• Riding the Ox Home

      Mounting the Ox, slowly
      I return homeward.
      The voice of my flute intones
      through the evening.
      Measuring with hand-beats
      the pulsating harmony,
      I direct the endless rhythm.
      Whoever hears this melody
      will join me.

    Here the oxherder is playing a flute while riding the ox. The ox still has its nose-ring and rope. But now the oxherder no longer has to hold the rope and pull the ox back to the way. Buddhist practice and self-cultivation have become a natural activity. The sense organs are purified, meaning that the person is aware of the environment but does not generate feelings of greed, anger or lust from the contact with outer things.