For some time I have been interested in the ten pictures called the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, or the Ten Bull Pictures. These pictures came to be used in Zen training in Japan during the fifteenth century. They date back to drawings by a twelfth century Zen master named Kakuan. They are still in use today.
The Ten Bulls speak of a spiritual and human journey common to the depths all faiths. Christianity is no exception here. The series of Ten Bull pictures on this blog, each with a brief reflection, is an attempt to bring the wisdom of Zen into dialogue with the wisdom of Christinaity.
I have relied on three books as a guide for this series: Gentling the Bull by The Venerable Myokyo-ni, Silent Music, and Christian Zen (both by William Johnston). You can find out more about these books by scrolling down this page.
The pictures that I use here I acquired from the internet using a general search for ‘the Ten Bulls pictures’. I would be more than happy to attribute them to the artist, if I knew who they were.
You can see and purchase Gentling the Bull at Amazon.
You can see and purchase Silent Music at Amazon.
You can see and purchase Christina Zen at The Book Depository.