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 Roshi (1900-1988) to his monks while master of Shofuku-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 Myoshin-ji temples. Followers of Zen have long been waiting for this book. According to Mumon Roshi, the path of the seeker is not only for the committed specialist. Even the average reader, drawn along by Mumon Roshi'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.