Table of ContentsIntroduction
Karate KataMatsubayashi-Ryu Masters Matsubayashi-Ryu kata Kata sources and usage
Masters and MethodsTraining - Yasutune Itosu Technique - Chojun Miyagi Principles - Kenwa Mabuni Fighting - Choki Motubu
AnatomyMusculature Skeleton Nervous System Meridians
Books and ReferenceBook of 5 Rings Art of War Tai Chi Classics Mind Body Unification
PhilosophyTen Bulls Tao Te Ching
Zen BuddhismHistory Zazen Zazen Yojinki Zen Koans Zen Stories Zen Dialogues
Concepts and GlossarySelected Glossary
Introducing 'Ten Bulls' by Kakuan
The enlightenment for which Zen aims, for which Zen exists, comes of itself. As consciousness, one moment it does not exist, the next it does. But physical man walks in the element of time even as he walks in mud, dragging his feet and his true nature. So even Zen must compromise and recognize progressive steps of awareness leading closer to the ever instant of enlightenment.
In the twelfth century the Chinese master Kakuan drew the pictures of the ten bulls, basing them on earlier Taoist bulls, and wrote the comments in prose and verse translated here. His version was pure Zen, going deeper than earlier versions, which had ended with the nothingness of the eighth picture. It has been a constant source of inspiration to students ever since, and many illustrations of Kakuan's bulls have been made through the centuries.
The illustrations reproduced here are modern versions by the noted Kyoto woodblock artist Tomikichiro Tokuriki.
1.The Search for the Bull
In the pasture of this world, I endlessly push aside the tall grasses in search of the bull.
2. Discovering the Footprints
Along the riverbank under the trees, I discover footprints!
3. Perceiving the Bull
I hear the song of the nightingale.
4. Catching the Bull
I seize him with a terrific struggle.
5. Taming the Bull
The whip and rope are necessary,
6. Riding the Bull Home
Mounting the bull, slowly I return homeward.
7. The Bull Transcended
Astride the Bull, I reach home.
8. Both Bull and Self Transcended
Whip, rope, person, and bull--all merge in No-Thing.
9. Reaching the Source
Too many steps have been taken returning to the root and the source.
10. In the World
Barefooted and naked of breast, I mingle with the people of the world.
Living Karate - Sydney Matsubayashi Ryu