Osho explains in short the 10 cards about mastering the ox.
In ancient China, there used to be ten cards, ten beautiful pictures about ox-herding, mastering the ox.
In the first picture, the ox has escaped from its owner into the deep forest. The owner is looking all around, but he can see only trees and trees and trees, and no ox.
In the second picture, he finds the footprints of the ox. Now there is some hope he may find the ox – he follows the footprints. In the third picture, he finds that the ox is hiding behind a bush; just his tail and the backside he can see. But he is immediately happy – “He is trying to deceive me!”
In the fourth picture he has seen the whole ox. In the fifth picture, he takes hold of the ox by the horns. It is a difficult struggle; the ox is far more powerful an animal than man. With difficulty he manages. In the sixth picture, he is riding on the ox. In the seventh he is moving towards home. In the eighth, he has put the ox in its stable. In the ninth picture, he is sitting before his cottage, playing a flute.
When these pictures came to Japan, the tenth picture was dropped out, thinking that it might be dangerous, particularly for people who are very new and don’t know the whole world of Zen. The tenth picture shows that the man is so happy … he takes a bottle of wine and rushes towards the marketplace, perhaps towards the pub, to enjoy with his friends. He has found his ox – now this is a celebration.
Being afraid that this will mean that you can drink wine – and this will go against Buddha – they dropped the tenth picture.
But I love the tenth picture, because it does not represent wine; wine is only a symbol of being drunk with the divine. Wine is only a symbol of being utterly at ease with existence – relaxed, in tune, in harmony, in accord. And his rushing towards the pub is also symbolic. It is rushing towards your own juices of life, to the very centre of your being, where you will get drunk.
This kind of getting drunk is unending. Once you have tasted it, you have tasted it; it is not going to fade away. It is going to overwhelm your whole life. Your whole life will become a festival of lights; your whole life will become a ceremony of laughter, of dance, of song, of music.
Osho, Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind, Ch. 1
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