Tokubetsu Sesshin

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brilliant for coming today
i was talking with with jack show who just left this morning a couple of days ago and he was telling me about this survey that was done
but apparently given talks in front of people
the number one fear the people have and death comes a close third
but given the choice between diet and given a talk had rather give a talk
and also been in such an illustrious illustrious assembly in i feel a bit like com
laurence welk playing in between the chili peppers and jimi hendrix

but turn onto more serious matters
a lot of people have been expressing their thanks and i feel i should too
i'm really appreciative to shoe mitchell for organizing this session getting us all together
when i think of the cost and i was told that it's forty fifty thousand dollars sister just to do this and that doesn't take your account of the labour
it goes into it
and then this wonderful opportunity that's been provided
of especially for
me and getting together with my dharma brothers this has never happened before
this is in know twenty or thirty years combination right at this point really been able to spend that time with them in a less pressured
way we usually meet for a couple of days a year and that sir
and then extending that to and meeting all of the other people from different sanders
and then participating in seeing how they do
how they do service how they work how they interact and how we all get on together
it's just a wonderful thing and we can really bring something close
together a real nice feeling maybe even an organization that will serve as well
and also thanks to green gulch that as really treated us like family all of the staff
in the abbot
the retired abbott's
for feeding us and for letting us play with the large toys and the truck in this chain saws
that's always risky business will thank you
this temple is called the green dragon temple
that means that there's a dragon their lives here in this hall
i mean it's not like the dragon that you see on some of these hoes containers or water containers that you see around the temple doesn't have these big fangs
big wings breathe fire that kind of thing
but this dragon
has this
all pervasiveness you can't get away from it
it has that power
not only to kill but to give life to really embrace each one of us
and take care of us
there's a story about the ancient
britain's a while back there was no king
the old king had rammed a sword and stone
and was waiting
for a new air to come up so one day arthur comes along pulls the sword out of the stone
and becomes the new king
merlin thinks this is a little bit fishy so it goes along to see how arthur is authors they're playing with his new sword pretending to be king
and so he decides to take him into the deep woods
and he takes him in deeper and deeper
until he can't swing a sword around anymore and it begins to get nervous
i'm pretty soon he's almost locked in with these branches and at that point
in brings in this big fog and it starts to really fill this whole forest area
an author says what's that
merlin said
this is the breath of the dragon
and i it gets even more news
how do i see it
yields and send the plants it's in the trees it's in the mountains and the rivers
and it's a new and me
but what can i do
and merlin said
just sit
rest in the arms of this dragon
and so that's what are they did for the rest of his life and it became a great king
and that's what we have as our life that dragon
is these three treasures this life that we have
this buddha treasure
this anu terrorism yak somebody
is our birthright
and the manifestation of that in every single thing is this damn treasure
and those that really harmonize these two treasures
and practice together or the sang that treasure and as is wonderful life that we have
the we can really appreciate through this practice
when it's really interesting this is
what he could you
dorgan said g and k mg really wanted to preserve and maintain when they wrote out a shingle
all of these shinji arise from that desire to really protect and maintain this dharma
if you read master dogan shinji which actually did
about a third to half these shinji or regulations but the majority of it
our job descriptions
and encouraging stories
for us in our practice and is interesting for me been an administrator seeing how dogs mg really saw that position and also the other positions that were described and the main thing that came out from reading that was not a heavy kind of enforcement of regulations
but a real kindness
an appreciation
pearl practitioners that the shinji arise out of that kindness
but you know definitely we need rules and regulations we've had regulations ever since we became social animals chimpanzees if somebody breaks the rules they punish them or banish them or kill them
in civilization is the same thing the rules and regulations reflect the environment
you know for instance if we had no highway code you can imagine the anarchy that would result will be lots of of accidents people getting killed all kinds of confusion
and and talking about the highway code now two months ago as i got a speeding ticket and it was a mandatory court appearance so i had to go down now to innovate two miles an hour and i got a two hundred and twenty five dollar fine
but the thing that really impressed me about this court
was how they make you see the value of these regulations
how they really impress upon you
the value of respect for the society the civilization that we have which is a wonderful
thousands of years old
institution not even institution but a gathering of people
and then when you reflect on how say yeah cujo got his shingle together and you know the first knew that we have
you look at what is written down and part of this one of the main things is hygiene
when people live together they gotta be careful
and then the second part is basic respect for one another because without that then we can't live together and practice together in a meaningful way things just don't flow
it's difficult to maintain a mind of practice
we had a a member about three or four days before i left that term
smashed a hole in the door through a whole bunch dishes on the on the ground and then not about three holes in the war
and underserved said circumstances that would have been okay
but this attitude and really not appreciate in the practice of been pervading for a long time so we had to leave
there's somebody asked a question a few days ago i think it was of campo
about if we if we to change how we do things in this country
is it isn't it difficult to know whether you're gonna be throwing the baby out with the bath water and i thought this was a very appropriate question is one that's always been on my mind and the first thing that comes up is the only way you really get to know the shinji is to actually obey them and do them for a way
while and see what is learned from them
when something happens in in obeying the xing or just following them
a lot of one's own ideas begin to drop away
my way of doing things
when definitely the other side of that to through experiences that you see things that really a not applicable to this country
why in reading the case on shinji there's quite a bit about term
services for the emperor for the pull-up prolongation of life you know
even the wording of the dedications just really wouldn't tear appeal to to westerners even you know english people like myself am a queen
but that kind of thing can be easily dropped but at the same time we have to see the spirit behind these shinji
in other words
we don't have an emperor but we have a country we have a president
and we have a government
and it's through their efforts in representing us that we have a free society in which we can practice our religion
i'm quite often we take that for granted
if you look in the tang dynasty like dido was saying yesterday
talk you all right
he was living as a boat monk simply because the political situation at that time
i didn't enable people to practice in monasteries not only that people were getting killed
and the monasteries were close down
i'm bringing it closer to home
you could imagine say if the christian right got into power in this country
and suddenly we were all devil worshippers is not allowed to practice
so some way we have to show their gratitude we have to express it
we can't just take this practice for granted it's a wonderful thing
and as there are this xing yi to the culturally on term appropriate you know we just laugh at them i remember
psych our son was teaching as the proper way to do
food services and memorial services and we're doing the food offerings and reassurances particular way where you put a piece of paper and your mouth so you don't breathe on the food offering but we were laughing so hard when he was telling us this he decided to drop it
right there
but again i can have gone back to cyclists on
i hope will embarrass you but
thirteen fourteen fifteen years ago he helps the cla really get our own
ceremonial xing me down and we basically kept that since since he designed it and not only that through his efforts whenever we go to another temple it makes it very easy to understand
ceremonies work and it makes it easy to blend in
so we have a
great gratitude for that kind of teaching
but the spirit of practices the most important
really been present right now and experiencing these three treasures
not just following rules and regulations and expecting something to come out of that
you know if i step in here and bow there and sit for fifteen years than at that time then i'll getting dharma transmission that's not how it goes
you really have to have this spirit of really clarifying this life
that is the most important thing that is the most important shing the most important rule
and should never be forgotten
and then the same time with the xing if we decide that we should break the rules and regulations we should take full responsibility for it
there's a story of master esi
and this was during a famine
and a lady
came in one day and she was starving she brought a kids with her and he felt really bad because he couldn't give any food and he couldn't give her any money
the temple was flat broke and they could barely feed amongst that were there
so he was really racking his brain for a while thinking what he could do to feed this this family
then suddenly came to him in a strongbox in the treasure room there was some gold leaf so that they could refinish this statue
so he went into the room and he brought out the gold leaf
he gave it to the lady and that goal leaf gave her enough enough money to
feed her family for two or three weeks
but in the background there was a treasure a monk and he said he came out after she'd left and said sir don't you realize that
you've committed one of the five heinous crime stealing from the sangha
he says yes i realize that
mrs don't you realize that you'll go to hell
and must east side to slotted him straight in the face
and said and i'll enjoy every single minute
full responsibility for actions

anyway each center has its own
rules and regulations
i'm not positive side when we really follow those rules and regulations it becomes very easy to practice hardly anything has to be said
we just go from one thing to the next
when you look at these shinji
written in books know the the the books get kind of fatter and fatter and the year they really don't describe things that are that difficult by for instance i remember writing out the instructions for our aoki
and it took about seven pages but we all know you do our aoki about five or six times and it's very simple it makes sense and it flows
so this flow is important but also simplicity
when you look at to yacob joe's
regulations again you know they really make sense i mentioned that to health and well-being also he he mentions respect for one another i remember when it first went to the to the zen center there are certain people that i really respected and then there were others sr said i
i really didn't
but the more i practice the more i realize that even those people
they didn't seem to practice that that diligently were important very important equally as important as anybody else
simply by just being there
and supporting
the teacher and the temple
made a big difference
and then check a joke goes on to a consideration of others responsibilities
of others and their responsibilities and practice quite often when you go to ascend you'll see some people
who are in the sand all the time
and can practice very
very traditionally in a you know in a very traditional way and it can be easily respected but as we know that many people practice in many different ways working out earning money for their family were working out any money for the temple but every single person is our practice
and we should definitely have respect for that and also people have different capacities
i remember we have for
this schizophrenia egg that is at the same center
and definitely we don't treat him in the same way as we treat other practitioners
how number one day he stood up in the middle of the
keenan his penis was hanging out you know then he did it again you know joined the army hokey for you don't treat him in the same way as you would a normal person an ordinary person you'd get you take months a know what's the deal what are you doing
but again just really in this basic respect
for all practitioners
and then anybody that really can't support this practice
should leave
now one of the major ways in which this the shinji is transmitted
to to all of us is through our seniors and i remember again when i first came to the center i was very impressed
by most of the senior people when there was a couple of people that i was especially impressed with
and then through their practice my practice really was strength and i remember again posts sensei when i first came was very encouraging he would always been the xander he would come early
he would always be encouraged to continue to practice
and it was also relaxed enough to really deal with people
and then on the other hand i remember a chosen sensei
who is sir
very busy at that time she had the three teenage kids
one of them was a punk rocker and
she was also managing and working in the clinic
finishing cohen study with roshi i also part-time be in his attendant
and looking after this family
so we didn't see much in the zendo but i remember just seeing the intensity of her practice taking any opportunity
there was available
remember be in the zendo wants this one of the highlights of my practice and the chosen have been working so hard that will set their at dawn's hours in and suddenly i i felt we stood on my leg
i listened i looked down and there was chosen head
and she just collapsed from exhaustion
that's kind of put my hand over a face to see if she's still breathing
but definitely how these xing she carried out at each temple
by the seniors makes a big difference to the practice
and as something for all of us to be aware of
another major aspect of this a haitian that's not directly mention is this all inclusive study
and this this damn treasure right where we stand
is here
we don't need to look anywhere else
every single thing is included
but somehow we still try and look for something else
and that's the very problem in itself
we really don't pay attention i remember
i went off to universal studios
a couple of years about at a had some relatives coming over from england and
they really wanted to go on a national holiday
and you may you may or may not know but on a national holiday universal studios is like a giant zoo
and this was like the culmination of a really hard month that i'd had
and i won't cut that morning and
i got out of bed and
did my usual things than ten minutes before i had to go to the zendo to meet a a camera crew
one of one of our members cause he he can of drove over the edge of this this garden and we had to lift it back on and in camera knows him and i came back and i miss the film crew but anyway you when okay but each one of these things like an incremental can a winding up
i'm just before i was leaving than two people side arguing about computers and the time that they wanted to spend on it
so again i was getting more and more wound up the freeway was clear that was great i got to universal studios and went through about five or six parking lots and rounder
huge parking device until i found me find a place
and i'm getting more and more wound up
and then i went up to the the dawn of course you don't have to line up to go in and he just getting very easily but as soon as i got through the door just like wall to wall people all over the place to had to line up for drinks to line up for the bathroom yeah to line up for rides
yeah to line just bought for everything
so i wanted to go on this one particular ride called them back to the future ride in which in know you can can see the past and get swallowed by dinosaurs and things
and so we lined up there and with are always isn't too bad and we can start zigzagging zigzagging a zigzagging and after about forty minutes of the zigzagging finally got to the entrance and the price and we thought now we'll get in but as soon as we walk through the door than in zig zag zig zag zig zag zig and he went all over the place
so as with my cousin may this and she said
the others are gonna be waiting for us i i don't think we should do this we won't be in for another two hours
so then i can have gritted my teeth and a return on the wind and went zigzags examining our way back
when so i followed her and then we went down to another ride
i went on all of these things all these things and more and more wound up
and then we asked this person about getting on the tour itself
when he said you can't go on for another hour and then they'll take forty minutes to line up and at that point i just put my hands to my face
and then this keystone cop came up to me and he goes wake up
and i was just about to tell him what ago
when i realized that he was right i was creating this whole hell
just creating a hell
rather than just seen the situation as it is
just a sea of people is difficult yes but it's just an ocean of people
but that's what we do rather than seeing this wonderful treasure that our life is
we go looking for something else or create
some kind of hell or heaven
and follow that
and if we can really trust in this this true dragon these three treasures this life that we have right now
practice all inclusively
then this is the transmission in itself
moment by moment
i've not mentioned much about roshi in this
as i found the dido really expressed it very well
that aspect for me or goes without saying and gratitude to ones teacher
but really seeing
that transmission in each moment
is most important
as todo row she said that is the wheel that's how we can function
most important point of that wheel is the center
the empty space nothing fixed if there's something fix their than the wheel won't work somehow
the chi don't function correctly
anyway i liked to were finished at that point and then just invite questions
corrections comments
i took him outside and told him to put it back here
really hot chili

i really haven't started on that this is i only got a copy about term
few days before i came up here so i've been looking at that and i've been seen how maybe i can
ha i can change things

i'm i'm not really fully you know seen all the implications of it yet but term
one or one of the things is
getting by dog and sends she says he gets very specific with what each position does and what i'd like to do with that is just see what went what we're not covering then try and cover those things
but then through experience to see how we can kind of get it more in line with that kind of appreciation not the direct form for more in that appreciation especially that kindness aspect and i really want to try to develop teamwork along those lines
no okay

no great

oh yeah right

well when you suffering the the main thing is just to really
really just suffer not look for a way out of that
when are obviously you've got to see where your responsibility lines how you create enough in the south but if the situation is such that to
as the situation is difficult then that's what your life is it is that difficult situation
and just really enter into the whole heartedly
is that so answer your question

the suffering
yeah i think that humanity was was the important thing
for him you know just seen that he had frogs
and that humanizing factor was was the most important thing for him
wasn't some great ideal but this is his life


whenever our experience

yeah yeah
last aspect of letting go

hey yeah


the basically and i see those three treasures of every aspect of my life
hobbies to this realization doesn't rest outside of this moment
and then this dharma treasure
is that realization every single thing every single thing is that it's not apart from it
i'm treating it with that kind of respect
i'm not saying i do that all the time but that's the practice
when the sun treasure you know from a slightly different aspect is is our support
it's a wonderful
support that really keeps us alive
when i really appreciate having people around two am
to support me in in times when things are difficult and obviously when times are good and also the support of the people we all mutually really help each other
you know that's really all i have to say but i mean it's just a wonderful thing and when you can see it just in the way we're all getting together here
and that sangha becomes a larger
kind of organism one thing
all interacting together although we've had lots of different backgrounds it makes no difference we have this one thing in common
le really clarify what this life is
does that answer your question thank you


i think the first thing is to really love yourself
and then the second aspect that it just appreciate what you really have
and in that way we tend not to try and look for something else to really fulfill us
but really trying to appreciate
each moment of life the way the that happens whether it's whether is difficult or is easy
yeah there's there's no real tricks to said
obviously the the basic practices just this awareness practice
but it should come from a standpoint of of love and appreciation