Catching a Glimpse of the Ox.
On a yonder branch perches a nightingale cheerfully singing;
The sun is warm, and a soothing breeze blows,
on the bank the willows are green;
The ox is there all by himself, nowhere is he to hide himself;
The splendid head decorated with stately horns – what painter can reproduce him?
The boy hears a pure beautiful sound and follows it. It is in this way that he can see into the nature of things. The six senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and mind) merge and he senses a harmonious unity. This is in all his activities. It is a unity like salt in water or color in dye; it is distinct but indistinguishable from the whole. When the mind is clear and quiet it is indistinguishable from himself. It is the realization that his inner nature is the spiritual truth.
At length you have had an enlightenment type of experience. But you only see the Ox’s tail and heels. The parts are clear but not the whole. If you are asked about your experience, you cannot give a clear answer. You cannot afford to relax at this point because even though you know that enlightenment is just around the corner, you have not experienced it completely.
In the actor’s life, enlightenment can be likened to having a role in a play. During the performance you have no sense of time. You are in the moment. You are not aware of your breath, but you breathe. You are not aware of your volume, but everyone can hear you. Everything is working beautifully. You are inspired. But at this point you do not know how to duplicate the feeling.
In rehearsal, you have not quite found the character. You can hear your character’s voice or see his walk. Many parts are becoming clear, but the big picture is not complete because you have not yet fully realized your character’s true nature. Even though you have heard it many times, you still do not fully believe that who the character is, you are. You are one in the same. Your character’s truth is the same as your truth. You would walk, talk and act as he does in similar situations. You are one with the character just as we all are one with each other.