“Dropping” into the Heart ! 10

Ah, I suppose most of us educated in a Western-style Format place (unconsciously) great value on the Intellect yet such Conceptual Prowess is only likely to obstruct any real penetration of the Great Mystery of the Human Spirit eh ? 🙏

The following excerpt (from Page 144) is taken from “ZEN AND JAPANESE CULTURE” which you can download here :

When the swordsman compares his art, as the Zen master does, to the moon’s reflection in the water, he must be said to have experienced a state of the unconscious in which he holds his sword as if not holding it and uses it as if not using it.

Morally or rather spiritually speaking, this is a state of egolessness. It is the ego that stands rigidly against things coming from the outside, and it is this ego rigidity that makes it impossible for us to accept everything that confronts us. We are now no more like the babes and sucklings whom “God” prefers to wise men, because those babes have not yet “developed” to the stage of intellectual maturity. The intellect divides and discriminates, resists and rejects, chooses and decides, and it is by these qualities that we are prevented from “letting thy will be done.” Without the sense of an ego, there is no moral responsibility, but the divine transcends morality. So does art. Art lives where absolute freedom is, because where it is not, there can be no creativity. Freedom and creativity and “myōyū” [1] are synonymous. The art of swordsmanship belongs in this category. Unless the swordsman reaches this stage of freedom where he has no ego rigidity, he cannot expect to wield the sword that gives life instead of taking it.


[1] “something beyond an analytical understanding”

10 thoughts on ““Dropping” into the Heart !

  1. Reply Simon Jul 31,2021 3:19 pm

    Oh, now of course during formal Meditation it is much easier to attend to whatever Technique one is Applying (if any) but as soon as you “leave the mat” every-day-life once again resumes eh ? Yet paradoxically, if one accepts the principle of Anatta, who is it that is now “off their mat” eh ? 🧐

    Page 159 : […] it is no easy task to mix oneself in all social situations and human complexities and not get caught in them in one way or another. However this may be, it is up to the swordsman to preserve this state of spiritual freedom and nonattachment as soon as he stands up holding the sword in his hands. He may not be able to extend this experience in swordsmanship to any other branches of art, but within the limits of his special field he must be master of himself. Those who can apply experience attained in one field to another with perfect readiness are called men of “all-around fluidity”. Such are rare; most of us are specialized. In all events, what is most important is to grasp the original mind of truth and integrity that knows no falsehood, and the rest will follow by itself.

  2. Reply Simon Jul 31,2021 7:08 pm

    Ah, now “credit where credit’s due”, inasmuch as it was early on at the beginning of my “Journey” where in my Spiritual Seeking I was fortunate enough to discover some online Yahoo Groups run by Jackson Peterson (on Facebook nowadays) so if you feel you are in need of some Guidance I heartily recommend buying a copy of his book to see if there is any Spiritual Affinity for his Teaching eh ? 😉

    Natural Bliss of Being Cover

  3. Reply Simon Jul 31,2021 7:32 pm

    How can we fully understand ‘The observer is the observed’? | J. Krishnamurti

    Ah, now experientially, I’d say what Krishnamurti is attempting to convey is how you can Differentiate the Contents from the always present Presence-of-Awareness that “hosts” it eh ? 🙏

  4. Reply Simon Aug 1,2021 10:53 am

    From page 192 : […] underneath all the practical technique or the methodological details necessary for the mastery of an art, there are certain intuitions directly reaching what I call the Cosmic Unconscious, and all these intuitions belonging to various arts are not to be regarded as individually unconnected or mutually individually unrelated, but as growing out of one fundamental intuition. It is indeed firmly believed by Japanese generally that the various specific intuitions acquired by the swordsman, the tea-master, and masters of other branches of art and culture are no more than particularized applications of one great experience. They have not yet thoroughly analyzed this belief so as to give it a scientific basis; but the fundamental experience is acknowledged to be an insight into the Unconscious itself as source of all creative possibilities, all artistic impulses, and particularly as Reality above all forms of mutability beyond the samsara-sea of birth-and-death. The Zen masters, ultimately deriving their philosophy from the Buddhist doctrine of sunyata and prajna, describe the Unconscious in terms of life, that is, of birth-and-death which is no-birth-and-death. To the Zen masters, thus, the final intuition is the going beyond birth-and-death and the attaining to the state of fearlessness. His satori is to mature to this, when wonders are accomplished. For the Unconscious then permits its privileged disciples, masters of the arts, to have glimpses of its infinite possibilities

    Spiritual Communion

  5. Reply Simon Aug 1,2021 1:04 pm

    [Page 199] : But Takuan’s mind goes far deeper than the swordsman’s, for the latter generally stops at being psychological, while Takuan, being a Zen master, sees into the very source of reality, which we may call the metaphysical or cosmic Unconscious, though the term is liable to be misunderstood because of its psychological connotation. The main point is that the swordsman’s insight is limited: he carries a sword; he faces an opponent or opponents; he sees that his life is at stake though he is not at all afraid of meeting the situation; his instinctual craving for life, though quite unconscious, is not effaced; he has not yet attained to the state of emptiness which comes upon one when the reservoir of ālayavijñāna is completely broken up. He does very well as far as his immediate business is concerned. But when he comes back to his ordinary everyday life, his everyday consciousness also comes back, and he is again an ordinary man with all his desires, attachments, and insecurities

    Deconstructing the Illusion

  6. Reply Simon Aug 1,2021 2:34 pm

    Oh, the following scene from The Last Samurai (2003) is I’d suggest Hollywood’s portrayal of a Swordsman’s Satori (No Mind) eh ?

  7. Reply Simon Aug 2,2021 5:39 pm

    [Page 286] Yes, it is true that we have to eat bread in the sweat of our face and to work a number of hours as the slave of machinery. Our creative impulses have thus been miserably downtrodden. It is not, however, just for this reason, I believe, that we moderns have lost the taste for leisureliness, that we find no room in our worrying hearts for enjoying life in any other way than running after excitement for excitement’s sake. The question is: How have we come to give ourselves up to such a life as to try to keep the inner worries only temporarily suppressed ? How is it that we no longer reflect on life more deeply, more seriously, so that we can have a realization of its inmost meaning ? When this question is settled, let us if necessary negate the entire machinery of modern life and start anew. I hope our destination is not the continual enslaving of ourselves to material wants and comforts

  8. Reply Simon Aug 3,2021 8:39 am

    [Page 350] In Zen we find Chinese pragmatism solidly welded with Indian metaphysics and its high-soaring speculations. Without this perfect welding of the two highest forms of Oriental culture, it is very unlikely that Zen could have grown even in the congenial and, therefore, fruitful soil of Japan. And Zen came to Japan at the most opportune time in its history, because it was then that the old schools of Buddhism in Nara and Kyoto had proved ineffectual to usher in a new spiritual era.


    What is the most specific characteristic of Zen asceticism in connection with the Japanese love of Nature? It consists in paying Nature the fullest respect it deserves. By this it is meant that we may treat Nature not as an object to conquer and turn wantonly to our human service, but as a friend, as a fellow being, who is destined like ourselves for Buddhahood. Zen wants us to meet Nature as a friendly, well-meaning agent whose inner being is thoroughly like our own, always ready to work in accord with our legitimate aspirations. Nature is never our enemy standing always against us in a threatening attitude; it is not a power which will crush us if we do not crush it or bind it into our service.


    But, to speak candidly, the losing of the soul is more than the gaining of the world. Are we not constantly engaged in warlike preparations everywhere in order to raise or maintain our precious standard of living? If this state of affairs continues, there is no doubt of our finally destroying one another, not only individually but internationally. Instead of raising the so-called standard of living, will it not be far, far better to elevate the Equality of living ? This is a truism, but in no time of history has such a truism been more in need of being loudly declared than in these days of greed, jealousy, and iniquity

  9. Reply Simon Aug 3,2021 9:28 am

    [Page 360] The epistemology of Zen is, therefore, not to resort to the mediumship of concepts. If you want to understand Zen, understand it right away without deliberation, without turning your head this way or that. For while you are doing this, the object you have been seeking for is no longer there. This doctrine of immediate grasping is characteristic of Zen. If the Greeks taught us how to reason and Christianity what to believe, it is Zen that teaches us to go beyond logic and not to tarry even when we come up against “the things which are not seen.” For the Zen point of view is to find an absolute point where no dualism in whatever form obtains. Logic starts from the division of subject and object, and belief distinguishes between what is seen and what is not seen. The Western mode of thinking can never do away with this eternal dilemma, this or that, reason or faith, man or God, etc. With Zen all these are swept aside as something veiling our insight into the nature of life and reality. Zen leads us into a realm of Emptiness or Void where no conceptualism prevails, where rootless trees grow and a most refreshing breeze sweeps over all the ground.

    From this short characterization of Zen we can see what Zen’s attitude toward Nature is. It is not a sense of identity nor of tranquillity that Zen sees and loves in Nature. Nature is always in motion, never at a standstill; if Nature is to be loved, it must be caught while moving and in this way its aesthetic value must be appraised. To seek tranquillity is to kill nature, to stop its pulsation, and to embrace the dead corpse that is left behind. Advocates of tranquillity are worshipers of abstraction and death. There is nothing in this to love. Identity is also a static condition and decidedly associated with death. When we are dead, we return to the dust where we started, we are then identified with the earth. Identification is not the thing to covet highly. Let us destroy all such artificial barriers we put up between Nature and ourselves, for it is only when they are removed that we see into the living heart of Nature and live with it — which is the real meaning of love.

  10. Reply Simon Aug 3,2021 10:32 am

    Verbs not Nouns

    From : I Seem To Be A Verb by R. Buckminster Fuller (1970)

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