Zen in the Art of Archery : Training the Mind and Body to Become One
Publication Date: 29 September 1988
In the Zen tradition, archery (or swordsmanship) is not just a sport or a form of self-defence but an art, a religious ritual and one of the many possible paths to Enlightenment. Few Westerners have tried as hard as Eugene Herrigel, a German professor who lived for many years in Japan, to learn Zen from a Master. In this classic text he gives an unsparingly honest account of how he was initiated, step by step, into the 'Great Doctrine' of archery.
At first he was baffled by what he was taught - that art must become artless, that the archer must aim at himself - yet gradually he began to glimpse the depth of wisdom concealed in such paradoxes.
While many Western writers on Zen serve up second-hand slogans, Herrigel's hard-won insights were his own discoveries. His fine book offers a beautifully lucid introduction to one of the most haunting and subtle spiritual traditions in the world. 'A wonderful little book.' D.T. Suzuki.