Audio loading...

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


Wednesday talk.
Ecopsychology; desires, needs, narcissism; nurturing through zazen.

Auto-Generated Transcript

good evening

after the bows just now and
getting the brogues arranged neatly and sitting down a as i was getting my robes
folded up i thought oh he's going to be a dharma talk and and i wonder who's giving it
everybody was sitting down in over the tap for the top
so this or this garment talk is the last wednesday night gonna talk of the practice period next wednesday or be ah
a hearing from issue so in the morning we'll have a damaged talk in the morning and then the evening will fit and then they'll be a precept ceremony for the she saw ah which is it's traditional for the issue so it's a kind of ordination this
practice paid for the she so i go like a two month ceremony or ninety day ceremony it has her
and it's traditional that the person leading the practice period if they haven't received the precepts
from that person that they receive it from time during the practice period
the precepts will be doing that next week so this is this is their last wednesday night talk for awhile
and i want to continue to talk about karma and also some other
points some other
issues some other practice or
practices that i want to bring up with you tonight

how couple of people have mentioned to me out
we've experienced some feeling of ah that's unusual for them of not feeling competent are feeling competent and i think that's
it's an interesting point to bring up and i realized i didn't know what the word competent meant what does that really mean so i i looked it up
and it comes from the word ah compete to compete and to compete is to strive or contend with another or others as for profit or a prize
that's to compete and competent as for different meanings properly are well-qualified capable is competent
adequate for the purpose suitable sufficient
and in in the law to be competent means legally qualified or admissible competent witnesses immiscible
rightly or properly belonging are permissible
and it comes from a big latin
compare day which means to strive together
the cim is together and pet is to seek or to strive
and then looking further into the origins of the word
but the route is pet p t which means to rush or fly
and it's associated with the word feather in old english and pendant is feather in latin for this a connection there
and peppery and lead to go towards to seek and other words that are in this cluster our petition petulant appetite
impetus perpetual repeat
ah in reflecting about what what it is true
ah not feel competent or to feel competent and and what this is turning on ah
became an interest to me and it began
i'd like to feel that this feeling of not being competent is associated with beginner's mind just
actually not been an expert not really not knowing and then
and we associated feelings that sometimes come along with not knowing it may not be awe and wonder and isn't this great bud
some pain involved in that
an especially if we're pretty capable usually seem to be lots of different places like to be prepared to her life
so ah
so how come we're not competent in every aspect of her life you know
why isn't it true for in one that we weekend
just have that
just draw on our competency and am just in all areas
when i think what we find his error
i practice
he's so
he is so deep actually that
our most ah
just the deepest parts of her like which may not have been touched in a long time
which may not have been honored or listen to or
given any space
while we've been very assiduously
competent and capable and following through ah
in a lot of different areas of her life
so just leaving that
hanging out
and i'll see if i can tie this altogether
at the end
there's some
i'm not of work being done in the visioning of zen center right now and one of the committees that i'm an aside from the vision committee itself and the young adults council and are emerging sanders group a muslin the at the environmental committee and we're looking at
at at one of our goals
how has to do with
environmental health and bringing the principles of environmental health and stewardship i think we said embedding that in all areas of st centers rifles see i wrote it down
where i met your health and establishing environment or health and stewardship as a fundamental principle of zen center and ensuring environmental health is a primary value that's involved in in all sorts of decisions
you know
decisions we make about the institution
you know buildings and choices all sorts of choices having environment to help be a value that straight and in the forefront
so i have to read this some essay in a book called an equal psychology
eco psychology restoring the earth healing mind there's a number of psychologists when you put the bay area actually who
ecologists and psychologists and work with those issues in in kind of one
integrated way
in this article was reading about
how was bringing up the
ha degradation and destroying of the earth through consumerism and
this right now is this is these two months right now that we're in the next coming months are you know this enormous
holiday season time which many people have a great deal of difficulty with a lot of
all sorts of things go on for people feeling you know left out feeling
people get very depressed during these times and
in looking at the the connection between our own states of mine and difficulties and the
can a religion of consumerism that we are
surrounded by so thoroughly and so on
where it's it's it is very confusing
our part of this article was saying that after world war one i think it was
there there wasn't this big push for can consuming goods people were satisfied with making do you know they were kind of
of settled you values about making do using what's old and those kinds of things and and so industry
i felt like well this will never do because how are we going to make many people are using old things patching when they got you know not getting new stuff so they kind of the ad advertising world was born it was kind of born in order to you know for corporate profits and so
for it and then the creation of needs and wants and desires had to be very assiduously put for it you know
and and now we're so used to it were numb to p m is pervasive selling being directed at us at all times in all places
but i've found that very interesting that it wasn't that wasn't a kind of shared understanding that you needed to get latest than the newest and it was was a different
ethos maybe value
i've been talking with the number people but i have a friend was reading a little house on the prairie books to her daughter and those of you who read those books
either out loud to a child or read them as a young person yourself might remember that those books
i get this time of year christmas time how are they time they would make their gifts you know and and was described maybe they would make a hankie you know i hemmed edges it may be a brighter a little flour on it from mama you know that would be the gift and it was
began over time in hiding it so nobody would know and then
or you know they've got one piece of candy in a an orange
and now
and and it was grateful happy time this some
it's very hard and you know to to be in the tide of have
this onslaught you know our
a pressure to
give what would you don't have the means to give or don't want to and yet this
family and friends that would feel lesson so if you didn't in
and and all of it doesn't actually meet our true self you know doesn't actually satisfy the whole
there can be a gift that is accepted
that's true that's it i'm not saying our priests i'm not
making a pitch for no gifts or not expressing your generosity but to be able to sort through this this morass and swirl at that were in those of you who are not leaving the valley you know right now
we don't feel it maybe
quite stormy
so this am
invention of
how desires and needs that we don't necessarily generate on her own i remember this at tassajara
one could get by and be very happy and the happiest maybe of my entire life living very very simply
and then the ll bean catalog would come in i don't take a look at with and all the sudden i had all these needs you know all these desires would be from the conditions of looking at the pictures and are you can get it in both avocado and aubergine
i need an aubergine turtleneck in our minds getting a little older so but you could go for weeks and months without necessarily feeling you needed a new
and everybody else down at us are also
you know what you dress warmly address for the season where he rose
mended your robes
and happiness or joy was not dependent on having the latest gadget or technology year
i just occurred to me now then if you went to the city i remember wearing my best tassajara day off dinner outfit and the closer i got to san francisco the shabbier and stained and strange it was you
this a second sexual in this
our story
this advertising world and the
this is is playing on some sarah you know this is playing up and using some sarah meaning desires are inexhaustible and forgetting about i bow to put an end of them just desires are inexhaustible okay let's see what we can
this i heard a statistic there were like twelve thousand new products put into a year put into just supermarkets and drugstores in you know like a walgreen drugstore as alone
and they weren't all that new new packaging new a different label or cinnamon flavor her you know
it's desires are inexhaustible but for us
what is it that gets caught by that that that is actually
drawn to and intrigued by it and and actually can fool ourselves into thinking we do or which we certainly do mean this than the other and
in this article it was talking about
the full self and narcissism and i wanted to just look at this a little bit with you because i found it quite fascinating narcissism
our comes from the greek myth about narcissus right and just to remind you you may know the story but next the that the narcissus flower in greek in greece is different from what we call narcissus it's a kind of purple flower with silver and process
funny when she went down into the underworld if you know that story she was gathering flowers and she saw this flower and it was the narcissus so it's a very beautiful i guess i actually don't know exactly what it looks like and that's the one that she grabbed him and the chasm opened up and in one version in post health
anneke version where she
was you know
in taste to go down into the underworld by hades the pre hellenic version she goes on her own she decides to go down into the
garrick for her own reasons
so that that narcissus flour and it comes from
the story of narcissus and narcissus was a most beautiful young man he was extraordinarily beautiful and
all the young ladies and probably and gentlemen to i bet he knew can tell another than but he would have nothing to do with anybody
he would spurn anybody's attentions
and the young ladies that mostly they tell about news story
tried to get his attention but he he just had nothing to do with them
one of the young ladies who was very interested in him was named echo
and she had
ah fallen into disfavor with hara the wife of zeus who was always on the lookout for who zeus might be
chasing after and cheaper echo was the one so she'd made it a kind of
she made echo not be able to speak first echo could only speak and say what somebody else said
so echo was very interested in nurses and but she couldn't
speak for us he knows who she hold him into the forest and she heard him say
oh yeah
i'm so nervous system was by himself in the forest and he he was called out is anyone here and she said here here here and and then he said come and she said come and she came and then he spurned
her again it's like though i don't want to spend time with you and miss her so much that she had of just went into a cave and just kind of curled up and that's where she is all the time you can find her there you know you calling to a k right
a man
one of the goddesses nemesis
and the name of that goddess as you know means
righteous anger the great goddess nemesis got really annoyed and really angry at at narcissus for for doing this for being so mean everybody so she cursed him or changed him so that he would
only for on love with his own with himself and nobody else but he wouldn't be able to get himself right
so what happened was my sister's was going to go for a drink in a pond and he put his face down and he saw this beautiful in himself how beautifully was and yet he couldn't
get himself and he gazed and gazed engaged
and couldn't relieve himself didn't want to leave this image he was so captivated by his own self
and and he realized that he could only be free from this captivation through death
and he he died they're leaning perpetually over the pool fixed with one long gays
he couldn't do anything but that an echo can have watched from the sidelines and he said farewell to himself and she called farewell farewell
france narcissus
so we have this term narcissism and narcissism s a
canada psychological
concept refers to
i can say this clearly
narcissism is born of the fact that our own needs our own authentic self and what we truly are interested in and need is not reflected back to us
and the needs of others parents or other caretakers are what's important in our own needs i disregarded
so pretty soon our own feelings and needs and wants and desires because they're not taking care of or honored or knowledge they begin to be in order to receive approval and love for
erm others appearance goes get buried you know
our true self get buried and we create what's called a false self that's doing what others want to see us do hand
pleasing others and and then of course we get their approval in their love so ah
it has it it is has some kind of advantage there but the damage or the loss of one's own true it gets so buried that we don't even know what what are our authentic selves might be because we completely identified as our own what others one
from us we actually can't distinguish
so we're constantly in narcissism
striving to meet the standards of others and it's endless of course
and then the false self takes on other standards and then it doesn't matter what the external we have so
incorporated it and
internalized it that we have our own high standards
better often impassively hi
that we can't ever meek and so there's this
enormously painful situation of our own full self demanding of or something or inability to meet it and ah and the authentic or our true self is we don't even know what it is
with this false self true self is a feeling of
i'm worthiness and in competency
maybe or that has to be kept you know from anybody's view and so to compensate for that compensate and competency we there's often along with narcissism is a kind of overblown entitlement demand
and wanting our wishes fulfilled exactly and during the world owes us
it was very complicated you know from this kind of internal
i'm not feeling worthy
compensating by demanding and the whole thing
and being unsatisfying and
so you take a person like that
we're a nation like that that's been out
inculcated and
you know a propagandized to believe that what we have already in who we are is inadequate is not beautiful enough and not smells good enough and not
and not smart enough not you know we we get there from all sides and then part of this little vicious circle is but we've got the answer for you we've got the if you just get this or by that or keep up on this in
so this am
so the consumerism and pm
her needing to have things external things to take care of this part that can't be taken care of in that way
and in the pressure to do it that way
in order to feel okay about ourselves
so along with this often are feeling so
depression and
not being willing to look at
look at this are just on the wheel you know thing about some sorry is that's that's why i say i'm advertising and consumerism is like
it uses the that lost some sarah because some sarah built in is if if this didn't work just try harder for don't try this one if only you know that's part of some sir
using them
so when we begin to dismantle this fulfill
well we actually see through this isn't working this isn't helping this doesn't actually meet my true self when we have some we don't we can't even put it in word sometimes but something has met our true self
for me it was and he knows i i could set it in that kind of language but i felt it was something i could have confidence in something i could
that wasn't about you're not okay so let me give you this so you'll be okay it was you are okay you completely okay and now you can realize that this is some basic basic buddhist teaching that damn you know it
comes as ah
it's like a good news you know in the swirl of how much we are okay and smart enough beautiful enough
brett along with that is this pain of
kind of looking at
all our edifices oh my edifices that i constructed about what
what's gonna be okay what's gonna get approval what's gonna keep me safe and part of it was being asked you know
things like competition you know like been the one who remember i told somebody this going into a class in college and looking around and say i can i can beat all these people
well that that kind of thought has nothing to do with you know friendship interconnectedness harmony joining hands to you know
learn together something know it was you know but some if the gratings on occur curve well i can thank you i'll beat him and i didn't you know i did whatever it took
with my coffee pot and my cigarettes
this is a very painful but dismantling it is also painful you know and there's painful feelings that arise
remorse or regret great sadness you know can arise as we are lot of pain in
looking at all those
parts of ourselves that haven't
been included you know that have been shunned pushed aside suppressed and all that stuff
and then how do we nourish that part of ourselves or our true selves and i pick our practice
nourishes our true self what it's how
and many other things nourish our true self as well right
being in nature for example and ah
good conversation and
being closer to our
objects of the world you know handling things would care this is all very nourishing
but the competitors to strive together and i think ah
you know there's nothing the matter with being competent
and we are competent it's it's some what is true competence what is true striving together
rather than competing or against with rivals
and also this is what i said about they they had to be a fostering of desires you know because there was and in many cultures
i remember when i went to italy when i will some
twenty one and i would i found out is that italian women
had like one outfit in one very nice suit and they would wear that out you know they would wear that gaming
and it was kept queen and
and i i brought this trunk you know i was going for a year you gotta have a trunk for the course but i ended up not wearing them i i wanted to do the italian way you have a few things
and buddhist you know a buddhist order their the monks and nuns had you know it was very
prescribe you had a needle medicine and
a certain number of
under robes and an overall but i don't remember exactly and maybe it changed through the years but there was just one to wash and went to where you know so
there is a models for this and i'm not saying that we necessarily
have one needle and three three outfits or something but to do we actually look at what satisfies and
study it you know
so i'm
i wanted to on read something from suzuki roshi
about karma
and about i feel this ties him because it has to do with this striving and are gaining idea you know that he talks about so much and also bodhi dharma in the the for ways to enter practice the first is enduring be
fruits of our actions and during our
the effects of our comic actions during fruits of past actions the second is according with causes and conditions of third is not seeking
and he says
ah the sutures say not to seek his bitterness not seeking his joy
but a kind of turn that ah you know
in all areas of her life in a holiday time and under cushion seeking his bitterness not seeking his joy and
finding out what that means so
in there may be given or it's mine down
had see where do i want to start
before bodhi dharma people thought that after a long preparation sudden enlightenment would come less then practice was a kind of training to gain enlightenment
actually many people today are practicing zazzle with this idea but this is not the traditional understanding of then
the understanding passed down from buddha to our time is that when you start doesn't bear his enlightenment even without any preparation
whether you practice as in or not you have buddha nature because you have it there is enlightenment in your practice
the points we emphasize are not the stage we attain but the strong confidence we have in our original nature and the sincerity of our practice
we should practice zen with the same sincerity is buddha
if originally we have buddha nature the reason we practice thousand is that we must behave like buddha

according to the traditional buddhist understanding our human nature is without ego when we have no idea of ego we have buddhist view of life
our egoistic ideas are delusion covering our buddha nature
we're always creating and following them
and then repeating this process over and over again our life becomes completely occupied by ego centered ideas this is called karmic life or camera
the buddhist life should not be comic life
the purpose of our practice is to cut off the karma the comic spinning mind
if you're trying to attain enlightenment that is part of karma you are creating and being driven by karma and you are waiting and you are wasting your time on your black cushion
according to bodhi is understanding practice based on any gaining idea is just a repetition of your karma
and then later you may think buddha attained some stage where he was freed from comic life but it is not so many stories were told by buddha about his experiences after he gained enlightenment
oh so this is beyond you know the fruit of our comic life is even after realizing we still receive the fruits of our life before we while we were still creating karma those fruits will how rape
so this
spinning mind
and gaining idea and gaining enlightenment
i'm trying to attain enlightenment that is part of karma and you're creating and being driven by karma and you're wasting your time and your black cushion so
getting back to competent being competent this
teaching that we are all completely competent you know buddhas and ancestors were the same as we we in the future will be buddhists and ancestors and and nobody is excluded from that if nobody who's not capable of that
why not
part of that teaching
so i think those were the points i wanted to bring up and also to encourage us all dreamers
i have one more thing i wanted to bring up a bit i wanted to lease some time for questions tonight and we encourage us all during this time to remain
know eyes open during this with all the pressures that there are
internally and externally
so is there anything anyone would like to bring up
why we do daniel me know


i've never heard of a refrigerator that's only this been that actually works i mean
only the coolest kids have them
you know

and simplifying your life
do you feel there's a connection there
what would you think

i met but
on that we have some extreme practice i mean there are there are
groups that
and religious holy people who go into ascetic practices you know i don't think it's about asceticism
i think it's about ah
and responding what is just enough you know in all her
it's a call on you know
what's in a food item of conversation with enough sleep you know there's
what sam
what's a simplified life if you're vimalakirti are you going to first class
rima care had lots of stuff you know but i think he lived a simple life actually
i am
in a malls and supermarkets are becoming these places from or have for well that are safe for people to go and can be with people and yet not be with people
forum this is something i read for women and older people and adolescence a mall is a kind of environment
that's chosen you know as a kind of social space
and i think it's hard to simplify in the mall
so we can even
you know having confidence in our buddha nature still we can
create causes and conditions for her own liberation we can make choices weekend
decide to spend more time outside and
you know we can make choices

oh you


well first i would start out by recognizing that i'm a mall person myself you know and i understand
i remember at our at our women in buddhism celebration conference there was this you could choose different tracks to go to and one was i think it was ritual ceremony or something and we did this whole ritual thing and then after that the leader of it was teach
your said let's go shopping because there was a whole gift thing that was being set out
and everybody understood you know what
but that is that could see the stuff you know
so i think to start out by understanding
ourselves it's it's not about those consumers to me the vm you know our effort to live free you know
ah to
daschle see how how much we are cut you know
and and then how do we help others or be an example or have an alternative for mean i always have felt that zen center residential places are kind of alternative you know where
but you know this this vision thing in having this particular objective of establishing these principles you know all throughout
it tom are we losing that are we forgetting so so how to be an example for the world for each other
denigrating anybody without be angry if anybody everybody's caught this is where compassion for the whole we'll you know though everybody on the wheel
oh there's no one
anger doesn't quite reach it you know
despair baby
but down
compassion i think
from knowing pretty thoroughly how it all works you know
and how it doesn't work
i just spoke with a relative of mine who had just gotten three pairs of shoes and the last time i was with the she got three pairs of shoes
and i had the sad feeling arise because i know what those shoes are about thereabout
loneliness thereabout fear of growing all their about not feeling attractive thereupon all that stuff that's what it's about
and it dumb

i got package


he was

and ever be the building of the karma
the bed at acquiring or that desire is building a whole which is subsequently building more the same
now he be interesting if we can take narcissist in the shopping mall
and how that would work
shining all these things and saying i mean there's not enough
and you're getting back to your other point about said center and ecological to situation with this consumer than isn't men games where nurses is even like the author finder or prime feel the stare at hibs know him and his there no narcissist for our dog
no as pointed as where wildflowers and in amongst the read
living body of water
robbie is i think it's all these question
the ecological
notion which going back to the original latin version of competent that it's for all about that it is this sort of predator a situation that's on
so the crocodile are building for us out by
designer thing we're also building
yes will come on
and i think that's where the despair comes in to see to serve
what are we what is the effect what is the consequence of this and actually to see and to feel bad
huh well

yes if we don't recognize the pain of this right now then we'll just want to fill it up quick well let's let's have a fudge am
but we cannot we could fit let's say you know let's chant
actually i'm there's lots of practices that are
ah you know some expression of
our i'm
our desires are inexhaustible i vowed to put an end to them all of our mouse
but are you in despair you feel and despair know was that a depressing thing nancy
let's hear it



a who

yes well i think it you know this charm that when i read this just this statistic that if you've been a kid who's watch tv since you've been little you have seen i can't remember what it was like how many millions of
advertisements you know so by the time you're a certain age it's just like phenomenon you know so we we kind of been spun around and to to be in a place where like it a practice period for example or it does i remember this thing about clothes and going to a store
if after be antasari for a year and i remember i didn't know what was in fashion i didn't know what was cool idea i had my kind of zendo clothes and i tried to diana had to go home to and headwear something in the store lady said oh honey he had been you've got a short and that you know i had no idea that could be i didn't
know what the length was you know could be in the eighteen hundreds and i just
and it was very refreshing to actually drop out of that kind of tracking so that's one of the beauties you know of of being in in the practice pewter not leaving the value you had a break the spell
same with going to a super bark and i remember i looked and i got there's nothing to eat in this whole place
i feel like the spell can be broken
but thank you for the tip go to garage sales go to the goodwill here

make gifts knit
knitters here

may i