Spiritual Recreation


In the book “Zen in the Art of Archery” by Eugen Herrigel, the author, of German descent, travels to Japan to find the soul of “Zen” Buddhism.  He was a profession of Eastern Religion, yet found the true essence of Zen escaped his grasp.  He elected to start Japanese archery lessons with a famous Zen master in order to learn about Zen through this art.  In that book, he had also discussed how in Japanese society there two activities to pass the time: a career to make a living and a spiritual art to cultivate the soul (or self-improvement).  I feel this is concept is essential for any member of society.  We do need our physical needs: food, shelter, and companionship.  However, beyond those base needs, many people stop developing.  If you want to be happy then you need to be constantly changing and improving – also a spiritual art or discipline needs to be implemented in your life.  A spiritual discipline trains your soul, helps you overcome your flaws, helps put you at peace with yourself, and trains your willpower. 

It is one thing to profess your efforts to improve yourself or to state how moral you are.  However, a spiritual discipline puts words and thoughts into ACTION by actively transforming you the more effort and sincerity you put into the practice.  A bit more on self-change:

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”


Constant renewal is important, and this is what a spiritual art can bring into your life. 

Choosing and then practicing an art is not as difficult as it sounds.  First, choose a hobby that interests you: yoga, ballroom dance, piano, drums etc.  Next, find a teacher and begin learning immediately.  Practice a minimum of once a week (more if you have the time or energy) and NEVER miss a practice no matter what.  Most people never develop a talent or skill not because they don’t have the potential but because they don’t have the discipline or stick-to-it-iveness.  As someone who has practiced Kung Fu for 21 years (since 1993), I have to say that you just pick up something you like, you practice even when you don’t feel like it, and over time then time simply passes while you continue with your hobby.  Next thing you know, 21 years have passed! 
Best of luck!  You can do it!  😀

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