AN OX GOES THROUGH A LATTICE WINDOW

If you see an animal
sitting neck-deep in the mud
do you wonder how lucky it is
that, having fallen in,
its head has not been swallowed?
Or do you consider that it
stuck its head out of the mud
to gaze into the sky?
When you are immersed in dharma
do you hold back your mind,
clinging to worldly thoughts?
Tell me, are you emerging from the dharma
or are you slowly allowing yourself
to sink into it fully in this moment.
Look carefully through the lattice
window of thought and decide
which is inside, which is out.


A reflection on Case 16 of the Shumon Kattoshu (“Entangling Vines”)