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Thread: The Ten Bulls

  1. #1 The Ten Bulls 
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    1. The Search for the Bull



    In the pasture of this world, I endlessly push aside the tall grasses in search of the bull.
    Following unnamed rivers, lost upon the interpenetrating paths of distant mountains,
    My strength failing and my vitality exhausted, I cannot find the bull.
    I only hear the locusts chirring through the forest at night.

    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.


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  3. #2  
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    2. Discovering the Footprints



    Along the riverbank under the trees, I discover footprints!
    Even under the fragrant grass I see his prints.
    Deep in remote mountains they are found.
    These traces no more can be hidden than one's nose, looking heavenward.

    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.


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  4. #3  
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    3. Perceiving the Bull



    I hear the song of the nightingale.
    The sun is warm, the wind is mild, willows are green along the shore,
    Here no bull can hide!
    What artist can draw that massive head, those majestic horns?

    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.
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  5. #4  
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    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.

    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.
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  6. #5  
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    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.

    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.
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  7. #6  
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    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.

    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.
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  8. #7  
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    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.

    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.
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  9. #8  
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    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.

    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.
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  10. #9  
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    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.

    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.
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  11. #10  
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    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.
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    Searching for the Ox

    Alone in the wilderness, lost in the jungle,
    the child is searching, searching!
    The swelling waters, the far-away mountains,
    and the unending path;

    Exhausted and in despair, knowing not
    where to go,
    Only hearing the evening cicadas singing in
    the maple-woods.


    Where does the dear child go from here?
    She follows her heart, to freedom's shore, right?




    In the trees, scattered
    are the traces of the lost; Seeing the Traces

    By the stream and under
    The sweet-scented grasses are growing
    thick -- did she find the way?
    However remote over the hills and far
    away the beast may wander,
    its nose reaches the heavens and none
    can conceal it.

    Seeing the Ox

    On a yonder branch perches a nightengale
    cheerfully singing;
    The sun is warm, and a soothing breeze
    blows on


    On the bank the willows
    are green;
    The ox is there all by himself, nowhere
    is he to hide himself;


    The splendid head decorated with stately
    horns like a duplicatous Unicorn


    \-- what painter can
    reproduce him?


    Catching the Ox


    With all the energy the child can muster
    she has at last taken hold of the ox:
    But how wild his will, how
    ungovernable his power!


    At times he struts up a plateau,
    When Lo! he is lost again in a
    misty unpenetrable mountain-pass.
    This ox is hard to herd or follow.


    Herding the Ox


    Now the child may seek to
    herd the Ox, but if she uses the whip and tether
    she will only succeed to separate herself with
    from him with that whip and tether,
    and cause the animal to wander away again
    and she will fall again into a world of defilements;


    BUT!, When the ox is properly tended to,
    with appropriate attention and love
    he will grow pure and docile;
    Without a chain, nothing binding, he will
    by himself be her leader and her guide
    and her follower

    Nothing could be stronger
    than this boundless binding
    Nothing could surpass its
    wondrousness
    Nothing else could
    touch her heart like this


    Coming Home on the Ox's Back


    Riding on the Ox's back, they leisurely
    wend their way home;
    Enveloped in the evening mist, how
    tunefully the beautiful flute notes vanish away
    into the utter stillness of vanquished time
    Singing a ditty, beating time,
    her dear heart filled with joy
    indescribably!
    That she is now one of those who know,
    need it be told?
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