Sesshin Practices

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Sesshin Lecture: ordinary mind is the Tao; practice of confession; guilt/shame; Self-Receiving and -Employing Samadhi

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our intention
two second day session
and all of the
how the thoughts that arise with second day session

we started with a full moon
now the moon is a little less than four
waning moon
as the full moon the perfect moon
of course from some perspective the moon is always full
can another perspective the moon is always dark
but each time we look day after day we notice
the moon's changing and it reminds us of our own ah
our own impermanence

i wrote some notes because there's some things i want to dimension
in terms of information
i have a plan for looks on
and ah
i i'd like to see everyone one time high in ducks on and the people who see me more regularly i try to see twice so unless people have fun
some more urgent request
well i'll begin now begin apparently this afternoon seeing people oliver on the regular list and then
with some
ah expeditious snus see you again maybe the last day or two it's a shame
it's a wonderful opportunity to really settle in and then work with some questions in a more refined way work with your practice in a more refined way then it is usually possible ah
we don't have an opportunity for this kind of concentration so how
given all that still if you have something urgent feel free to add
communicate with a gunshot
gisha will be usually position and cloud all the bottom of the stairs when we go out from the and also ah he could put your name on the list
and on
i tried to respond
sometimes a way
we have ducks on infrequently
now we take quite a bit of time pondering says she and i'd like to
but ah encourage you to come in and take up
no a minute saved to settle yourself
and then present something question or statement ah something to report focused on what's the focus of your a practice are more how it's going or if you're getting some
point and far
ah where you are you'd like some clarification and you want to bring that forward so ah
that will help
so then there be time for
ah for everyone

it may have been mentioned in orientation bedtime
ah but adjusting posture while you're sitting
ah once in awhile i may be able to go around and adjust your posture so if you feel now
hands on your shoulder your back or maybe pushing your chin back or something like that now
see if you can receive that as a suggestion ah
if there's that i don't know they they come up in orientation
if there's someone who would finds that
ah as really problematic or traumatic
ah and he let the the you know no and she can tell me because i do understand that people have ah
that when someone comes up behind him touches them had sat trigger some alarm
ah so if you're if that's your situation then let that the you know no one should still tell me ah
ah there's an extreme example of that friend of mine on on st thomas who is a vietnam vet
and to had many traumatic experiences
now years later now still finds it difficult to even walk down
the aisle and the grocery store ha
some sound may come up and down
and he and it triggers reaction in which he immediately looks for something that could explode
bomb could go off
so anyway while you're sitting are also locking and kenyan i make i may come up and make some adjustments so
this is
part of the attention that we can give to refining our awareness of our body
an alignment of her body
during this session in practice
also on to mention
that you made
discover that
in the evenings now
ah you may have some energy for sitting
during the day
your concentration samadi practice may generate some energy for late night sitting
and so the zendo will be open for that it'll be dark and gives you we just leave the lights on right on the steps
ah but there's just enough light you can come in and find year your seats
and quietly said
as long as you feel that you have some ah some energy that just arises for sitting
i don't suggest that there's any particular virtue and it or that you force it or push yourself beyond what feels saw
like it's actually the
the energy of of samadhi
and also when you go to your room or your bed
i suggest that you sit down
after you prepared everything forbid you said you can sit up
right at your bed with just a few minutes so that you are fully aware of your state of mind
as you lie down and
enter greenland
and then in the morning when you wake up and with its wake up bella when you hear some sound are you just wake up from your sleep that time
you take that moment just to ah immediately find your breath awareness bring awareness to your mind at that point
and so you actually engage with your awareness practice immediately before you even begin to move and then continue that has you do your morning preparations and come to the xander

so there's always a the matter of pain
ha second day session have
you may particularly notice
the sensations that we called pain in your knees or your hips are your back or something so how
it's a it's a wonderful opportunity to
ah notice the difference between the sensation and your reaction to it
what's the difference between the sensation and even calling it pain
and then noticing how you tend to have some tension ah
some may be resistance to the experience
have now so there's a saying that to pain in the knees is the taste of zahn
mom so we're all familiar with it so if you're in allowed
so at some other time talking with a bunch of send students and i resent practitioners
can you haven't experienced any pain then you will know what you're talking about and you won't really feel like you're part of that group
but that's okay you know some people said actually quite comfortably
but then something else comes up to work with
so and you
feel that the pan is a possibly gonna cause some damage for your knee or your hip for your back or something and please adjust your posture and take care of yourself how sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that oats it's so virtuous to sit through
pain that injured themselves and so on a caution you
to be careful with that and there's a way of settings with the
ah say maintaining your a sincere attitude of concentration and a sense of stillness i even as you adjust your posture so and there was courtesy to the people around you what we do if you want to change your posture is just how
put your hands and guy show do a little
bow like that adjust your posture and then
complete it
but bow and then resume yeah
mudra sitting
so that bring some awareness
to that change it also might be helpful sometimes to try when you feel that you have to move just to experiment ah when you're the pain is really unbearable but you know you're not enjoying yourself how before you adjust your posture to say
well okay am i will track three breaths and then i'll adjust my posture
so staying with those three brass
actually brings more complete awareness
and you may notice know you actually have the capacity to sit with that pain for those three best
and extend your range of what you're able to find composure with

so second day so ashamed for many people is particularly difficult so i'm talking dermatol feel free to sit comfortably it's sometimes hard to listen and sit uncomfortably
so maybe just cultivating the thought of being kind to yourself is value particularly in the second and third day of session a and when years noticing old habits and tendencies and want to carry you away
tend to be particularly strong for a lot of people i used to always feel kind of sick ah second and third day i
i was i was so confined from my usual activity it's like being in bed with
the measles or something when i was a kid i remember that same kind of feeling
but somewhat disorienting and
but also there's a sweetness to it because you're actually taking good care of yourself
so this feeling of being kind to yourself doesn't mean being indulgent with yourself and it means the kind of strictness that you know that ah you're paying close attention and doing just what is appropriate just what is needed sometimes it's just a slight shift
you may just straighten up a little bit
your angle of here
ah say pelvis in the way or sneer sitting bones are on the cushion major shift and eighth of an inch something like that but that is
kind to yourself and taking good care of yourself

so i'm deeply grateful to everyone for your practice people are sitting quite well it's really ah wonderful to come into the and morning and and now step into this deep silence

so a very fortunate in our tradition
ah arose as chance with fix
the influence of
taoism and confucianism that were already part of chinese culture where the buddha dharma arriving and be well established and i'll after several centuries of being established in china
in an order to incorporate the teachings of buddha dharma
the language of taoism particularly became a part of our zen tradition
so and young student jojo
ah hell essential question for
ah his teacher
he framed it as a question
what is the dow
and the dow
i think in this actually includes the day
in the dao de jing
ah tao the word down and we usually translated as way
and the dear
low of more difficult maybe to translate
it has sometimes is translated as a virtue
it's more like what is the actual manifestation of the way
along the same lines a dog and picked up later on of for those of you are familiar with again joe on
realizing or actualizing
so egg actualizing what is essential or what is fundamental how it is what is most fundamental actually manifest
so in georgia who asks ah his teacher and antoine what is the doll
this is a very deep question
then includes the absolute
and includes the higher relative
so then when
when nonchalant response ordinary mine ordinary mind is the way for ordinary mind is the dow
he's pointing to
ordinary mind is already the manifestation of totality
so whatever is arising in your mind
can be regarded and actually seen as
but a mine who are buddha nature so on the theme of our practice period being developing confidence in your foot in nature
when you look at the response ordinary mind as the dow than you understand that whatever is arising in your mind and your consciousness in your awareness
here's the dow
his mother nature
so in as this time of the arising of zand in china the dow were down
and and buddha nature
become ah
unified and often that changed or played with interchangeably
a judge i didn't really understand the answer he didn't understand nonchalance answer ordinary mind ah is the dow so he asked
how do i direct myself
what do i direct myself toward it
and antoine said to direct yourself toward it is to betray your life
very strong answer cuts him off right there
directing yourself toward it is to betray your life
the suzuki roshi commented on this whole matter of how to practice he wasn't commenting on this particular area dialogue
ah directly but he's talking about the question of right effort
and right effort now becomes a matter of more subtlety as he settled into a you're sitting practice particularly in session but of course it's a matter of ordinary life everyday life
what is your practice moment by moment
as a suzuki roshi talks about right effort
and he makes a number of statements that are
ah very similar to to nonchalance
this is sad
these are statements and probably most of you have heard before but listen to them in this context
our efforts should be directed from achievements to nine achievement
people ask what it means to practice zazen with no gaining idea
what kind of effort is necessary for that kind of practice the answer is
effort to get rid of something extra from our practice
if some extra idea comes you should try to stop it
you should remain in pure practice
that is a point to which our effort as directed
so try not to see anything in particular try not to achieve anything special
you already have everything in your own pure quality
if you understand this fundamental fact there is no fear
there may be some difficulty of course but there is no fear
and then load it later in this comment he says even if your effort is in the wrong direction
if you are aware of that you will not be deluded
there is nothing to lose
there is only the pure quality
right practice
so suzuki roshi turns it in therefrom ah
how getting rid of something extra to accepting your delusion if you're aware of it
this a very interesting point and
something that it takes a lot of experience to really understand what is the correct practice
ah should you get rid of something extra
why should you
i simply be aware of something extra be aware of delusion
my experiences that both kinds of practice are necessary
mom now the key and then again when suzuki roshi talking about when there is no fear if you are actually able to remain as he says remain in pure practice ah
he's assuming maybe he's assuming by suggesting that die you're sitting with great confidence in your buddha-nature
you're already sitting with great confidence and buddha nature so you have no fear this is just the line from the heart sutra heights my new the bodhisattva puts complete confidence in president parameter and when putting complete confidence in president per meta there is no fear
you may notice in you're sitting
that things interfere with putting complete confidence in president pyrometer putting complete confidence in what can't even be described
putting complete confidence in this present moment
which is unknown
so you find out your mind is struggling with various directions
him that she's so ceremony at city center on saturday
marcia angus at the conclusion of the ceremony the that she saw holds up the the she paid staff and says various things including i am so ashamed
having misled your yohei
and but marcia had felt compelled to add a little line
i'm so ashamed but not in the jewish sense

those are often i think go
because they overlapping nature of guilt and shame to words guilt and shame
can we have the practice of confession in the morning service we were a chance
in my confession all my ancient twisted karma
and in the yeah and the chant that everyone just participated in before that before i started talking head says the pure practice with confession
among some onto banderas ten vows ah
the fourth bow his confession
samanta bad the body such a great activity that we we recite with before each meal and our male chan bodhisattva of great activity one of the activities of some antibody is continuously confessing
ah miss and the past
so misdeeds of the past before to a deeds
taken consciously or unconsciously out of habit how to read out a reaction
ah out of five cultural misunderstanding
not a personal fear
all those all those misdeeds
can be confessed
once they are seen and acknowledged
so how about confession during zazen
sometimes when something comes up and you feel regretful during you're sitting
should you try to get rid of it
he's trying to get rid of it avoiding actually making confession
can you actually try to get rid of something that arises in years as in ah you may see as something extra as suzuki roshi said well i get rid of something extra but it's something extra may be that that may be or of
oh acknowledging what it is that you need to confess
so this is a very interesting and sometimes tricky a point to establish some clarity for yourself is what is what is correct here

so this is
a point if you're not cleared or have some doubt about very good to check this out with someone else
what that's what spiritual friends are for
so guilt has to do with something that you have done
and shame has to do with something i think her name the mountain maybe more deeply embedded
which has to do with your own feeling of ah your own existential ah being
do you feel that you have a right to exist
for that do you have that feeling the suzuki roshi is talking about saying
ah the poor quality
have your practice
which is the sense that ah fundamentally you are already perfect
there are already the manifestation ah
of the dow in all of its perfection
i'm not so sure what was going on with shakyamuni buddha and he touched the earth but i have some feeling that now this was addressing this matter
ah not going to the legend that he was challenged by by mara
in various ways and finally was challenged as to his right to exist is right to sit under the bodhi tree
so until you actually establish your right to exist
you can't completely be still
you can't completely
fine composure
so for shakyamuni buddha as the one here are alter sitting in front of manjushri is touching the earth
and the earth ah
due to all of your ah kind generous
carefully attentive compassionate actions over many lifetimes
due to all those connections that you have with all beings
you do have a right to exist
and the whole earth supports you being right where you are
this is a profound profound and beautiful ah recognition and experience of to actually notice to actually realize this
so for shakyamuni this is not just some idea this is some deep experience that penetrates through every cell of his body
and for all those people who are sitting here in this room ah that profound experience of being able to
be free
have any doubt about your right to be exactly who you are
this a beautiful realization
so i i think that this is what suzuki roshi is suggesting when he says just remain in pure practice he says ah
you already have everything in your own pure quality
but in our culture we have this question about this
for some people that comes up as down
the the doctrine of original sin
many people ah
i told directly and others of us pick it up or indirectly because it's so much a part of ah
judeo christian culture
the whole notion of original sin that you are that you are actually born tainted
so the that this is a theological debate of course among different schools have far
ah ah say rabbinical schools and christian theology is
and some of us have this matter of shame delivered as
i say a parental reprimand
some people are told you know you're no good
in various ways
where's that exit cut right to that the heart of the person feeling that there's something fundamentally wrong with me
so this is it
a layer of
ah ah shame that doesn't relate to exactly to some misdeed
but it relates to something more essential
then it is a kind of a barrier to having confidence in true nature
so when you're sitting in may come to this barrier you may come to the barrier of your own ha ha
the way you have absorbed been taken on the beliefs various beliefs
of a shame
and how to confess
something that you have never done
it's not a matter of confession
this goes beyond something that you can actually take some action and correct
so this goes back to nonchalance response saying if you try to direct yourself toward it
you betray your own life
if you try to do something to change one iota of your being
you're retraining that iota of your being

so this is the point where you really can entered for dog and call junio sunlight self receiving self-fulfilling somebody
the profound
experience of being willing to be present while everything just as it is
if there was some thought to confess you can freely confess it
no problem with her
you have ah you notice a desires that you may wish for something ah
may notice
a tendency to regret something
you may have to completely face while the limitations of your body and mind
everyone's body and mind as a little different
people often go through some periods of time of wishing
there are a little difference
sibling sometimes are jealous of some quality and another sibling hat
someone else is stronger someone else smarter someone else is more beautiful ah
so all that comparative thinking has to drop off

for you to enter
the place that nonchalant suggesting to georgia
the direct yourself toward the dow is to betray your own life

my jojo here's this he's still not so content
he says well then
if i don't direct myself how do i know how do i know
how do i know that this is the way
title i know this is the dow how do i know i'm on the path
so nonchalant gives him a longer answer
saying that the dow is not subject
to your knowing it
you can't grasp it
the dow is not subject to your knowing it
so knowing it now
did you think you're not that's delusion
but if you avoid knowing it
that's a kind of blackness kind of dullness
so there is experienced that he says of boundlessness that when you actually ah are in tune with the dow than you experience it's boundlessness
we may have some picture of something very wide and spacious but actually and your practice you may discover that the space is
just a little
a little bit of say relief
feeling the pain
and seeing that the that your reaction to the pan
is a barrier
just saying that not trying to change it
that saying is spaciousness

john entre says this can't be discussed
and comparative terms says it can't be is not a matter of affirmation and negation
do there are you saying
this is not a matter of comparative thinking it's not a matter of whether you are ah
knowing the dow are not knowing the dow
same thing as suzuki roshi saying you pure
you're pure practice
in a way it's guaranteed he said you can't lose
how do

someone the other day asked i can
can you waste your life

all the struggle to actually accomplish your life
that struggle itself may be
cut and misguided
but at the same time it is all the dow that is all the path
it is all the absolute perfection of your life
and the more you cultivate awareness the more you realize that
all you can do is be sincere

so you can be sincere and sitting still and you can be sincere in ah
changing your posture

mama by moment you have choice and you have no choice

when we were studying a tensile kilkenny with found dog and saying
you are turned by things and you turn things
so as you said
and you refine your awareness you notice that you have a chance to ah very carefully
not add anything extra
now when you notice you've already added something extra
you completely accepted
you completely accepted because not to accept it mr had something extra
moment by moment seeing what's extra accepting it is given
everything that has happened in your life
is present now and
must be completely accepted
that this is the moment where your life turns

wake up to it
thank you for listening