19.9.07

Song Of Freedom Breakdown, line 4


One sees the nature of ignorance
to be itself Essential Awareness,


Who sees the nature of ignorance as Essential Awareness?

What is the nature of ignorance as Essential Awareness?

When is there the nature of ignorance as Essential Awareness?

Where is the nature of ignorance as Essential Awareness?

Why is there the nature of ignorance as Essential Awareness?

How is there the nature of ignorance as Essential Awareness?

By now it should be clear that the practitioner is the “who” and that the practitioner is the whole universe.

The nature of ignorance is Not Knowing We often crave knowing, the thirst for knowledge can be an addiction. Intellectual knowing is all well and good but it is not important and could even be detrimental to the study of the way. Not knowing has been referred to as Beginners Mind If we begin to close ourselves off to possibilities due to an intellectual understanding there will be a gap between “knowing” and Essential awareness.

The beginners mind can be cultivated by opening one’s self to it through practice. There have been also been many examples of beginners mind being cultivated through the skillful means of various teachers throughout history. Be it through the actions of shouts, blows, bells, and even cutting a cat in two.

The Beginners mind is in the present moment.

There is a beginners mind as essential awareness because of our accumulation of karma.* All of the events in our lives that make us have a sence of seperate self, an Ego. Occurances that make us think of begginings and endings. The illusions put on us by causes and conditions. It is nessesary to break free of these chains. Without beginners mind there is no essential awareness.

One must endeavor to cultivate the beginners mind through practice and experiance in order to practice essential awareness.

* My limited understanding of Karma is that our actions are like a stone cast into a still pond. Everything we do spreading outward from that action. The accumulation of Karma could be said to happen when we do something not because it is in our nature but for some other motive born of greed, anger, and delusion. The Bodhisattva path is that of reducing ones own accumulation of Karma, Not dong anything for any other reason accept that it is what must be done. I have a feeling that actions born of greed anger and delusion will wash back over the cause of the ripple. And that the actions of compassion leave no trace on the Bodhisattva.

I know that you know all of this already.

I welcome comments, but I may integrate them into the commentary.

I hope that my efforts are helpful in clearing my own delusion as well as that of others,
Jordan





Acknowledgments

11 comments:

gniz said...

Jordan,

When you wrote "A time to step back and ask, am I in the present moment?"

I am not sure how you meant this line. It seems to me (although I'm probably misunderstanding) that STEPPING BACK is exactly what prohibits us from being present, as does asking the question, "am i in the present moment?"

Anyway, kudos--great job so far.

Aaron

www.gangstazen.blogspot.com

Will said...

Is this yet another coin? Ignorance on one side and Essential Awareness on the other.

Who, what, when, where, why, how - is this questioning the nature of ignorance as Essential Awareness?

If ignorance is Not Knowing, is Essential Awareness some other kind of Knowing?

"the thirst for knowledge can be an addiction." So can thirst for experience. What kind of wood is the shaft of this arrow that sticks through my heart?

Cultivating Beginners Mind, isn't that an oxymoron? How can this be done?

More questions than answers yet, the nature of my ignorance is a little fresher, my breath a little warmer.

Thank you.

Jordan & The Tortoise said...

Aaron,
Taking a step back to me, could be Zazen, it could be following my breath, it could be playing the flute. It could be unlearning what you have learned (Thanks Yoda!)
Asking yourself if you are in the present moment could indeed be a misnomer. I will edit that. Thank you!

Will,
It might be a coin if you see a coin. But that was not what I intended.
Who, what, when, where, why, how - is this questioning the nature of ignorance as Essential Awareness?
If you are asking what I think you are asking, I think so.
To me the questions who, what, when, where, why, how -are the questioning the nature of ignorance as Essential Awareness.

If ignorance is Not Knowing, is Essential Awareness some other kind of Knowing?
I don’t know! Ok, that sounds Zenny. I think that not knowing is a kind of innocence. I will give an example, one close to me. I hope it helps.
When I was on a boat in the Arabian Gulf my family sent pictures on the internet. One of the pictures was of my oldest daughter coloring Easter eggs. The expression on her face is the wonder and excitement brought on through not knowing(also learning and experience, but for the first time). I was not there, but I can imagine that that precise moment was a king of awakening to her. She had no clue about dying Easter eggs up until that moment. That, no clue about the Easter eggs is that beginners mind. That’s a happy one, if you look back on my post about a Tsunami, that may be a sad one.

"the thirst for knowledge can be an addiction." So can thirst for experience. What kind of wood is the shaft of this arrow that sticks through my heart?
It dose not matter, go to the emergency room!

Cultivating Beginners Mind, isn't that an oxymoron? How can this be done?
Oxymoron? Don’t call me names! (Kidding)
Sounds like it doesn’t it! To me it is just wholehearted practice. A little giving up. A step back.

Thank you so much for your interesting questions, they also helped me!
Take care,
Jordan

oxeye said...

The problem with stepping back and asking if we are in the present moment is that, as soon as we do so, we step outside of the moment. It is like thinking.. "Wow, my thoughts have stopped!" :)

So it could come down to the length of time we hold our thoughts. There does seem to be a quickening of the holding then releasing of thoughts with practice. The thoughts are there but the effects are lessened.

One teaching states that, for meaningfully grasping the real existence of Cause and Effect, it is very important to know the various time differences that exist between Causes and Effects.

Can we cultivate beginner’s mind? True beginners mind (unformed views) might be behind us. But attempting new things and looking at things differently is exercising beginners mind. And looking at things from multiple loosely held viewpoints is also beginners mind. Ignorance is the holding of views. Awareness is freedom from views.

I apologize for telling you stuff you already know or trying to give the impression I know something.. This is only my conjecture. I am just inspired to write by your interesting posts.

Yamakoa said...

Hello Jordan,
I am assuming the precious little girl in the picture is your daughter. Congratulations. She radiates vitality, happiness, spontaneity. Such is the buddha nature. What is this nature? It is where the Buddha is found. Bodhidharma taught in the "Bloodstream Sermon," that "this mind is buddha. Beyond this mind you will never find another buddha. To search for enlightment or nirvana beyond the mind is impossible. This is the reality of our own self nature, the absence of cause and affect is what is meant by mind." This to me feel right although I will not pretend that I can follow it all the way through. Jordan, the Essential Awareness that is being talked about is this mind. Buddha Mind. There is no attachment, no craving. With Essential Awareness you are free to act in the moment. Free to do what needs to be done. Free to be spontaeneous and vital. If therefore one acts with such a mind, what Karma is there? What ignorance is there?

MikeDoe - I look foward to reading your posts and communicating ideas with you.
I bow to this wonderful world of cyberspace. The sutras alway talk about the three realms. Do you think cyberspace could be the fourth realm :-)~

Jordan & The Tortoise said...

Jeff, I agree with what you and Aaron say about stepping back and asking, I have edited that. I was trying to allude to practice but it wasn’t clear at all. To much Yoda!

So it could come down to the length of time we hold our thoughts. There does seem to be a quickening of the holding then releasing of thoughts with practice. The thoughts are there but the effects are lessened.

One teaching states that, for meaningfully grasping the real existence of Cause and Effect, it is very important to know the various time differences that exist between Causes and Effects.

I am not sure I understand this, It sounds vaguely familiar like I have seen something similar before but I am not recalling right now.

I really appreciate what you hit on here:
Can we cultivate beginner’s mind? True beginners mind (unformed views) might be behind us. But attempting new things and looking at things differently is exercising beginners mind. And looking at things from multiple loosely held viewpoints is also beginners mind. Ignorance is the holding of views. Awareness is freedom from views.

I may steal this!

No need to apologize! A good friend told me that a Sangha is like a rock tumbler. You take some rough stones and pour them in, spin them around for a bit, and when they come out they are polished and shining.
I really do appreciate your comments.

Yamakoa,
Yes that is one of my girls, that picture is from Easter 2005. She and her sister have taught me a lot.
I have only skimmed over the Bloodstream Sermon but from what you have said here and what I caught from my light perusal, I think it is saying the same thing as The Song Of Freedom albeit with some different words.
Words can be pretty!

Thank you all for your kind comments!
Jordan

Mike Doe said...

Yamakoa:
I think you might be disappointed. I know I have some sutres in my medkit...

Yamakoa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yamakoa said...

Mike
WONDERFUL! We can string it along.

Carol said...

I love the picture of Hannah!

Gregor said...

"The beginner's mind is in the present moment."

Good point, since each moment is another beginning.

Thanks great stuff here.

Thanks for looking!