Zen in the Art of Archery Paperback – 1 Feb 1999
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|Paperback, 1 Feb 1999||
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About the Author
Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki was Japan's foremost authority on Zen Buddhism, and the author of over 100 works on the subject. He was trained as a Buddhist disciple in the great Zen monastery at Kamakura. From 1897 to 1908 he worked in the United States as an editor and translator, and later became a lecturer at Tokyo Imperial University. In 1950, at 80, he returned to the United States and spent most of the decade teaching, lecturing, and writing, particularly at Columbia and Harvard. Returning to Japan, he died in Tokyo in 1966 at the age of 95.
Christopher Reed has been teaching Buddhism and Buddhist meditation for 15 years. He received transmission as a Dharma teacher from Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. He has been influenced by the tradition of socially/politically engaged Buddhism, and works toward the integration of traditional Buddhist teaching with the demands of everyday life. He is co-founder and director of the Ordinary Dharma Meditation Center in Los Angeles and the Manzanita Village Retreat Center in San Diego.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author spent six years in Japan just after World War II, and decided that he wanted to understand Zen Buddhism. He was correctly advised that Zen needed to be experienced as the path to achieving that understanding. Several possible areas were suggested, from sword fighting to flower arrangement to archery. Because he had experience with rifle target shooting, the author chose archery. He was fortunate to be taken on by a Zen master who normally refused to teach Westerners, because they are so difficult to teach.
As a typical high-achieving Westerner, Mr. Herrigel wanted to make rapid progress and to achieve conscious competence in archery. His instructor wanted him to achieve unconscious competence based on experience and build from there into spiritual awareness. This conflict in perceptions created quite a tension for both of them. This tension was ironic, because the purpose of Zen practice is to achieve the ability to be strong like the flexible water. Tension is the enemy of that state of being.
Mr. Herrigel also learned from attending flower arranging classes from his wife, who was studying Zen in this way. He also benefited from finding some wonderful commentaries on sword fighting as a path to Zen that are included in this book. These are more eloquent than Mr. Herrigel, and he chose wisely in saving them for the end.Read more ›
The book has a Forward by DT Suzuki - the famous Zen commentator, and was translated into English by RFC Hull. The book is separated into eleven, short chapters. The content of the book is comprised of Herrigel's experience as a foreigner in pre-second world war Japan. Oddly, Herrigel makes no reference to the dramatic militarisation and modernisation of 1920's Japan, or indeed any reference to the Nazification of Germany. Instead, the book is written in an historical void. Considering the devastation of the times Herrigal lived through, this omission might well be deliberate and designed to focus the reader's attention firmly upon the subject at hand.
Herrigal, a professor in Philosophy, was well aware of Zen Buddhism, a Japanese interpretation of Chinese Ch'an Buddhism. This school originated in India and was known a Dhyana - both Ch'an and Zen are transliterations of this term, which may be defined as to 'meditate', and refer to the enlightened Mind, as well as the insight and wisdom such meditation can produce.Read more ›
This is a masterful book giving as it does an almost allegorical description, through his real life struggles with a martial art, of the true purpose that underlines the struggles that the acolyte goes through. The more the struggle to do well is present the less accomplishment comes and it is not until that egoic desire to achieve is relinquished that the perfection of the art is accomplished.
This short and easy read says more than some tomes on the subject of the relinquishment of the conditioned mind in favour of potential enlightenment which is the fundamental teaching of Zen Buddhism. Zen in the Art of Flower Arrangement: An Introduction to the Spirit of the Japanese Art of Flower Arrangement
Most Recent Customer Reviews
books cover looks different from image online... but book is okay quality.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book works a charm. I go into coffee shops in town and hold this book in front of my face to try and get the attention of the attractive indy females. Read morePublished 8 months ago by The Great Badger Club
I was deeply disappointed as this book is so old that cover was torn off and all pages appeared to be sitting in sun and turn to yellow. I would not have paid 50 pence for it. Read morePublished 13 months ago by momtahh
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