- As for the blog's name: -

I was @ Gustav Ericsson's sight, - Anzenkai, and I was looking at Nishijima Roshi’s calligraphies over there. Particularly there is one - "seki shin hen pen" - about which Gustav has earlier said in a blog post that it is Nishijima's favorite phrase from Master Dogen.

This seemed strange to me. It was not what I would expect Nishijima Roshi's favorite phrase to be. It seemed it could be some Rinzai master's favorite quote, - it seems to express continuous and constant sincerity, - but it did not seem to fit my view of the way Nishijima Roshi saw things.

So - consequently - I tried to think what would I expect his favorite quote to be. But all phrases I could think of did not seem to fit just what I might have had in mind.

So I tried to come up with what I would see it as, - and what I have come up with - is - "this universe out here".

- And this seems to be the right name for this blog here too.

- Definitely.                                                 ________________________

Happiness is Misery

It is often referred to happiness in the context of the spiritual path. The way. Some think of Buddhism as a way to avoid suffering, to flee from misery. This is somewhat of sanctifying dualism or even attachment, it might seem. Though not many may share my view, perhaps.

It seems as elementary as possible that pleasance or unpleasant could only exist in the existence of mind. If there isn’t any mind or consciousness nothing would naturally be joyful or painful. You don’t enjoy and you don’t suffer. It is quite funny that this point needs to be repeated or emphasized. Though practically when relating to the issue-here it might seem it is not - sometimes - so easily accepted.

- If you follow the path you come to notice, sometime, - that clear mind is no mind. Clean mind is no mind. In thorough cleaning no consciousness would remain. Self conscious mind is referred to in “Zen” fields as divided mind. When there is no divided mind - or perhaps you might say duplicated mind, - there is no mind at all. Who is there to witness that? I could not answer, I guess. Not at present, but I could not see a serious person negating the fact.

Uchiyama Roshi somewhere speaks opposing the intentional attempt to come to no-mind, but it seems to me he mainly objects to having the intention; - I don’t much like his reference there, (I don’t remember where it is, probably in his commentary to Bendowa) though I do like his words usually, and I won’t refer to it here. - We could only refer to and speak of pleasance, pleasure, joy and cheerfulness as long as we have a mind. Then we may be restricted by their nature and tied to them and their opposite phenomena many wish to avoid. If we, ideally, drop our mind completely, come to a state of “mindless mind” as that of the (ultimate) reality itself, - we would be naturally unable to experience these. Nothing is joyful for us, nothing is painful or feels bad mentally - depressive or sad or whatever, - since the extra layer of one’s personal experience added to the practical necessities of the mental structure is given up, is no longer necessary, has faded away.

The wish for absolute happiness is based on a wrong perception or understanding of things. Duality is forever relative. Good and bad spring out in opposite directions but are ever limited. And never eternal. This is their nature, I’d say. - So feeling good or feeling bad would accord too. No other way, again, I’d say.

- In a previous post relating to Master Seppo Gison I quoted four stories from the Shinji Shōbōgenzo. In the fourth story Master Joshu Jushin is asked “What is it like when we are in an eternal valley or a cold spring?”. - I would not have known this myself but the words used in the question symbolize enlightenment, - the state of one who has arrived at it, - the “ultimate state” as the commentary added to the translation has it in Nishijima’s translation I was quoting there. (https://www.aczc.org/shop-1/shinji-shobogenjo) Joshu is practically saying happiness is never something even to be sought after. He is fully negating the common expectations rooted in the common and normal state where feeling good is considered what is to be aspired through an absent minded state corresponding to the way everyone else see things. - Happiness is nothing. Feeling good or bad is very important as a guide through many different stages and states. - But eventually the best to be sought after is the total absence of mind, - a “mindless mind” as I would call it, - to make clear this doesn’t mean to imply any existence of matter as contrary to the mind. But preferring happiness over misery as a matter of principle - as for their experiences themselves, - is fundamentally wrong. Though of course preferring it due to what it may come as an expression of is different. Joshu is saying “Fuck joy”, it is all very nice but when coming to what may be related to as the ultimate thing to look for, the ultimate aim or purpose, the state human existence is created as a tool to come to, - this is not what it’s about. When we freely function without any need for a personal awareness the notion of pleasance, of feeling good or bad, of [our own] joy or sorrow, - is no longer there. Our mind has done its thing, - fulfilled its mission, - and it may fade off. Such is my understanding. It ought to be clarified that else than for the very meaning of “an eternal valley” and “a cold spring” as a metaphor or an imaginative what I brought here is not from the commentary in the book I mentioned and does not derive from there. It is my own view, I could not see could be wrong. (I also disagree with what the commentary says about Joshu’s answer to the monk’s further question there, and with its relating to Seppo’s response to Joshu’s answers, but I will not bring my relevant opinions or questioning regarding it here. This post is to be focused on one point, and so it has been.)

- the Language barrier, - minor point -

קיימת שגיאה נפוצה שישראלים דוברי עברית מחמיצים לעיתים קרובות ולמעלה מכך.

בשימוש בשפה האנגלית במלה "
Bible" הכוונה אינה לתנ"ך, כפי שהנזכרים מורגלים להניח ולחשב, - כי אם לתנ"ך ולברית החדשה, יחדיו זאת אומרת. - בשימוש בעולם דובר האנגלית הנוצרי כאשר הכוונה לתנ"ך בלבד יֵאֲמֶר "Jewish Bible". נכון שכאשר מדובר בחוגים יהודיים בינם לבין עצמם ישתמשו במלה Bible לציון התנ"ך בלבד, אבל כאשר נשמעת המלה בד"כ בציבור או בתקשורת שלא מפי יהודים דווקא, וידוע כי מרבית האוכלוסיה במערב אינה דווקא יהודית כמובן, אז הכוונה כמובן מאליו לספר הכולל גם את ספרי-הברית-החדשה. משמעות לדבר בעקר כאשר נשמעים דברים מפי גורמים שאינם נוצרים דווקא כי אם מכיוון דתות המזרח, הינדים או בודהיסטים, - שאז מדמה לעצמו המאזין העברי שהמדובר הוא בתנ"ך או - מכאן, - ביהדות, כאשר הכוונה היא כאמור לַסֶפֶר הכולל יותר. בפרט לאור העובדה שהדמות המרכזית בספר הכולל הינה ישוע הנוצרי, החשוב מאשר משה, אברהם, או אליהו הנביא, והספר החשוב מבין ספריו הוא הבשורה ע"פ יוחנן, ולא ספר מספרי התנ"ך. קרי מרכז הכבד של הספר הכולל אינו בתנ"ך דווקא, והטעות הנזכרת אינה שולית כי אם משמעותית, ככל שחשיבות לדברים ככלל.

The heart

According to contemporary modern so called “science” it apparently may be said all our human mental functions are performed within the head.

The brain is supposed, generally, - to be where everything goes. I have no particular knowledge about relevant issues in biology but the fact is widely known and no secrete.

- After sometime of practice, - spiritual practice or Dharma practice, - one may be able to become aware of the existence of his or her heart. In case you don’t know: - It is not the organ usually called by that name (I don’t know why) in secular society, not that in the left side of your chest, close to the centre, - in charge - so to speak, - of making the blood flow in its vessels. Rather it is in the right side, not so close to the centre, - and a bit higher, normally that is. I recall sometimes feeling it perhaps two or three meters up in the air, outside the body, in time of extreme pain. This is not important here, I am just making the remark.

- There must be at least about twenty people I know personally who know the heart. It is not something you talk about. - Normally, unless any particular reason to, - one does not mention it. And when one does, it often would be in a way or manner in which one-who-is-ignorant-of-it would generally (unless informed otherwise) assume it is just a metaphor, - in the form of speech common and usual among everyone generally. Nothing special. But otherwise it is a thing one generally feels it would not be right to freely speak of in the same manner everyone can refer to any other daily thing. - Those who are conscious of this element of their being are normally also aware of the natural situation in which it is better to take some caution in speech in referring to it. No disaster might occur but one easily feels it is for the better. Sometime it is possible to be aware of a better choice of action without analysis and without detailed knowledge of the practical reasoning behind it.

Anyway, - the main point is there are many who can testify as for the truth of the fact I am relating to here.
- The entire mental functioning is clearly not being performed in the head or the brain. So called materialistic “science” is ignorant. Is practically foolish and amazing, - but this is not the issue here. - Some of your mental functioning takes place in the heart. Emotions exist nowhere else. This does not deny of course some reflection of them in the brain. With development the heart can also learn certain capabilities of thinking. This does not mean mathematical calculations and the like, - but practical issues can clearly and unquestionably be related to. Not everyone will testify to that: - At first it will have nothing to do with it, - as it seems, to me at least. However the fact that your mind is not in any sort of whole-correlation with the functioning of what-takes-place-inside-your-head can be clearly and perfectly viewed.

There is a certain centre (energy centre) in the lower region of your body called “tanden” in Japanese and “dantian” in Chinese. - “Zen” meditation as practiced in the “Rinzai” sect depends on it, perhaps entirely. Master Tendo Nyojo also mentions it. - Serious martial artists could not be unaware of it. It is of primary importance there. I would say, generally, that it is easier to gain awareness of the tanden than of the heart. After that, - after this centre (related to the will and the origin of one’s being) it seems the heart (Some call it the spiritual heart, I generally do not) is the easiest to come to know. Of course the ability would differ from person to person. But it seems much easier to get to know than the chakras you might hear about or read about in Yoga fields or others.

- It is initially felt as if it is a physical organ, but practically it is not. - The functioning of our imagination takes place in the heart. This can be clearly felt. You can also feel that mathematical-like calculation or thoughts would be an action which does take place (partly at least) in your head. The mental sphere would correlate to a structure of more-than-one-element as it seems, that which is inside your head not denied as one of them, - but far from being the whole thing. The connection seems to me like between computers connected as a net, - but this is a matter still to be careful about, though the idea could not be entirely empty.

- So far for the matter. - There is the organ generally not known today taking place in the right side of your upper body, normally, responsible for a considerable and significant (and this is somewhat of an understatement too) part of the functioning of your mind. Most literal expressions referring to the heart originate with this. And are quite accurate too, generally at least. - There are quite many people who are able to directly testify as for this fact. Do notice: - Quite many can be still a very low percentage, - but even if we’d be speaking of something like 1/10%, - (one in a thousand) or even 1/10 of that, - this is no doubt still a very large number of people, - we are not speaking of a scant number where you have to search a lot in order to find every one person, - there are many, and those aware of the phenomenon themselves would generally know others who are too. - The reason the matter is still unknown, as it is, to the majority of humanity [today] and to funny individuals engaged in the study and research of the relevant field through common materialistic methods, - is (to a great extent) that those who possess the ability to acknowledge the phenomenon through personal experience are justifiably reluctant to generally relate to the matter, - both due to an inner notion referred-to-above having to do with the nature of non-physical [fundamentally] by all, and due to the easily predicted response off other individuals in society who might consider them abnormal or question their mental health. - Of course the situation would be different in the case of a few dozens (or a far greater number) making a similar statement where each one is independently relating to his (or hers) personal individual experience. Such a thing should be easily possible. I don’t know why it hasn’t taken place so far. Humanity lives in a funny pit, for a long time, it could not be forever, - but Sawaki Roshi’s words are clearly relevant: “Funny being, man is, - groping around in the dark with an intelligent look in his eyes”.

Just a note

The most important point in Buddhism is what is usually referred to as the “Four noble truths”. More correctly I believe would be “the four principles of Buddhism”. (The word “satya” translated as “truth” would better reflect a principle in the relevant context. It is not a perfect translation but it seems to be the best choice of an English word to bring the original intention as closely to the essence and meaning existing in the original Sanskrit as possible.)

The issue of translation I referred to is just btw. - The point is this, or the four world views Nishijima noticed continually appearing in the writing and preaching of Master Dogen, - form the most important point in Buddhism. It of course does not mean that the study of it or the familiarity with it are more important than the practice of Zazen, - Buddhist meditation, - but in the conceptual sphere relating to the structure of the presentation of things within Buddhism or the Buddhist sphere-or-realm, - this is the place to begin - and this is the point first in its importance. I related to this point in the second post here at-the-blog - Our Mind - Second Post.

The second point in importance is that of the middle way. - Interestingly it seems to correlate in a way with what is known in probability theory as the normal distribution, but again is mentioned here just btw. - I did not write a post about that yet but two posts are related: - Posting as Practice and The Eightfold Path according to Steiner.

There is no third point.

I mean there are of course lots of other things existing within the Buddhist field, - but there is no other particular point or issue to be regarded or classed as #3 - essentially and necessarily - within the Buddhist teaching or presentation of reality and path.

There are these two points which would essentially be in place as the two leading ones, - those which would have a particular special place heading the rest of the world-or-structure relevant here and referred to - which would form the essential structure to begin with and would be most fundamental in the creation and presentation of philosophy and practical-understanding, - and thereafter there is still what is to follow, - but no other third point necessary in the same way for the creation of the initial framework to work with.

April 21, 2018

Lost Post

- There was a post which was to be posted today.

- I wrote it on a “Word” file, but at present the computer on which it was doesnt work and I can’t have it on.

- My computer has been taken away by the police, and when I got it back it wasn’t working. - I tried to get the stuff out, but could not on time until today. If and when I’ll get it out (there is still a bit of work needed to be done before posting) I’ll put it up here instead of this shit I must have here now.