December 8th, 2002, Serial No. 03985

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china economy
fellow travelers

how have this problem during session

and then there's nothing to say and
i'm tired from here
two on can stop going
bassam abdallah

i like say
it hasn't been particularly comfortable for me this past one day
hum and eighty
i met risk here because they actually put my left foot up
and during a long sitting i never did that because my knees can take it and
i have to sit in burmese at the time otherwise my niece burn
i enjoy them whenever it has a higher so if they burned too much they begin to not be able to walk upstairs
i had to be careful
but you know if you said burmese than that it's not as stable for your back so if my knees are burning and i have these two places in my back that it is like his poker's
the trader
and then usually if my body is okay and not hurting him some kind of mental problem
are either
but you know this the beginning of session
what i've been practicing with
this last few days which actually is only yesterday
at his and i've had this ancient practice their heads since nineteen seventy one i told me about at once
it's the practice of just putting something down completely
it was that practice where i couldn't put something down completely that i started
judging myself very harshly i kind of your backpack
so now when i don't put something down completely out general myself but i do notice
so check or put something down but my head will turn
i just not completely put it down
and the other practice i'm working risk
and is them
i've been noticing moods plainly i used to believe my moods that i had a mood
i didn't call it a mood when i was happy
well as unhappy or combat and mood of in a mood
yesterday i began having a mood
and i was noticing that ah
what was happening actually it was that i was just physically kind of uncomfortable
so i was sort of spinning my mind was kind of spitting cartel elephant talking to anybody over just inside
this a little bit was like new but i did and i noticed about lunchtime i noticed that if i let myself except that none of was just little setup just me or you know it
that actually i was gonna go down that path and i was going to solidify that huh
i decided not to

the biggest problem i am actually having on the last couple of days ago is i have these them
flies in my house
so they're called drosophila melanogaster and nothing on
i'm an old the hear the matter
i have an old history with his wife
but wait we go back very far
when i was in junior high
i am my neighbor big it hua is a friend of judith sister gail
she lived next door in junior high we were both in the same science class
her project was genetics and the good things about these flies are they may this really fast and so they historically they have lots and lots and lots of things written about them i think people who haven't gotten nobel prizes working with his wife
henry the key to their sentences is it the multiply really fast
so can multiply in my house or and retain the history of nicky
so she had these two bottles glass bottles and she was raising one set of software from one bottle to prove something or another and then in the other bottle there was this control set out to soften the five
and she worked on this for a long time and sure enough the flies in one bottle when mutating into a certain kind of way and flies in the other bought our a control group so i don't know what every day but anyway they were really important really important project with the term product from the whole term
and she had them underneath the sink in the kitchen of her house
and the day before she was supposed to present his flies to the teacher her mother looked and hate the think
and yes
just as you are thinking she looked under their scientific gas marry these two models of flies underneath his sake and so she of course he took them outside and i pop the cork and they all flew all over the place
they didn't have a very good relationship and have learned there anyway
so they are gone
well so at home i had a taste for saffron melanogaster flies their fruit flies their small little flags
and then i think what happened was i left the garbage too long next to fake and the thing is i don't know where they come from
in a can like magic
and so anyway i go home and i go into my kitchen and if i walk in and
and then touch the garbage bag thing they come out they all come out and so is it a confession
so i have these paper towel is paper towel
bro thank you
and so i pick up the paper towel roll and i apologize to the flies because
both because we have a long history and also because i don't know when i kill him but come they multiply really fast
so i did they go home and all yesterday during break i went home
and when i work into the kitchen i picked up his road right away and their these flies all over the place and i popped him
at the paper towel roll
i did it easier when i was not in my okay sir
when i put on my case it would have and were different cook

so am were the first couple of days and session and we have some work to do
ha i job is to gather and settle the mind
hi there are two traditional
kinds of meditation in but isn't one is
ah shah matter which you know and the others the possono which you all send them
an almost always for almost everyone in the beginning of session
what we're trying to do is the shamrock apart
a translation of charlotte and means to calm the mind
so if you've been watching which i assume we all have been we can say very clearly that at our since doors
site sounds smells tastes tangibles consciousness
had all the sense doors we are ah
we are shaken as if in a storm
our minds are constantly agitated
by what is arising from what we think is outside
right away a sound
and we make some kind of judgment or we name it even we don't just receive
we play and push away and grab after
sites and were making judgements about people
tastes in the food
biases projections judgments
all coming from and arising from the wins
of sense impression
so i job
in the beginning of session is to gather mind back
training the darling cause at the being present muscle building being present muscle bringing the mind back
i'm running hither and yon
after sense impressions
so it's not that we leave
that is a problem and nothing that arises either is a problem
the moment of
the important moment
is the moment where we remember our commitment
oh wow
to return to silence
they turn over and over again to the present moment

there are ah
usually it said you know five hindrance to do this but we've talked about them before so i'm not going to go into them
let me just name them and then you just take care of them yourself
hannah five hi i'm grabbing after for greed aversion her hate
i'm sloth and torpor yesterday afternoon a lot of us was laughing and tour pray
hmm restlessness
too excited too much energy trying to get something head of
you know however
doubt those are the main ones so whichever one is your main one know it it is and try to get past that this next couple of days but waste time with hindrances
a man pick one of the practices in there are many to help us gather and focus and concentrate the mind the traditional one of course his breath
not being necessarily aware of the breath but that's a place to start
it's not like the instruction is not like your consciousness as up here and you're shooting this consciousness down to the breath that separation right separation of your consciousness and breath is an object or
you know your ear appear somewhere in the body is down here
apart from you or your appear in the breath is different than you are
we think that
but yeah that's a and the ridiculous
i know brass know you
simple there's no separation between you breath so we don't sand concentration down to the body we simply allow ourselves to be
to come back to being breathing that's what's meant by concentrating and focusing the mind
and another way to do that which is a really good way or through the forms
so let me remind you again
the forms are here to help us be present
i was just noticing this morning when the price go upstairs to the cassandra and do our little service upstairs
almost every single time when the priest spell is quiet don't pay their knees on the floor
but in the zendo i were going smash bain ban
so listen k listened to the sound that you make not because if some special way that we need to have do this no it's because it's an aid to help you to remember oh yeah i making a vow to be present
in one way eight in agenda clink clink clink think of anything i know
not because some special thing they do because it's a reminder oh yeah i'm eighty
oh yeah i ever ceramic bowl and a metal spoon and picker outlets has pay attention it's about paying attention
the feel of the is it cold or is it not called when you when you when you touch the doorknob
can you feel your arm the impulse in your arm going out before you even get to the dorna
to make noise when you go up stairs or come down with your feet or is a quiet detach the lloyd bannister one is actually about your posture if you're concentrating gave forget to breathe
the little things all during the day to remind us be present in a body
as a body
suzuki roshi said everything we need to know in buddhism is in the body

and the body is always present

there's no difference between the spirituality and the awakening of the mind and the awakening of the body no difference
so as we are committed to being present were being present as the by
at first had a gross level
but more and more as we settle
deeper and deeper the truth of our existence actually shines through

when we are attentive to the body
we find that there are places that are blocked
we have a tension in the body
the pain of our life is actually stored in the body so that the more would become present for the body the more we usually who went as the mind stills and settles the more we are aware of a pain and suffering
most pit many piano most people but many people are averting from suffering
i know i don't think any of us here have that difficulty and this is a good thing
wherever it was that we and our lives decided that we didn't want to pay attention to are real the pain in our life at that point or maturity scott

so in order for us to continue to develop as
but also in order for us to develop
awakening in the buddhist path we do that through are suffering
through our suffering
he knows many of you know i have a foster son and he is at a juncture right now in his life
he's old enough now to decide for himself whether he wants to go toward his own ah
awakening majority or whether he wants to kind of
the way that
and he's afraid
this reason
so i called them are lawyer this was you know we're going to court on the twelve
i call their lawyer the other day because
because i think he's not going to go toward the his suffering which is fine for now and i to the lawyer and told her i said in a is very afraid
and the lawyer said really interesting thing he said yes
basically what he said was i don't mean for this to sound harsh but he said so i
so yes who are afraid and
and so why
at some point we really do have to pick up our life as it is can go right into the saying that were afraid of

but you know i told him the other day
why my cluster son
if we turn away from a real pain the pain were afraid to face what we do it our lives is no less painful it's just as painful it's just that we think maybe we think we're in control or we think that with enough pain on
this side it's kind of legitimate we don't have to look at the stuff that will really afraid of i don't exactly know what the mechanism is but it doesn't work
hiding out that way
so i brought to this
i've been reading a lot of sharon salzberg lately this is her new book face
and underneath it it says trust your own deepest experience

in the beginning of her life and she lives
i think four years old her father left her family and
when she was nine she was with her mother on the mother was lying down on the couch and her mother started hemorrhaging
and her mother was chic i think she called emergency i think and and it was taken away very quickly to the hospital and her mother died and that was the last time she saw her mother and then her father came back into her life
and then two years after he came back into her life he was taken away to go to a mental institution of mental hospital i didn't come back so early part of her life she had three major abandonments losses what she did what she could
closed herself down
feeling and clearly abandoned and alone and then
not trusting

so she says during one early morning meditation she was sitting peacefully watching my breath
feeling sensations move through my body
observing the lazy drift of thoughts coming and going at my mind and suddenly everything shifted
i had never forgotten the circumstances of how my mother died but with an immediacy that left no escape i was engulfed and be living what had happened
this was more than i can handle sitting in meditation hall
the swelling of grief that had once closed off my heart good tightly again
the despair of feeling completely alone the anguish and desolation of my childhood once again suffused all time and eradicated all space
i had an appointment with my to check open data and when i walked into his room he was sitting down
i hesitantly began to describe my experience to him embarrassed i told him i had gone from anguish to a strange kind of constricted numbness he listened carefully looking at me calmly and simply said be mindful of the pain
what he suggested was in essence what i had been practicing for years mindfulness is a specific meditation technique based on being aware of what is happening without clinging to it pushing it away or getting confused about its nature
but over the days of suffering i tried out various tools in a covert effort to make it all go away i tried me citing the classic refuges
i tried loving kindness meditation
but all my relentless strategies to make things better or improve the situation failed
all i had learned of change and possibility and openness was removed void unreachable

i thought that such extreme suffering could serve as the proximate cause of face then the suffering of my own despair must also
contain a crack of light between shades of darkness remembering that the way out of the pain was through it trembling i sought the crack i began to sense a gleam of direction
sometimes in the darkness all we can do is keep going even if the road is rocky uneven and confusing
when we see are a pain with a mental or physical as a single solid monolithic entity unyielding an oppressive it is almost impossible to bear but when we can be mindful of exactly what is happening we begin to see that everything we experience is key
imposed of many ever-changing elements component parks physical pain as well as emotional pain
over the next few days alone in my retreat now i rocked back and forth for hours and i began to explore the ball of suffering in my stomach mindfully taking it apart i found sadness and resentment and
a tremendous amount of guilt
i also found glimpses of space between them as i lead in each state my body became less rigid and my honor of despair began to soften the world grew a little bigger than my suffering

so wherever we are in i am practice

it's workable
so i wanna suggest to things for you today
we've been studying apart meters
and if you wanted you can see your size in
work with his eyes and through the parameters
when you sit there it's generosity
let yourself feel whatever arises without pushing it away without grabbing onto it just open to it receive it as a gift
remember the discipline of coming back over and over and over again to what actually is happening
make sure that you arise effort
make sure that you keep an alert mind not a drowsy everything is ok i'm present mind not a foggy presence but an alert mind
and be patient were not ask her anything or not in a hurry we don't have to get anything we don't have to make ourselves better
just relax and open to whatever is there
and by doing those for were developing shameka practice mindfulness practice the practice of being present completely committed to whatever activity you're doing
it's through mindfulness practice in the body
that was arises
the teaching of the insubstantial allottee of everything
definitions of the body
everything is changing everything is pass me
who are connected to everything
see if that isn't true
because everything is changing

we are one totally interconnected life
try to find it something else try to find somebody else
we can't

and it's out of that deep understanding of interconnectedness
at the heart opens
through the suffering into the body through transparency interconnectedness is where we find left
first to ourselves
and because we know our own suffering
we can then feel the suffering
and everybody else
huh so we have some work to do
in the face
can we are buddha
boda buda boda push
the faith that we are already enough
what go of everything else