Some Interesting Facts About Archery

People have been practicing archery for a minimum of four thousand years, but almost certainly for a lot longer than that. Parts of composite recurve bows have been found dating back to the second millennium BC, but the parts that were found were the non-wooden, composite parts, typically of horn.

The wooden sections ordinarily rotted away thousands of years previously, but a wooden longbow from the same period was found in Somerset. Most probably, people had been using all wooden, single piece bows long before they started constructing complex composite recurve bows.

The skill of archery has always enthralled mankind and, in spite of the fact that guns have made archery obsolete, it still fascinates people today, although nowadays archery is practically exclusively used for sporting purposes. It is a thriving sport and hobby and is the national sport of the Kingdom of Bhutan.

If you are interested in practising archery, you will first have to make your mind up which kind of bow you prefer. Among other varieties, there are the longbow, recurve bow, reflex and decurve bows, deflex bow, pyramid bow and crossbow.

To a certain degree, the arrows are not interchangeable either. For example, a longbow can cast a three foot, heavy-gauge arrow, whereas a crossbow shoots a six inch bolt. The bows also had different uses although there was a certain degree of common ground.

For example, longbows were the heavy, rapid-firing armaments of their day, being able to fling a heavy, armour-piercing arrow hundreds of yards; whereas a short recurve bow was ideal for assault from horseback. Crossbows took less ability to use but were slower than a bow.

There are different types of arrow as well. Historically, arrows were made of wood with a sharp metal tip, but these days arrows can be made of aluminium or carbon fibre. The arrowheads are distinctive for different applications as well. A simple brass tip is adequate for everyday shooting whereas a vicious, slashing broadhead is used for killing.

Most people who take archery seriously use carbon fibre arrows these days which is the standard arrow shaft in use at the Olympic games. The flights are usually of bird feathers and are used to steady the arrow in flight to minimize wobble. Plastic flights are also available as they are less susceptible to damage.

The Welsh (and English) longbow was perhaps the most powerful hand bow widely used. These longbows were typically six feet or more in length and made of one section of seasoned yew (or other woods). The draw weight of a Welsh longbow at the time of Henry VIII was between 160 -180 lbf and that would shoot a heavy three ounce arrow up to about 280 yards.

An account of the damage that one of these arrows could inflict was given by Gerald of Wales in the 12th century:

“… in the war against the Welsh, one of the men of arms was struck by an arrow shot at him by a Welshman. It went right through his thigh, high up, where it was protected inside and outside the leg by his iron cuirasses, and then through the skirt of his leather tunic; next it penetrated that part of the saddle which is called the alva or seat; and finally it lodged in his horse, driving so deep that it killed the animal”.

It took years of practice to draw and shoot one of these longbows bows accurately.

Owen Jones, the writer of this piece writes on several topics, but is currently involved with archery recurve bows. If you would like to know more or for special offers, please go to our website at Kids Archery Set.

The Most Popular Of Zen Koans

What is Zen Buddhism? The Japanese name for Chinese “Chan” (for “to think”) Buddhism, Zen or Chan Buddhism is best illustrated, not described, and among the very best of illustrations is one of the most well-liked of Zen koans, a word that’s loosely translated as “teaching parable.”

A Zen Master was relaxing with two disciplines one day by having cake and tea. Suddenly he took his fan and threw it at one of them, asking, “What’s this?” The disciple caught the fan and started fanning himself, whereupon the Master exclaimed, “Good! Good!” He took one more fan and threw it at the second disciple with the same question. This second disciple also caught the fan, but used it as an eating utensil with which to serve the Master some cake. The Master clapped, “Good! Good!”

And that’s the essence of Zen Buddhism. Yes, that.

What does it mean?

An explanation would really rob you of the full power of the koan. If you do not “get” the koan, it is best to keep thinking about it until finally you do. Any further discussion will be most meaningful as soon as you have discovered the meaning for yourself. Or put it this way: Which would you rather have, porn or sex?

Sure, porn is easily accessible, whereas sex takes work (not only performing it but wooing the lady in the first place!), but one is no doubt a very pale reflection of the other. Likewise, “giving away the answer” would be like explaining a joke; even when you finally understand, that “zzzzt!” feeling is lost forever.

But rest assured that the koan presented above is one of the best illustrations of what Zen Buddhism is all about, since it illustrates Zen on so many levels. It is at once non-sensical and eminently brilliant. It’s funny and quirky and even puzzling but entirely logical and in fact easy to understand.

It is Zen. It is life.

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Teachings of Myanmar in the USA for Knowledge

There are too many religions in this world to be able to count all of them. Some, for example are, the religion of Myanmar, Christianity, etc. It’s not easy to distinguish between all of these and find out who is telling the truth.

We get so tired of having people shove religion down our throats that we’ve even become bored of it. Especially because we get disappointed by the examples that so called “ministers” provide for us.

It’s gotten so bad that we’ve completely lost trust for all religions of the world. It’s just simply hard to believe in anything anymore, really.

I’ve come to a point in my life where all I really say about religion is LEARN more about their standards. Don’t put your faith in those who say their keeping the ways.

It’s impossible to really know the true story, doctrine from the words of a human being. Everyone puts a part of themselves into their testimony after all.

There are many religions out there in the world that claim to have true salvation for the believers. But over the years I’ve noticed that most groups preach one thing.

Mainly their belief is in Justice. I really don’t see anything bad with this belief though. So I no longer disvalue a new religion automatically when I hear of it. Instead I just listen to what they have to say.

Learn, meditate, and give it a chance. Even if you come to realize that it’s not for you, you would have gotten something out of it.

Knowledge is the key in having a successful life, without it we are simply living a routine. And isn’t that what we’re really complaining about anyways?

Is this really everything? I’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves the same questions.

I whole-heartedly believe that we should always, no matter what, seek to improve what we know of this life and its people.

The religion of Myanmar and Christianity, Catholicism and others may have their quirks but take from each the good teachings. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. But most of all do not be afraid to learn.

Learn more about different religions at Your History Religion Vidoes. For more information be sure to stop by The Myanmar Religion and find out what it can do for you.

Beijing’s Temple Of Heaven: Near A Number Of Great Hotels

Beijing has been the center of religious worship since the Ming dynasty emperor Yongle made it China’s capital. Of all the temples built to praise supernatural forces, the Temple of Heaven stands as the most impressive.

Governing the worlds largest population, Chinese emperors needed more than just intimidation and an effective government. They had to show their subjects that they had the legitimacy to rule.

Once forbidden ground, the Temple of Heaven is now ready to welcome you in and reveal all its mystery.

Enter from the southern gate. First you’ll see the Hall of Abstinence on the west side. The hall was where the emperor would prepare himself for the sacred ceremonies. During his stay here, he would stay away from onions, garlic, alcohol, meat, and sexual relations. Because Heaven wouldn’t like an extravagant emperor, the furnishings here were kept as simple as possible.

Standing opposite to this, on the east side, are the Animal Slaughtering Hall and the Divine Kitchen. Cattle, sheep, pigs, and other sacrificial animals were slaughtered and prepared for the ceremonies here. Almost 50 workers would have to work for quite a few days before they could get the job done.

In the hall of Divine Music Administration, imperial orchestras would practice their compositions all day and night. When the ceremonies began, no mistake was tolerated.

The number of antique instruments displayed in the hall is a big hit. And be sure to enjoy the mock performances, which are staged every two hours.

Soon you’ll be standing before the Circular Altar, the most significant structure in the temple. The altar was built to worship Heaven. You can’t miss taking a picture here, for it was believed to be the center of the universe.

During the worshiping ceremonies held on the winter solstice, the emperor would bow down to receive his mandate from Heaven to rule China. A Chinese philosopher once wrote: if the ruler does things right, then the creative energy of the universe will be harmonious, the wind and rain will be on time, auspicious stars will show up, and then, the yellow dragon will descend from Heaven.

The prayers here brought the emperor the mandate from Heaven, and now he can run his empire.

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Things to do Around Luang Prabang

One of the top things that you must see when traveling to Laos are the Pak Ou Caves. Located just 25 km outside of Luang Prabang, you can hire a boat to take you there for the day or take a Songthaew overland on a bumpy road.

Located directly on the Mekong River, the Pak Ou Caves are one of the most sacred sights in the country. They are actually still used as a place of worship. Every New Year people from Luang Prabang make a pilgrimage to visit the caves containing over 4000 Buddha images and statues.

There are all sorts of different Buddha’s but the majority are the standing tall Luang Prabang Buddha statues. It is sensational. Approaching the caves from the opposite side of the river is a beautiful view. The white stairs can be seen leading into the dark hole cut into the side of the limestone cliff.

There are two levels to the caves Tham Ting the lower cave and Tham Pheung higher. Tham Phum is dark but it is filled with more statues. Make sure you bring a flash-light, it can be quite dark inside the Caves, especially Tham Pheung.

Once you have finished checking out the caves, spend the rest of your time enjoying Luang Prabangs many temples. Rent a bicycle and ride along the Mekong River as you explore the brilliant architecture of the city.

A World Heritage Sight, Luang Prabang is not to be missed. As you ride your bicycle from temple to temple, be sure not to miss Haw Kham, the former royal palace. The bright colours of the temples are a treat to the eyes against the lush green vegetation. The inside of the temples are as impressive as the outside containing Buddha images, tapestries, jewels and artifacts.

There is no shortage of food in Luang Prabang. From traditional Lao meals to coffee and pastry shops. You will never go hungry or tire of the choices. And after you have rejuvenated from a hearty lunch, you are ready to explore more of the sights, like a working Monastery. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a group of monks practicing their drums.

An event that must not be missed is a walk up Phou Si hill. This is a steep walk, but well worth it to view the incredible sunset. A temple stands at the top of the hill giving you a panoramic view of the countryside.

Luang Prabang has a famous night market. Pick up all of your trinkets and souvenirs here. Be ready to barter hard though because it is definitely over priced. Restaurants line the streets and you will have no problem finding any food that you are craving to fit your budget.

There are many things that you can do in Laos, and this only touches the tip of the iceburg. The Plain of Jars, Vientianne and Vang Vieng are only a few of the other places that you can visit besides Luang Prabang. But hurry, it may be an unspoiled beauty of a destination for only a little while longer.

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The State of Bihar

Bihar is a north province of Republic of India. The state of Bihar lies south of Nepal and with West Bengal in the west and Uttar Pradesh in the east. It is the Hindi heartland of Republic of India. It is here that Gautama Buddha gifted his first ever preachings and found Nirvana.

The capital city of Bihar is city of Patna. Patna is situated at the meeting point of 3 important rivers of which one is the might river Ganges.

The Buddha is thought to have said that Patna the then Patlipurtra will face 3 difficult situations in terms of facing fire, political unrest and flood. Today, Patna indeed suffers from outbursts of fire, flood and political unrest.

The state of Bihar was named as Magadha in its ancient times. Its very first major ruler was called Ashoka the Great. The spread of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and the Far East is credited to this great ruler.

It is said that he directed his numerous sons to several regions of the Earth as missionaries. The empire of Ashoka fans out from the east of India to the Persian Empire. It is said that he fell short of occupying the Persian Empire merely because the ruler had a matrimonial alliance to the king of Persia.

For the student of ancient history and followers of Buddhism, a trip to Bihar is a must. The ancient town of Bodh Gaya in Bihar houses the most holy sites of Buddhism. Some of which includes the original Bodhi tree where Buddha got enlightenment.

Various factions of Buddhism and various Buddhist states of the world have set of temples at Bodh Gaya. The township of Bodh Gaya can be arrived at by getting to Patna and then taking the road or nightlong train. The pilgrim’s journey to the holy sites of Bodh Gaya is definitely a revalation.

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