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Monday, April 25, 2005

Zen Story

A Zen Story on Concentration.

After winning several archery contests, the young and boastful champion challenged a Zen master who was renowned for his archery skills. The young man showed his remarkable skill with the bow when he hit a distant bull's eye with his first arrow, and then split that arrow with his second shot. "See," he said, pointing at the split arrows and speaking to the Zen master, "let me see if you can match that!"

The master said nothing. He did not even draw his bow, but rather looked at the young archer and asked him to follow him up the mountain. Curious to know the old fellow's intentions, the young archer followed him up the mountain. As they reached the top, the young archer saw a deep chasm that was spanned by a thin and shaky log.

Easily stepping on the thin, dangerous, and shaking bridge the old master picked a far away tree as a target, drew his bow, and let go a fast, clean, and direct hit.
"Now it is your turn," he said politely as he stepped back on solid ground.

Staring with terror at the unending depth of the bottomless pit, the young champion could not even step on the wooden bridge, leave aside drawing a bow and shooting. "You have much skill with the bow," the wise Zen master said, sensing the young archer's look of shame and fear "but you have little skill with the mind that lets loose the shot."

The mind that lets loose the shot!