Freitag, 22. Mai 2020

The Magic of Archery in ZEN, video

Herrigels Arch Teacher Awa, full excerpt

"One day, after a shot, the master 
bowed deeply and then broke off the class. ´ES´ (english ´IT´) just fired, he exclaimed when I stared at him stunned. And when I finally understood what he meant, I could not suppress the sudden joy".[1] This is how Eugen Herrigel formulates his first really successful shot with the Japanese Zen bow back then in Japan, Kyudo. That was probably a first enlightenment experience or Kensho, as it is called in Japanese.

Master Dogen says in Shobogenzo: "When you experience the highest awakening directly, one uses (the word) IT". And it could be that this It would even exceed the imagination of the whole universe. Because IT is the living wholeness of man, body and mind, IT therefore even exceeds body, psyche and mind. Whoever is caught in the trap of selfishness will unfortunately not experience the magical waves of happiness at all.

And how do you become one with the awakened IT? For example, by letting the ego come to rest while practicing. The ego then dissolves in action and disappears. Instead, there is the harmonious interaction of real life, IT, as it's said in Zen. Buddha calls real life: The arising in mutual interaction. That is the magic of reality! What else?

Herrigel experienced and learned this wonderful, magical Es during archery with a great spiritual master of the bow. In my opinion, he also let the rigidity, extreme ideology and fanaticism of his own time in the West and Japan evaporate. Because such extreme ideologies are empty, they are without truth and without the meaning of a holistic living It, of true Zen. Such cramps of the isolated but dominant mind are without the life of the IT, like the current conspiracy theories and fake news about the corona virus. They inevitably lead to suffering and unnecessary stress.

Who acts simply, naturally and with increasing precision, be it in archery or in normal life, can experience the waves of happiness without doubt, like those from the bow, arrow, movement and the in- and exhalation. He does not need over-the-top conspiracy theories as infantile media playpens that are not really a help. They inevitably lead to suffering. But then you hit the real target like in archery, unexpectedly and miraculously. This is the magic of action, without a cramped ego. Then waves of happiness occur and leave traces of that happiness and joy of life.

The great kyudo master Onuma
 And Herrigel goes on to say: "But inside, for the shooter himself, right shots have such an effect that it feels as if the day has only just begun ... “This state is extremely delicious". The bow master said with a subtle smile that one should not be fixated on this condition. Then the delicious moment would not hesitate to come back. And don't think too much: IT stretches the bow in the full extension, IT - exactly IT - shoots and relaxes people, bow and world.

Can you understand now why I'm learning Japanese archery?

This is the magic of happiness in ZEN. This is meditation: nothing but sitting. This is Kyudo: nothing but shoot! This is how we develop vitality, satisfaction and happiness in life.

Click to archery