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Zen in the Art of Archery

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Zen In The Art Of Archery has got to be the most boring and draggy book I have ever read. Surprisingly, it is less than a hundred pages long because reading it, I felt like it was a thousand pages long! It is so wordy and complicated I could hardly understand what on earth Eugen Herrigel was writing about without my head throbbing endlessly.

This slender book tells the story of Herrigel's efforts to learn about Zen, through the practice of archery, when he lived in Japan. In essence, he learns that he must clear his mind of all external clutter until all that exists is the bow, the arrow and the target. But the process of learning this seemingly simple lesson is continually stymied by his stubborn adherence to Western ideas.

1. Learning to draw bow correctly.

2. Holding bow taut with shoulders relaxed.

3. Releasing bowstring without flinching.

4. Hitting the target.

purpose of Zen practice is to achieve the ability to be strong like the flexible water. Tension is the enemy of that state of being

archery is not at all like what you did in camp as a youngster. It is both much more stylized and difficult.

how I could and should step back more often to 'go with the flow' of the moment rather than trying to orchestrate everything very rationally.

beautiful parts of the book are the explanations that employ natural metaphors. The concept of the Samurai is explained through the fragile cherry blossom, for example, in a way you will not soon forget.



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