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18527Zen Archery

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Jan 9, 2013
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      A young and rather boastful champion challenged
      a Zen master who was renowned for his skill as
      an archer. The young man demonstrated remarkable
      technical proficiency when he hit a distant bull's
      eye on his first try, and then split that arrow with
      his second shot. "There," he said to the old man,
      "see if you can match that!" Undisturbed, the master
      did not draw his bow, but rather motioned for the
      young archer to follow him up the mountain.

      Curious about the old fellow's intentions, the champion
      followed him high into the mountain until they
      reached a deep chasm spanned by a rather flimsy and
      shaky log. Calmly stepping out onto the middle of
      the unsteady and certainly perilous bridge, the old
      master picked a far away tree as a target, drew his
      bow, and fired a clean, direct hit. "Now it is your turn,"
      he said as he gracefully stepped back onto the safe
      ground. Staring with terror into the seemingly bottomless
      and beckoning abyss, the young man could not force
      himself to step out onto the log, no less shoot at
      a target. "You have much skill with your bow," the
      master said, sensing his challenger's predicament,
      "but you have little skill with the mind that lets
      loose the shot."
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