Riding the Ox Home
with Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei
February 18 - 20, 2022
The spiritual path comes alive pictorially in Zen’s famed 10 Oxherding pictures. The series of images portrays a young oxherder whose quest leads them to discover, subdue and train a wild ox—their own heart and mind—as a complete transformation. The ox is awakening and the herder is you—the meditator, the searcher—encountering the gritty reality and challenges of spiritual practice.
Created by 12th-century Chinese Master Guo-an Shi-yuan, the Oxherding pictures have mapped the path for Buddhist practitioners ever since. Although the images are presented in a sequence, it’s important to know that neither self-development nor Zen practice go in a straight line. More like a spiral, we circle back to different stages but with more understanding. All along the path, these images are a bottomless source of mysterious wisdom we can study again and again for inspiration.
In our sessions we will touch on a brief history and see a few collections by different artists, then focus on the Oxherding pictures painted by Jikihara Sensei which he created in 1982 while visiting the Monastery, along with the corresponding poems composed by Shi -yuan. Then we will be guided to create our own set of images along with the accompanying poems placing ourselves right onto our own journey. What will be your material to express this? What will this oxherder image look like? What about these footprints?
We will work on a variety of papers. Feel welcome to bring your own papers. It can be a brown paper bags opened up, even newspaper, watercolor paper, or parchment papers. We will have a variety of mark-making materials—pens, pencils, paint—and you can bring your own choice pens and markers to both create the image and to write the poems.
Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei received the priestly transmission (the transmission of the Precepts) from Daido Roshi, who began the process in 2009, and from Shugen Roshi, who completed the transmission in 2012. In 2017, she received full dharma transmission from Shugen Roshi. She serves as the Training Director for the Mountains and Rivers Order and Abbot of the Zen Center of NYC-Fire Lotus Temple . Hojin Sensei began her artistic career early and has taught drawing, ceramics, and painting, opening people up to the wonders and mysteries of the creative process and continues to offer Art Practices as part of her teaching. She has been in full-time residential training at the Monastery since 1990 and now shares her time at the Brooklyn temple.
Learn more about Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei