Crossbows: modern-day meditation?

Crossbows like the AR-6 Tactical really can do it all. Hunting? Done, and posted on Youtube. Recreation? Same. Competitions? A fair few Steambow customers seem to manage. Self-defense? Would you want to be on the receiving end? I wouldn’t.

But can meditation be added to that list?

And, before you dismiss the following blog as hogwash, just have a quick read, and you might actually agree. First, a definition: A Wikipedia article describes meditation as a technique to train attention and awareness and achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm, and stable state.


Zen and the art of crossbow marksmanship
Let’s start with the ways crossbows don’t fit the meditation bill: the whole premise of the AR-6 repeating crossbows is precisely that: they are repeating crossbows!

You can, with training, put all 6 arrows in an AR-6 Tactical’s integral magazine on target in about 10 seconds. Sure enough, that spells excitement and adrenaline. But you don’t have to. You can just as easily take as much time as you like if you choose to. All of a sudden, your Tactical can be something to focus all your attention on singular aspects of shooting.

And what is meditation other than focusing the mind on one thing so that it can forget all the others?


Setting a precedent
The fact is that I’m only repeating what I’ve experienced, and so have others in similar situations. Take long-range shooting: if you want to hear the metallic ring of a bullet hitting a gong at 800m or more, you can be sure that you absolutely need to concentrate on every tiny aspect of your shooting form: position, breathing, the crosshairs on the target, and the flexion of your trigger finger.

All of it and more goes into getting the result you want. And with that, you do get an astounding sense of calm as all that concentration works toward that distant clang some seconds after the flash of the muzzle and shove on the shoulder. No thinking about work, no thinking about whatever stresses or bothers you may have. Those are all utterly ignored for the task at hand.

But realistically, how many of us can try our hands at that game? Not many.


Crossbows: less red tape, less noise, as much fun
Crossbows offer the same opportunity for singular attention. The ergonomics are the same, and the results are, too, albeit at far closer distances. No need for permits or licensed ranges, just a garden, a target, a backstop, and some time. Shooting prone or seated with a place to rest your crossbow, cock it, settle into position (finger off the trigger, remember), and get your sight picture.

Ignore the traffic noise, voices, planes overhead, and even the drops of rain. See the sight on the target, exhale, and if all lines up, squeeze the trigger. Reload and repeat at your leisure. And leisure being the operative word. While the Tactical is quite capable of fast work, it doesn’t depend on it. And the single-shot AR-6 Survival even less so. With scope mounted and more powerful limbs chosen, you can reach out further with greater confidence (your surroundings allowing).

And because you can cock a crossbow and then leave it tensioned, you can shoot immediately or contemplate the crosswind for five minutes, and you’ll be no worse off. Not something you can do with a vertical bow held taut with your own muscle power.


Excitement or relaxation in the same box
So there you have it. If you want to get your heart thumping, a crossbow delivers, for sure. Yet, if you want a means of relaxing and clearing your mind so you can just enjoy something fully, is a crossbow such an extreme example? I don’t think so, and hopefully, this blog has helped you see that perspective, too.

So the next time someone asks you how you’re so relaxed, rather than answering with the usual mindfulness, yoga, qigong, or vipassana, leave them intrigued with “Tactical Meditation.”

To see what your “inner peace” could look like, visit our webshop and see what’s on offer.

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