03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

There is No "I" in the Outcome

Herrigel's thought that "the archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him" ("Zen in the Art of Archery," 1948) can be understood to mean that it is not you that is involved in the outcome but the arrow. The arrow is the extension of your arm. The arm is the extension of your body. The body is the extension of your mind. Your mind is the extension of the arrow of your consciousness. When you release the bow string of your performance and when the arrow hits or misses the target, you are still standing where you were standing, you are still you, regardless of the outcome. You were there before any given outcome and you will be there after a given outcome. But this outcome - it came out of you. It would not have happened without you. Remember: you are not the outcome of the outcome; it's the outcome that is the outcome of you.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is the author of "Eating the Moment" (New Harbinger, 2008), "Present Perfect" (NH, 2010), and "The Lotus Effect" (NH, 2010). He is in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information visit and sign up for Pavel Somov's monthly "Mindful-not-Mouthful" Newsletter