Zen Archer



My breath breezes the arrow. Clear vision.
I am bowstring tight. Frozen in time.
A moment. Unconscious control of outer activity.
I am bow, arrow, bowstring, breath, target.

Slowly becoming effortless, both mentally and physically.


Zen in the Art of Archery (Zen in der Kunst des Bogenschießens) is a 1948 book by German philosophy professor Eugen Herrigel. It is based on his experiences studying a form of Japanese archery (Kyūdō). His book is credited with helping to introduce Zen to Western audiences in the late 1940s and 1950s.

I was introduced to the practice while reading some of J. D. Salinger’s stories. The character Seymour Glass used one aspect of Zen archery as a child playing marbles: aiming by deliberately not taking aim.


Archer image Image by wal_172619 from Pixabay

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