Kyudo (Japanese Meditation Archery) Weekend 2

with Dale Hinchey

August 17th—August 18th

Date details +
  • $108 Program Price
  • $120 Patron Price

“Through Kyudo one can learn to live beyond hope and fear… how to be.”
            – Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Kyudo integrates technical skill with the development of a completely focused and disciplined mind. Influenced by Shintoism and Zen, it is a path of self-development and meditation that requires the archer to cultivate precision, a clear mind, and freedom from fear. Originally a samurai discipline, the purpose of Kyudo now is to purify one’s heart and mind, awaken natural human dignity, and to go beyond the obstacles of ambition, aggression or confusion.

This weekend program, the second two weekend kyudo programs this summer at Fredericton Shambhala, presents the opportunity for both beginning and continuing students to learn and practise an ancient form of kyudo using traditional Japanese bows (yumi). Students 12 years and above are welcome. All equipment is provided.

Newcomers may choose to attend Saturday only for an introduction or the full two-day program.

Offered by River Tiger Kyudo of Fredericton, and led by Senpai Dale Hinchey, this kyudo weekend program is open to new and experienced kyudo practictioners. For those who have been interested in taking their first shot in this profound Shambhala tradition, this is the perfect opportunity.

The Teacher

Kyudo teacher Dale Hinchey was a long time student Shibata Kanjuro Sensei XX, the 20th generation bowmaker to the Emperors of Japan. Shibata Sensei was invited by Chogyam Trungpa to teach Kyudo to the Shambhala community.
Dale Hinchey has been a kyudo student of the Shibata family for 30 years, and was the prime mover in organizing the construction of the kyudo venue at Karme Choling in 1991-1992. He has been a kyudo teacher since his authorization in August in 1992 and was the Chief Kyudo Instructor at Karme Choling's Seiko Kyudojo from 2008-2012, where he was taught Ho Sha ( offering shooting) by Shibata Kanjuro XX, Sendai.  One of the fruitions of this offering practice was the manufacture and provision of Werma Arrows for the Kalapa Court and the Shambhala Sangha.  Mr. Hinchey has also taught Kyudo at Concordia Language Villages Mori No Ike Japanese Language School, on the White Earth 1st Nation Community of Minnesota.

Mr Hinchey is Senpai at River Tiger Kyudojo of Fredericton, and founder of Shibata Meadows Retreat Center of Greenhill, New Brunswick , also home of Niji Ko ( Rainbow Tiger) Iba, where Ho Sha is taught to qualified students. He is also a Meditation Instructor and Educator of Shambhala ( Ngondro and Shamatha).

 Kyudo - the Way of the Bow

 Centuries ago in Japan, archery was regarded as the highest discipline of the Samurai warrior. Then, as the bow lost its significance as a weapon of war, and under the influence of Buddhism, Shinto, Daoism and Confucianism, Japanese archery evolved into Kyudo, the "Way of the Bow", a powerful and highly refined contemplative practice.

Kyudo, as taught by Kanjuro Shibata XX, Sendai, is not a competitive sport and marksmanship is regarded as relatively unimportant. According to Shibata Sensei XX, Sendai, a master of the Heki Ryu Bishu Chikurin-ha school of Kyudo, the ultimate goal of Kyudo is to polish the mind - the same as in sitting meditation.

"One is not polishing one's shooting style or technique, but the mind. The dignity of shooting is the important point. This is how Kyudo differs from the common approach to archery. In Kyudo there is no hope. Hope is not the point. The point is that through long and genuine practice your natural dignity as a human being comes out. This natural dignity is already in you, but it is covered up by a lot of obstacles. When they are cleared away, your natural dignity is allowed to shine forth" - Kanjuro Shibata XX, Sendai.

 Kyudo - the Practice

The practice of Kyudo is deceptively simple. Students can receive instruction in the basic form, shichido, or seven co-ordinations, during a weekend intensive. After the initial training, practice begins by shooting at a straw target only two meters away. When a degree of proficiency is attained the practice expands to include 28 meter shooting.

Working with the precision of the form, a natural process gradually unfolds through which the practitioner has the opportunity to see the mind more clearly. The target becomes a mirror which reflects the qualities of heart and mind at the moment of the arrow's release.

This distinguishes Kyudo from archery where simply hitting the target is the goal. Kyudo is "Standing meditation", and as such, is a true contemplative art. Also paying attention to perceptive process is part of this path.

To practice Kyudo in this way, one must have a good teacher.