Zen Buddhism originated in China from the Mahayana school of Buddhism and dates back to about 520 CE. It is widely practiced around the world and has had a recent surge in interest in the United States, particularly from the Japanese Zen tradition. It is essentially about the quest, through meditation and other forms of ritual and practice, for a state of being fully at peace with your thoughts as well as your place in the universe, which is seen as at once inconsequential and essential.
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.