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The Ten Oxherding Pictures

The Ten Oxherding Pictures

From The Manual of Zen Buddhism, D.T. Suzuki

By Shubun (15th Century)

1. Undisciplined

With his horns fiercely projected in the air the beast snorts,
Madly running over the mountain paths, farther and farther he goes astray!
A dark cloud is spread across the entrance of the valley,
And who knows how much of the fine fresh herb is trampled under his wild hoofs!

2. Discipline Begun

I am in possession of a straw rope, and I pass it through his nose,
For once he makes a frantic attempt to run away, but he is severely whipped and whipped;
The beast resists the training with all the power there is in a nature wild and ungoverned,
But the rustic oxherd never relaxes his pulling tether and ever-ready whip.

3. In Harness

Gradually getting into harness the beast is now content to be led by the nose,
Crossing the stream, walking along the mountain path, he follows every step of the leader;
The leader holds the rope tightly in his hand never letting it go,
All day long he is on the alert almost unconscious of what fatigue is.

4. Faced Round

After long days of training the result begins to tell and the beast is faced round,
A nature so wild and ungoverned is finally broken, he has become gentler;
But the tender has not yet given him his full confidence,
He still keeps his straw rope with which the ox is now tied to a tree.

5. Tamed

Under the green willow tree and by the ancient mountain stream,
The ox is set at liberty to pursue his own pleasures;
At the eventide when a grey mist descends on the pasture,
The boy wends his homeward way with the animal quietly following.

6. Unimpeded

On the verdant field the beast contentedly lies idling his time away,
No whip is needed now, nor any kind of restraint;
The boy too sits leisurely under the pine tree,
Playing a tune of peace, overflowing with joy.

7. Laissez Faire

The spring stream in the evening sun flows languidly along the willow-lined bank,
In the hazy atmosphere the meadow grass is seen growing thick;
When hungry he grazes, when thirsty he quaffs, as time sweetly slides,
While the boy on the rock dozes for hours not noticing anything that goes on about him.

8. All Forgotten

The beast all in white now is surrounded by the white clouds,
The man is perfectly at his ease and care-free, so is his companion;
The white clouds penetrated by the moon-light cast their white shadows below,
The white clouds and the bright moon-light-each following its course of movement.

9. The Solitary Moon

Nowhere is the beast, and the oxherd is master of his time,
He is a solitary cloud wafting lightly along the mountain peaks;
Clapping his hands he sings joyfully in the moon-light,
But remember a last wall is still left barring his homeward walk.

10. Both Vanished

Both the man and the animal have disappeared, no traces are left,
The bright moon-light is empty and shadowless with all the ten-thousand objects in it;
If anyone should ask the meaning of this,
Behold the lilies of the field and its fresh sweet-scented verdure.

and so we make our lives by what we love

it is not irritating to be where one is

it is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else

John Cage


My days would be made easier if I could follow only the rhythm of my heart

sleep until the light comes up

she would say

eat berries from the garden in the summer while you can

walk when the sun can warm even the night sky

and feel the skin of the one you love every day


these days the pace is uneven and quick

like trying to catch the step of the stranger who walks ahead

where is the purpose in that


I do not believe in an ultimate purpose

no answer to the big Why

my hope comes from no where

a vague dream that one day I can step off

and find Peace


some days I find that peace

when my lover’s eyes see me

I am opened and safe

this is peace

just as silence

and cup of tea, warm in my hands





ballot box

I’d choose peace over truth

I rediscovered disco

I helped my boyfriend with a quiz he had to write this week.  The theme was disco…I love disco!! Here’s a classic..

the order of things

In Regimes of Truth, Foucault maintains that no one person holds a coherent aspect of him or herself throughout the varied activities of his or her life.  Who we are in the voting booth isn’t who are in the bedroom. Never more have I come to know this than I have as an art student.

It seems I am constantly asked “what kind of an artist” I am.  I understand the question, but I am at a loss for a reply.  “I don’t know yet,” is my usual response. But the truth is, I don’t know if I will ever know. I don’t believe I have to.  Perhaps it would be easier to call myself a painter; and just a few posts I did just that.  But even then, others want to know what it is that I am saying with my painting, what is the purpose, what drives me. It’s as if every piece of art is to hold some dire message, my message..who I am and what I’m saying..Sometimes, in fact most of the time, I just like the feel of the paint on the canvas.  I like to see my brush strokes, heavy and light, broad and very tiny.  I love the color and the way the oil feels when it charges my brush.  I like to find color in the whitest of white and the darkest of blacks.  When I paint, or draw, and knit; when I create I feel settled.  Perhaps that should be my artist statement, “I paint to feel settled.” or better..”I paint hoping to feel settled.”


she comes, an uninvited guest

I used to question what motivated her arrival

but having never gotten the answer

I only wonder now how long she will stay

Once I used to welcome her

despite the wear of her daily presence

there were gifts

creative fits I would have never had alone

these days her heaviness

brings nothing but weight

I count the days and hours

to keep my mind distracted

The New Year

I’ve walked ten plus miles in the last two days. Not so much a New Year’s resolution as just wanting to do something I like to do. The last two days my beau and I have bundled ourselves up and walked. It’s especially cold, and windy. Today we walked to the Dishman Community Center

so I could swim. My love had hoped to play a little bball, but the court was full of young aggressive players already into a game. So I swam a few laps, for free I might add, while he went to a coffeehouse and read the paper. I have been craving the water. It’s been over a year since I last swam and I was missing the sensation, the freedom water gives me. I swam laps and found myself winded and limbered up. I would have stayed longer if my eyes weren’t stinging and my love weren’t sitting in a coffeehouse waiting for me.

I showered and dried off; tried to blow dry my hair and met with my guy to make the trek home. The winter sun is low this time of year and at three the shadows cast by the buildings made us colder. We headed to Max and caught the train home. The eight blocks home were cold..really cold. I felt good and clear and utterly relieved when I made it to the backdoor. And lucky. I am rich in so many ways.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 167 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 309 posts. There were 146 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 305mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 9th with 338 views. The most popular post that day was My practice of art.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for deidrenoreen and nietzsche.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


My practice of art May 2010


Portfolio March 2010


deidre August 2008


Social Practice and other things June 2010


why can’t women get along? July 2010