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Old 03-29-2005, 12:46 PM   #2
Location: Tulsa, OK
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 166
Re: Zen in the art of archery

While entertaining and inspiring to read, that book is based more on cultural misconceptions that Herrigel brought with him to Japan than it is accurate facts about the tradition he was studying. He inferred a lot of mystical and spiritual affectation where, accoridng to those who have been there and done that for longer than he did, with a better understanding of the language and culture going in than he had, none exists.

He went into it thinking that he was going on a spiritual journey, and so he was. But kyudo and zen have little to do with each other, as you would hear from most experienced kyudo practitioners. And, most zen people would tell you that the best way to experience zen is to practice zen buddhism, not kyudo or any other budo for that matter.

There is an essay by Yamada Shoji called The Myth of Zen in the Art of Archery, which goes into substantial detail on the subject. It also is a good read.

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