By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, Published June 7, 2017

When I compete in sport shooting, I try to achieve complete peace in my mind. I work hard to remain focused and keep stray thoughts from creeping in. Some shooters like to socialize at the range, but that is not for me. It’s not that I don’t enjoy other shooters’ company – I have made several friends in this sport – but I have found that if I socialize, it can become a distraction. Something I talked about before it’s my time to shoot might return to my thoughts and cloud my mind during competition.

There is a Chinese word that represents the mental state I try to achieve when I am shooting. The word sounds like “shing ping.” To have “shing ping” means to have harmony in your heart. In competition, I know I achieved “shing ping” if I can completely block out spectators and other competitors. When I am in a true state of “shing ping,” it is as if I am the only person on the range, even if there are hundreds of people around me. When I have achieved “shing ping,” I am at peace on the range.

I have thought a lot about “shing ping” since I started competing in sport shooting, but it is a concept that I also try to apply to life in general.

You cannot achieve “shing ping” in your life if you are holding onto any wounds or grudges. You must first make peace, and to find peace, you often must first be willing to forgive. Sometimes that might mean forgiving yourself for a mistake you made. Other times, that means forgiving others for something that caused you harm.
Of course, forgiveness is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do in life, and the road to forgiveness is often a long one. When the person who hurt you is someone close to you, forgiveness can be even more difficult. We might understand why someone who doesn’t know us can cause us hurt, but how is it that those we are closest to can, at times, bring us the most pain?

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