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May 01, 2009


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It's hard to walk in the moment. It's hard not to get got caught up in the drama that swirls around us. It's hard not to become part of the ongoing discussions that fuel everyone and everything.
But when you can catch a glimmer of being in the world, and not of the world it drives the people around you crazy.
I try to follow your advice, and act accordingly; I am consistently mediocre at it.

Barry Briggs

Hi Bob - Yes, it is very hard not to act out our role in the dramas of life. But - sometimes - we can catch ourselves acting and then something deeper might appear. We can discover the true self underneath the mask. This is both wonderful and terrible - which is probably why roles and masks were invented! Thank you for your thoughtful comment.


Thank you Barry for writing Ox Herding. Your post are short, informative and insightful. I have only been on the Dharma path for a little over 1-1/2 years and live in central Nebraska, there isn't any one close to assist me in learning the Dharma, so along with some books I read, I rely on websites like yours for insight. The good news is that there is a new Temple in Lincoln which is 2 hours away and I will start going there once a month or so shortly. I have a blog site that mostly deals with recovery from alcoholism, awareness and graditude. http://wolfie185.blogspot.com/
Thanks again


I was born in Brooklyn too. ;-)


Barry Briggs

Puerhan, I can tell by your accent!

Barry Briggs

Hi Scott - Thank you for your nice comment! There is at least one Zen group in central Nebraska - let me know if you'd like info on it (I think it's probably the one in Lincoln).

Thanks also for the link to your blog. I've added it to the blogroll on my blogs.

Best wishes on your path!


I think you were born in Brooklyn too Barry! ;-)

jill i

I'm sitting here trying to think of something trenchant and on topic to say. But I can't think of anything. So instead I slap the floor and say
Thank you for your posts.

Barry Briggs

Thanks, Jill!


In addition to the "me, mine," etc., the video speaks to tribal mentality, which becomes even more powerful in collectively reinforcing our individual "I's." That's where stereotypes and clichés kick in, conveniently blocking us from even thinking about why we think the way we do.

Martin Lawrence just cracks me up. This was hilariously painful! Thank you, Barry!

Barry Briggs

Hi Alice - Oh, yes! The Tribe! We so much want to fit in to the tribe, even when the tribe is totally nuts. We might see this as just another mind-habit - and yet, sangha - the tribe - also provides the milieu for awakening (look at me, using a fancy French word!). The clip is hilarious and painful and a little too familiar. Susann and I have gotten the movie to watch over the weekend!


Oh yeah...THAT tribe - the sangha! The wonderfully necessary and often unbearably necessary milieu. How often I purposely try to forget about them...:D

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  • Zen teachers sometimes use the Ten Ox Herding Pictures to describe the path of awakening. Within this metaphorical framework, the ox symbolizes the secretive, unruly human mind.

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