Tenrikyo Dynamic Mission - PONDERING DEEPLY

Ponder deeplyThe collection of poems called "Ofudesaki" ends with the following poem:

I earnestly request each and everyone of you to
ponder deeply over these teachings.

In the early years of trying to open just a narrow path of single hearted salvation Oyasama employed several different approaches for administering the "Sazuke", single hearted salvation of all kinds.. For example: "The Sazuke of the Fan", "The Sazuke of Fertilizer", "The Sazuke of Water" and the like. In each case the intention was to employ easily accessible and common devotional triggers to help a truly sincere mind to give up the burden of the imagining to be a body, return to its origin and awaken to single hearted salvation by entirely leaning on and merging with the single heart, the mind of God as it resides eternally as the very core of being. Being one, single, again with that original mind wherein illness, weakling, and death do not exist. The basic instruction given by our parent of origin to be used by all people in all matters and circumstances, is to empty the mind, lean solely on what remains and realize the single hearted salvation that results from sincerely following that instruction. Thus informed by that truth and God's free and unlimited workings go back out and play in the world.

Ponder over your sufferings of the body
and then ponder the mind that leans on God.

Tenrikyo followers maintain that sincere appeal to our original parent for instantaneous salvation of all kinds through the administration of the "Sazuke" during which all parties are instructed to completely calm and empty their mind. No ideas or concepts are necessary. The only requirement for the truth of the "Sazuke" being the true sincerity to let go of all ideas and concepts and quickly melt back into the protection of the true, original parental heart. That is also the case with the practice of "joyous dancing" in the village style. Giving the self centered imagination over to high spirits and joy are the recipe for the performance of the dance and no ideas are necessary unless of cause one wants to go beyond the joyous music and dance and think about what the words might mean.

Ponder over this talk, all of you in the world.
There is no mind the same as another.

Experience shows us that the human self-centered imagination responds to the instruction to settle itself in a variety of ways. For some the instruction is quickly and sincerely followed just as it is given and single hearted salvation immediately results. Most however do not do so and as a result do not immediately awaken and realize single-hearted salvation of all kinds. Some minds will quickly respond to the instruction to totally calm and empty the mind, making it metaphorically the "mind like clear water", by saying that it is impossible to do. Still others will say that even after trying their best to follow the instruction they find that they have been unable to do so and still others may have doubts and questions that they would like to have answers for before committing to any following any instruction as fundamental and scary sounding as that. And finally there are others that insist that the instruction does not match the ordinary expectations that flow from their common truths of the world and for that reason on the face of it must therefore be false.

I began the work because I desired to teach you
marvelous salvation by all means.

All of the above problems with understanding the intention and path of single hearted salvation are examples or flavors of active self-centered imaginations. Some of us are "always thinking" or depending on one's point of view "always dreaming" and the promise of using all means to help us to awaken then is delivered on with poems that are challenging to understand and which cannot be properly understood  an ordinary way. Mastery of the poems then requires slowing down the active imagination through deep self reflection and resolve and honestly pondering deeply and by identifying within our own mind the poetic metaphors all of which point to the truths of our own mind. Indeed the poems provide a step by step guide for totally replacing our ordinary way of reasoning at its core with a more stable foundation of reasoning from the true origin of our mind.

This is a world constructed on reason.
So I shall press upon you with reason in verse.
The poems collected as "OFUDESAKI", "The tip of the Writing Brush" are intended then to provide a comprehensive response to all of the doubts, questions and denials of this teaching that naturally arise and to engage active human imaginations that insist upon thinking and will not just let go and lean on God by quickly following the instruction to settle the mind, "like that of clear water".  In that way providing the deeply pondering sincere mind with a way of reasoning that will eventually end up as the same state of mind that the sincere mind of single hearted devotion immediately settles as during the Sazuke.

From now on I will speak in the metaphor of water.
Be enlightened by the words "clear" and "muddy."

The difficulty that we have in understanding this teaching can be summarized as our natural propensity to shallowness in our thinking and our habit of looking at things from the point of view of ordinary established truths of the world. The poems then cannot be properly understood in the common terms and truths of the world.

Until now so sincere are the thoughts of Moonsun,
but the minds of you close to Me are yet worldly common.

The poems then can totally challenge and engage our imaginations and require deep self reflection and resolve, pondering deeply, to reveal their intended meaning. If dear reader you want to play, might I suggest that both the ordinary thinking, (imagination) and the innermost heart (what the imagination appears in) be now distinguished in your own mind. Pondering deeply is not something that everyone wants to do or even knows how to do. If so, that is not a problem, the "Sazuke", "Joyous Dance", and "Hinokoshin", (selfless action) indeed "all means" are employed by our original parent on our behalf.

Until now, you have understood everything in an ordinary way.
From now on, you will understand from your innermost heart.

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