Sesshin Lecture

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Strategies, gaining ideas; "paying it forward"; close investigation of the self; Orpheus and Eurydice; Rilke; hidden anger - staying with the emotion


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hum for today obsessions
and die
have we wanted sitting very well
and i'm a little concerned about somebody may have some residual
for some strategy
for success
maybe thinking
ha introduce if you do it in a certain way or you do it right then
while you're at least survive session on
i survived this period of zaza
so it's good you know it's okay to have a strategy
just don't be attached to your strategy
it's a little bit like
thinking that doesn't as something that you can do know
or that you can be in touch with but it's still not ha fully accepting the reality of your body sitting
micah kind of you roshi once said lakes has like good
doing as as in long distance
calling op doesn't arrows as in hello
hello beth where are you
as are keeping it keeping it at arm's length we really have these wonderful arms and hands and so are used to have some sometimes being able to manipulate manipulate things
the word manipulate mountain has that word hand in its
yeah down
so how can you manipulate now
some success now
in seasons
it said is quite tempting
quite tempting and depth
sorry this the secret
his to know what you're doing
and step back
tego a wider view it says if you're manipulating something it's here where you can hold it but if you stepped back you have to let go and you have a wider perspective
so the
the angle of your practice who is why
so this is it adds
well said
two aspects one is focus focusing me right there with your breath the precision of the moment
and so that's important and then letting go of it
ah having a wide view
room to include all the now
wild monkeys
have your mind
when we are now studying the tanzer kilkenny dogan has that phrase you know that carried away by the wild wild monkeys and and wild birds of your of your thoughts and so if you are this step back
rather than being carried away by them
then you arrive
in your true beings
ah your your true nature your buddha nature
so it's particularly hard to resist some of those wild monkeys ones it i'm making faces at you
st yan yan yan yan yan
moms are the ones that are angry
more the ones that i'm telling you what you should be doing
some of them are very compelling
they sound like a school teacher
what your mother

so how to ah include them in your vow last night's heads
or she so
i reminded us of vow and
said that time
you really should recall here on your own personal vow
and that when you do live your vow than you are
in touch with your
you're a deep happiness
something like that
so he had personal vow i think
i've talked a little bit about my own personal vow
then i made known as a child and and rediscovered and keep rediscovering so it's it's good for you to know what is what is your own
a personal vow and then how to extend it
how to
extended forward into your life
in a way that also includes now
the whole circle of your being the reality around you
i just said extended forward and then i had the thoughts of pay it forward people know the phrase pay it forward
if you're nodding heads know
i ran out of but actually ran out of gas
in lovelock nevada some years ago
but then after that so that's another story actually has gone
i'm on the west side of lovelock nevada i ran out of gas and and after getting gas and driving to the east side of love like them mad heading east hands
there seem to be some problem with the transmission and so ah i thought i thought i'd ruined the transmission ah
pulled over the side of the road comfortable a triple a's started sending a truck from reno to the button hundred and sixty miles away
hums and
but then somebody actually drove by with a tow truck and took us back into lovelock
hence we checked in there was getting dark so i checked in those little motel and not okay i'm in the deal this is gonna change your whole trip when after rent car something
the owner of the motel so when my sons of mechanic and so saw call them so them so then he came over in the
and just fiddled around with a few things that had me push various buttons in certain sequence on their dashboard and mood the gearshift really so because he thinks or something electronic actually and just needs to be reset
and lo and behold in few minutes sir
it worked again
and i felt
both relieved and foolish stupid
and i asked him you know what i owed him for his
professional assistance
and he said
i'm just paying it forward
i didn't know that i'm paying it forward under them the answer and they told me there's this movie about paying it forward where
ah they're actually it's like building up good karma
you're actually
living in a beneficial way with the kind of trust that
he eventually that will help everyone including yourself when you need it
so paying it forward is part of and say that leads the
the goodness are compassionate
level of yesterday we are talking about this when the dow is lost
then we have
robert you
well we have compassion
so if you if you are not in touch with such this at least you can practice paying it forward
so if you're not in touch with your own practice of zazen at least you can be kind to yourself
which includes making friends with the wild monkeys
in your own mind
so to make friends with the wild monkeys of our mind we actually need to look at how they arise so first they may appear as being come monkeys
ah little monkeys powerful compelling ah entities
but our practice is really to look at the fundamental interdependence of things and see how things arise so we see how the monkeys are mine actually come into being so this takes a lot of careful careful study has again said
to study the good away is to study the self
to study the boudoir studied of self and
and we'd like to leap ahead i think to where he says this forget the south
and be confirmed by the myriad things and then the myriad things
endlessly convey vastness
even even very experienced
practitioners may be especially experienced practitioners who feel that they're beyond that are learning
learning sage
ah it
tend to get past the
ah study of the self the clothes careful investigation of the self
so this said this the temptation is so
sometimes expressed in thinking all i understand i understand buddhism ah now i understand buddhism
this now as i was offering incense at manjushri is
ah alter here i thought oh this manjushri
as is holding a yoy
ah i'm not holding a sword
and etc but usually images she's pictured holding a sword in the suit your book and it just occurred to me now that monday she can take the sword and cut away the sutra book
not been dependent on buddhism
not being dependent on some teaching
amir khan one of art
soto zen ancestor it will not in our lineage exactly but one of our soto's and adopted
lineage members ah
a poem that goes like this buddha
is something made up in the mind
the way the dow it doesn't exist either
i'm telling you believe what i say don't go off and some wild direction
if you point your kite shops nourished and try to get to the tropics
when do you ever hope to arrive
so not going off and some while direction ah
very difficult always so tempting
so when we're impatient we want to jump ahead to where there's no trace
feeling of a lazy maybe said please just give it give me the secrets
give me the teaching
ah and they think then that there is something
populism that is other than your on study your own study of the way
sometimes what is most tantalizing is actually when you have some glimpse
of awakening
sonics some glimpse of body and mind dropping away
some glimpse of a deep settled quality of samadhi
the and toxin about gg are some might have the the samadi of that self
is receiving and generating simultaneously
in which there was a kind of ease and joy and you have some glimpse at and so you want to you fall in love with it instantly
fall in love
and want to hold it
this a kind of
yearning and ah
difficulty in accepting the loss of some beautiful moment i think is epitomized in the story of orpheus
ah the greek god hero orpheus poet and musician
lost his lover your idiocy when she stepped on a snake in a snake better and she suddenly died and he was bereft because he was a god and he had special powers that all of us wish we we have right that he could charm anyone so he went to
hades and chimed katie's the gods and the underworld
what does an agreement that you idiocy could come back and live with him
his love could return
but there was one condition
that he not that that he walked out of the underworld
with your idiocy following behind him
and that he not look back
and so you can picture a orpheus
climbing about the underworld
near it say behind
at some point he can
trust that she's actually there he steals a glance behind and see is hurt is dissolving
fading back
into the underworld
so this up
the story was so very fascinating to the poet rainer maria rilke and i wanted to read couple a pond he wrote a sonnet a whole series of sonnets to orpheus
he was working with that
quality of
love and the tantalizing quality and low and last
this actually comes up
yeah frequently and says him
many moments moment after moment actually
but especially when there's something that you find so compelling
so in this up in this sonnet die from the second section number eight by the way these are translations by stephen mitchell hers
also as and student and poet
so here he his sex rookie is calling up an image
have ah joyce that arises naturally when your how playing like a child free and completely wholeheartedly engaged
you playmates of mine and the scattered parts of the city small friends from my childhood of long ago
how he found and liked one another hesitantly
and like the lamb with the talking scroll spoke
with our silence
when we were filled with joy and belonged to no one it was simply there
and how it dissolved among all the adults who passed by and in the fears
of the endless year
wheels roll past us we stood and stared at the carriages houses surrounded us solid but untrue
and none of them ever knew us
what in that world was real
only the balls they're magnificent arches
not even the children but sometimes one oh a vanishing one stepped under the plummeting ball
so here is feeling has a feeling for that moment that transient moment
the ball is arching through the air
the playmates are under the bar is that moment
and even the child
so then a real kids a little later in and another one of these sonnets sub
you're not actually the sonnet form by the way but they're called sonnets have
ah he he
is looking at i'd say they get a sense he is trying to help orpheus extend from his points and state to to reach out and helped orpheus
be ahead of all parting
as though it already we're behind you
like the winter that has just gone by for among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it will your heart survive
before every dead in your idiocy
more gladly arise into the seamless life proclaimed in your song
here in the realm of decline among momentary days be the crystal cup that shattered even as it rang
be and yet know the great void where all things begin the infinite source of your own intense vibration
so that this once you may give it your perfect per cent
to all that is used up and to all the muffled and down the preachers in the world's full reserve the unsaleable sons joyfully add yourself
and cancel the count

so when he says here in the realm of decline among momentary days be the crystal cup that shatters even as it rang
it's like that phrase from dogan the hammer striking emptiness

and so this is so he can first calls up the image of winter
and the the winter that's so completely endless but the only way you can actually survive and enter your life is by being completely willing to winter through
the completely enter the winter
like dunked on saying ah go
where there is no heat or cold how'd you do that he completely die into
cold completely die and into heat completely die and to winter completely die and to the experience of your idiocies god being gone so he says be for every dead and humidity
and then this is where your song arises
all human beings and i have this
this question because we have we have consciousness
this is a wonderful opportunity
ah are great ancestor union was very careful in
his teaching don't shine
he didn't want a bot or bother her but he didn't want a burden
the genius of don't shine with too much ah teaching
ah til one time when don't shine asked what should i do when i want to see my true being
and yang yang simply said ask the messenger within
and then don't shine said
that's what i'm doing
and young young yan said
so what does he say

so this is a suggestion i think in your practice
to actually checked the messenger within which may be ah
wild monkey
mean nasty monkey naughty monkey
ah scary monkey
possibly even a demon
if you can ah stabilize your mind
then you can meet what arises
nine that it is already included
so no on practice with young on it's not clear how long but
he seemed to know when it was time
when he met his teacher it was time to live
but just as he was now preparing to leave he asked yang yang ah
after your death
after your death if someone asks me
if i can describe your reality
how should i answer
so remember this is the teacher who said now i asked about ah saying is seeing the true self and which is seeing his own buddha nature the teacher said ah to asked the messenger within so now he asked
what about your reality
if someone wants to know about your reality after after you die
ah what should i tell them
nanos this long pause
and then young and said
just this
is it
so don't shine then went into silence himself
and yang yang added you must be most thoroughgoing
in your understanding of this matter
so i'm now he that was the last word that eggs exchanged
and then don't shine
walked away
pondering and still considering he didn't completely understand
ah didn't completely understand
unions meaning or is teaching for him
and then as he was crossing the river he looked and saw his reflection in the water
and understood
at that point understood young yarns teaching
and then he
i expressed it poetically like this don't seek from others
or you'll be a stranger from yourself
i now go on alone
everywhere i encounter it
it now is me
i now am not hit
one must understand in this way
to merge with business

so you can picture him
seeing his reflection
in this case
he saw his reflection in the water
as he goes on alone now he knows that ah his reflection is in everything he meets
saying everywhere i encounter it it now is me
i now have not yet
so it now is big is the
the side of a complete in a relationship of with ah recognition of
recognizing that you yourself i produced
mya the causes and conditions
and anywhere you look in a particular cause any particular condition is essential to your being essential to your ability to be who you are right now
can't take anything away
and yet you are not
you are not say defined by that
even as it produces you like that
iraq is crystal
that breaks
even answer you hear the sound of it and it's gone
and then the song arises again
morpheus continues to sing
once he releases or your idiocy once he releases his grief once you release the and transmit that you have for something that you believe that you depend on
in that moment
then you can say with dung shine
i am not pit
so there's that side
oh fun
have liberation of being free
and we cultivated by
taking good care of
what's right in front of us not going off thinking that it someplace else and
i want to do
we'd just a little phrase a few phrases from suzuki roshi talking about tough
caring for the soil saying and buddhism were actually taking care of
what is
ah say
ah the nominal which is not only the phenomenon not only the things
like an rockets pong one of the children are playing and realizing that the houses are unreal
ah the life of their play as real
the moment of the ball i came through the air
ah suzuki roshi says so
ah most of us study buddhism as though it were something that was already given to us
rethink that what we should do is preserve the buddha's teaching
like putting food in the refrigerator
then studied study buddhism we take the food out of the refrigerator
whenever you want it it's there and the refrigerator
instead send students should be interested in how to produce food from the field
from the garden we put emphasis on the ground
my understanding is that the original purpose a buddha's teaching
is to explain the interdependency
a different things and different being so
practices to understand the relationship of
the ground
and what appears from the ground so in your practice you may notice ah whatever the background
of the various emotions and thoughts that arise
you may not pick it up at first by the arising of emotion and thought but you may pick it up as you see emotion and thought began to come apart ah a any conditioned ah
no bundle
at some point comes apart so if you stay with it if you bring your awareness
ah to that
ah sometimes in very intense feeling may be very difficult to stay let's say you're feeling very angry angry
for years i myself could not even feel my hangar because it was ah
more than i could bear to feel it
so i didn't even know that i was angry
since i couldn't feel it i wasn't angry
one time i was walking ah
out in the driveway there and in my one of my teachers harry roberts says was a europe train a showman teacher i was sitting for by the stop sign is now in his yellow pickup truck
and he saw me walking in it
gestured wave me and call me over
he said
why are you walking like you're angry at the earth
the way you put your feet where your feet touch the ground like you're angry at the earth and i said
i don't know how i don't feel angry at the earth
so i took me some time to actually investigate how i was in relation to the earth
did i actually see the beauty
could i actually walk in beauty
in the process and i had to also feel that
this hidden anger
was something that i needed to study as logan says that herself so studying the anger that i didn't see and didn't feel but someone else on
pointed out to me
then became i i said you could say her coin for me
and it said
well sometimes very intense
just to stay with the present experience ah far some emotion like that until you can actually just ah penetrated see what is there
how does it serve me
how does your belief serving
how does your emotions serbia
why are you depending on
where are you depending i'm not seeing it
so exactly how that works then that is that a kind of allowing the breath actually to move through it
because you're staying with the breath as it finds its own way
millisecond by millisecond
that actually takes a long time for the breath and arise
the bread to go
all that time it's finding its way in europe in your body into every cell of your body
this is happening on ah
you know molecular level
because of the pine tree
you can breathe
the little molecules leaving the pine needles
finding their way
into this room
finding their way into your lungs
and then into each cell
so the breath is actually kind of energy and finding its way through your ah your whole being
it takes up
ah some
say protected place like the zendo
for you to say okay i trust i'll trust that the breath is actually finding its way
i don't have to do it
doing it is too much
realizing that you can't do that then
the doesn't is actually the bodhisattva vow which is bigger than ah you're being bigger than your sense of self bigger than the whole separation into yourself and other
so how is this very big thing such a tiny tiny movement

so it's very interesting to me than how that appreciating baseness comes down to appreciating her breath
ah and just
minute particle
alpha say energy
moving into this area that i have defined as myself
breaking through the boundary and when i have defined as myself
completely disarming learning it
teach me

so please
take good care of each moment of beer
life in years as him
ah recognize your affinity
and noticed the area words it's hard to trust and see if you can stay right there
entering the
ah area of your home body mind that may be unfamiliar
it's already your
say your true inheritance
it's already your inheritance have buddha mine
but true nature

see if you can allow
the awareness that you have
to i'm not hinder that

today i i have happened said i will give a short talk
i said to myself
and now the kitchen
people are leaving to prepare lunch and i guess that doesn't make it a short talked
my intention is to her
encourage your practice
thank you for listening
they are