Talks on the Ten Bulls of Zen
The ten famous Zen paintings telling the story of a farmer’s search for his lost bull are an allegory for everyone’s search for enlightenment. In The Search Osho explores the deeper layers of meaning behind each picture.
In many traditions the tenth picture, showing the farmer returning to the marketplace with a bottle of wine, has been purposely omitted because the concept of celebration was not really understood. But for Osho this is a beautiful symbol of how we can only really celebrate life in the world once we are filled with inner richness. This is Osho’s vision: the New Man, whom he also calls Zorba the Buddha, whose feet are firmly on the ground, yet whose hands can touch the stars.
“We enter on a rare pilgrimage. The Ten Bulls of Zen are something unique in the history of human consciousness….
The Ten Bulls of Zen have tried in a single effort to express the inexpressible.”
"You’ll learn more about yourself reading one chapter of The Search than you will reading a dozen ordinary books on Zen."
Carol Neiman, author of Afterlife and Miracles
Chapter 1: The Search for the Bull; Discovering the Footprints
Chapter 2: Dropping the Why
Chapter 3: Discourse in Silence
Chapter 4: Perceiving the Bull; Catching the Bull
Chapter 5: Happiness Knows No Tomorrow
Chapter 6: Taming the Bull; Riding the Bull Home
Chapter 7: Come In!
Chapter 8: The Bull Transcended; Both Bull and Self Transcended
Chapter 9: Life Is the Goal
Chapter 10: Reaching the Source; In the World
Kakuan first tried the unconscious language because that is the deepest: he painted these ten bulls. But he felt dissatisfied. Then he wrote ten poems as a supplement, as an appendix. Poetry is mid-way between the unconscious and the conscious: a bridge, a misty land where things are not absolutely in the dark and are not absolutely in the light – just somewhere in the middle. That’s why where prose fails, poetry can indicate. Prose is too superficial; poetry goes deeper. Poetry is more indirect but more meaningful, richer.
But still Kakuan felt dissatisfied, so he wrote prose commentaries.
First he wrote the language of the unconscious, the language of painters, sculptors, dreamers; then he wrote the language of the poets, the bridge between the unconscious and the conscious – of all art. And then he wrote the language of logic, reason, Aristotle – the conscious. That’s why I say such an experiment is unique; nobody else has done that. Buddha talked in prose. Meera sang in poetry. Unknown painters and sculptors have done many things – Ajanta, Ellora, the Taj Mahal. But a single person has not done all three things together.