A favorite with early Zen practitioners in China and Japan, The Ten Oxherding Pictures uses the ox as a symbol for Buddha nature--the original possession of all human beings--and the taming of the ox as a symbol for the practice of realizing that nature. This volume contains lectures on the text given by Yamada Mumon Rō shi (1900-1988) to his monks while master of Shō fuku-ji Monastery. It is the first authentic explication of a Zen text by a traditional Japanese Zen master. A seeker of the way, Yamada Mumon spent many years sharing a life of practice with young monks at the monastery in addition to serving as president of Hanazono College and director of the Research Institute for Zen Studies. Later he assumed the post of chief abbot of the Myō shin-ji temples. Followers of Zen have long been waiting for this book. According to Mumon Rō shi, the path of the seeker is not only for the committed specialist. Even the average reader, drawn along by Mumon Rō shi's straightforward explanations, will move forward on the journey of the self (symbolized by the taming of the ox) and come to see humanity with new eyes.