The third Zen Ox-herding picture or the third stage on the road to enlightenment in Zen Buddhism is called “First Glimpse of the Ox.” Hixon writes:
“In every activity, the Source is manifestly present. When the inner vision is properly focused, one comes to realize that which is seen as identical with the true Source” (Coming Home: The Experience of Enlightenment in Sacred Traditions by Lex Hixon).
When Neo first visits the oracle’s apartment, Neo sees a young, adolescent boy garbed in robes and with a shaved head. The boy is sitting cross-legged in full lotus position and he looks like a Buddhist monk. The boy appears to be bending a spoon psychokinetically. The boy monk says, “Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.” Neo replies, “What truth?” The boy monk states, “There is no spoon.” Neo questions, “There is no spoon?” The boy monk continues, “Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends; it is only yourself.” However, the boy monk is not referring to the ego but to the Original Mind, the Source.
In my younger days (as a boy monk?) I studied karate seriously. At a certain point in my training my karate instructor used to have me spar with multiple opponents. Sometimes, there would be a time distortion in which time would appear to slow down and my opponents’ kicks and punches would be in slow motion and easily blocked. This state of mind couldn’t be controlled by the ego but would appear when welcomed. After the Self appeared spontaneously and then when invited, I lost interest in my karate training and meditated more instead. I felt refreshed by the mirror-lake mind that would come to visit.
How is any of this relevant to trading? Well, what if the market’s rhythm and /or direction revealed itself to you unsummoned? Would this be a good thing or a scary thing? You couldn’t make it into a system. You couldn’t brag to your friends about it because you couldn’t duplicate it at will. It’s starting to seem like it’s not worth very much. It makes you want to answer a Zen koan instead: What is the sound of a one-minute bar clapping? Ask the wandering Ox for the answer.