Being Uncomfortable

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Sunday Lecture: What do we do when we become uncomfortable?; comfort - in body, mind, relationships - are focus of our consumerism; suffering = constant need to be fed; entertainment keeps us busy so we won't feel threatened; story of his stroke - hospital room-mate died; how much can I bear to be without?

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i am totally astonished how many people are here
because of the weather
also the
schedule speaker with through schrader for today
so he came to hear a few i'm sorry
she has a case of laryngitis
and so she asked me or they asked me if i would sit in her stead
now before i say anything more i'd like to ask if we could
spend a little time
just sitting here
for one thing it is no time to collect my thoughts
but also district just to sit together for a while



i guess we could do this for the whole period
can be very interesting to sometimes come in i just do it
and not say anything about it but just sit here
can see how long it takes before
we become uncomfortable
not only uncomfortable in our body is bidding uncomfortable with the situation
since we all come here
cafe context in mind that we were going to hear a talk he came here in a context therefore while you sit in silence and face the wall and practice zazen or sit on a chair in silence
what's to come in and going up your mind in your breath
so this area a conference on a special and you know it's gonna happen
but if we sat here for a long while
and nothing seemed to happen
even though even many of you and even most of you are already experienced practitioners in some sense
facing this this question of what do we do who knew we become uncomfortable
that's the corner my life
what do we do really become uncomfortable
when we know what we do what will become uncomfortable we try to get comfortable
and we know that in this world of fleeting phenomena ah
that's feelings perceptions or bodies
the very world itself in its flux and change
we'll see to it to that sooner or later and probably sooner rather than later we will become uncomfortable ago
so we're always trying to
no excuse muffins and i'm going to use the collective we i can say i owe you are one
and if this doesn't apply to you just let ago
but notice as we speak of as we sat there
rather than the object of our attention rather than what i'm saying or what was happening what are our reactions
to that situation
because the theme today is not so much who
is the either is experiencing although that becomes an ultimate question as the exponential of the even existential question
of how do i made myself comfortable in a world that is always changing and threatening to my comfort what i consider to be my comfort
in course
i don't have to remind you that we sit it and we all in a lead
class of people who have the time and leisure to even begin to look at this question
i don't think our forebears that is those who in many of millions billions in the world today have the leisure to even address that question just trying to get enough food to survive just to just the barest essentials of survival
is all but one is interested in but we live in a consumer society in a collective culture in which comfort becomes one of the preeminent if not the preeminent
selling points
how to make our space our bodies a very minds
our relationships
more and more acceptable and comfortable for us we even said each i'm a comfortable with their field and that comfortable with this
we sit on our cushions when i chairs
for periods of time
and sooner or later we realize that this most this first level of material entanglements the body
is not happy
and it wants to move
there's a pain somewhere i'm not i'm talking about the reactions to
my thoughts and so i will get to that but just the very bottom line of bodies themselves after a certain point
why move reprogram the move
program for survive we have a limbic system as gonna fight or flight a reproduce or do something but it's not so happy just sitting still
he needs to be fed
in fact you could say that are suffering the who suffer in the world is the constant need to be fed feed me feed me says life not only my body my mind
my sense of security
just look at the body itself
how do you do have defeated but as we sit quietly trying to enjoy the site instantly
tranquility that tan or may not arise with are sitting practice
we can feel our standards crumble after a while we began to speculate on what we're going to have for dinner
it's raining outside did i bring my umbrella
constantly referring back to what woman help us feel safe in assured
and comfortable in whatever situation we find ourselves
one of the reasons i would wanted to sit here for a while and thought it would be a very interesting experience and i couldn't if i could be comfortable enough with the experiment i've seen how long will get zippy for we become restless and one the ever gonna see anything
i came here to hear something i came to be and was a entertaining but certainly
to receive something i'm looking for something i want to be said something
this is how i built
i'm not even looking at this question of who it is or what it is that thinks it needs to be fed but just the basic thing of sitting still
and feeling is tension needing something else some other posture position thing
since everything is in motion to be in motion with that and of course of in our societies if we can keep the hits with the russia's
coming fast enough maybe we will ever have to sit still long enough to feel threatened
ah but sooner or later
we know what's gonna happen sooner or later we're gonna be threatened or a place that we live somebody or something is always moving into the neighborhood have you noticed
some play some virus some people some thing is threatening your space in my

i'm not here necessary to advocate
it was a particular aesthetic position in the world that we should all become wandering monks give up our homes our relationships gathered together up
begging bowls and go about him that we're doing it it's not a feasible proposition for
most of us who have to make a living in the world raised children and so forth have work to do
this has always been the question a fundamental question what do we do and become threatening and uncomfortable well there was a response or has been since time out of line the response at a certain group of people
we do what we have heard it as an archetype of that drop out
even drop off in the most secure position you could possibly and you is a press in the world and everything has given to us and it isn't enough because if nothing else and we don't lose everything that i love and i'm going to lose my life it seems to be was happening around me
and that scares me so much and i'm going to leave it right now and see if there's an alternative to that
this is a story shack and morning of course this is a story of all of us leaving home home in the sense of that place where we feel secure non threatened
but it will present the door
the magazine doesn't come the boss fires you have a husband and wife runs away with someone else
he gets sick
and i don't want to be morbid here
because i say this is getting back to fundamentals before we can begin to talk about to release from this whole
ceremony of pain in
avoidance we have to really become acquainted with it and we're rudely brought up against that edge
that is the web me in the world after all we this flesh feels very soft and vulnerable compared to the
but seems to be a hard and unyielding surface in spite of what the physicist tell us about everything be in motion
an empty
how am i going to deal with that while recently i had a first-hand experience too personal but i want to tell you
and one day feeling right in the midst of my life all at once my whole left side begin to go dead
chris my face begin a bar the my hand and in my leg and i thought well
oh god this is it
but obviously it isn't because here i am but i managed to drag myself to the door because one side was working i thought well this is what it is to have a stroke he felt like whose side of my life was suffering from a huge shot of navigate there was no pain it was just number
but another part of my life was intensity alert and working very very hard to keep the same going drag yourself to the door get someone get some help
you'd be very unpleasant for my wifi only going to come home and family on the floor so if it's a possible maybe should just gotten laid down in the street and somebody will find me
everybody was in the zendo sitting zazen because it was during a practice period it was do what we call the station in the extended
and my wife was acting head cook the tinsel there was nobody around
what was i gonna do it was my family face there is no question about nagar june and the philosophy of emptiness
that was gone
there was only the question of what is am i going to survive and if am going to survive it and i'm gonna be you know and i'm no glommed us how am i going to survive that you know
oh so that was pregnant right up there when there on my face
went to the hospital and of course i was like in it got the right drugs into me and modern medicine and so on lot where the good will unfortunate other people's vibes coming my way as a healing force and so on all of that perhaps
or even undoubtedly contributed to
eventually welfare but while i was in the hospital i got another reminder
there was a man who came into the same time even bit younger than i am may be late sixties early seventies with a backache came out the backing with his wife got an emergency was really give me a lot of trouble had taken a spill evidently during the weekend now he was suffering for some
and a back problem that was giving severe pain and anyway he was in the hospital overnight
and they actually them and so on and as they were bringing them upstairs he died he had an aneurysm abdominal aneurysm at cool
by the time they brought him into the room next to me his wife was screaming oh my god oh my god this cannot be happening
he's just talking to me another company in there a class what call it cold five and everybody's rushing and and resuscitate this life that is leaving this man's body and the wife is screaming crying wailing
yeah i thought to myself yeah to this year must we come
i'm not comfortable with this
i'm not able to sit in design with
in fact that tears begin important on my things for this sympathetic response even though they clothes off you know the section between us we can hear what's going on
we can hear them try and try and try and find a they're giving up and we can hear that wife with the chaplain talking and then the chaplain leaves and she's alone with him who was alive just a little bug or she can't believe it
she knows we know up objectively this is going to happen but it has happened now what she picks up the telephone calls her children
daddy just started to can hear the daughter on the other side screaming oh no no no
well we all have these experiences we all have people in our lives and experiences like this we know what this is the old monks who gave up the world and so on realising the vulnerability of the body that's where they sat in charnel grounds
it's when they meditated on themselves turning into
a bag of the king garbage
saw themselves as skeletons
try to break or try to realize
the unpleasantness the lack of comfort it is too
this body that we pampered that we taking such good care of whose image we have been fascinated by so on our lives and have tried to dress according to
some mode of
proper even handsome presentation and so forth all the time and expense and energy that we put into this
this mortal flesh in order to keep preserving it even cutting away someone that so we can continue to look young
i'm may here in a tuck their what are twenty miles a day eat the right foods
but in the end

the question then becomes
what is how much can i oh how much cannot bear to be without
it becomes a question for a meditator
you know maybe when when when we try to put off these questions for years and years and we keep the rush is coming the pleasure coming try to keep all the gaps filled
and when you not killing him up with music or drugs or sex by the way when two lovers do know that smoking is taboo after the pet sex
anyway something keep feeling us up or fulfillment that we exist in some fundamental way or another
we become hip to that whole question or do we do where do we start cutting back
well you know diogenes the cynic said i possess not in order not to be possessed
that's what the monks do you possess not so you're not possessed by the possessions
still this body was still have this mind that is susceptible to sensations
and then of course we have our philosophies religions and are ideal isms to protect us
and that becomes another field how much of that can we hold onto and for how long
we become much more susceptible but longer we sit to our vulnerability into this world or least we begin to question what is it now
that is afraid is there's something other than fear because there's something other than our vulnerabilities or something other than a lamentation or loss or pleasure is there an ongoing being that suffering is
there is this it
how long can we sit still before we have to move the mind and the body
that's one of the things we practice with you see when we sit as as you know particularly lie extended sittings is that we give ourselves a chance to watch the mind go through all of in the to go through all of its changes
when the most you know absorbed rapturous state in which all of this begins to disappear to coming back down to feeling all there
a physical pain ended and the attendant can come at and mental anguish that goes with it
i don't know i'm doing this anymore this is stupid this is a waste of time
he becomes threatened by doubt restlessness we need something else but we're going to sit with our restlessness
how much do i mean how long can i sit here
is there a person sitting here this not changing and so forth he said
we learn to deal with our painting
what is pain
and when we sit long enough we can actually begin to
see if paint what is it never hurts where is it we learn all sorts of strategies and techniques to deal with it
one of which is just breathe into the pain and make friends with the pain
it's no fun being painful pleasure trying to punish his brief but paintings the last
people say you can have orgasm if you're lucky for a minute but your toothache or last month
if those are the two strings and sar
how much land as a man need past tolstoy and one of his famous stories less time
well i'm going to tell it to
i can tell a briefly it's a very interesting story leo tolstoy wrote in russia great novelists
in his later life you know this wonderful this wonderful person this wonderful novelist war and peace and granted and so the bigger had actual
conversion experience in which one night while he was he was an aristocrat you're always out selling part of visit state was in a business deal is already famous as an author
and he lay in bed and suddenly thought i'm going to die none of this means anything he said it sat on my chest breathing into my face death was there he jumped up and paste them the the hallway he was tormented from that moment on and his life that nothing you did nothing would save him from extinction
really it or any the things that he valued fame fortune his estates his ideas of free and the serfs whatever program he had seemed to be obliterated
it was like overnight his life changed can we begin his were get religion that is this they begin to open himself to for looking for answers anyway
in this later life we get to read a lot of parables and stories in which she addressed this very question how do we get comfortable or how much do we need
an industry there's a peasant who is freed from being a surf and accumulates
a small you know he has a house at a shop in a yard
but after well he gets enough money can buy a cow and maybe a pastured
to put the cow in and be becomes a kind of a really small a little locals landowner
but still threatened because other people's cars
gonna break into his property and he can keep it fence property so we thought if i just had a little more no more land and he bought up a little more land or wrong but something was always always threatening the borders of it it was always a problem the more he had more problems you see began so i said i haven't quite got enough yet and there's a
the title of what you say
what was an ad but it was we will give it away was like a land grant or is like a you know free land that people could have that the government in a certain part of russia was no a certain tribe in in russia was
what's now maybe my mongolia zapper
offering free land for anybody
who wanted it but there was stipulation you could have as much land as you could walk in across in one day
from sunup to sundown
the proviso being you had to be back to the starting place at sundown for it can be valid otherwise the deal was off you didn't get anything so of course our heroes time to argue with usual
and he walks in watching the first sees food and good as warning is really set off he's in pretty good shape
they think sit all i can probably use calculators my remember how brought his possession can be how much land can get and he had this grandiose ideas about how many cows whole herds of cows chickens ducks he could really become somebody in the world if we could just get more than
and he does by noon he's covered a great deal of territory briefing and he looks back at this hillside he left twenty miles or whatever it is back is how i was going to take me to get back there is perfectly flat he
the steps
but he calculates that of he goes a little fastenal hydrating good x number more miles whatever the unit of measurement was anyway
to make a longer story shorter
he of course keeps going and going and going to try to include more and more and quite as he does not is getting more and more exhausted know he sees that the sun is beginning to set so we have to hurry to get back to this place so it begins to try to run but noise so exhausted that it can hardly move but it's and the
the platform or not the platform the hill that even small mountain from which he started he gets to at the bottom just as the sun begins his the beginning to sit behind the hill but he sees that atop a leo because it is higher ups and his son is still shining so it puts this last bit of energy and rushes to the top and of course follows dead of one
heart attack
lot of the start and tolstoy's last line in the book is for iran patrol of intuitive your name was six feet from his head to his feet was all the land he needed

everybody can understand that parable and story new and but you know do we actually live with that disposition you how much land do we need how many possessions do we need
how much security doesn't monastery need how much security is an individual need
but most of us are not wandering mendicant monks we begin to even after tassajara you say
when you go down there is an individual so we make form relationships pretty soon we're not living with one pack in a box of books anymore
the city of housekeeping again again somebody must more the world goes around is the parameters spread out
or maybe we do live in a civic life but we still have an attachment need connection to that person place or thing
we used to say there was a story at tassajara
and we like to tell you said sen store and don't remember exactly maybe steve or somebody can tell me later where it came from
monk goes to the teacher and he says
i'm interested in the benefits of practicing
something like i what are the men ended so
well just stay here and practice and
you will find out what the benefits of learn suppose i don't want to stay and i leave what are the benefits than do i still have benefits oh yes and still benefits what are they hot in the summer cold in the winter
hot and his son went cold in the web and another story when you get hot says the teacher gets so hot you die you get called get so cold you die that is get a lot clinging to the idea of what give up clinging to the idea of cold
supposed to her in the summer we hold our work meetings in a shade
and then the winterland there's not much sun we hold our board meetings in the sun naturally that's what we do we look for the comfort zone
course there are those authentic junkies who actually like the flagellate themselves and so on but that's another from the pleasure from it
well the adrenaline junkie the one who's always putting himself herself in danger going to the dangerous spots to feel alive to feel some intensity in their life
but after a while sitting on that the not just sitting still in a chair around your house or just sitting still period you will find there's plenty of intensity
company guy in sometimes even the most intense border
or intense pleasure or intense pay hot and cold in pleasure and pain

we call our the since appetites you know in zen refreshed will start with form
create a brutal there's really only the five aggregates that make up what we call ourselves form which were talking about the bought in
and the reaction to that form which your feelings and sensations how did we defended how do we take care of it how do we get maximum pleasure avoid minimum pain how do i feed myself what do i feed myself and incidentally food is a very interesting thing in our culture isn't
in any culture it is but in our culture that we are real food fascists who want the best certain kinds we have our own diet said we stick to soon as we begin to starve anything will feed us
even bugs
simply we imagine a and will eat even one another when it gets down to that
and it isn't the food the protein so that where you're going to keep alive is the characteristics of the food
it's the taste of the sweet sour and bitter there
it's all the characteristics in their life they were looking for and the preferences that we build up around the misery and that's all
began to look for these things and i can do that i will leave that i'm not saying we don't have allergies or that we shouldn't watch our guide and so on but
because we are privileged people because we are exploiting the world for all its with to feed us
these conference how much land do we need how much what kind of food do we it i'm guilty i'm not talking about you
details of serves a certain things like here here's one of mine
the like just serve whipped cream here that has no sugar in it
now for me who has brought up in the midwest whipped cream and sugar this the powdered sugar or one thing you put cream is sweet you put that on your dessert
i grew up with that tendency i look for that characteristic and want it isn't there so what kind of is is that serves whip cream without sugar
and i can extrapolate from that and n n and look at that kind of example all the way through my life
dressing you know
the house of the pokemon place i choose to live in

i don't have to tell you that that in our society we can have one room and pretty soon their room seems to actually grow things
pretty soon we have to get rid of our things and more things come
i'm constantly exchanging thing
a society of surplus imagine that and of course i can remember my grandmother and so on and of it it came up for the old country germinating they talk about you the times when they had to pull the plow
in this sacrifice themselves in a world right after that was going through the industrial revolution ahead for one hundred years and the things were beginning to become more and more plentiful everybody could be have their own house on the hill my grandmother sure you have your house on the hill
become somebody be imposing in the world
they sacrifice so we could have that we get it were not happy with it begins if you like a prison for us after a while after a certain amount becomes a problem
somebody asked lee trungpa rinpoche j the only reason you're talking about these things to us because we're already this which i see disenchanted with material wealth a lot of us
but would you be saying this in a country of poverty he said no countries of poverty i wouldn't be talking about this now working hard to buy a bicycle on the way to being able to make money to buy a car
late of will get what you probably got
the whole world is trying to do that
like a big portion of it
so the souls to have more comfort a place of security in an insecure world so did our ancestors
so this question about how we sit and how we deal with our our comfort zone is very important question sometimes the only way we can deal with our pain in the things that we're going to lose in the world you never ability the are of our mortality is suffering just give up and sit down
and face it right now
feel it right now feel those parameters let the fear come left the anxiety arise make friends with what we really are
what is really happening to us what seems to be apparently really happening in an apparent world that apparently is hard
an aggressor
full of war and strife
so we gathered places like this to try to reaffirm well what we have known since time out of mind buy all of this and how to deal with it
so we develop strategies
practices philosophies
but sooner or later
one little question is all the land you need
one wall one question maybe not even a roof just replace the sit in the sun
how is it that some of the poorest people seem to be the happiest
just have a little patch of sunlight i remember walking out of the zendo
where a tenant tassajara it's so cold and there's no heat in those days in the zinda
in that someone could even begin to come through the trees until about ten o'clock in the morning of eleven maybe has been hours since you've seen any night
what can i resent on the first rays spring later come into a lenny on a platform young hour outside of the you put your foot in it can barefooted you feel that son
if you pleasure nothing it's nothing so little bit patch assemblage of footsteps in how good it feels hungry for you are for just a little heat
you don't need a hope just to have that you know we find that we find these limits we ever
changing limits of what seems acceptable to us what fulfills us begin to appreciate life more scarcity and a sense particularly we we have so much scarcity begins to help us to appreciate if we've been practicing with them

and now you know finally i just end up with his underneath
no haiku by by shop basho was a famous japanese haiku short-form haiku poet of the late the seventeenth century
it's about this how much comfort about are craving for some other way of being and he said even in kyoto kyoto anybody's been there you know there's a higher the culture and is beautiful in it's wonderful place to be even in kyoto i long for kyoto
even in kyoto i long for killed even a new york law firm the or even in san francisco law something is on sunday is always there to crave to reach for nothing wrong with it and not you were not not a trained to set limit but just to be aware that
where's that line
what is that craving
that is are suffering
for not
as long as there's somebody to be satisfied and the satisfied until that
phantom or that ego that being disappears we will suffer there is the teaching
you are craving for satisfaction
and so of course we work very hard to
find out what that really means and for some people there is a dropping through into the other side into the bottomless bottom
and they become free
of all of this ceremony that we have been practicing since time out of mind
the whole business but for most of us even for all the fact we do inside that may never happen
and we have to be content and learn to work with what we have
stuck as we feel we are sometimes
have that kind of humility that kind of patients using
the bell rings go back and do it the alarm rings get up and go to work
time to brush your teeth
do the next thing
yeah i think finally i got something the oil shelley shelly i wrote know her
shelley and they can live the poor maybe you know the poem but it ended the verse i remember from my college days we look before and after and pine from what is not
look before and after an pine from what is not our sincerest laughter with some pain as frat
our sweetest songs are those that tell us satisfied
oh sounds like home sounds like me
this will
the movie of our life in this world it's a wonderful place to have a real crimes

it helps to cry
we own escape the pain of the world by avoiding them we weep with it
enlightenment is not suzuki roshi once cried out and told steemit might be finance to even enlightenment won't save you now just die
to so
imagine that usa
then maybe we can be in a living