Oxherding VII – Arriving Home

Attributed to Shubun. Photo taken from Zen Ink Paintings by Barnet and Burto.

Our flute finishes its song and our Ox finishes his dance. We have arrived Home. Our Ox’s journey is complete. We sit alone as our Ox slowly grazes lush grass nearby. Soon, our Ox wanders where the grass grows, naturally, and is no longer in our sight. We do not look for him and he is no longer in our minds.

The Earth is still and quiet. We smile at the full moon and know if we tap the ground with our finger, the whole Earth will vibrate and the icy moons of Jupiter will shatter.

Our finger stays put and is folded in our other hand as we sit in deep samadhi. Each breath we breathes creates and sustains the entire Universe. We are now home.


4 thoughts on “Oxherding VII – Arriving Home

  1. Is it that the ox moves on as a child would from an elder, or rather that we are too consumed with our own inability to control our impulses and lose sight of what we should?


  2. Further, by such self-imposed distraction we become irresponsible and therefore, lose everything that should be kept dear to us?


  3. Gina, I like what you say, however, in these pictures, the Ox is meant to represent our true nature, our Enlightened mind, our Buddha-nature… It can be likened as such: We are living in a horrible, suffering world and we are at a riverbank and we see on the other side of the river is a Utopia, a perfect land. We make it our goal to get to that Pure Land, so we built a raft. The Raft could be seen as our ‘Ox’, or our deep prayers/meditation. We travel across the choppy river on our raft and we finally get there… When we get there, this is our true home… we arrived ‘home’… Weather we travelled by raft or by Ox, when we are home, we no longer need the raft (or the Ox), no matter how wonderful it may be.. so it is time to let it go as it has no more use, and could only hinderance us… We might decide to climb back on the raft because of nostalgia! Then we might end up back in the suffering world! Does that make sense? 🙂


  4. Pingback: Moles in the ground turn the wheel of the Dharma | oxherderzen

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