The Secrets of the Body

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Sesshin Lecture: great effort, no result; ritual, bowing; Diamond Sutra; boundaries

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now we begin

so are does settling into their
ah challenge the difficulty in the reward
i've just sitting down and shutting up for a while
last night or
she saw eva said
well i remember at the end was
listen to the secrets told by your body
and live in the center of the cave of your heart

it may be characteristic actually upsetting
quietly and then you begin to notice ah that your body has many secrets
they're known to your body but they're not known to year
conscious mind
but as you sit sometimes
something that's been held very closely
in your body becomes ah
that's apparent
it unfolds
so this practice listening we've been talking about listening
and this applies to very careful listening
ah attentively to your own body your direct experience
noticing how that the usual thoughts ah that may interfere with your listening
to the secrets of your body
those thoughts are not so ah tightly held
so in this practice of sitting if you allow yourself to release your ah
holding onto your usual thought
your usual habits with mine
which may be kind of boring anyway
ha ve release those and you may discover something new on balding
that takes some courage
because you don't know what it could be
and ah
when that happens that allows you to deepen your life
ah yesterday i talked a little bit about right effort
and then quoted suzuki roshi that was from
zen mind beginner's mind where he says that time
that right effort is effort in the direction of nonattainment
not gaining
how cause tanahashi once told me that early on in his life in japan he actually lived in the same town with the teacher
who developed hi kiddo
and so as a as a boy he went to the dojo and steady diet nicheto manta
he understood that the principal of a was too
use your body and energy and away so that you got the greatest result
from the least effort
and then he came later on to zen practice
we came to san francisco and met francis accuracy
and he learned that to zen practice is making the greatest efforts for no result
no interest in result just great effort
and yet
it's inevitable that people will be looking for result
look for some result
so i also mentioned that the dao de jing yesterday and today i wanted to just quote a short section
this is from section thirty eight where the the dow
description of the dal actually turns into where the description of the the day
and it says failing dow for when the dow is lost
people resort to virtue
when virtue as lost people resort to morality or goodness
when morality fails people resort to ritual
and ritual is the merest husk of faith and devotion
it's the beginning of confusion
very interesting her
now the dao de jing says that ritual is the beginning of chaos
usually what were you think of his ritual is so much order
now i can't help noticing that sense i accepted the position of being abbott's i've been involved in more ritual
so i have to look at you know how that contributes to chaos
the confusion and disorder mom
so that these various ways in which we we may look at our activity
the way we the way we do it here
we may be always looking for some kind of meaning or some kind of purpose
but i would call it what we do here purposeless ritual
ah dislike like zen is maximum effort for no gain
purposeless ritual in contrast to the more usual purposeful rituals that people ah
that way that we usually engage in
gary snyder a few years ago a poem that i wanted to read
which contrasts
purposeful ritual and then
it's called why log truck drivers
why log truck drivers rise earlier then students exam
in the high seat before dawn dark
polished hubs gleam and the shiny diesel stack warms and flutters up the tyler road grade to the logging on poor man creek
thirty miles of dust
there is no other life

they said activity
purposeful activity shining those hubs
my wife has been telling me recently there's
a program on tv com
trick my truck
trip my truck then i haven't seen that program
ah evidently it said it's
no i'm from the dow was lost and then compassion
oh so some that some of these truck drivers are helping each other helping truck driver through our little poorer can't get it together and they take their track and bring it into the shop and clean it all up and polish it and put those flaming decals on it
until it's all tricked out
you you'll see them going down the highway passing you at seventy miles an hour
that isn't that wonderful
check my truck
so here we have
or a purposeless ritual
what's the purpose in bowing
you're not getting anywhere you're going down getting up going down getting help
have some of my relatives so with actually conceive of it as sinful thing
berlin in front of
a graven image
misunderstanding it completely thinking that there's some purpose in it
thinking that town
ah imbalance that i'm worshipping that graven image
certainly idolatry
and we may be in involved some time in comparative thinking you know
some persons doing about more perfectly than another

so is the is the purposeless and the bow and imbued in the perfection of the form of the bow if you really about with the most elegant perfect form
does that attain a higher level of purposeless miss

how is it that are bowing is ah
an expression of ah barbell of our bodhisattva vow
there is an attitude of fun
what surrender
there is connection with the earth
so there is i built into it some quality of humility
suzuki roshi evidently recommended that we americans who are
ah had have arrogant tendencies
about nine times
at the beginning of our morning service
rosa in most japanese temples a bout three times
so i've actually maintain the practice of bowing nine times in the morning
ha for many years
and it's always a some questions actually hit bar some question
if the bow had a purpose and i actually know the full meaning of and i could tell that to myself then the bow would become
ah ritual in the sense that the dao de jing warns against
it becomes purposeful in the sense we're trying to say ah make a pathetic excuse for losing the great way
review this bow completely with no particular idea of getting anything out of it
the you just bow completely present
in that bow
the presence of your existence in that infinite moment is completely imbued with your inner connection with all beings
there are no beings left out
although a bow and some particular direction ah we actually
bow and the ten directions
my and completely in one direction
the ten directions north south east west and the halfway points in between and and zenith and midair
which really
is an indication of three hundred sixty degrees
times three hundred and sixty degrees
all directions
and then we include as we say ah
three times ten direction three times past present and future
past president future in one moment

so there they bow without any purpose expresses the infinite
expresses the great way
the dow
express his true nature buddha nature

and yet we come up again against some limitations
i can bow then we discover we stand up we have some limitations her k k ryan's poem
talks about the kind of limitation
miners canaries
doesn't it arbitrary isn't it
it isn't wait a minute
hit isn't arbitrary it isn't curious
miners can areas serve ordinary purposes with just a philip of extra irony
something is always testing the edges of the breathable
not so sweet
not so yellow
but something is always living at the wrong edge of the arable
something is always excused first from the water table
chalking the boundary of the possible
from the far side
even in the individual
so kay ryan
do with that last line
the points to your own inner
minor canaries
something has always testing the edges of the breathable
even in the individual
so you may notice and you're sitting that there's some edge
some boundary ah
have your breath
if you don't notice maybe it's good to
pay attention look for that
the notice areas that you're not aware
of the breath
the you notice areas
that you're not including
when you're listening to the secrets unfolding in your body or there's some areas that ah clearly are not unfolded not opening not telling you their secrets
and that's ok
ah not intend to suggest people playing around
but you may notice that maybe some barnacle or some clam
so what happens when you just appreciate it not trying to ah direct your ah
attention to any purpose but just to included in your awareness
this to be with it to breathe with it
how is it
how is it
and then what is your real intention and being here
the diamond sutra begins with up
have a question
opposed by subverting
to a buddha
says ah buddha the target though you've been so kind and
and helping and supporting and recognizing all those of us who have made some vow to be bodhisattva to actually take up the way of the bodhisattva that is the way of ah
in a way of assisting and maturing all beings
so can you please say some more about ah body sad for us
may walk
how body thought was may abide
her body for may regulate now they're thought
so this is sam
this what we're doing and sachet night
we're walking or abiding
and we're regulating i thought
whereas we said on monday one that the session means to ah order the mind or gather the mind
and ah
the bullet a tiger to
replies saying that
what a wonderful what a wonderful question

and that the bodies then and then says i will tell you
i will tell you how our body fat for i should stand a by and regulate thought
but he sought for should
open up a vow in this manner i vow
to take all beings
beings that are born from a womb beings that are born from air beings that have warned from moisture
liang said are born
ah by miraculous means beings that have perception beings that have no perception beings that have neither perception or no perception
all these beings i has a body side for will
take with me
to the field of liberation

there will be no beings excluded know beings left behind
and when i see that all beings are those carried to liberation
i recognize that know beings have been liberated
not a single being has been liberated
and why is this
because for he sought for to have a notion of a being
have an ocean of thumb a separate person
his contrary to
the nature of a bodhisattva
what is that far is one who is completely
ah without purpose in this way
without any guile without any strategy
the bodhisattva as completely willing to be present
without any self

now there is a
another way
i'm going back and forth different ways of looking at things as the palm
ah gunner echoed off from stockholm
it on poets are often looking at this whole matter of thou and virtue
if you ask me where i live i live right here behind the mountain
it's a long way off but i am near
i live in another world
but you live there also
that world is everywhere even if it is as rare as helium
why do you ask for an airship to bear you off
ask instead for a filter for carbon dioxide a filter for hydrogen for nitrogen and other gases ask for a filter for all these things that separate us from one another
i filter for life
you say you can hardly breathe
but who do you think can breathe
for the most part we take it with some equanimity
a wise man has said it was so dark i could barely see the stars
he just meant it was night
so who do you think can breathe
everyone here investigating breath now for several days
who breathes
whose breath is it
if you think that you're doing zazen and you think that you're breathing then
you are not able to carry all beings
two liberation

it's tempting to think that our way is so great
ah and then to make it into a concept
friend of mine was telling me other day that his
had the problem of how to relate to the jehovah's witnesses who come
to his office
the come right in and ask if they can read the bible to him and he says
to himself well i'm doing a bodyside for practice so i should be friendly
so i say okay and then they read the bible for a while
we have a nice conversation there are a friendly
and then they come back again the next week
and then they started bringing more
more people
the friendly area is the more they think okay
he is
ah going to join them in their beliefs
but he says but amazon student how can i believe what they're telling me they believe
and as a bodhisattva for i'm beginning to feel now that i'm actually creating misunderstood misunderstanding
by being friendly
so they're so at what point is very friendly become confusing and be misunderstood as ah leading them on
so he discovers he's in an awkward position now
and so it's a little painful like those canaries
newquay ryan's palm those canaries that have to die
to let you know where the boundary is
this little painful to ah say oh
there's a boundary here

and is she asked the death of the canaria grade now act of compassion
when do you say no
as an act of compassion
yesterday suzuki roshi what i quoted francisco superior she said
those thoughts that ah
that actually are in the direction of attainment
those gaining ideas
are not helpful to you so
please get rid of them
getting rid of them may not be quite right it may be misunderstanding as if off than you have this whole battle and you're trying to get rid of these and gaining ideas
that can be kind of an aggressive ah misunderstanding so it may be helpful to just think if i set them aside let them let them exist but not by into them

if i thought that snob
the buddha dharma
the superior to the to have a witness
would be betraying the buddha dharma
the buddha dharma is not
subject to comparative
they came i
bodhidharma is completely beyond compare the thing
it's easy to be caught thinking that it or something ah since it is so inconceivably wonderful i
so the dog can be lost to
ritual that can be lost
two and goodness morality hit me last to compassion
virtuous action
and yet it's there
in every virtuous action it's there in every ah purposeful action
it's there in the log truck truck drivers from hubcaps
in the tricked out truck
the body suffers bow is to include and save all beings
pretty difficult
hey difficult so in your own sitting you may notice beings that you're not so willing to be with

beings you would rather avoid
maybe secrets in your own body that you would rather a boy
the please use this opportunity and session to ah
be willing to be fully present even with what you would rather avoid

ah any questions or comments

say that again
in that area
so is this about canaries
the this is kay ryan and or pawns entitled miners canaries
the are the canary in the coal mine
everyone know that
canary in the coal mine but that refers to
know some people are saying same know what i'm going like this
in this country usually means snow so so can areas you know and course now i have a electronic testing equipment for air quality but before that
her canaries were taken down into coal mines
and the canary as long as the canary could hop around and saying in and it could breathe the miners felt that the air quality was safe
though in the canary killed over
then i know that the air quality has gone down in the mine and they needed to leave the mine are pretty soon they wouldn't be able to survive
so that's the
ah canary in a coal mine
it's like you know after going to a stream and new on it
and you see fish in it
then you know okay it supports life
and you can drink
and if you're fussy you may notice what kind of fish you know
can some kind of fish can live in pretty toxic water ah but it's the same kind of thing miners can areas
it isn't arbitrary it isn't curious
miners canaries serve ordinary purposes with just a philip of extra irony
something is always testing the edges of the breezy ball
not so sweet
not so yellow
but something is always living had the wrong edge of the arable
something is always excused first from the water table
chalking the boundary of the possible from the far side
even in the individual

just a fillip of irony
dry wit
nothing else

thank you for listening