This project is a collaboration with my friend Shinji Asai. It is a surfer's search of the true nature of the mind, based on the story from "Ten Ox Herding".
Ten Bulls or Ten Ox Herding is a series of short poems and accompanying drawings used in the Zen tradition to describe the stages of a practitioner's progress toward enlightenment and her or his return to society to enact wisdom and compassion.
Shinji wrote the story in Japanese for each step and Tim Crowe translated it into English.
The Kanji and stamp is made by Shinji's brother Junichi Asai.
All artwork is available as a gallery quality archival giclee prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, a white, 100% cotton paper with a smooth surface texture. Available with or without a matte/ border, and with or without a black/ white wood frame.
The Search Begins
In life, there will be defining moments when one is confronted with making a monumental decision. Whether it is the search for dream waves, focusing the mind and spirit to conquer the highest mountains, or to cross the deepest of rivers. Determination, courage and truly believing in achieving these goals will lead to where the sun shines truly golden.
人は 人生のある時 奮い立ち
With perseverance, and the strenuous physical training, that is required to face big waves, or long and exhausting hours of studies. Mental strength is increased, as well as the wisdom to face such mighty adversities. And all along this journey you will also find valuable hints and pointers that will lead you to the place of the "Sleeping Giant".
Once all of the physical and mental adversities were conquered, "The bay of dream waves" was finally found. Through the gruelling process of sheer physical and mental exhaustion, there comes a state of true enlightenment. A realisation that the deeper part of the mind is in fact observing you. This is the glimpse into your true mind at work.
語り継がれる 伝説の湾へ 導かれた
彼方から押し寄せる波が 陽光を浴び 金色に輝いている
Surviving hundreds of horrendous wipeouts will give you the strength that is required to break through the walls that surround your true mind.
Although, the struggle to face these high walls that were created as a result of countless desires and egos might still be present. So you must hold on tight to the true mind, so it does not slip away.
Harmony in motion
Extensive practice, on top of practice. Yet, you continue to hit the wall that prevents you from reaching your true mind. But then finally, the moment arrives when that fear transforms into confidence. The once resistant tension is now in harmony with the flow. The rain stops falling and a beautiful rainbow is revealed.
純粋とは 心の中に 息衝いている
裂け目ができた 雨がやみ 虹が現れる
Peaceful easy feeling
The battle is over, and so ends the search. But in reality, you didn't have to look that far, in many ways it was with you all along, and now you will keep it close. It was simply a lack of enlightenment that prevented you from seeing things clearly. And with this understanding comes a feeling of peace and tranquillity, as you soak in the golden sunshine at The Bay.
Sitting the quiet of the night, you calm the mind and meditate. Thinking about nothing specific, merely letting thoughts arrive, and then slip across the mind. Beyond the limitations of time and space, you are now on the path to a state of pure energy. A path that has been travelled by all past masters.
深く 更に深く 意識の深層を辿っていく
When in the deepest state of meditation, you realise that all things are born from the state of pure energy. This energy creates physical matter, before taking the shape of billions of different forms. Each of these forms will exist for a while, before returning back to pure energy. And so the cycle is completed.
天と地 光と影 やがてそこから限りない物質が生まれる
永遠なる海が 現世に生み落とす １粒１粒の魂
経験し すべての雫は やがて又海えと帰っていく
The world is the same as it was before you embarked on the journey. Flowers are still as colourful, the ocean remains blue, and waves continue to break beautifully. The reality is that it was there all along, only now you can see it so perfectly. You have become a part of what you see before you.
そう気づくまでに 多くの時を 旅に費やした
花は色づき 海は青く 波は美しくブレークしている
目の前に広がるこの 風景は 幻だろうか
否 真実と幻は共にあり 今真実を見る
Love, Friends and bonfire
When you have been isolated from society, it is easy to be pure, but eventually you must go back to where you live. New friends have been met, while old friends have come from far away places, with this a realisation that life truly is beautiful! Sitting around the bonfire, under a billion stars, chatting about waves, music, food and love, the night seems to last forever. Tomorrow it will be Big Wednesday!
それでも旅人は 悟りを胸に 世間へ戻る