Regardless of what specific path one follows, the story in the Ten Zen
Ox Pictures is a most beautiful representation of the entire journey
to the rediscovery of the True Self. It is said to have been created
about 800 CE. The Ox represents the Self being sought, and the person
is the Seeker.
THE 10 OX PICTURES ARE SHOWN HERE:
1: The Self is faintly intuited, like sensing the presence of the Ox,
and the journey begins.
2: Like finding a few hoof marks of the Ox, traces of the teachings of
the path are found.
3: The Ox is glimpsed, as one comes to see that the Self is beyond the
4: The Ox has been caught hold of, and the pursuit of the Self is now
5: The Ox is tamed, as the mind is tamed, while staying focused on
finding the Self.
6: The Ox is ridden, as the mind is mastered, becoming a friend on the
inner journey to Self.
7: The Ox is left aside, as the Seeker rests in the stillness of the
8: Both Ox and Seeker are forgotten, allowing the individual self to
rest in the True Self.
9: Ox and Seeker merge into emptiness, wholeness, beingness; the
10: The Realized returns to the marketplace of life, living in the
world, yet in the Self.