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Harada Roshi

Year Of The Ox

the ox is walking by the window

Goso Hoen says to the assembly: “A huge ox passed by outside the window. The head went by, two horns went by, the body with four legs went by, all passed by yet only the tail remains. What is that all about?” Of course, this is a parable which Goso Hoen Zenji taught.

This tail isdescribed by the Buddha as follows:

We are what we think, having become what we though. Like the shadow that never leaves one, happiness follows a pure thought.
This tail symbolizes our awakening. Making this world into a bright or dark, into a happy or sad place, whether we live laughing or crying – all depends on our mind.
The Buddha taught this is human´s independence and responsibility. For this we need to let dualism – the two horns pass. We need to let confusion, imagination of the head pass. The desires and attachments of the body need to pass by. The four legs made up of like, dislike, wanting and rejection need to pass by as well. All needs to be thrown away yet we cannot let this turn into nihilism. We cannot lose sight of our true base, our mind.

Thankfulness towards our parents, towards the country, towards everyone in society,towards the truth – we need to awaken to these supporting us. We thus can awaken to a huge state of mind where we are at one with all beings. A peaceful world can only come forth from here.
The tail of the oxis our reminder that we may create this peaceful world in the New Year.

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