Dedication! Dedication! Dedication! During the 1920’s, Eugen Herrigel, a German professor of philosophy, dedicated six years learning archery in Tokyo, Japan. He studied Kyudo (the art of archery) under Master Kenzo Awa. The instruction process was difficult, but year after year, Eugene kept practicing. He learned from the master that the spiritual side of the art is more important than the physical part.
The book also includes an outstanding short introduction by Daisetz T. Suzuki. Below is one quote from the introduction that is very helpful:
“If one really wishes to be a master of an art, technical knowledge of it is not enough. One has to transcend technique so that the art becomes an artless art growing out of unconscious.”
Daisetz T. Suzuki
Below are three other example quotes from the book:
“The right art is the purposeless, aimless! The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede.”
Master Kenzo Awa
You know already that you should not grieve over bad shots; learn now to not rejoice over the good ones.”
Master Kenzo Awa
Perfection in the art of swordsmanship is reached when the heart is troubled by no more thought of I and You, of the opponent and his sword, of one’s own sword and how to wield it— no more thought even of life and death.”
In conclusion, Zen in the Art of Archery is an excellent edition to your library, if you are interested in archery, Zen, Buddhism, strengthening the mind, or help in improving performance in sports, workplace, or life.
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