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Bart Solo

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    Ron Byers

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Looks for Match

Looks for Match (2/11)

  1. I love Trail Boss. I use it in all my cowboy bullets (38 special, 45 Colt, 45 Cowboy Special) and even sometimes when loading lead Wild Bunch bullets for my 1911, but it is just the wrong powder for 40 S&W.
  2. The purpose of Zen is not to help you a faster shooter. The purpose of Zen is to aid you in finding personal enlightenment as Buddha found enlightenment. It is to help us live in the present moment, wisely and earnestly. Many on this thread view religion through the very tiny window of the West. Zen is not about finding God, but then again neither is Buddhism. It is about finding something else. It is about helping us find our Buddha nature. If you think Buddhism is a religion, then Zen is one of that religion's schools. What we are doing here is using some of Zen's principles to help us perform at a higher level. Specifically, we are learning that if we want to shoot faster we should live in the moment. Is that always wise?
  3. You can get alpha waves without meditation. They can be medically induced. Peyote anyone? What about LSD? I seroiusly doubt any serious practitioner would define Zen as being a series of actions and tricks that produce alpha waves in the brain. That said, there is a lot of science that says there is little difference between medically induced highs, runner highs and the kind of highs people obtain from serious prayer or meditation.
  4. I started pistol shooting older than most. Just before my 60th birthday I saw a cowboy shooting event on television. That looked like fun so I decided to try. Have you ever heard the statement, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks?" The statement is wrong. As long as you are in reasonable health you can learn new skills. You have to work hard and improvement comes slowly, but you can improve. Along the way I took the advice of some really experienced cowboy shooters and read Brian's book. I have had an interest in Zen for a long time so I realized that at the core of his book was his take on active meditation. I am not sure what Brian suggests in his book would pass a Zen master's test, but most Zen "masters" don't know what they are talking about anyway. Each of us follows his own path I do know there is truth in Brian's approach. Speed comes from planning, rehearsal, and performing your skills or plan with as little conscious thought as possible. Whatever you call it, what he teaches is a truth known by elite athletic performers everywhere. Most of them have never attained enlightenment. By the same token most who say they have attained enlightenment don't aspire to be elite athletic performers on a competitive stage. Last fall I took up USPSA to augment my shooting in the off season. So far I have learned that my basic shooting skills transfer directly from the cowboy game, but for me improvement in speed in this game has been elusive. I am convinced that speed will come as it has playing cowboy. If you notice, Brian practiced hard for years before he had the skills he needed to take the next step. I think that level of dedicated practice is necessary before we can get in the flow, or achieve a "zen" state while performing even a simple task like mowing the lawn or washing the dishes. By the way, I came to shooting because I wanted to have fun and learn another skill. I remain involved because I have met some of the best people in the world.
  5. "Zen is perhaps the most well-known school of Buddhism in America. Its concepts have been influential on western society since the latter half of the 20th century. There are about 9.6 million Zen Buddhists in Japan today, and numerous Zen groups have developed in North America and Europe within the last century.Both the words "Zen" (Japanese) and "Ch'an" (Chinese) derive from the Sanskrit word Dhyana, meaning "meditation." Zen Buddhism focuses on attaining enlightenment (bodhi) through meditation as Siddharta Gautama did. It teaches that all human beings have the Buddha-nature, or the potential to attain enlightenment, within them, but the Buddha-nature been clouded by ignorance. To overcome this ignorance, Zen rejects the study of scriptures, religious rites, devotional practices, and good works in favor of meditation leading to a sudden breakthrough of insight and awareness of ultimate reality. Training in the Zen path is usually undertaken by a disciple under the guidance of a master." http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/sects/zen.htm In my mind if you believe Buddhism is a religion then you have to say Zen is a religious school. The assumption of Zen is we are capable of enlightenment through meditation. Putting aside the notion of enlightenment (whatever that is) the question is what counts as meditation. A lot of people say meditation amounts to little more than contemplation while sitting on your ass. Others say you can meditate while engaged in some specific physical activities like the sword fighting, hand to hand combat, archery or even pistol shooting. Some say you can meditate while participating in the ordinary activities of life--mowing the lawn or washing the dishes. Some reject meditation all together and say you can obtain enlightenment in an instant of personal discovery. Some would say that Zen, which is by definition focused on obtaining personal enlightenment, is very self indulgent. I am still trying to figure out what any of it means, if anything.
  6. What John Dreyer thinks is interesting, but the real question is what do you think?
  7. You seem to have mastered everything, by your own proclamations of self-development. Consider going back to where you started at the very beginning, inventory your motives and your instructor(s). You asked the ? ..." What is the purpose of practical shooting?", as if there is a singular destination point we are all looking to acquire, and/or looking to frame the destination into one of your two options. It is, what it is, and what you make the journey. Preconceived stereotypes, based on a limited vision, are a form of mental chains. My definition of "the zone" is completely different from yours, as my definition is partially framed from my backgrounds, and this journey so far which I am merely a passenger. While I do control aspects of this journey and what I choose to evaluate as relevant, I am simply along for the ride. The destination is mine, but if I let someone else tell me what the destination is supposed to be, what has happened? So, the answer to your question is yes and no. I have mastered nothing. I came here looking for enlightenment. That is the topic of this folder. The only thing of real interest I have found is many wisely believe shooting is fun.
  8. I understand Jim. No offense taken. I am truly experienced enought to have been in and enjoy being in the zone. My comment was not wisely taken. For that I also apologize.
  9. Forgetting is important to creativity. Most improvements are the result of misremembering.
  10. SonofSpartans, I have lived a long time and know from real experience what the zone is. Your question about my background is an arrogance that is unbecoming. The state of No Mind or No Thought has little if anything to do with being in the zone. The zone is a state of heightened awareness that is not the same as a state of No Mind. In fact it is just the opposite. While in the zone you are thinking quickly about those things that are most important, but you are thinking. Once you have mastered your skills and have the proper mental preparation you can focus on those things that allow you make decisions very quickly, but that focus is not a state of No Thought. It is simply the way to do something very fast. I just watched a college football game with many skilled players who know all about being in the zone. I doubt any of them are Zen Masters. Since this folder is called "Zen" I am talking about the use of "practical shooting" as a meditation tool, not being in the zone.
  11. My point is simple, practical shooting teaches us how to use a deadly weapon efficiently. By his own admission Brian Enos struggled for years to master practical shooting. Then after years of practice it all came together. He found what he always was, a champion. Was it the meditation or the practice that lead him to perform at a high level? For me a meditative state is to be in the present, free of the future or the past. Thinking takes me to the future and the past and seems the antithesis of the meditative state. All of the talk about achieving a Not Thinking state when shooting seems to be dangerous. Pistols and bullets are dangerous after all. Of course, you can take the position that we only shoot within the safety constraints of the game. Then it is possible to achieve a Not Thinking state as we shoot. Then the game is divorced from the world. What is practical about the game? For me, practical shooting is more about wisdom and judgment and less about meditation, but I have been wrong before.
  12. I read the posts in this folder and wonder what is the purpose of practical pistol shooting? Is it to discover who we are or to forget? Are we using the pistol as a tool to aid in meditation or to provide a means of defense? I read constantly about those who strive to not think as they shoot. Thinking slows them down. Thinking interfers with a smooth run. Thinking just might keep a stranger alive if one wanders into the meditation. Is not thinking required to be truly human? Or is Not Thinking the true goal of the practical shooting meditation? Is meditation an activity that separates us from our humanity? Just what is the way of practical pistol shooting--a meditation tool or a defensive skill?
  13. If you want to shoot fast, don't over think. Just free your mind and let it happen. Get off the couch and shoot. Before you shoot visualize the stage. Just before the beep remind yourself front sight, and follow through. When the beeper sounds just do it as you visualized it. You wll be amazed how quickly you improve.
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