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March 29, 2010 @ 11:57 am

The Ten Oxherding Pictures (XI)

 

For the 8th of the Ten Oxherding Pictures, Rev. Taigu offers this from Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo Genjo-Koan: To study the Buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no trace continues endlessly. “The place where everything is dropped, the action-non action of dropping things and self away, is what the 8th picture is about. All things go through that motion and dance, the dance of impermanence, forms have to go through that gateless gate where all reference points vanish to arise again. To truly and absolutely meet a tree, a flower, a friend, a sound, you have to go through the process where you forget totally anything about what is a tree, a flower, a friend or a sound. Otherwise, you would only meet dusty labels, names, memories, beliefs.”

“Dropping body-mind, forgetting the self is the roundness of the moon, this fully ripe moon which is also the true face of sitting. No trace of realization to be found there, for you are sitting as the very moonlight. The light doesn’t see itself. But indeed, the light is seen all around, endlessly shining in countless things.”

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March 24, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

The Ten Oxherding Pictures (X)

Rev. Taigu re-emerges with his next teaching on the Ten Oxherding Pictures. He writes: “Once we  drop whip and rope, once we stop manipulating reality, it appears by itself and we understand that we are exactly at the same spot as we were when it all started. The ox has and has not disappeared, it is now perfectly merged with this life as it comes and goes, nothing special to chase or ride anymore, just this very being here and now ringing in all directions. We have given up the search and in this calm and serene scenery we can dwell. This is, in essence, a non dualistic stage, neither one nor two, ox and self just as this.”

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March 15, 2010 @ 11:58 am

The Ten Oxherding Pictures (IX)

 

Rev. Taigu again takes us for a ride with the next of the Ten Oxherding Pictures. He writes: “Riding the bull home… As one mounts the bull, rides the bull, the world and practice itself  are not experienced as  obstacles anymore. The bull as an object to grasp, a goal to reach has disappeared. Practice and self are intimate. In this, carefreeness, detachment, joy arise from the silence space of sitting. The boy is not worried anymore about where he should go, where the bull takes him to, what the Bull-boy will become. As the comment sates: this struggle is over; gain and loss are assimilated. The song of the flute is played by ten thousand things met and released. Forms and sounds play and are played. This dance is nothing but the Bodhisattva stepping into the world, freely playing with what comes and goes, fully interacting with things and beings without being caught by any…”

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March 8, 2010 @ 9:50 pm

The Ten Oxherding Pictures (VIII)

 

Rev. Taigu again take the reigns to lead us through the next of the Ten Oxherding Pictures. He writes: “Taming the bull is the story of discipline. One has to take the lead and establish a regular and steady practice. That is, at least, the traditional reading of this image. I would like to come forward with something very different: taming the bull can also be giving a specific direction to sitting, having goals and aims, and therefore we loose the original freedom of practice trying to make it fit our plans.”

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March 1, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

The Ten Oxherding Pictures (VII)

 

Rev. Taigu continues his series of talks on the Ten Oxherding Pictures. He writes: Getting hold of the tail is the moment were we may think we have got it. The gesture is firm, the grasp strong and the will to tame the ox very much alive. If we stay there, we may think with pride that the journey is over and that our understanding is stronger than anybody else’s. A lot of arrogance coupled with struggle are yet noticeable, the attitude is stiff and the sitting rigid as well as the views, the many views we have about things and people. We are drunk with views and opinions, intoxicated with ideas and judgments. This kind of attitude and the state of body-mind characterized by this picture can be seen on various blogs and forums over the internet where people, hidden behind the anonymity and safe veil of their computer screens throw abusive language and display violence, lies, all sorts of judgments being made about people and situations they know nothing or very little about. Internet magnifies the imperfections and problems. You may have a look at how this teenage zen (teenage Zen, because self-infatuation and violence hiding a very poor self image is precisely one of the main problems of adolescence) creeps on line. It also curses our blood. We have to pay attention and come back to not knowing. It is so tempting to freeze every living experience into an asset, something to treasure, to own.

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