To Consider Our Practice Carefully

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Sunday Lecture

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the morning
can you hear me
not very well
how about that

i thought because today
we're almost apart in the winter solstice
maybe the other way around the winter solstice is upon us in it might be fitting to say a few words
about this time of year
how it relates
to us both on the physical and maybe psychological plane
and why it's significant that we celebrate the the changing the turning of the light
before points of the
the balancing points between the light forest so to speak in the dark force the nightforce in the de force
it doesn't take too much
imagination for us at this time of year in the northern hemisphere at least the colder latitudes especially
to think what it must have been for our ancestors
who lived in the dark and the darkening
time of year
to wait for that critical moment
when there's the turning about of the
the apparent son path
when the seasons change of seasons
so i think it's appropriate that we have celebrations and ceremonies around this time of year
no tassajara i love this time of your especially because
queer those of you have been there you're not in a mountain zoo go way down the bottom of this canyon and so in the dark of the of the year it is really dark
and that that sense of inward turning that sense of introspective this
and the way the light looks at this time of year the particular way the shadows fall in the hills we can see that here as well the long shadows that appear early in the afternoon whole mood evoked around that particular time of year
a kind of a hunger for
in a longing in which is a
not exactly expressible except for maybe ceremonies
and so it's not so unusual that they had the saturnalia in pagan days so called and that the christians use this time of the year for the birth
and that buddha's enlightenment day as on the eighth day of december seem severe proprio time to celebrate in late and meant to return of light

it's a hard time of year
for great number of individuals and not only our time and society but i think worldwide kind of phenomenon that occurs at this time of year around christmas we think maybe it's because of our incessant
compulsion to to
celebrate to god and buy gifts and take care of the our obligations at this time of year and fulfill our need for ceremony but
then that's part of it you know the shopping the crowds the expense but even without that
even in the mountains even when you are longer and you could feel this
this sense of a kind of collapse of like collapse and under the self looking for that some corner brightness some part of illumination some warmth
a lot of people suffer pain psychological pain and depression when the light becomes dimmer and in the wintertime
and we kind of cling to the aspect of the light and the return of the light
at the same time
and over
in the teachings both east and west but particularly i think in the east the teachings of darkness it's kind of the teaching of the unborn the unfathomable the
the ultimate
and what is seen in the light of days that which can be discriminated by our consciousness
and so know those things that go bump in the night that feeling of our a fear that we have being alone in the dark
is also that a great opportunity that it can be celebrated along with this return of light of letting go of the fear of the darkness and as the metaphor has it to fall back into the darkness than is always behind us always one hundred and eighty degrees of darkness behind us wherever you turn your
do just be able to fall back as if you on this edge of a cliff this turning point
surrender to it and let go well
no falling back into darkness takes not only a lot of faith but maybe a lot of stupidity depending on the situation
because we have billions of years of survival
by which to her
protect ourselves and saw this idea of letting go
welcome in the darkness and falling back into it looking at it embraces
and a psychological sense in a psychological sense
kind of sacrifice of our ego giving up and letting go is a should also be is perhaps an important part of the rituals that arise at this time of year
just as a you know six months ago we were celebrating the the the day forces summer solstice when everything is in full bloom and nights are short and everything is warm and convivial crops are growing
it's very point you know that life begins to diminish the very point is that its fullest begins to diminish
just as as just at this point as as very lowest ebb now it begins to augment and grow
so we say in this teaching right and light there is darkness but don't confronted as darkness right in darkness there is light but don't see it as light lighten dark a relative to one another like forward and backward steps
never go back and forth with this like you know
we have also the course a day from day to day we have coming and going of the light
and the more pain we have the more we wait for the light i've had that opportunity of later the notice this particular phenomenon
i had i am
opportunity to to experience pain on a level where philosophy became irrelevant
the minor operation as things go but in a place so delicate and almost so unmentionable that
it's embarrassing you know it's kind of operation it's not a gallant and thing it to talk about
but the interesting thing about the pain in the cycles of pain not only does one's philosophy go now don't need do you find one hundred new ways of grinding your teeth waiting for the light
but you have an opportunity to to at the same time our
to watch yourself to watch your mind to watch this total experience arising
total buddha in pay
who be unconquered beyond solace beyond constellation just pure pay
waiting for that moment of released it'll come with a don or with the
relief they can get from certain prescribed drugs at the doctor gives you when you go home
and then like the return of the light the pain goes away and you feel almost normal again right
and ah
you forget rather quickly what the darkness and what the pain is get back in your normal routines until it returns you
and then once where you're caught up when has caught up in this kind of anguish and pain
physical pain sickness old age and death which we all face
they were sitting say seen at the same time down here
but i was doing my own say she
and it was just as intense as anything that i have done sitting in this as and over at tassajara for seven days on end both in the literal sense and otherwise
and when when there's no recourse from pain whether you're sitting here and zazi and winning for the bill in intense pain during extended city what was your lying in bed the of waiting for something to change
that is really have an exquisite the delicate moment in which one has an opportunity to study just how deep this teaching is of our life and how much of it is just some kind of intellectual
stories are we tell ourselves so you know
i guess the point of all this is a to the dark of the year and a pain that we feel in the sense of that being not something to avoid and celebrate the end of but something intimate and not exactly rejoice it but
be grateful for
and you know as soon as the pain is relieved use it if you've ever had a bad back or kind of chronic pain of some so
if you think if i can just walk again going and just go to the bathroom normally or any of those things that we take for granted i'll never complain again
i'll just be happy to be a functional old me without any special philosophies are just really feel cool and easy just please let it be like that again
he make this a little bargains
i promised to suit every morning
and of course ten minutes after a fit well maybe you if you've been practicing twenty minutes after
it's something steps on your life and we forget
lucas is always at the critical moment i forget that critical moment all it's all gone again in your back into your usual habitual reactive mode of dealing with the world
eventually the world wins in the sense eventually our pain will return whether it's in zazen or at
moment of illness or the loss of loved wonder
and we have to face the long night
so facing the long night and being in the long night and celebrating the loners what we're doing right now at this time of year and
appreciating the opportunity to do that do it together
give exchange gifts bow tie out her sing christmas carols rejoice in just being what we are well we are and living life lived the life of life and
going out with it
i'm not trying to adhere to once did a dualistic idea i'll be all right i promise i'll keep the vows
when i feel better
i'm actually probably keeping our vows if that's the truth of being true to ourselves and our the are reality when we're suffering a little bit and so for that reason although we don't make a cold of pain has opened not make that the gameplan and our life we have to honor it
big part of honoring our lifestyle of our pain and then the course to feel the extended on know that all people are suffering in some sense like that

the old astrologer said that the nightforce was a collective for us
then the northern hemisphere is when people needed to cooperate when winter was coming needed to band together and form
groups from for the safe of communal safety
and so the rituals around the turning points of the sun and live in very elemental lee
in nature
winter was a
a natural time for us to do that
so i hope we enjoy it this year
if i'm rambling a bit it's because i normally do
but today i ramble even little bit more because i've got some this painkiller and me so
i tend to hear my words go out there and and gonna die away
alan watts and a wonderful poem about this he said
no jingle the stars in their courses have no destination
the train of events will arrive at know station
the inmost an ultimate self of us all his dancing on nothing and having a ball
but when you really suffering that having a ballpark
it's just too nevertheless of the ball
beam me up captain kirk
in in
other thing the thing that i noticed that pain softens me it makes us very hard sometimes very reactive that moments sweeping from could become quite harsh in the midst of our pain but over all if we're sensitive to lose my in my experience i feel alone or kind of softening kind of giving up a surrender in a soft way
if i can suck surrender to my pain and then the the slings and arrows of other things that come towards me in the form of you and get them and day and those and saw
it's not so sharp
pointing it in fact i feel i can embrace it almost
sufferers of the world unite
we could enjoy ourselves together
well i think we're going to have some discussion after we have something to eat and drink but i really have to fill up the time you see because they need time to put the t together that's actually what i'm doing
the last time when i stop too soon i caught a little bit of criticism for not giving the t people a chance to get the and to spread on the table
so this is kind of feel or time
you just make them
this run here

if are suffering is for anything it is the same as our practice which is to soften
soften ourselves
and then the same time hold ourselves you know in a certain dignified human
a brightness in the middle of it and it's not easy is it
photo very difficult not to want to scream at somebody in the midst of my suffering
i'm a little too i'm a little too wise to myself not to blame it on anybody and even myself you know i could even say well you idiot you know you should have had this taken care of ten years ago and so on but that's an odd number two you see so finally i just you know just surrender and say well it's time for me
to suffer this x number amount of suffering in the world it goes around you know because your turn he had years and years are free from and know you're getting your sherry and it's like a bill comes to the houses here
you get seven and seven nights of new ways of learning how to claw the wall to your teeth bite your lips and so on
and you can either resisted or get into it and so all those books i've read about jon kabat-zinn you know how to live with pain and so a long way oliver when i ran out the window can remember anybody except just breathe you know get the ten and start again
and then just how many people in the world where and oranges breathing and ten hoping to get to ten so they can
somehow enduring go on with your life you know ah
so i guess i'm not trying to i'm not a paying salesman you know
at all but
do think this is a good time of year at us to look at it spend christmas alone and no christmas cards nobody calls you and you know if you ever heard that it's raining outside it's like an old john garfield movie who is kind of grey and
you really feel the emptiness you see there's no support you all those constellations that we have stripped away ripped out from under you sooner or later going to become in a row
so that's one of the reason we break be ready for that
not be such a bummer for yourself how other people
and now you know i'm i'm at the age where i get together with old people and and we have what is called an organ recital
we bought what their argument and problems on i town about mind we spend most of time doing
and that becomes a whole way of life hell wants to see
because the kind of status game of one-upmanship
if you think that's bad wait do you get to the prostate that's really gonna heal
well as good we can laugh at it a little bit
what time is it
ten forty eight good
i've been practicing a long time you wouldn't believe it but it really happen
and once upon a time i knew all about real subtle things in the buddha dharma but again and they all went out the window this week and i just forgot every one of them and think it was time for it all of the blow away say he really stupid amy i'm really dumb don't have any answers anymore just
it is and can you sit with it can be with a of peace can even agreeable people with it
and you say yeah so maybe that's all we had to learn how to do that
and you can say that you know when many different ways eloquently poetically you know
but that's just the practice of doing that isn't it you know one hundred new ways to grind your teeth in relax

one of the things about right and light there is darkness don't confronted as darkness use them
you know sometimes we're feeling really dark and our mood and song but we test the
kind of a shadow of other people's light that way can be very oppressive
to use our our donors to to curdle vibe as it were
walk into a room suffering you know and they really everybody feels it can feel the energy kind of
but at the same time we should see that i didn't our happiness there is because there's unhappiness we see this duality without without pain is no pleasure without precedent we see that you know and even though you can't see it you know the two sides at once you can begin by practicing the to realize that right and light there is dark
when laser suffering or discrimination discriminate miners steadiness pain confusion
and right in the on the in kuwait or the unseen or the you know that would you can't see or feel behind us is the possibility of the new of light the new emergence
that whole feeling in our life that everybody has knows you know
kind of flow with that in sochi and the painful times as our practice that's my practice anyway
and the best time to do it is when the chips are down on the table
the best time to study anger is when you're really mad right
now when you're sitting around the table discussing angry philosophically it's when all at once things go against you in the anger comes up right then that's the time to study
that's when the light and dark come together you say

well you know i made some vows to myself and one of the vows was i would never preach and i would never scold
but i've been preaching a school the ever since i've put these robes i and
i'm going to keep promising out and then keep trying to find a kind of middle way between preaching and scolding or you actually have something to say and then you can take it away from here and mellowed over for few days but the best talks are the ones that you forget immediately anyway
in islam go so
are we ready yet
let's do it
the intention
but this particular period calls for which is i guess from me to answer questions
about the talk
nobody has any questions for any questions
they pertain to
any questions
well actually i will request if he could read that i recite a poem
kilowatts yeah he's to write a lot of jingles and this was worm
the stars in their courses have no destination
the train of events will arrive at know station
the inmost in ultimate self of us all his dancing on nothing in having a ball
is good right

to absorb the practice
to observe the pay
reno my experience with pay when it is really intense is that there's really nothing you can do to try to control except
don't waste energy wailing a mean or you know
resisting don't don't spend a lot of energy resisting it
you will resisted of course it's natural but you'll notice if you're breathing if you can follow you your breath when unit is particularly intense physical and i think psychological pain as well follow their breath all the way down and all the way back just following the breath you notice after a couple of breaths at
how much you actually holding them and how much you have tensed up the muscles in your body which is what causes more pain of course the more you attend some muscles so i think that that helps just to kind of breeze into it a little bit you know
when without going too far without using mattis another device to try to escape you know you just because you can't escape it
that's the thing about intense pain on whatever plane is that
you've finally the man's engagement
one kind or another and of course
dealing with pain i mean taking drugs for it like a prescription drugs or morphine when you're in the hospital is that you have to be able to deal with the pain first few who can begin to heal yourself and i think that's interesting psychologically to
is a truly heal ourselves we have to go right into the heart of pain
whatever it is like it or not and do with it on its own terms which is meet me like that
well it was to be there for it put yourself on that level

we're know that you've no philosophy will be of any help
nothing that can be tells you will be much help so that it was psychological the flu are all pain is that pain is contract if it would you feel both psychologically and physically is it an imploding or a collapsing in on yourself so this be it's like a dark hole
and you can feel this density you know
sample pain is a you can feel that
in in a world at which in some level assistant you in in am
ah astrophysical and if you really looked at the university is it's all this stuff's just kind of floating in space but the weather is experienced is that it's very dense and and substantial on hard and pain is about that hardness similar the harder things get them were pain
full if you leave and use it where it is hard it's hard for me to do this
has it didn't so how do we work with density you say what we do about that sense of
and the first rule if you can call it a rule or guideline or reality about it is that you have to be right in the center you have to meet it totally
be willing to do that because it's not easy
that doesn't mean that you don't take drugs to alleviate it or that you that of backup
if you take drugs to alleviate pain as fine of you won't get hooked on drugs usually because they just a response to pain but as a few good that comes with drugs are the kind of this dissociated
vagueness and fogginess that comes with it begins to be another comfort zone to hide from pain that's the problem
sooner or later you have to deal with pain
and we always want to deal with later i think it's human how about tomorrow
a lot of people are depressed this time area that was very heavy time for people and we as i try to indicate how are reporting that we tend to find cycle i should say a sociological economic sociological reasons
then the really psychological reasons for
when the psychological reasons when the when the light kits and physiological reactions to
the to the life force becoming very very slight when the sun is what way on the horizon and we'll get a lot of sunlight in our life and so on and things get dark look at northern european art you know
think of 'em
munch in a winch of pictures edvard moocs book movie you know the famous were
it's kind of that time of year you know we in the sun is always industry
so what i am
hey there we have to pay attention
to this time of the year
because the conditions with a light at the weather
all bring us into a possibility of depression and sad internalizing
our lives and if we try to divert ourselves too shabby or nice dinner or only or any of things that every find some dissatisfaction
are you know i don't think so i mean i don't think that you should not divert yourself and inhabited by
mean you have some fun in life you garden shop and enjoy the lights and no play
thank you do what we do
so i don't know i'm just saying that this is a this is not a
a pitch for suffering
this is a pitch to get out of suffering or to meet but the only we paradoxically get autocephalous to be suffering from face on and certain times of the year more people i think probably depressed in the wintertime the water sources that are depressed in the summer solstice although there is a kind of summer doldrums
syndrome that also is cyclical and appears in people's psyches it genji point
but just the spring his resurrection you say you know the life-force overcomes the dark forest now long days are longer than night in the springtime that means that light now this has been reserved is no
on the upswing in dark the dark power the unseen know our dimension opens up we can get a four hundred and eighty degree view
but we were on
in the middle of the winter solstice zero degrees capricorn your capricorn was the symbol of the seagull the one that starts at the very bottom and clams all about the seat of the highest mountain and means that now the light is slowly come crawling back when next six months
in a ho spirit you know who knows at tassajara i love the fall practice period because the whole place was conducive to to being in a in a very confined dark room like wet
wintery landscape in the and those those lamps you would like at three thirty or four o'clock in the afternoon know resources haven't just seem to really more light than later he really looks rich in the dark of the year so
you have the feeling that when you are practicing a really returned in and something that you couldn't see that you can't get all of that ineffable in enix inexplicable and sore and that when i served come back after the break and started the spring practice period already you're looking forward to the lights coming back now already have this feeling of looking people are talking about this
summer and that's coming in the spring that's coming but what we can love about this time of year and field is this density as this darkness that brings us together celebrate around little bit of light
we need both of us you see this is not an argument for one over another this is the argument for
sameness and difference is being to size of the same coin
pain and pleasure and darkness and light and the balancing of those and this wonderful to see that in our seasons because the way the world is tilted towards the sun and so we get this little wobble and so we have the seasons you know
day and night are equal in then know the life force comes back it diminishes and we can actually experience it in ourselves
in fact that we've become sensitive enough on a fundamental level you can experience the what he called diurnal the daily cycle of light coming and going and the nation cycle we have those three cycles in our life every month you know the full moon watching a gather light and and diminishing and so on those although
or symbols for growth for change you it was no beginning no end but always stage of being
have a full full light and darkness not seeing anything this is part of our how i mean this since time out of mind has been going on this is part of our psychology this is part of the way we experience our life itself our moods and rather than near wanting old light
while sunshine makes a desert they say so we need the balance we either
we want we crave actually the balance
and that one moment in the spring and autumn when the tooth size or exactly equal dna it's just for a moment as equilibrium is just that moment of equilibrium nazca
passes of that point you gotta put when went to see so
no i think i'm what i'm just all i'm trying to very vaguely point two is that we should sensitizers we showed our say that we that we are sensitized to the seasons and then we've loaded all the ceremonial stuff on top of it so that becomes a drag for a lot of people in this time of year and becomes an extra thing to have to deal with
in an already overburdened life of things but ah
deeper than that and i'm trying to point to use this contraction of light
and then we embrace it with both hands instead of just with one you say bring it together

i'm like hey this guy
i find myself that i didn't feel it in order
jarring effect
the obligations
expected to just that produces a tension in me
because i
and i feel like staying in my mouth the by of with
oh yeah
same time i think about oil
well that's the power point museum of that statement right and light there is darkness budokan fronted is darkness in other words don't make a big deal that we also a meeting with people and so rather than making a personally you going since around this the national need to to become much more reclusive and and find a center to
our cells ah
this isn't the contrary pull toward socialization at this time where we want to comfort each other on the fireplace have some conviviality and all the crops the work has done note agrarian societies that you can know eat the harvest you know the stuff that you'd pickled and saved enjoy it
and not to or right right in the midst of the light natalie you know bringing the darkness but to know it's there and right of the darkness not to look you know you going lighten up you gotta lighten up buddy
not do that either find this balance between the two so you have to meet your parents you have to do these social things we and and the practice is trying to find out how to do that was some kind of grace you know
what makes me depressed when that attention to pay nothing
yeah you beat on yourself who's happened we give ourselves on me as a reasons because a wonderful time of year because a lot of reasons to beat ourselves up
you know there's more suicide and suicide prevention you know there's more people calling this time of year than almost any other time incidentally do you know what the leading indicator the leading indicators and cause now this is a leading indicator of sudden death
you know what it is job dissatisfaction
dissatisfaction with a job you know what the leading time is for death like that monday morning at nine o'clock more people die suddenly at that time of year so that's very interesting that with our ideas you see about what we like i like this i don't like that
i want the light i don't want the dark i want this job i don't want that job on my dissatisfactions and so him come up that
the ideas that we have about ourselves in the world good and bad and so on bring us a lot of pain you say so this practice is always to try to work today yeah
spring is coming me that part of like
share your head
right yes
what's going on
so much of humanity into the topics that that this was sort of it was interesting
and films
the spaces out
well these were developments had actually developed you know this way of scrutinising look at the seasons and then extrapolating or that psychological states and so on is a development from the northern latitudes is as the as you know you live more right under the sun when things were equal all year around trump of be speaking so
his his immigration moved out from that into more seasonal areas you will people became more may be more aware of the variance in a variance and not only the seasons but in their own response to the seasons which is hard you know that is becomes ca
actually and then if if they're given to us to intellectual isation and and should i say analysis of that kind of thing you know if we do in the northern hemisphere law and by northern i mean neo even egypt and some of these things started
in said
he was speaking to pay
when somebody vat is he
and what spawn they can find
sharing and others
to what is your question
particular instance i'm thinking of is said my daughter's sam
oh i need
child my focus is on my daughter
and and get real
he you waiting
well so you have to deal with your what she's talking about us to dealing with your emotional distress around somebody else's pain
i'm in part of our pain is other people's pain isn't a big part of our life because we can't we can win as at empathy you know we can empathize with other people's pain we can you can't feel my suffering pain you can feel my emotional pain we can pick up each other's emotional pain but one of the things about practices is that
that we first have to acknowledge were not in control of certain things and not try to fix it
not trying to make it better not it was not to make it worse but just to see it for what it is and what is it you say everybody's going every single person in this room is going to go through payer that sort sooner or later in their life and even if you block off yourself if you set yourself up such a
a way that to stonewall the world emotionally speaking that's an enormous kind of pain in itself isn't you see so the question always respect and how do we do with pay
and one of the most terrible pains of course to pay for mother and daughter for close family her husbands and wives who is when you feel that other person's pain in kind of beside yourself because you feel helpless in the face of it
yeah when the thing that is the not beat yourself with to have compassion and that's the in the compassion has to be for you to in the midst of their be very compassionate very soft soft heart for your own pain around that for a gentle with yourself no blame you know know
or anything like that mixed with it if that's that's adding we call that an in our practice putting a head on another head or negative negativity which is to say
you don't know
my wife for example let's say is suffering and oh you know if i if i had been a better person if this is that maybe it'll beating myself up around is is putting unnecessary pain on the pain that's ample enough already
rather than do that that that aspect or and just feel the pain empathize with it be open to it and respond to it and functionally our if you can of course enabling her to to deliver a life as comfortably as she can
but in the and you have to suffer her pain about the child and you have several her and and that will suffer because mother suffering
in buddhism you know to three kinds of pay
and well as many kinds of pain but i to sweep basic pay one is called kind of just the pain that arises out of ignorance that painted the fact we don't pay attention to our lives and that the world kicks us kicks round to the degree that we setups is situations without being conscious of what we're doing and get hurt by
the mic very ordinary way of no neurotic suffering the same kind of pain is called me and they get little smarter than that they begin to see it and you get little bit of relief known and from it is your practice and so on so you make get what's called alternating pain in other words practice for well and use easy to samir trips and begin to understand a little more
such subtlety and how you respond to the world than all at once the whole world collapses i new yeah and the nothing seems to work and your back into that and so if it goes back and forth and alternate nice feel free and i'm really into a non scientists day in a thing we're talking about and it can come very fast very rapidly the third kind of pain is called the pain of paint the pain
pains is where you already have in basic pain
like kind of existential anxiety about your life you don't know but not got a phone call from your best friend that here she's got cancer and you gotta go see him you try to get on the airplane but the airplane there's a storm somewhere and this is the european can't get to the place where you want to get to and time you see
he and i in our example to you unit when you get off the airplane you go to the bathroom or something you mislaid your ticket know those things begin to to pile up you've noticed that tennessee pain stars and it begins to build a whole story whole drama around it
so you've come out of sorts and other temperament as seems get worse and worse dogs bark at you and no taxis won't stop birds drop stuff on your head i mean it's like a whole world is just shitting on your that's called the pain of pains we won't we all go through that for three kinds of pain and were involved in different levels of them in our daily life all the time
practice makes us is not a penis is pain is something that is a practice which makes us more sensitive to her to our pain and other people's pain and so when people practice these various disciplines in practices at first are licensed seems to get worse we him almost haywire but
cause nothing seems to be working out and and here i've been sitting and doing all this stuff and all at once my life since becoming more dissatisfied in error was
and as largely i think one of the conditions for that is because you become more sensitized
two more subtle ways you're dealing with the world and the world is reflecting the with the is happening
i'm looking
in our anymore
in of weren't where ah
and i think you know all of them
i think part of the practices just trying

they said he don't have to do get to that point but i'm just like it
he would we were yeah if you do that that's great if you knew that be grateful for it
we do it
but if you have to force yourself to do it and say i'm grateful and on your grade new t are you really grateful this okay be more positive rather than adds a bummer name's bom downloads and seven going to get any better that's the second attitude is i am grateful even though if you like the opposite because your your mental attitude will change it
definitely and we
that's part of the way we have to be with each other's you know
be grateful even though we don't feel that gratitude this code act as if there's a big part practices act as if
you know you don't believe you're already enlightened but i wanted to try to act as if that's already the case you want to be siren you so
guess somebody hit back here

i had happen

rather than you


come now
a that
yeah right
that man about
when you can well
you know it's useful to understand that this passes doesn't mean that you're going to be able to sit every day you know you're not an automaton
and it's all right to sit and fine times i'll put you just can't do it this part of the path in fact that's like the on a less light and dark again you see i can't sit right know and if you do sit and you say your mind is wandering whoa in a sense this practice
does not about concentration this practice your concentration practices as you know but this practice as you also know i'm sure there's just let things be the where they are and where they are as i can't concentrate
i can barely sit here and i'm making myself available to the process i sit down but she can thousand means just sitting just allowing yourself to sit and whatever comes up is extra you say i can't concentrate on this and that all let's just stuff and and finally some days you can see that
all i only one look at the zaful the zafer see this offer depresses me
reminds me all the stuff that used to be good and i can feel it anymore
we pull out a book that used to inspire me it was seem meaningless on a piece of paper that on again off again rhythm of our life is the buddha dhamma
is in itself the way things are you know that is the rhythm of our life and i see it now i don't know i haven't no i don't have know i can no i can't
the big problem in all that is that we follow one side and duology of other when i can't i want to can i like the paint you know i like the paint pictures but sometimes i can't do it and you very knowing myself because i can watch it but i can see i'm annoyed because i want to be able one i sit down for something to happen lot nothing happens
it is lot of stuff comes up where i can't even move the brush
so that that whole thing as a practice that see only less interesting this is like everything else
he started out with a lot of enthusiasm we get into it and pretty soon the a certain level and august tough you know
and you want the goody bag and one put a beginner's mind when i first sat down never knew it was easier
when you first pick up a brush and you have been as lucky some but we as we all of us know it doesn't work like that
so the main quitting and as to be good use
as fine be just the way earnest practice rhinos practices but you need me to tell you that and i need you to tell me that see what i'm in that space we have to remind each other that that's part of the practically a docking in
i mean have you deal with the that in our society are in a many investors will just indulge but indulgence brings suffering if you know if you're going to indulge in dogs but then totally indulged just indulgent don't be half as much indulgence if you're going to find the indulgent say you know i need a good cry just have your good
cry right and just do it completely exhausted get it all out that's not indulging that's really using the energy was when indulging as you using as a hedge to keep away from the suffering
when suffering becomes a gameplan or a way of life then you're indulging in it
you mean if i went out to get about wine and indulge in the whole bottle of wine like it myself a reason to have it for her just to go and do that but you'd be but but but you may also end up puking your guts out over the over the bathroom sink because so you haven't drunk for a long time as sunday it just makes you
sick as hell and now you're really peeled now that doesn't work goes into top you can have a tearaway overruns on you're not going to repeat that of that one you gonna find another way to do but it won't do that when you see trusted going to trust own experience
it's okay to go do that
nobody else can tell your you know

my question
family life
no purpose teach you say no purpose in and no purpose pompousness if you have a purpose in life you to get something but you're already something enough as you are and you need a more reunion that a purpose in your life
you already living your life are you doing by sitting down a city for the sake of just doing one thing completely just sit down and it's very hard for us not to do something
and so it turns sitting into doing something using we turned it into a big deal but it's not a big deal all you're doing is sitting on the cushion looking at a wall street you're just a human being looking at a wall but we establish an enormously sophisticated philosophy or on their whole business and a whole ceremony than a whole affair but that's our mind
doing you see you're watching you out all we know we turn it into something it's nothing sniffing get older you just sit there is value in just been able to sit alone because usually we look for this anyway out of our pain but finally you heard enough nothing
rx where you just sit down right eyes will
you know
you look at the wall or something for a moment you just take a breath you know what you don't know where to go next you know what to do nothing works but yet you're breathing the senate still shining everything is going on something's working right
so sitting is it is just a kind of the in a way as for you know where it's a kind of strategy you see like everything but we have to have we as human beings we need a strategy we need to take me to see how we what we really do in her life so silly is just a way of investigating her tendencies
and it's not to be something different what you are to be completely what you are
rather then you want to be a good girl you're going to be or this or that are freakish fret no
so we see where angels receive her devils receive see capable of glorious things and absolutely unspeakable of you know of us
and we need experience and we need other people to do that together so we can share this experience and pass it on and human beings have been suffering all this stuff from thousands years then they pass on lot of experience to us that this helps said like this for a while
just sit there and take a breath and few things to kill him and this is a yoga and you can actually embodying you're not just lay back reading a book you're actually embodying something you see in new embodying yourself and everything else arising that was making you feel the way you do with the conditions that
are you actually
so it gives space and so just allowing some space them that's all it is that's a lot
but as soon as we turned it into dogma soon as we turn that into should or should not and must must not how the rules and regulations around and then they get trapped again
neither inflated or we dismiss it went back into duality so part of a practice is to find out that that's what we'll do with it will inflate it oh dismissing it would go back and forth now i love it no i hate it i want to know i don't want it i know what it is no i don't know what it is but if you'd just do something everyday without training
have any purpose
one of the teacher said zazen is useless but until you really dunn's us in
stacey it really is useless until you know how useless it is
spiritual practice is not useful in i nor egoic way spiritual practice is an unveiling of all the things to crowd that we put on our lives in order not to feel
what we really are


well that was sanga is you see there's this buddha writers or this the illumination that is a natural condition
then there's dar mothers a path as we said has been generated what we do that with other people so
in the different lineages in different ways to approach this problem in early buddhism of course the the model and subcontinent there was for individuals men and women to have become forest monks you still do that in other words to go into isolation devoted a kind of anesthetic rich
eat mode we don't have any socialization at all we live on a minimal amount of sustenance on as if you get to a minimal yellow minimalism if you get to a with as see how little you need to to exist in the world and get free of all the entanglements had come up through our since desire as one mile that's one way of doing it but
in the in the growth of this practice it was realized by many people who have has settore and realization that self and others a call arising event which you can't separate one from the other the deliberation that comes from that is not actually enlightened or liberated until it assured
with other people
it's only a is called camping out on the mountain
and until you kind of come down off the mountain of enlightenment and come back to the marketplaces it with gift bestowing hands and other words you don't have any attachments particularly know but you're just there for everybody else for to be exactly the way they are
so the these two poles between being socializing with people and being with pupil in practice and been very aesthetic is something that is actually built into our nervous system is something we go through with ourselves in practice and when we work with a group of people around this say you go into the months for three months like task
sahar your altogether
you can't hide from each other but what's taking care of differently there is that there's an order to it you see a monastic practice there's a schedule you get up and do this all you need to take care of but you gotta give a three thirty in the morning and go there instead it when the bell rings you do this and that everything is laid out for you tremendous resistance comes up around
tremendous i'm an individual i wanted you know you give up all that aspect of it to work with other people and by working with other people in going to doing all the things you resisting don't want to do you can believe that you're going to show yourself
you're going to stand there naked in front of everybody with with all of your you know
how'd you get fired but you're in the world you can fire you see right so of what i'm trying to answer this in a roundabout ways that monastic practice working with other people going through all your shit together with those other people having a schedule having a tradition as on is very helpful but it's not necessarily end in itself the end and the south as to see how we actually
we are in this situation and on to learn a kind of tai ji to dance with life so that when you're back in the world come back to a place where things are less originally scheduled and so on and there's more freedom for for woman then you can know there's a time you can know
you're more sensitive so you know what is appropriate to come forward you know whereas appropriates step up more sense of appropriateness in your actions and not quite so clumsy your sure so uptight because you don't know what to do you not so worried about what and what not to do because you're much more alive to us arising now and watching yourself react
those tendencies you see to those circumstances by your tendencies
so this tension and there's tremendous tension live in a monastery is how around and
a lot of interest is a real hero
time is quite wonderful you know but this can really be hellish
and now
we feel you if you know you were all codependent and sense that we asked the amp and validate each other's papers about senior okay know actually i don't think you're okay at all
so how do we find a place where i can tell you this bothers me or you know how do we this tensions push and pull the status game we're playing and being one up one down that's constantly going on when we have to learn how to play it actually we have to know how do that
just a reactive tendencies of because we've grown up in on known a few rules which are important don't do this don't push people around don't steal don't lie and so on
no we're just trying to get by slide through it by protecting ourselves and not getting too involved but practice funny says you're going to just open up and show all your stuff be all that stuff so of course involves therapy you know in the sense
having a teacher somebody who can kind of guy who has been through it not because they're better people but simply because then they've gone to the same things you have and know just where you are
so you go to your teacher and you think you've finally free of your suffering your teacher sees see that you're hanging onto some aspect of the teaching of your psychological condition and the demise you around it
you're coming few in korean teacher say well what is open to do you didn't realize that the way you come to the doors like you know dislike them a bull in a china shop if really really good and the teachers begins to take you apart
pulls the rug from under you
do you begin to feel this contraction you need trying to find out what what am i what's happening what am i defending
what is this about this reactive what
and teacher so are you know there's a lot of xin stories like that i knew somebody who's been a force monk for thirty years you look can the wind blows through and one with everything that comes down to see the master finally right mercer says zone which way did you point your shoes outside the door
can answer him and he said even thirty years up in the mountains but it hasn't done you a bit of good you're not aware very much at all
so big guy gets angry well as there's doesn't do the way i put my shoes and on listen i can talk to the wind i don't even need food i am responsive to the diva so and so on so forth wow know you just hung up on a special trip
you're just getting high on the dharma i'm here to deflate that broom bring you better say so you saw the life does it was the dialogue between yourself and the teachers always a dialogue between
the will you you kind of see yourself in where the teachers going to open you up from that particular one sided view
constantly pushing life will constantly push us and the more we open to the world or push
you have to worry about having to teach your life a teacher the all you have to do is be open to it and and be frank with it and as heart
suzuki roshi said xin is hard not because we sit in zazen and or knees hurt us in a lot of useful xin as hard because it's hard to keep our practice pure
pure means that we don't you know inflate ourselves or diminish ourselves period means that we don't
we don't mess with it we will make a big deal out of something
we just sit on a cushion for is the simplest thing you and me to do
but we mess with it

we all want to be you know teachers and we want to get spiritually light and be free and happy in a light onto the world and other people look up to us and all the has but most of the time we don't feel like that of arm was we feel like you know a pretty dark and heavy and confused the that's where we have to do the work now
when we're feeling up and free
it's when they take the knife to you
no anaesthetic no more pardons normal paroles
it's just you and me here been doing this how are you going to meet it that's all our life is for moment a moment and we've miserably fail this is long as we have some criterion about how we gotta be we're going to fail
give it up
the same time have a practice to meet it you have to do both actually
you have to have a practice to see that know practice works
in some final ultimate way it's gonna save you
we're gonna die know we're going to suffer a lot of pain
not a pleasure so but we're all going to go
everybody said said tiny gere roshi at a fundraising dinner everybody in this room is going to die they have to left in a fun
it's not a thing we want to first talk about what you get some donors in the olympic games
that they're all to die but he's trying to bring you to the reality that all these things that we're doing is not going to hide the fact that the girl is gonna get you
anyway or time into on the score
it can be
well i don't know i mean i i'm really come to these fits
i think am
a sept twenty two
gail notice
it's twelve fifteen or so we could draw fifty self public lunches at twelve foot okay so all of you thank you very much in the
we'll meet again i think promo okay
oh yeah