TAMING THE WILD OX
Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.
10. In the world*
Barefooted and naked of breast,
I mingle with the people of the world.
My clothes are ragged and dust-laden,
and I am ever blissful.
I use no magic to extend my life;
Now, before me, the dead trees become alive.
Inside my gate, a thousand sages do not know me.
The beauty of my garden is invisible.
Why should one search for the footprints of the patriarchs?
I go to the market place with my wine bottle
and return home with my staff.
I visit the wineshop and the market,
and everyone I look upon becomes enlightened.
Upon returning from the experience of the source, our perspective is changed. We no longer see ourselves trapped in the relative and dualistic world. We are simultaneously outside of relativity and duality and inside of it. Anything contrasted against the source is humbled, including ourselves. Yet we know this source is our true identity, not the body that we live in, nor the clothes we dress ourselves in, nor our words, nor our house, nor our thoughts.
We live in the flow of existence. Whatever is before us is from the source so it is all equally sacred. Every single bit of it. It makes us burst out laughing. We want to share this perspective with others but it is invisible to them. But we try.
Joy has one hundred, thousand, milion names.
Source: *Translation by: Paul Reps in Zen Flesh Zen Bones, Tuttle Publishing, Boston, 1989.