Kaitodo - The Way of the Kite
To bring the mind, the body and the universe into balance is an excellent goal. To journey towards such a goal in the hope that it will alleviate the suffering of all beings makes it truly noble. The practitioner can take up any art or skill with such a motivation and thus transform it into a ‘way’ or ‘do’. The flyer of kites can become a practitioner of the Way of the Kite, ‘Kaitodo’, or more properly ‘Takedo’, ’take’ being the Japanese word for ‘kite’, but I’m not a Japanese speaker and prefer the funnier term. Anyway..
From the first idea of going flying to returning home and stowing things away, the flyer practices total presence. To be inwardly attentive and present to the facts as they appear in this very moment. On travelling to the flying place the flyer notices the weather conditions, their own state and the way things are in everything encountered. Their mind is silent. This is not the silence of no thoughts, but the silence of no reactions. Big difference!
On first stepping on to the flying place, the flyer takes a moment to allow all the senses to respond. Noticing as much as they can without strain, instincts and experience are allowed to function so that an appropriate spot can be found. Appropriate for today, not yesterday! Kite gear is set down. All directions are observed. All concerns of times other than now are dropped. Whatever anxieties or entanglements that continue to proliferate are noticed in the same way as the wind direction. It simply is. They simply are.
Having taken into account all relevant factors, a direction is chosen and the strings are laid out, kite set up and all readiness is made. The pre-flight check is done from the inside out, meaning first the way the body feels then how the mood is, how the mind is, the environment, the kite, the sky, the wind, the everything. Total presence is strongly re-established internally and externally, near and far, gross and subtle.
The kite flies the flyer when the flyer has ’no mind’, the ‘mushin’ of the Samurai. Intention and thought are present but as a part of the whole. The way the wind is right now, how the kite responds, how the flyer responds.
However it has been, wild or tight, elating or dissappointing, when everything is packed away, the flyer looks in the direction of the wind and takes a moment to offer some gratitude. Somehow circumstances have come about where there has been time and opportunity to do this brilliant thing, how fantastic! The flyer turns to the other three directions and to give a moment of gratitude to them too. The gear is picked up. The ground is scanned for anything left behind. The flyer departs.
the breezes at play
there is no other moment