3. The Bow

The bow is life: the source of all energy.

The arrow will leave one day.

The target is a long way off.

But the bow will stay with you, and you
must know how to look after it.

It requires periods of inaction - a bow that is always armed and braced loses its strength. Therefore, allow it to rest, to recover its firmness; then, when you draw the bow-string, the bow will be content, with all its strength intact.

A bow has no conscience: it is a prolongation of the hand and desire of the archer. It can serve to kill or to meditate. Therefore, always be clear about your intentions.

A bow is flexible, but it has its limits. Stretching it beyond its capacity will break it or exhaust the hand holding it. Therefore, try to be in harmony with your instrument and never ask more than it can give.

A bow rests or lies in the hand of the archer, but the hand is merely the place where all the muscles of the body, all the intentions of the archer and all the effort of shooting is concentrated. Therefore, in order to maintain elegance of posture while keeping the bow drawn, make sure that every part does only what is necessary and do not dissipate your energies. That way, you will be able to shoot many arrows without tiring.

In order to understand your bow, it must become part of your arm and an extension of your thoughts.