Ten Oxherder Images: No. 2 – Discovering the Footprints

Taming the Wild Ox
Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C. 

 

Image

2. Discovering the footprints*

Along the riverbank under the trees, 
I discover footprints! 
Even under the fragrant grass I see his prints. 
Deep in remote mountains they are found. 
These traces no more can be hidden than one’s nose, 
looking heavenward. 

Comment: Understanding the teaching, 
I see the footprints of the bull. 
Then I learn that, 
just as many utensils are made from one metal, 
so too are myriad entities made of the fabric of self. 
Unless I discriminate, 
how will I perceive the true from the untrue? 
Not yet having entered the gate, nevertheless I have discerned the path.

In the very observation of our busy mind, we begin to know the nature of ourselves – although we still feel relatively lost.  

Enjoy.  Helen

Source:  *Translation by:  Paul Reps in Zen Flesh Zen Bones, Tuttle Publishing, Boston, 1989.

From:  http://www.4peaks.com/ppox.htm – source

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