There was once a student
who displayed such skill
that he won a tournament
in his city at a very young age. Seeing his potential
, his parents
sent him to study under various master archer
s. Everywhere the boy went he entered himself in tournaments where his accuracy
never failed to win him first place.
Several years passed, and the boy grew to be a young man. He heard of an old man living in a small village who was reputed to be the greatest of all archers. He sought the old man out, and when he met him, he challenged him to a contest.
Taking up his bow, the young man fired at a distant tree, hitting it square in the middle of its trunk. The old man did not seem impressed, so he drew another arrow and fired again, this time hitting his first arrow and splitting it in half with his shot.
The old master still did not seem impressed, so the young man said:
"You are supposed to be the best archer in the world, show me how well you can shoot."
The master walked away, and bemused
, the young man followed him. Eventually they came to a deep ravine
across which a tree had fallen. The old man calmly stepped onto the fallen log
and fired an arrow into the trunk of a tree on the other side of the ravine.
He stepped back onto the ground and challenged the young man to try the same shot, but he could not bring himself to step onto the log. The old man smiled and said:
"What good does it do to master the use of your bow when you have not even mastered the use of your own mind?"