The 10 bulls of Zen, (the OX herder) is remarkable and unique in the history of human consciousness, as not only does it provides a clear and profound process of knowing, recognising and transcending the mind, moreover, the 10 bulls of Zen are applicable across all traditions.
Ancient consciousness based wisdom traditions have used the oxen, bull, elephant, or monkey to symbolise and illustrate the nature of the mind. The Ox can be found in the teachings of various teachers and masters.
Bhagat Kabir, a renowned Indian mystic considers the mind as the bull and meditation as its path.
Man Kar Bail Surath Kar Paiddaa Giaan Gon Bhar Ddaaree ||
My mind is the bull, and meditation is the road; I have filled my packs with spiritual wisdom, and loaded them on the bull. (Bhagat Kabir)
Guru Nanak illustrates our awareness is distracted through the unruly bulls, or senses
Panch Bail Gaddeeaa Dhaeh Dhhaaree ||
Raam Kalaa Nibehai Path Saaree ||
Dhhar Thoottee Gaaddo Sir Bhaar ||
Lakaree Bikhar Jaree Manjh Bhaar ||2||
The five bulls, the senses, pull the wagon of the body around.
Through Existences energy, one’s preserved.
But when the axle breaks, the wagon falls and crashes.
It falls apart, like a pile of logs. ||2|| (Guru Nanak)
In the Taoist tradition, Lao Tzu is seen riding a black Ox, thus illustrating the taming and riding of the mind, as per the 6th picture of the Ox herder series of pictures.
The Ox (bull) does not just represent the mind (ego-haumai) but also represents Dharma, a life style that integrates cultivating awareness, living by internal ethics beyond social morality and norms as a self-realised and sovereign human being.
The Ox herder is perhaps one of the most valuable and transformational tool that can truly enable individuals to transcend their self-limiting minds and live and engage in life fully. The OX herder provides the organic path for those who have tasted mindfulness and wish to explore beyond mindfulness in to the realms of consciousness.
The next OX herder begin on 23rd September 2017. For more information, click here http://www.davpanesar.com/ox-herder
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