He grows daily more capable of following any inspiration without technical effort, and also of letting inspiration come to him through meticulous observation.

— Eugen Herrigel

The most heartwarming Eugen Herrigel quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede. What stands in your way is that you have a much too willful will. You think that what you do not do yourself does not happen.

63

In the case of archery, the hitter and the hit are no longer two opposing objects, but are one reality.

37

The shot will go smoothly only when it takes the archer himself by surprise.

25

The right shot at the right moment does not come because you do not let go of yourself. You do not wait for fulfilment, but brace yourself for failure.

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By letting go of yourself, leaving yourself and everything yours behind so decisively that nothing more is left of you but a purposeless tension .

19

The hand that guides the brush has already caught and executed what floated before the mind at the same moment the mind began to form it, and in the end the pupil no longer knows which of the two-mind or hand -was responsible for the work.

18

Far from wishing to awaken the artist in the pupil prematurely, the teacher considers it his first task to make him a skilled artisan with sovereign control of his craft.

15

Don't think of what you have to do, don't consider how to carry it out! The shot will only go smoothly when it takes the archer himself by surprise. It must be as if the bowstring suddenly cut through the thumb that held it. You mustn't open the right hand on purpose.

15

The spider dances her web without knowing there are flies that will get caught in it. The fly, dancing nonchalantly on a sunbeam gets caught without knowing what lies in store. But through both of them "It" dances. So, too, the archer hits the target without having aimed-more I cannot say.

12

Zen Buddhism does not preach. Sermons remain words. It waits until people feel stifled and insecure, driven by a secret longing.

11

Assuming that his talent can survive the increasing strain, there is one scarcely avoidable danger that lies ahead of the pupil on his road to mastery.

6

This means that the mind or spirit is present anywhere, because it is nowhere attached to any particular place. And it can remain present because, even when related to this or that object, it does not cling to it by reflection and thus lose its original mobility.

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About Eugen Herrigel

Quotes 19 sayings
Profession Biographer
Birthday March 20, 1884

You must act as if the goal were infinitely far off.

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The more a human being feels himself a self, tries to intensify this self and reach a never-attainable perfection, the more drastically he steps out of the center of being.

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The man, the art, the work--it is all one.

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You must learn to wait properly.

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You can learn from an ordinary bamboo leaf what ought to happen.

It bends lower and lower under the weight of snow. Suddenly the snow slips to the ground without the leaf having stirred. Stay like that at the point of highest tension until the shot falls from you. So, indeed, it is: when the tension is fulfilled, the shot must fall, it must fall from the archer like snow from a bamboo leaf, before he even thinks it.

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This, then, is what counts: a lightning reaction which has no further need of conscious observation. In this respect at least the pupil makes himself independent of all conscious purpose.

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