What do Phoenix Rising School students and England’s Prince William have in common? Both have done archery while blindfolded, although for very different reasons. The royal heir was attempting to experience what life is like for blind former servicemen and women while visiting St. Dunstan’s, a center which offers services to disabled vets. For PRS students, however, blindfolded archery is part of the curriculum which shifts brain chemistry, develops focus and gives immediate feedback on intent.
“It sharpens will and concentration better than anything I know,” says neuroscience teacher Sonya El Debssi, who also acts as liaison with Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment where blindfolded archery, aka Analogical ArcherySM is a regular discipline. “We do a lot of remote views at PRS, which are about non-local awareness. With remote views, the intent is to know information without using our senses. With archery, the intent is to hit a specific target without using our senses, and to go into a deeper state of focus and awareness. Wearing blindfolds shift brain chemistry, so it’s easier to focus and concentrate. We get immediate feedback as to how clear we were in our intent. Did your arrow fall short? Did you hit your neighbor’s target instead of your own?”
Safety is obviously a huge priority and all participants are led through the exercise with detailed and specific directions. With younger students, the ratio of adults to children is 1:1, and with students grades 3 -7, there are 2 adults for every three archery stands. “We take safety very seriously, and the students do too,” say Sonya. “It’s another area of discipline for them.”
Now that the weather has gotten nicer, Sonya will be doing archery with the students once a week – all ages from kindergarten through 7th grade. One of their first sessions occurred on Thursday. “What was impressive was that after just a little bit of practice, you could start seeing a shift and results. After only one session, they began to shoot well. We’ve decided to give them more opportunities to shoot and more arrows,” says Sonya. “What I love about it is that this is an individual experience for each student. When they accomplish something, it’s about their own mind, their own action and the result that came about. It’s not about being led by a teacher – it’s their own effort.”
To view a photo gallery of PRS students doing archery, click here:
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