasshoppah, What is the sound of one hand clapping? 
Hint:  It's not the same as the sound of one hand shooting...

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Post by mhayford45 5/15/2020, 1:49 pm

LOL, I am sure glad as a bullseye shooter that I do not have to follow the 5 precepts...They constitute the basic code of ethics to be undertaken by lay followers of Buddhism. The precepts are commitments to abstain from killing living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication. Within the Buddhist doctrine, they are meant to develop mind and character to make progress on the path to enlightenment. 

I made master in spite of the rules.

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Post by Sa-tevp 5/15/2020, 8:28 pm

Should I get the local abbot to bless my reloading press? My workbench and basement range really interested him and his monks when they last visited my house.

I already checked with a local range and we think I can bring visitors during the next Rains Retreat.
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Post by Sa-tevp 5/15/2020, 8:33 pm

mhayford45 wrote:LOL, I am sure glad as a bullseye shooter that I do not have to follow the 5 precepts...They constitute the basic code of ethics to be undertaken by lay followers of Buddhism. The precepts are commitments to abstain from killing living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication. Within the Buddhist doctrine, they are meant to develop mind and character to make progress on the path to enlightenment. 

I made master in spite of the rules.

Hmm... there's something about the aroma of target grade Eley...
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Post by Sa-tevp 5/15/2020, 8:35 pm

Roe Hicks wrote:Ah, Grasshoppah, What is the sound of one hand clapping? 
Hint:  It's not the same as the sound of one hand shooting...

A dope slap. A traditional tool of good instructors. It really anchors a lesson.
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Post by mhayford45 5/16/2020, 5:57 am

I am enjoying the mystical metaphysical humor of this thread. 

But seriously... I have been working on my anger lately. When I waste a shot (read a not 9 or 10). My anger will mildly manifest and I have to calm it before I start my next shot. I experience this more with my air pistol than .22 or .45. Then I realized my anger started to manifest shortly after the Covid shutdown of the upcoming  competitive season. Which I was looking forward too. Then ...Realization of Attachment ..... so back to basics. 

And yes, I find Eley and SK Intoxicating. But dislike Lapua. 
BE has a nice aroma and I find WInchester 231 perfume of the avatars... to bad it has such a sharp recoil.

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Post by Sa-tevp 5/16/2020, 10:05 am

I always thought this article was a good example of actually studying a subject instead of just nodding one's head and rolling along because something sounds good:

https://worldoftanks.com/en/news/chieftain/chieftains-hatch-truth-we-know-it/

For me I had the benefit of listening in the past to the George Marshall interview recordings made by Forrest Pogue where Marshall comments on how the press followed Patton all around and missed other actions, so the reporting was incomplete and lopsided.

A part of precision shooting that I like a lot is that we are always testing for performance and it becomes interesting how much information about firearms is repeated myths.
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