Pushing Aside the Grass to Look for the Ox
Wanting to break through to Emptiness with my white cudgel
cried out louder than the bellowing Ox, mooing through my
I followed mountain and stream searching for the Ox,
seeking it everywhere.
But I couldnít tell in which direction it
had gone... west?... or east?
2. Suddenly Seeing Tracks
On I searched... into the mountains and along the river
But in every direction I went, I went in vain.
would have suspected that it was right where I stood;
needed only nod my head and my true Self would appear before me.
3. Seeing the Ox
Its wild nature is now calmed in lazy sleep.
By the stream,
under the trees, crushing the blades of dew laden grass
sleeps without a care.
At last I have found it... there with its
great head and horns.
4. Piercing the Oxís Nose
I rush forward and pierce the Oxís nose!
It wildly jerks and
But I feed it when it is hungry and give it water when it
Then I allow the Oxherding Boy to take care of it.
5. Training the Ox
I have supported you with great care for many years
plow - not mud and water, but clouds!
From dawn until dusk, the
natural grass sustains you
And you keep your master company by
sleeping out of doors.
6. Returning Home Riding the Ox
What place in these cloudy mountains is not my home?
greenery everywhere - so lush itís hard to tell
Crops from wild
grasses. I donít intrude on planted fields.
I ride the Ox and let
him graze along the roadside.
7. Keeping the Person Because of the Ox
I went from the city to the edge of the sea
I returned riding
backwards in a white ox wagon.
Into this painted hall comes a
spinning red wheel.
The New Bride finally arrives, and from my
8. The Bride and the Ox are Forgotten
I remember the old days as I brush out dead ashes from the cold
Silently, without a trace, I pace back and forth for no
But today the ice is broken by a plum blossom!
roars, a dragon growls, and all the creatures of the universe
9. Returning to the Origin and the Essence
Every thing and every creature under the sun has its own
Hasnít this knowledge been passed down through
When the Ox suddenly roars like a lion
in the universe reveals such infinite variety.
10. Coming Home with Folded Hands
How wide are the horizons of the spinning earth!
leads the tides and the sunís light will not be confined
the net of heaven. But in the end all things return to the
The deaf and dumb, the crippled and deformed are all
restored to the Oneís Perfection.
11. The Concluding Song
In the beginning there was nothing, nor was anything
The paper was blank. We pick up the paint brush and
create the scene...
The landscape, the wind whipping water into
Everything depends upon the stroke of our brush.
lets the good earth lead it,
Just as our brush allows our hand to
Take any direction, roam the world to its farthest
All comes back to where it started... to blessed Emptiness.
Oxherder, the Spinning Maiden and the Ox. Ceramic
figurine at Hsu Yun Temple, Honolulu.