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Buddhism

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: "Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Sur...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists maintain that there are on earth ma...

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to have replied ...

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...




The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd








The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a Chinese
Zenist. For the details, see Zen-gaku-ho-ten.


Besides these Five Ranks of Merit, Zenists make use of the Ten
Pictures of the Cowherd, in order to show the different stages of
mental training through which the student of Zen has to go. Some
poems were written by Chinese and Japanese teachers on each of these
pictures by way of explanation, but they are too ambiguous to be
translated into English, and we rest content with the translation of
a single Japanese poem on each of the ten pictures, which are as
follows:

The first picture, called 'the Searching of the Cow,' represents the
cowherd wandering in the wilderness with a vague hope of finding his
lost cow that is running wild out of his sight. The reader will
notice that the cow is likened to the mind of the student and the
cowherd to the student himself.

"I do not see my cow,
But trees and grass,
And hear the empty cries
Of cicadas."

The second picture, called 'the Finding of the Cow's Tracks,'
represents the cowherd tracing the cow with the sure hope of
restoring her, having found her tracks on the ground.

"The grove is deep, and so
Is my desire.
How glad I am, O lo!
I see her tracks."

The third picture, called 'the Finding out of the Cow,' represents
the cowherd slowly approaching the cow from a distance.

"Her loud and wild mooing
Has led me here;
I see her form afar,
Like a dark shadow."

The fourth 'picture, called 'the Catching of the Cow,' represents the
cowherd catching hold of the cow, who struggles to break loose from
him.

"Alas! it's hard to keep
The cow I caught.
She tries to run and leap
And snap the cord."

The fifth picture, called 'the Taming of the Cow,' represents the
cowherd pacifying the cow, giving her grass and water.

"I'm glad the cow so wild
Is tamed and mild.
She follows me, as if
She were my shadow."

The sixth picture, called 'the Going Home Riding on the Cow,'
represents the cowherd playing on a flute, riding on the cow.

"Slowly the clouds return
To their own hill,
Floating along the skies
So calm and still.

The seventh picture, called 'the Forgetting of the Cow and the
Remembering of the Man,' represents the cowherd looking at the
beautiful scenery surrounding his cottage.

"The cow goes out by day
And comes by night.
I care for her in no way,
But all is right."

The eighth picture, called 'the Forgetting of the Cow and of the
Man,' represents a large empty circle.

"There's no cowherd nor cow
Within the pen;
No moon of truth nor clouds
Of doubt in men."

The ninth picture, called 'the Returning to the Root and Source,'
represents a beautiful landscape full of lovely trees in full blossom.

"There is no dyer of hills,
Yet they are green;
So flowers smile, and titter rills
At their own wills."

The tenth picture, called 'the Going into the City with Open Hands,'
represents a smiling monk, gourd in hand, talking with a man who
looks like a pedlar.

"The cares for body make
That body pine;
Let go of cares and thoughts,
O child of mine!"

These Ten Pictures of the Cowherd correspond in meaning to the Five
Ranks of Merit above stated, even if there is a slight difference, as
is shown in the following table:


THE FIVE RANKS.---THE TEN PICTURES.

1. The Rank of Turning---1. The Searching of the Cow.
2. The Finding of the Cow's Tracks.

2. The Rank of Service---3. The Finding of the Cow.
4. The Catching of the Cow.

3. The Rank of Merit---5. The Taming of the Cow.
6. The Going Home, Riding on the Cow.

4. The Rank of Co-operative Merit---9. The Returning to the Root and
Source.
10. The Going into the City with
Open Hands.

5. The Rank of Merit-over-Merit---7. The Forgetting of the Cow and
the Remembering of the Man.
8. The Forgetting of the Cow and of
the Man.






Next: Zen And Nirvana

Previous: The Five Ranks Of Merit



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