Buddhas And Sentient Beings Are Not Two

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One-day sitting lecture: positive encouragement; nirvana; five hindrances; preliminary practices; three worlds; jhanas - benefits and ptifalls; Four Noble Truths; Mahayana

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so that little bunny and says


the one
i just wanted to
one apologize but ask you to excuse me from down on
i am supposed to have a test to see what's going on and didn't know thought so i'm not worried so please don't worry either find that i was asked not to blink
a while

so i found this on in a recent new yorker i usually at least read the cartoons and palms palm
and this is my maiden or work called the hunt
and soon as i read it i thought i thought this woman might have some knowledge of meditation
the light of the mind as read it is a red street yet never ends it must be kept to like a schedule
when it is fine it is fine and the nights hounds flinch on it
under that cover of leaves the glacier trapping everything unused melts
everything natural to us must be learned the broken laugh the branching glance the wood beneath the green in barking skin
the light of the mind is read it is a red street and a cold home stands at its darkening end toward which fox's run through clicking leaves
so i first of all wanted to welcome all of you to a day of sitting together not hearing the green gulch zendo
and i was thinking on that as meditators there are two essential elements that we have to attend to
and the first is bodily posture
so i thought i would just mention a few points and join you and asking myself how am i doing
i thought perhaps that you might even imagine a friendly hand touching you in his places
with a suggestion so one place that you might consider is your lower back you know that some some made maybe a deeper curve in your lower back and at the same time a hand on your sternum suggesting that you lift the sternum upward
and then you might imagine two hands taking your head and pulling toward the sky
and at the same time those hands resting on the shoulders and allowing you to relax
and finally the very same hands placed near the lap just above the lab with the thumbs gently touching

and the other major element of our practice is the composition of the mind
what is going on in your mind
my mind
i was thinking that if we were still the simple single celled creatures from which all life began that a meditation instruction could perhaps be simple as well you know like just float
but i think we all know that we have grown in complexity and as a result we often feel confused and frustrated to hand unnecessarily afraid
so the buddha was a human student of human beings of human complexity and he offered various suggestions simple suggestions medicinal suggestions to help us
as we struggle with our lives
with his body and with his mind
so i want to focus today on the teachings related to meditation practice that were given to us by the buddha and by those inspired by the buddha
and i wanted to a particularly bring up
something that senior dharma teacher norman fischer mentioned a few sundays ago and when he spoke care he talked about the five hindrances to meditative tranquility

so in the early teachings of buddhism the aspiring students of the way were taught a path of liberation that led to a resting place called nirvana
nirvana means blown out
so we human beings are perfectly capable of imagining such a place and we really design it to our own liking for some of us nirvana would be dark and silent
and for other is it would be a well lit room where the lights are never turned off
but regardless of what we imagine as with all experience we need to wait until we're actually there in order to say and even then
apparently when you're in nirvana there's nobody in nirvana and nothing to say
so be suspicious of any reports that you here
but the buddha did speak and he used human language
common language
and his speech was a compassionate response to our confusion our frustration and are unnecessary pain
it was a skillful method for inducing in us an aspiration for freedom for kindness and for clarity
and we could actually say that the buddha himself is the teaching itself and it simply been conveniently packaged and the human form for the sake of conveying his teachings to us
there's an old saying that there are no teachers of john and olive china and by extension there are no teachers lives and in all of california
but there is the teaching itself and we can all share from this one fragrant cup
there is only one pump
there is only one life
one truth one precept and that is that buddhas and sentient beings are not to
and that's what the buddhists set
so what's the problem
because the problem is that we don't see it that way
for our two eyes and are two hands and are two ears and our mind with its limitations and you have split the universe and half
there's meat and there's everything else
that's too
so this splitting his ignorance itself and its this source of our previous suffering
the aspiration to awaken is the aspiration to end this seemingly infallible sense of separation between ourselves and everything else
the light of the mind is read it is a red street it never ends it must be kept to like a schedule
in the buddha's teaching the red street is called the commodore to for the realm of desires and it's governed by mara the evil one
master of illusion
i have a feeling that mara likes his job very very much
and i don't know if any of you saw or remember them will be devil's advocate
but keanu reeves place a young attorney and robert dinero place and old attorney who's actually a satan himself
and in this role the narrow seems to really be enjoying himself he likes being the devil he's having a great time and he argues the case for evil over good as much more suitable to human nature
and i won't take out and spirits
so rather wonderful
a convincing case devil's advocate
so this is the stand off on the red street
between mara
and the buddha
between awakening itself to dharma itself and the constant production of non-existent phenomenon
phenomenon which appear to be arriving at that place that we call by several names we say it comes from outside it comes from elsewhere it comes from not me
so the five hindrances are five categories of these non-existent phenomena phenomenon which arrive in a vast array of costumes and conveyances somewhat like guests sat
they come and they cloud the mind because that's what they do
the mind of itself is pure just as it is when it is fine it is fine and the nights hounds flinch from it
but the guests behave badly
they shout and anger they chase each other around the house and sometimes they stand in a drunken stupor on the porch
we can try throwing them out i think we've all tried throwing out the guests but another approach is to patiently wait
until they regain their sobriety and leave all of their own free will
so this is the practice of meditation that we're doing today we are waiting them out

so as norman i mentioned in his talk it is very beneficial to know the names of the guests in advance of their arrival and that way we can sort them into groups for the purposes of our study because it's study itself that is the characteristic of our practice
yes we study the south we study the guests and study her anxiety
study is what puts the guests to work gives them a job in it treats them with respect and as responsible citizens of the town
one of them as as to sweep another to cook another to read or to take out the trash
the five hindrances to meditation or cod never run and in sanskrit new verona
and they are covetousness i like it
animosity i don't like it
sloth and torpor i can't be bothered
restlessness and regret like where did i put my keys
and the last one is doubt which i don't think is confusing to us
so it says in the introductory notes to a suture i recently been studying called that show gunman samadhi sutra as a meditation sutra on from the bionic tradition
and it means the concentration of heroic progress
it says that once we have freed ourselves from the five hindrances then we consider them in various ways such as the discharging of an old debt a miraculous cure
the end of a prolonged detention
the return to freedom
and a home in a peaceful territory

the five hindrances are part of a set of prerequisites for engaging and meditation practice called samadhi one pointed concentration
so in addition to this the five hindrances the other elements that are prerequisites to samadhi are observances of ethical virtue the precepts
mindful awareness
contentment and simple living
once we've accomplished his preliminary practices which i think we all know take considerable time and devotion of our lives in our intention
then the mind is free from the excesses of breed of hatred and of confusion
and at that time the meditator is able to see themselves as the host
as the host and to having a refined relationship with the guests they can sit down and attend to each of the guest one by one considering their needs and assisting them on their way
this guests are not invited but they're not unwelcome
i'm buddhist cosmology posits that there are three worlds through which the host courses in their studies of the south of self reflection and of concentration
three realms these three realms are ah ah elements of of our mind ah parts of our mind we could say these are on state of consciousness
and these states of consciousness are
completely natural to us
we're all familiar with them some of us more so depending on just a time we've spent and quiet places
but we all know these state of mind with of course in them whether intentionally or accidentally since we were smart children
the lower world is called the common doctor the red street and it's the realm of the five senses
the common dot to is characterized by six well-known psychological states
there's hell there's heaven
is the animal world hungry ghosts fighting gods and there's the humans
the buddha also called the commodities samsara meaning endless circling
zahra round and round we go through these different destinations sometimes in heaven shortly thereafter and how sometimes a god a demon an animal ghost over and over again

so some sarah and the circling ah you know is for some people this is what we call human life all we know of human life
but there is a door there is a doorway
in that doorway is approached to meditative stabilization
and it's kind of like gun i was trying to imagine what that tour way would be like you know and i had to i thought about you know harry going to hogwarts it looks like a wall but you run out it know and all of a sudden you've entered into another world another realm
so entry into the second world of the three worlds is through on trances or meditative concentrations called janice janice
so the doorway from aruba data from the commodore to to what's called the rubber duck to the next round is a gianna first john
so the rupa dot to he is characterized by a toy
once you have ah exited com and ah to the red street just just leaving is a great relief and the byproduct of that relief is doi
this jana's or transits were considered highly important in the early teachings and practices of the monks and
and when the chinese monks went to india and the study jonna and they said tom tom and the japanese monks came to china to study and they heard tongue and they citizen
ten so jonathan tom and zen her all referring to this meditative transistor concentration practices
he's are meditative absorption is and they allowed the host to refine the relationship to the guests
as i said the first jhana is characterized by joy the joy that arises from overcoming the hindrances and exiting the commodore to
the joy that comes with a life of virtue mindfulness simplicity and contentment
mrs front of the text itself from joy arises happiness when the mind is happy the body is calm when the body is calm the mind is absorbed
even so even at this lovely place the mind is not perfectly at ease
and the reason for this is that they're still thinking and deliberation going on in the first jhana they're still idea of sim considerations going on and these are now viewed as hindrances subtle hindrances
in these hindrances have the effect of anchoring the mind as though to a place so i was thinking one image of practicing with the as is like a traveling and hot air balloon you need to throw off the ballast and order to go higher into the sky so the ballast
from the first jhana that has to be thrown off is this discursive thinking thinking and deliberation
throw that off and the balloon goes higher
so once reasoning and deliberation have been discarded the host attains and dwells in the second jhana which is characterized by inward peace and one pointed this of mind some my day
now i found it hard to believe when i first read this some years ago but the hindrance in the second jhana is joy itself
has to go
jeddah seeing the joy allows us to rise into the third john which is characterized by equanimity mindfulness and full awareness with the body that is very very happy so it's actually dois a low grade
in this
description of these practices
the first jhana is entered when not only the happy body is deleted the next hindrance but also the body of suffering

in this state the hosts entire body is described as permeated by utterly pure an utterly cleansed thought
no for many of us i think that would seem quite enough quite high enough utterly pure utterly clans thought permeating our entire experience of me
but there are four more possibilities
once you've reached the top of the rupa to the world of subtle form it's possible to enter the rop dot to
the world the third world of the triple world where there is no form the formless world now in kind of a vaporous snus of consciousness and each of these jonas is named for the state of mind that fills and occupies the experience of the
again from the text having entirely gone beyond all notions of form having banished all notions of resistance having disregarded all notions of plurality the meditator exclaims infinite is space as
and attains and dwells in the sphere of the infinity of space
this is the fifth john
having entirely gone beyond the sphere of infinity of space the meditator exclaims infinite his consciousness and attains and dwells in the sphere of the infinity of consciousness
sixth john
haven't having entirely gone beyond the sphere of the infinity of consciousness the meditator exclaims nothing exists
and attains and dwells in the sphere of nothingness
the seventh gen
and then the eighth john having entirely gone beyond the sphere of nothingness
the meditator attains and dwells in the sphere of neither perception nor non perception
this donna has sometimes been illustrated by the image of the razor's edge
the it's so fine that you can't really see
if it's sharper or there at all
so i think one of the reasons it's important to know about these meditative states
which are as i said natural to us
whether we are familiar with them already or not he is that we ought not to be fooled by these appearances
and forget that they too are illusory and transient like all other phenomena
the danger of the chances is if they are terribly attractive and may disguise themselves as the goals of our spiritual life
but damn i think as any addict knows can tell you ah
once the
the trip is over the
mind goes straight back to hell
only we forget and we started again
i just one more night one more one more hour one more day of of pleasure or a bliss
the pursuit of bliss states that can even result in the tragic stunting of the human beings emotional and psychological growth
and i'm actually not exaggerating
it sam a real danger for those of us seminal
the world of spiritual conversation them effort
when the buddha was finding his own way among the perils of the red street he also arrived at the seventh and eighth jonah's through the guidance of to skilled meditation teachers
but having mastered these chances he determined for himself that these were not the goals that he was seeking
he was seeking the end of suffering not a temporary respite
and so he declared that these janez are simply rest stops very beneficial to our well-being but simple rest stops on the path of freedom
and once we arrested then we must continue our journey of awakening which requires the meditator to come down from the high states where there is no thinking and to reengage with discursive thought
to begin once again to think and to feel
so at this point there's the convergence of to pathways the pathway of meditation and the pathway of insight
insight requiring us to think into reason
and meditation allowing us to relax and to be calm
the conversions of these methods is culminated or was for the buddha in a realization he called the four noble truths
there is suffering there is suffering and there is a cause of that suffering
and there is a cessation of suffering there is nirvana respite
and there's a costs for the cessation of suffering and it's a way of life
so basically in the awakened eyes of the buddha all phenomena are impermanent and therefore they're painful the transitory nothing lasts nothing
whenever you try to hold
eventually is gone
even the ham
and also phenomena are not personal
it's not about me
and they don't pretend to herself they don't create herself they are not a self there is no self

so the elimination through meditative insight of herself and of the desires by that self for objects
is perfect peace
he is nirvana is blown out
there's no more fooling around no more shopping
a cold home stands at its darkening end toward which fox's run through clicking leaves
several hundred years after the buddha or appeared to die
there came along
a shift of perspective i know a widening of philosophical view called the my yana a great vehicle
in which nirvana itself was viewed as another rest stop along the passage way to liberation
and the the production credits of my yeah nice spectacle are on
as you know extraordinary in scope and special effects there are new heroic body suffers a bulky dish far have compassion manjushri of wisdom samantha bhadra of great activity now there
they are strong and they're glowing these heroes of the miami
so we are wowed and odd by the language of the mahayana sutras and we are exhorted by them to the knowledge of all things to omniscience
and we are asked to aspire to arouse the highest most perfect and complete enlightenment and hire some yeah somebody
the glacier trapping everything unused melts
if in the early teachings the concentration practices and the elimination of all worldly desire seemed daunting for a human being the mahayana leaves us in a freefall of
grandiosity and unfathomable a t
the hot air balloon is pumped
and at first i it seems like there is nothing if we can do but far
but as it turns out the great vehicle really isn't setting us up to fall it is simply trying to help us to let go of any and all ideas we have about liberation for ourselves along
in other words my ani is the great altogether now every one included
whether there falling or standing still were holding hands
and if the buddha's vision is correct there is really no place to fall nor is there anywhere to stand
the core of the my of vision can be said this simple phrase
the entire universe in the ten directions is the true human body
entire universe and the ten directions is the to human body
and from this core vision and there arises quite naturally the intention to take care of that body as ones on because they are identical and equivalent
because they are neither of them
existant at all
from the diamond sutra means beings as know be therefore we say beings
so in a buddhist wisdom there is nothing
there is nothing
no thing
nothing to possess no person to save no place to retire no path to walk know ignorance to overcome and especially no buddha to be
however in the buddhist compassion there is the deepest regard for the suffering of living beings
so the boot i i first addresses the bleeding and the suffering of the world around
and offers a variety of skillful means to help us to heal including meditations and kinda genres including or aoki meals
these are skillful means
but once we've healed than the buddha offers his vision he reveals his vision that the red street and nirvana have never been anything other than the same the one in the same
my dorothy coming back from loss
from the text on the concentration of her own progress since beans and things do not exist and have never existed the only eloquence of any value is silence
true wisdom is the stopping of all thought
faced with the universal emptiness that is itself not something the mind of the bodhisattva does not fear does not tremble and does not take fright
the body sat for it does however aspire to this supreme and perfect enlightenment but only for the benefit of others defining his or her intentions as exclusively altruistic
so i wanted to finish with this very lovely statement of the booted of the body suffers great resolve it comes from a bodhisattva pretty moksha sutra
i can put your own name and care i for reduction who have thus aroused the thought of body adopt the infinite world at beans as my mother father sisters brothers sons dot
ers relatives of whatever degree and kin having adopted them with all my power with all my strength with all my knowledge i will implant good routes in them
henceforth the gift that i shall give the morality i observe the patience i maintain the vigor i observed the absorption i practice the wisdom i develop all of this will be for the interest the benefit and happiness
as of all beings
this deep intention to live and to work for the benefit of others is this simple heart of our daily practice
with no other address no other name no other places to go we care for the life of our planet as our home
of our neighbors as ourselves and our language as compassionate
give very much