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    The Search



    The Search


    CHAPTER 1

    The Search for the Bull and Discovering the Footprints
    1 March 1976 am in Buddha Hall


    1. THE SEARCH FOR THE BULL
    IN THE PASTURE OF THIS WORLD,
    I ENDLESSLY PUSH ASIDE THE TALL GRASSES IN SEARCH OF THE BULL.
    FOLLOWING UNNAMED RIVERS,
    LOST UPON THE INTERPENETRATING PATHS OF DISTANT MOUNTAINS,
    MY STRENGTH FAILING AND MY VITALITY EXHAUSTED, I CANNOT FIND THE BULL.
    I ONLY HEAR THE LOCUSTS CHIRRING THROUGH THE FOREST AT NIGHT.
    COMMENT:
    THE BULL HAS NEVER BEEN LOST. WHAT NEED IS THERE TO SEARCH? ONLY BECAUSE
    OF SEPARATION FROM MY TRUE NATURE, I FAIL TO FIND HIM. IN THE CONFUSION OF
    THE SENSES I LOSE EVEN HIS TRACKS. FAR FROM HOME, I SEE MANY CROSSROADS,
    BUT WHICH WAY IS THE RIGHT ONE, I KNOW NOT. GREED AND FEAR, GOOD AND BAD,
    ENTANGLE ME.

    2. DISCOVERING THE FOOTPRINTS
    ALONG THE RIVER BANK UNDER THE TREES,
    I DISCOVER FOOTPRINTS!
    EVEN UNDER THE FRAGRANT GRASS I SEE HIS PRINTS.
    DEEP IN REMOTE MOUNTAINS THEY ARE FOUND.
    THESE TRACES NO MORE CAN BE HIDDEN THAN ONE’S NOSE LOOKING HEAVENWARD.
    COMMENT:
    UNDERSTANDING THE TEACHING, I SEE THE FOOTPRINTS OF THE BULL. THEN I LEARN
    THAT, JUST AS MANY UTENSILS ARE MADE FROM ONE METAL, SO TOO ARE MYRIAD
    ENTITIES MADE OF THE FABRIC OF SELF. UNLESS I DISCRIMINATE, HOW WILL I PERCEIVE
    THE TRUE FROM THE UNTRUE? NOT YET HAVING ENTERED THE GATE, NEVERTHELESS I
    HAVE DISCERNED THE PATH.

    We enter on a rare pilgrimage. The Ten Bulls of Zen are something unique in the history of human
    consciousness. Truth has been expressed in many ways, and it has always been found that it
    remains unexpressed whatsoever you do. Howsoever you express it, it eludes, it is elusive. It simply
    escapes description. The words that you use for it cannot contain it. And the moment you have
    expressed, immediately you feel frustrated as if the essential has been left behind and only the
    nonessential has been expressed. The Ten Bulls of Zen have tried in a single effort to express the
    inexpressible. So first, something about the history of these ten bulls.

    Basically, there were eight pictures, not ten; and they were not Buddhist, they were Taoist. Their
    beginning is lost. Nobody knows how they started, who painted the first bulls. But in the twelfth
    century a Chinese Zen master, Kakuan, repainted them; and not only that, he added two more
    pictures, and eight became ten. The Taoist pictures were ending on the eighth; the eighth is
    emptiness, nothingness. But Kakuan added two new pictures. That is the very contribution of
    Zen to religious consciousness.

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