6. How to hold the Arrow

To hold the arrow is to be in touch with your own intention.

You must look along the whole length of the arrow, check that the feathers guiding its flight are well placed, and make sure that the point is sharp.

Ensure that it is straight and that it has not been bent or damaged by a previous shot.

In its simplicity and lightness, the arrow can appear fragile, but the strength of the archer means that it can carry the energy of his body and mind a long way.

Legend has it that a single arrow once sank a ship, because the man who shot it knew where the wood was weakest and so made a hole that allowed the water to seep silently into the hold, thus putting paid to the threat of those wouldbe invaders of his village.

The arrow is the intention that leaves the archer’s hand and sets off towards the target, that is, it is free in its flight and will follow the path chosen for it when it was released.

It will be affected by the wind and by gravity, but that is part of its trajectory; a leaf does not cease to be a leaf merely because a storm tore it from the tree.

A man’s intention should be perfect, straight, sharp, firm, precise. No one can stop it as it crosses the space separating it from its destiny.