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Zendo Lecture

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good evening

i don't think i'd ever heard that fan running before has kind of surprised coming ended
i realize it
the air in here was gonna be a little cooler
yeah i'm thinking of
attending many late night talks and giving some late night touch like this where this is late night tassajara time
and watching the bobbing heads
dedicated than students
what was he you created has any effect
casa however an amazing place in there
i was waiting over beside the abbot's kevin
and listening to this science you know you can listen to this signs and you know what's going on you hear the footsteps going up the stairs to the xander the crunch or the rocks
miscellaneous voices becoming fewer and fewer as a place required stein
and the cricket
picking up
it took time in night when a cricket for a burst into song
enlightening meditation cricket is listening meditation
he listened carefully you you hear from series of different rhythms some of them in relationship to each other and then salad and destroyed
gone off all in iran i gonna jazz special

to pass o'hara has this kind of intimacy and lets it created out of knowing now for those of us who been here for a while
we become familiar with what rocks or in front of like doors
it's been different for i live in san francisco and someone to rise up the street if no idea with the coming from or where they're going or whether they're happy or sad yeah they they've just broken up with their lover whether they've just won the lottery
just this mysterious event passing by

not that i
the intimacy is easy
it's a mix it's a mixed blessing
like our lives there are mixed blessing
that was that's what makes practice
it's it's more like a love hate relationship than a straight a love relationship
as you practice awareness and get to know yourself and sometimes you'd rather not know
isn't japanese saying that is a problem lived with for ten years becomes a blessing
this is our practice he doesn't live with yourself
and then those places where you you tend to get stuck you know those as ways in which
you tend to overreact or a pullback or have a hard time admitting
this keep staying close to them and eventually something amazing happens to them
the open up a dharma gate and become a teacher
make sure you right in the middle of them that their liberation

i'd like to talk about this seeming in this way i'd like to read a piece of and
it's a statement that's made in the middle of one of our initiation ceremonies at priest ordination

in in this world our ceremonies are kind of ritualized wisdom
it's somehow we are
in re entering the ritual the attempt to
we manifest the innate wisdom that has brought into bug
it's a very much the spirit of than practice is that every one of his is challenged can discover directly for ourselves what the practices and how do we liberated
no one's gonna do it for us
so here's the thing
in this world of birth and death when we realize our imperturbable way seeking mind and body is right at hand
this very beginner's mind body sad for is know as a measurably deep and wide
not even a buddha can find it

in this world of birth and death so the imagery and then
is it when we drop all our baggage when we let go about our anxieties and yearnings
is given birth to

it's like the opposite of our conventional world
we live and then we die
in then world we die and then we live

several months ago i was in in northern ireland where i grew up and visit
euphemistically called piece wallets it's a thirty foot high barrier that divides protestants from catholics and it's so high so they can throw rocks or bombs or bricks at each other over the top
well there's a whole lot of graffiti
and as one graffiti that says is their life before death
in indistinctly on live television crews from around the world of on the slogans of a written on and that was the one they all home been on and sent around the world
to somehow and
we all get it
what is it to be alive

a couple of weeks ago we actually did an ordination ceremony for someone who close to death he literally as a weeks to live
it was
amazing to go through this initiation with someone
who knows the fragility
i was own existence
in this world of birth and death

for sometimes buddha's teachings are quite ferocious you know they want to remind us you are going to die
but i'm gonna come at it from a different angle this evening
we'll save that one for format for later and
there's a different kind of death in his own world
it's point that or finders shown real suzuki roshi
a in one of his lectures he said
the stop the sign of the creek
this liberation
how which is a great saying here right cause assigned to the creek is going on all the time
the stop the sign that the creek is liberation
and what he's talking about to my way of thinking
how do we pause in our incessant stream of consciousness it's making memories
images fantasies
how do we pause that
and meet the moment how do we let something die so something can be given birth to
this is the every moment at practice of zen
how do you paste the desert completely
how do you spies and smell the sulfur
floating in the evening or
how do you pies and hear crickets
what is it what does it take deposits stream of habit energy
get stream of urgency it's preparing our life forward
that has its own request
it's the more often than not defines our life
i cause an old story and then someone's galloping passed on the horse and someone yells at him where you going this is don't ask me as the horse
this is our hybrid energy it's charging along they were along we're going along for the ride
don't ask me as the horse

two how do we pause
do we want the pot
yes and no
her habit energy
is our best attempted being alive
and at the same time
as would gallop along we miss the cricket
we miss the rocks
we missed the quiet intimacy of the evening settling in
the bats coming out and needing an amazing number of mosquitoes thousands
every evening each bad it's thousands of mosquitoes
so i read somewhere anyway i don't know how you figure that i'd put
apparently it's true

for this compelling urgency
with this
there's a wonderful story about michelangelo and he was
somehow displaying one of his sculptures and someone said how can you take a dense block of marble
yeah so solid so dense and turn it into this live fluid flowing body of david i was a sculpture
and he thought for a moment and he said
i don't know it's just a matter of taking away everything extra
to this says something about xander
and just a matter of letting go of everything extra
and something appears
something that's always been there
so we pause when we meditate we pause between the inhale and the exit
we stop the signed of this stream by becoming the side of the street
so dialogical mind that doesn't make too much sense

but in the experience
it reveals its wisdom

so in in the practice will look at both sides we look at this side
the stream of habit energy
the urgency
our thoughts and feelings as they charge among and we look at this side
of letting
the moment recreate creators
i'm being undone
and we made by each moment by each experience
this is the world or birth and death
in this world of birth and death

the zen practice is this reckless practice of going towards this world of birth and death rather than trying to protect ourselves from it

when we realize imperturbable way seeking right
imperturbable putter terrible i think means to be disturbed
to be anxious
imperturbable to not be disturbed
can not be caught up in feeling anxious

two how do we engender that
how how will bad state of being
it maybe we think will it go to a hot springs deepen valley surrounded by wilderness where the food's good and they have hard bas
haven't you live here you'll find out
imperturbable mind if not so simple as just creating the right surroundings
and you bring something with you as it doesn't get the people here
the key is in way seeking mind
this is them
the heroic activity of awareness
so we pause
and then
you know quite literally we pause we may contact we engage
and we pass through
and actually there is no we're passing through the next moment recreate itself and were just part of it
so we pause
before the india we pause before the actual
we pause the pace the desert
we pause to feel our body slip into the warm water of the plunge
let the warm water on louis
not knowing what's body and what's water
not knowing where i and
and everything else begins
not knowing and this size and this weight
i have this identity
in that moment
body and water wadi and water and body
and not separate

for this is the
the engagement
and then more usually once experienced is the separation
can we have some sense
of engagement literally the word and then is immersion immersion and when we're immersed
there's no separation put our life is separation
that's what comes up
we get in the wider and we mean we think this is wonderful as soon as i'm done i'm gonna go over to the office and see if i can stay an extra night

our efforts doing to think oh i better hurry up i have to get the evening service
don't dawdle
the way seeking mine says
oh separation what is it the reconnect
what is it the turn what seems to be an obstacle into a bridge of connection
so when when we can catch this flavor
of relating this way of relating it's a wonderful gift in our lives
for sometimes we enter directly with something like what's happening
and when the answer is separation we can ask okay what is it to practice with this
this person really annoys me okay what is it the practice for bed
how do i not get stuck there how am i not get stuck in feeling separate indifferent and hostile from this with this person
this is why seeking mind in the zantac
what's the way
back the connection
in the way back is something is asking to be undone
that which is creating the separation
what's my hostility abide
why does this person feels so different what woods what's going on

how do i practice with this
this is way seeking might
so normally or mind is filled with other kinds of agendas are the kinds of questions
how can i be happy how can i be loved i can i avoid the things that might cause me pain or suffering
the waiting mine makes a shift it's it simply says
how do i wake up in the middle of this
how do i get in touch with everything that's going on right now
how do i feel was feeling but clear about the thoughts going through my head be aware of the perceptions of what's happening

to this in one way is an enormous challenge for human life
and then in another way
it's no more difficult than just feeling the hot water when you get in the punch
it's no more difficult than listening to the crickets
what the compelling nature of of the urgency of our life
presenters with the kind of dilemma

because it is our best efforts to be alive

toward challenge
it's the somehow engages
in a way
that isn't attempting to
it can be in conflict tour if we set a practice as something that's in conflict to the energy of our life
then it's just a new word struggle
the art of practice is if we we we made a practice meets as close and turns the energy of our life
this is that there's a dharma teacher who loves to use the analogy of a kiddo
because that's that's what you're doing a keto you you meet the energy you move with a new turn it
so when we say what's happening
it's not so we can immediately oppose it it's so we can know it intimately
so there's contact and then there's engagement
cycling you're sitting zazen and your posture just doesn't feel comfortable
you can make up an idea in your head as to how to move your body or you can feel your body is carefully and completely as possible
and from that place of intimate contact
when they can start to work with it
the key to our practice
we pause we make contact we engage
this is the key to our relationships
a wonderful way with words when there's difficulty in any kind of relationship is start by asking the other person
how is this for you and listened carefully to the answer
oh okay
here's how it is for me
so what's happening
the very act of engaging it
this kind of curiosity rather than judging mind
sets the stage for the capacity to turn it
to let it turn into something else to let it become it's own event rather than a repetition of habit energy

bodhi is right at hand
it is we enter into this
the malleable way of relating to our experience this is willingness to become part of what's happening
the possibility the opportunity to awaken
he's right a pan
the evening breeze
can enliven can awaken
the smell of the sulfur can stop the stream of thoughts
i was in the bath yesterday and someone was showering
and then he turned of
he went his body and then he turned off the water to soak himself
and i thought out of course so i turned off the water to soak myself
this is
how we help each other to practice
sell so something about being willing to see and learn and respond
bodhi is right at hand
then the next line is this very beginner's mind
everything to learn nothing to know
there's a little baby here
okay it's not literally in the room and was it's having dinner with her and it's just wonderful to watch
add she's constantly taking in information beginner's mind
where am i what is going on what is this thing called being alive
beginner's mind this was the catchphrase of the finder of tassajara
the zen practice is the cultivation of beginners right
everything can learn nothing to know
practice is not to make us experts so we know that we have all the answers it's to make us beginners so we have all the questions
to each time we sit down
we wonder what is it to sit upright in a balance posture
that also can be completely relaxed
what is it to sit here and bear witness to
this period of time that's about to begin that i have no idea
exactly what's gonna happen
when we sit for thirty minutes
is no way we can tell what guides what feelings were images are going to go through our mind
every time that's true
this is our beginner's mind it's time we sit down
to bear witness to this constant miraculous creation of life

and we all know most of the time we settle for reruns or ha
i've tried and true stories or fantasies
i'll watch that movie again well okay
at the heart the spirit of our practices
to realize know this has never happened before this will never happen again
this is the beginning of something original
bodhi this original this beginner's mind body fat for know as your measurably deep and wide

right is always unfurling in this extraordinary way
if we let it
the can't stop it
but that doesn't mean we let it
is the intrigue of practice the can't stop being completely yourself
but you can struggle with it
you can try this for you
you can feel compromised about it it's not quite enough of this and it's too much tibet but you can't stop it
this is michelangelo's letting go of something extra
the genius of creation is always unfurling

this is then practice

can we whole heartedly allow what's already happening

and when we pay close attention
see it's immeasurably deep and wide
the range of thoughts and feelings

i said to someone recently well it's about being authentic and they said to me authentic do
i'm constantly baffled by exactly what that is
one of course
it's a measurably deep and wide
it's situation has its own nuances and complications and challenges
and in the last line says not even a buddha can define it
it's not that we get it we grasp at are we can see that and understand it spoiled we enter into it
they become part of it we flow with it we interact with it
yes we can be at tassajara and we can hear the signs of people going to the lecture and the air cooling off and knowing the beds are coming out and the crickets
and know the lamplighters going around and glamping of lighting the lamps and the dishwashers washing the dishes from gas dinner
and the students are going to the zendo for evening meditation
those things we can know
but this also something completely mysterious
the workings inside a single human being
how this enormous
miraculous creation keeps unfurling
even a buddha can to find it
so this verse we say at the start of our initiation me read it again in this world of birth and death when we realize our imperturbable way seeking mind body is right at hand
bodhi sad for you know as immeasurably deep and wide
not even a buddha can define it
thank you
chin equally penetrate every