Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.


Sunday lecture

Auto-Generated Transcript

a few weeks ago a guest student who hadn't been to green gulch for long time asked me had i started to speak in the zendo again
and when we compared notes we found it's been over a year since i've sat at this price and i had attempted to speak on the dharma
so when leader barrows asked me yesterday what are you going to talk about i said well i'm going to tell the people how i started talking and why i stopped talking and why i'm starting to talk again so this the theme
of this morning's discourse will be a talk about talk
i wear glasses i haven't got a hearing aid yet that i didn't need note so please excuse me
how i started talking
that's like something charlie brown and would right for it isn't fit term paper
what's his sister's name that little wise girl sally
most now now lucy is lionesses sister
anyway she always condenses it to one or two words admit that this can be a long story i get chatty and time for lunch okay
my mother was an allocution ist and i don't know if any of you know what elocution is a did in the days before radio and television or we entertained ourselves and she was very good at it
the ones that she was best that i never got to hear because they were always at the grown up meetings and evidently they were slightly risque i found some of our script later
when i jimmy to drawer
but she was good at a work and naturally she taught me so by age five i was speaking in public
at church or when the children had this service i was on the first radio broadcast that
didn't are part of the world
and by age nine or ten i was riding with the civil war veterans in the memorial day parade and doing lincoln's gettysburg address and from the steps the monument without a public address system
age twelve i earned my first money or something you've never seen probably ten dollar gold piece
reciting the night before christmas and of coast to coast network and by the time i was twenty one i was in the radio business and talking for a living
and when i came to zen center i became a barker for the buddha
step right up step right up we've got him on the inside shotgun moni buddha he walks a talks he flies like an eagle and every time his golden body moves that supple and shiny as swanee river and step right up we've got it on the in suffolk
so i was very good at that fact some people who are
telling me that i was better than everybody else and please what i talk more naturally i like to hear that
so one day i really turned you on i don't know how many people may have been here on that fatal day but it happened just as it sometimes doesn't the theater i knocked it out you all knocked it back to me we get this thing going we took it over the wheelwright saturn took the roof off and then in the middle of all that
i suddenly realized what i was doing
i was entertaining you
i was not talking dharma the truth i was putting on a show
and that really knocked me so the next time i spoke the last talk this year ago talk someone not won a number of people came up and said sounded like you were reading your obituary and they were right because that was the obituary of this you should have seen
me when i started out i long blond curls daddy here velvet suit i mean i was really something to see
so i did write read the obituary of that child
and i'm not going to give you an example of my a more lengthy
poems that i did and i'm not going to do the gestures but while i was preparing these notes i found myself going back
to ripon by child's henley called invictus is there anyone in this room recognizes either the author or all all all all gotta watch grade five of you know i'm not going to do it like a little boy but
what i am under the impact of this verse
out of the night that covers me black as the pit from pole to pole i thank whatever gods there be for my unconquerable soul
and the fell clutch of circumstance i have not winced nor cried aloud needs the bludgeons of fate my head is bloody but unbowed it matters not how strait the gate how charge with punishment the scroll i am the master of my fate i am the captain of my soul
my voice that i knew today because that was a mantra for me
in all the life that i lived up till the time i came here i live by that vow
no one was gonna grind me down
and now that mantra that says so helpful is now the biggest hindrance in my practice because
even the fact that i can remember to have after twenty years and sitting high on a cushion you can see what i'm up against
so there i was and now i have to get from where i was to where i am
what is that there's a forces people mostly who appear when you need the most and in this case the bodhisattva was a book
and one that rather surprised me because i had not been able to read for our year not speaking
began to erode my ability to read and i got down to mystery stories and then i got down within the mystery genre to seminars may grey and rex stout and then i couldn't even read those anymore and i didn't write any poetry
this mess comes this book eight hundred thousand copies of it have already been sold and it's brief history of time by the english cosmologists talking
i'm not going to tell you anything about the book because i would love to spend the rest of the day talking about him and that about me but halfway through the book i put it down and i said why he's speaking about dharmas now in buddhism are one of the bane
areas of understanding human life is a study called ip dharma and i was very excited when i first heard about it because i'm interested in how the wheels go round up here but what they gave me were lists forty seven or forty nine things on three different
lists with numbers and i said no way man i got out of that cottage so here i find a book and it's talking about dharmas now what do i mean by diamonds
it's in the heart sutra and dharmas are wrong
see if i get the exact quote without remembering the whole oh yes they neither appear or disappear on notated nor pure they neither increase nor decrease
they correspond roughly in the western tradition to have the atoms at the ancient greeks i guess it was democritus right
please say so right democritus first concede a rot is this home universe composed of when you get it down to the very essence of things and so here is this modern physicists talking about something that i could understand because when i was at the johns hopkins and nine
dean thirty two the copenhagen conference on atomics had just been held in copenhagen where einstein and bohr and people like that wrote the script for the atomic age and we got an in freshman physics and a number of my associates went on to alamogordo and built the bomb but i got a religious
has hit out of it
i was a very devout christian at that time and terribly disturbed by the truth of science one of those basic conflicts between quote religion and quote science so he was a chance for me to take science and put it at the
service of my belief and i wrote this paper on the scientific proof of the existence of god and unfortunately the only copy has long since been lost
and i couldn't tell you what it was but i was a great success all the uptown churches sunday night for the young people get heitmann he's got this god thing going on
i don't know what the kids thought about a profitable he didn't but the parents and the medicines thought it was great and then one day i happened to his the depression any time any place in baltimore in a cab for twenty five cents and i was all decked out in a borsellino hat the for lied scarf pigskin gloves and a cab driver looks at me and the address
s i gave me so you don't want to go down there mac that's the worst right slum in baltimore
so i said i got a breach their nice as your funeral
and it was when i got there the church was so poor they couldn't hate it so they had service in the sunday school room big
potbellied stove red hot and i didn't giving my pennies to the poor all my life but i'd never smelled them before i'm in that room got full and a lot of these people hadn't had a bath because their gas had been turned off i knew that these people would not dig the scientific proof of the existence of god
so i know the bible pretty well and i found the verse at the end of the be attitudes where jesus preaches that to the multitudes and then they feed them all on the few loaves and fishes which the disciples had for their lunch
i don't know what i said i may have spoken in tongues it's impossible to say but when it was over women were weeping men were embracing me and saying if there's one left like you on earth we're not lost and i was so terrified of what i had blundered into that i went home through a sleet storm and got double pneumonia and
never went back to church for about twenty years
okay so here i'm reading
well are you really want to laugh i didn't go back to the church until a communist party told me to about twenty years later now there's one for you okay
so here i am i'm reading about dimas i'm back at johns hopkins and in the middle of a high particle physics and then i say to myself hey i can write a new paper this scientific proof of the non-existence of god
and then i said hey wait a minute you have been studying buddhism and in buddhism you don't come down on one side or the other you don't say god exists you don't say god doesn't exist in fact that those the things that the buddha never paid any attention to never enter into og
humans are debates with people because he was interested in only one thing the nature of suffering and how to end that suffering
so then i said wait a minute now
is there anything left out of my scientific background that could be priced at the service of buddhism the way i put
hi particle physics at the service of christianity
so i began to search around and
what's left of my mind
and i came across a statement
by whole dane
i'm gonna say some things from here on out and i don't want anybody going away from here and saying there's this little old man had a green gulch who is telling everybody that sciences buddhism or that science proves buddhism
when i would like to develop for the
well rested a moments is
how they both might be looking at the same thing
now the buddha really could be conceived of as the first scientist in modern parlance because he directed his followers clearly observe
and that's all it a scientist does he or she clearly observed not what they're looking for not what they'd like to find that they wish would be what is it that actually arises how it matures and how it fades away
even though it may only take a ten billionth of a ten billionth of a second some of the speed with which these modern particles are now coming into existence and going out again so you could say that there is a place where the buddha and science are sort of in the same area
but what does science say on this question
and the one place where i got a little handhold was
jb hall dane
he said a long time ago probably about fifty years now
not only is the universe more complicated than we imagine it is more complicated than we are able to imagine
and that to me is a very important statement not just about science but about our lives
you just can't make a statement about anything and have at last any length of time when one of the
do omarosa samadi which we chant of in the morning at service we say underneath everything true eternity still flows and soon as the people say that the light is a particle in some other scientists says light is a wave and we have the same problem in buddhism we have
gradual enlightenment and sudden enlightenment but we also say that no matter how clearly you can understand either one of them underneath but true eternity still flows so it's flowing right as we're sitting here it is slowing through us
countless neutrinos are penetrating your body is i'm speaking
you don't know it scientists will tell you so but you don't know it all kinds of things are happening that we don't know about and if we attempt to stabilize that make a form out of it hold it down so we can look at it and then the flow is impeded okay
so i thought well i'm on a roll i'll read another book and i got hold of a book by travel called the dark universe one of the problems that modern scientists have as far as cosmology is concern is that they know all about how the universe began from their viewpoint but they can't find about sixty percent of it
up until a few years ago it was called missing matter
now they've changed their tune a little bit they call it dark matter it's there but you can't see it so mr travel it was a very good popular scientific rider goes through the whole schmear and then he describes you the end of this universe as he sees it
and then he says a most wonderful line which i if you remember nothing else
take this home with you
after giving you this whole rap and things that even though
i think a sigh another scientists would have a high tech and what understanding he said
but it doesn't really matter
what matters is have i been the best person that i could be where i submit that is i don't know if he's a practicing buddhist or not but that man has really got it imbalance here he is dreaming up these fantastic world ending these fantastic worlds and then he just
throws it away
i'd like to meet this guy then i thought that holiday inn has said something else he said man needs both science and religion
science to tell him the truth
an religion to help him live by that truth
okay how could that statement
are those statements by traveled and whole day impact a word i just learned i like to use it i never use it how does all his impact on our practice here at green gulch well it's pretty simple actually do you know have you been aware have you ever felt discovered
that every proton within your body originated with the big bang
think about that people
our that the hard elements in you like iron and carbon were created by the supernovas like the one that just blew up a few years ago down know in over south america
now that's hard science friends those are facts
and what do they mean to me today well one of the greatest difficulties that we have in practicing buddhism one that everyone has trouble with from the beginning and some people have trouble with it and leave the practice of buddhism
i cannot get over the idea that this self is real and that we are all one so on the second half of that i present to you the thesis that these modern scientists have shown us that we are all one
and when i say it like that it becomes a philosophical statement you can have a emotional reaction to what you call that religion but it's it's something where we can begin to borrow towards the basic understanding of buddhism from way
where we are today and in a language of that sounds like we understand it okay

but i'm talking now
how does this talk
all this talk
mean anything
even to me much less to you
la blanche and i sometimes go over to the first unitarian church and berkeley and do a zen weekend and doctor bogey who's pastor
was one of suzuki roshi his first students fact i think richard bogey sat with suzuki roshi before anybody else and zen center did or if not awfully close to the first so we're over there and when you participate in a as and weekend with the people who are not practitioners except one
once a year maybe they read a few broke she get a lot of buddha babel and
you can't be too hard on these folks because they're trying to talk your language you say so we play it cool and
washing dishes and talking about the depths of enlightenment in all of that groovy stuff
and then we got on the question of emptiness and doctor bulky or in passing said
the poet gibbs to airy nothing a local habitation and name it's from shakespeare i haven't been able to find the source if anyone recognize that please tell me the poet gives to airy nothing a local
habitation and a name
rather scientists are doing that to you all heard of electrons you probably in in in high school or college drawn those circles and indian the middles and nucleus and around around a little electrons
wow they don't even believe their electrons are there there's some sort of a hazy something
so they gave it rot a local habitation they place it precisely certain distance from the nucleus and they give it a name and they call it an electron
so here is the poet doing it and here is the scientists doing what shakespeare said
and i thought well what about meditators
i'm in the old days in sri lanka when buddhism came there was an outer pouring of scientific books legal books books on navigation great cultural uprising but as cons eight points out
meditation was left to older monks of inferior intelligence
so there any scientists and vehicle audience today
i will plead that the my inferior intelligence is being placed at the service of my meditation came
so what do we do when we sit on these cushions when you are not here
we clearly observe
and what do we clearly observe
if we're lucky
there is no self to be got at
day after day week after week year after year life after life we sit on these cushions and hopefully one day we will be able to see what we talk about namely that there is nothing there that can be got at i'm sure you can say
blue hartman k a shoe in midseason is located at this particular point within the zendo
helps you know which way you're going but it doesn't tell you anything about life
metaphor for this self holograms
not the ones that they put on magazine covers but the ones that you reach out to grasp and find there's nothing there well there's real light and there's real polarization which though mr wheelwright could tell me all about and then there's the turn table that revolves the object and there's the camera and as the film
in the camera all these things are quote real unquote for you put them all together and you can't get at it so you put all these things together that we call a cell name hair do's history family reading license car license you name
it was nothing there and king
ah now we're going to end right on time
i can find the last ayers
okay so six chinese ancestor says from the beginning not a thing is this is a statement about all of this empty nothingness that we've been talking about
so one monk asked another monk if the giant first six chinese ancestors says from a beginning not a thing is and i say therefore we make it all up what do you say and without drawing a breath the other monk replied
from the beginning not a thing is and therefore we have to make it all up
okay well that's right down to where the wheels go round
if there is nothing and at the same time we have to make it all up what are we going to make up
well i don't know about you guys brought in this green dragons and temple as tanto nom nom and fisher has more than once reminded us what we make up here are body suppose
so brody sapper
what he served as a word nothing more or less nothing more or less the prussian upon me to literature is filled with admonitions that but when you say brody sorry for all you're doing is blowing some wind through you larynx
ah doesn't encourage you very much does it
but in the good book it also says in the beginning was the word
the word was god
so it is seventeen year old preacher and the cosmologist hawking and the six chinese ancestor and john who wrote this particular gospel all seem to come
very close together
and the beginning not a thing is so put a word in
for us what's the word
is that for mr travel doctor travel rewrote the dark universe to be the best person they possibly can be

once in this room at the end of a session
micro she was giving a lecture and at the end of the lecture or questions came and he got in are really fast mondo with one of the monks there is like a tennis match bang bang bang bang bang bang and then ball and amongst as well if that's so i'd be
a buddha
and the garage she said don't you want to be a buddha
what is wrong silence and all the time i'm saying sir yes sir yes sir
i want hands of paper
but that is an example of how you could make it transition
this made up self that you have been making up since the word go all your life you've been making it up
each one of us as a self the individual as fingerprints
how would that self become a or well
you give it a name
and then you read in the literature what does a body sought to do and how does the bodhisattva act and how does a bodhisattva put on his or her clothes and how does a body shot or walk and how does a bodhisattva sit
you give to airy nothing
a local habitat that word local is so important it's not me somewhere out there right here local you know right close to you
a habitation of place
and a name for this said

and this has been going on you see for twenty five hundred years and the meditation that underlies this activity
has been going on lama govinda has traced it back thirty thousand years they've found does figurines
in cross legged meditation carbon date around that time there are other the buddha did not invent this this is what i'm saying it was in the air in india
i've come across
a meditative treatise that's four thousand years old and a lot of it is on breath which is a yogic practice so here is this ancient thing from afar part of the world
completely alien completely foreign what do we doing and mucking about with this stuff
well when i've tried to tell you this morning gives me an encouragement to think that it's not ancient alien at all
a broader was onto something through the medium of this meditation
well on your can say yeah but ancient india wasn't all like modern technological society are neither should go back and read if you can it's not very well documented because the atmosphere and in india has eradicated most of the ancient artifacts that they remain
but when you study at you find that them the times today and the times and buddha's time are identical in one basic thing
an entire culture was disintegrating
the arians who had come down and created the vast culture of the upanishads and the vedas the magic magic qualities the priesthood couldn't hold it together anymore in india was going down the tubes
torture that i
we will not attempt to recount it would make some of the things that you read about these days seem like child's play
ah city states were emerging money was beginning to come into circulation wars as we know them now had begun
and to really put it all together for me
the buddha witness the genocide of the shockers
twice he sat by the road as the enemy came in and twice they turned back because they knew the buddha and the third time the king's advisors serve
prevailed and
a buddhist people were right down the i submit that if the buddha could
had a trait
the nature of his times through this form of meditation and give us the guidance and clues on how we can do it right in the times that we are living in and i'm sure all of you at least either see one newspaper you might even read the san francisco comical or from time
the time or the tv you know where we are i don't have to tell you that so what i am saying is that thanks to all that i have enabled to be educated in up to and including these last twenty years
the word the bodhisattva

put me on the mark now i may sit and cheer
for that young man who came this far and stopped
i don't know if i had gotten under the floorboards are enough time to continue
but i think made the transition
and it has been a great privilege to me to put myself in the presence of all of you as witnesses and i give you are all caught blog to
tug on my okay sir any time you see me
getting off the frog
now you have many of you have been here before and you know how we conclude
the chat that we conclude was one that i would like to tell you about that you would have to come at five in the morning to
chat with us when we put on our robes are all cases are iraq assists the little bibs for baby buddha's that some of us were
we say
great robe of liberation field far beyond form an emptiness wearing the to target is teaching saving all beings great robe of liberation
field far beyond form an emptiness all of this wave and particle sudden enlightenment gradual enlightenment or form and emptiness anything that you can do to split the continuity of the flow is i guess if we're just use the word sin would be a sin
i mean this is our basic teaching this right and as left as right and as wrong as up in this down as blackened is right as heaven and hell man and woman good and bad dad dad dad die and as you practice
sunday you can feel
that before there's a right and left there's a one and out of this one all of this stuff goes and the wonderful thing about it is
saul empty it's an airy nothing to which we give the name of right and left
so let's take a few vows now
make your boat is that because you didn't know it was going to happen to you but you stop you can't leave now