TAMING THE WILD OX
Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.
7. The Bull transcended*
Astride the bull, I reach home.
I am serene. The bull too can rest.
The dawn has come. In blissful repose,
Within my thatched dwelling
I have abandoned the whip and rope.
Comment: All is one law, not two.
We only make the bull a temporary subject.
It is as the relation of rabbit and trap, of fish and net.
It is as gold and dross,
or the moon emerging from a cloud.
One path of clear light travels on
throughout endless time.
At the stage of meditation depicted by this image, the tool of “observer and observed” is abandoned. The consciousness and the mind are no longer conceived of as two separate things. The notion of separation is no longer necessary, as it was when we were working to bring the mind under our control. We see the integrated nature of reality. All is one. There is no effort in this. The consciousness, the will, the mind, the emotions and the body are all an extension of Being. Multiplicity acting in unison. Receptive and at peace.
Source: *Translation by: Paul Reps in Zen Flesh Zen Bones, Tuttle Publishing, Boston, 1989.