An ox passes through a window. Its head, horns, and four legs all pass through. Why can’t it’s tail pass through?
This is a koan that has come up for me now since it reflects immediate experience.
The ox passes through the window. The world and this human self is recognized, in immediacy, as awakeness itself. As no thing appearing as something.
Yet the tail does not pass through. There is still identification with the doer and observer. Even as the doer and observer is recognized as awakeness itself, even as it is recognized as a gestalt made up of sensations and images, there is still some remaining identification there.
There is no problem here of course, it just part of the process. It is perfect as is.
And the practical answer to that koan is to continue investigate, including any movement to want it to change, and leave the rest to grace. Let Your will be done, not mine.
Of course, I don’t know if this is what the koan refers to. And I have even less idea of how this koan would be passed when working with a teacher. But I don’t really need to either.
For me right now, this is a life koan. One that life itself brings up.
- koan: ox passes but not the tail
- the tail=sense of doer/observer (identification with)
- the body=everything else (the world + me recognized as awakeness itself)
- apparently small, and has seen through the majority of phenomena (the body of the ox), but what prevents the ox from passing through