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Record Type: Review   ID: 240

The Secret of the Target

Morisawa, Jackson S., with Chozen-Ji School of Kyudo

 This book about a Zen approach to the martial arts is grounded in the realization that "the entire universe is the ‘true human body’" (p. 1). This could be said of any sport—or any human activity. But being engaged in a martial art probably offers one of the best opportunities to realize it. Kyudo teaches how the practice of archery can teach a "way of life" that results in being able to "shoot without shooting" and thus "return to the original natural self..."where actions are uncalculated and natural from the heart.... One is in accord with the universe" (p. 7). In other words, the everyday has become the exceptional. Although the bulk of the book is devoted to diagrams relating to archery, the aim of the book is to reach kyudo and its philosophy of actionless action. The "secret of the target" is that there is no one to shoot. There is nothing but the universe, being, Zen enlightenment, or satori, at the heart of this experience, which is an exceptional human experience. Reading The Secret of the Target helps us to get some notion of what this supreme experience is like.
Publisher Information:New York: Routledge, 1984. 142p. 60 figs; Glossary: 130-136; 7 illus
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