Breathing In and Breathing Out

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One-day sitting lecture: Book of Serenity Case 3, Anapanasati Sutta, Six Subtle Dharma Gates

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change the to mind the faith of the to bonnie of thing
the morning
this morning i have chosen some stories from the buddhist tradition to share with you
and so i wanted to invite you just to relax and listen to the stories and if you can notice how stories
wash through our minds very much like water washes over our hands
for while anyway they feel clean and fresh
the first story is from book of serenity and this is the case that i was given to study when i was issue so here at greenock case number three
the invitation of the ancestor to eastern india
so this ancestor is named pregnant tara impression tara was the teacher of bodhidharma so he's the twenty seventh ancestor from the buddha accounting from buddha if you look at our ancestor
can't book is buddha marcus shop and nanda and so on and a number twenty seven is pressuring and tara and then the first ancestor in china bodhidharma so pregnant tara sent his students away far away after china to see if he could be of some help
that great land
so india in india the time buddhism had been around for a long while and was basically the the religious tradition of that culture and so it was well now in the stories were well known and this teacher was well known
a raj of an east indian country invited the twenty seventh buddhist ancestor approach and yeah tara to a feast
the raj asked him why don't you read scriptures and the ancestor replied this poor wayfair doesn't dwell in the realms of the body or mind when breathing in
doesn't get involved in myriad circumstances when breathing out
i always reiterate such a scripture hundreds thousands millions of squaws
so in the buddhist tradition and the teachings of the buddha there are true to great systems of meditation practices that have been handed down to us one system on the one side
side is the system of tranquility practice sharma top
and sharma tar leads to concentration samadhi
and the other side the other great system of practices is he personal insight
an inside practice leads to wisdom
price now
so i was imagining a kind of for layer cake made in the shape of an upright seated human
no and based in tranquility there arises
in based in tranquility and concentration there arises insight and based in insight there arises the radiant wisdom of the buddha

as all of you know our the realizations of the young prince shakyamuni who
pretty much without my help and guidance found his own way to an ancient trail an ancient path as he described so i didn't invent this way i found it it's right there was there all along
in this path led him through the forests of his own fear and dread and through the swamps of his own lust and boredom
and these are the very same landscapes which surround and perpetuate in each of us a sense of an isolated and
lonely self
and this is the self which we can always find at the core of all human suffering in this world
you know it's a very small word for a barrett very big problem in the word me
so i find that it's important for me to remember what the buddha meant by the word suffering
know i think it's hard for us sometimes it's such a awaiting word to see how that applies to this safe and quiet place where we're sitting today this lovely valley on the coast of california where we have the privilege of living together and practicing together
what what is this worth suffering that the buddha said is common to all humans
so he himself had been raised in privilege and safety as we know so he had to go out into the world in order to really witness the range of an an intensity of mental and physical anguish that is possible for any one human
to endure
and i think for most of us in this modern era we haven't been as successfully shelter from the bad news of the world
but i don't think that means that our inspiration need be any less than the inspiration of the young prince to bring relief to the suffering of others
and the inspiration for his own life as a teacher and as a spiritual being came from the great circle of healing
that as always must begin with ourself
in the healing of his own delusions and his own hatred and his own unrequited loves he was able to turn back again and enter the world of suffering with great gifts gifts of his hands of his eyes and of his understanding
and most particularly of his gentle heart
when he began to teach he used the example of himself and the world as inseparable in order to define this word suffering
wasn't his own personal suffering it was the suffering of a world
and he called this suffering he to find this suffering in this way this is from his very first sermon the turning of the wheel of the law
birth is suffering ag is suffering sickness is suffering death is suffering sorrow and lamentation pain grief and despair are suffering
association with the loathed is suffering dissociation from the loved his suffering not to get what one wants his suffering in short the five aggregates form feeling perception impulse conscious
snus affected by clinging by grasping by desire
are suffering
so having himself crossed over this ocean of human misery and become a buddha and awakened one
a shocking money knew full well and what was required of a human being what we must endure in order to pass through this world of suffering and to follow him along the path of liberation
and yet out of his great compassion
he did teach the path and then when he passed away he passed all he could to his disciples to his family and his friends you warm hand to warm hand all the way down to us we are the lucky inheritors of these teachings
and yet i don't imagine we can expect less and by way of difficulty then was met by the young prince long ago
so the buddhist story is our story and his effort is our effort and his realizations and his discoveries are always right at hand
right there to be met a moment after moment
so here's another one of the things that he had to say those body suffers abiding and depending on an unwavering resolution
that is to expound the teachings for the welfare of all beings and to become unsurpassable he perfectly enlightened must cultivate tranquility and insight sharma top and be personal he's too
great systems of meditation practice
the for layer cake

when the the buddha was still the young prince trying to find some support and to learn some teams there were many teachings available in the india of his day there still are and he was lucky to find teachers who taught sharma time tranquility
which he master
and was invited to become the master of those schools but he declined because he experienced shama tie as that which doesn't last
after we come away from tranquility were back in the world again with this misery and suffering so he knew this wasn't the path but he did recognize that it was a very valuable tool
so tranquility allows us to experience clear seen
and it's the necessary preparations for the path of insight for for understanding
i sometimes say to people it's very hard to see the scenery from the back of a galloping horse you know it's better if the horse stops for a while and choose on some grass while you sit down
by the side of the creek
so i i know that many of you have been studying his teachings and have heard them before and for some of view they may be new
but either way when you hear the teachings this is the entry point to the ancient trail through hearing
it's called should to my prize you shouldn't a means to hear
so hearing the teachings of buddha locates you right on the trail it's like those signs in the park came out and say you are here
you are here you are on the on the path
so this wisdom that comes from hearing shoot to my price now
is an inborn wisdom
you know no one taught you how to hear wisdom to recognize it
you know it you know what when you hear it just like you know the magnificence of a flower or of a dragon
and once you hear the teaching for example this teaching i'm talking about today show mata tranquility then we have an opportunity to practice that teaching with her own bodies and minds today's a very good day for practicing com
i'm biting
and this next step of learning is called chin to my prajna the practice that comes with study and we study and we investigate and we apply the teachings to ourselves
this type of wisdom is also called carving the dragon
patience and persistence and repetition we work these teachings into our own body and thought
takes quite a bit of time to carve a dragon

so then once the dragon has been carved we're at the last step of learning called boven my prose now the wisdom of becoming
when you have become a dragon you are tranquility itself piece itself
tranquility is characterized by buoyancy and joyfulness lightness kindness is flexibility
it's like a dragon that's playfully sporting them the waves of illusions
in such a person with such a mind is quite ready and quite eager to hear the teachings of the personal the insight
to look into the nature of reality itself
and into the dreams from which dragons and mountains and oceans and people are made

in the old wisdom teachings there are many types of chairman to practices and that you can read about and study are the best known are the mindfulness practices for foundations of mindfulness mindfulness of the body my infamous of feelings my
mindfulness of thoughts mindfulness of the elements of experience dharmas
in the first foundation mindfulness of the body includes mindfulness of the breath which the buddha also wrote an entire sutra just on this practice of mindfulness of the breath it's called the on upon a saudi ceuta
and i summarized as a little bit for you
monks when mindfulness of breathing is developed and cultivated it is of great fruit and great benefit
here a monk gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut or to her seat in the zendo sits down having folded her legs crosswise setting her body erect and establishing mindfulness in front of her
ever mindful she breathed in
ever mindful she breathes out
breathing in long he understands i breathe in long
or breathing out long he understands i breathe out long
breathing in short she understands i breathe in short
or breathing out short she understands i breathe out short
she trains thus i shall breathe in experiencing the whole body i shall breathe out experiencing the whole body
he trains thus
i shall breathe in tranquilizing the bodily formations
i shall breathe out tranquilizing the bodily informations
and so on through rapture pleasure and mental formations through awareness of mind the glad nine of mind the concentrating of mind and the liberating of mind and so on
through contemplation of impermanence of fading away of cessation and of relinquishment and so on through the fulfillment of the seven factors of enlightenment mindfulness investigation of states tireless energy and
in worldly rapture tranquility concentration and equanimity
monks that is how the seven enlightenment factors developed and cultivated fulfill true knowledge and deliverance that is what the blessed one said
the monks were satisfied and delighted in the blessed one's words
how mindfulness of breathing is the most simple and readily accessible object of meditation for kamin are chattering or rampaging mine
in the first few moments of your life you inhaled in the last moment of your life you exhale and in between are the hundreds thousands and millions of scrolls which the great ancestor approaching and tara
was continuously reading
so here is both a place and away the the road of breath
it grows wider and deeper as we blend air and mind
so i want to suggest that for the first part of the day or perhaps for the entire day or even for the rest of your lives if you like i you consider focusing on your breathing
watch the subtle movements of the body as air moves in and out
i'm used to be in zen center we gave zazen instruction by telling people to count their breathing so way of focusing bringing the mind together with the breath and then i think it was discovered that there were people who didn't know that
could stop counting and they many years were counting their breasts and not very happy about that so with all apologies to any of you who did that i think i might have been one of them
it's okay not to count and however it's also a account
it's really your choice if you find it useful and then please do i personally find it very helpful when i sit down in the morning i was kind of checking it out this morning to make sure it's true i often start by accounting until the discursive thinking choir
it's down which is usually takes a while maybe the entire first period many many cases from me
and on once you find the the counting is no longer necessary that you're able to maintain awareness of your breathing of be respiration
then the counting can just simply cease
and continue following the breath
so this to r
practices counting and following are the first to of what are known as the six subtle dharma gates that were taught by the great ten die master jury who was a tremendous influence on our pounding master master dogan who began his career
fear has a ten nine month and learned these practices study these practices in full ten dias the school of the lotus sutra which is also a great influence on master dogan
i think you read the show begins so you'll see that very often his quotations from the lotus sutra reflecting this early training in the ten dice school so master jury wrote this treatise the six subtle dharma gates die at once war which i once typed
in full for said master rob anderson rather long and i'm not as interesting as counting your breathing but ah
one of those steps the first one counting allows us to than engage and following of the breath the next step is stopping
and the i don't think your breath actually stops that they would probably be tragic i think what happens is that the pier appearance of movement ceases
can of frozen of something's going on there
and the next step is contemplation within this quieted non-moving the illusion of movement has ceased
and then the next level is returning and the final level as purification
so these are very traditional practices in and and well written about you can study them yourself and may find them quite interesting but for now anyway counting and following and perhaps you'll see stopping
so this may be enough of a focus for for you for the day on and however if you find that you've become a tranquil and concentrated and you would like to shift to be personam practices then this is a conscious choice
choice you can make
no from that tranquil position you may decide to look into the nature of mind where the nature of existence so we re-engage with our discursive thinking but in a very slow down way the horses now just walking along not running
among the many spiritual
teachers and philosophers of the buddhist day each was distinguished by a particular theory about the nature of mind the nature of existence and just as is true and western philosophy and theology
and these theories basically ranged from ah
there's nothing the near lists to there is a permanent something the eternal lists and then to those in between who basically the materialists who suggests you might as well get it while it's hot so
within these choices you know basically you can you can yourself lean either into nothing or into a very permanent something or perhaps you're wavering you're not sure which one it might be which theory you find more company
but actually all of these theories have more to do with thinking itself than with what human beings can actually see or no
so the buddha are unable to make a claim in any direction
said that he had no theories or views whatsoever about the nature of existence and fact he taught that clinging to theories abuse is precisely along with clinging to bodily pleasures the very cause of are suffering
so his teachings were concerned with not so much how the arrow got there but how to get it out
there's a very famous exchange that takes place between the buddha and the skeptic skeptic deacon aka who says to the buddha master gotama my view and my theory is this i have no liking for views
and the buddha says
this view of yours i have no liking previews have you know liking for that as well
and then the buddha taught the months monks in this way holding two views of any kind
will clash with others
who hold a different view and when there's a clash there are disputes when there are disputes there are quarrels and when there are quarrels there is harm by foreseeing that one abandons all views without clinging to some other
so in light of our sharma to practice today i wanted to also include the teaching of the buddha
regarding views he actually includes a teaching
that's concerned with are clinging to the view that we have arrived at peace
so this must have been a danger for the monks as it must be for us as well and it has to do with mistaking the fruit of sharma to practice and the peacefulness the blissful nurse and the clarity for some kind of spiritual attainment or goal
in the sutra called the five and three the buddha tells his disciples that those monks whose behaviors are not entirely wholesome or who lack resolve concerning the fetter of sensual pleasure
and who have become intoxicated with the rapture of seclusion
may regard themselves thus i am at peace i have attained nirvana i am without clinging
such a monk is in fact clinging to the view of themselves at peace
and this too is declared to be clinging on the part of this good reckless or month
the buddha continues the supreme state of sublime piece that has been discovered by the to togheter is that liberation arising through not clinging to any objects of sensory or mental experience whatsoever
so not dwelling in the realms of the body and mind when breathing in
not getting involved in married circumstances when breathing out
this scripture
hi study hundreds thousands and millions of scrolls
or as one of our teachers paul disco once said it's not what you're going to get it's what you're gonna lose
so all of the practices the inside practices in the buddhist tradition
we'll have has the same quality of turning our awareness back onto itself know
taking this light and turning it on to the clockwork of illusion and deceit
there's a an exchange from a novel was written about the buddha called the lady of the lotus which i like very much
in which the buddhas in the garden and he's just endured the assault of the army's and ah of the offerings of the dancing women and men and he's sitting there now face to face with mara the evil one
and buddha says tomorrow i know who you are deceiver to which mara scoffs oh no you don't
oh yes i do comes the buddha's reply
and at what point at which point mara gross anxious and hisses never you will never know who i am
and then the buddha says quietly you are myself and with that mara vanishes

so we quiet our minds in order to know ourselves completely to know the many voices and views that animate our bodies and overly determine our behavior throughout the day
when our practice begins to ripen through long years and through the support of our faithful dharma comrades
the primary insights of the buddha become nearly visible in our gestures and in the paper trail of our fiery breath
cloud dragons sorry
that primary insight as he gazed on the morning star was of the non dual nature of existence no star outside know lonely prince inside both sides completely broken through by the gentle pay
passage of wind through a dateless barrier
thank you very much