TEN OXHERDER IMAGES: NO. 3 – PERCEIVING THE BULL
Taming the Wild Ox
Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.
3. Perceiving the Bull*
I hear the song of the nightingale.
The sun is warm, the wind is mild,
willows are green along the shore,
Here no bull can hide!
What artist can draw that massive head,
those majestic horns?
Comment: When one hears the voice,
one can sense its source.
As soon as the six senses merge, the gate is entered. Wherever one enters one sees the head of the bull!
This unity is like salt in water, like color in dyestuff.
The slightest thing is not apart from self.
At a certain point in our meditation and in our awakening, we begin to watch the mind and we become aware of our consciousness, our Essence, our Being – doing the watching. We are both everything we know, and its source. This starts in glimpses. This is what we call a moment of Self-Remembering.
Source: *Translation by: Paul Reps in Zen Flesh Zen Bones, Tuttle Publishing, Boston, 1989.