Monday, September 13, 2004

The No Abiding Place

If your mind is fixed on a certain spot, it will be seized by that spot, andno activities can be performed efficiently. Not to fix your mind anywhere is essential.Not fixed anywhere, the mind is everywhere.The Original Mind is like water which flows freely,whereas the deluded mind is like ice.There is a passage in the Diamond Sutra that says:"The mind should operate without abiding anywhere." - Takuan (1573-1645)

After reading tons of Zen stuff over the years, this is the one that stands out for me, and it does so at the moment, because nothing but doing a lot time in zazen will make it happen, in my experience. Right now, I'm at the stage where I can last about 30 seconds in the "no abiding place". Even sticking to the idea of getting there frustrates. It is the place of "no intent", and one gets there by "not intending".


Anonymous said...

And yet after spending the weekend reading CC I get the impression that 'intent' is very important. Perhaps it is a fundimental difference between the two practices. Dunno if it makes much sense to try and mesh the two systems together, as from what I gather Zen is about releasing from this world into a special kind of nothingness, and a warrior learns to focus will and intent to get to a similar spot but for different reasons.

I'm probably not making much sense. My head is still pounding from my trip.


The Crazy Shaman said...


You'll find that the systems match very well.

It is intending without intending. Focusing without focusing on anything in particular. The will is still, but without being stuck to anything, or being paralyzed looking at itself.

Thinking and reading about it won't get you there. It's not something that you can intellectualize or analyze. (*smiles at Syd*) The only thing that will get you there (No Where) is doing, and doing by not doing.


Anonymous said...

I understand it is experiential and not intellectual Todd. But having freshly read CC's writings about don Juan's teachings it strikes me that don Juan's will was an active verses passive thing.

And this isn't helping my headache...(s)


sEa said...

Hi, I love reading these metaphysical/philosophical posts and riposts. I think both of you are quite knowledgeable regarding this particular subject matter. However, Lisa, if you are to be taken seriously, I suggest that either you learn to spell or spell-check. As a writer, I find it incredibly difficult to overcome grammatical/spelling errors and concentrate on the nothingness of the content.

Other than that, your objections to eachother are rather a matter of fine details of thought. I think the larger picture, the picture that we as non-yogis/lamas/priests/nirvanists should view, assumes similar basic precepts in that we strive without striving to achieve the stillness/nothingness that connotes the moment and existing therein without preconceived intent, however with intent as the moment evolves. It is not an absence it is a complete presence and attention to a very instant in time/space that continually changes and we must allow ourselves to be drawn with it.

How'd I do??

The Crazy Shaman said...

Picky picy picy. ;)

I drafted a response to Lisa last night, going into the philosophy of Takuan, and his history of teaching the Zen approach to Japanese swordsmanship, the principle being mushin ("no mind"), but my ISP ate it. Never mind. *smiles*

To emphasize, synthesize and re-phrase, The No Abiding Place, Not Doing and the absence of pre-conceived intent, are but different names of the same thing: the fluidity of mind and spirit that a warrior maintains by not clinging to things, and needs to have, whether Toltec, Samurai, or antagonist against the machine.

In other words, Syd, ZACTLY!

Anonymous said...

Regarding Spelling:


Ran both posts through the word processor and interestingly enough, no spelling errors were found. So please point out the error because I'm obviously not intelligent enough to spot it on my own and as a writer you’re the expert as you’ve pointed out so elegantly.

As for if I will be taken seriously or not, I’m not self important enough to think that everyone I encounter will take me seriously, nor do I take everyone I encounter seriously.

You’ve said you’ve an issue with spelling, fair enough; my own issues are around people who act like pompous asses.


The Crazy Shaman said...

Alright girls, play nice or I'll take your toys away.


Anonymous said...

Ironically, the one spelling error I noticed is Syd's. Riposte is spelled with a e.

Isn't it funny how people often tell you a great deal about themselves, without being aware of it?

The Crazy Shaman said...

The previous comment is not from anyone I know. I've checked. I will delete it as soon as Blogspot returns the trashcan Icons to the screen.

sEa said...

In reverse commentary order, I reply as follows:

Anonymous - Please refer to an OED for varied spellings of "ripost". Modern spelling leaves off the "e" while archaic spelling referring to the parry/thrust of fencing still concedes the use of the "e". Hence American versus European.

Lisa - In my reply to Anony. I use the word "versus" with its proper spelling. You might also want to check "fundimental". The "fundiment" (really a concoction of two separate pieces: "fundi": plural of "fundus", latin meaning the bottom-most portion of a hollow organ, e.g. the bag-like portion of the stomach closest to the outgoing gastric valve; "ment": a suffix denoting that which does a thing) was not what you were looking for, but perhaps "fund-A-mental".

Additionally, I do sincerely apologize if you did not mean to be taken seriously in your response to crazyshaman. I regard philosophical and spiritual discussions as immensely serious, not only for myself but for all those that I treasure. I am sorry if I have offended your jovial nature by assuming that you felt similarly. However, it is hard for me to believe that you are serious about not being taken seriously when my objective grammatical comments lead you to insult me personally. I may, in fact, be a "pompous ass", however given the nature of my comments and pointed compliment to you, I find it hard to conclude that I am either pompous or ass-y. Perhaps you confuse confidence, clarity and insistence on diligence with your definition of pomposity. In which case, I am sorry for your confusion and will endeavor in future comments to delineate and define for you so as not to be mistaken for that which I am not.

Strike up the band!

The Crazy Shaman said...

What was the original post about? Oh yea, it's about not letting the mind abide anywhere, lest it become fixed like ice. It's getting cold in here.

sEa said...

I'm feeling rather warm and fuzzy. Or maybe I just wet myself....

sEa said...


Euphimistically the "fundiment" could be used as a synonym for "asshole" hence Lisa's extrapolation that I am an ass. As for the pomposity, sure... I'll be pompous if I can still correct spelling and grammar.

The Crazy Shaman said...


Would an ass by any other name still fundamentally be a donkey?

And if the shirt fits the stuffing will you wear it?

Meanwhile, the cypress tree still grows in the garden. Have a cup of tea?



sEa said...

As the old proverb so eloquently states... "If the Foo Shits..."