Buddhism at Millennium's Edge - Seminar 2

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Copyright 1998 by Gary Snyder - Unedited Preview Cassette

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this reminds me of
one of the summers that i was studying in the diatom eg monastery in kyoto
he was a particularly rainy summer was heavy rains like this daily and it seemed like to the big rainstorms
up to eight thirty the morning just the at the time that the roshi gave his morning taisho
he is warning lecture
so that we would be a the monks would be sitting on the tatami on the sides and the roshi would be up in the high chair down there the high chair
he would be talking and we would be all half asleep as you usually are sitting there listening to him lecture so we couldn't hear anything didn't use a pa system or anything
and here is that was odd says so rashi and he was a very soft voiced man never raised his voice and certainly didn't bother raises voice if there was any rain or eating going just talked eyes at the same tone
so didn't hear anything
all soccer hardly you
and he was doing tissue on the hexagon rocco
and years later after he died i ran on a one of the japanese guys have been a monk that now is a buddhist priest he's a zen priest over on the japan sea site and i visited him and we were reminiscing and chatting and he said to me remember those taisho that summer biota ssl roshi that we couldn't hear i said
yeah i sure do he said you know i'm beginning to hear them now

that's a great way to teach
can you hear me
you can sort of well if you can't you'll hear at later
i'm going to read appointment was mentioned
a little earlier
that bears on all of this it's called song of the taste

i stumbled into them
science of ecology when i was still an undergraduate college in biology courses were there was an ecological those an ecology section and in biology
that was basically about energy interactions and exchanges in relationships are pretty quantified a lot of ecology is something that you can chart with them maps and graphs
but i was fascinated by that and fought at that time if i were to do biology this would be to branch of biology that i would really interests me because it deals with the the larger into relationships
years later in the sixties the early sixties i'm living in killed dog
and studying at the title-page he so doll
i am doing a certain amount of reading and i started reading biology again and then catching up on ecology
which was still a non charismatic
scientific field that did not mean as it does now for some in some contexts loving nature it just meant the study of relationships and so i was reading in that field and i'm enjoying it in finally it dawned on me one day in a sense that what these guys are talking about his critters eating each other
and that's what the food chain is that's what the food web is
it may be more subtle than we sometimes tend to put it
but i wrote this point
for our our human food so it's called the song of the taste
so if you have dollars were just one
eating the living germs of grasses rice and wheat eating the over of large birds
eating the fleshy sweetness packed around the spur of sweet trees apples
the muscles of the flanks and size of soft voiced cows
the bounce in the labs leap the swish and the ox tail
eating roots roads wall inside the soil
drawing on life of living
clustered points of light spun out of space hidden in the grape
eating each other's seed dt ah each other
kissing the lover in the mouth of bread lip to lip
kissing to lover in the mouth of bread
it's my take on the sacrament
and of course the christian sacrament
the the sacrament of
the wafers into the wine is a very rich metaphor too
that connects with
this same consciousness the same market consciousness universe wrong way
and someone who's you said well what about the of the buddhist idea particularly in the tibetan eyes
teachings of the preciousness of human life
i have no problem with that because ah
i see no way around
the likelihood that each species should be very much concerned about itself and think that it was really great
you know so i'm sure get you know within within dumb ah
big marianna
that the bears think of themselves as the most fortunate life to be born into
maybe there is a mahayana out there like that you know
that it's sort of over the horizon just
partially loss to our eyes but there is a my gun and and he has bear buddhas and bear body sought those teaching in the bear realm and raven buddhas in raven body suffers in the raven row
and that they are all of working and teaching each other in each of these roms that is implied you know in some of the mahayana sutras it actually is implied the look of ah tara sutra talks about how is the dharma taught in various universes
and it goes on to say in some universes it is taught by dancing and singing in some universes it is taught by flinging flower petals about in some universes it is taught by silence and stillness in some universes it is taught by unspeakable
means that we cannot mention and goes on and on it lists all the possible ways that the dharma is taught in all the universes so you know there's there's there's the outside chance that
there are yogi is yoga and his buddies addresses and buddhists in all of biology philip whalen gets a wonderful sketches
that veteran one of his books on bears head of bears with a big ring of buddhist beads a mullah you know
bear bodhisattva with a halo
bharat india
the shock years
the shock as we're we're a small nation
along the dip the police terror i and possibly partly into what is no india and partly into the lowlands of southern nepal
some people have described in one scholar described them as almost like a tribal polity
ah with a tribal organization nd political argues eight organization very much like the league of the iroquois which was a very rich political structure
we might call them the yeah tribe but not even on even the native americans don't like the term tribe anymore
but prefer the term nation and mutual term it means before the rise of the nation state what we think of as nations today the term nation had the implication of a coherent and friendly group of people all more or less bored together from the rut net
which is also the root for the term nature
oh so the shock shock ya who here knows what the were shocking meets anybody
oaktree right
the shock has or the oak tree people is the oak tree try
de young gautama now are you going to have replaced with with what seems to be history
gautama his father was not a king
he was a high ranking chieftain
he was a
the committee head of one of the confederacy's like in the iroquois is a man of power and it was highly respected
elaborately wealthy society and they probably didn't have particularly fancy mansions although that's what comes down in the stories now this is okay histories and mythologies intertwine and they're both useful to us sometimes we need to look at what the myths us sometimes we have to look him with the history says it's interesting to look at the history in this case
are also
ah and see that dumb
it was a
right and democratic society compared to some of the indian nations and kingdoms that were extent at the time it was kind of a republic
most of india a or much of a deal at that time are already had a young and established brought culture of
vidic or post vedic religion dominated by professional hereditary priests called brahmins
and who dominated a lot of society spiritually and morally so to speak
the hill country was as it is still today are full of genuinely ethnic tribal people who never had anything to do well with any of this kind of religion and who maintain their own streams of religious belief in their own cultural practices right down to modern times including
human sacrifice up until the thirties and definitely including ceremonies involving the beheading of water by a water buffalo
annually a bison sacrifice or by mean buffalo sacrifice which they still do right in the middle of kathmandu or every falling be had three or four hundred water buffaloes as part of the door guy sacrifices so yeah all of these streams of religion a sort of run parallel in india nothing ever is last year
but in the case of the shock years ah it was apparently not a problem dominated a culture
and as well as the brahmins and on the
implications of cast
which is of itself a remarkable social device that is so different from anything in china or in the occident that he gave india an entirely different history in in ways that you wouldn't think about at first that comes down to modern times
cast is of the caste system is the answer to history
it's the answer to all the other kinds of societies or it's it's it's an alternative to history of that have evolved within civilization is the it's it's an alternative civilization virtually
india has nothing in common with china probably if anything that has a little more in common with the mediterranean in europe
i'll give you an example of what cast makes possible
under cast tribal people kill people are considered from the beginning impossible to incorporate you are never going to try to incorporate them in your culture
you are not going to assimilate them cast does not assimilate
cast puts people in rough blocks that have to do with occupation color of the skin
the religious practices food food habits and so forth and it keeps them there
as time goes on it becomes more and more occupational based
and especially insulted india as you probably know there are no cast casts of ironworkers basket weavers entertainers
elephant trainers countless occupations are caste based hereditary occupations
california indians the ball the miwok wonderful basket makers
ah the nisshin on where i come from of the hills
are produced you would bourse because they had lot of new trees out there and traded dear you bows down to the valley which doesn't have you are in off over the sierra nevada as a tree died and we all the way to salt lake in utah as a trade item you both from the i
india imagine india
a benji california as india at some point some people roll into the sacramento valley with big two wheeled carts pulled by bowls the kind of drive anybody else out who's there and they start growing rice and wheat and they make little mud walled mud brick villages all over the sacramento valley and they be
ecom india they become the problems they become barat but the tribal people are still up in the hills they're not going to try to do anything with them except trade with them
so they start trading rice for baskets or wheat for you would both
two thousand years later twenty five hundred years later
there is a nietzschean on basket weaving cast it is still in existence and it has a hereditary occupation is a basket maker that's what happened in india
the sun the southern indian basket make your casts who are not pretty civilized and they live in the city's a lot of them were originally a basket making hill tribe and they got placed in their culture and placed in their skill for millennia
this was already in existence in no go thomas time probably not anywhere is strictly an established as it is no but of
an alternative to brahman aneurysm had already evolved and probably had been parallel to prominence 'em all along ah
and had some of its roots in a folk culture that was yoga the forrest yoga jones who had their ashram us in the forest and who were non caste based you could walk away from your village or your city and go join a forest ashram
i'm and start practicing and learning yoga regardless of the cast came from ideally of course there were probably prejudices and and favoritism still at work there but that was the idea of it and they took up the other habitat their habitat was not the agricultural land was not a good land that was the forest
forest dwellers
so in the story of young gautama
he enters the forest and to join the yeomans and becomes a yogic practice practitioner and as the story goes achieves an insight and enlightenment which far surpasses that of any of his teachers or have any of the know yoga practitioners of his own time
so he becomes the preeminent yogurt
of india that's one way to see it historically
it's it's it's emergent from the tradition of yoga practitioners the yoga practitioners in turn actually are derived from the germanic tradition they are a highly specialized and focused variety of shaman
and the buddha in particular returns his yogic practice to a kind of a somatic role
because in many cases of the your guns pulled away from the chamonix role by becoming entirely involved in some kind of liberation for themselves alone a personal self centered seeking for a way out of
the buddha turned right around instead i will be a teacher
and then entered into a
thirty year forty year teaching career
which is follows the archetypal pattern of the shaman who is a teacher and a healer
and who does not think of who is not in in any way involved in personal self realization to the exclusion of others and is not what a shame in dutch
ah so you could also see the buddha historically in the light of been an extraordinary shaman figure
who did it without smoke and mirrors
and as so shamans do
and accomplished
a greater influence on human kind in history than anybody else whoever enters such a path quite remarkable
looking at that
one can make the argument that the teaching ah that he brought forward was never considered
exclusively a human teach you for human beings
roger corliss in his book gov the vision of buddhism makes the argument and he is very well put that buddhism was from the beginning and teaching for all beings not just about all beings but for all beings
you know
the human life is said to be a fortunate life it's a good rebirth one of the reasons it said to be a good rebirth is
you're not have swept in into
too much party going
ah an endless concerts and endless jet-setting setting about that's what the gods do
and who lived such a a life of pleasure and glamour that they never have time to consider their spiritual condition that's the life of the gods on the human life is not the life of the gods it's a modest life
and the human birth does not have with it the capacity of so much power
to do harm so much power to rule and dominate that you become obsessed by power that's what assure as do the osher a rebirth is the rebirth of torture demented but highly intelligent warriors
so that's what you know that's what the pentagon does that's washington d c you're lucky not to be born there
because you become obsessed with other things that's not a human birth that's an asha robbers
and you're lucky not to be born one hungry ghost because then you are anxious needy and unfulfilled will
and again that distracts you from what you need is what you need is a therapist not a meditation teacher or to get you past your neediness first of all so those are the hungry ghosts
and then you can't do very much as a held dweller because what can a paranoid schizophrenic do
the to defensive
i mean one way of seeing the hell dweller realms is is insanity genuine insanity as the simply can't break out of
and then the animal realm according to this is not a bad place to be maybe it's almost too good like that like the heavenly realms of they are running around they don't have to have clothing they don't have to build houses
they're not ashamed of anything they never feel guilt
they take every day as it comes like the lilies of the field and at least to us see because this is all set from the human perspective it leads to us it seems like
they are totally at peace in the existence that they have so they're not guilty so here we come back to human beings
who have painful lives such as their teenage children talk back
after all they did for them
is there are many frustrations of the human realm after living with somebody for twenty years suddenly you don't love her anymore she doesn't love you anymore
in there are other things that happened you have to fill out income tax forms every year as many on satisfactory qualities some of which are not solved by doing buddhism i might add
huh unfortunately
now that's the argument for fortunate human rebirth is that that it has a modest quality about it is not a glamorous rebirth and that enables you to be serious about your practice
the relationship of the buddhist now we're shifting back to mythology the relationships of the buddhist to the to the gods
this is the interesting thing because i've been fastened i've been interested in how buddhism gods get along in east asia and asian cultures india china japan korea and so forth
in the history of occidental religion the emergence of 'em both judaism christianity
involved in both cases of
the rejection of a number of previous deities
the old testament is full of
instructions to quit whoring after strange gods particularly if they're female
and of course christianity becomes
you know the first thousand years of christianity is an exercise in trying to stop out paganism
and up to some degree unsuccessfully
the difference with asia and in this case this would be india china and all the rest of it india and east asia is that there was never that break
in their religious history and in the history of their consciousness it is a seamless a seamless line a seamless development of various religious thoughts myths practices and stories in which the earth deities to goddesses the tree goddesses the river
our news the spirits whoever they are
are not rejected or not cut out of the story or not declared evil or dangerous some of them are just naturally dangerous and so that all flows together in indian thought in asian thought
a doormen and i were talking during the break briefly about well who are the gods good question how do you have gotten and in your spiritual
oversized ecosystem you know to which i honestly have to respond
very hard to answer
one thing we know about god's is
get a whole lot of people are practically everywhere i've had some sense of of some kind of spirit powers spirit fingers
and yet on the other hand of the actual encounters with the merge or far and few between and a hard to pin down nonetheless as images as some kinds of forces shall we say it's inside our psyche like modern psychologists do maybe they're inside our psyche
but then if you take archetypal images
archetypes by definition are images or narratives or kernels of narratives kind of like proverbs kind of like snatches of songs that don't go away
that they stay in human consciousness their perineal they crop up again and again
they belong in other words they're not private to our psyches they belong to our group psyche
in so they can sort of migrate from psyche psyche maybe they're not personal to you
and they manifest in sculpture and painting or in story over and over again an image an image of artifice and image of the young afro de de the image of the word here god the image of the white
herod patriarchal god the image of the all embracing mother god those are not our personal psychic images those are something that belong to all of the human mind and maybe some other minds as well so maybe those are maybe with the gods are laws in some sense shared archetypal beings
and i know people you know i know people out here in north america who really believed in it felt a spiritual presence and sometimes in the wilderness in the woods and i have felt myself although i wasn't about to say this isn't exactly gods this is just some
a few weird what is it
what was the name of that wonderful irish lady who believed in fairies elsa
no not else and well
elsa get law who used to live over ah in the same compound that alan watts and roger summers lived in over by mere woods
also knew this irish woman and i her name just escapes me at the moment who was very influential around the bay area in the thirties
and elsa said she would walk with her in muir woods and dumb
what was your name anyway she would see elsa you see that chef to sunlight just there it just came down to that a message for me
that's one of the fairies talking to me because she had a wonderful way of finding little signs in nature that you would say she was a you guys overlook all of this the spirits of the fairies are telling you things all the time you just don't not to see it
maybe so
we certainly is true of birds you'll learn to be a good burger and learn what to pay attention to and suddenly they're all over the place you never even saw before so you know maybe we need to have more studies in this
but what what about the buddha and buddhism and the gods buddhism never eliminated the gods the incorporated their shrines into the buddhist monasteries in india and china and china india china and japan
there was an earth goddess shrine writing the front yard of the title the genes and zendo just to the left of this and oh entrance a little stone and wood shrine i said what was that for as for the earth goddess once a month we would go on tour all of the monks out of the zendo and only one day a month we would go to every tiny
a compound but one at the toilet
the one at the bathhouse the one at the earth goddess shrine in friend as and don't do a little sweeter service once a month in front of each of those rights
in all of these work were little gods
you guys do that yeah something like that yeah
ah that is the way that traditional buddhist practice acknowledges a number of older forces that it inherited simply by being human
in by accepting the minds and the spirit of the people who had already been there is so we don't have to cut this out this has meaning
we don't know what it is an important they did maybe but we're going to acknowledge it and maybe the buddhist do maybe the buddhists do have more knowledge a knowledge of it ten others
i heard this a priest in japan
when i was say will seeing today what what do you think of the relationship of the big got the big guys they have a duty gods
buddhism then he said always said
even the big gods even they heavy duty gods you so they have problems
they are not sure of themselves
they are not enlightened
and they know it
they have to work on themselves
ultimately they lose their godwin it is the gods end up studying under the buddha
even though the buddha is just a little human guy or woman
but they ended up coming you studying with the buddha that's a cash their own choice
and then i think i cited this last year and you know the lotus sutra or in a commentary on the lotus sutra
who is jehovah
yeah that
in allah the buddhists of north india had long heard stories about a lot and ya fei
by the third fourth fifth century a d now they do all these stories so they incorporated yagi into one of their cosmologies
they say it like this in the formless realm you know there's the realm of desire aroma form and the foremost room in the form of rome on the thirty third level is a very powerful god called yeah they
very powerful
wonderful deity unfortunately under the delusion that he created the universe

it's a great way of dealing with that
well two texts
here's a little bit of actual sociology of the buddhist time is from the digha nikaya pali text
in being as far as it's from the dealer nokia nikaya it has a strong possibility of having some historical truth to it it's really old really early
oh adonis up through the king of magadha was contemplating attacking the veggie nation
he wasn't sure if you could bring it off so he sent one of his ministers to shock and modi who at that time was staying near vulture peak
to ask shockey mooney what his advice was what his thoughts were on the possibility of waging war against the veggie
jackie money and ananda conferred and then they agreed to the following points about the veggie people
one the raji people frequently gather together for conferences and many come to those meetings
to the veggie people gather in unison and they act in unison to perform necessary tribal undertakings
in other words they were dominated by a hierarchy
three the bhaji people do not establish rules without president's nor do they break existing rules but they live in accord with the traditional laws established in the past which to make a commentary on is that they were not subject to that they were very stable and they weren't subject to
charismatic forces that might suddenly changed the way they did things for the raji people respect revere and venerate their elders and consider the advice of their elders worthwhile
five the veggie people do not forcefully take and confine women and girls
now that is very significant to see that around the fifth century bc as a description of a condition for a good society because the truth is in india today as you all know women and girls are can find and taken as old you know if anything more than they were prior
and we're we're to under the british
in a must have been didn't to some degree in some places in the buddhist time well are they would have mentioned this
six the veggie people respect revere and venerate their holy places and do not forgo the custom of offerings which tells us that the buddhist thought that being punctilious about the details of your own nature folk religion and following it through was admirable doing it was good
and seven the raji people provide protection defenses support for our hearts sages and your guns hoping that those who have not yet come we'll enter their territory and that those who are there now will peacefully continue to do so for as long as they may desire
in the buddha said as long as these seven conditions are observed the raji people will prosper and know decline can take place therefore i would not advise you to attack them
isn't that wonderful
i didn't another a textural sample
ah from this is from the one etc
a larger mahayana
a chunk of later mythology
which takes on the question of how do we see her all sentient beings
in what manner should want accommodate and serve sentient beings
to do so one should think
throughout the rooms of the dharmas in the realm of space in the ocean like a cosmos in the ten directions there are infinite kinds of sentient beings some board of eggs some born from the womb some of wetness or of metamorphosis some live by earth
some by water fire wind space trees or flowers countless or their kinds an infinite or their forms shapes bodies faces lifespans races name's dispositions views
use knowledge desires inclinations manners costumes and diet's they abide in numerous kinds of dwellings in towns villages cities and palaces they comprise the diverse the nagas the heavenly musicians the train
months humans nonhuman beings without feet beings with to for or many feet some are with for summer without form some with or without thoughts or neither with or without thoughts to all these into
net kinds of beings you should think i will render my service and accommodate them in whatever way is beneficial to them
verse why should we cherish all sentient beings because sentient beings are the roots of the tree of awakening the bodhisattvas in the buddhists are the flowers and fruits compassion is the water for the roots
great little statement there certainly enlarges the size of the ecosystem
i like that some with neither with door without thoughts
takes care of all of that scale of possibilities
well it's opened it up to some discussion now
kinda thought about
indian buddhism naturally days yes
a population
oh god
it's been that up
eric time
now get better
well court of course the early occidentale scholars of buddhism early occidental people who came to see buddhism and also individual or yogic varieties of do is some varieties of into islam of
seeing the literature and some of the practices of india seeing this early literature and some of the practices of india have declared
that these were world negating or world denying religions
which is a charge that you still here fairly regularly about buddhism
early buddhism was interpreted by early english scholars for example has been very nihilistic very negative against the world anything in some the texts would give you that opinion if you took the texts at face value
this is a l r a marvelously complex topic and i'm not going to try to address the whole thing except to just put it in a perspective
there are the early buddhist texts and the early buddhist practices which are too
in some cases appear to be a world denying and appear to be very similar if not identical with the jain in the yogic desire to escape the wheel of samsara permanently
however the buddhist or impulse towards community which the your guns did not have ah
makes the whole question very rich and different and this comes to you know what i called this talk about the buddhist community or these talks are this this theme today
so this is a good place to look at it
the somehow the third of the three treasures
or was came into existence
right together with the buddha's career as a teacher and as soon as he started teaching the saga be to come into existence
and it was a
a some the design of the sanga guy who is the scholar that says this is so fascinating
he says maybe you'll remember what was has just slipped my mind right now too much rain
he says that the buddhist the the organization of the buddhist sangha the organization of the buddhist sangha is not casual it is very richly designed it is very complexly designed it emerged over several decades
degree by degree especially the vinaya the rules the precepts if emerged historically step by step case by case but the a structuring of it was based on the administrative in democratic system of
the shock ya people in other words that of gautama or sakyamuni took the political models that he already knew from his childhood and from his life in the shock ya culture and applied those very workable
a consensus based and committee based group meetings and group decision-making to the organization of the sankar
ah and you know any of you have studied is realized that in the original song that this is this is a workable social organization and it it's very credible being that it is complicated and also clearly workable it's very it's quite creditable to think that duck or got to a g
didn't make it up about the whole cloth ah but was working on pre-existing models
oh with the that type of sanga and it's a empowerment of the people that come into it
is also the understanding that the the the new monks and a new nuns serve and help each other
and ah ha senses are some teachers
grow a young teachers are given responsibilities and roles from early on
and there is a division of labor within this ah ha that gives everybody a part to play and there is the assumption from the beginning in the buddhist saha that we are going to teach and we're going to make our our our understanding available to others
there's also a sweetness of disposition and a delight in the details of life that all all of this stance counter to a purely world nine and purely are some
and what really runs counter to the rhetoric that is the world nine rhetoric for example are the points and songs left behind by the forest dwelling sisters and the forest dwelling brothers
some of which andrews shelling has translated does something then andrew showing an anne waldman some of which are simply about how glad they are not to be in a bad marriage anymore this is the nuns
but a number of them are about the beauty of the birds and the trees and the life in the forest a real nature points real delight in nature points that are not in any way world deny ah but then also
in early times and in later times right down to today in japan and china the world and the nature and nature i'm not always seen as the same world nine does not necessarily mean nature denying the world in a lot of asian language a lot of asian vocabulary the
a world is the human realm in particular it's the realm of politics commerce and urban life that's why they call it the dusty world because he didn't have any pavement on the streets and the cities were dusty so to have to leave this dusty world chinese poetry
taoism chinese buddhism to leave the dusty world
is not to get out of the phenomenal universe that to get out of town
so you know what do they do it
the they there's a language there's a symbolism that that almost suggests that the mountains are already the a sort of a divine realm a godly realm a realm of piece of beauty hence the deification of the himalayas habitat of yoga's habitat of buddhist say
live in india from early and that imagery a doubly carries over to china in which of the mountains zones also became the habitat of sages from well before buddhism in japan
setting the role of nature into a slightly different category
done the human realm
and although we with our knowledge of ecology or are actual nature study observation of what goes on in the natural world
can be conscious of predators ship and maybe know a whole lot more about it and we want to know
for ordinary observers of the natural world at least in asia are you don't see are actually ah
you don't see much of the predatory behavior taking place and so
the natural world the forest in the mountains don't look harsh most of the time discipline of beautiful
i'll tell you where i was really shook up on that one and that was in africa
ah effort living and traveling in africa in the back country of africa as i did in nineteen forty four
well done within a quote yeah i was quite richard nelson gi i start talking about richard nelson i forgot to quality where i wanted to say how richard nelson an hour at this meeting with young people talking about animals in how beautiful animals are and so forth and richard just me it said as a caution he said i want you want to re
remember there's also a lot of paid up there
that's right now it in africa that's what you see the pain you don't see it exactly when your eyes get north america very often
what's in a while but there are so many animals and there's so much going on in africa
the house of the hyenas the roars of the lions the barking into leopards go on all night and in the morning there are some dead buffalo that are being chewed on by the hyenas are sometimes you see it right daylight
and is going on constantly just never let up
see the what jack heroic called this merciless meet wheel
going on and on and it tests your sense of the beneficence of the ecosystem
it really is a test to to see that and say how do i relate to that i'm working on that ah how do you relate to it
there is a lot of pain
paul shepherd who died a couple of years goal or thought a lot about that
the end dumb he came down on the side of the predator prey relationship scholars
field workers
in some native people who say this kind of stretches you do credibility but they say
this view says that the prey finally willingly gives itself up to the predator
and that there is an understanding there there's an agreement there
indeed it looks
a harsher and scarier to us than it is in the real world out there
pray our body surface
offering of their body yeah
yeah yeah
that would be a nice thing to keep in mind when you go to africa
ah but what does the job talk and say that jataka tales
how the buddha yet to be born as the buddha fed himself to a hungry whether tiger because he couldn't bear to see a little cubs wailing because she was short of milk you're so hungry by the tiger needs food for those baby so he felt himself to her
and that's all it says about that that's just an instance of how deep the buddhist compassion wet
he said oh really
yeah right here
read monastery
right did
used their and
is there fridays
i was very remember was
a home
it's outside of
at asked about it they said
as the ryan
fighters to the tigris okay
i've just as good or for yourself but right
the tigers home and
his family cannot describe
oh my goodness i love it when you know that one of the great things in asia you read these tales and stories of evinces books and it's sort of sits in you know in some vague space you know storytelling world narrative world narrative space and then you get to asia you're walking around suddenly take here's where that happened
oh my gosh
ah that's just so great
that has the advantage of living in an old culture where your old stories covering your face you know with shrines buildings i visited the temple of the sixth patriarch in guam join camped on why numbers temple way always tell what i mean that
a long time ago seventh century a d i stumbled onto it
and i can read the chinese and it you know it said the little historical thing this was the temple of way you know the sixth patriarch
beautiful little building not too small either bigger than this three times the size of this
although there's many temples china are smarter than that and in ended very good key a very good shape to throw it into it
and on the walls are no none of the walls but on standing screams are standing upon legs on three sides was the whole life story of we knew with big picture painted of him and then the text written below and chinese way long as a young boy carrying firewood ah wait
long standing by a temple with a load of firewood on his back listening to the teacher speaking you know from inside it went through the whole life of winner
it was quite remarkable that was nineteen eighty three in china i came out of it really boggled in i've seen way we looked to help
went back to the hotel and one of these bright young interpreter women twenty five year old gov
fluid interpreters that works in the hotel
is there a night start chatting with and i said i went to see the temple and six patriarch today boy know is it oh yes and then she quoted the verse about of mind is not like the bodhi the the mirror and there is no dust to blow it off
if you know how that good you she knew it all by heart actually both point i show how do you know that she said oh everybody in jail time knows that
i realize you know right sense of what goes on in these countries as i just don't quite have it yet
i've got several of several threads or probes out there i'm going to come back to the main line that on right how after lunch and that is a to talk a little more about the question of how an apparently anti a phenomenal world and financial
whole world
line of practice and thought
i ends up being in many ways later in history
in many ways very world affirming a philosophy and practice which i do believe buddhism as and in particular that so how did that happen i'd like to follow that through a little bit and i think that a part of the key to it is the buddhist sects of somehow
ah that tells us from early on that they weren't exactly
doing what they said or believing what they appeared to say that there was some qualification within that
but for the remaining few minutes scared of i want to come back to ah
ah a point about ecosystems and ecosystem consciousness
these interesting tapes that mark gutterman loaned me or gave me from jm coetzee ah where his a speaker step by step goes through a number of the arguments involve pro and con in animal rights and ways of treating animals
he says and then there is
while another way of dealing with this is the ecosystem view
the ecosystem view
no longer sees the species themselves as unique beings that are uniquely valuable each organism
but sees the system and sees the roles in the system the niches
as the main story
consequently ah
native hunters
rk connors with some kind of a view like that probably
could both love and respect of the animals and birds fish but at the same time had a sense that their use for taking their lives and eating them i was not in contradiction to ah ah a spiritual way of being in the
a world
ha ended many people today modern people are trained to see the natural world in that light
in this is one kind of answer that is brought to the animal rights movement ah when they are when it is said by such people that a your concern for the individual animals in their deaths is exaggerated and you should look at the systematics of
oh so far so good
then kids he says
he says i suspect this view our christie's narrator says i do not like this view because i think it is for one thing abstract rational
ah that it substitutes a theoretical sense of system for the actual flesh and blood beings and i do not think that this is an answer this can be used as an answer to the question of what is our relationship to animals
i think that's a very interesting answer and of all of the animal rights discussions that i've heard i've never heard any of them take on the challenge of the ecosystem view ah and try to deal with it i think that that is a pretty good way of responding to it
i do not believe that for many people i mean i think that is probably quite true for graduate students academic science professors and a lot of occidental thinkers that the ecosystem view is theoretical and abstract
for our
natural peoples of subsistence cultures i don't believe that's true
i believed that they can and do feel the fabric of the natural world as a real organism as a real thing and you see that described so beautifully in nelson's book be prayers to the raven
and i've seen it myself out there in the field in alaska with people who for own this was their legacy
ha i believe that it's no abstraction for them and that their sense of the reincarnation of bears the reincarnation of salmon is a real belief that this is the lives of these beings and it may well be that that is the truth
and i do not think that it's an abstraction or a platonic theory in the case of buddhists who might turn their mind a little bit that direction because it is a part of our training part of our tissue from the beginning
to understand and interconnectedness to acknowledge interconnectedness a to imagine visualize feel actually we don't have to mention it in zazen one of the things you're doing whether you know it or not you don't have to know what it just happens to you is the that the complex
interacting nature of the world via your own complex interacting goofy mind is made available to you self evident in inescapable
as what you see
and maybe that's what you try to get out of
yes thousand a strategy to escape the ecosystem of consciousness
a come back next week for the answer
okay we're going to have lunch now
a heifer