Ok, I know what you are thinking. “What do I need to know about dart throwing?” Well, I thought that too, up until about two weeks ago when my husband, Roger, put up a dart board on our patio. He shared with me how much fun it was playing darts in college. He jokingly told me that he majored in darts. (I figured that went right along with a minor in beer chugging). Anyway, he doesn’t drink now, but he still likes to play darts. He told me there was a “Zen” to it. I was sceptical, but open-minded. And since I am usually up for just about anything, I gave it a whirl.
It really didn’t seem like a difficult game to me. The “official” throwing distance is only about 7′, and the darts are lightweight, and feel nice when you hold them. So we started with a simple game of baseball. We take turns throwing the darts at the numbers 1 – 9, like innings, and keep score of how many points we get in each inning. Now of course, he beats me hands down, but its fun because no matter how many points you get after each inning we move onto the next. I noticed after the first game or two, that it was pretty simple to get the darts to hit the board, but its a whole different story to actually hit your target.
So that brings me to the Zen he spoke about. I started to see that when I am centered I play the game much better, and come much closer to hitting my target. If I am rushed or have a busy mind, even when I try to take my time, I just cant get the dart close to where I am aiming. “Well, that’s interesting” I thought to myself. It made me wonder how much I am missing in my life because I am rushed or have a busy mind.
It’s always been challenging for me to slow down. I have meditated on and off for many years, but I admit that it’s not my favorite thing to do, as I struggle to quiet my mind. They say it’s practice, but I usually give up before any real progress is made. I think some of us are naturally more adapt to slowing down, getting quiet and being more single focused. Others of us are not. My husband Roger is in the first group. He seems to take life a little slower, he is more deliberate, and very present at whatever he is doing. I guess that’s why he good at darts… that and the time spent practicing. On the other hand, I am the opposite. Naturally, I go pretty fast; I am a multitasker and I get stuff done. I like that about myself, and most of the time it serves me well. Yet, there is a lesson here for me. When I am moving too fast, there is a good chance I am going to miss my target, whatever the target is, and the target is always that which is before you right now. The target is the present moment: it’s the person you are speaking to, the words you are writing, the action you are taking, right here, right now. Afterall, what else is there but this present moment. Hey, I think that’s Zen!