Looking forward to a new and uplifting year!
Tomorrow we will delve into the 4th and 5th oxherding stories. In these two stories the oxherder catches and tames the ox. He/she tells of the power of the ox and how difficult its will can be. Through firm discipline, however, the ox becomes naturally gentle and obeys its master without hesitation.
I see these two teachings as belonging together. There is no question regarding the power of mind. We all have experienced its unyielding stance at times. Our habits and conditioning have great power over us and frequently create chaos in our lives. What we don’t always connect to is the importance and necessity of mental discipline. Setting an intention to tame the mind is by far the most beneficial thing we can do alleviate suffering.
The discipline we will be exploring tomorrow is significant. It is the cornerstone of practice. It occurs early into the stories (and is the same in practice) in picture 4 of 10 pictures. Some translations point out in all the remaining stories that co-existence with mind from here on is without the need for the firm discipline noted in story 4. I often think, if we as practitioners could see the value of taming the mind as much as we see the value of getting over difficulties we could truly see existence it its natural state. Tomorrow we’ll explore what blocks our ability to tame the mind. Until then:))