Editorial Reviews. Review. So many books have been written about the : Zen in the Art of Archery eBook: Eugen Herrigel, R. F. C. Hull: Kindle Store. Zen in the Art of Archery has ratings and reviews. body and the mind) is brilliantly explained by Professor Eugen Herrigel in this timeless account. The Myth of Zen in the Art of Archery. YAMADA Shoji. [uFf4;41I n. Eugen Herrigel’s “Zen in the Art of Archery” has been widely read as a study of Japanese.

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Return to Book Page. Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel. The path to achieving Zen a balance between the body and the mind is brilliantly explained by Professor Eugen Herrigel in this timeless account. Professor Herrigel imparts knowledge from his experiences and guides the reader through physical and spiritual lessons in a clear and insightful way.

Mastering archery is not the key to achieving Zen, and this is not a practical guide to archery. It is more a guide to Zen principles and learning and perfect for practitioners and non-practitioners alike.

Mass Market Paperback81 pages. Published by Vintage first published To see what eugeb friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Zen in the Art of Archeryplease sign up. Hey guys, would anyone be interested in doing a collaborative book review together?

See 1 question about Zen in the Art of Archery…. Lists with This Book. View all 16 comments. Sep 18, Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Are we all such helpless and inexperienced beginners with not the slightest clue on how to correct our aims or archrey how to draw our bowstrings right?

This supposedly uplifting book has depressed me amidst its poetry and beauty into a realization that I will probably never ‘correct my own stance’ or ‘let the arrow fall at archfry moment of highest tension’, effortlessly hit any goal or even realize ot the real goal is Why is there no art in life anymore?

Iin it all that hrrigel exist? Can we pleas Are we all such helpless and inexperienced beginners with not the slightest clue on how to correct our aims ths on how to draw our bowstrings right? Can we please ban money and all its accouterments and live by the High Arts; that might then bring some insipid meaning back to our lives? View all 3 comments. Lf review Oh, wow.

In Britain Spring may well be here and with spring come the lambs new born, which means that Mothering Sunday is upon us view spoiler [ see there is a logic of sorts hide spoiler ] and naturally due to my bibilophila what better way of making the solemn day than by giving a book.

Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel | : Books

Ah, you are thinking you gave your Mother Zen in the Art of Archery No, I bought her a blood thirsty murder tale set in t Second review Oh, wow. No, I herrivel her a blood thirsty murder tale set in the Swedish Arctic full of herrigeo, body parts, snow and police procedure, departing the bookshop well satisfied the feel arose and condensed in the nether regions of my brain where I don’t normally go that the things we do for entertainment can be a bit strange.

I reflected on this to a dear friend and mentioned by way of clarification that what I was reading was perfectly normal the memoir of a Nazi-ish view spoiler [ he became a party member after the events of this book hide spoiler ] middle aged German professor of his struggle to learn Japanese style archery herrigeel a means of understanding Zen in Japan in the s. As I was saying, perfectly normal reading.

Since Herrigal was over forty when he started his archery studies we can see this a mid-life crisis book – you’ve heard of buying the motorbike, the sport’s car or if you can afford it – a divorce and a disgracefully younger wife, eugeb let us add Archery to the list as an attempt to recapture the illusion of lost nerrigel etc, etc.

Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel

About Zen, despite Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind I don’t know enough, or maybe actually too much already, to say anything. But the other thing that I mull upon is that one of the things view spoiler [ or in my opinion the only thing hide spoiler ] that is interesting about sport is that beyond the achievement of pure technical capacity, it is all psychological. Whatever weird gear they wear archsry can assume that the sportsperson is technically capable of striking a ball with a peculiarly shaped stick or kicking it or jumping or running or whatever else they do in a consistent and proficient manner, however frequently they don’t which is what gives it such interest as it has, one can’t know what it is that takes them out of the zone or the flow, only that it happens.


Eugene Herrigel’s mid-life crisis memoir with its flavourings of fascism is about the other side of the performance – not the viewer watching the sport but how a person cultivates a specific form of self unawareness in order to become simply a component part of a whole process in this case the flight of the arrow to the target.

The main point is that it is an exhaustive process, he spends years practising drawing the bow until he holds the tension of the bow not in euben muscles but in the breath, after this he is allowed to graduate to releasing the arrow, not shooting properly, but releasing it into a target that is a couple of meters away only when the bow is at maximum tension at which point the arrow must slip free like snow slipping off a banana leaf, until then the fingers grip the or as a small child grips an adult’s finger until it sees something more attractive to grab.

Quotes From Zen in the Art of Archery

This one can hardly learn in Herrigel’s account, one must become convinced of it, but through the experience of the body not the conscious work of the brain. Anyhow years pass, occasionally Herrigel allows a glimmer of frustration to shine through and occasionally his teacher says something like “Der Weg zum Ziel, ist nicht auszumessen, was bedeuten da Wochen, Monate, Jahre?

Anyhow the teacher then says “Sie Koennen ein Bogenmeister werden, auch wenn nicht jeder Schuss trifft” p. The master makes a present of his allegedly best bow to the student view spoiler [ we’ve only got Herrigal’s word for it hide spoiler ] when it is time for him after six or so years to return to Germany view spoiler [ I guess in those days one could still take a bow on board an aeroplane as hand luggage view spoiler [ but not on to a Zeppelin, that would just be asking for trouble hide spoiler ] hide spoiler ] One can see in this an episode of the meeting or miscommunication between East and West, specifically that Japan became entranced with it’s own medieval marital heritage as a result of exposure to the European Gothic revival – the Japanese liked all the castles and the knights and armour, but felt that hrerigel whole Romantic side with long-haired pre-Raphaelite ladies was all a bit soppy and not martial enough -their taste was for fewer Ladies in Lakes and more decapitations.

In which case this book is a German response to a Japanese response herigel a European fantasy of a mythic past. But that’s the nature of cultural history I guess, the ehrrigel of having been a butterfly dreaming that atchery was artt more sen than what od not have been. Zen in the Art of Archerypublished inis his entertaining account of the process of learning archery. Euhen relationship between archery and Zen that Herrigel presents can be criticised on at least three grounds: Allowing such doubts then truly this archerry is the direct ancestor of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and numerous martial arts films.

Stripped away of archery and Zen we still have a memoir of a forty-year old ex-patriot attempting to learn something intuitive that is being taught to him by an indirect method. It is a story in which years pass before Herrigel is allowed to move on from firing at a target only two meters away, and my phrase completely misses the point.

Herrigel spent several years learning what he needed to learn before his teacher considered it was time for him to shot over the normal thirty meter distance. The target in the beginning was not the target, the centre of the target was Herrigel himself. His breathing, stance, relaxation and grip.

Once that was in place and he could be a natural counterpart to the long Japanese bow and arrow then the training could be expanded to include the interrelationship with a target thirty meters distant.

As to whether any of this is of interest in understanding Zen, I don’t know. However the effort of learning and explaining to the reader the attempt to come to an intuitive feeling for a physical activity is fascinating.

The relationship between the teacher and the taught involving; and if as Yamada Shoji argues The Myth of Kf and the Art of Archery the archery teacher had no formal insight, background in or knowledge of Zen many of their conversations become inadvertently humorous. Further there was deep cultural misunderstanding on at least one occasion.

Zen in the Art of Archery

Herrigel saw his teacher shoot twice at a target in the dark and was deeply impressed that both hit the centre and even more that the second arrow split the first. This we know from Robin Hood is very good and Herrigel’s feel for the event is mystical. In the Japanese archery tradition apparently, at least as it is taught, splitting your arrow is very bad simply because you’ve ruined your own arrow.


For me from my sadly limited experience of archery the incident is a demonstration of a thoroughly practical nature. If you have a thorough understanding of yourself, your bow and how to shoot, developed over years, standing in an enclosed space opposite the target then why wouldn’t you hit the target?

At a certain point of self-knowledge your eyes are irrelevant rather as a blind person can negotiate a familiar space without banging in their furniture or bumping into walls. In another moment that I thought particularly fine when Herrigel shoots well his teacher breaks off the lesson and sends him home – he didn’t want Herrigel to be distracted by reversion to the mean.

I am not sure how far Arfhery accommodation to the NS regime went, he was made Rector of the university of Erlangen during the 30s which suggests he was at the very least regarded as a safe pair of hands.

His politics to my mind is a warning that right practise of any kind does not immunize or of itself allow a person to transcend their circumstances. Falling in with fascism for a protestant, socialised under the Second Empire in a border region was typical for his generation.

One can suspect that his desire for the mystical hertigel him particularly open to infection. Anyhow reading this put me in mind of Toyota Production System by Taiichi Ohno in which he explained his role in the development of the Toyota car manufacturing business.

The two for me are linked in an interest in the deeply archeru. A feeling for practical issues, perhaps on a very small-scale that have wide ib. Then again both are about teaching something that is alien to the learner, there doesn’t seem to be any need to go as far as Herrigel and to repeat D.

Suzuki ‘s claim that Japanese culture and Zen are deeply interconnected, that the Japanese lifestyle, art, morals and aesthetics sit on a Zen foundation p. View all 14 comments.

La mia condizione di occidentale etilico mal si coniuga con la pazienza orientale. La filosofia Zen mi infastidisce, ma da sempre mi attrae.

Freccette alcoliche dopo il secondo giro, chi perde paga il terzo. View all 12 comments. Mar 22, Greg rated it hrerigel was ok Shelves: A painless book to read. I’m just not into the Zen thing. Reading this book made me realize that I never herriegl be this type of person, I couldn’t go through with the ssssssslllllllooooooooowwwwwwwww process of learning each step of something to perfection. I’m sure I’d be a better person if I could just be in this way, but I never will, just like I will never be an Astronaut or a Fireman, and that’s okey dokey because the world needs anxiously high-strung neurotic people just as much as they need A painless book to read.

I’m sure I’d be a better person if I could just be in this way, but I never adt, just like I will never be an Astronaut or a Fireman, and that’s okey dokey because the world needs anxiously high-strung neurotic people just as much as they need tranquil calm folks. View all 10 comments. Many persons had recommended this little book over the years of high school and college, it being one of the canon of the counterculture like the novels of Kurt Vonnegut, the meditations of Alan Watts or the more scholarly essays of D.

I resisted, partly because it was so popular, another herd-phenomenon, and partly because it was about archery of all things. But, seeing the thing archrry how short it was, I finally sat down and read the thing.

I’d read quite a bit about Zen Buddhism by thi Many persons had recommended this little book over the years of high school and college, it being one of the canon of the counterculture like the novels of Kurt Vonnegut, the meditations of Alan Watts or the more scholarly essays of D.

I’d read quite a bit about Zen Buddhism by this time, including the apparently much-contested representations of it by the aforementioned Watts and Suzuki, so the general idea was clear enough.

Since I spent and spend altogether too much time gnawing over the past or imagined futures, the attitude represented was therapeutic. Jan 23, trivialchemy rated it liked it. I was surprised that I enjoyed this book fairly well. My dad — who believes that I am an incorrigible materialist, simply because he has wacky pseudo-scientific ideas about quantum mechanics that I am constantly forced to rebut — sneaked this into my bag when I left after Christmas vacation.

But I was having trouble finding something to read last night and I picked it up and was done before I knew it. Teh really not as much la-la and hand-waving as I anticipated.