ZEN IN THE ART OF ARCHERY


By Eugen Herrigel, is my all time favorite book. I have to read it once a year to get my head straight. It is not just about archery, but about life and living. As D.T. Suzuki says in his introduction to the book, the practice of archery is “meant to train the mind.”
Some more quotes from Suzuki:
“Man is a thinking reed but his great works are done when he in not calculating and thinking. “Childlikeness has to be restored with long years of training in the art of self-forgetfulness. When this is attained, (Wo)man thinks yet (S)he does not think. (S)he thinks like the showers coming down from the sky; he thinks like the waves rolling in the ocean; he thinks like the stars illuminating the nightly heavens; he thinks like the green foliage shooting forth in the relaxing spring breeze. Indeed, he is the showers, the ocean, the stars, the foliage.”

Archery here is a metaphor: we are all archers in that we have goals and targets we wish to achieve in our lives. How to do it in a way which teaches us, not so much to attain those goals, but how to be as one goes about attaining them, how to make the process instructional in the highest sense, is what this book is all about.

I recommend it highly

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