April 13th, 2002, Serial No. 03930

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yeah let's grant and hundred how we better get
my classes and one just made his hair in paid
there's that he was handmade
is it has a her we wanted as hard together recently and as soon as i got there i got a tremendous sinus headache and stayed in bed for a couple of days and he was really having a i'm actually i would say is having a good time what he said once he felt
and so he wanted to stay a little bit of a great manager
i left there and i came back
had i gone

i'm on the way up i stopped at am like as yeah safeway midland stores kinds of stores and unwanted cars as a bumper sticker when it because great bumper sticker says my other vehicle is mahayana
that is great

i am also just wanted to say it's very difficult to be who we are
sometimes just who we are even with our best intentions
and hurts people and

and if we are buddhist if we are students at the tarmac students have ourselves a little selfish self
every so often it's really good to acknowledge that and i was myself the other night and i don't think i heard anybody but people were sort of some of them were surprised to say the least
so i just wanted to say that
if i did hurt anybody or if what i did was not helpful and i i am sorry and i do apologize and living in a community one are they really good things about living in a community especially in the job that i am gifted to have is that we're a little bit out there with each
either and so we get feedback right away which is great because it keeps us prison well connected you know the people who give you real feedback are the people who care about you
he keeps her soft little humble and that's also good and that so ah yeah
we don't get
a lot of time to attach to some idea of ourselves whether it's a great idea and not such a great idea
and i've gotten both kinds of feedback recently so it's like when you're in the kitchen and a certain kind of whale though you do we do pay attention i mean it's really good if somebody gives you feedback that's kind of you can identify with
it's also a national moment just to take a moment and feel that because it feels good and if you get feedback that you don't particularly want to identify with that's really good information and send so much that you have to change who you are you know we don't we don't want to do that really we want to expose more and more who
learn who we are and can expose more of her way or the closer we are to who we really are and that person really is connected with everything and that person is a person fundamentally i believe who is the person that we actually
i hope you're not following this
because if you're trying to follow this issue out listening to this dog in there i was a
and here i do believe that inside our true nature is is that we are open hearted and feel really connected with people
so anyway that's hot that's my kind of warm up after warm up
give a socks
i'm sitting here with a book to my right that says the title of the book is so make a pass through shouting
and i'm going to get em think i actually read you that palm opponent that is the title of that book and a minute but as kind of
silver hard to sit here now with that title
i have get started here
so it's been awhile since we've talked on a saturday has been a way long while since i've talked anybody on a wednesday
which is a little bit more intimate situation but this is kind of nice a lot of people are new here this morning i think people
so a lot has changed since the last time i was here and of course that is true
because one of the fundamental teachings of buddhism is that everything changes and if we stop even for a moment we get that immediately but what we usually think of change er impermanence is maybe not exactly what buddhism means by impermanence
well we usually think of as impermanence is that there are things here and they change slowly preferably if we're to actually if we're in a good situation we hope that they changed that actually for a good situation we don't want them to change at all but if they're going to change we want them to change slowly
and if we're in a situation that we don't like very much we think that there still are things that were okay with us to understand the truth of impermanence is what suzuki roshi says three kids
eric and that's true if we don't like how things are the truth is that everything is in change we think yeah i can believe that no problems with have everything changed and said it better
but that's not exactly where the teaching of impermanence is exactly quite the teaching of impermanence of course is is that because
or not because are the reason or the way that that so-called apparent things can change in the first places because there really isn't a thing there at all not that there's not you know reality is that this would this i can get hurt not that i can't get hurt as someone hit me with this but that
it doesn't exist in the way we think it does as a solid separate object

so what are they really big problems in our lives and our personalized is is that instead of really
deeply investigating the truth if this teaching of change
especially in particularly the idea of me the idea of me
and any idea that we hold
the problem is is that way we hold onto these views these ideas the idea of self of causes the most egregious but we have other views as well and the holding to these views thinking that we're right and somebody else is wrong
is a real problem and i can't tell you the depth of how much this is a problem except to say maybe that if you look at what's happening in the world today
ah listen to how people talk and see
how strongly people are holding to their view of what is right and what is wrong you can begin to see how what is happening today is in very real part caused by holding
our ideas of what is right what is wrong who we are with somebody else is what should be done what shouldn't be done what is good what is bad and so on and so on and so forth
i've been on
afraid lately actually in a way that i don't remember ever in my whole life being afraid
and striking
and i've also been anguished at the news
what's been happening in the middle east
and i noticed something about myself which was her
cake and understandable but regrettable limitation
i could very easily feel anguish about what's happening in the middle east because i'm jewish and i feel very connected with that area
but when i noticed was the kind of emotional response was not the same exactly as when i was feeling
i'm concerned and heartfelt about for example was the troubles in ireland
or what happened in rwanda what's going on now with age and south africa
so for me this time i am a pulled psychically to this particular event but it doesn't mean only because of my limitation it doesn't mean that the same kind of
ha if i may say dangerously insane
holding to views is not happening in other parts of the world that we that i
more rightly in a more
fundamental way would feel would feel just as connected with

so i've been
trying to understand what an appropriate response should be in this situation
and because i am pressed against this one
i get to examine that for all situations of this kind
what for us buddhists is an appropriate response
when people are violent in our one to one relationships in our relationships with ourselves and anyone who would seem different than we are
or for nation states
i think this is true you can think about it yourself but the only time that we're violent is when we actually feel
hurt or threatened or we really feel like we are justified in our position when we feel like we don't have a choice we feel threatened were hurt
and i think this is not like a person is a bad person or a person is a violent person i don't think so i think a person is a desperate person
i think of people in palestine feel desperate
and i think the people in israel feel desperate

i remembered twice in my life when i understood the feeling of revenge this is not a feeling that i grew up with i didn't understand it
the first time it happened actually the second time it happened was when i was in a relationship and i didn't i was being hurt
but it was a very kind of clever kind of hurt hurting the person that's really clever
and i don't want to go into the dynamics of the relationship but anyway
after we broke up
i actually feel felt like i wanted i wanted not like i was gonna hurt another people out of my anger by kind of just because you know i was in the as in this rage and out of that rage i just kind of wanted to kill them you don't really really when you're like that i grew up in a family like that it was not just because you had a
lot of energy didn't mean you're actually wanted to kill anybody
but revenge felt different it didn't have a lot of energy behind it it was cool dispassionate i wanted to hurt somebody
it was really interesting
i really wanted to hurt somebody was harlow feeling
and the other time i felt that way it was when my father my father was i don't want to go into much to details in this either but any my my father at one time experienced kind of a an anti semitism that was very demeaning to him and
he he built a business with another person and and the other person
in a very
kind of bile like kind of way
pulled out his my father's ability to remain in that business and
i mean i'll put his car up on a
garage in one of those things where you lift your car up you know to fix it so my coat and my day i couldn't drive home and mean lots of things that were very
i'm a surprisingly inconsiderate
and i wanted to hurt that family i wanted to take revenge
what what they had done to my dad
and i believe that the people palestinian people in the middle east want and have been
and i understand that one of the people who were killed themselves by bombing

one of the thing that turned him to do that was because he saw his father
the word is
not just disrespected by
kind of something between disrespected and humiliated something

and when they did that bombing in israel at passover which is the main jewish holiday where you go home to your family and
very open and vulnerable time i remember my mother always inviting foreign students from ucla to come to our home and share in that passover dinner at a time when you bringing strangers to your home and opened the doors and so on and at that time for that person to
make a bombing
i think that's the thing that really
through the whole situation two different level i know for the people in israel
i read an article in the paper the other day that
israel will never the because the bombing to suicide bombing a successful
that's a leader of hamas said that that israel will never be stable ever again and i think that may be the case
so i don't want to talk about the situation anymore because i feel like at this point to go into the history of who is right and who is wrong is not helpful
and it's not helpful when we have relationships and you end up saying well you did this nine and this and then he did this and then i did this
it's not helpful
we create our world with our minds when we hold to opinions when we think we are right and another person is wrong we create that world as a cold dependently arisen event
so the same as verse first verse from the demo pot as sayings of the buddha
what we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday and are present thoughts build our life of tomorrow our life is the creation of our mind if a person speaks or acts with impure mind suffering follows is the wheel of the cart follows the beasts that pulls it
what we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday and our present saw its build our life of tomorrow our life is the creation of our mind if a person speaks or acts with the pure mind joy will follow as a shadow follows the body
he insulted me he hurt me he defeated me he robbed me those who think such thoughts are not free from hate
he insulted me he hurt me he defeated me he robbed me those who think not such thoughts will be free from hate for hate is not conquered by hate hate is conquered by love this is the eternal law many do not know that we are here in this life to live in

in berkeley right now they're having demonstrations
and i'm watching all the time i'm watching now
de ce here in a sanity say going to be any sanity
and i'm sorry to say that berkeley my alma mater
if not saying the
they had demonstrations the israeli pro israeli of here and then they had another demonstration pro-palestinian over here
not helpful
when i went to berkeley the big thing for the students at that time we had two big things one was the civil rights movement and one was the vietnam war
we thought hard long and hard about nonviolence and what kind of response was an appropriate response we thought of all of the various aspects were what about this and what about that and what if this what if that and so and so forth
we hadn't yet taken vows we didn't know about vows were were thinking

i had a boyfriend then who are concerned was going to vietnam
and his response
much to my
horror actually
well said he went to he left united states and he went to sweden as a conscientious objector
and my response was that i went to mississippi that somewhere nineteen sixty four

the people in the south
or frightened when we came
by we i mean me as you know there's some of you know actually probably something you haven't a clue
and i don't want to go into it prevented him
we were white northern students from colleges in the north mostly who became members of snake the student nonviolent coordinating committee and we were coming to the deep south
to register voters and to teach english and to is what i did and to build community center one room thanks
and to

help people decide whether at the end of the summer they are going to let their little five year old kids unprotected
walk to school
now i'm each this response

he's called
so make a path
through shouting
first before i made this poem could you guys close your eyes and put your hands like this on your head thank you for doing this i ask you to do this every so often really close your eyes close your eyes now i am i there is a word and hear that
might offend some people okay so i don't want you to know how you're going to vote but i want you to i want you to actually vote and if there's anybody in the room who will be offended by this word i won't read it but it's n i g g or that word will anybody be offended by that word raise your hand
okay want it

thick at the school gate are the ones rage has twisted into minotaurs harpies relentlessly swift
so you must walk past the pincers the swaying horns sister sister straight through the guts of fear and fury straight through where are you going
i'm just going to school
here we go to meet the hydra headed day here we go to meet the maelstrom
can my voice be an angel on the spot and amen corner can my voice take you there gallant girl with a notebook up up from the shadows of gallows trees to the other shore
a globe bathed in light a chalk board blooming with equations
i have never seen the likes of you pioneer in dark glasses he won't show the mob your eyes but i know your gaze steady on the north star burning
was there jerry rigged face their spear of the american flag how could they dare to believe you or someone sacred
burr headed girl
where are you going
i'm just going to school

you know i don't think i need to i think you understand
young man is a co on case number fourteen and the blue cliff record young men in japanese is called on
his teacher was seppo this is no blanches favorite to people
sep and canto
this is the cohen
a monk asked young men
what is the teaching of the buddhist lifetime on men said
an appropriate response
another translation in the hexagon roku i think it says
what are the teachings of a whole lifetime and there is but and the responses preaching facing oneness
so if we understand our connectedness
yes there are differences but the fundamental truth of our existence is that we are the same fundamental essence
if we only live in a place of differences without understanding our fundamental connectedness we end up holding to views afraid threatened and we end up hurting each other

no tick not hunt has this great poem and and i in a way i'm kind of sorry to read it to you again because i'm i'm sure you've heard it dozens and dozens of times but the last time i heard it i heard something different in it and i really appreciated it again so i want to read it too
the history of this is really interesting he was in it was one of the delegates to i think to to a nation special session united nations special session on disarmament nineteen eighty two there were lots of religious leaders there and they were all talking about privately the
precepts and you know things that religion people talk about
and tick nhat hahn and didn't have anything he hadn't it didn't have a written speech he didn't have a speech made on the way to the time that he was going to talk at this conference he wrote this poem
he stood up he read this poem he sat down
it's called please call me by my true names
don't say that i will depart tomorrow even today i am still arriving look deeply every second i'm arriving to be a bud on a spring branch to be a tiny bird with still fragile wings learning to sing in my new nest to be a caterpillar and
the heart of a flower to be a jew hiding itself in a stone i still arrive in order to laugh and to cry to fear and hope
the rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that is alive i am a mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river and i am the bird that swoops down to swallow the mayfly i am a frog swimming happily in the clear water of a pond and i am the grass snake that silently
lee feeds itself on that frog
i am the child and uganda all skin and bones my legs as sin as bamboo sticks and i am the arms merchant selling deadly weapons to uganda i am the twelve year old girl refugee on a small boat who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a c pirate and i am that
pirate my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving
and i am the bomber and i am the soldier and i am the grieving family with a closed heart
not yet capable of listening
my joy is like spring so warm it makes flowers bloom all over the earth my pain is like a river of tears so vast it fills the for oceans please call me by my true names
so i can hear all my cries and laughter at once
so i can see that my joy and pain are one please call me by my true names
so i can wake up
and the door of my heart
can be left open

some day maybe i'd like to actually kind of tell you if the heroism of some of the people and mississippi
the people you won't hear of the people whose names are not recorded or mentioned very often
the little kids
their teenager who sat on the community center when even it wasn't really even built jedi was just sitting on timbers with a rifle in his lap
and we were taught in to baloo just outside of jackson nonviolence
one is an appropriate response

it just
i can hardly understand the dalai lama consistency
when his people are being decimated and in the most heartless way and the land
and his culture and he still
nonviolent i think the only way must be to understand the depth
of are related enough
so again as buddhists what is are appropriate response

the nature of our mind is that it discriminates that is not the problem
the problem is is that we believe those discriminations we make some solid
and way identify with them
it is through sitting meditation as i say over and over and over again it is through sitting meditation that we begin to learn the deeper truth the essence of hooey are
as people as disciples of buddha
in whatever way your life turns out to to shape itself whether you end up being monks or praise or lay people it doesn't matter if your commitment is to the buddha path to the buddha away and i think essentially all religions and essentially would teach the same thing
but certainly if your disciple of the buddha we must not take sides we must not take sides

i don't think we're allowed to spend time justifying our point of view
i don't think so
i don't think that we are
to hold on to ill will or not it's one of the precepts

it is our responsibility i believe in this world
to always return to zero to always return to centered to always return
to now

as buddhists we renounce our path is about renouncing self centeredness
coming always from territoriality coming from a place of my view
we are
ha revolutionaries in this world
we are not to be caught
by grade hate and delusion
we are living to undermine
that way that worldly way of seeing things
we must not take sides

and of course we will get caught and we do make mistakes and this is good because then we want so much whole to the idea of our own you know right view or whatever it is we have to be naked in the world and just do our best
but at least we have some clarity with where we are aiming at
and then we have to make an appropriate response
so in mississippi at the end of the summer the parents had to decide
and the last night before
they sat up
i was in it was in harmony mississippi
just outside of carthage
and the school was in carthage
we hadn't yet finished the community center so there wasn't a roof
it was at night it was very dark and there was just one uncovered bulb in the middle of the room
it's probably half the size of this room
and the parents were sitting around the an edge
and there were three of us white people
we didn't say anything

the young man the teenager
who every night where we were building a community center
was sitting on top of it with a rifle
stood up
and he started to speak
he wasn't wearing a shirt
he was black
it was hot
and he said something like

i don't know how to read

i want my young brother to be able to made

when will it start
for medgar evers
and for all the people who came before
send these kids to school

and when he left the parents continued to talk till two o'clock in the morning
give this is not a theoretical and then they were talking that
they're talking about their own kids

we left the three of us the next day to go to the democratic convention in atlanta to see if the democratic party great democratic party would see the mississippi freedom delegation
they didn't
but i heard
that the kids did go to school

it's not easy when everybody is taking side
to stand in the middle

so each of us need to figure out
what is our own appropriate response