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
The 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 the Eastern religion/spirituality; it can also be a primer for how to approach non-Christian faiths from a compassionate and sympathetic point of view.Library Journal (STARRED review)
Most highly recommended for all seekers no matter their preferred path.Spirit & Life
Hart is able to use the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures to outline a practical and effective Christian ascetical and spiritual path. One could easily use this little book as a teaching tool or to direct a retreat.Booklist (American Library Association)
An exceedingly graceful work of the comparative-religious spirit."Catholic Library World
Searching for wisdom and truth in another religion can be an uneasy enterprise. Hart approaches it with an engaging humility, simplicity, and sensibility.Theological Studies
This little book is an engaging, rewarding example of comparative spirituality. It seeks to clarify and deepen one form of spiritual practice through conversation with another. . . . For both prayerful reflection and classroom discussion, this book will serve well.Foreword Reviews
While this small book can be read in one sitting, it welcomes, and merits, a more leisurely and contemplative approach. Gentle, wise, and respectful, Addisons book illuminates the way of the bodhisattva -- or enlightened disciple -- showing it to be a shared path that leads to mercy, healing, forgiveness, and abundant life.Reviews in Religion and Theology
This little book is a very interesting addition to the growing literature on Comparative and Interreligious Theology, especially in the area of Buddhists and Christian encounters, which will no doubt be used by many as a devotional book to help their own exploration, while also a welcome object of study for those with a more academic interest in the area.Ecumenism
The series of pictures, poems, and commentaries, produced in the twelfth century and known as the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, trace a universally recognizable path of contemplative spirituality. . . . With this book, Hart shares the story that these pictures tell, exploring how this ancient Buddhist parable can enrich and illumine the Christian way.Jim Forest
-- 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."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."