Dogen - Being Familiar With The Entire Body

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Sunday talk.
Practice, realization, expression; Dogen's letters to nun Ryugen

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address on there
to remember and except
ha ha such used to target those words

good morning

how wonderful to me sitting
mother and the green golf sat down on a beautiful spring morning
so before i begin my dharma talk today i thought i should
confess to you are a personal problem i have
which is
my own greed that i
actually most of the time when i give a dharma talk and today as well
there's much more that i want to talk about and i can possibly say in the allotted time
we'll see how far i get
but actually the truth of the dharma is that even if i were to talk
ah all day and all right tomorrow morning
these words could not possibly come close to reaching the wonder of just
sitting here together
on a spring day in the green godsend
and even if someone much more eloquent and i were to try to do so
i wonder if just being here is
ah beyond any words i can say
for having said that i want to talk about i'm want to start with a teaching from
ah my man daguerre
who founded this branch of xander the thirteenth century japan japanese monk
this is from are writing com tokens extensive record which i
just finished three and a half years worth of translating
and so it's massive and
and the book won't be out for more than a year and twenty seven hundred pages and from a smart i'd be talking about one of the books nutrition of mine that's for sale on a bookstore but anyway i'm most of that this writing is from dog and later years at aig when he was training is marks but the right
yeah i want to talk to mention a little bit today and talk about
is about the oneness of
enlightenment practice and expression
and it's from my as earlier teaching in kyoto and it's actually from a pogo or dharma words which were letters to students so this is a letter that he wrote to one of his graham students
so he starts with the whole body just as it is
who would get stuck in any price
where the entire body familiar
how can we find our way back to resource
already beyond the single phrase how could we be troubled by different vehicles
when you open your hand it is just right
when your body is activated it immediately appears
so the tradition of meditation that we do here record congress meditation zazen are sitting meditation but actually it's about just being here it's about being present in this life in this body in this mind
becoming very familiar with how it is to be this person
where the entire body familiar how can we find our way back to a source
so this practice is about accepting reality just as it is right now
and actually that the main teaching that we give here is in other systems of buddhist meditation and thought
considered the highest most advanced most developed kind of meditation and we just kind of dive in the top
so it may seem
ah so simple that it's difficult or it may seem puzzling or anyways
just about being familiar with the entire body
this body on attrition this body in the sendo his body of being notch
the waves on near a beach
beyond any single phrase how could we be troubled by different vehicles open your hand and it's just right
activate your body and it immediately appears
what'll further along he says
chile the point of the singular transmission between buddha ancestors the essential meaning of the direct understanding beyond words does not adhere to the situation of the cohens your teaching stories are the previous wise ones or their entryways to enlightenment
it does not exist within the commentaries and assessments with words or phrases and the exchange of question and answer and the understandings with intellectual abuse and mental calculations of thought in conversations about mysteries and wonders or an ex explanations of
mind and nature
so the emphasis in this teaching is
even though there may be many wonderful words and phrases and understandings expressed the emphasis in our practice and teaching and expression is just how do we take care of this situation today
how do we take care of our everyday activities how do we allow this
practice realization expression to
find its voice and it's body and its mind and
it's love in our everyday ordinary well
so he says only when one releases the handles from all these teachings without retaining what has been glimpsed is it perfectly complete right here
and fills the ice
behind the head the path of genuine intimacy opens wide in front of the face
not knowing is a good friend
so we may have all kinds of wonderful understandings but our best friend is just not knowing
a best friend is this openness of
can not knowing how to proceed not knowing exactly what the world is not knowing who we are even
so many of you may have come here for some understanding and of course being
smart monkeys we reich understanding and we want to understand and that's okay but actually
good practice and expression of enlightenment the enlightenment of practice and expression is right here before and after and outside of whatever we think we understand
as good as as understanding and might be
duncan says this even more strongly in a different
dymo word in a letter to one of his none disciples ronin so just in case any of you are most needed you should know the dog and also have many women disciples and rio net particularly he praised he said her practice was quite wonderful and and he ends the let one of the lead
years we have to her though saying
without begrudging any effort in nurturing the way for you i will demonstrate the precise meeting of the ultimate truth of buddha

it is
if you do not hold on to a single phrase or half averse a bit of talk or a small expression in this lump of red flesh
you will have some accord with clear cool ground
if you hold onto a single word or half a phrase of the buddha ancestor sayings or the teaching stories from the ancestral gay they will become dangerous poisons
if you want to understand this mountain monks activity do not remember these comments
truly avoid being caught up in thinking
so don't get to saying don't remember what i'm saying
it's kind of funny and sometimes
cannabis a game i
rask as i'm a student or i've heard is gone to a diameter oh what did the teacher talk about
how many times
we will say oh i don't remember even very good send students will say that or they maybe will remember some a you know something about what the topic was
we won't remember anything else
so i tried it as i drove in this morning and there was a very good and student at the bottom of the driveway and asked her and she remembered very well though the and
dharma talk from last week and could tell me a lot about it and that was wonderful to so it's okay if you remember
but actually dogan has given you a problem and now i have to because
if you remember that you don't need to remember these worse than you remembering these words
and if you don't remember that you don't need to remember these words then
you might remember them and make them into a poison
so i'm sorry but you have a problem
but the point of this dharma talk or any dharma talk much better job much oxygen this is not the words themselves
it's you're listening and sharing and hearing and
now let's hope it's okay if you remember them then students don't need to be stupid
sometimes it helps but it's it's not a requirement
i remember
some almost twenty five years ago
i practice discussion i had with our current abbess linda cuts
which was very helpful to me and i remembered it
and she said to me that she said you don't need to remember this is teachings you never need to remember the or insights in zazen the teacher they come from your own version
she said when you informed by the teaching it is in your form is inform
and when you need it it will be there
so to be informed by this dharma talk or any dharma talk or dog and is wonderful words ah is to allow this
practice expression into your body and mind it's not just about your thinking and if you remember some of it that's fine and if you don't remember it some of it that's fine too
but when it's needed this drama is here

so dogan says in ghana the first letter when within this true dharma there is practice teaching
an enlightenment
this practice is the effort of my ryzen
so it does take some effort to just to get to the meditation hall just to get to your cushion to sit upright
keep your eyes open to breathe
to return to being present and upright in his body and mind
practices the effort of thousand
and he says it is customary that such practices not abandoned even after reaching buddhahood so that it is still practiced by buddha
so even after he became the buddha twenty five hundred years ago in
northern india
the buddha continue to do this meditation practice
in fact when he became enlightened that was not the end of buddhism that was just the beginning
and goes on to say teaching and enlightenment should be examined in the same way this season was transmitted from buddha to buddha directly pointed out by ancestors and only transmitted by legitimate successors
even when others here of its name it is not the same as dessert and a buddha ancestors
this is because the principle as us and in other schools is to wait
for enlightenment
so i think we easily tend to think that this practice eventually maybe if i wait long enough
i'll be writing if put enough hours into sitting on this question and with our lifetimes someday somewhere when you least expect it it'll day
so he says the principle of and and other schools is to wait for enlightenment so in many
branches of buddhism you may hear about practicing and eventually reaching enlightenment but here jurgen criticizes that he says for example some practice like having crossed over a great ocean on a raft thinking that upon crossing the ocean when should describe the raft
spencer a sensible right
maybe somebody you've heard this the similarly of the wrath that we don't take work once we reach the other sure we don't need to ask anymore
but actually duncan says oh no
you please carry interact with you as you as you trudge up into the mountains
this doesn't of our buddha ancestors is not like this but as simply buddhist practice
so this practice we do is not practice to get something some so called enlightenment somewhere else some other time some other state of mind this isn't practice to get higher
this isn't a practice to reach some other state of consciousness are being this is actually the practice of our environment and realization right now
and enlightenment and realization naturally
needs to practice
so right there's no enlightenment that is not actually practiced it would just be some idea of enlightenment it wouldn't be the actual enlightenment
for each of you is practicing your realization right now each of you is realizing your practice right now
this is simply buddhist practice
now in many schools of buddhism i would say there are a wonderful techniques and there's a whole meditation technology which you know it's helpful to know it's helpful to know how to follow your breath or cap vests or
settle your mind
to even to recite mantras and as and or two
sit in the middle of the ancient stories and i would say it's trying to do that that's also buddhist practice
so if you need or if you'd like to do some of those particular techniques
you can do unless buddhist practice they're all part of buddhist practice
but it's not about practicing something in order to get something else i know this is really counterintuitive we all come to practice because we have some problem
we all want to feel better we all want stress reduction or to feel some sense of how to deal with with and be with loss or with confusion or frustration or bead or age or whatever and of course meditation helps those things but it's not that we meditate
in order to do that just use your thought of practicing already is buddhist practice
the again says we could say that the situation of buddhist house is the oneness in which the essence practice and expounding or one at the same
the essences enlightenment expounding is the teaching and practices cultivation even up to now these have open study together
we should know that practice is the practice of enlightenment and expounding so this this a chinese character that
calling expanding here also me just to express so in some sense
as a dharma teacher shitting up here i am officially
institutionally expounding the diamond but actually it's the same character for expounding and expressing and each of you right now is expressing your practice realization in the way you're sitting in the way you're thinking and your breathing you are expressing the practice realization right now
you are always doing this
so it's not that it's automatic but yes you right now are expressing your practice realization
and the enlightenment of your practice is being expressed
this is actually the way it is this is the reality of all things
so he says that the practice is the practice of enlightenment and expanding are expressing
an expanding is to expound the enlightenment and a practice and the enlightenment is the enlightenment of expressing and practice
so again there's no enlightenment that's not expressed
so elsewhere in another letter dogan says that
deluded people have delusions about enlightenment and right and people are enlightened about their delusions
so this enlightenment that you're expressing right now that is the enlightenment of your practice right now is not some idea about enlightenment that you might have and actually if you have ideas about enlightenment you should realize and practice and express your ideas about enlightenment but that's not the enlightenment that you
expressing and practicing
he's a very natural that we have these ideas
it's okay to be a human being in fact here we are
sudo can says if practice is not the practice of expressing and it's not the practice of enlightenment how can we say that are just the practice of buddha dharma
if expressing if our expression is not the expression of practice and is not the expression of enlightenment it is difficult to call it to expression
and if enlightenment is not the enlightenment that practice and there's not the enlightenment that's expressed how can we name it the enlightenment of the buddha dharma
just know that the buddha dharma is one in the beginning middle in the and end it is good at the beginning middle and end
and it is nothing in the beginning middle and end
and it is empty and the beginning middle and end
so this or this sense of our expression as the expression of our practice realization it's always going on but also it's not just doesn't mean just passive acceptance of whatever's happening
we actually do have to express it we actually do it this is the practice realization this is the buddha that you are expressing right now how you are listening
how you back is
your posture as you're sitting there
her eyes closed your open that is your expression right now and actually it's up to us to express it
so there is responsibility there was this responsibility to express our practice and are awakening in realization right now
jurgen says that this single matter never comes from the forceful activity of people for from the beginning is the expression and activity of dharma or a reality of true
so when he says the single matter that refers to a line in the lotus sutra which says that the single matter of as appearing in the world and we can say the single matter of buddhist practice and booed his expression appearing in the world is
simply to help suffering beings to be aware of the suffering of beings and to help suffering beings into their own path towards awakening which means into their own path to helping others into their own path to helping others
all of this
so this practice enlightenment expression begins with our awareness
i'm suffering
this fashionable shoes that things are not the way we think they should be
so again and again we have to come back to recognizing
the pain of the world and of ourselves and of our friends
hearing that listening to it realizing it this is the starting point of this practice expression realization
and when we are aware that then we naturally respond
in buddhism the name of the bodhisattva of compassion is the one who hears the sounds and cries of the world
we want to hear the suffering of the world
in buddhism compassion just me as tuition festival
to listen to
on paying around
weariness around confusion on frustrations and then to see that and hear that in our friends and family in the people we
come in close contact with and first just to listen
and then also to hear it in the world around us
to be open to
this choose of the sadness and cruelty of the world
so added this comes out responsibility
we don't know what to do we don't know how to fix the world and maybe that's not even the point
we're just from listening we can have a sense of
this possibility of compassion
so i would say that this practice realization expression is a passionate practice
you may look at people sitting in rosendo i think they're being very stoic but actually to keep doing this practice period after period day after day year after year to very passionate practice is passionate because it's compassionate we are willing to be with our own patch
guns and the passions of others and this being together with
the suffering and passion and confusion of others is what we call compassion
and when we are willing to be with this suffering where we are willing to listen to each other
and and we know how what if what feels to actually be heard but when we are willing to actually also hear others then
this is the the response of compassion in buddhism

so i heard my mouth getting dry and i took a couple sips of water
so again it's not just passive expression it's not just that automatically we have this practice realization expression and we have a responsibility
but duncan says the single matter never comes from the forceful activity of people
so our responsibility is not based on our ideas of how things should be
he says it comes from the beginning it is the expression and activity of dharma of the teaching of the truth
so when we are realizing and practicing and expressing this naturally we have some response sometimes it means just being where they're listening to the sounds of the birds and then
when it cries of our friends again but some way to respond
he goes on we already know that there is teaching practice and enlightenment within buddha dharma
a single moment in a cultivated field always includes many times actually literally we translated it that way but literally says a single moment and a cultivated field is never not include every time
so just to be present we are meeting our past and the past of our world and our friends and a future
so we are open to the process of our response to the and are expression and our realization and our practice of this practice realization expression
and it has an effect
in the future and in the present and in the past and we don't understand that but still even if you don't understand it this is actually our responsibility
so he ended his letter the expression is already thus it is already justice
we're already expressing ourselves and our practice and are realization right now
the practice is also justice the practice is also right here
an enlightenment is also thus this is the raiders is no other enlightenment somewhere else over an india japan or tibet
just sitting
a sunny spring morning in the green gold xander
so then he says as such we cannot control whether or not we ourselves can control the teaching practice and enlightenment
he doesn't just say we can't control it we can't control whether or not we can from it
they are times when it's almost like your practice realization expression is controlling taking care of
all of the suffering of the world this might be we don't know
this is the level of this practice so this is the raft we carry as we walk in the mountains
please take care of him
he ends by saying wherever these have penetrated how could there not be pretty diamond
so again there's always some expanding some expression
that you are doing it all of your movements as you bend your head as you rub your face
as you yawn
as you listen to the birds sing there is this expression
and we actually
as so and students what they do is to be passionate about expressing their practice realization whether or not they know it
so again this practice realization extra expression is about respond to it responding to suffering
responding to the pain of the world it also is about enjoying the wonders of the world and the enjoyment of the world
so we don't have to be gloomy and depressed
when it asked what you want please express them
with realization in practice
so this responding to the sources of suffering in the world we can say is just a nightmare practice expression we could also see it in terms of zazen and precepts so our practice
here is just to come and sit upright and steady or delusions become enlightened about our delusions realize how it is to be this person right here
but then of course we get up from the cushion the bell rings and we go out and take care of our lives and relate to the people around us and that's also our practice realization expression so the precepts are about
how we do that the precepts are guidelines to how do we express our doesn't mind our expression of realization practice in our everyday activity in the way we meet with our friends and family in the way we are open to listening to them in the way we try to express
two knew each other
this is the single matter
so i would say that
this happens in three rounds this happens just sitting in i put on our question it happens in our personal relationships and i work life in our family life with their friends and it also happens in relationship to the world around us to our society
so just like we don't practice for some future enlightenment that we practice as the expression of our and might mit right now
we don't wait for some future enlightenment to express
the practice and enlightenment that we see right now
so we must respond in some way we have some responsibility
to say something
as we meet and listen to the world around us and to my friends and to our own thing and gladness to
so i feel some responsibility speaking here this morning to say something
ah about what's going on in our society
so it seems to me anyway very clear that in our society there's just massive and shameless corruption and our national government and in many of our national institutions
there's so many examples of this and i'm not going to go into particulars more than i could start to but just a couple just a few little examples is or national governments new policy of strongly promoting the production of quote unquote usable nuclear weapons
and trying to
really make it more likely and more possible for us to have nuclear wars
but with easy circles usable smaller nuclear weapons which of course is in violation of international law and treaties and will promote more nuclear weapons from more countries
at the same time our educational system and our healthcare systems are collapsing so many good teachers being right off around us
healthcare basic basic health insurance costs skyrocketing
so again i confess that i personally struggle with how to talk about this
and i do feel like i have to talk about it when i'm sitting up here on the damacy that i would be for me i would be
violating the precepts by not mentioning these things
to me it's not at all about politics
it's not about a particular political party or particular politicians were all part of this are all part of what our government does were all part of what our society is
but i think that are expression of our practice realization right now as duck and talks about it are responding to the conditions of suffering or not knowing the answers has something to offer
so when we respond from this
realization practice it's not about our opinions request we have all have opinions
and it's not that we have to have the same opinions but how do we respond to what's going on in the world around us from our own sense of
whatever it is that we realize that our practice and whatever it is that we practice as our realization right now
so mostly i just want to
encourage you want to
try and become more aware to not to be willing to face and listened to the sufferings of the world and our society around us to not turn away
as in as much as you can and sometimes you need to take a break when there is so much
danger and cruelty and recklessness going on but as much as you can to try and become aware of what's going on
and then to express something when you have something to express
to share information with friends to respond as best you can there's lots of ways you're responding and there's not one right way to respond
so just sitting thinking that does for people ever interact people in washington people israelis and palestinians you know that might be a very effective way of responding and you may be other ways to
so how can you respond to the suffering of our world and of our society
i don't have the answer
if we had answers and it wouldn't be these problems
but also i feel like i should encourage you because right now in our society there is a great deal of fear
and maybe you came to be indulged and a sunday morning to get away from that so i'm sorry
i feel like i have to include that in what i say this morning
so when we are practicing awareness of our fish we can respond in the middle of our fear
and there's so many fears you know maybe our government and the world around us is encouraging that and their fears for own livelihood in our economy and their fears for fears of terrorists or maybe you're afraid of your on government anyway whatever those fish are we have to face them that's the first point so as as in a way it's just about facing our fears
about being willing to sit upright in the middle of the situation where in
again it doesn't mean fixing it but we can't actually
be willing to admit and acknowledge and confess our fears
possible it's okay this is actually the expression of your practice realization right now
and then our practices to look at that and see what's going on and consider how we can express and share our choose with others and also listen to others and also not get stuck on any one particular opinion but hear what's going on and try and respond
so whether that means
know listening to radio or reading things on the internet or going to demonstrations are writing letters to the editor or anyway whatever is we each have our own way of responding and there's no no one right way
but this to practice realization expression is not something that i can do just by myself on my cushion
we in this way of
enlightening practice of reckoning practice in the body such a way that dogan teaches we have to awaken together
i practice realization
expression is something we do together so each of you if you're shitting in a superior design and in rosendo and you move a little bit you might
right dad noticed that other people might move to a maybe that's okay but how we are and how we express our awareness and our practice and how we practice our awareness and expression is totally in a connected
we don't do this just for ourselves so in the same way we have to express our practice realization for the society around us and whatever way we can
so you know my my faith is that actually this practice was teaching of the buddha head of the again as secure as she is relevant to our world it's not just about
taking care of me or even taken care of me and my set friends but actually that this has something to give this practice and it's awareness
and this is my way of expression has something to give to society around us i really believe that
and that we can respond and be helpful in the world around us with all the problems
thanks to and with the help of this practice and again it may not fix everything
very dangerous times but still what is our choice we can either you know try and dig a hole and hide in fear or we can
say i true
i listen to others and share this and come back to the cushion and say well how does that feel
and you know i think it does have great power that actually if we're speaking i choose not not from some opinion that we're stuck on but from are continuing
exploration of our practice realization that it has tremendous power
feel overwhelmed we don't have to feel
despair and what's going on in the world around us that our willingness to be our shelves and be present in our fear and continue to express our practice realization for the world around us actually has tremendous power and actually does make a difference
whether it'll stop nuclear or i don't know maybe we will have nuclear war i don't know
but i believe that our responsibility to our practice and to our expression and you are awakening to a realization
means that we can do this
actually it's more fun that way
so don't be afraid to be afraid
courage is not about being not having fear it's about being willing to just sit upright as the person you are it's okay to be this person right here it's okay to be in this situation it's okay that
here we are in a world is very dangerous not only is it okay but it's a wonderful opportunity for you are to express your practice realization in a way they can make a big difference
so i want to close again by reading the conclusion of the against letter to
this wonderful non practitioner we own in one of his
find disciples
he says without begrudging any effort and nurturing the way
for you i will demonstrate the precise meaning of
this teaching of buddha actually said of bodhidharma coming from the west which is kind of and slang for them
that is if you do not hold onto a single phrase or half a verse a bit of talk or small expression it in this lump of red flesh you will have some accord with a clear cruel ground
if you hold onto a single word or half a phrase of the buddha ancestors sayings of the co-op from the ancestral gate they may become dangerous poisons
if you want to understand this mountain monks activity do not remember these comments truly avoid being caught up in your thinking
so thank you very much look forward to hearing your responses discussion
may or intention agree penetrate a