10. The Moment of releasing the Arrow

There are two types of shot.

The first is the shot made with great precision, but without any soul. In this case, although the archer may have a great mastery of technique, he has concentrated solely on the target and because of this he has not evolved, he has become stale, he has not managed to grow, and, one day, he will abandon the way of the bow because he finds that everything has become mere routine.

The second type of shot is the one made with the soul. When the intention of the archer is transformed into the flight of the arrow, his hand opens at the right moment, the sound of the string makes the birds sing, and the gesture of shooting something over a distance provokes - paradoxically enough - a return to and an encounter with oneself.

You know the effort it took to draw the bow, to breathe correctly, to concentrate on the target, to be clear about your intention, to maintain elegance of posture, to respect the target, but you need to understand, too, that nothing in this world stays with us for very long: at a given moment, your hand will have to open and allow your intention to follow its destiny.

Therefore, the arrow must leave, however much you love all the steps that led to the elegant posture and the correct intention, and however much you admire its feathers, its point, its shape.

However, it cannot leave before the archer is ready to shoot, because its flight would be too brief. It cannot leave after the exact posture and concentration have been achieved because the body would be unable to withstand the effort and the hand would begin to shake.

It must leave at the moment when bow, archer and target are at the same point in the universe: this is called inspiration.