By Eugen Herrigel
The trail to reaching Zen (a stability among the physique and the brain) is brilliantly defined through Professor Eugen Herrigel during this undying account. This e-book is the results of the author's six yr quest to profit archery within the palms of jap Zen masters. it really is a good account of 1 man's trip to accomplish abandonment of 'the self' and the Western ideas that we use to outline ourselves. Professor Herrigel imparts wisdom from his studies and courses the reader via actual and religious classes in a transparent and insightful manner. learning archery isn't the key to reaching Zen, and this isn't a pragmatic advisor to archery. it's extra a consultant to Zen ideas and studying and excellent for practitioners and non-practitioners alike.
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Extra info for Zen in the Art of Archery
You worry yourself unnecessarily, " the Master comforted me. " Put the thought of hitting right out of your mind! You can be a Master even if every shot does not hit. The hits on the target are only the outward proof and confirmation of your purposelessness at its highest, of your egolessness, your self−abandonment, or whatever you like to call this state. There are different grades of mastery, and only when you have made the last grade will you be sure of not missing the goal. " " That is just what I cannot get into my head, " I answered.
Turning all the possibilities over in my mind, I came to the conclusion that the fault could not lie where the Master suspected it: in lack of purposelessness and egolessness, but in the fact that the fingers of the right hand gripped the thumb too tight. The longer I had to wait for the shot, the more convulsively I pressed them together without thinking. It was at this point, I told myself, that I must set to work. And ere long I had found a simple and obvious solution to this problem. If, after drawing the bow, I cautiously eased the pressure of the fingers on the thumb, the moment came when the thumb, no longer held fast, was torn out of position as if spontaneously: in this way a lightning loose could be made and the shot would obviously " fall like snow from a bamboo leaf ".
As before, I had no alternative but to loose it on purpose. And this obstinate failure depressed me all the more since I had already passed my third year of instruction. I will not deny that I spent many gloomy hours wondering whether I could justify this waste of time, which seemed to bear no conceivable relationship to anything I had learned and experienced so far. The sarcastic remark of a countryman of mine, that there were important pickings to be made in Japan besides this beggarly art, came back to me, and though I had dismissed it at the time, his query as to what I intended to do with my art if ever I learned it no longer seemed to me so entirely absurd.