August 11th, 1989, Serial No. 04067

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I vow to take the truth about the Tathagata's words. I'm very happy to be here with you this evening, and Anne and I are delighted to be here. at Green Gulch on our unprecedented sabbatical. I'm very grateful to all those of you who made this possible. I know that you devoted a lot of energy to preparing for our sabbatical.


We are both of us very grateful. So please sit comfortably. I have been reading my revised talks on the Mumongkhon, or Wu Ming Guan, to Sangha members at the Koko An Zen Do during Tuesday evening classes. And people have responded with questions and comments that have been very helpful to me in making the final polish. So I'm going to impose on you this evening and read Case 23, I think neither good nor evil. And I ask that you please freely afterwards


or in the middle, offer your comments and your questions. The case reads, the sixth ancestral teacher was pursued by Ming, the head monk, as far as Tai Xiong Peak. The teacher, seeing Ming coming, laid the robe and bow on a rock and said, this robe represents the Dharma. There should be no fighting over it. You may take it back with you. Ming tried to lift it up, but it was as immovable as a mountain. Shivering and trembling, he said, I came for the Dharma, not for the robe. I beg you, lay brother, please open the way


for me. The teacher said, don't think good, don't think evil. At this very moment, what is the original face of Ming, the head monk? In that instant, Ming had great satori, sweat ran from his entire body. In tears, he made his bow, saying, besides these secret words and secret meanings, is there anything of further significance? The teacher said, what I have just conveyed to you is not secret. If you reflect on your own face, you will find whatever is secret right there with you. Ming said, though I practiced at Huang Mei with the assembly, I could not truly realize my original face. Now, thanks to your pointed


instruction, I am like someone who drinks water and knows personally whether it is cold or warm. Lay brother, you are now my teacher. The teacher said, if you can say that, then let us both call Huang Mei our teacher. Maintain your realization carefully. Mumon's comment, Wumen's comment, I'm converting to Chinese, pardon my pronunciations. It must be said that the sixth ancestor forgets himself completely in taking action here. With grandmotherly kindness, he peels a fresh lychee, removes the seed, and puts it into your mouth. Then you only need to swallow it down. Wumen's verse, it can't be described, it can't


be pictured, it can't be praised enough. Stop groping for it. The original face has nowhere to hide. When the world is destroyed, it is not destroyed. This is one of 48 cases of the Wumen Guan. With Wumen's commentary and verse. A book published in the early 13th century. So some of our most worthy ancestors didn't know about it. Dogen Zenji, for example, was a very good example. Didn't know about it. However, it became very popular and for centuries


now it has been a primary source for Zen study. The sixth ancestor, Dagen Huineng, was so-called because he was sixth in succession from Bodhidharma who introduced the antecedent of Zen Buddhism into China. Huineng was born in 638. About a hundred, a little over a hundred years after Bodhidharma came to China. The son of a civil servant who lost his position and then died young, leaving him and his mother penniless. It is said that he had no schooling, but worked as a child and youth to support himself and his mother as a peddler of firewood. One day while delivering wood to a customer, he heard


a monk reciting the Diamond Sutra. Now, if you were a Chinese person today and you heard someone reciting the Diamond Sutra, you wouldn't understand a word. And the same is true of someone reciting it in Sino-Japanese in Japan. It's become rather antique in its phraseology. But in Huineng's time, the Chinese of the Diamond Sutra was the vernacular, almost. So, he could understand each word. His mind opened and he experienced deep realization.


One tradition states that this occurred at the lines, dwell nowhere and bring forth that mind. The young Huineng approached the monk and asked who his teacher might be. The monk said his teacher was the fifth ancestor, Huangmei Hungren, who lived a thousand or more miles away in North China. Huineng resolved to go there and study. It is said that a neighbor kindly agreed to support his mother, and Huineng set out like the young Shakyamuni in search of his spiritual fortune. Arriving finally at Huangmei, he was shown into Hungren's presence, who asked him, Where are you from that you come to this mountain making obeisance


to me? What is it that you seek here? Huineng said, I come from Lingnan in the south. I have come this long distance seeking no particular thing, only the Buddha Dharma. Hungren said, If you are from Lingnan, then you are a barbarian. How can you become a Buddha? Huineng said, Though people from the north and the south are different, there is no north or south in the Dharma or in Buddha nature. Though my barbarian's body and your body are not the same, what difference is there in our Buddha nature? Hungren recognized the worth of his new student, but assigned him to the harvesting shed to husk rice. One senses that Hungren had a rather unsettled sangha, and he had to be careful


not to stir up the monks with decisions that would threaten their status. Rice husking would be the logical job for an illiterate layman. Then a few months passed, and Hungren felt the need to name a successor, feeling old. He announced a contest for this purpose, saying whoever believes that he is worthy of Dharma transmission should submit a poem showing his understanding of the way, and I will acknowledge the writer of the best poem as the next master in our line. All monks felt that their head monk, Shunshu, had the clearest insight of all, so none of


them wrote anything. Shunshu, however, wasn't sure of his own attainment, so instead of turning in a poem, he wrote one anonymously on a wall. If it were approved, he could step forward and announce his authorship. If it were disapproved, he could just keep silent. So, he wrote, The body is the Bodhi tree, the mind is like a clear mirror. Moment by moment wipe the mirror carefully, let there be no dust upon it. Hungren praised this poem very much, as indeed it is a fine exposition of samadhi practice, and he had all his monks commit it to memory and recite it. However, he said nothing about making its author his


successor. Huineng heard a monk reciting the poem and recognized immediately the limitation of its author's realization. Learning of the contest for the first time, he dictated his own poem to the monk who wrote it on the wall beneath that of Shunshu. Bodhi really has no tree. The mirror, too, has no stand. There is nothing at all from the beginning. Where can any dust alight? Everyone was impressed with this second poem and felt upset at the rumor that the lay worker in the harvest shed had dictated it. Hungren recognized its worth, but prudently rubbed


it out with his slipper, saying it was of no value. That night, however, he summoned Huineng to his room and preached to him on the Diamond Sutra. Huineng grasped the inner sense of the sutra at once, and thereupon Hungren conveyed the robe and bowl of Bodhidharma to him as symbols of transmission, warning him that some monks would seek to do him harm if he remained at the monastery. The teacher personally rode Huineng across the river and advised him to polish his realization secretly for some time before emerging as a teacher. Next day, Hungren told his monks what had happened, and they became agitated as they felt sure that their old teacher had made a mistake in choosing a young layman as his


successor. They set out in pursuit of Huineng in order to bring back the precious symbols of transmission. The head monk Ming, a former general who was powerful in body and will, soon outdistanced all the others in the pursuit. The story in the present case picks up here. Is it a true story? From very early times, Buddhist history has been rewritten to clarify archetypal themes. For example, on examining the internal evidence, most scholars believe that Huineng could not have been illiterate. In fact, the historical validity of the entire sutra of Huineng is doubtful. Such chronicles should be read as instructive folk stories,


and if it can be shown that they have historically factual elements, well, that's interesting, but not profoundly significant. Scholars seek the historical facts. Zen students seek religious themes. My own view is that where scholarship helps to clarify the themes, it can be very useful. The rest can distract the student of religion from resolving life-and-death questions. In the early days of my internment in Japan during World War II, I was feeling full of doubts about myself and the world. I had recently looked down the wrong end of some very threatening weapons, and I was looking for a religious base. I had not yet encountered a religious


base. One day I asked a Catholic priest who was interned with us, what if it could be proved that Jesus never lived? He replied, my faith would be destroyed. Though I was young and unformed in understanding, I felt there was something wrong with that answer. Somehow I knew that while Jesus is important historically for Christians, still that is surely not his primary significance. In the same way, it is important for us to see the virtue of Hui Neng's illiteracy, his lay status, his exposure of the fallacies of self-centered Samadhi. Other lessons include the dangers of malice and the importance of not seeking to teach too soon. This case is


an adult fairy tale that orders our deepest archetypes to the way. The head monk Ming was intent upon chasing down the thief of transmission. There was nothing else in his mind running after Hui Neng. As head monk, Ming must have had some understanding of the Dharma, yet he allowed himself to be carried away by group anger. This is all too human. With the drop of a hat, Zen students including you and me will follow upon mob excitement and neglect the Buddha way. The sixth ancestor, seeing him coming, laid the robe and bowl on a rock and said, This robe represents the Dharma. There should be no fighting over it. You may take it back


with you. These words must have been very startling to Ming, whose spirit was already simmering. Simmering, an important symptom. The head monk Ming was ready for experience. One might simmer with anger, despair, nostalgia, or just a weird sense of something unknown. This is the context of great opportunity. You have stepped out of your usual state of mind and can step from there into something altogether new. Be alert to this chance. Ming tried to lift up the robe, but it was immovable as a mountain. Ah, there you see the state of his mind. Mob anger no longer was his motive. Suddenly he was in touch with


the profound and subtle law of the Tathagata. He realized the Dharma cannot be transmitted by outward symbols. I am reminded of Friedrich Frank's story of his conversion to vegetarianism. As a small child during World War I, he lived with his family less than a mile from the Belgian border. He lived in Holland, which was neutral during World War I. I was from my fifth to ninth year confronted with the incomprehensible horror of seeing living human flesh in the tatters of German, Belgian, and French uniforms coming across the border on pushcarts and other improvised ambulances. It sensitized me against all forms


of physical violence. During those childhood years, Frank was forced against his will to eat fish and meat and was preoccupied with a home-grown koan, whether it was more evil to eat whole sardines than a slice of cod. One day his doubts were resolved. It happened in a restaurant when a fragrant fillet de sole amandine was put in front of me. I took my fork, but it refused to touch the fish. I ate the pomme du chest and never knowingly ate animal flesh again. The fork would not touch the fish, just as the robe would not budge for the head monk Ming. Ming, however, had to take another step. Shivering and trembling, he said, I come for the Dharma,


not for the robe. He wasn't just making a defensive excuse, but had suddenly realized his own true intention. I beg you, lay brother, open the way for me. Thus he opens himself sincerely. Hui Nung said, Don't think good, don't think evil. This is an essential preamble to true realization. In the Xin Xin Ming, we read, To set up what you like against what you dislike, this is the disease of the mind. Comparisons are odious. I hear grown-up people say, I don't like so-and-so. Such prejudice limits one's understanding of Buddha nature, of the Buddha nature of the world and its beings.


Rather than setting up good and evil in the mind, set up right views, the first step of the Eightfold Path. Right is the opposite of mistaken. It is an attitude that is in keeping with the interdependence of things and their essential emptiness. Don't think good, don't think evil means, really, find the silent place of essential harmony in your mind and be ready for what might come. Hui Nung goes on to say, At this very moment, what is the original face of Ming the head monk? With this fresh, new existential question, Ming had great realization. Sweat ran from his entire body. In tears, he asked, besides these secret words and secret meanings, is


there anything of further significance? Hui Nung answered, What I have just conveyed to you is not secret. If you reflect on your own face, whatever is secret will be there, right there with you. Ming said, Though I practiced at Huangmei with the assembly, I could not truly realize my original face. No problem with Huangmei, but Ming's pursuit and Hui Nung's words give him a perspective that is altogether changed. Now thanks to your pointed instruction, I am like one who drinks water and knows personally whether it is cold or warm. At last it is intimate. And incidentally, I have discussed this word intimate at length in earlier cases. Intimacy


in Zen literature is a synonym for realization. When you are intimate, you are one with. When you are not intimate, you are in your head. So intimacy is a key word, more than a key word. It is something to truly experience. Lay brother, you are now my teacher. Ming was ready to follow his new guide. Hui Nung said, If you can say that, then let us both call Huangmei our teacher. The teacher had Hung Run's caution in mind and was saying, in effect, I must deepen my realization for a while. Actually, according to a traditional account, he lived with a party of hunters for 15 years.


I cannot be your teacher at this time. You had best return to Huangmei and bring peace to the monastery there. This is not a Koan point, but it is important nonetheless. The monks were upset that a mere layman had written an interesting poem and then that he had been selected as Hung Run's successor. If there is no harmony in Buddha's temple, how can its residents bring harmony to the world and fulfill their vows? Finally, Hui Nung cautions the head monk Ming, maintain your realization carefully. This is advice for us all. Practice certainly does not end with realization. Woman comments, It must be said that the sixth ancestor forgets himself completely in taking action here. His body and mind fall away, in fact, and the needs of the head monk Ming


stand paramount. With grandmotherly kindness, he peels a fresh lychee, removes the seed, and puts it into your mouth. Then you only need to swallow it down. Nothing for Hui Nung, 100 for Ming. Nothing for me, 100 for you. The Dharma can be conveyed only in this way. The Sangha can function only in this way. Woman's verse reads, It can't be described. It can't be pictured. It can't be praised enough. Stop groping for it. It is your original face. It can be presented personally, but it disappears once you try to say what it is. It most assuredly is not something especially imbued in the robe and bowl. As Hui Nung understood


very well, he wisely hid them away in an unknown place or destroyed them, and the practice of numbering the ancestors stopped with him. The original face has nowhere to hide. It is not secret at all. There are no boundaries at all. When the world is destroyed, it is not destroyed. Why not? This is the final koan point. Okay, long paper. So, we have about 50 minutes for question and answer. Yes? For the end, you said, this is not a koan point.


Why do you say this is not a koan point? It's kind of a matter of fact. It's a kind of common sense that we should try to seek to keep peace in the family, and it's our responsibility to keep peace in the family. The koan point here, in this case, is, what is the original face of the monk Myo? And then there are points in the poem. The main point of the poem is, well, one point is, the original face has nowhere to hide, and then when the world is destroyed, it is not destroyed. So, these points emerge with Zazen and judicious prompts. Prompts. Prompts. Pushes. Nudges. [...] And


hints. Yes? Yes, absolutely. Well, you know, the whole world is made up of metaphors. The whole world is metaphor, really. We are being instructed all the time. There is a wonderful story about a teacher


who, or a future teacher, a monk, who was out on a takohatsu. You know, takohatsu is the trip outside to the village or town, and the monk accepts food or money. And he was standing outside a butcher shop, for some reason. It was an open shop, and he could hear the customer talking to the proprietor. And the customer was saying, give me two pounds of your best boar meat. And the butcher said, all my boar meat is the best boar meat. And with that, he was ready, you know, and he got it. So, what the teacher tries to do is to find those two pounds of boar meat, and he says,


expressions and actions, or to summon up those expressions and actions, and if the teacher is really good, it's second nature, which will prompt understanding, or at least prompt a closer adherence to the way. And that's what he does. Now, certain of these terms and certain of these dialogues and these actions have become arcanum, you know. They have become so, you know, they have become so, you know, they have become empowered, you might say, with the deep zazen and the close attention of


countless students down through the ages that, you know, like the Koan Mu is an example. It's just M-U, you know. But it's like, you know, it's like, you know, it's like, you know, it's like an image that has been worshipped by generations after generations of monks and nuns, concentrated in that one word, Mu, is the whole universe, really. So, it is important to enter in there. Now, of course, Jung talks about archetypes in a little different way, you know. The wise


old woman and the dwarf and other figures appear in dreams and have a kind of, you know, a will have a profound significance for the dreamer that comes out of human racial memory. This is a little different. These archetypes are also profound and they come out of human racial memory, but their function is instructive. Their function is to bring one to peak experience. So, what Woman did in collecting his stories, you know, was to bring one to peak experience.


Was to select 48 of the probably hundreds of thousands of stories that were available by verbal oral tradition. You can imagine, in Tang China, there were literally hundreds of Zen teachers, and each of these Zen teachers, each evening, met with students, and there were Dharma dialogues, there was a Dharma combat. Each evening, there would be maybe 20 or 30 monks coming forward, every evening, for these hundreds of teachers over hundreds of years. So there were many, many, many stories. And out of these, you know, bubbled to the


surface as most significant, well, in our curriculum at the Madhyamaka Sangha, 550. In some other Koan traditions, maybe 1,500, 1,000, [...] as many as that. But really, very few. And it's interesting, the Koan Mu is usually the first Koan. So out of those, you know, countless Koans comes 550, out of those 550 bubbles up one, that's used, that's shown by experience to be the most efficacious. I don't know, I've just been talking along here in response to your question. I'm not


sure that I've really touched on that. I wasn't thinking of the concept of Zen, I was just trying to get a bit of a handle All right. Yes? I just wanted to follow up on what you said there. I think you said that these stories you consider the archetypes, and you said archetypes are new, they're a little different. No, I said in Zen they're instructive. They're also instructive, of course, of course. What I want to ask is, how do you see the difference between the way an archetype, in many instances, is instructive, or helpful to one's life, and the way that a Koan, or


one of these Zen stories, as an archetype, works in our life? You know, that really touches the heart of things. That question touches the heart of it. Fundamentally, although they overlap, we can distinguish between spiritual practice and therapy. And Jung is interested in spiritual practice, he's interested in religion, but working with individuals, hoping to make them whole people. Whereas the Koan gives us the experience of, well, to use Thich Nhat Hanh's term, interbeing. In Honolulu, they've introduced


the Kentucky Cardinal, which is a wonderful songbird. It's the cardinal that teaches us. The Koan opens us to our unity with all things, and the ephemerality, in fact, the vacancy, we can say, of all things, which in human terms is inner peace. So therapy and religious experience overlap. But believe me, Zen practice is a release from the self, rather than self-correction.


Being a whole person, would this be not necessarily a refuge, but a release? Oh boy, it is. Oh boy, yeah. The more neurotic you and I are, the harder time we have with Zen practice. Yeah, no doubt about it. The mentally handicapped person cannot do Zazen. The child, really, can't do Zazen. The child can sit there with you, but that child is not doing Zazen, in an adult-sensitive term. The child has to go through puberty and all of those things that go with puberty, and resolve all those things that go with puberty pretty well. And then Zazen can be meaningful. And so, when people come who have emotional


problems, severe emotional problems, I welcome them, but I encourage them also to get conventional help, and either do that first, and then Zazen. As whole as possible. And there's no end to it. And the one helps the other. You know, the Zen practice helps the psychological practice, the process. The psychological practice helps the Zazen. No doubt about it. Some Zen teachers will try to steer their students away from therapy, but I'm not one of them.


Do you think it's important to have a therapist that's familiar with Zazen? Yes, I do. Yes, I do. Or at least someone who has had some contact with one of the meditative disciplines like Vipassana or Tibetan Buddhism or something like that. I find it doesn't really matter, you know, to have a general idea of what's going on. Yes? Somewhere along the line, I've got a psych practice with immediate appetite, and there's a slide, and I got confused with that. Dreams come to all of us, whether you practice without benefits or not, and there's benefits for all. Somehow, I got the impression that dream interpretation or archetypes described by him are somehow treated differently. Do you


reflect on Zazen and the normal scope of participants in therapy? I kind of got sidetracked. Well, they overlap, you know. In fact, Case 25, and I'll read Case 25 if we have enough time during my stay here, two more to go, deals with a deep dream on the part of Kyozan. You know, Kyozan goes to Maitreya's, to Sita Heaven, and is led in to sit in the third seat. And a senior monk strikes a gavel and says, today the one in the third seat will speak. Well, you know, Chakyamuni was sitting in the first seat, probably, and Maitreya


in the second seat, or maybe it was the other way around. And here he was in the third seat. So very confidently he arose and struck the stand with the gavel and said, the truth of the Mahayana transcends the four propositions and is beyond the one hundred negations. Listen, listen. That's his dream, a great dream. And in fact, it's a kind of makyo, if you know about makyo. Makyo are the sense distortions that you experience in Zazen, particularly the deep dreams that you experience in Zazen, where you find yourself a participant in, an essential participant in some kind of religious ritual, or you find yourself to be one of


the archetypal figures, like the Buddha or Guanyin or Jizo. These can be compared to the visions of the Virgin Mary, you know, that the Christian mystics will have. But whereas often in Christianity that vision is considered the be-all and end-all, you know, and the person becomes a saint, in Zen it's just a milestone on the path and can be very harmful if it is taken as something ultimate. The Chinese Surangama Sutra, there are several Surangamas,


but the one that's translated by Charles Luke gives fifty kinds of makyo. They're worth going back and looking at, because they're very instructive. Yes? Yes. [...]


Can be, yes. Yes, it is. Yes, yes. Yes. [...] It gets very blurred. Another term for realization experience in Zen literature is the great death. And, in fact, this term is not confined to Buddhism or Zen, but is found in Christianity and Judaism


and Islam, where you hear the injunction, you must die to yourself. And the great fear, in fact the terror that is spoken of in the Heart Sutra, I don't remember how your translation reads, but our translation reads, no hindrance and therefore no fear. Well, that word fear in the original Chinese is more accurately translated terror. And this is the terror that many Zen students, or most Zen students, feel at a certain point in the practice, because it is a fear of death. It is a fear of that release of the self, which is really transformation of the self, of course. So, I think all these things meet at that great death,


or can meet in the physical death. Not always with the physical death, as you know. There are some people resisting it to the very last, and making themselves miserable to the very last. Yes? When you are completely still, where is one's original state? Oh, well, really it is no different from the self that is washing the dishes or cooking up the food. It is not a matter of samadhi. No, I understood that. I'm not saying that, but when you are completely still, where is the initial state of stillness? You know, I am reminded of something that Rajneesh said. I have no brief for Rajneesh,


but he says very good things here and there. And one of the things he said was, that practice does not lead to realization, or in your terms, understanding of original faith. There is no straight line cause and effect from or through practice to realization. Realization is an accident. So then you might ask, why should I practice? Well, practice makes you accident prone. So it is very good to practice shikantaza, very good to practice moola,


and one reaches a still, quiet place. But realization of one's original faith may be far away. And as to where it is, in fact, of course it is not separate. Yeah, right. It may be, and it may not be. It may be nothing more than pure stillness. What we are speaking of here is a transformational experience.


And we are also speaking of the fact that with that transformational experience, we find that it has been there all along. It is a stillness with no attributes. I'm taking it to that, and it's my own experience. Ah, well, I don't, I wouldn't say that, that, you know, if you say the original face is all things as they appear,


it flattens it, you know. And there's no potency left anymore. Even though it may be true. So it's important not to try to generalize, but to get at Huineng's real intention here. And so you are asked to show in the Doksan room, in the Sanzen room, show me the original face of the monk Ming. That's the koan. And when you can really see what that is, then you can present Ming's original face, transcending time and space.


Yes. Understand means to stand under it, you know. Yes. Yes. Yes. ...practice, that what surfaces as the original face, is that which is consistent, even when the guard is down, when things are more natural, the thing that's most consistent? I think that is all right, but it's a bit philosophical and it rises from the view that samadhi is somehow the only way.


Yes. Yes. Yes. That leaves out the bulbuls and the cardinals and the thrushes. And the geckos. To make it your own. Yes. To make it your own. Take it on yourself. To personalize. To become intimate. Yes. The last phrase, the phrase that says, even though the world can be destroyed or destroyed, it is not destroyed. Oh. When the world is destroyed, it is not destroyed.


Yes. Okay. What is it in this context? Another reaction I have to that, that only if the world is destroyed, then it is a conventional thing. Yes. Everything falls away. Yes. Dogen Zenji says, body and mind fall away, but actually a lot more than that fall away. Yes. Oh, no. Two different things. Yeah. There are many, many degrees depending on the individual, you know.


With some people it is just, oh, that must be it. Or you can read in Three Pillars of Zen, Yamada Roshi's account of his own experience, where, it's a very interesting story. He had been doing Zazen for some time, and he was on his way home from work on the train, and he was reading in the Shobo Genzo, I've forgotten the chapter, where Dogen Zenji says, Mind is the mountains, the rivers, the great earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars. And he suddenly was struck by this passage,


and tears actually flowed from his eyes. He felt rather embarrassed looking around at his fellow businessmen, you know, sitting there in the first class car, in their suits and hats, you know. You could hear this guy was sitting there weeping. And then he came home, had dinner with his family, and evening with his family, and went to bed. And suddenly, in the middle of the night, he heard these words, you know, the mind is the mountains, the rivers, the great earth, the sun, the moon, and the stars. And he leaped out of bed, leapt out of bed, which is it, leapt out of bed, and stamped on the tatami, you know, on the floor. And the whole universe opened its great mouth, and gave a great laugh, as he laughed.


And of course his wife thought the end had come, you know. But there is that kind of experience too, you see. So there's quite a range of experience. But even Yamada Roshi had to begin with checking questions with Yasutani Roshi, and continue with miscellaneous koans, and then go through the various books of koans, just like everybody else. And it often happens that what seems to be a rather mild experience at first, turns out to be rather deep. Or even vice versa. So, deep or shallow? You know, these are words on a single line.


Sort of range. Whereas, it's much more dynamic than that. And that experience is only the beginning. That's where it starts, that's where Zen practice, in my view, really starts, with that deep experience. Or a shallow experience, whatever it is. Because then, you know, you have an opening. And you can enter in. And enjoy the fun. I didn't come to lay my own trip on you folks here. I somehow got drawn in. Some more questions. Yes? This sounds interesting. I've been thinking recently about,


there's this old phrase I heard a few years ago, I thought it was pretty neat. You can talk the talk, but you can walk the walk. And it sort of sounds like a synonym for realization. You know, that you can talk the talk, or on a certain level, you bracket. Do it, something below convention. And you feel it, but then you have to learn to walk the talk. I had an interesting experience in Berkeley, this visit. I got acquainted with Akiba Sensei. I think he's been here. He's really a wonderful man. And we were talking about a mutual acquaintance. And he had heard this person give a talk. And so I said, what did you think? And he said, in his inimitable English,


not yet chopstick. And his wife, Yoshi, you know, said, what? Not yet chopstick. What do you mean? And I was laughing, you know. And I said, I agree, I agree. And so he explained. He says, chopstick up here, OK, but chopstick here, no good. Yeah. Yeah. Not yet. But we're all on the path, you know. I'm not making invidious comparisons here. OK.


I feel very much at home with all of you. As though I were with my own sangha. And while here, especially chanting the old sutras that we don't do at Koko-On anymore, but were a part of my training in Japan. I feel the community of Zen practice very keenly. And particularly now, my own teacher, Yamada Roshi, is very ill, very critical condition, and is probably dying.


And so I'm very much in tune with what is happening there in his own center. And I know that the sutras they are reciting for him are the same sutras that you're reciting here, in the same way. So it's very moving for me to be here, to practice with you. We are all in it together, and you are taking responsibility also for the Dharma, which is very heartening. Yes.


Perhaps you could remember him in the morning service, Yamada Koko-On. He has pneumonia. The old man's friend, they call it pneumonia. I don't know if you've heard that term in your hospice work, but it's traditionally, in the West, it's been called that as the easy way to go. Thank you very much, everybody.