Dining Room Lecture

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.

This talk will not appear in the main Search results:

Recording starts after beginning of talk.

Auto-Generated Transcript

now we may not always feel that way but you know it stood for that they say it in a up fake it till your it
adjust your posture as if you're really here and then when you discover used on hiding again come back
so these are are some elements of sitting posture that i want to just bring to your attention ah
just attending to posture
you know posture is happening right now
if you're attending to your posture you are in the present moment because the present posture is happening in the present moment so breath and posture or very on
on helpful
objects of attention in sauce and because they bring you back to right here and right now
you know that go cliche be here now well breadth and posture or here and now and so a good way to keep your attention in the present moment
and by keeping them adjusted ah so that your balance so that you you your present so you're open to whatever arrives on you can begin to fully respect
this extraordinary
life that we've been given this extraordinary body that would have been given this kind of miraculous when you study it
and this extraordinary world we've been given to live in him
when you come to respect yourself and each other
then you can leave the zendo and meet each other and whatever you encounter with respect and that's what this talk but i'm trying to
share with you today is about
rainer maria rilke
if it's so the top that i want to share with your day is respect for things
in our zaza and practice we stop our thinking and we are free from our emotional activity
we don't say there is no emotional activity but we are free from it that as we don't get caught by it we don't start making a production at it we see it we notice it
who received it and we let it be
we don't say we have no thinking
but our life activity is not limited by our thinking mind
in short we can say that we trust ourselves completely without thinking without feeling without discriminating between good and bad right and wrong
cells because we put faith in our life we sit
that is our practice
when our life is based on respect and complete trust it will be completely peaceful
her relationship with nature should also be like this
we should respect everything and we can practice respecting things in the way we relate with them
and now he's going to talk about a particular ah
what is one of the things that impresses me about this this talk which is the complete talk in itself about respecting ourselves and the things we meet
happened as a result of something this came out of something that happened
the five minutes before the talk began
ha we used to have the lectures at the city centre in the dining room
and so a few of us would come up
just before the lecture while people were still sitting in the zendo
and arrange the room you know the chairs and set them up like this forces and hiroshi lecture
how many have you been in the city building
but we have we have a towel or a terracotta tiled floor and rebuilding it's it's a little bit you know kind of each each tile is sort of like this it's not fully smooth like like this floor and the chairs have these little you know metal gliders on the bottom of the legs
ha and so we would
we'll move the tables and we wouldn't slide the the chairs up and line em up
ah when you slide them on the floor like that
in the dining room which is about
i say the dining there's maybe twice as as big as as room in both directions and it's immediately above the sender
so when you slide them over the over the tiles it's like thunder in the zendo
ha of course we weren't thinking about that we were just stuck there skating through and actually probably as i recall i was feeling rather pleased with myself that i destroying people setting up room
so then he says
ah this morning when we were bowing in the zendo we heard a big noise overhead because upstairs in the dining room people were pushing chairs across the tile floor without digging them up
this is not the way to treat chairs not only because it may disturb the people who were bowing and the zendo under nice but also because fundamentally
this is not a respectful way to treat things
to push the chairs across the floor is very convenient
but it will give us a lazy feeling
of course this kind of laziness
this part of our culture and it eventually causes us to fight with each other
instead of respecting things we want to use them for ourselves and if it is difficult for us to use them we want to conquer them
this kind of idea does not accord with the spirit of practice you can see why i remember this talk
in the same way my teacher teaches our he did not allow us to put away the amado more than one at a time
do you know the a model their the wooden doors outside of shoji screens which are put up to protect the shoji from storms so in a japanese style building like the casado there are wooden doors on the outside for the weather and then inside their show you
at the end of the building there is a big box for storing the yamato since they are sliding doors one monk can easily pushed five or six stores and another can wait and put them in the box
but my teacher didn't like this he told us to move them one by one
so we would slide each door and put it in the box one door at a time
when we pick up the chairs one by one carefully without making much noise then when we had we will have the feeling of practice in the dining room
we will not make much noise of course but also the feeling is quite different
when we practice this way we ourselves are buddha and we respect ourselves to care for the chair chairs means our practice goes beyond the zendo
if we think it is easy to practice because we have a beautiful building that is a mistake
actually it may be quite difficult to practice with a strong spirit in this kind of setting where we have a handsome buddha and offer beautiful flowers to decorate our buddha hall
we then buddhists have a saying that with a blade of grass we create a golden buddha which is sixteen feet high
that is our spirit so we need to practice respect for things i should also say this was when when our ah
one fairly soon after we moved in to the three hundred page street building ah
and it is a beautiful building it's it's a
i it was stuck design and
and the building was supervised by julia morgan
whom many of you may hurt me of her of she designed ah
hearst castle at san simeon she designed the women issued to designed a lot of public buildings and
they have a real flair and style that really quite wonderful we're stream unfortunate habit
and we would were fairly new in that building when when he was stopped

i don't mean that we should accumulate many leaves or grasses to make a big statue
but until we can see a big buddha in a small leaf we need to make much more effort
how much effort i don't know
some people may find it quite easy
but for someone like me great effort is needed
although seeing a large golden buddha and a large golden boot is easier
when you see a large buddha in a blade of grass your joy will be something special
so we need to practice respect with great effort
in this sendo anyone can come and practice our way experienced students and also those who don't know anything about sin
both will have difficulties
new students will have difficulties that they could never have imagined
all students have a double duty to do their own practice and to encourage those who have just come
without telling them you should do this or you shouldn't do that
the all students should lead the new students so they can practice are way more easily
ha i have noticed i mean i noticed for example
when i was
not a really really new student but you know i've done about it round about a year or so i kind of new the forms and i was completed with myself i kind of new forms you know i would be quite bossy tell him don't do the us and we do it this way and
hey that's really painful to think about
and it's it's not all that unusual
ah but the longer you practice
the more you'll be able to convey the spirit of practice to new students ah without some big sense of self there
i know how to do this and i'm gonna show you
but more ah let's do it this way
ha more actually just by being yourself and practicing
out of the sendo as well as in the zendo you will convey the spirit of practice to new students
and if you take the road of
telling people how to do it in some kind of
self important way
you will not open the door for new students you will really have
people will not
the thing oh this is a really really really nice practice people really respect one another year i would like to join this practice
ha that we convey
through our body and through our the openness of our heart through our full acceptance are embracing the world and are open the open mudra which is open to everything
the spirit that spirit of practice will communicate to people and the spirit of practice that is tight and
judgmental and
when you know what i mean i don't have to say more
but this is very but this is carrying practice
off the cushion and into our relationship with each other and with every one
and this is very important if our practice is just on the cushion it's a very selfish practice and it is not going to lead you to the kind of joy is talking about when you can fully respect everything when you can really appreciate
the gift of this life
and the wonder of this life

even though newer students don't know what buddhism is they will naturally have a good feeling when they come to a beautiful buddha hall
that is the ornament of a buddha land
but for zen buddhists especially the true ornament of the buddha hall is the people who are practicing their
each one of us should be a beautiful flower and each one of us should be buddha leading people into our in our practice
whatever we do we are considering how to do this
since there are no special rules for how to treat things are how to be friendly with others
preheat studying what will help people practice together
if you don't forget this point you will find out how to treat people how to treat things and how to treat yourself this is what we call the body sought for way
our practice is to help people and to help people we find out how to practice our way on each moment
to stop our thinking mind and to free from emotional activity when we sit is not just a matter of concentration
this is to rely completely on ourselves to find absolute refuge in our practice we're just like a baby who is in the lap of its mother
gary roshi often used to say just sit in food as big lap
this is stuff
i think we have a very good spirit here in the sendo
i am rather amazed at the spirit but the next question is how to extend the spirit to your everyday life you do it by respecting things and respecting each other because when we respect things we will find their true life
when we respect plants we will find their real life the power and beauty of flowers
the love is important if it is separated from respect and sincerity it will not work
with big mind and with pure sincerity and respect
love can really beloved
so let's try hard and find out how to make a blade of grass into a big buddha
thank you very much

and i have another quote from another
page of the little sand calendar from suzuki roshi
the goal of buddhism is to bring about right human life
not to have the teaching or teacher or sentient beings or buddhism or buddha that is not the jets something
but a few thing that without any training you can have that kind of life that is a big mistake
so now i'm open for questions so we can have a discussion anybody wanted
throw something in here for us to take off on

what about practicing with respect to things there are also
in the midst of difficult conditions and he impressed in the summer there's huge lack of time exhaustion of the same time
message out me too often
episode the
it takes extra time even one generic times fighting way scream at a time how can we hold the of
that is a very important question and i think if easier view will hold that question you will find in each situation how how best to go about whatever you're doing this practicing on with difficulty
you know

taking a shortcut is not always the easiest way
i find
this doesn't always make me feel better
you know i think that that what you bring up how do you how do you practice with respect for things in the midst of the summer with the heat and with being tired and was too much to do
is a real question but it's it's gonna be different in every situation if you're there with the intention
i think you will find what is a respectful way to do this

mean because we're talking about not just moving chairs were talking about innumerable activities
but if you're seeing buddha
in each thing
then you will find a respectful way to to deal with it if you're seeing put it in each person you'll find a respectful way to interact with them
it begins by seeing buddha here
and then seeing your connection with everything that things are not objects separate from you and other people are not objects separate from you hear all living one life and end we're all trying to find out together how to take care of that life
it expresses itself here as this one and there as that one but it's not a different life and i think as we come to really
understand that an experienced that we will find ways to be respectful with whatever or whoever we're interacting with
and when we forget it
ah then we do thought was things and then we say oh shoot
i wasn't there
yeah i think that's a very interesting points
she's interested in that car mason the passing reference to our culture
can i think that are a conservation or afraid
many things on a here cost efficiency he can be
yeah getting things done and results in results not process but result yeah or so
think about that a lot you know and i think sometimes our practices a little subversive gets the middle was culture protrusion ah
and i know it just isn't he is a primo example of that because you know we're trying to come very efficiently while running spot near and ah
and we're doing this practice so we have to make choices we have to work for to make decisions that every day when i was just cook you know i didn't know serving up just dinner it has to be out the door and seven o'clock and my partner which is sometimes we just stopped
and talk about a weeks and home
this that was well preserved new hobby or this is not something you will find ordinarily yeah i think i think the mindfulness bell is a very good thing that we learned from did not harm one things get like that to stop take a breath
take another breath come back to yourself and then continue on
i have a really wonderful physician whose
ah he's extremely conscientious and i've been practicing a long time so more and more of his patients are getting old like me so they take more time for know you have to see them more often they have more health problems so he you know his just i see him working through his lunch hour or
we're walking down the hall you know like he's cut the way to the world on his back so i said to him much you know ned
i'm i'm more concerned about you than you are about need when you you you move around like you've just got the weight of the world on your shoulders and your kind of leaning into it and
you know when you when you're feeling like that
you can just stop for a moment and feel your feet on the floor and take a breath
the next time i came in which was a few months later he said to be credited it works it works i'm telling all my friends at works you know and i said what you not yet you can take two breasts and than twenty six years to anything about breath you just said feel my feet on the floor that much mindfulness that
much bringing his mind back to as to where he was made such a difference in this is a friend of reconvenes who who referred me to him
that when he was telling rick about it he was crying
so if we develop just that much mindfulness when we find ourselves pushed around to stop
take a breath feel your feet on the floor and then continue just bring your mind back here so your whole body and mind as in one place
it will make it will make it a lot easier to deal with whatever it is you have to deal with
and you know this is this practice of talk about as a built tick not harm is a vietnamese said mark
mom mom mom other things he has a
a monastery in france called plum village
and there and i think probably also has one down in southern california
how but
deer park yeah done not outside of san diego and there is someone there who's job it is i have prevented bill masters something anyhow
every so often i think it's as often as fifteen minutes they make one sound of the bill
and everyone when they hear it is supposed to stop
and say listen listen that wonderful sound brings me back to my true self and take a breath and then continued whatever they're doing
are we can let any sound
be like the sound of the bill we can let any sound bring us back to our true self here and then continue
and we we do have situations the kitchen and particular i think were you wearing a mindfulness bell when when things kind of get to feel like this someone notices and rings the bell and everyone stops
i think it takes three breaths are some way that what's the what's the practice at this point with the man falls but he's still have a month and spelled in the kitchen yeah something good
how to more breath
scratch or countries
and how just to stop the busy-ness for a moment just come back to yourself and then continue
so any one of us that we can do that for ourselves wherever we are
and this suggestion i made to my doctor ned
came from someone who was a hospital nurse who had devised that as a way to keep herself from getting just frazzled by all the demands made on her
and she was in met you see yourself in one of the wards there
and so every now and then when she's rushing i should stop
and take three breast and continue and then after a while people what are you doing and she told him and pretty soon everybody in all the nurses on the war took up the practice
and it it
cave have a calming effect to the whole ward
so we can develop practices like this to bring body and mind back together when they get separated by the by the pressure in the rush
ah and you know
we're trying to run a spot on here but in fact but this is is a monastery which accepts and cares for guests it's not a spot which incidentally has some months here and the zendo
you know
the that that well but i know but that was the big change that happened between ninety and sixty seven when we first came here where it was just us a hot springs and they happen to be some monks here
this shange has happened gradually but i think it has happened that this is a monastery which in the summertime except guest and i think most of the guests realize that
ah i hope most of the guess realize that yes that is first-time here because i'm already tired when ice vehicles were not strong and i know where to find a fiery i'm a lotta when you're thinking for free
the i'm amazed by this court because for you just go to struck home me because it's a practice center a monastery in the summer ghastly come to an isn't made combination of be heard and the people that live here and are among some people who practice for all the time it's amazing i feel very very folder is
a gas and not of back
i like to do off and i want to be sitting practice home
yeah about
and then you can two thousand and one again
you know when when i keep a roshi who is sort of the administrative head of so doesn't in north america of like a bishop or something as photos called so in japan and japanese
he first when he first came to this country ah he came down here to visit and then he came and did a training period here i believe as the training
live in the training period i was shoes so any i was down here
and ah
someone reported to me some one of the men reported to me that you know he was over in the bags and then he went into the steam room and then he went into the creek and he's floating in the creek and he says japanese monasteries are not like this
he said very appreciative that that
he's a wonderful walk he was where he showed us how to make bamboo rooms or the bamboo to some we still customer around here in hungary function will work going on here and thirty deaths
well it's true that the students here at work really hard in the summer and it gets really hot and i'm streaming appreciative to i don't think i could follow the full student schedule now but to most people here in about seventy nine so probably has a little easier for them
but it's still hard it's it's a lot of work and
and i really appreciate the spirit in which it's done most mostly people are pretty good spirited about all the work they're doing taking care of kiss and
and i think that's because we sit zazen because we're practicing this practice
ha i don't think that the that the way that students take care of the guests would be nearly so kind and consider it if we weren't sitting zazen together if our fundamental practice wasn't
the practicing the boy thought repairs
so guess
over the law to
have established
i have it's been very challenge times
an upset with hand i don't see the they want the country am
to have that respect
as your title breaks ah
but i have the firm belief just because of my own experience during a difficult time and in our marriage
that it's really important that ah
in developing a relationship
that you are friends i think it's important and i really advise people to become friends first
and to establish your friendship that is to choose someone whose company who enjoy not just someone who raises your motor because you know that the fuel for that racing motor runs out as you get older and the hormones sort of slow down and then you're left with somebody you don't
find very interesting anymore
and so that doesn't make for very long lasting relationship so i think to teach to develop a friendship before ah
you become intimate
i really think it's important
and one of the things that makes me feel that way is that at a time in my own marriage when i was finding other people attractive and making my husband really unhappy as a whoa
this is my best friend i'm hurting him i don't want to hurt my best friend
and so i just dropped it
ah you know you can make up
you can make up falling in love
the thoughts
and you think oh it just happened to me i'm just the innocent victim of falling in love i didn't have anything to do with it
but that's not my experience my experience is that we construct this thing called falling in love by obsessive thinking about someone
if it happens that that person is already in another relationship or you are already in another relationship
you can also let go of that obsessive thinking if it's going to cause a lot of pain to people
but you have to recognize that you're doing it with your thinking before you can recognize that actually you have a choice whether do it or not so that's one thing that i come want to get out there because summer is a time for falling in love
and i really think that this business of of establishing a real friendship first is so important and in that process you do
respect for your partner
and yeah when things don't go the way you want em you know that's that's where we're dealing with our human nature we want what we want when we want it
oh and when we find ourselves getting in that state of mind we just need to look inside little bit see what's happening
oh i'm not getting what i want but see i feel about five years old right now and i didn't get my birthday present i wanted or whatever you know those feelings you can recognize that i've had those feelings before
ah and there you know
my experience also an advocate in this direction of relationship or sorry my experience also is that we choose a partner who is quite different than we are most long term relationships i know
ah the people are quite complimentary
no for example i'm very gregarious
maybe too much so i sometimes they terminally gregarious
lewis lewis an introvert and he's not so extroverted and i'm an optimist and he's a pessimist he says a pessimist as someone who has to live with an optimist
ha i like to have people around me all the time and he has to have some time when he's by himself it's if he needs it the first time after we were married that i had some people over to dinner who were living in a tiny little apartment
that ten o'clock somebody said was lou and i said yeah no know what there was no place he can be except in a bit as i said to him
can't do that you can't just go to bed when we've got company
he said well i thought it would be better than being nasty to him
what is that all the choices i have
i'm afraid so if i
stayed around and i would i asked it was time for him to go
so so you know this been fifty eight years of just trying to work with each other in the ways that were different
ah so that we can enjoy the ways that we really appreciate each other
you know i when i look at the long term relationships i see people are including my own parents people are like that that one is an extrovert and one is an introvert you know one is is any of that they're certain kinds of of
of temperament and habitual relation to the world on
harker quite opposite but but complimentary i mean i i think we sought to choose people to to complete ourselves that we choose people who have qualities that we don't have somehow ah and so naturally there's gonna be a certain amount of adjustment and
and on
given take in finding out how i mean louis extremely neat and i am not
and at a certain point when we went to work
couples counseling
and the therapist said to loot when he brought up again the piles of stuff i leave around i mean i haven't have eighty debo noted time
he said lu let me tell you one more time about these piles that blanche leaves you have three choices you can step over them you can pick them up or you can leave you can't make blanche be different than she is
and i think that's an important thing we chose this person cause there's something we really liked about them
that's the person which was so how do we gradually accommodate to each other's differences
so that we can actually go
that's that's the call on of of marriage from for a long term relationship i mean to me it's always marriage but nowadays him in very they talks about relationship instead of marriage
i think how can we have climbed for one more guess
respect i don't know where it will help
around people who are in here
there was a massive com
how great respect
you are
thank you thank you very much
i hope i hope that we deserve that respect i have ah my dear friend
graham anderson who is also a senior dharma teacher here
ha is quite insistent that people he ordains live where he's living at green dollars so he can see how they actually practice and that sometimes causes a little difficulty and and center we would maybe like to have them here at city
but he says you know people get so much automatic respect when they put on good as road
i want to see how they're living to be sure they deserve it
so i hope that we can deserve respect that you have for us by the way we treat you and everybody and everything
thank you
hey are in