Ten Bulls of Zen | Ten Ox Herding Pictures | Poem 3

Ten Bulls of Zen | Ten Ox Herding Pictures | Poem 3

Welcome to the Ten Bulls of Zen poem 3 and the third insight into the journey towards enlightenment.

Poem number three is titled “Perceiving the Bull”, and is written as follows:

“I hear the song of the nightingale.
The sun is warm, the wind is mild,
willows are green along the shore –
Here no Ox can hide!
What artist can draw that massive head,
those majestic horns?”


The Meaning of the Second Ten Bulls Poem

I’ll start my explanation of this poem with the last sentence, “What artist can draw that massive head, those majestic horns?”

No artist can draw The Source because The Source cannot be realized through your sense of sight.

Like the Sun warming your skin, and the wind gently blowing against your body, you must feel the presence of The Source within you.

The willow tree has a deep spiritual meaning which goes back many ages, and the willow tree symbolizes many of the important traits you must have on your spiritual path.

Like the willow tree, you must strong, yet flexible enough to bend in the face of the challenges that will be presented to you.

Rather than fighting against the current of the river, you must learn how to adjust yourself to lives challenges so you can flow with the current of your life.

Surrender, to the flow of energy that is guiding you through life, and allow yourself to be guided by It.

Willow trees are known to be able to survive and thrive in the most challenging conditions, and no matter what challenges you face on your lives path, you have to adapt to what you’re faced with and learn how to thrive in that challenging environment.

No matter what comes to you, and no matter what or who leaves you, you must be able to adapt and thrive in those challenging conditions.

The colours of the willow tree hold great spiritual significance also, and emphasis was given to the willow trees being green.

Green symbolizes nature, fertility, and life, and it represents balance, learning, growth, and harmony.

Like the green fertile willow tree, you must be in harmony with the feminine energy within you, as well as the masculine energy.

It’s only the male nightingale bird that sings, and as the nocturnal singing of the male nightingale bird hints to you, you must balance the masculine energy within you, with the feminine energy.

And this balance of masculine and feminine energy within you is an important and necessary requirement in spiritual development which is echoed in the Bible, Taoism, Buddhism, all the schools of Magick, and many other religions and spiritual practices.

You must express the logic, reason, strength, and firm action of the masculine.

While simultaneously expressing the gentle, healing, nurturing, flexible, intuition of the feminine.

And when you are balanced within, and in harmony without, you too will hear the beautiful sweet song of the nightingale bird and feel the vibration of its sound flow through you.

In that state of inner balance and harmony, no ox can hide.

In that state, The Source will present Itself to you and will become known to you as you awaken and perceive The Source.

And expressing unconditional love, kindness, and compassion, in thought, word, and action, while maintaining firm boundaries for yourself and others are the traits and qualities which will awaken your awareness of The Source within you.

Join me again in part four of The Ten Bulls.


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Ten Bulls of Zen | Ten Ox Herding Pictures | Poem 3

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The Ten Bulls Series

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