The twelfth-century Zen master Kakuan’s 10 ox-herding pictures and their accompanying poems and commentaries are his only extant works, and the pictures as Hart presents them are only the most faithful copies of the originals. They constitute a parable of Buddhist enlightenment—the path to its attainment and life thereafter. There are three figures in them: a boy who is seeking an ox; the ox, which, once found, tamed, and ridden home, disappears from the narrative; and a big-bellied, jolly man, who looks like what Westerners call the laughing Buddha but is actually the legendary enlightened monk, Hotei. For the purposes of the parable, the three are one—a truth-seeker (the boy) achieving his full being (boy plus ox) or enlightenment and reentering society to help others reach it. Hewing closely to the Buddhism in the parable, Hart educes its deep consonance with the voyage of the Christian in this world (though not to the next). An exceedingly graceful work of the comparative-religious spirit. --Ray Olson
-- author of Praying with Icons
"Various forms of Buddhism, not least Zen Buddhism, have played a part in the spiritual journey of many Christians, including Addison Hart. The ten ancient ox-herder drawings by the Chinese Zen master Kakuan Shien have helped Hart embrace core themes in the gospel and lightened his pilgrims backpack. . . . The Ox-Herder and the Good Shepherd is a refreshing introduction to what one might call Zen Christianity."Publishers Weekly
"Harts goal to find Christ on the Buddhist path is without pretension and is a respectful, honest endeavor to discover an underlying commonality in disparate religious systems. For the Christian who is not well acquainted with the Zen Buddhist tradition, Harts book serves as an introduction to this Eastern religion/spirituality; it can also be a primer for how to approach non-Christian faiths from a compassionate and sympathetic point of view."Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M.
-- Center for Action and Contemplation
"I probably write two blurbs a week for various books, but many times merely skim the book and try to say something good, honest, and real about it. This book I read in its entirety in one sitting -- because it is indeed very good, very honest, and very real. I vainly wished I had written it myself, but Addison is the authentic ox-herder that you need -- and will remember."