Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The 10 Bulls

I've posted on the Ten Ox Herding Pictures, or the Ten Bulls, before. This website crossed my path, so I thought I'd post again. If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to the Ten Ox Herding pictures, and their explanations.

The 10 Bulls depict a journey, the goal of which is enlightenment. The bull is the eternal principle of life; one's true nature.

In the 12th century the Chinese master Kakuan drew the 10 bulls, basing them on earlier Taoist drawings. The earlier drawings had only 8 bulls, with the eighth representing the final stage of enlightenment. Kakuan went beyond this, illustrating that the moment of enlightenment is merely a beginning.

These bulls were drawn by the Kyoto woodblock artist Tomikichiro Tokuriki, and published in Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Paul Reps.

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