Friday, August 12, 2011

四 Catching the Ox

The mountain berries I'd collected for the journey have all been eaten
There is nothing in my knapsack to sustain me
With nothing left but determinationI rope the ox

But the ox resists, the rope irritates his broad neck
He tears through the hills, knocking down everything in its way
With the strength and momentum of the ever-changing universe

I grip the rope tighter, but what hope do I have?

He charges, pinning me to the ground
Pressed beneath its heavy skull and long pointed horns
Then he turns to the rocky peak and disappears in the gathering clouds

Rope hanging down from a tethered cloud
I could walk away now, it would be less painful
But I, too, am stubborn

Somewhere deep within I know I shouldn't do this, but, oops, I just did...

Mountain streams don't suddenly change direction, the sun won't likely rise in the west.

The wonderful thing about the human mind is that it can change its course. But after lifetimes of running wild, it can sometimes seem impossible.

But a friend, and monk, once told me that just acquiring the intention to change immediately creates a huge shift in the momentum of our Karma.

Catching the Bull

With all my energy, I seize the ox.
His will is strong, and his power inexhaustible,
He cannot be easily tamed.
Sometimes he charges to the high plateau,
And there he stays, deep in the mist.


  1. LOL! Brilliant! That little fella looks like he's bitten off more than he can chew! Good luck riding that ox home! Brilliant!

  2. Stubborn! A wonderful virtue in the dharma (although our partners might not appreciate it quite as much).

    Great image, too!

  3. In Korea, they say that stubbornness is a prerequisite to becoming a monk.
    The first thing you do is go against your parents word to put on your robes...