It is a new spring. Here in Beijing, the weather is warming. Today I noticed tourists pausing to smell the lilac tree out in the hutong. It's a beautiful time of year.
In search of inspiration for the edit, I went to my bookshelf a few weeks ago for my copy of Bill Porter’s translation of “P’u Ming’s Oxherding Pictures and Verses”. It is a beautiful, visual, poetic work and a narrative on meditation and spiritual practice.
“in willow shade by an ancient stream
the herdboy gives the ox free rein
from dusk blue clouds and sweet grass fields
he leads it home untied” *
For the last several months, I’ve had my “Editor” hat on and these images and words of the ox-herder have taken on yet another meaning for me.
There are about 100 hours of footage here for One Mind (I just counted), covering four seasons. It took months just to comb through each second to find the most precious and revealing moments of life at Zhenru Monastery. Then my quandary was just how to combine these moments into something more than just an accounting of daily activities. How to turn it all inside out? How to reveal the great wonder within?
If I approach too aggressively, with too much intention, it slips away. If I approach too lightly, it just hides there in the high grass, unexpressed, unrevealed. Yes indeed, the ox is difficult to tame!
We are very close. The film is on track to be finished this summer, and we are getting very excited to share One Mind with you all!
*Image and Text from "P’u Ming’s Oxherding Pictures and Verses", translated by Red Pine, published by Empty Bowl