There is a story of how Arjuna became a great warrior, how Krishna lined up the great warriors and said calmly, plainly and without great enthusiasm, "draw your bows and hit the target". There was no mention of the target, just the directive to find it. Many of the warriors drew their bows and shot every arrow they had, every arrow they could find and shot everything in sight, everything that moved, searching aimlessly for the target to impress the mighty Krishna, and yet, Krishna never acknowledged what they hit, never once gave a satisfactory, "Yes" as the arrows filled the sky like a swarm of crickets. and the arrows stopped and the warriors weary from the action stood there, dispondant. And there was Arjuna, holding his only arrow still transfixed forward-- and finally after great patience, he drew back his bow and it hit-- he turned to Krishna and plainly said, "Krishna, the target was not the tree, the branch, the leave, the rabbit, the fox, etc. Krishna the target was the bird's glisening eye who sat in the nest deep in the forest which sat on a branch surrounded by leaves." "Ahhhh yes," said Krishna "You Arjuna are the greatest warrior." This is one of the greatest stories about focus about knowing that you can stay on point even when the rest of your inner circle are searching aimlessly, we like the warriors take our arrows out everyday and without focus on the target, any target we shoot our arrows and hope-- hope they will land on the target any target.
Everyday that I enter the JDC, I see the kids stand on the edge of the forest and shoot their arrows, metaphorically, at any place that they will stick and there is so much hope that they stick to the right spot to their target. I see lost kids hoping someone will give them direction, they want to hit their taget in life, they live for it--
I told this story a week ago, I shared the frustration of the warriors and the calmness of Arjuna- I thought they would have focused on the warriors instead they focused on Arjuna and his steady skillfull holding of the point. It was really incredible to share with them this small aspect of vulnerability-- even though they didn't feel that way.
There is a moment in everyone where we long to be focused on the point-- the target, but what happens is life gets in the way and we shoot our arrows at what other people's expectations are --we lose the point, the target- these kids are very focused on making people happy-- it sounds wierd I know but they really are-- they are in search of themselves like Arjuna. And they are faced everyday with a battle, just like Arjuna, and they are faced with having to side with or side without people that they love-- everyday they fight the battle of who they are and in jail, they are safe, there is no battle. They are joined in community with others who are lost and searching for the point. I had been sick these last two Saturdays and the kids have been asking about Yoga-- Yoga has become their point, their target-- I am still after 3 years amazed that Yoga has taken hold--become an arrow in thier aresenal to the point of themselves.