TAMING THE WILD OX
Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.
6. Riding the Bull Home*
Mounting the bull, slowly I return homeward.
The voice of my flute intones through the evening.
Measuring with hand-beats the pulsating harmony,
I direct the endless rhythm.
Whoever hears this melody will join me.
Comment: This struggle is over;
gain and loss are assimilated.
I sing the song of the village woodsman,
and play the tunes of the children.
Astride the bull, I observe the clouds above.
Onward I go, no matter who may wish to call me back.
In this image the boy rides the ox. The metaphor indicates a meditator who has dominion over her own mind. The mind, with all its capacity to remember, analyse and comprehend, is a marvellous tool for the consciousness. If the mind yields to the Essence, our capacity to comprehend the beauty and magnificence of this world and all worlds is beyond amazing. No longer trapped in the battle of the opposites: good, bad, accept, reject, like, dislike… we revel in the eternal “now.”
The interesting thing is…this is only image 6 of 10 images. With this ecstasy, this harmony with the universe, what else could we be wishing to obtain through meditation? Stay tuned for our next post.
There are mysteries and mysteries.
Source: *Translation by: Paul Reps in Zen Flesh Zen Bones, Tuttle Publishing, Boston, 1989.