Author Archives: Andrew

About Andrew

I am journeying through life practicing a Christian spirituality. I am also an Oblate of the World Community for Christian Meditation.

Ten Bulls 9: Reaching the Source

Ten Bulls 9. Reaching the Source

Being is with the Source of all being.

The Source is Abba, the Father of Jesus.

There is no doing, only expression of being.

The point of no return no longer exists.

The Spirit shows the Son, the Son shows the Father.

All are the divine love-life.

Look back to the beginning: this love-life has always been with you.


Ten Bulls 8. Both Bull and Self Transcended

8. Both Bull and Self Transcended

The fulfilment of the heart’s longing is beyond the distinction of Creator and creature.

I is no longer, duality is resolved in Christ[1].

This is undifferentiated consciousness; consciousness cannot see itself.

It is our ‘original face before we were born[2].’

I dies to rise in Christ consciousness.

‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit[3].’

The mantra falls away, unnoticed.

Silence.

 

 

 

 

[1] Galatians 2:19-20

[2] William Johnston, Christian Zen (New York: Harper Colophon, 1971), 53

[3] Luke 23:46


Ten Bulls 7. The Bull Transcended

7. The Bull Transcended

The bull has vanished!

Ego has returned to the heart.

The mind is without thought.

This is apatheia: passion is ordered, wounds are healed. Though there are scars, ego remains forgotten.

Nothing is taken personally.

There is abiding calm.

The grace (the gift) of the Holy Spirit, has brought us this far.

The herdsman looks with eyes closed; looks with heart longing, not ego desire.

We are always beginning, and here the herdsman begins again.

In longing the heart hears our teacher: Jesus – human consciousness divine.

Listen to him (without thought): ma-ra-na-tha.

We are with him alone and together.

Let your heart open.

Longing can become consolation.

 


Ten Bulls 6. Riding the Bull Home

6. Riding the Bull Home

The rope is let go; the bull is now faithful.

The bull has been loved into gentleness.

Human nature is no longer hidden in struggle.

Herdsman and bull walk as one.

The melody of the heart draws them home: the herdsman plays and guides, the bull listens and carries.

Still the bull is the bull: strong, energetic. This energy is now for life – not resisting what is good.

The mantra is in the heart: keep listening to its song until it is no longer needed (you will not know when).

Isolation has passed: the bull is secure alone and together. Kindness happens without thought.

All this is the fruit of faithful discipleship: “I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10)

And the herdsman keeps feeling the bull, sensing the powerful movement underneath, hearing the snort. While this remains, still there is reaction, desire, however slight.

If we are to be here and now fully at home, these too must be graced away.

Experience the bull (without thought). It is now safe to go deep.

The bull wants to carry us home.

We must continue on in this intimate awareness of the bull.


Ten Bulls 5. Taming the Bull

5. Taming the Bull

Taming is done gently, firmly, consistently.

Never give up on the bull! Hold the rope!

This is how we keep growing in (thoughtless) awareness. Grace is in the struggle.

In time, the bull starts to follow the herdsman. As awareness persists, respect grows.

The herdsman no longer looks at the bull as he holds the rope.

Self-consciousness and consciousness are uniting.

Still the bull can struggle: stubbornness, wildness, deception.

Yet slowly, very slowly, the bull grows humble.

Say your mantra in the struggle. Keep going, persevere, remain faithful: one foot.

Practice good works. Attend to daily kindnesses: the other foot.

The bull is close, and now we see its scars: some new, some deep, some old. Long has the bull struggled.

Compassion grows. We see the bull with Divine eyes.

In time we see that the bull has emerged from the heart, the centre of consciousness.

The bellowing, the snorting eases. The bull is knowing true love.

We are losing egoism and finding heart.

As awareness, we love the bull.

‘For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.’ (Mathew 16:25)


Ten Bulls 4. Catching the Bull

4. Catching the Bull

The energy that is this flaring, simply be aware of it (without thought) as it erupts: this is catching the bull.

See how the herdsman holds the rope: this is being aware.

As this awareness grows so does our hold on the rope.

Our hold helps us to remain stable as the bull stampedes – again and again.

If it all becomes too much and we let the rope go – this is ok. All will be well.

Be still as you search and you will experience the bull again – without fail.

In all this, learning to stay with the first experience rather than splitting into thought and forgetting, we discover that not only is the bull wild: our bull is also wily and deceptive.

The bull always sleeps with one eye open.

This is why we say the mantra from beginning to end.

Attention on the mantra is experiencing the bull without focusing on the bull: a vital work! Here we become aware (without thought) of its subtleties and tricks.

More and more tricks: pleasure for pleasure’s sake, showing off, distraction and hiding.

For the bull it is all about survival.

Again and again we are dragged off. Keep a hold of the rope; find the rope, again and again!

Saying the mantra is learning to hold the rope.

In community our bulls herd together. They buck and rage, distract and hide.

Together we hold the rope in meditation and daily life.

In time it all becomes a kind of play: serious not solemn. It’s ok to smile, shake your head, and begin again.


Ten Bulls 3. Perceiving the Bull

Ten Bull 3 Percieving the Bull

Perhaps we want to analyse this bull experience, reflect on it and understand.

As we reflect we move past this first experience of the bull, and into thought: experiencing the experience.

We see the bull, then lose it in thought.

The bull is gone! All that is left is our thinking about the bull.

The bellow of the bull is in the body. We must learn to stay attentive to this first experience.

As practice goes on we learn not to lose the bellow: the first experience of stubbornness, of greed, of pain, of anger – whatever it might be. We feel the intensity of these in the body.

The bull snorts, ‘flares up’, and we stay with the experience, aware of it even for just a second.

This is hard: to experience it and not to forget it in thought. This is what awareness is.

Slowly, we learn to carry this cross of first experience.

Your cross is not my cross, your bull is not my bull.

When we fall to our knees, Jesus falls with us.

The bull is I, ego. Its flaring is wounded passion, energy misdirected, longing become desire: the roots of egoism.

The bull has been our shield, our defence; lashing out and then hiding, running amuck then vanishing.

One foot meditation, one foot awareness.


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