A book is best read with tea in your hand and a cat on your lap.
24-year-old English Major that currently works in an indie bookshop and at a local publishing house. Reviews and other bookish things.
I've read books like this before, most of them for a class I think. Most never range more than 100 pages but they never fail to send my brain round in circles trying to really comprehend what I just read. Some bits are more clear than others, I will say, but there are plenty of passages I end up reading more than once.
I won't even attempt to give a description of what Zen is. Like Zen itself, my understanding of it is both there and not there, I can't verbalize it or write it but it exists to me in me head, like another part of me. (Even that bit of rambling is probably a terrible representation of the art.)
I suppose a good way to sum up my experience of this book is that it, for now, will be the closest I come to seeing what Zen is. To really know I think you have to experience it, you have to go through years of training like the author, Eugen Herrigel did. Like I said, Zen doesn't really have anything to do with archery, the skill and perfecting of technique. It is just a tool that is used to help the student understand the "Great Doctrine."
There is a lot of unself-consciousness, purposelessness, and egolessness that takes place when trying to experience the unexplainable "it." Zen is something that always fascinates me and I always have this small desire to pursue an experience like Herrigel did but I have yet to get there. Perhaps someday.