Not the Tiger A New Age Parable
"What I like about the New Age is how well it prepares us for the Old Age." – Fred Driver (a golfing novice)
Zen Flesh Zen Bones
Over his years of shopping at New Age bookstores around the world, Fred built quite the collection of religious teachings, martial arts training guides, hip magazines, philosophic tracts and even a few posters of pin-ups in various poses of physical and spiritual ecstasy. Buried deep in his library of eastern religion writings and metaphysical tomes, one book has stood well the test of time – Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (1957) by the American author, Paul Reps, whose life-long study of Buddhism is presented in this book as 101 stories – parables if you will – espousing the secret knowledge of the Zen sages through the ages.
Foremost in the Zen Flesh book, is the 12th century story of the 10 Bulls – a commentary on the stages of awareness, leading to self-realization and enlightenment. The 'bull' of this Zen story represents the advanced state of spiritual awakening, described in a series of 'self-help' steps that would take Fred (or any other golfer) a few lifetimes to perform. In the interest of brevity, this step-by-step program is summarized here, for your edification and understanding:
- Search for the Bull
- Discover the Footprints
- Perceiving the Bull
- Catching the Bull
- Taming the Bull
- Riding the Bull Home
- The Bull Transcended
- Both Bull and Self Transformed
- Reaching the Source
- In the World
Of course, missing in this self-awareness paradigm, is the theme of tonight's spun yarn – 'Shooting the Bull', in which this itinerant storyteller has translated a few of these teachings into a modern sports story, involving celebrity, physical training, water hazards and a few broken ideas, which like shattered glass lie here in shards, to be re-assembled for the telling.
Imagine, if you will, that over the centuries of teaching, the meaning of the 10 Bulls story has survived as fundamental truth and wisdom. Tonight, we have merely transformed the persona of the Bull into a modern tabloid character (who exhibits certain animal traits). We call him 'The Tiger'.