A classic work on Eastern philosophy, Zen in the Art of Archery is a charming and deeply illuminating story of one man’s experience with Zen. Eugen Herrigel, a German professor of Philosophy in Tokyo, took up the study of archery as a step toward an understanding of Zen Buddhism.
We can use whatever life presents to strengthen our spiritual practice—including the turmoil of daily life. What we need is the willingness to just be with our experiences—whether they are painful or pleasing—and open ourselves to the reality of our lives without trying to fix or change anything.
If the caterpillar thinks about the butterfly it is to become, saying ‘And then I shall have wings and antennae,’ there will never be a butterfly. The caterpillar must accept its own disappearance in its transformation. When the marvelous butterfly takes wing, nothing of the caterpillar remains.