” One summer morning some years ago I observed a master of Zen archery give a demonstration for the sangha. Nearly 150 people were present, in a large open field. He had set up a target and was in full Japanese regalia, with robes and wrist guards and all kinds of paraphernalia. There was an elaborate ceremony before the arrow would be released and – we all hoped – would hit the bullseye, all kinds of chanting and ritual gestures. The moment arrived, and we could feel the tension. The master pulled back the bowstring with the arrow. We were holding our breath. It seemed forever that he held it there. Then he suddenly shifted and shot it into the air, missing the target completely. There was a huge groan from the crowd.
The archer burst into laughter.”