19.12.07

Song Of Freedom Breakdown, lines 43-45




Don’t lose your Zen whether walking or sitting, be at ease in speech or silence, moving or staying, 


Be calm even when facing a sword
 and your clarity will never be poisoned.


Our teacher Sakyamuni met his teacher Dipamkara 
only after practicing patience through countless eons.



Admonishment not to loose your Zen seems to be a re-occurring theme. Just be mindful.

Be mindful in any situation.

Dipamkara is supposedly Gotama Buddha’s teacher. Maybe Dipamkara is everyone’s teacher. Not abstractly, but directly.

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, I recognise that I set myself up as a kind of teacher here in this commentary, I am not your zen master, you are!
Jordan

Acknowledgments

8 comments:

Will said...

Jordan, thank you.

Yes, yes, this is an admonishment and yet... Here I sit wanting some of that good old "Zen calm". Not there or here now or yet.

Walking - sitting, speech - silence, moving - staying.

"Meditation is practices in four ways. First, your mind and body are still. This is the source of all your Zen actions. Second, your body is still but your mind moves, as in reading or listening to a lecture. Third, your mind is still but your body moves, as in walking. Fourth, your mind and body move as you do your work in daily life. Thus, as each moment a good Zen student experiences the Mind-Essence at ease."
Nyogen Senzaki



We are never apart from Zen. Never ever. There is the opportunity to open to life all the time. We just have to remember. Jundo, today talked about the Genjo-koan and pointed to this very thing. The calmness born of Zen makes it possible to just be with the sadness of the old dog dieing of cancer or whatever life is at this moment.

I am so sad also. Brother Michael, over at "One foot in front of the other" is having a bit of trouble and it doesn't look good. Emotionally I am both sad and uplifted. Michael's courage and the rawness of his poetry has rocked my world. He is a true Bodhisattva. I do not know how to act in this situation. I do not know what to say to him. I do not know what to say to you. All I seem to be able to do is let the sadness in and warmly hold it. This act seems nurturing in a way that is hard to describe.

Lead to the last line, there is not much to say about the magical part of of the Zen cannon. We don't live in magical times, yet there are lessons to learn from these old stories.

As usual, my knowledge is less than perfect. I look forward to being straightened out by my friends and friendly abusers.

Yamakoa said...

Jordan
Nice to have you back. This seems to be a very busy time for lots of people. Interesting that we are told not to lose our Zen. I think losing our zen is a lot like loosing our breath. As long as we are here (and healthy), we have our zen and breath. If we lose them, we simply notice it and we can retrieve it. If we try too hard we may loose it. If we don't try hard enough, we may never increase it.

What I find fascinating is the line "Be calm even when facing a sword
 and your clarity will never be poisoned." WOW! What marvelous words. What an incredible power. We all have this ability and have probably experienced this someway or somehow. The incredible part is to consciously manifest ones training and knowledge in the face of death.

Gracias

Jordan said...

Will , Thank you for the beautiful Comments.
I think that “Zen Calm” is just like what Joko Beck calls “the razors edge.” I think that it is difficult to maintain without constant and consistent practice.
I agree it is impossible to be apart from Zen.

Michael is an inspiration to all that view his blog.

I disagree; I think we do live in magical times. I saw the sun rise through the clouds today and it nearly made me cry. That was truly a magical occurrence.

Don’t loose your Zen!

Take care,
Jordan


Yammakoa,
It is good to be back! As I mentioned above I read sompthing from Joko Beck that rung true for me. Walking the path is like walking a razors edge. It is a narrow road between maintaining your “Zen” and falling off into the abyss. But we do fall. And we just have to get right back up again.

If we lose them, we simply notice it and we can retrieve it. If we try too hard we may loose it. If we don't try hard enough, we may never increase it. I wonder if it is something to be lost or not, I think it is more like emptying yourself out and clarifying the mind. I am working on cleaning out my office. It is too small of a room for two office chairs and desks, so I am throwing them all out and moving an old coffee table in that the computers and printers will sit on. I will sit on the floor and the room will be basically empty, it is more like that I think.


The incredible part is to consciously manifest ones training and knowledge in the face of death.
Maybe unconsciously manifesting this would be good too.

Da Nada! And Muchos Gracias to you for your comments.
Take care,
Jordan

Will said...

Jordon, my life is full of sublime moments. I sometimes call them magical too. Especially winter sun breaks in the Pacific Northwest. I would have better represented my feelings if I had used the word "myth". Myth as in a magical story designed to represent the unexplainable. The talk of eons of past lives seems a mythical cultural remnant. There is a teaching in there somewhere.

I fail to see Dipamkara as my direct or even abstract teacher. What am I missing? I obviously don't know enough of the Buddhist cannon to know how Dipamkara fits in to my practice. Especially as described by the wikipedia article you reference.

Thanks so much for your patience. Tenderly holding to my Zen.

Carol said...

Jordan,

Anyone who can cry over a beautiful sunrise is my kind of person!

What a beautiful human being you're becoming!

Love you so much!

Mom

Jordan said...

Will,
I apologize for the delayed response. I have been thinking of a skillful way of responding and have had trouble articulating what I wanted to say.

Do you remember those pictures they used to sell in the mall? The ones which had a bunch of patterns on them and you only could see the picture if you looked at it a certain way?

I think my idea may be a bit like this. But here is my week explanation. Dipamkara is just the enlightened one of the past. The Buddha that we have learned from. Shakyamuni Buddha represents the Buddha of the present moment, and Maitreya represents the Buddha of the future. Now, I believe you have recognized that we are all inherently Buddha in this present moment. Who were you before and how did you get that way, and who will you become. We learn directly from experience and we lead a direct line of procession from Dipamkara to Maitreya.

I hope that helps,
Bowing in deference,
Jordan

Mom,
Thank you for allowing this person to become.

Love
Jordan

Will said...

Jordan, thank you for sharing your understanding of Dipamkara Buddha's place in the pantheon of Buddhas. This is helpful in digesting this line.

Jordan, thank you for taking time away from your many important activities to formulate a response to my slow understanding and unskilled questions.

Looking ahead to the next line in the Song of Freedom and it says together with this last line:

Our teacher Sakyamuni met his teacher Dipamkara
only after practicing patience through countless eons.



The complexion of these two lines together points to the hard work and kalpas of practice needed to meet ones teacher (Dipamkara).
It is big encouragement not to give up when the going gets tough or progress is slow. As the myth goes, Sakyamuni was a bodhisattva for many lifetimes and experience many unpleasant situations. If this is the case for Sakyamuni, why do I expect different?

This helps,
Bowing in brotherhood,
Will

Jordan said...

Will, glad that I could be helpful.

Sakyamuni was a bodhisattva for many lifetimes and experience many unpleasant situations. If this is the case for Sakyamuni, why do I expect different?


Drop those expectations! Persevere brightly.

Jordan

Thanks for looking!