Hokyo Zammai Class

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I vow to taste the truth of that which I choose not to learn. Good morning. Good morning. Several things, can you hear me? That I want to talk about a little bit before we start studying. One is that in the course of the year, our chanting tends to stretch out. So that, you know, we start out with it kind of firm, and then over time... So every once in a while we just have to say, let's tighten it up a little bit. So that, like at the end of the meal chant, we're going... So, if we can just remember to keep the rhythm going


and not stretching out, because it'll stretch out infinitely. The other thing is that sometimes we have knee problems. And as we get older and don't move around so much, our knees tend to... the muscles around our knees tend to lose their tone. And when they lose their tone, then we start having knee problems. So it's important to keep our knees toned. And there are knee exercises which keep your knees toned. I had some knee problems about 15 years ago. I can't remember how long ago. It was a long time ago. 1984. 94. 20 years ago. And so I went to this doctor.


And the doctor said, well, you know, there's this degenerative... I don't know what they call that. Arthritis. And there's nothing you can do about that. So when he left, I looked. There was this... In the office, I hung on the wall, there were these sheets, you know, that give you exercises. So I just took the knee exercise sheet. And I went home, and I did the knee exercises. And it totally cleared up all the knee problems I had. So I'm totally sold on knee exercises for your knee problems. And I have some. I have the ones, actually, that I took from his office. And I've been handing them out for 20 years. So if you want a copy, I can hang a copy someplace. Just... I'll give it to you, and whoever is responsible for hanging things


can hang it up someplace where everybody can see it. And you might want your own copy. You can deal with that. So... We'll put it on the inside of it, then. Yeah. Okay. Oh, yes. This study book is a little bit elaborate. You know, it's really stuffed with stuff. And it's very dense and contains a lot of... If you're passionate about this subject, you know, it's great. But if you're not, it seems like a difficult thing to deal with. You don't have to read the whole thing, you know. You just read what is of interest to you. And sometimes people will say, well, I don't want the book, you know, which is okay.


You don't have to have the book. I mean, you don't have to own the book. Some of the books we will put in a reserve in the library. And so you could check one of those out if you don't want to own the book. When we start studying... What we're going to do is continue to the end and then come back to the five positions, five ranks, to study that more intensively. So when we start studying that, we'll study Hakuin's commentary. There's an awful lot in Hakuin's commentary that doesn't appear when you read it. So I want my commentary on that to be the center of our study. So when we do study Hakuin's commentary,


you will want to have a copy of the book to help you. Yes? Since Hakuin commented on it, was this popular in the Rinzai school? Even though it was written by Tozan? Even though... Even though it was written by Tozan, was it popular in the Rinzai school? Yes. As a matter of fact, in the commentary, Hakuin says people think this was just the study of another school, meaning the Soto school. Yeah. Okay. So I want to just go to the end from where we were last time and see how far we get today. Okay. So this is page 34.


34 We haven't really studied out of this book yet, except for the five ranks. And of course we have here the breakdown on the top, the breakdown of the characters, the meaning of the characters. And then we have various translations. Quite a few. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 different translations. And so you can get some picture, you know, when you compare the translations, of what the meaning is pointing to. Some translation will look accurate to you,


another one will diverge and look like something else. So you can see that there's a wide range often in the translations. So this is why it's always, whenever you read something that's translated, it's always good to find as many different translations as you can so that you can get a rounded picture, because the translation is according to the translator's understanding. And sometimes we get, we only, we hear one translation and we get attached to that translation. Then another translation comes along, and we say, oh no, that's all wrong. It's good to be open to the various translations. And to not necessarily say, this one is right and that one is wrong.


Because the translations are only pointing to something. The meaning. The meaning is not in the words. Here we have the Cleary in our using our Cleary translation. He says, Wonderously embraced within the real, drumming and singing begin together. I don't know if this is Cleary or not. This might be, I don't think it is, as a matter of fact. It's the Zen Center, well, the Zen Center translation that the translation committee did, because drumming and singing was not in Cleary's translation.


That's more literal. Drumming and singing. There's still been a lot of different translations, and I can't keep up with them all. Yeah. But I like inquiring in response. Cleary is up at the top. Subtly included within the true inquiry and response come together. That's very nice. You ask and then you receive. Right? When you make an effort, I like that a lot. When you make an effort in practice, you get a response. People say, What is faith in practice? What does that mean, faith? It's a big subject, a wonderful subject. What is faith in practice? And how does one gain faith in practice? Well,


one way of looking at that is when you put your whole body and mind into, all your effort into inquiry, so to speak. Inquiry means, is a broad term, means inquiring after the Dharma, or simply means total practice. Inquiry is like totally throwing yourself into, as Dogen said, the house of Buddha. Then there's a response. Buddha responds. And then you have faith in your nature. Buddha nature responds to, we say Buddha seeks Buddha. What are we seeking in practice? We're seeking enlightenment or Buddha or self, true self. Buddha seeks Buddha. The fire boy seeks fire.


So, it's like fire comes together with fire, right? So, when you put your whole self into practice, then there's a response. Response not necessarily from outside, but your Buddha nature responds to your effort. And then when you feel that and realize it, then you have faith in your nature. So, inquiry and response come up together. I like that. But here, literally, it's like drumming and singing arise simultaneously. So, it's the same thing, but it's more poetic, right? That's more literal. Drumming and singing come up together. When you sing, a drummer will appear. And when you drum, a singer will appear


to help you, to accompany you. So, you know, if you ever had the experience of things falling into place, when you're doing something, you know, and when you're doing something harmoniously, and your life somehow works together, the telephone rings, and you know who it is. The doorbell rings, and you know who it is. Even though, you know, or you walk down the street, and you know exactly how things are going to turn out. Because there's this harmonious connection with things. Because you're doing something, you're right on, so to speak. So, that's like drumming and singing. You know, it's like you walk into the world, and the world responds to you. But that's what's happening all the time anyway. And that's also the mirror.


When we walk down the street, and we're feeling harmonious in that way, the world reflects you and responds. Because everything is responding to everything else. When you're driving down the street, when you know exactly what you're doing, all the drivers respond to you, and you control the road without trying to control it. So, this is like, to me, this is like drumming and singing come up together. It's like a harmonious, it's like the absolute and the relative in harmony. And so this is, the rest of this, Hokyo-Zenmai, is just examples of this. Right? Just one example after another of drumming and singing coming up together. A box and it's fitting together with its lid.


Like a box and its lid. Perfect fit. Or two arrows meeting in air. Perfect fit. Yeah, it's not like there's some skill involved. It's a beyond skill. Yeah. Yeah, can you say something about like knowing exactly what you're doing and at the same time not having any idea, not allowing things to inform you and how that works together, like knowing what's going to happen? Well, it's inexplicable. Kind of inexplicable. I mean, you can't really explain how that works. But you just know that it works. I mean, because it says together, which sounds like there's no


like a moment before knowledge. Well, there's different kinds of knowledge. Yeah. It's intuition. That's where I'm confused. Are you saying that intuition sounds like it comes before the fact and this sounds like it's coming simultaneously? Intuition is simultaneous because intuition is knowing knowledge or if that's the right word without the intermediary of thinking, the thought process. We tend to often think of the thought process as knowing. And so the more we depend on the thought process, the less we know intuitively. So that's why it says, you know, at the end, be like a fool or an idiot. An idiot, you know, it's beyond the thought process. Not that the thought process is wrong,


but thinking comes after intuition. In other words, the intuition is the reality and then the thought process is the reality and makes it intelligible intellectually. So that's why we say that the hara is first and the brain is second. I mean, if you want to think in those terms. That's why it's so important to be here, to be centered in your hara. Brain study, recent brain studies are really interesting because it turns out that we actually act or like the impulses in our brain are moving before we have what we would consider the conscious intention that triggered the movement. We're already on our way and then our brain makes up the reason that we're doing it afterwards. Verifications.


Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So, let's turn the page. The next page, 35. Then he says communing with the source, communing with the process. One, it includes integration, this is clear, he's up at the top. And then Gil in my translation it says FW. We said intimate with the essence and intimate with the path. One embraces the territory and embraces the road. So, what I glean from this is that you make the practice your own. I also have this remark.


To penetrate the source is what Sakita calls absolute samadhi. He talks about samadhi in two ways. If you read his book called Zen Training, he talks about absolute samadhi and positive samadhi. Absolute samadhi is like when you're sitting zazen. Positive samadhi is when you're cutting carrots or sawing wood or the samadhi of your activity. One is we've talked about this before, the activity of stillness and the stillness within activity. Absolute samadhi and positive samadhi. So the absolute samadhi is in the realm of the dark and the positive samadhi is in the realm of the light. So,


there are many translations here that all say pretty much the same thing. Penetrate the source and penetrating the paths. Here is a short path, there is a long path. So, clearly says in his note, fundamentally the real is pure and does not contain a single mote of dust, but it is inclusive of all dust or phenomena. For this reason, when teaching this dharma, both the real and the seeming should be brought out to show that host and guest are intermutable either by means of Chan's direct pointing or by means of the expedient words of the teaching school. Do you have any question about this? Intermutable means interchangeable


or interlocking, interactable. Yes. Let me get back to that. Okay. Oh, Kenneth Roshi. What did she say? I didn't find her here. I see. Oh, yeah. She puts everything in little different terms. I find that her translations are kind of interesting because they talk about the trainee and the teacher.


She uses those terms. So, trainees embrace the ultimate and masters contain the means. I don't understand that. I kind of get what she is saying, but um well she was probably thinking of something at the time she said that. And she said, yeah, that's what it means. But that's kind of a particular way of saying something but I don't think it's universal somehow. It misses something. Yeah. It sounds to me like the practitioner has the potential and the teacher brings it out. Well, that's right. That's what she's saying. Yeah. Yeah.


So, it's a little more personal feeling. Yeah, there's a little more Huh? Yeah, it goes on to the next page. The drummer and the singing is a metaphor that was often used in Trump for a teacher and a student working together. That's true. Yeah. Yeah. I think it says when teaching this drama both the real and the singing should be brought out to show the host and guest are interchangeable. Isn't that when we talk about we talk about the self we talk about the ego we take them very seriously, right? They're just the seeming. And what? We talk about self Seriously. food and nature we take it seriously and also know that they're seeming as well. Right.


You know what I mean? Seeming? They are seeming, right? Well, that's a funny kind of term. Seeming. Substantial. Yeah. Yeah. You can't neglect it. That's right. So it's like if you say there's no self that's right but it's also not right. If you say there is a self that's not right but it's also right. So there is a self but the self is not a self. So that's a great koan of our life. The self that's not a self and the not-self that is a self. So it's easy to get one-sided and say, oh, there's no self. But then what is it that's sitting here? So it's true that what is sitting here is myself but myself is not a substantial self. I mean it's not a


doesn't exist by itself. So I'm having trouble understanding what these galactic images have to do with these comments. Like what's the source and what's the path and what's the territory and what's the road? The road? You know, we've got these translations and then these commentary and I don't see... They're just different ways of saying the same thing. They're all different ways of saying the same thing. It's like looking at a at a multifaceted jewel and you look at this side and you say no, it looks like this. And then you look at it from this side and say, oh, it looks like that. And so you keep looking at it from all these sides but you don't say what it is. As soon as you say what it is the game's over. Because you can't. It's like looking inside of a volcano. You know, and there's all just smoke there. But you go around the edge and you say


oh, it looks like that cloud looks like an elephant. What's it talking about? They're talking about it. It and it's both in two aspects. And what's the pathway? The pathway is like the Tao. And the territory? Same thing. And the road? Yeah. It's like the path and the territory and the road are just three different aspects of the Tao. Path, territory, road. Road and path are the same. But there's the road and then there's the path. There's a saying one is on the path but not yet in the ruts. In the rut? In the rut. In the, you know, on the path but not in the rail.


You can be on the path but not be there's a path that's broad but then there's a path that's narrow. And one can be on the broad path but not necessarily on the narrow path. In the groove. In the groove, that's it. Yeah, that's exactly right. You're on the path but not in the groove. Thank you. That's what I meant to say. We're in the groove, I know you're on the broad path. Well, if you're in the groove, you know you're on the broad path. You mean... Yeah. I don't know if you were talking about the difference between the light and the dark? Yeah. How a light forms a tree which is either dark or not? The dark is is the absolute. So, in this the note


in the groove and the other note says the forest and the region and it refers to the field the country, the road, the person, the parent and it refers to something like the spiritual source shines clear in the light and that's what gives you a lot of the dark. So, if this is the tree on the parent and the source is the field which is reversed what were you saying before? The branch, well the spiritual source shines, yeah. Yeah. In other words, the spiritual source shines clearly in the phenomenal. But you don't see it as the source because you see it as the phenomenal. But it's so when we see each other we say, oh, there's Jack and Jill but actually we could see each other and say, oh, there's Buddha Buddha nature.


So, we can we see each other in a dual way. We see each other as Jack and Jill but we should also be able to see each other as Buddha Buddha nature which is the source. So, when we see each other as Buddha then we relate to each other in a little different way. I'm going to turn the page. Thank you. So, merging is auspicious do not violate it.


That's what Cleary said. Well, I'm going to just stick to this book. Merging is auspicious, do not violate it. Merging is auspicious. Devotion to it will earn blessings. On no account should it be offended. Oh yeah, here's where we get two, a bunch of different meanings for this word offended. Offended, stubborn, opposed, one-sided clinging, no contradiction. To be wrong is auspicious. And another one says merging is auspicious. So, you know, so you can see how this translation is


open to lots of interpretation. To be wrong is auspicious and merging is auspicious. Acting with circumspection circumspection is auspicious. Respecting this is fortunate. To be wrong is auspicious. And we translated this as mistakes are auspicious as it cannot be offended. Well, my take on it is one possibility is as long as you are sincere and you're bumbling will not be considered outside of practice. You know, we say about the precepts breaking the precepts


but we don't break the precepts when we do something wrong. It's called staining the precepts. Breaking the precepts is when you say I don't care about precepts. They don't mean anything to me and I'll just do what I want. That's breaking the precepts. But just making a mistake is called staining the precepts because you still have respect for the precepts. You're still within the embrace of the precepts. But you just can't maintain your perfection, your idea of perfection within the precepts. So, we appreciate mistakes actually because when we appreciate mistakes we realize that Buddha is making mistakes and mistakes are part of our


process of creating a practice. If we don't make mistakes it's impossible to practice. So, I think that this is somewhere in this realm that, yeah. Can you say more about sincere? What do you mean by sincere? Sincere means that you're doing your best. Sincere means you're doing, you're being honest and doing your best. So, as long as you're honest and doing your best, then your practice is in the realm of enlightenment. Enlightenment is not necessarily an end result. It's within the process of practice.


Within the process of practice where enlightenment is. Sometimes people say, I got this wonderful feeling, you know, and I must be enlightened now. It's just off the mark. I don't say it's not true, but it's just off the mark. It's not what practice is about. It's not what enlightenment is about. Enlightenment is about making your very best effort within practice. Otherwise, enlightenment looks like some big prize at the end of the road. Since there's no end to the road, and there's no end to practice, enlightenment is allowing light to come forth. And sometimes


it's called darkness, sometimes it's called light. So, if we can learn from our mistakes, then there's no offense. They can't be offended. So, mistakes are very valuable. We don't, you know, when people make mistakes, we should be careful not to get angry. Or if we do get angry, it's skillful means. If someone makes a mistake and we are attached to our anger, then that's another mistake. Matter of fact, the Sixth Ancestor has this wonderful poem that we should be careful about fault-finding. We should not fall into fault-finding. Because as soon as we fall into fault-finding, then we are


at fault ourselves. We just create another fault. So, he has this wonderful koan of how do you maintain practice when you see faults in others and yourself without falling into fault-finding. Well, do you have some advice about that? Don't just leave us hanging. Can you give us some advice about how to practice with that? So, you see faults, and that person's wrong, or, oh, I'm wrong again. Then what? Yeah, that's all. There's nothing behind it. Oh, yeah, I see. That person made a mistake. Or this person's always making this mistake. You know. So, we have standards, right? And when


we don't come up to these standards, uphold these standards, then we, well, you know, find fault. But that's because we're attached to standards. It seems to me it's an area of, a strong area of judgment, too, whether it's skillful means or if it's male gender. Well, I'm just curious about whether or not I should try and discern whether or not somebody's using skillful means or just plain gender. Well, you know, how do we help somebody? That should be the first thing that comes to mind. When somebody makes a mistake, how can we help that person? Rather than feeling offended. It says here, on no account should it be offended. It cannot be offended. It cannot be offended.


So, we should try to understand why something happens instead of simply reacting. There's the difference between reacting and responding. Reacting is when emotion comes up, a feeling comes up, a thought comes up about somebody. Did you have that slip of paper I gave you? No, I didn't. Knowing that this question would come up, I gave my Jisha the answer. To me, at the appropriate moment. When you let go of your old perceptions, you give people a chance to change. When you do not let go, you are participating in the continuation of their faults. So, we create


the situation. We create everything. Everything is totally self-created. I'll read it again. When you let go of your old perceptions about someone, I know what you're like. I know what you're going to do when I do this. When you let go of your old perceptions, you give people a chance to change. In other words, even though you know that so-and-so will always act in a certain way, you don't necessarily attach to that idea. In other words, you don't have an assumption. So, a mind that is free of assumptions is a free mind. And then you can see how things... When something comes up, it'll happen the same way, but you allow the opportunity


for it to happen in a different way. So, you're not assuming that something will always be the same. What does your body have to do with it? Your body? Judgment. Judgment of the body. In the body, you have a thought. Well, the body is trained to have certain responses. That's very true. And you can also teach the body to let go. So, when you don't let go, you're participating in the continuation of their faults. So, we reinforce the faults that we observe in others by not letting go. This is called reacting. Reacting is when you... This moves, and you move with it.


That's the bodily... the body reaction, so to speak. You do this, and then because you're trained, you do that. Mm, mm, mm, mm. But when you respond, responding means not reacting. But the feeling of reaction comes up, but you don't act on it. What kind of reaction? You take the backward step, the child's look like inward, and then you see, well, what can I do about this? It's helpful, not simply reactive. And what can I do that puts me in my place, without drawing me off of my place? Because reaction draws us off of our spot. And then we become attached to the thing that we're reacting to. Now, say you're driving a car with someone, and their driving is poor, and your body has reaction to that. That kind of lets them know that their driving is poor, or someone's food is poor.


You kind of make a face. Isn't that kind of kind of reaction helps people know that their way of being is offsetting to others? Yeah, but you can do that through you can do that through proper response. That's called skill. But isn't that natural, proper response the best thing? Like, you know, if you've got a cat, and you kind of get a little too grasping, cat gets up and goes. It doesn't sit around and think about it. And we have that kind of innate ability, too. You know, you touch me wrong, I kind of back away. I'm not going to sit and think about it. What's the best way to do this? You're not allowing the ego to dominate, or you're not attaching to the situation. And if you are enlightened, you respond without thinking from deep place. Which, you know, Aikido is, the art of


Aikido is not to be aggressive, but to help the person who is attacking you. To save the person that's attacking you, actually. Not to harm that person. So that's practice. You know, how do you save the situation? It seems to me that it takes a long time. It's not something that even just happens. It just happens. Developing skillful means is long and hard practice. You make a lot of mistakes. What are the biggest mistakes? Well, sure, it annoys me. But as long as you have sincere effort, what does it say here? You cannot be offended. The main thing


is that you have compassion. If you have compassion, then you're coming from a different place than just reacting. Peter? I know, for me, what Bram was talking about, that sincere effort, for me that's where the whole gaining idea really becomes important. Because often I'll be trying to do the right thing, but it's so you'll like me. So you'll recognize me and approve of me. And then when I make mistakes, it's not so easy to let me go because my effort really isn't sincere. It's kind of self-serving. So for me, part of real sincere effort is it's not so you'll like me or approve of me or anything, it's just sincere effort. It's truly sincere. Now if I make a mistake, if I don't well, I keep trying. But the gaining idea for me really is what upsets the whole apple cart. I think that's right. So, you know,


when our effort is simply just an effort to do what we're doing, we don't get so involved emotionally in the being attached to wanting to please and then failing at that. It's very important, everything we've been saying about approaching someone else who makes a mistake is very important about ourselves. Absolutely. If you pigeonhole yourself I'm someone who always makes this mistake then you're stuck. Then you're going to do it all the time. Yes. So it's important, you know, two things. One is to forgive yourself. But the other side is not to be complacent. So it's like Dogen says, when you fall to the ground


you use the ground to help you get up. That's very profound. You know, you stumble and you use that and you stumble to the ground and you get all the way down and then you use that firm place of being down to get up. But if you just keep falling to the ground in order to get up and saying, look how good I am at doing this then that's not so good. That's complacency. So to be able to forgive ourselves but at the same time to work, to make some effort to to help ourselves. But, you know, there's always the problem that will never go away. Each one of us has the problem that will never go away. And so


we just have to accept that. The tendency to self-condemnation is not good. That's why I say, you know, forgive yourself first and then work on in turn, you know, make the effort It's like in Zazen your mind is continually being distracted. I can never have a moment of clarity in Zazen. You know, the big complaint. Forget it, you know. We just keep coming back. So, you forgive yourself. You don't even have to do that. You know, just say, oh yeah, more thoughts. And then you come back to your posture and breathing.


And then, oh yeah, more thoughts. Then you let go and come back to your posture and breathing. There's no such thing as judgment. Absolutely no judgment. As soon as you start judging, then you're out of tune. You're out of sync. The judging mind is what you're does not belong there. Oh, my mind is always working so, you know, clouding my clarity. That's all. Judging mind. I mean, thoughts will always keep appearing in the mind because that's the function of the mind to produce thoughts. And we sit Zazen with all those thoughts. We don't try to eliminate the thoughts. You can find moments when the thoughts are not there. But that's not clarity. That's just clarity in contrast to thoughts. The real clarity


is think, not thinking. The real clarity is whether there's thoughts or no thoughts. The mind is clear. Simply, when you become attached to them and when you start discriminating, then the mind is not clear. So, to stop discriminating, to stop finding fault, to stop judging, and simply over and over come back. So, when I say forgive yourself, it means let go of the judgment and just turn and go in the right direction. This is what the Sixth Ancestor says is repentance. That's more serious, but repentance means to acknowledge what you've done and turn around and go in the right direction.


And we do that in Zazen a million times. In one Zazen period you do it maybe 200 times. So, I can forgive myself for the things that I've done wrong for the sins that I've committed. What about when I believe somebody else has committed one against me? Do I still forgive myself for believing that? No. This person did this and I felt this. Someone did something and I felt this. Who do I forgive? Well, I don't know. It depends on the situation. You want a formula. There are no formulas. This is the finger pointing at the moon. You want the finger to be the moon. We always want some answer that will solve everything. I'm just talking about it.


This is like a clock. It's pointing in a direction. No answer works all the time. Every situation calls for its own response. What we're talking about is an underlying attitude. Attitude toward things. Sometimes you get angry and you get pulled off your place. Sometimes someone insults you and you want to hit him. But you don't hit him. What do you do? Kick him. Kick him. It depends. It depends on the situation. But the attitude


of letting go means that you can free yourself from your bondage to your reaction. Forgiveness means among other things to let go of your bondage to the person that you're forgiving so that you have freedom. It's kind of selfish. We think that when we forgive somebody that we're absolving them. And that's true. But what it does is it frees us from having to deal with this thing. From our own bondage to this whatever it is that you're forgiving the person for doing. So people go for all their life being angry at somebody


and never forgiving them. And so they're handcuffed to this person. And this person influences your whole life. So cut the cord. And then you're free. And so what if they're free? If you when you let go of your old perceptions you give people a chance to change. That's called forgiveness. Sometimes you have to cut that cord over and over again. Sometimes. But then maybe it's not really cut. It's just stretched. Well, this is what happens. This is what happens when you fall in love. And the other person goes away. And you're pining and mourning. And the thread gets


real thin. But it's still there. And so you can't do anything until it's cut. You can't relive your life until that thread is cut. And it's so hard to cut that thread. Because you don't want to do that. But you have to do it. In order for them to be free and you to be free. I'm thinking of something that goes all the way back to childhood that you've held on to for so long. And you might one day think, OK, I've finally forgiven. And then the next period is Azen. You might find out, oh, although my effort was sincere, maybe it wasn't everything that had to happen to really undo that karmic tendency. Yeah. Well, sometimes you have to work at until you get to the point where you can actually... So we have these stages maybe of forgiveness. So fault finding


is based on standards. I feel like I can understand that fault finding is based on standards. But I wonder then how to relate to standards. It seems like to throw them away entirely you maybe would lose something. Well, let's look at, you know, like Dogen. Dogen says, you know, he has very high standards for monks. You know. But you know that all the monks will never reach those standards. so, and Dogen talks about, you know, in China, the dogs and the, you know, monks acting like dogs and all this, you know, and worms and frogs and stuff. But at the same time, one has to realize that although there are standards, everybody is where they are. So you have to appreciate everyone's effort


for where they are. And even though no one can ever reach the standard. When we have the koan of precepts is that precepts are a high standard. No one can fulfill the precepts. If they could, then the precepts would have to have a higher standard. Because it's out of reach. And so, standards draw you out, you know. The highest, they keep raising the bar, you know. And raising the bar draws out your energy, draws out your effort, draws out your impetus. So, but it doesn't mean that you should reach the standard. It should always be above your head. That's why we put this robe on top of our head when we do the robe chant. We don't sit on it


and say, we put it up here. Because there's something higher than our ability. You told a story about when she was your shuso about folding her zagu in the morning, and every day you would give her some correction about folding her zagu. Was that related to that? Well, she used to get mad at me. Because a lot of Zen center priests don't know how to fold their zagu. A lot of Zen center priests don't know how to fall down? Fold their zagu. So I was showing her what I learned about folding my zagu. And she was attached to the Zen center priest's way of folding the zagu. And she wouldn't listen to me. I said, no, do it this way. And then every day,


you know, okay. Finally, she did. She gave in. But it was hard. When we learn something a certain way, and then you come back in. Like, I learned things from Suzuki Roshi from all my Japanese teachers. Five Japanese teachers. And to me, that was the right way to do things. And as Zen centers lost their Japanese teachers, the way of doing things has been modified over time. So people say, oh, you're doing that wrong. You're doing things wrong. And then they find out, I'm not really doing them wrong. I'm just doing them the way I learned from my Japanese teachers. And then sometimes they'll change. Sometimes I get angry. You're doing things wrong, guys. But then I say, okay, I'll just do them wrong too. And then they'll be right. Two wrongs. My mother


said two wrongs make a right. She said two wrongs don't make a right. But sometimes they do. I guess one of the questions that came up to me about that story was your relationship over those 90 days. Like, you're holding to a standard. How did you maintain like a fresh mind and not get angry? How did she? Not that it didn't happen. I just realized that she would come around. That wasn't the hardest thing that she had during that practice period. That was a minor thing. The hardest thing she had during that practice period is just before Sashin, her husband left her. That's where she had to exercise her patience. And she did a marvelous job. I was wondering how did you maintain a fresh mind while at the same time trying to teach her something?


Yeah. Well, when I see impatience coming up, she says, how to maintain a fresh mind when in that situation, right? When you're repeating a teaching. Yes. It's you know, impatience comes up. That's what comes up, impatience. Why can't you learn this? You're so clumsy. Just to let go of that and just go through this. Like you're teaching a baby. Just do it this way. And every day just do it this way. And just keep repeating the same thing without emotion. And then temperaments are different.


We all have different temperaments. We all have different temperaments. So we have to work within the temperament that we have. Some people are impatient. Some people are patient. Some people are angry quickly. Some people you know, and within whatever it is that is our temperament, we have to be able to be patient. So patience is really important. Patience. The most important thing is to have patience. When you're teaching, to have patience is the most important thing. You just have to cultivate patience. Do not let anger take over. Or impatience take over. A person can't learn something when you're impatient. It's interesting. If you teach a dog, the dog senses every subtle emotion.


And when you're patient, they respond. When you're impatient, they sense that and they get scared or whatever. And people are the same. And when you get scared, you can't learn anything. Your mind starts blanking out. So when you see that you're not making progress, you just have to slow down and be patient. Treat people calm. Give people a calm mind so that they can learn something. I tend to sometimes be very impatient when I'm teaching, but I try. We're way over time. Somewhat over time. So mistakes are auspicious. And it can't


be offended if we are patient. If we are sincere. If we're really sincere, the universe will forgive us and help us. Because we're just connected to it. That's kind of what I mean by when you walk out in the street and things seem to go your way, because we're connected to the universe. And when we act in accord with the Tao, everything works together with us. Oh, it's called Good Luck. Didn't you ever see that musical? Everything's going my way. Oklahoma. No. As I said, it's not a formula.


I'm not talking about a formula. I'm talking about an attitude. No, I don't say that if I have this attitude. I just have the attitude. And then we'll see what happens. But like, you know, you still have bad days. Every day is a good day. Right. Every day is a good day. Yeah. Yeah. But that's really different from what I associate with, like, everything's going my way. Or like... Do you know what Master Rinzai said? He said, he said, I control the world because everything that happens is happening just exactly the way I want it to. Is this a translation?


Is it a misprint? Probably. It says here, as is cannot be offended. Yeah, it. Yeah. There are typos there. It's not, you know, a goody-goody kind of thing. It's like reality. I guess it's a thing of, like, kind of... I think I react when I think that I hear like, you know, low or something, being in tune, like... When I think that I hear like that, um, you know, like this feeling of being in tune or something, it's the same as really being in tune, you know? Do you know what I'm saying? Well, being in tune is being in tune. Okay.


Well, you know, I'm not talking about the I'm not talking about an expectation. I'm not talking about... I expect that this is going to happen. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about not expecting anything. Actually, not expecting anything. No expectation. Not expecting anything, and then everything happens the way it happens. Well, we, you know, we tend to think that we don't have an effect on the world. We tend to think that we don't have


an effect on the world. But we do. I understand what you're saying. I just have a hard time imagining that the world is conforming to my... Yeah, kind of like that. But if there's no expectation, maybe it is. how can it be different? Don't think... You know, when we talk about about myself and I, we're talking about our expectation and our idea about who we are. But there's also you know, we're not always aware of the effect that we have on things. We're just not aware, you know,


and we think, well, I don't, you know, things happen around me, and I respond to things. I respond to what's happening around me. But we also condition what happens. I do agree with that. I'm not saying that every day, you know, we have this thing. I'm saying that sometimes we're very aware of how that works that way. Yeah. I see now, though, it's like putting... if you're feeling good, others kind of feel that. We influence our surroundings. And we're influenced by our surroundings. Well,


I don't know, maybe. But, you know, also, because of the way we go, we keep going in that way. Right? We all each have a direction. It's called our destiny. Right? Well, yeah. I don't mean our fate. I mean our destiny. Fate is something that's preordained. Destiny is because of this, there's this. And because of this, this happens. Because this happens, that happens. Yeah, and so you say, well, I can connect the dots. Right? And you can see how things are going to go because of the way they've been going. And then you can see down the path.


And you can see how you intuit that this is going to happen and that's going to happen because of the way these things have been happening. It's nothing mysterious. Simply, you see how things fall into place. It's not that everything happened. It's not that you know exactly what's going to happen all the time. That's not what I mean. Is it more about faith or trust? Is it more about faith or trust than clearly seeing exactly what will happen? Knowing that all our time is going to be spent on this path and have faith that it'll carry on? Well, you have faith that it's the right path. Right. It reminds me of a line


from a Grateful Dead song. It says, I can tell your future by just looking what's in your hand. Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Maybe not absolutely, but... But that's so. Because what you do this moment determines what will happen the next moment. So, according to Buddhadharma, we are self-creating beings. There's nobody behind us creating us. We create our own destiny. And that's called karma or the fruit of karma. Our acts, our volitional acts are the karmic acts. And then the result of karma, when it meets conditions, creates our life. So,


we are who we are now because of what we've done in the past. And we tend to blame others sometimes. But how we... We say, well, my parents were mean to me, and so I'm this way. No. You're this way because of the way you responded to the way your parents treated you. And you can change. You do not have to be tied into that because your parents didn't do anything other than be themselves. And you were yourself. Not that they didn't influence what you did. That's big influence. But what you did belongs to you. And you can change your way of responding and the best way to do that is to forgive your parents for what you think


they did to you. And then you're free. Unless you want to be bound, which is a very safe place to be. Very safe place to be is bound. Very hard. Hardest place to be is to be free. Well, because being free is insecurity. It's insecure. When you're tied to your anger, tied to your emotions with others, then it's very safe, even though it's painful. It seems like that would be more insecure because it would be out of line Well, you know, of course it's insecurity. That's why people feel so insecure. Because it's hard to be free.


Sometimes Suzuki Yoshi used to say, be careful. You want to get enlightened, but be careful because when you get enlightened you may not like it. I think that's the most profound statement I ever heard. Sometimes I find when I read this emerging investigation it's a big it reminds me of sometimes when I'm practicing a situation and I'm trying to mediate it over trying to be trying to put myself outside the situation and my brother responds Well, yes, to be a little objective. I had a similar reaction from Mary as Mary, and I think


what I would want to say is that just because you're feeling bad and heavy and obstructive doesn't mean that you're not practicing. No, of course. As long as you're practicing you're practicing. Of course, it's just heavy, obsessive practice. Absolutely, yeah. Heavy, obsessive Buddha. He said, be careful about your desire for enlightenment because when you get it, you may not like it. I control the world because everything happens exactly the way I want it to. That's a hard one to swallow.