Chapter 6: The Art of Archery
When the bow was drawn to its full length, a cup of water was placed on his elbow and he began to shoot -
and even a single drop of water would not come out of the full cup placed on his elbow, and he was shooting!
As soon as the first arrow was let fly, a second was already on the string, and then a third one followed. In the meantime he stood unmoved like a statue.
Great skill - but Po-Hun Wu-Jen was not impressed, because the moment you want to exhibit you have missed. The very effort to exhibit shows that you have not attained to the self, and if you have not attained to the self you can stand like a statue on the outside - in the inside you will be running, following many many motivations, desires and dreams. Outside, you may be unmoving; inside, all sorts of movements will be going on there together, simultaneously; in many directions you must be running. Outside you can become a statue - that is not the point.
It is said of Bokuju: he went to his master and for two years he sat before his master, near him, just like a statue, a marble statue of Buddha. At the beginning of the third year the master came, gave Bokuju a whack with his staff, and told him: “You stupid! We have a thousand and one Buddha statues here, we don’t need any more!” - because his master lived in a temple where there were one thousand and one Buddha statues. He said, “There are enough! What are you doing here?”
Statues are not needed, but a different state of being. It is very easy to sit silently on the outside - what is difficult in it? Just a little training is needed. I have seen one man, very much respected in India, who has been standing for ten years - he even sleeps standing. His legs have become so thick and swollen that now he cannot bend his legs. People respect him very much, but when I went to see him he wanted to see me alone, and then he asked: “Tell me how to meditate. My mind is very much disturbed.”
Ten years standing like a statue! - he has not sat, he has not slept, but the problem remains the same: how to meditate, how to become silent inside. Unmoving outside, many movements inside. There may be even more than there are with you, because your energy is divided; much energy is needed for body movements. But a man who stands without moving - his whole energy moves inwards in the mind, he becomes inside mad. But people respect him - and that has become an exhibition. Ego is fulfilled but the self is nowhere to be found. Po-Hun Wu-Jen said: “The technique of shooting is fine” - you did well, beautiful! - “but it is not the technique of non-shooting.”