TEN OXHERDER IMAGES: NO. 10 – IN THE WORLD

TAMING THE WILD OX

Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.

Ox10

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.

Comment:
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.

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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TEN OXHERDER IMAGES: NO. 9 – RETURNING TO THE SOURCE

TAMING THE WILD OX

Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.

Ox9

9. Reaching the Source*

Too many steps have been taken
returning to the root and the source.
Better to have been blind and deaf from the beginning!
Dwelling in one’s true abode,
unconcerned with that without —
The river flows tranquilly on and the flowers are red.

Comment: From the beginning, truth is clear.
Poised in silence,
I observe the forms of integration and disintegration.
One who is not attached to “form” need not be “reformed.” The water is emerald, the mountain is indigo,
and I see that which is creating
and that which is destroying.

If we were to return to the absolute abstract space, beyond all manifestation and unmanifestation, would we choose to create again?

What if we were beyond eternity? To be or not to be, that is the question.

Helen

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

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

TEN OXHERDER IMAGES: NO. 8 – BOTH BULL AND SELF TRANSCENDED

TAMING THE WILD OX

Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.

Ox8

8. Both Bull and self transcended*

Whip, rope, person, and bull —
all merge in No-Thing.
This heaven is so vast no message can stain it.
How may a snowflake exist in a raging fire?
Here are the footprints of the patriarchs.

Comment: Mediocrity is gone.
Mind is clear of limitation.
I seek no state of enlightenment.
Neither do I remain where no enlightenment exists.
Since I linger in neither condition, eyes cannot see me.
If hundreds of birds strew my path with flowers,
such praise would be meaningless.

The void experience is different yet from oneness. This state is beyond the mind and can only be experienced by the Being through pure consciousness. This is to be beyond relativity and duality.  This is the Tao. Spirit beyond mind and matter. Everything and Nothing. The Source. The Christ. The Being.

Peace.

Helen

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

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

TEN OXHERDER IMAGES: NO. 7 – THE BULL TRANSCENDED

TAMING THE WILD OX

Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.

Ox7

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.

Om.

Helen

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

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

TEN OXHERDER IMAGES: NO. 6 – RIDING THE BULL HOME

TAMING THE WILD OX

Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.

Ox6

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.

Helen

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

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

TEN OXHERDER IMAGES: NO. 5 – TAMING THE BULL

TAMING THE WILD OX

Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C. 

Image

5.  Taming the Bull*

The whip and rope are necessary, 
Else he might stray off down some dusty road. 
Being well trained, he becomes naturally gentle. 
Then, unfettered, he obeys his master. 

Comment: When one thought arises, 
another thought follows. 
When the first thought springs from enlightenment, 
all subsequent thoughts are true. 
Through delusion, one makes everything untrue. 
Delusion is not caused by objectivity; 
it is the result of subjectivity. 
Hold the nose-ring tight 
and do not allow even a doubt.

With constant vigilance we maintain awareness, holding the rope of the mind and maintaining objectivity.  Truth then sits before us. We can begin to accept it and even love it.  Have we created something in our mind that is not in fact true?  Are we believing what we have created?  Do we have to be mad, sad, bored or blue?  Do we have to be continuously pre-occupied with plans, worries, angst, etc.  Perhaps we can discover at the base of it all we’re fine. If we have our thoughts and our beliefs within our conscious control we can experience truth, beyond the relativity of the subjective mind.  Beyond the battle of the opposites.

Happiness.

Helen

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

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

TEN OXHERDER IMAGES: NO. 4 – CATCHING THE BULL

Taming the Wild Ox

Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.

Image

4. Catching the Bull*

I seize him with a terrific struggle.
His great will and power are inexhaustible.
He charges to the high plateau far above the cloud-mists,
Or in an impenetrable ravine he stands.

Comment: He dwelt in the forest a long time,
but I caught him today!
Infatuation for scenery interferes with his direction.
Longing for sweeter grass, he wanders away.
His mind still is stubborn and unbridled.
If I wish him to submit,
I must raise my whip.

The more that we persist.  The more that we know.  The more that we develop the will of our free consciousness.  The less our conditioned mind will have control over us.

Eternal peace.

Helen

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

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