Writing the Ox, the short version (just the titles)

Here are the titles of the 10 Ox Herding Pictures in the original Chinese:

(shí: ten) / (niú: ox) / (tú: picture/diagram)

(xún: to search) / (xù: number) / 一  (yī: one)

(jiàn: to see) / (jì: trace) / (èr: two)

(sān: three)

(dé: get;obtain;acquire;gain) / (sì: four)

(mù: herd;govern;rule) / (wǔ: five)

(qí: ride) / 歸家 (guī-jiā: return home) / (liù: six)

(wàng: forget) / (cún: save;keep) / (rén: person;people) / (qī: seven)

(jù: both;all) / (bā: eight)

(fǎn: return) / (běn: root – as in tree) / (huán: return) / (yuán: source – as in river) / (jiǔ: nine)

(rù: enter) / (chán: marketplace) / 垂手 (chuí-shǒu: hanging-down hands – at ease)

1) 返本還源 (in picture 9) is usually translated as “return to the source” – but clearly there is more going on here. First we have 返本, which by itself literally means “return to the root”. This is then followed by 還源, which in addition to reinforcing the sense of the preceding 返本, also expands on it by alluding to a treatise by Fazang (法藏): “Cultivation of Contemplation of the Inner Meaning of the Hua-yen: The Ending of Delusion and Return to the Source”, which, according to Thomas Cleary, “appears to have been highly esteemed in the contemplative school of Ch’ an Buddhism.” (“Entry into the Inconceivable”, p. 147) In that treatise, Fazang states “… we find that medicine and sickness both disappear, quietude and confusion both melt and dissolve: it is thereby possible to enter the mysterious source, efface ‘nature’ and ‘characteristics,’ and enter the realm of reality.” (Cleary, ibid, p. 150, emphasis added)
2) 鄽 (in picture 10) From what I can tell, 鄽 has the meaning of “the public part of a city”, that is, where “commoners” are allowed to go.
3) 垂手 (also picture 10) The meaning of the character combination 垂手 is obscure – at least to me. It refers to a posture in which the hands are “down” and/or “open”. This might mean respect, or being at ease, or possibly something else.

Source: https://terebess.hu/english/oxherd12.html
The above linked document at terebess.hu provides three different versions of the Ox Herding Pictures. The version used in this post is the one by 廓庵師遠 Kuoan Shiyuan [Kakuan Shien].

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