Song Of Freedom Breakdown, lines 49-51

Practice joyfully in vacant cabins.
Live free from complexity.

Understand Reality and your actions are without effort
unlike the actions of the usual person.

Charity given within conditions for heavenly reward
is like shooting arrows into the sky.

The first line in this set lends itself to line 48. I am of a mind that simplifying your surroundings (external stuff) can help create a better environment to clarify the internal stuff. I took some huge efforts in this area a couple of weeks ago, threw out some old desks and chairs and moved a bunch of stuff out of the office in the house. Before the office was conically cluttered; and clutter can be distracting and depressing. The “new” office is easier to keep clean and is a refreshing change.

I thought about the second line for a while, after consideration I think it stands well enough on its own.

I like the third line; on the one hand I think that if you are giving charity then it should be given without thought of any reward, which in my opinion is the only way to really “give.” On the other hand, when we shoot an arrow up into the sky, it falls back down to us.

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!



Carol said...


Love the picture! Wow!

Like what you have to say. Charity is a hard thing some times--it's one thing to give without thought of a reward--but to continue giving--takes a special person to get no acknowledgement of any kind. We all like a pat on the back occasionally.
As you may know, we're trying to do some de-cluttering--whatever space is opened up sure makes me feel better!

SlowZen said...

De-clutter Away!
I think I would like to do some more of that but I may run in some resistance.


oxeye said...

jordan - reading that second line I think of a person who can work on what needs to be done when it needs to be done, without wishing they were somewhere else doing something different.
that is truly an unusual person..

SlowZen said...

I have actuay been strugeling with that lately.

Thanks for the comment!

Unknown said...

Jordan, what is being shown here is the operational differences between wisdom and merit. With wisdom your actions are without effort. Watch out for falling arrows should you go seeking merit!

Practice joyfully in vacant cabins.
Live free from complexity.

I don't know if this was a problem in Yongjia's time but now a days both the escapism of 'vacant cabins' and the trendiness of simplicity are potential egotistical traps. I know there are because at times I have fallen for the notion of 'if only I could practice peacefully outside the everyday world then I could get really in the groove'. I'm fooling myself. If I don't wake up right here and now, then when and where? (It does sound cool though, living simply in a remote cabin.)

My understanding is less than perfect and I look forward to being straightened out.

SlowZen said...

I like your understanding.
Thank you for shareing it.

take good care,

Thanks for looking!