15.1.08

Song Of Freedom Breakdown, lines 52-54


When its force is spent, the arrow falls
just as beings go up, then down.

The realm of conditionless action is not like that:
it is a direct leap into the realm of Those Gone Into Thusness.

Go to the root, leaving the branches.
It is like the bright moon reflected in a crystal



OK, I kind of spoiled the first like here with the last post on the song of freedom. Yeah, my thoughts are just like that.

The second line is more like what someone else said earlier. Action without thoughts of reward is just pure action. I have heard it said that pure actions have no karmic consequences on the originator. And that as a bodhisattva taking right action doesn’t accumulate good karma but leads to having zero karma at all. This challenges my own ideas of karma a bit.

Update: Gudo Nishijima's explanation of Karma and Cause and Effect.

In the third line here is admonishment not to get caught up in the myriad distractions and get to the root. The bright moon reflected in a crystal is likely another reference to Indra’s net.

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

13 comments:

Carol said...

I don't know where you get your pictures, but I sure love them!

Sorry I haven't been posting that much. Gradually feeling the funk leave me but it's still there a bit.
Sorry to hear you're sick. Hope you got a supershot that puts you back on your feet!
Love,
Mom

HezB said...

Jordan,

A thing that occurs to me is that the force that propels the 'arrow' in this line is the driving will of the mind.

This is why Dogen did away with goals in Zazen I think, so that we stop the driving will of the mind, or rather we can let it just blow through us without further reaction. Even the will to be 'enlightened' is just another force of will in Zazen (and an unrealistic one given that we don't know what it is to be enlightened!), so Dogen suggested we just drop it and see it like every other impulse or aversion of that nature.

We can just let the arrow fly away unhindered if that's what its doing.

I find the term 'kharma' a bit abstract and non-specific.

Best Regards,

Harry.

Jordan said...

Mom,
I get most of my pictures from the great and noble Google.
Glad you are breaking out of your funk!
I got some antibiotics which will hopefully wipe out the new colony of life forming on my tonsils. I tried to ask them nicely to leave but they did not budge. It would not be a problem but they are causing me a lot of discomfort, and last time this happened I took no action and ended up with a dangerously high fever. I do not need a repeat of that.

Love
Jordan
______________________________________________________________
Harry,

Thank you for stopping by!
I appreciate your outlook, and agree that when the time comes, this and all drop off. But I like to do some stretching out before Zazen. Even though I can not find Master Dogen recommending doing exercise in one chapter of the Shobogenzo, I still think it is a good thing for me to do.
You may want to review master Dogen’s Shobogenzo: Sanji~go. I think it is chapter 84 in the Nishijima and Cross translation.
It contains an interesting outlook on Karma.
I believe in Karma, as much as I believe in gravity. The arrow is going to fall back down somewhere. DUCK!

Take care,
Jordan

HezB said...

Hi Jordan,

What gravity and kharma are in reality existed before we, or the Hindus or Buddha, were around to conceptualise and give them names. If indeed they are a part of reality, then they do not rely on me or you conceptualising and believing in them. Neither kharma nor gravity are seperate things or seperate abstract forces unto themselves; they are co-dependent effects of course that do not exist seperately from other things (all other things), or rather they do not exist as things themselves.

Throwing an apple up could be said to contain the 'kharma' of that apple falling... but we now call that 'gravity', and so distinctions break down further. I think to really believe in either of these things requires us to believe in everything because they are a function of everything and not seperate from everything... but I'm not sure that 'believe' is the right word here, maybe 'accept'. "Kharma", as you know, is the buddhist explanation of a simple rule of the universe, but, like all simple rules, it doesn't describe reality very well. Things have effects that become very subtle and hard to trace very quickly. The concept is just the stuff of our simple intellects. It is an interesting facet of buddhist belief.

Have you considered the kharma involved in believeing in kharma?

Dogen said a lot of things that have little to do with me, and I do a lot of things that had little to do with him. Such is the world.

He constantly pointed to direct experience beyond belief. This is why I think he is quite special. It made me chuckle to think that those Tibetan dudes on E-Sangha were looking for literal back-up to their dogma in Shobogenzo. "Drop off all viewpoints" should be their homework for the next 9 years :-))

Good luck with your "Zazenetics" (if you use this term on your workout DVD I want a cut!)

Regards,

Harry.

Jordan said...

Hey Harry,

You write so well that I am compelled to quote you a bit.

What gravity and kharma are in reality existed before we, or the Hindus or Buddha, were around to conceptualise and give them names. If indeed they are a part of reality, then they do not rely on me or you conceptualising and believing in them. Neither kharma nor gravity are seperate things or seperate abstract forces unto themselves; they are co-dependent effects of course that do not exist seperately from other things (all other things), or rather they do not exist as things themselves.

That was rather scholarly and clever, kudos! Accept you misspelled separate. (pun)

I'm not sure that 'believe' is the right word here, maybe 'accept'

Yeah, I accept that a lot of the things I believe are things that I have just accepted. No really, I tend to use the words interchangeably; I do apologize if that causes some confusion.

Have you considered the kharma involved in believeing in kharma?

Nope, don’t give a hoot about it.

Dogen said a lot of things that have little to do with me, ...

I would not be so sure about this, I have smelled Europeans before and think that “Shobogenzo: Senjo” might be a good thing to leaflet bomb that whole side of the pond with. Ok the second part was supposed to be humor, But I think that the whole of Dogen’s Shobogenzo has something to do with you, weather you believe, ahem, accept it or not.

Good luck with your "Zazenetics" (if you use this term on your workout DVD I want a cut!)

I am sorry but unless there is a dramatic change in my sense of ethics, everything I ever have to do with Buddhism will be completely non profit. However I would gladly share with you a large portion of nothing.

Thank you for your comments,
A bow in deference
Jordan

HezB said...

No deference required. We're just having a conversation, man (at least, I am).

As I'm sure you know, what we think on these matters is not the gist of it at all.

Best Regards,

H.

Mike Doe said...

Maybe Karma has a lot to do with clinging to past/future actions.

Non-attachment to action - which is a lot of what I think spontaneous action is about - doesn't lead to Karma but attachment to action - which is how most people operate does.

Some things I think will always generate Karma - good or bad. For instances drugs will tend to lead to more drugs.

Jordan said...

Harry, all right then, No deference for you!
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Mike, you may want to check out http://www.rei.com/ I got a nice pack for day hiking there that out performs anything the military has ever supplied me with. I don't do any overnighters any more but if i did I would go with the REI UL 45 or 60 REI UL 45

The US Marines are using the ILBE pack nowadays and while still heavy it is a major improvement over MOLLE but the ALICE still has a special place in my heart since I did a few 30 mile hikes with it.

Take care,
Jordan

Will said...

Jordan, leaping into the realm of Those Gone Into Thusness or directly penetrating the ground of Tathagata sounds like some kind of code. Code for what? Who knows and who cares. Let those there know or not.

What interests me are the pointers "the realm of conditionless action" and "it is like the bright moon reflected in a crystal.” Where is the beauty of the moon? It does not linger in the crystal. It does not linger in the sky. No matter where we look, the moon's beauty doesn't linger there.

To continue my habit of taking things out of order, skipping the branches and diving into the root of it. Such wonderful advice from a good spiritual friend who has been where we are now.

What is meant by branches? There are certain things best left. Put down or not picked up in the first place. Most of these are either ideas or habits or are connected to these. (realm of conditioned action)

What is meant by the root? From another angle, experiences experienced “...in such a way that there was no hiatus between words and referents, thought and reality, mind and body, and expressions and activities." This starts to get close to conditionless action.

Jordan, thank you for this opportunity.
My knowledge is less than perfect and I look forward to being straightened out by my friends.

Will

Mike Doe said...

Jordan:

Thanks!

I did think about talking to you about packs since you will have carried a few - but it doesn't help me much! I will check out the ILBE designs.

Everyone seems to carry packs slightly differently. My ex used to like short ones that ride high and I tended to like tall skinny ones. I'm playing with different things to see if what I like is what I like or what I'm used to.

REI do some nice stuff but it is not technically that different from anyone else and I have a couple of packs just like their lightweight stuff.

My playing around with packs is as much amusing myself with learning to understand and design things as much as anything.

I have a mind that enjoys thinking and problem solving and sometimes it's just easier/natural to give it something to amuse itself with. My house is already full of packs - I guess I could lay myself on at least 10 from a small fanny pack right the way up to a large rucksack. I also have enough raw materials in the house - fabric and Aluminum and webbing and so on to build several packs from scratch.

For me this is just Play.

Take Care.

Mike.

Mike Doe said...

I was wrong!

The 360 view of the REI pack shows how different it is. There are several excellent ideas in there that would make it carry well and be comfortable.

It's also about 10L too big for me!!!!

At the moment I'm tempted to go for something vaguely like an LBV - a broad yoke with a 25L daysack on my back for light things - sleeping bag and shelter and a 10L pouch on the front for heavy dense things like water. I might make both so that they float/lock onto a padded belt (like a padded combat belt) so that weight is more on the hips than shoulders - I'd use some light tubing (or carbon struts) to make the thing semi-rigid.

There's a lot to be said for weight distribution and it's not something I've played with so I want to understand it a little better.

Jordan said...

Will,
I am thinking (always a risk) that diving directly into thusness is not a code at all, but just practical instruction. Phrased differently than we might be used to hearing it. It may be akin to letting body and mind becoming one piece or letting body and mind drop off.

The moons beauty is just the moons beauty. I hope I can reflect it as well. You have done a nice job of this too.
YES YES, Go to the root! I sometimes have a hard time with concepts. Going to the root is just going beyond concepts to me. The problem is that we can really only have this discussion in the realm of concepts. All of these branches are also pretty.

Thank you for your continued comments here, I appreciate your input.
Take care,
Jordan

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Mike, hope the ideas of the REI pack fuels your play!
Also, chest rigs are good in some situations but you want to keep the bulk down, they can also get hot and can be a pain in the rear to drop quickly when you want to shed some weight fast and take a break. I don’t think there is one perfect design for any situation. That is likely why there are so many different options. But I would likely only go with a chest rig for carrying magazines (combat load) and maps, maybe some sniffle gear. Stuff I would want to be able to have access to quickly. As for civilian applications I am not sold on them.
For water I like the Camelback or other bladder type systems. I even got my cousin (a much more avid hiker than me) keen on the idea.

Also, a lot of the stuff I am used to trucking around is pretty heavy. So my thought process might not be very applicable to light hiking and camping.
But I think it is a good idea to consider your center of gravity/ balance in your load distribution.

Take care,
Jordan

Mike Doe said...

Thanks for your comments.

I've kinda decided that a chest rig might not be a great idea - not enough heavy things to put on it.

Water is very bulky and of course there are issues with airflow.

Camelbaks I have mixed views about - sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. The main issue is that I cannot tell how big my water reserve is without looking. With Platypus bottles I know when I'm on the last one....

One thing I think will be worth doing (In addition to a some sorta frame) is adding some pockets inside a pack so that I can pack heavy things close to my back - this includes water, fuel and things like that. I think half the issue is that heavy stuff always tends to move down and out in a pack when going XC.

Later.

Thanks for looking!