THE BULL AND HIS HERDSMAN The 10 Bull Herding pictures - A video commentary produced by The Zen Gateway 1. SEARCHING FOR THE BULL
The search for what? The bull has never been missing. But without knowing it the herdsman estranged himself from himself and so the bull became lost in the dust. The home mountains recede ever further, and suddenly the herdsman finds himself on entangeld path. Lust for gain and fear of loss flare up like a conflagration, and views of right and wrong oppose each other like spears on a battlefield. 2. FINDING THE TRACES
Reading the Sutras and listening to the teachings, the herdsman had an inkling of their message and meaning. He has discovered the traces. Now he knows that however varied and manifold, yet all things are of the one gold, and that his own nature does not differ from any other. But he cannot yet distinguish between what is genuine and what fake, still less between the true and the false. He can thus not enter the gate, and only provisionally can it be said that he has found the traces. 3. FINDING THE BULL
The herdsman recoils startled at hearing the voice and that instant sees into the origin. The six senses are quieted in peaceful harmony with the origin. Revealed, the bull in his entirety now pervades all activities of the herdsman, present as inseparably as is salt in seawater, or glue in paint. When the herdsman opens his eyes wide and looks, he sees nothing but himself. 4. CATCHING THE BULL
For the first time today he encountered the bull that for so long had been hiding in the wilderness. But his pleasantly familiar wilderness still attracts the bull strongly. He yearns for the sweet-smelling grass and is difficult to hold. Stubborn self-will rages in him and wild animal-nature rules him. If the herdsman wants to make the bull really gentle, he must discipline him with the whip.
5.GENTLING THE BULL
If but one thought arises, then another and another follows in an endless round. Through awakening, everything becomes truth; through delusion, it becomes error. Things do not come into being depending on circumstances but arise from the herdsman's own heart. Hold the rein tight and do not allow any wavering.
6. RETURNING HOME ON THE BACK OF THE BULL
Now the struggle is over! Gain and loss, too, have fallen away. The herdsman sings an old folk song or plays a nursery tune on his flute. Looking up into the blue sky, he rides along on the back of the bull. If someone calls after him, he does not look back; nor will he stop if tugged on the sleeve.
7. BULL FORGOTTEN, MAN REMAINS
There are not two Dharmas. Provisionally only has the bull been set up, somewhat in the nature of a sign-post. He might also be likened to a snare for catching rabbits, or to a fishing net. Now the herdsman feels as when the shining gold has been separated out from the ore, or as when the moon appears from behind a cloud bank. The one cool light has been shining brilliantly since the time before the beginning.
8. BOTH BULL & MAN FORGOTTEN
When all worldly wanting dropped away, holiness, too, lost its meaning. Do not stay at a place where Buddha is, and pass quickly by where he is not. If one remains unattached to either, not even a thousand eyes can spy him out. Holiness to which birds consecrate flowers is shameful. 9. RETURN TO THE ORIGIN, BACK TO THE SOURCE
In the origin all is pure and there is no dust. Collected in the peace of non-volitional doing (Wu-Wei) he beholds the coming and going of all things. No longer deluded by shifting phantom pictures, he has nothing further to learn. Blue runs the river, green range the mountains; he sits by himself and beholds the change of all things.
10 ENTERING THE MARKET-PLACE WITH BLISS-BESTOWING HANDS
The brush-wood gate is firmly shut and neither sage nor Buddha can see him. He has deeply buried his light and permits himself to differ from the well-established ways of the old masters. Carrying a gourd, he enters the market; twirling his staff, he returns home. He frequents wine-shops and fish stalls to make the drunkards open their eyes and awaken to themselves. INTRODUCTION TO ZEN PRACTICE pt. 1
Welcome to this introduction to Zen Practice also known as 'daily life practice', so called because it is a practice to be cultivated in our ordinary lives on a day-to-day basis.
Having familiarised ourselves with some of the basic Buddhist teachings (the Zen school being a school of Buddhism), we now set out to put into practice what the Buddha taught.
The central practice is simply put - to give myself whole-heartedly into what at this moment is being done anyway. INTRODUCTION TO ZEN PRACTICE pt. 2
In this second of two talks on starting out in the Zen training, the importance on form is discussed and suggestions as to how to introduce it into daily life practice are given.