16 x 20 | flashe
This image is Number 1 in a series entitled, "Gentling the Bull." The series is loosely based on the Ten Oxherding Pictures attributed to Kakuan Shion Zenji who probably created them in the late 12th century. In the originals by Kakuan, each picture is accompanied with a brief commentary and appended verse. They liken 'buddha-nature' to an ox and suggest the practice of Zen is akin to an 'oxherd' seeking, catching, taming, and living with an ox.
The paintings in my series are simply for fun, 'mind works' that at best echo the deep mysteries of a classic Buddhist parable that captured my own imagination and wonder. Unlike the original ink paintings, these images do not pretend to offer the viewer a tool for enlightenment! They amount to what I would describe as 'Zen playfulness'.
Searching for the bull (buddha-nature) begins the moment we look seriously for an answer to the question, "Who am I?"