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.

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