April 24th, 1996, Serial No. 02705

Audio loading...

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

This talk will not appear in the main Search results:

Recording starts after beginning of talk.

Auto-Generated Transcript

i'm bursting forth of life of
leaves and flowers and buds all opening in the woods around the chapel hill's and center and pets house
the dog would was just opening when i got there it was in full bloom and i left and red bird and the azalea
and then i came back
instead of talking about the bursting forth of life
i find that
our dear friend and armor brother jerry
is dying
and here we have the great matter of birth and death right
right in our face
right here
on the verse of the hon
it says great is the matter of birth and death
impermanent quickly passing awake awake each one
don't waste this life
and nagarajan of a great teacher said seeing into impermanence is itself the mind of awakening
this itself bodhicitta
the mind which turns toward awakening for the benefit of all beings
the mind which turns toward awakening to
are inseparable oneness with all being
and in the non-jew ceremony we chant
all should practice as if to save our heads from fire

this coming home to find
the jerry who was just a moment ago serving tea and the tearoom
being the consummate host to the guests in the room
was now being host to visitors who were coming to say goodbye as he was dying
and he was the consummate host also
in his room
taking care that everyone was comfortable
how the great master
danke schon said to wear this robe
and not to have understood the great matter is the most painful thing
in the than kuroko which is the transmission of the light
ah stories about the
dharma transmission or the intimate
our connection from teacher to disciple
through the transmission of the buddha mind
in our lineage
i he speaks of the forty second ancestor
liang shan
he studied with done on the ladder and served him do not ask him what is the business beneath the patch road
the master had no answer
duncan said studying the buddha away and still not reaching this realm as the most painful thing now you ask me
the master said what is the business beneath the patch robe
don't answer intimacy
the master was greatly awakened

this intimacy
means literally
intimate means literally inmost
and suzuki roshi used to direct our attention again and again to what is your inmost request
practice of hours begins
with intimacy with ourself
which becoming familiar with
our inmost concern
in the commentary on this case
a kiss on who who wrote the think a roku says
what was the original intention and getting people to leave home and escape the passions it was just to get them to arrive at boot of wisdom and vision
taking the a troubled to establish and communities and gathering together the four groups of female and male monastics and lay people was only for the purpose of clarifying this matter
therefore we speak of the meditation hall as the place for selecting buddhas
it is not simply in order to create an uproar by getting gathering together a community
it is only for the purpose of getting people to thoroughly understand themselves
it is only for the purpose of getting people to thoroughly understand themselves
that's what we're doing here that's the only reason for are being here
there's no other reason
suzuki roshi says in a lecture
she controls that alsace and is just be ourselves
we should not expect anything
just be ourselves and continue this practice forever
that is our way you know
if you feel yourself without any idea of time in the smallest particle of time
that is awesome
the reason we say this is that if we're involved in an idea of time
various desires will start to create some mischief
but when you have no idea of time your practice will go on and on with everything
this practice is not so easy
you may not be able to continue it even for one period you must make such a big effort
maybe what you can do though
is to extend this feeling
moment after moment
or to prepare for chicken taza
and this preparation or extension of the practice to another period of time eventually we will be extended everyday life
then our practice is to expose yourself as you are
you shouldn't try to be someone else
you should be very honest with yourself an express yourself fully
and you should be brave enough to express yourself
whatever whatever people may say you know it's all right
you should just you should be just yourself at least for your teacher
but what happens with you when you try to be just yourself and try to expose yourself completely as you are
how do you find that
do you find that
there are some things that you don't really want
other people to see about you
there may be some things you don't even want to see about yourself
so the first thing we have to do is expose ourselves to ourselves
is to really
turn inward and
allow or so to see ourselves completely
an often it's most important to have a good dharma friend in this process
in the mcgill suitor which i think norman was sharing with you during a practice period
the buddha says to my gear
ah the hearts releases not mature
the first thing that leads to its maturity is
a lovely intimacy
a lovely companionship
a lovely friendship

so a friendship
with someone else
or a whole community of others who are also making this effort to settle the great matter
we're making this effort to understand
themself to be fully who they are
and this is the anniversary which has spoken of
also in this forty second case of danko roku
this lovely intimacy
this being completely open
with herself and with another
nothing hidden
it's not so easy to do
it's as if russia says you must make such a big effort

it has just to be yourself to be honest with yourself and to express yourself fully without expecting anything
and to be ready to understand others
that's how you extend our practice to everyday life
but it's not so easy to be free from selfish practice
so even if only for one hour a day you should try to sit she composite without moving without expecting anything
as if you are in your last minute
moment after moment you feel your last minute
in each inhaling and in each exhaling there are countless units of time and you should live in each unit of time
then he talks about breathing
and i
this way that he talks about breathing in this talk i want to share with you because i think it's very important i think it really helps us in this effort to become intimate with herself
you should breathe smoothly exhaling first and then inhaling
calmness of your mind is beyond the end of your exhale
if you exhale in that way smoothly without even trying to exhale
you are entering into the complete perfect calmness of your mind
then naturally you're inhaling will start from there
all your blood will be cleaned and that fresh blood will carry everything from outside to pervade and refresh your body
you are completely refreshed
then you will start the exhale to extend that fresh feeling to the emptiness
in this way moment after moment without trying to do anything you continue chicago taza
so with you're exhaling you will gradually vanish gradually fade into the emptiness
an inhaling will naturally bring you back to yourself with some color or form
and again within exhaling you gradually fade into emptiness empty white paper
this is fantastic
i'm just explaining the feeling of she can taza the important point if she can cause it is in your exhaling
instead of trying to feel yourself try to fade and emptiness when you exhale
when you have this practice in your last moment you have nothing to be afraid of
you are actually aiming at emptiness the empty area there is no other way for you to have a feeling of immortality
you become one with everything after you completely exhale with this feeling
if you are still alive naturally you will inhale again
oh i'm still alive
so then you start to exhale and try to fade into emptiness
maybe you don't know what kind of feeling it is but some of you know it by some chance you must have felt this kind of feeling
you become one with everything after you completely exhale

this completely
understanding ourself as this particular
form and color
and understanding ourselves as one was everything
this is the fundamental teaching
that we tried to make our own direct experience
we just keep coming back to breath
moment after moment right where we are
to save it we try to make it our experiences too much you know so i he called oh said zazen is completely useless
and until you get it through your thick skull that is completely useless that it's really completely useless

but if we keep
making this effort to stay with
breath in this way
it actually is our experience in zazen
this non separateness
when you have this practice he says you cannot be angry so easily
because you are interested in inhaling more than exhaling you become angry quite easily you're trying to be alive always you know
the great joy for us is an exhaling rather than inhaling
so exhaling is very important for us to die as more important than to try to be alive
we always try to be alive so we have trouble instead of trying to be alive or active if we try to be calmer and die or fade away into emptiness that naturally we will be taken care of
various sects of religious practice are included
in this point when people say namo amida buddha suit namo amida boots so they want to be a to boots shoes children
that is how they repeat a meter boots whose name in their practice the same thing is true with as as and practice zazen practice is not different from their practice
if you know how to practice she can taza and if they know how to repeat a meetup whose name they cannot be different as long as their practices buddhism
as buddhist we have the same practice in different ways
so we can enjoy we are free we feel free to express ourselves because we are ready to fade into emptiness
if you're trying to be active and special and trying to do something you cannot express yourself
small self will be expressed but big self will not appear from the emptiness
from the emptiness only great self appears
that is she can tulsa ok
not so difficult if you try if you really try

once when i was ah
i've been practicing that's so very long but long enough that the
i was sitting a says shane and
it really seemed like i had learned how to count my breath you know i could count every breath from one to ten
and back again at one to ten
and so i went to suzuki roshi
in don't and i said
now i can count every breath from one to ten i counted at all last period i can every every breath i didn't miss any what do i do now and he said
don't have rethink that you can sit zazen that's a big mistake thousand said susan
and i wish
quite surprised because he'd never been quite so strict with me before he'd always been very kind and encouraging so i said yes sir and went back to the zendo
ah few years later
what i was a green gulch
in the office i was ah
taking a census for the secretary of sensitive
i was supposed to get a list of everyone living in green gulch and how long they've been practicing
and so i went up to jerry
who was it was here before i came i think he'd been around maybe about ten years by then
and i had my with clipboard in hand last century how long you've been sitting zazen and he said well
i tried again this morning
i never forgot that
never forgot that
he had
understood as a ferocious teaching that
southern said susan
and he just put himself on the cushion every morning
and it is best and that's all any of us can do
we do our best to stay right there with each breath
letting it go
all the way out
and letting the inhale come in of its own
when i try to do that it's not always so easy
sometimes the exhale goes out
it's required and i've become a little anxious about whether the inhale is going to come in and so i find myself some little something way down there and the bottom of my belly starts reaching for the inhale
not content to just wait for it to come of its own
and i have to be patient with whatever that is
feels like fear to me
i have to just stay with that
just day with that feeling of
not being ready to let it all go
stay was that feeling of
wanting to be alive
and reaching for it
not having confidence in it
whatever we find as we breathe whatever places
our breath doesn't just go and come freely
wherever it gets stuck
is a place to become more intimate with ourself
there's a place to stay with whatever feels tight are closed and allow it to be more open
allow ourselves to
find out more about
what's here
what do i need to know about this one what do i need to embrace
what am i turning away from that i need to turn toward
so that i can be truly intimate
with this one so that i can be fully and completely
who i am

without being fully and completely this particular one
without being intimate with this one as it is
it's not so easy to be intimate
with others
so by practicing being completely intimate with everything that i find
right here being completely open to everything
not turning away from anything not rejecting anything
i can begin to be more open with everyone
and more accepting of everything i find
in the so-called outside
the so-called inside the more open and whole and complete it is
can meet
more thoroughly the so-called outside
until we find that this inside and outside
are just
figment of our imagination
or just two sides of one thing
really the great sufi poet as a poem
out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing
there is a field
i'll meet you there
when the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about
ideas language
even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense
i'm beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field
i'll meet you there
when the soul lies down and that grass the world is too full to talk about
ideas language even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense
it reminds me of the lines and shin shin language say when doubt arises
not too
in this not too
nothing is separate
the wise of all times and places
have entered into this true
so roomy in his sufi understanding has entered into this truth of non-duality
suzuki roshi once again in finland mind beginner's mind and talking about breath
you can talk about this non-duality
when we practice zazen our mind always follows are breathing
when we inhaled the air's there comes into the inner world and when we exhale the year goes out to the outer world
the inner world is limitless
and the outer world is also limitless
we say in her world or outer world but actually there's just one whole world in this limitless world our throat is like the swinging door
the air comes in and goes out like someone passing through swinging door
if you think i breathe
the i is extra
there is no you to say i
so when we practices and all that exists is the movement of the breathing
but we are aware of this movement
you should not be absent minded
but be aware of the movement does not be aware of your small self but rather have your universal nature or buddha nature
this kind of awareness is very important because we are usually so one sided
our usual understanding of life as dualistic
you and i this and that good and bad
but actually these discriminations are themselves the awareness of the universal existence
you means to be aware of the universe in the form of you and i means to be aware of the universe in the form of i
you and i are just swinging doors this kind of understanding is necessary
this should not even be called understanding it is actually the true experience of life through zen practice

the in our work of arriving at this feeling of limitlessness
we have to explore
what the limits are that we find in ourselves
we have to find out how we've divided ourselves up separated ourselves for myself
and i like particularly this poem that
norman introduced us to by derek walcott called love after love
one day you will with elation greet yourself arriving at your own door in your own mirror
each will smile at the other greeting at the others greeting sing sit here eat
you will love again the stranger who was yourself
give wine give bread
give back your heart to itself to the stranger who has loved you all your life
whom you ignored for another
who knows you by heart
take down the love letters from the bookshelf the photographs the desperate notes peel your image from the mirror sit feast
feast on your life
you will love again the stranger who was yourself
give back your heart to itself to the stranger who has loved you all your life whom you ignored for another
who knows you by a heart
are there aspects of yourself whom you've nord have ignored
to please others
i have certainly found that to be the case myself
important aspects of myself which i discarded and abandoned because i thought they were not what my parents wanted

and recently i've been trying to reclaim them
and it's a great joy
it's a great joy
it has turned out that these parts of myself which i abandoned
those very parts where i my suffering is because
i didn't accept them
that very place is where
i can find out
how to meet others in their suffering if i can meet the suffering
of my own
completely and fully
this is the gateway to compassion this is the gateway to being with others in their suffering
instead of this rejected part of myself being some burden to drag about
it becomes a tool
it becomes so it it comes not sort of passively accepting
oneself it becomes
a passionate embracing of oneself
this is our practice mr become so intimate with everything that we find here
that we can truly love all of what we find here and therefore love
everything around us i love becomes freed up
to flow without
barrier and boundary
taking the trouble to establish and communities and gathering together the four groups of people it's only for the purpose of clarifying this matter
it is not simply in order to create an uproar by gathering together a community it is only for the purpose of getting people to thoroughly clarify understand become intimate with love completely
this one
this one
and don't shun was leaving young men he said if in future times
someone should ask me about you what should i say
a new man said just this one is
don't shun
ah hesitated immune men said you must be very careful
with understanding just this one
don't shon went on his
way on his pilgrimage
and as he was crossing a stream
he saw his reflection in the water
and he head
great realization of justice one he said
i go my own way now
and wherever i look i see myself
i am not it but it actually is me

when we come to fully embrace
then we can see herself
wherever we look
the whole world becomes a mirror
don't shine didn't think that just that reflection in the water was himself
but the water itself and the stones
and the whole river
in everything that he saw
was no other than himself
huh where this robe and not clarified the great matter is the most painful thing
life is fleeting
please don't
spend your time in vain

mr some discussion
yes i'm told we die our next wish

so this is why suzuki roshi says if you're still alive
then the inhale will come

this body
this temporary body we have on loan for a while

how is it the limits of the self or the same as the gateway deliberation

i don't know i don't know what the limits of the self are

when we have some some idea of sell well we have some limited idea of self
i think to see through that limit may be the gateway to liberation
to see that are are limited idea of self
is a delusion
well if you find that the self is without boundary what's what's binding you
hilda i don't want to answer that question to to light layer to definitely i think that this is the guy
question for you to stay with that's the first answer they came up from me books just one possible answer it's not a final answer

but it's clear to me that this body is temporary
but what it is the guys
you know this great story about
safe is somebody's condolence call the roost dot com there was condolence call he goes
with a monk to do a funeral service
and monk knocks on the fences alive or dead
those won't say won't say
and the monk keeps after him
alive or dead won't say
and on the way home he get really kind of frantic about it me grabbed him by the roman he said
why would you say alive or dead or alive or dead says
i won't say i'll hit you if you don't tell me you probably know the story that igniting studied a lot
he said won't say and so he hit
and that who said maybe
i see if the other months find out about this they may make it rough few maybe you better go on pilgrimage visit some other teachers
and he finally visited someone else and brought up the question
and asked again
this teacher also said won't say but at that point
finally broke through whatever he was holding him back
to this question is this this is the great question
but we need to find out about