1995.01.04-serial.00065

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SF-00065
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Photo shows 94 crossed out for year of talk - since it is January, assuming 95.

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well was really nice to be here tonight i didn't do
think about a much better
i feel instantly a wonderful spirit in the robot or no i didn't think about that but very
good feeling of here and been a long time since i look
so close up at the
this figure of shakyamuni buddha or in the altar which is such a beautiful
figure
so
it is nice to be her

and
i do want to give a damn attack but really
the main thing i want to do is
or kind of introduce myself to you because i don't know most of you
and don't often know come to give a talk here in the city
so i want to try to say something that
we'll introduce you to me
the three talks i think in the next few weeks to talk about
some of my feelings and ideas about dharma
i realize it's hard to get to know another person
it's even hard to get to know yourself
anywhere that you can communicate to another person
so i hope i don't have unrealistic expectations about what i to
communicate to you but i want to try to say something to select something out of
what anyone could say
so that i can feel that i've made contact with you
and
one reason why i would like to do this is that as many of you know
about one month
today's the fourth of january so in one month on the fifth of february in this room i will have a mountain see ceremony and i will be installed on that day as an avid of the zen center
so
i want to come into a room full of friends or be easier and nicer
so that's one good reason right i want to come and get to know your
so that you'll say oh yes we know him and that nice that he's coming and stepping onto the mountain instead of who is this guy showing up here
a much better for all of us threats
another good reason anyway
so i hope that i want to go on too long so that we can have some dialogue that's the most important part because i want to make contact with you and let you hear who i am but also i want to get to know you have to and here who you are what your concerns are so
my plan is not to go on endlessly and hopefully i won't talk all that long just enough to give you food for thought

so we have and for green gulch israel until you know and we have an annual retreat over there
three days usually right after new years
very busy over there all the time people coming and guests and all kinds of people so it's kind of gets exhausting so we think through or three days year will close down and just be by ourselves and we actually don't even have formal zazen
birthdays but we do have a schedule
it's evolved over the last few years where we bring in people to work with us in various ways so that we can get to know each other as a community
in a different way from the way we usually know each other so what are the things we did this year yesterday actually as we had cause tanahashi the artist and calligrapher and translator and political activist he came over and gave us a calligraphy workshop
and i never officially
i don't calligraphy so was great fun and i'm interested in calligraphy so so reform to do that with him and he started us off by doing just see the are some paper and he was a brush and here's a just do whatever you want to do and we we did in freestyle kind of just squiggles and drawings and it was great however
and then after we did that he said now i want to show you how you're really supposed to hold a brush and in east asian calligraphy and highest posted
have your posture and so on
so he showed us that and app
working with a brush in a traditional way is very very difficult i discovered
ah
because you really can't control the brush you know it's really a living thing and you can't in are you know lines they were going to come out the same way twice so you have to have a tremendous amount of control and calmness and knowledge and practice to guide the brush
shh but then in the end the brush has a mind of its own kind of more goes the way there it's gonna go
so you have to this is very delicate issue of cooperating with the brush
so that was interesting
he said that in east asia
the where the calligrapher train themselves is by taking models of her
masterpieces
maybe one character and copying over and over and over and over again that when character until bacon come close to reproducing and are or reproduce it
so he had us do that he gave us a little sheet it's some characters on and we were to choose one character and we spent a couple of hours just
trying to reproduce that character
boy was that hard to know and frustrating
i found it really engaging and i sat and tried to copy a single character for maybe a couple of hours and and that few hours
i didn't even come close
not even close to be able to reproduce the character
not only that but i didn't even come close to being able to reproduce one line and the character that's how difficult it was at least for me
that's how much there is to have this was an exercise in
frustration and away but also it
many have a lot more respect for
caricatures who work with a brush very very difficult there's a beautiful rhythm to it
and it takes a lot of practice
i don't only think about this
east asian method of study because it's not only in calligraphy that one studies by copying and repeating over and over again copying a model or copying a master
but in all the other a japanese arts
when practices in the same way whether it's archery or tea ceremony or whatever it is
and of course this repetition and copying the master over and over and over again with sincerity and effort and frustration for years you know is definitely a part of the method in zen study
this is a method that i
have a great deal of respect for
i think is very important and confess to you that this has not been my past too much in my rifle sense day
ah
over the years i've been very fortunate to have
many teachers many wonderful teachers who whom i'm like i've learned a lot from
and many of them i still work with and still go to
and have enormous respect for all of them living and dead
but i haven't really
much done this practice of hanging around them and learning from them in that intimate way repetition and copying
ah probably the reason why i haven't done that as many reasons one reason is i am
pretty stubborn and don't like to do that
also
as an american male all those of you in the room know that american males already know how to do everything anyway so why would they want to
copy anybody in
that's another reason why i probably didn't do it
but maybe more important reason is the circumstances that i have had in my life i've been early on in my practice i had a family
and little children
and even before i began practicing zen i was so pretty seriously practicing the art of poetry
so all along
i had a lots of other obligations and preferences that took me away from the possibility of spending a lot of time with my teachers in this way
when you read about in a texts and that and that's so intimate
so whether this is good or bad i don't know but this is the fact of how my training has been
and this is my particular conditioning and my particular a primer
and the result of it is that it's given me a very strong feeling
that i need to be very self reliant in my practice and that each of us needs to be very self reliant in our practice
this is not to say that we don't need a dime of friends and teachers because i think we we do
and practicing on one's on with books or something like that is not the same as practicing risk my brothers and sisters and with teachers because some kind of alchemy happened some kind of energy or understanding is transmitted in these relationships and i recognize how employ
stunt they are and they've certainly been important to me
and yet
i really feel that each one of us
has to be completely responsible for our own practice
and that furthermore each one of us
is the only one who really understands our own path
maybe we don't even understand it too well
so people have different ideas about this
matter
and you may agree with what i'm saying are you may have different feelings about it and just as with me it depends on your
conditioning and your karma in circumstances
it's difficult to talk about this intimate study of zen
but that's out it's been for me and all my teachers
all the teachers that i worked with
in most serious way have been westerners
and even in know i've i've encountered and studied to some extent with asian teachers
ah mostly
i haven't done this enough to catch the spirit of yeah that i was referring to the calligraphy that repetition the sincerity the copying
so i have a fairly for it you know and i am i respected but i do i haven't really done enough of it so this is i confess to you my limitation in the dharma and one hopes as with all our limitations that they can also be are advantages to so i hope that that
so
what i was a very little boy
i remember being
shocked
and offended
really offended and affronted and upset
when i heard about the idea of death
i thought it was sir
terrible that there were no exceptions even if you are very good you know there were still no exceptions i thought that was grossly unfair
it made me as a little boy become very disillusioned
i with life
what kind of thing is this is so unfair that even if you do everything right and so on support they're gonna get you in the in
i thought that was terrible
unfair and a bad arrangement all the way around
of course you know we get older and other things start happening in
one forgets about these childish ideas
but when i am
was in my twenties
ah this came back to me again very strongly
and i felt like i was a child again almost i felt like i had gone away from being a child and then i went back to being a child
the time in my life that i heard about xin and i thought it was a great idea right away i felt like an answer these concerns that i had had
and i felt immediately that i was
zen person even though i didn't know there was any such thing as practice of zen
except i knew that there had been on time and in japan and asia but these places to me it might it might as well have been and moon
but i did eventually hear about that there was such a thing as the practice of zen it was actually
you could do it and even you could do it in america
i when i heard about it i actually moved to california so that i could practice in
it's hard to imagine this but
i was from the east coast
and i came from a lower class family and i had never really traveled anywhere in my life and i really didn't even know anybody who had traveled anywhere you know except to like philadelphia i know if the bride been myself to philadelphia number of times
but i never knew anybody who is had been to like boston or chicago and never met anybody such california seem like in a very very far away
so it was the great adventure in for me to to her
for the california so i did that and it was very exotic it was
i guess nineteen seventy or so
california stuff was going on and which bewildered me
but i did manage to despite all my confusion locate a phone book
when i looked at words in i went for in berkeley because i hadn't been berkeley and went to the berkeley's and center
and i told this story before and i first went there
and encountered in the old not where the book and center is now but used to be on to right way
they were there was a small lawn with two trees like a little stair way up to the house and then launch on either side and one tree on each side and
cheer on the left was a monkey puzzle tree and a tree on the right was a yucca tree trees that one could never ever see in the east and desire trees minor compared to like a chestnut tree or maple tree and monkey puzzle tree and i was really weird and yucca country unheard of
so i walked up the steps and here on the left the monkey puzzle tree they drop their puzzles
now and then and and so there was this and prepossessing fellow underneath the monkey puzzle tree waking up the puzzles and i said to him
is this the berkeley zendo because it was very didn't look like a zen place at all just a regular house and he said yes it was in
i said who's the roshi and he said there's no roshi just a priest
so and schedules on the door so i went up and went to the schedule than i came back
for the next time i could get there to zazen and it turned out that the man raking leaves was the priest and it was no
i was very surprised
so i begin
practicing their and immediately i was good thing
doesn't
seemed very powerful and teachings that i heard seem to be really true so i didn't really think about it i just
kept doing it and then one summer soon after that maybe within a year or so that i went to tassajara and became a guest student
and in those days at tassajara was fairly undeveloped there were no there's no greenery or plantings and they were building stone wall so there was stones scattered all over the place gigantic stones and again i had never seen such a thing in my life is giant boulders that you see and tassajara i had never seen anything like that i was amazed by the beauty
a them
where did the river shapes them are all the different
kinds of minerals that are in colors
and i remember in the courtyard it was very start was very hot
the sun was beating down and it was no release it was just sort of rocks son and in the courtyard there was nothing planet there was only this this arrangement of rocks at circular she had made
and i remember looking at those rocks
and feeling something about suzuki roshi his spirit from looking at the rocks probably entirely a furnace even seem very true at the time and i felt like well i was gonna go there
and throw away the key this was really the only thing to do and so i went back to berkeley and in those days you had to have the money to do this so i began doing various things but also saving money to go to toss her and i and several years doing this and finally had the money but
then know fortunately or unfortunately i got married anytime in there
my wife
didn't have a pot of money so the money i've cut in half because we both went to tassajara so i thought i'd stay really long time on my money but it was a half as long
so we went and while i was working on setting up the money i started coming over here to this room and over the green gulch to hear talks by richard baker roshi who had recently returned from japan and also see
stepped up on the mountain see in nineteen seventy one to become the second of sensor
now it's funny to think about this but i was never you know seeking out are looking for a teacher this was not my idea i just wanted to do the practice and i found a great inspiring helpful an instructive to listen to dime attacks and when i heard
someone who gave dharma talks that were
you know beneficial i would go listen
i didn't really want anybody to tell me anything or give me any advice i didn't even want to get to know somebody who was as zen person particularly
but i found the talks as i say pretty useful and richard sox particularly were really convincing and very entertaining got the idea that he was making it up as he went along and and he didn't quite know what he was saying as you're excited to what was he talking about and he going on wasn't that profound and did you
i understand it no i didn't understand it but i knew it was something but it was very was quite exciting and wonderful and now
and those days we are referred to him as baker oshie and many years i still think of him in that way but now but i still know him
and had spoken with him recently and i am trying to train myself
to call him richard which is he doesn't mind that and that's good so i him richard right to put his talks and i also like to go to mills talks on him very very inspiring and for a while they're at brown was
taking care of the zendo and berkeley i went to his talks to and i really enjoyed this talks and remember some and all of those three people from that period
i was not too happy about the idea of sanga our community i have no use for that inner at all
i felt it was a necessary evil if you wanted to practice you know that's he had encountered these other people so i i from longtime i would just go to zazen and leave without saying a word to anybody in
eventually i
you know talk to people on
finally i got used to the idea
so in nineteen seventy nine or so seventy eight or seventy nine i'd been at tassajara were a few years and i had only a elo i started practicing and nineteen seventy
most of the time
between nineteen seventy or so and nineteen seventy six i was either practicing and berkeley or i would go off by myself
somewhere in northern california and sit on my own
so in seventy eight or seventy nine i'd been at tassajara few years and only been at sense in and a few years
but richard the camion to duck on and he said well i had twin sons you know and right and we're all at tassajara together and he said you either have to live tassajara soon
or get ordained as a priest
this also was not my idea of a good time i was not intending to get ordained as priest my theory was that i would just keep practicing until i was enlightened enough to be able to stand my life and then get out of theirs because it must be
so i did the idea of becoming a member of the buddhist clergy was not something that i aspire to
but on the other hand i was not ready to move on either so i finally kind of found a place in my heart in which i where i could get behind this idea
with some reluctance in them
i did say yes i'll get our dynamite and that happened in nineteen eighty and my wife also was ordained at the same time
then nineteen eighty three present center had a great upheaval and you're all of you know about
and
student didn't
i mean it was upsetting to me but it wasn't that bad i didn't think it was all that bad
maybe because i had never really been interested in having a teacher teacher wasn't so pivotal in my life when richard turned out to be have troubles and so on i wasn't devastating for me but it was difficult in those days to be around and because a tremendous compute
asian and grief difficulty in and it was very sad and confusing we try to figure it out
i always felt like i'll come hundreds of people can't get together and contain and understand and deal with one person i couldn't understand why i didn't seem possible say logically that you could do that why wouldn't are ready to say on fix this guy and grab him get away with basis of this restricted data
probably hundreds of people could have agreed on something i've understood something that would have been okay but can seem possible so i didn't work out and cathy my wife and i we tried our best to help hold down the fort green gulch but it got too hard and so we said let's go somewhere else and
so we went
to the zen community of new york where tests again and glassman is the teacher
and that was a new there for one year and that was the beginning of our time of are studying in a serious way with other teachers because for many years we've only studied here
didn't really have any encounters at all with others and teachers
so besides studying with that
thats again which was a very important for me i always thought that i was
on attached to
zen center in its various forms
and i felt that i was compared to most of the people would i found out that i was pretty attached to it and he he's very good at pulling the rug out from under anything all the time that his main practice
so that was good for me in around that same time i started seriously studying with robert aiken and going to session with a gun roshi and
this was of enormous importance to me and he remains one of my most important teachers and someone that i am in touch with frequently and consult about things
during the same time also i had some important experiences with ticket han and category roshi
from minnesota who would come here and teacher was avid here for a while
especially with maureen stewart crochet who was from boston
and our whole family was very close to marine stewart
and our connection with her was especially wonderful because it involved not only the formal practice of zen
we saw how our whole life could be part of our practice because our relationship with her was her whole life she knew our family and
we we had hung out with her and she was a pianist so she would pray for us when we went to visit her in boston and when she can visited us and she always was interested in what i read my latest poems for her and with would not one of my sons show his latest artworks to her
so this was very important relationship for us
and it was
very sad you know she did when she died in nineteen ninety sooner then
she should have really she was quite vital young woman in many in her late sixties
and as she died and are right around the same time that category roshi died within a few days of each other so this was pretty sad time and
all of these can and i met and studied with i was really ready and i of to meet with teachers and to and to learn from them and so my encounters with them were very important to me and even crucial i would say crucial to my practice
and so i
i believe that it's good for people to if they spend one time some period of time with one teacher to study with other teachers it's very old tradition and i think very very important for us
so i was really grateful to zen center for
it was where those things that how lucky you know i could have family in
be allowed to
doesn't practice full time for a number of years
what does it really great and i was grateful to zen center and still am for allowing this to happen
but byron nineteen eighty six or eighty seven it seemed like
with about ten years and this time to go and this is where it now now and grab our habits
came and talked them in a similar mean you shouldn't go quite yet maybe it you should do damage transmission
ceremony
so the way they seem like an odd sort of thing for them to
ask her need to talk to me about because i was
aware of my shortcomings and right in i was not
you know how
highly developed zero person
but on the other hand it to was an odd because it seemed like go
we were deciding that the different priests when they were ready and when they are trained for some period time would go through the tournament transmission ceremony and my policy for years had been and is to this day that i will say yes to whatever is the next step for me and my practice
this is how one
grows and develops we say yes and you go ahead
may have misgivings in
reasons why you want to hold back but
doesn't really do any good to hold back so
i said yes but not really thinking about the consequences
this is the meaning of a too much
maybe i should have thought about it more
and i did that i didn't think about it much didn't think about what a big
burden of responsibility it is too
be a carrier of the tradition and have the responsibility of
maintaining it and passing it on
and to this day i try not to think about it as much as possible light
don't think about it but it is it's true it is kind of a big responsibility
but i felt that this was something that i should do and went ahead
and then they told me that they invited me to do the ceremony will either one of them when i had a warm relationship and an important relationships with both of them but since i started with know and we had and so intimate for a number of years in berkeley and he was my first teacher was not really
hard to realize that i should return to him progress experience and so in october twenty fifth at midnight nineteen eighty eight
we had with transmission ceremony completed at tassajara
very soon after that i had a terrible crisis in my heart because i was soon as innocently reading a book by techno hon i read a lot of books by him and enjoy them a and and when book he said something like
i have no idea which book it is but he says something right guy
you should find a true teacher
and if you don't find a true teacher better not to have any teacher at all don't have any teacher
so this a shock me i thought to myself what is in here
i have an official
register genomes in teacher or they wish there's no registry but you know what i mean
and i said to myself on how am i a true teacher should someone study the dome with me and i said to myself i answered myself
i don't think so it doesn't feel like a true teacher you know
so then i said to myself well this is a problem you know mean she's poised to find a true teacher and one isn't a true teacher and then when somebody tells you you're supposed to be a good teacher what are you gonna do i mean it should i
entirely or quitter one and this plagued me for some time and i decided that i would better galactic and out about this
so it took awhile but i finally got to it's very hard to ask ticknor on anything
but by it was almost a miracle that i had the opportunity so i went i asked them and i told them exactly what the problem was and i said so what would it what do you think it should i just
give up the whole thing i mean what
and he said something like well
sit in the diamond am
the more experienced ones how the ones that are less experienced and that's how we all
keep practicing
so i thought well that seems reasonable
so then i felt much better and i felt as if i could go on
and
do what i could to help other people to practice
and where i could wear i had more experience and could offer yeah i would do that and where i had less experience and needed guidance i could accept that
that seemed
a good idea and that sort of helped me get over that crisis and i was able to go on
anyway
in some talks next time i would like to
i'll talk about other things and how i would like to
participate with you in zen center and different ideas that i and feelings that i have about said but for tonight i just wanted to say that much to tell you something about myself and my own experience in the practice
and i hope i haven't he helped to lungs in it and first time i'd like to spend time hearing from you
and responding to your concerns and questions
it doesn't have to be about what i've said if you want to ask me
biographical questions or things about what i've said i'm happy to entertain those are other things is of or okay to if you asked me a question that i can't answer or that i don't feel like answering or that is embarrassing on to say i don't want to answer that so you can ask me anything and i'll say that if it's too hard for me
some please sir
what questions do you have
yesterday
you know i was the first year so a green gulch in the first official gringotts practice period i think it was nineteen eighty six and i work with read on it
do we didn't used to have practice periods you know i don't think i think we started i'm here around the same time are some women when we started on the same time but he used to be that only tassajara was the only place that had prior experience so so when we did our first one i was issue so in in eighty six
so i eventually so down here
what do you mean yeah
yes well this is the interesting and somewhat confusing are point
is that
you know as it is now
there are two habits of zen center and they're both habits of zinsser
even know where lives a gringo to mostly teaches at green gulch and now lives in berkeley in teaches here and in berkeley
most of them are habits of the whole thing
so this a little confusing especially when you try to explain to someone especially someone who's not doesn't not familiar with sen center it doesn't make any sense but
essay city center
well that's the point that i hope to i will feel more what you know it's time to a green gulch i am always interested in the city center but don't have any responsibility but i feel now that all the the other habits and all the abbot's will have interest in responsibility for all the temple so i would like to come over here sometimes like
tonight and give a dharma talk once in awhile and get a class once in awhile and as i'm invited by the readers here to do that so i i think i'll take more interest in participate more here because of course in the past i participated none at all
so yeah i want to do that i'm right to come over here once in awhile and do something when when there's a time yeah
it certainly a lot more green gulch and i'll go to tassajara right now my plan is to go to tassajara
at least for the next year or so each practice period for a visit so that i can keep in touch with people that i have practice with a green gulch or somewhere else you know and and having to reason with them and get a class or something like that
well that's my plan
hmm

that's a a wonderful questions and thanks
well as i was saying before i feel that each one of us is completely responsible for our own practice so i don't think it's as if
one needs to get something from the teacher so you should get as much as you can from them as often as you can i don't feel like that's an accurate description of what goes on in our study
myself i've always felt like whatever there is a opportunity to have doc sign with a teacher i do it i don't have to have some burning questions or something on my right i just do it so there you know if there's a session and there's an opportunity for dogs and and i got you know so i think that's a good way to do
it just to go whenever whenever you care but one doesn't have to go constantly there's different styles you know in some styles as and there's frequent ducks and short dog signs and our style is in there not as frequent
ah so in other words one doesn't have to force something or be chasing the teacher rounder in are constantly popping a pie here i am here
but but still you know one yeah you have you always go to talk and you always you always go to the sitting at associate and you always got a dog on and you just irregular way without forcing anything without a
you know putting your life how to shake you just keep at it in that way and
certainly i've learned a lot from my various teachers in ways that formal and informal as you watch the teacher do something you see how they talked to someone else and times you learn from the way they talked to someone else or the way they do something that has nothing to do with you and you happen to be in the vicinity and sometimes it's not the teacher that somebody else that's in in mandela of the practice center
that teaches you
so
ah
there are i think such things as deep and very important and life turning affinities that we have between teachers and students
but you know in my experience in my opinion these affinities are
not dependent on
ah how often we see a teacher and they're not dependent even on naming the were mentioning them
sometimes we just feel that we just feel it and less real for us we know it
and often between a teacher and student just like when buddha in held up a flower that wonderful story in our village
they didn't really have to say anything and in fact
uda afterwards acknowledged my cash up a bit maybe he really didn't know maybe they had a stick that part in so that does only ratings can go on and maybe the stories better buddha never said anything and nobody noticed
when my cash up a smiled
what buddha in more cash up and maybe they never said anything to each other so there's that way and so i have people that i work with to i don't see very often at all but there's a very strong affinity and there's the feeling of working together even though we don't necessarily do anything about it conversely one can be hanging around somebody all
the time as a teacher won't get have a student as they're constantly or vice versa and yet the affinities not there and even know it looks like all this stuff is going on actually does not so much is going on is much real entertaining going on so it's all very mysterious you know and it's the kind of thing that we that we know in our hearts
and that's enough we don't need to know it anywhere else
so
when i think that for me
you know to
have the fortunate or unfortunate climate to serve for a time as an abbott
certainly will change my views and my how i work with people and so i don't know he asked me again you know five years from down but this is how i've felt about
well this is a big unknown and i and my mind i don't think of it as being too different from the way it's been my life has been in the last five years i don't i don't imagine it's gonna be all that different
but i don't know the way that i doing now is
i like to i searched shudder at the idea of being in a sort of inaccessible person you know if you want to talk to that person you got to talk to that person you know i don't like that much so i'm not like that now now my green gulch if somebody wants to see me
gay the easiest time of course is drink docusign hours which are basically doing zazen so i asked people to sign up with brain assistant and then that way i'm are out there and it goes pretty easily so i do i do it that way mostly but people call me up and sometimes i
talk to people that i work with from faraway they call me on the phone and i do a lot of correspondence in letters with people that i work with and i meet with people in formerly i see people around you know when to stop and talk
so i find that i would i have to do as when it's not time to talk to people i just barricade the door turn off the phone and don't leave the house
because there's a joke and my family and i like the if they send me to take the garbage out they don't know when i'll come back
because i mean this is a not unusual that while i'm taking the garbage out john goins shows up and i haven't seen john and five years or something that he leads to a green gulch and estate agent how you it i mean i can't see john way that and a walk by right because i haven't seen him in years so i talked to him
and then when i'm talking to john terry comes by know this is happens frequently so that's why i have to be willing to knock back for hours if i leave the house
but i don't have to leave the house to see i put it in i lay in some food and have a bad there you know the toilets so i could to stay in there
and that's what i i actually hope this may be quite unrealistic but
i'm determined to see whether i can do this it's actually want to have times when i to actually do that
because i think it's very important for me you know i am a writer really in line and so
i find it if i write things i clarify my thoughts and it's important for me to study to and most of my studying is just for a class but i'd like to be able to study in a more diffuse week sometimes we studying something that has nothing to do with anything and then you'll understand something so and that's beneficial
to be able to share that with other people so
actually i'm going to try to have time in my study where i'm not communicating with people at all
even if it's only five or six hours a week that would be a lot and i know that our president habits don't have time to do that they never do that they say that's good at tassajara
so what would have to be very fierce and disciplined about it but it is possible and i'm going to see whether i can whenever i can do that my main thing though is to make it clear to everyone including myself
matt
ha
why would anybody have to talk to me in particular
why don't they talked to somebody else
because there's lot of people here who are teachers
and so this is the most important point is that the concept that everybody has to talk to the abbot is if that were somehow
i mean
i'm living proof that somebody could come here and show up and blah blah to the scenario one day they become have it
right
so
so the point is that that there's no magic about that and there's no magic about me so hopefully i can be a good dharma teacher i hope so and i hope that somebody would benefit by something that i might say or indicate in their direction but i'm not the only one we can do that so therefore
it's a good idea if people will we have a or the abbott's and we have toronto's and we have people who had that habits you know and so on so this is a new situation and i will be to
the first i'm not the first abbot who will serve with other habits but i'll be the first abbot who will serve other habits while there are former abbott's still teaching right so i figure i might have anything to do
nobody will want to see that's good and i'll stay in my study and sit at my computer and write a lot of poems and
that'll be good
so this is my hope you know and but
but you could be a management problem yes and people are always telling me in are you need to go to system but you know what i was thinking bush and you get a fax machine see
good yeah
my mama and i didn't know about this
area and instance in
but if i had a fax machine and bhatia could help me do things to and they could communicate that way because the idea of having a full time person
tell him you were to have lunch seems at this point
riker rent necessary but we'll see i mean i'm sure it'll change
what is my biggest thing that i think about and wonder wagner
well my son's barely notice you know one way or the other to them it's you know
what's he doing now in okay so it's not a problem for them one way or the other but
i it's a bit of a nightmare for cathy
ah
because
it feels like and on the whole universe is converging in our house even though people are very understanding and polite and not calling at all hours and all that still in all there's enough of that
and it makes her feel
like she doesn't live anywhere doesn't have a home so our plan is actually to move off campus
so the chicken feel like she lives somewhere and has their own space just like that's what i will is how to do because it was getting for this exactly the same reason so it's easier said than done this idea better this is what we have to do it so it's it's
it's
pretty bad deal actually to be married to somebody in this kind of a job because it is you know i mean i mean because students do things like get married and they die and their families die that happens you know and that's not something that you can say call me about that later
because they have to call you now you have to respond to that now and so that's really difficult and
why and i'm also a little different from mine our president habits in that
they were both a seasoned put his priests when they married
so they already had established you know our way of teaching and being as buddhist practitioners before they married and their family life
was came into that and for me i was married before i i was ordained and i was ordained with my wife and so for me family is more i don't know i can't speak for them and or with their life is like but i always imagine it's different from me in that way
family my family is more a higher priority for me actually then my students are right
here's my practice so i had to take care that very important and i enjoy it to him and enjoy retirement
so that's also a problem that we weave our family has been working on this and already interests we it's actually probably worse before it happens and after i figure the anticipation of it is worse so we've been working on it now and doing pretty well right now
but we'll see
did you had a question is

well
yes they did
i don't feel that it's unfair
i feel that it's life
so
i understand death and embrace it and feel that we all have to embrace it
changing from thinking that it was unfair
go to be avoided
is a big change to embracing it and has been a very important part of my practice and i think it's true for all of us think this is important part of buddhist practice practices exactly the feeling that made the buddha wave his palace right that's why the good of left just because
this feeling and it was his quest to understand life and death
and how
you don't like in and then tax we don't say life and death we say one word hyphenated right life and death birth and death
so they have an appreciation for this is one of the most important things that are working on and it's very liberating
i think this feeling that life is unfair because we die
is something that most of us had a feeling of to think we know maybe even know about it that we have a bit that
so they embrace our life completely in our death is the path and that's it we're all working on
so i have changed

her questions
comments or advice
could use advice
breast up
i do i take vitamins yes
yes
just

her
well
i never thought of that just were those things i guess
ah y a why when you are walking down the street and somebody's working on a building on the fourth floor
and they drop a hammer cause a fall on your head
that
well you just happen to be there at the time
i think that's probably why
i mean no
people must think that i can more or less do it so
and i'm sure it'll be all right i think that i can more or less do it as well
but
i'm sure that others can more or less than some reason why me as i was standing there
hence a good idea for me to know that right
let's think

do you have any thoughts on it right away
yeah yeah i mean did you have an answer to that question that i that you were fishing for that you

hmm

her

his teacher
yes
just wondering if you
if you weren't on how to increase
i was you saw that
this isn't
well i
i was doing is end for many years before i got my teaching credential
and i didn't teach her very long so mostly
being a high school teacher was something that i did for a brief period of time along the course of my zen practice so just to be clearer is not like i was teaching high school for many years or something or in an expert expert high school teacher
but i did find when i did it did teach high school that i really enjoyed it and i found that my practice was very helpful and definitely it called forth you know everything that i
had worked on in my meditation practice and sore
so ah high school teaching is very hard job it's much harder than being as a priest i think which were the much more challenging and calls for the were that men
because when you teach then mostly people are very receptive and accepting what you're doing or they wouldn't show up you know but in high school and they think you're dumb you know a native don't like what you're doing and so on so words and you have to get a convince them and make them do it if they don't even if they don't like to
so this is much more difficult and you have to stretch your personality and your skills much more in order to i do that but i found it quite wonderful i really enjoyed teaching high school and have some lingering regrets that i was not able to her
continue doing that and i haven't even entirely given up maybe someday and i can go back and do it again
i was talking to somebody last night swiss woman
who taught high school she said it was the worst experience of her life and she just thought was terrible thing to do and she was amazed that i said i had enjoyed it
and they're the reason why was because she found it intolerable to stand up in front of a room full of teenagers trying to tell them something that they were completely uninterested in and you know they were sort of little disrespectful and so on and so forth which is that is true so you have to first of all you have to it
we'll get their attention get the respect and then you have to listen to them and figure out what it is a day we actually care about and then you have to make what you're teaching them relevant to that
and then you have also to be very fast on your feet because you don't know what's gonna happen next
so i tried to i have a mixture of firmness and like
he can't miss her hand you know with a real concern for the students because i love my students a teenage boys and girls are marvelous people and they have such problems in there are so interesting you know
and so tender that there
i had one hundred and fifty students every day and i knew them all and i liked all of
so they got an idea to understood that after a while and sarah ten made it a lot easier
anyway
i'm sort of hundred five same lunch and some i feel general feeling
i think education in general is a very exciting feel right now because there's so much and work being done and how to teach
and the work is sir
based on research that's very interesting new developments better
very humane
where wife also teaches
school and i was happy when someone goes and gets a credential and decides to school i think working with young people is one of the most important things to do
cause i even at my age and the so but at my age i can see that
you know i'm not going to solve the world's problems in my lifetime
but the young people it's gonna be their problem so you one wants to turn around and make a contribution to their understanding and loving
so i think teaching is really important
there was a teacher at gringotts recently for practice issues was practicing and
when i was giving a lecture and i guess some response to her and then later on she came to talk to me we had a good conversation about teaching school as she said we should do a retreat or something for teachers
and that gave me an idea i think maybe we'll do that sometimes
in the summer when or they have time really interesting this as in talk about issues for teachers that that they can talk themselves and being an atmosphere where like minded teachers and we could see if there's anything in our experience or in the dharma that would be helpful
so maybe we'll do that sometime
the was or something like specific you wanted to bring up or is there i get anywhere with that answer okay i guess when they go to when it was
students know
yes they did know that and i had kept my head shaved you know
they didn't know that and every now and then i would meditate with them you know which was astonishing how effective that was it was amazing as cause like or don't most of the time when i did it would be when nothing else would work because i have i took two classes of freshmen and the freshman boys are the young and they're sitting there and they did they can't stop
you know so there would be times when things would get rather chaotic
and nothing was happening and you couldn't do anything so i would say okay everybody stopped everything and put your hands on your desk and put your feet and florida substrate close your eyes and be quiet now pay attention to your breathing all the stuff and i do that a little kind of mindfulness of breathing meditation and it was astonishing they would do it i mean i'd make of do it know
but after they did it for like three or four minutes the whole atmosphere was different and you could start all over again
then you could actually do something so i did that and there were times when they would say come on can't we meditate we haven't meditated on can we do
so i didn't do it every day i was very
shy to do it because you know i was a first year teacher and i didn't want to come in they're meditating all the time you know because it didn't look good when i get fired or something
i mean if i wasn't as a priest i might have done it more but because i was it's very tricky and the schools you don't want to have it somebody accuse you of trying to force your religion off on the student body you can't do that so you have to be careful and i did have some i had a very interesting class to hit a lot of very devout christians in it
and it's just so happened that we talked a lot about spirituality or spiritual practice because the books that we reading brothels issues up and we took a field trip and over here if you remember i brought my class over here because they wanted to they said can we go in
find out more about what you do see what your practices and i said okay we can take future but then one of the parents
get upset about it percent they were
very devout christians and wondered about the appropriateness or they
so i still had to talk with and we had a good talk and me and reported friends but it had to be careful so i didn't do it as much as i could have got it and i think actually talked to the principal about going back to the school and giving a course in meditation for the teachers and any students who want to go
you know that i could do that would be what it wants here but as a teacher i felt a little bit
tender but it but they all the students new and some of them thought it was really cool i think it gave me a certain amount of that
respect to was interesting you know kind of unusual thing
so also i'm a poet and so they knew that too and that was very good being an english teacher see and being a poet so i had a lot going for me
but if you don't have those things going for you make something up you know
a
so anyway
what else is that specific place
yeah

how many were just about finished but before we
say the final chair and i wonder if fun
you could tell me
my plan is to come and give a couple of more talks when next wednesday night and another word i think on a saturday
and could do just give me a few ideas about what you think
have been most important things to bring up in his tux
it should i talk more about her
no on my ideas and visions or should i just give a talks and we only hear about that really you think
any ideas and thoughts
there are people think that
what can you give them down with dogs
k
running years
anybody else seventy
thought about that
where i i really appreciate your attention in now
it's really nice to i don't know that i've ever given a talk over here on an evening
i'm a couple times on a saturday that's different sealing them
so it's very very pleasant and enjoyable
to meet with are you in now
if everything goes well see you next week
thank you