Tag Archives: daily life

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.

As we attend to the mantra we experience 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 1. The Search for the Bull

TheSearchForTheBull

Why do we search? What are we looking for?

Is there a recognition, however hidden, that something is missing?

But what? Is it happiness? Peace? Meaning? Wholeness? God?

Something is missing, and we can itch with a desire to find; a desire that grasps and tests, that consumes and moves on.

How has this happened?

We live in a divided state, somehow estranged and yet somehow ourselves.

The desire is to find ourselves. But, who am I?

Notice the herdsman: feet pointing one way, head looking the other.

We are divided; self-consciousness is separate from consciousness.

Our head is pointing in the wrong direction. How can we possibly see where we are going?

The two feet are meditation and daily life. With these we walk on our way; sometimes restless, sometimes listless, sometimes happy, and somehow searching.

On we go into the experience of our own division, into the ways in which we live with true nature forgotten.

On this path of life, we live out of habits and attitudes that seem to hinder. We resist people and happenings that could be somehow good for us. What’s going on?

Metanoia: change your mind, turn your head. Be attentive to your feet.

Let the grace in walking turn your head.


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