Jae has many questions about the meaning of life and the purpose of her existence, but frustratingly, no answers. After the death of her agnostic grandmother, with whom she had her most fruitful philosophical discussions, she embarks on a personal journey to fulfil a mysterious note left to her in the will: 'Seek and ye shall find.' The plot follows Jae as one spring day she walks over a bridge into a strange world on the other side of the river. There she encounters challenging situations and unusual people offering tempting theories about the meaning of life. From then on she devotes all her energy to finding her way back home by pursuing answers to the philosophical questions that drive her, experiencing a series of extraordinary adventures, until eventually she arrives at a completely unexpected conclusion. 'Ox-herding' is a term used to describe the search for meaning, purpose and spirituality that does not result in the finding of God, or of any other external authority. The ox represents the elemental beast within us all: ego. 'Herding' our ego is the struggle to recognise, battle with, control, subdue, and finally, transcend the ego. Based on the successive phases of understanding as presented in the Chinese philosophical classic, 'The Ten Ox Herding Pictures,' this story has ten chapters through which Jae journeys, discovering the meaning and secret to an enlightened, yet thoroughly modern life; a place where all her doubts and questions are dissolved, a place without suffering or fear, yet firmly located in the midst of ordinary life. 'Ox Herding: A Secular Pilgrimage' describes how she gets there in a Carrollesque adventure involving remarkable people in difficult yet inspirational settings, including wrestling a bull, performing in a concert, becoming a guru, engaging in dharma combat, and wandering through the garden of Eden.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.67(d)|
About the Author
Table of ContentsAcknowledgments
1 The First Stirring of the Heart
2 Spiritual Entertainment
3 A Resonating Sound
5 Ascending to the Pinnacle
6 Date Night
7 At Home
8 No Thing
9 Returning to the Source
10 In the World
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Reviewed by Eduardo Aduna for Readers' Favorite Ox Herding: A Secular Pilgrimage by Jackie Griffiths is an intriguing novel about one person's journey to find inner peace. Jae feels that something is missing from her life. A cryptic note left behind by her recently deceased grandmother starts her on a quest to examine her beliefs, thoughts and goals. A slew of fascinating characters and a series of bewildering events are just part of her adventure to find the meaning of her own life. Ox Herding: A Secular Pilgrimage is a philosophical look at introspection and man's inner drive to seek out questions and answers. Told in a narrative style that allows readers to obtain a fundamental grasp of rather complex philosophical themes, Ox Herding gives readers an easy way to break out of their usual viewpoints and beliefs and try others for a change. Jackie Griffiths' writing is mesmerizing, at times lyrical and poetic. She has created characters that are strange and awesome at the same time. The narrative takes numerous twists and turns that are more familiar than strange, for it is within these twists and turns that the human mind tries to make sense out of its surroundings. Reading the novel is like experiencing a vivid dream, one that tries to answer every unasked question you have ever had before the alarm clock rings. Ox Herding: A Secular Pilgrimage is a book best read slowly. By pausing after each chapter and reflecting on the themes and tribulations Jae encounters, readers can identify parallels in their own lives and start off on their own journey of quiet introspection.