Emily Eslami - How to Ride an Ox

“When you realize the meaning of life of shitting and eating, you will realize the deep meaning of raising an ox.” - Dogen

Emily Eslami on Kakuan Shien's Ten Bulls, or the Ox Herding pictures you may have heard them called. It's a path of no path, the great Zen rodeo, the straight road to enlightenment that turns out to be a spiral, or a circle, or a flat infinite plain? It's hard to say, but Emily leads the group in a great talk on a beautiful illustration of practice. The Ten Bulls are borrowed from our Rinzai siblings, which means there's a refreshing focus on practice with some hint of a progression, deepening, and maturing as we go on. But Emily warns us not to be fooled because that progress and maturing is as like to be happening now in the space of a moment as it is over the course of a lifetime. It's story of learning to ride the great ox, finding your way home, and finding out everywhere you go is home.