The Ten Oxherding Pictures

Ten Oxherding
1 ◀The Search for the Bull▶
The bull never has  been lost.  What  need is there to  search?
Only because of separation  from my true  nature, I fail to  find
him.  In the confusion of the senses I lose even his tracks.  Far
from home, I see many crossroads,  but which way is the  right
one I know not.  Greed and fear, good and bad, entangle me.

Ten Oxherding
2 ◀Discovering the Footprints▶
Understanding the  teaching, I   see the footprints  of  the bull.
Then I learn  that, just  as many  utensils are  made from  one
metal, so  too are  myriad entities  made of  the fabric  of self.
Unless I  discriminate, how  will I  perceive the  true from  the
untrue?  Not yet having  entered the gate,  nevertheless I have
discerned the path.

Ten Oxherding
3 ◀Perceiving the Bull▶
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.

Ten Oxherding
4 ◀Catching the Bull▶
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.

Ten Oxherding
5 ◀Taming the Bull▶
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.

Ten Oxherding
6 ◀Riding the Bull Home▶
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.

Ten Oxherding
7 ◀The Bull Transcended▶
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.

Ten Oxherding
8 ◀Both Bull and Self Transcended▶
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.

Ten Oxherding
9 ◀Reaching the Source▶
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.

Ten Oxherding
10 ◀In the World▶
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.

Choi Uisun’s Zen Thoughts and the Spirits of Tea Tao

Kim, Young-doo / Professor

Wonkwang University.

As a way to understand Choui Uisun(1786-1866)’s Zen thoughts and his spirits of Tea Tao(茶道), this study attempts to review the social circumstances and situations in the periods of his birth, growth and buddhist priest, focusing on the figures and events closely related with him. Human being is generally influenced in establishing his/her own behavioral direction by the social circumstances in that period. In this point, this author considers the review of the social circumstances as necessary to understand Choui’s achievements and thoughts. Also, this study reviewed Choui’s Zen thoughts and his spirits of Tea Tao.

The 81 years of Choui’s life was the confused period in the circumstances of domestic politics. The Korean society had experienced the inflow of foreign powers and cultures suddenly, and the start of Catholicism in Korea had added the chaotic conflicts between traditional and foreign cultures. In that period, he had kept the exchange with renowned figures such as Chusa Junghee Kim, Dasan Yackyoung Chung, Hyunju Hong, and Jaha Sin, and then attempted to mollify himself through Zen and Tea Tao. It is considered that these activities were helpful for establishing his spiritual base.

If there had been no exchange with Choui about Zen, Tea Tao, poems, painting and calligraphy, the renowned figures, mentioned above, should have spent their own grim lives. In this view, Choui’s distributions of the writing works like Dasinjeon and Dongdasong must be one of his most meaningful achievements. Especially, Dongdasong can be considered as a sacred scripture of Korean Tea Tao, and Choui can be called an saint of Tea Tao.

Also, the Zen thoughts presented in his writing works are deep and magnanimous, so it can be generally said that he attained spiritual enlightenment in various kinds of Zen. Through his own review of various Zen thoughts, he created Ilmeeseon(一味禪) and made it realized as Tea Tao. Therefore, Jeungjung(中正) and Jeungdo(中道) in Tea Tao of Dongdasong can be interpreted as the true shape and norm of Zen and can be used as the life index. In this view, his achievements should be respectable in our history.

* Key Words

Choui Uisun, Zen thought, The Spirit of Tea Tao, Ilmeeseon, Jeungjung. Jeungdo

Zen Song by Na-Ong Seon Master

Just stick to Hwadu (= koan) and don’t loose it.
Struggling with it, just continue questioning ‘What is this ?’

Endless questioning will be like a fireball,
and suddenly you will awake from the long dream of life and death.

Innumerable years of quiet zazen
made the thinking walllike and all the others forgotten.

With keen questioning through millions of thoughts,
I passed rivers and mountains, not knowing spring had come.

Raise the question of hwadu every way.
Don’t keep anything but hwadu.

Nothing is left, so mind is free.
All is silent, so no dust arises.

In a street or thick woods, on a plain or the seashore,
only Nirvana ecstasy is always for him absorbed in hwadu.

Go right ahead without looking elsewhere.

When you take one step forward where you cannot go further,
there will truly not be any matter at all,
and you can pass through a thorny thicket, even swinging your arms.

The integrity of proud loneliness is lofty
like a great mountain,
and dhyana is free like a sea gull, forever.

Reverse a round desperately with all your strength,
and passion-free world will be clear beyond in and out.

The essence of hwadu lies in great questioning.

When the question defeats the blue eyes of Boddhidharma,
you will be free to kill and revive others, hence notorious all over the world.

The subtlety of zen is from keenness.
Dull questioning cannot solve the life and death problem.

When the question cracks, space will split,
and time will fuse in a beam of cold light.

Be always earnest in pondering over hwadu,
and sweep out worldly idle thoughts by the question.

Only after you let go the hold on the bottomless cliff,
the earth and space will disappear all together.

As the question cracks and passions die suddenly,
there is no shade in every direction all the way.

As the spacious spirits void all directions,
you can stroll about and relax even on the way to Eternal Hell,
accompany various people and pass like a wind.

Liberation by zen practice is not so hard,
only if you turn a thought round instantly.

Where waters end and mountains are passed,
there is no water and no mountain,
yet mountain is mountain and water is water.