Bliss Bestowing Hands



Entering the city with bliss bestowing hands,

the last of the ten Ox herding pictures of Zen Buddhism,

represents the culmination of the process of individuation:

“And now having moved to the stage of emptiness,

and also having seen God in the world of nature,

the individual can see God in the world of men.

Enlightened mingling in the marketplace

with wine bibbers and butchers,

he recognizes the inner light of “ Buddha Nature” in everyone.

He doesn’t need to hold himself aloof

nor be weighed down by a sense of duty or responsibility,

nor to follow a set of patterns of other holy men,

nor to imitate the past.

He is so in harmony with life

that he is content to be inconspicuous,

to be an instrument,

not a leader.

He simply does what he what seems to him natural.

But though in the marketplace

he seems to be an ordinary man,

something happens to the people among whom he mingles.

They too become part of the harmony of the universe.

Suzuki, Manual of Zen Buddhism



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