Tuesday, August 16, 2011

六 Riding the Ox Home

Returning home at last
Piously, I sit  on the ox's shoulders

The ox needs no guidance
He knows the way very well

Every leaf and every twig greet us
With their inherent melody as we pass

I take a bamboo flute from my cloth bag
And play a tune in the key of "Om"

A cup of tea will be nice

Before I saying anything, I should point out that, as far as I'm aware, my personal practice is still struggling with the ox (somewhere between steps 4 and 5). I shouldn't really be touching these at all, except I know that the meaning behind them is present in my inherent being. Perhaps if I listen very carefully, the right words will come to me...

So, from an experiential point of view, this is where the Ox Herding series gets really difficult, but at the same time, this is also where it gets profoundly simple.

Thoughts begin to fade, life starts flowing in tune. I've known days like these, before.

Yet, there are still two travelers. What is it that separates them?

If this were me on the ox, I'd probably be on my way to the tea house to show off the ox "I" was riding!

Riding the Bull Home

Riding the bull, I leisurely wander toward home.
Exotic flute melodies echo through sunset clouds,
Each beat and each tune indescribably profound.
No words are needed for those who understand music.


  1. ---------------------------------------------------------------

    "Return is the movement of the Tao".
    - Tao Te Ching, verse 40, S.Mitchell version

    Great image, lovely poem.
    You must get these published somewhere!
    All this sincere work and great effort deserves a wider audience.
    Hanmaum Journal? One of the big US Buddhist magzines?
    (Don't worry about pride - we are right to be proud of a job well done!)
    Thank you again Joseph!

  2. The ox probably knows the way to the tea house by heart!