When archery is performed in a state of “no-thought” (mushin), which means the absence of all ego consciousness, the archer is free from inhibitions as he puts an arrow into his bow, stretches the string, lets his eye rest on the target and, when the adjustment is correct, lets the arrow go. There is no feeling of good or bad, accomplishment or failure. This is the “everyday mind” arising from “no-mind,” and it is the essence of all the Zen martial arts to remain in this state, with no thought of life or death.


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Alex Mandarino