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On the Shooting Range

March 6, 2009

Richard, a friend of mine who also takes part in our Sunday night Harmonious Awakening meetings in Scottsdale, invited me a couple of days ago to go to the outdoor shooting range with him. Now I hadn’t picked up a gun in more than 50 years (when I was a kid I had a 22 and a shotgun), so, I thought it might not only be enjoyable but also educational, which it certainly turned out to be.

Ruger 10/22

Ruger 10/22

Richard had a variety of rifles and handguns for me to try, including the most advanced military rifle now available, whose name I have already forgotten but which was actually a pleasure to hold and easy to shoot. My favorite, though, was his Ruger 10/22, which enabled me to experiment in great depth both with presence and with breathing.

Shooting the 10/22 I was able to be very still inside and found that squeezing the trigger slowly during the natural pause at the end of the exhalation brought me the best results. At that moment I was so inwardly relaxed and outwardly still that most of my shots with the 22 hit the bull’s eye or were very close to it.

I was not so fortunate with the 45 caliber handgun or an old single-shot rifle that he had that was apparently extremely accurate. Richard had warned me that both would have a big kick, and, of course, this thought made the inner silence that I had come to with the 10/22 a bit more difficult to discover anew. Nonetheless, I was able to become relatively quiet and my breath remained slow and soft, but my shots came nowhere near the bull’s eye.

I am now considering getting a 10/22 for further experimentation along the lines of “Zen in the Art of Target Shooting.” I remember how much fun I had as a kid shooting targets in the woods with my 22. I have the feeling that part of the fun was the deep sense of stillness and concentration that I had while shooting.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2009 8:50 pm

    Hi Dennis – I had a similar experience at a shooting range a few years back. Much as I have disliked guns in theory, I thought I ought to know how to shoot the pistol my husband had obtained (trading a buffalo hide he tanned for a sheriff deputy’s pistol). He wanted to take it with us when we did a pack trip (horseback)in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. I’ve tried the inner silence and concentration when bowling, also. Both shooting and bowling are rare activities for me, but I have liked them for the same reasons you describe. Enjoyed your blog this evening…..Warmly, Jan

  2. March 8, 2009 11:30 am

    A few years ago I went to an indoor range with a friend. We rented a 50 calibur Desert Eagle and bought a box of rounds. It was too much for my friend (his wrist couldn’t take it), so I shot most of the box. At the end my wrist was numb and I was exhausted, but there was a very deep feeling of stillness and peace…and bliss (of a sort). Much more so than any other time I have ever shot targets (I have shot occassionally over the years, but it had been some time).

    To this day my friend remembers me turning to him and me saying “I feel so serene!”

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