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Was this a Zen experience


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Shot my first indoor USPSA match today. Was not to cnfident. To start with the concrete floor was very slippery from powder soot and shotgun shot buffering material. Lighting ws marginal at best and the acoustics very loud. The first three stages I struggled with accuracy and finding my sights. Allowed my self to have surprise slide lock backs and had to run back to engage targets that I missed. By the last stage I could not wait to finish and get out of there.

The last stage was all run and gun with 4 poppers on the right then the rest paper that had to be engage

in 4 seperate locations (12 paper targets in all with 4 no shoot targets stuck close in).

The timer start went off and thats all I could remember until I unloaded and holsterd. I had the best stage that I have had in a long time. All double alpha's except for two alpha charlies. All the steel was down but I dont remember how it looked when I was shooting. I do not remember my two magazine changes. The stangest thing is that I do not remember aiming or even seeing my sights. I didnt even feel my legs moving.

The more I think about it the more freaky it seems. Anybody else experience this? What did I do because I want to keep doing it? The closest thing I can relate it to is years ago when I did a lot of long distance running, about 5 miles in I would get my runners high and everything became easy and automatic after that.

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lets see...

body present

targets hit

no ego

complicated hand-eye co-ordination and body motion without directed thought

all the hallmarks of what Zen says is the best possible way.

as long as you can live with;

"that was GREAT!, how'd I do that?"

If you can do that same frame of mind every time you compete,

you will be as successful as the rest of your practice/training will allow.

I am not a zen master so If some one you trust says

it is not Zen and gives you a reason...

I do want to hear it.

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It sounds like there was some "Zen" things going on at the time.

The "no mind" condition is where you're aware and engaged but your ego does not create judgement, fears or doubts etc. Everything is noticed but the ego doesn't have secondary thought activity "good shot or bad shot". This is when actions come from the subconscious without decision.

However, not remembering the stage altogether as if on "automatic" means your awareness was elsewhere. Was your brain already driving home because you couldn't wait to get out of there? Been there done that and I got similar good results.

By having your mind think of getting out of there rather than a good score your ego gave up on the match and put you in "no mind" mode. This allowed your subconscious to shoot. The subconscious will shoot the best it can as long as the conscious doesn't interfere.

Letting it "flow" regardless of charlies is Zen.


Edited by daves_not_here
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I was feeling down by the last stage and my mind was probably already out the door when the start beep went off. I can recall clear pictures of the targets but all the details are fuzzy.

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I was feeling down by the last stage and my mind was probably already out the door when the start beep went off.

You stopped caring, which allowed you to enter what is often called the "Zone."

And this desire: " What did I do because I want to keep doing it?" ... Is the question that will pervent that from happening again.

When the Zone state overtakes us, and then when we come out of it, it's common to not be able to remember most of the details of what actually happened. So our natural first response is to ask, "Wow - that was awesome - how can I do it again?"

When in the Zone, the actor and the action have merged into one activity. In that state there is nothing to remember because the usual sense of "me" doing "this or that" has been suspended. If you examine what we call "memory" carefully, you will find that for anything to be remembered, you have to conscious of your self, as the entity that is "remembering," at the time the experience occurred.

It's not important to understand any of that.

For the Zone state to overtake us, a couple of conditions have to be met.

The most basic one being that we have the capacity (from training) to successfully execute the demands the stage will require.

Then, before the buzzer, there cannot be any form of trying or caring, both gross and subtle, whatsoever.


Some more on the Zone topic from a post a couple years ago…

It is difficult to define "the zone" because the zone experience defies logical explanation, in the way we are used to defining things. Things we normally say such as - "this happened (to me)." or "I did this and that was the result," fail to capture the significance of the zone experience. This is because the zone experience is quite unlike our normal way of experiencing the world, in which subject and object are sharply defined. In contrast, the zone experience is felt more as a collapsing or merging of our subjective vs. objective method of perceiving.

Reflecting on it afterwards, words like “absorption” or “merging” describe what the experience felt like. It's a state in which the actor and action merged completely; there's not a trace of the feeling of "someone doing something." It felt like there was something being done but there was no one doing it. Many also agree that the zone experience is characterized by a sense of effortlessness, and that everything slowed down and "got bigger."

I think most (who have experienced it) will agree that is a state or experience that "occurs," often when least expected. "Least expected" is key, because it implies you were not trying anything at all, so you weren't expecting anything. The experience becomes all the more illusive because the first reaction upon emerging from the zone is to try and remember precisely what you were thinking just before it happened, so you can "do it" again. After enough times of watching my mind try to remember what I was thinking (before the experience) and then coming up empty, I realized that I never would be able to remember anything (in order to help me repeat the experience) - because there were no thoughts to remember.

Our body has the capacity to remember sensations - thoughts, images, feelings - but since we're accustomed to thinking about everything we do in life, thinking has become our primary method of responding to life's challenges. The cool thing about experiencing the zone state is that you are coerced, in a way, to acknowledge that there are other ways of solving problems than by thinking about them.

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What you don't do is the way to be in the zone.

I think the posts on this subject have talked about what wasn't being done or thought as the key to good performance.

It doesn't make logical sense but is intuitively correct. I love this stuff!!


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