The Gift of Nothing

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Sunday Lecture Children's Lecture: one who is not busy, one reality; the gift of nothing; sesshin, from Suzuki Roshi; our mind is the same as Buddha's; all things are impermanent; illusion of self; desire based on ignorance; Transmission of the Light

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ah to tastes the to learn to dive into his words
the morning
good morning
well i'm really excited because i knew you over coming today and i went out and bought a special story
just for you
and then another special story happened there was more like a real story that i thought i'd tell you to my daughter is in minnesota she's thirteen and in getting ready for her to go to minnesota her other mother and i were quite nervous because do
you know what it's like in minnesota in december
do you have some idea anybody yeah really called yeah yeah handed like the north pole in my my thoughts
so we bought her some new things like you know gloves about this big and a coat twice as big as she is and smock and we took her to the airport and then and i rushed to get her ready
when we got to the airport guess what we forgot
the code
to there she was in your sweatshirt for their big gloves and no coat
so i called her later and she i said how are you doing to you are you okay and i think they were about ten seconds between the car and the hotel and and so on but she said i'm okay but did you pack my swimming suit
so i have a story that i got at the store and i really liked i sat in the children's second section at book passages and i read almost all the stories they're wonderful stories and then i got this one it's called the gift of nothing
because fourteen ninety five

it was a special day can you see the pictures of kind of see it's a little house and there's snow minnesota
our advices from minnesota by the plaza
it was a special day and mooch wanted to give his best friend earl a gift
lunch which is a cat and url is a dog
but what could he get him he had a bowl
he had a bed and he had a chewing toy
in fact he had it all
here he is on his bed with is true toy and his ball and his loving owner
much thought and thought what do you get someone who has everything to their he is thinking that also a question marks all around his head
do you get for someone who has everything
he got so dizzy from thinking he fell down
and then he had an idea he said get them nothing and
he went to the url the gift of nothing
but in this world filled with so many somethings where could he find nothing say is looking all around the house for nothing
much often heard frank say that there was nothing on tv
but as far as much for there was always something on tv
lab lab lab less israel lab lab all around the tv it
so much often help her a doozy and her friends say that there was nothing to do but as far as much could tell everybody was always doing something they're throwing snowballs at much
mary came home from the store and said there was nothing to buy
so much when shopping

help your kids are getting this to it
a little esoteric
so very the cat is at the store trying to find nothing to buy my what defined
something nothing but something
lots of something's bye bye bye money money money
much lit up and down every aisle he found many many many somethings the latest this and the newest that
but as far as he could tell there was nothing know how far as he could tell nothing was not for sale
so much went home he looks so sad
he looks so sad his failing
and he sat on his pillow and he just stayed still as cats often do there he is on his little stripes zaful
sitting very still just like you guys are doing right now
and then not looking for it he found nothing
when i stopped looking for it he found nothing you ever find nothing have you know much yet
most of us haven't
we're trying
so he right and he got a box and he put nothing in it
and then much thought him maybe url deserves more than this so he got a bigger box
now that's plenty of nothing that he said
and he carried the box over to urls house
all wrapped up
from me said earl
she didn't have to give me anything
lynch said you tell them

or opened moochers gift and he looked inside
why did he see
hey there's nothing here said earl
yeah said mooch nothing
but me and you
over so i like this too and they hugged
nothing but me and you so much and are just stayed still and enjoyed nothing
good story
okay well thank you all for coming was nice to have you here and there's a great program plan for you you're going to make something out of nothing
so i hear
okay bye see you soon bye bye
ah you liked the book you do i like it too it's called the gift of nothing

ah can you do that oh my goodness that's great she's in a full lotus up here guys
thanks for showing me that
yeah you're you're a yogi did you know that yeah

mine again
many of the people who are sitting here in in this room are going to be entering into session tomorrow morning which is the seven day sitting practice
session is a japanese word it means
gather the mind or another translation i saw a serious mind
and session was brought to california by our founders suzuki roshi
who when he came here to america was asked by people if they could practice with him and and he taught them says shane so he would sit a couple of times a year for seven days with the students and he would give a talk each morning in they would eat their meals to
gather in the zendo
they'd sit for forty minute periods most of the day
and then at night and sleep for a while before waking up early to the wake up bell and starting the day again
so this pattern of sixteen was learned by suzuki roshi in japan in part of his monastic training and the japanese in turn had learned it from the chinese who had learned it from the indians
and according to the ancient text the whole model is based on the story of sakyamuni buddha who sat for seven days at the base of a tree
at the end of sushi and there's a celebration of buddha's enlightenment so everyone in this room will be walking around in a circle and warning of the last day of the sheen
and at that time we have baskets of fragrant herbs and flower petals and we throw them at each other and celebrate how fresh and new the world looks to us especially how fresh and new we appear to each other as well
so what does it mean to have a serious mind
born to gather the mind
when the poets talk about the experience of gathering mind they use images like dewdrops or flashes of lightning
dreams bubbles
even though i myself have sat quite a number of sessions my ears at zen center it always feels as though when i try to remember the experienced and i'm in remembering like last year's summer vacation
or yesterday's forgotten meals
this bubbles
dewdrops dreams and flashes of lightning
so in order to really understand the fundamental point of sashimi really is only possible by sitting one
and even though that's so i still want to talk about says shane today and about gathering the mind and about the words of the poets and the zen masters that were written almost as with smoke in order to try and help us to understand some of the most profound
truths about our human life
so this story that i read this morning the gift of nothing i think it's a wonderful example the kind of realizations that people may have when they have sat with themselves for a while you know kind of like cat and very much like the
like many of us the buddha had run out of other options has a young prince he had grown tired of the never lasting promises of pleasure and as an ascetic he had grown tired of the never lasting promises
of meditative trance
just bubbles james lightning flashes and clouds
so the principle of never last teen is also called impermanence the buddha explained that this is the fundamental nature of reality in permanent
in fact it's recorded as his very last utterance before he on
died the buddha it's recorded said
indeed or monks i declare to you it is the nature of all creations to dissolve
when it says on the suture the mahopac nirvana sutra the last teachings of buddha
indeed or monks i declare to you it is the nature of all creations to dissolve and with that he did
and apparently without complaint
so we can even go so far as to say that all of the great teachers shakyamuni buddha dogs energy and suzuki roshi were also gives to us have nothing
nothing nothing at all but eating their meals with us and seen us as though for the first time fresh and new
it's nothing at all that allows us to see with a fresh and clear mind
and yet i think as all of us know something is always getting and way
the clouds and our mind or the rain on our parades or those crashing sounds and are sleepless nights
that's something that gets in the way as what the buddha was studying on the seven days under the tree
and in the sutras he describes that's something in the most vivid and lurid details
armies of drooling orcs and hideous monsters and then followed by a lines of voluptuous women men and boys
i don't know if any of you have seen the movie brazil and you not some night if you haven't it's an amazing film but the buddhist mind was kind of like that you know morphing from one terrifying realm into some heavenly scene and them back into terror again
over and over it's all too familiar
the buddhist mind in fact was no different than ours and i think that may be the very best news that any of us has ever been gas
dobyns mg the japanese master of soto zen
in a poem called a hey caso o hotel gunmen shares it is good news in this way he says buddhists and ancestors of old whereas we and we in the future shall be booed as an ancestor's revering buddhists and ancestors we are one buddha and one ancestor
her awakening body mind we are one body mind because they extend their compassion to us freely and without limit we are able to attain buddhahood and let go of the attainment therefore the top master known sale
those who in past lives were not enlightened will now be enlightened in this life saved the body which is the fruit of many lives before buddha's were enlightened they were the same as week enlightened people of today are exactly as those a won't
so this is the most important point number two
that our minds are exactly the same as the buddha
and important point number one is that the mind all things are impermanent
so when we put these two points together we can get a glimpse of what the buddha was experiencing under the tree of awakening
he saw no things apart from the momentary arising of appearances dewdrops bubbles dreams lightning flashes clouds a mock show a faulty vision and a star in an empty so
sounds familiar
the difference between the buddha and me has to do with how i feel about the way things are
i by definition and the one who is attached to things being different and in particular more important and more personal than they really are
and buddha on the other hand is not
i want things to last i want things that i like to last a long time and i want things that i don't like to go away
and i want to last a very long time and i wanted to side when it's over
these feelings and preferences are precisely the mechanism by which i come into being over and over and over again
my existence as a separate isolate itself depends entirely on my liking or not liking the arising of momentary appearances in the mind
a hair's breadth deviation creates a disc difference as distant as heaven from earth a hair's breadth stimulation creates a difference as distant as heaven from her
that's us were in the distance between heaven and earth
so this experience of there being two things namely me and then everything else
is the fundamental cause of suffering
and it goes back before my life and it goes back before my mother's life for my father's life all the way back to beginning this greed hatred and delusion
in this experience of there being two things namely me and every thing else will only end at the moment of awakening
in the first and second noble truths the buddha declared that the cause of are suffering his desire based in ignorance ignorance he defined as the belief in a separate and isolate itself a self which simply isn't there
my grandmother recited verse when i was a child that i used to think was kind of dark and scary however i think it's quite relevant to what i'm talking about
i met a man upon the stair a little man who wasn't there he wasn't there again today oh how i wish to go away
his carry him
my grandma was a little scary
that school little man is none other than are false self
an imaginary person who lives as though outside of all creation as though cut off from the rest
as though something that's not part of the whole
and along with that imagined imaginal separation comes a tremendous amount of longing
longing to belong to be part of
people say to me so often i'm lonely
at the moment of awakening unseen the morning star the buddha was born in and as a flash of realization
it wasn't there
and he wasn't there again today how wonderful how wonderful he's finally gone away
and with that going away goes away all that you wished for because nothing is outside anymore
the last line of the heart sutra that those in session will be chanting every day is in celebration of this perfect freedom that the buddha found under the bodhi tree gotti gotti para gotti para sa some got a bawdy
this far
gone gone gone beyond completely gone beyond all praise to awakening
after his awakening the buddha spend forty nine years teaching other people what he had learned
he never stayed in seclusion after that he had one robe and one wall lacking nothing the true gift or nothing
he told many stories and used many parables and metaphors and order to try to help people to understand the insight that he had that moment of his awakening
yet each of those stories was based in the same principle that was illustrated by the words that he spoke at the time he was awakened
in the suitors he said hi and all beams together on earth attain enlightenment at the same time
i was his first statement i and all beings on earth together attain enlightenment at the same time
that's when he saw
so this very important proclamation of the buddha is explained in the first chapter of a wonderful wonderful book of teachings they are stories of the zen masters as we told by zen master kazan and the book is called the transmission of light
transmission of light
each of the stories illustrates another facet of what it means
what it means to say awakened mind it is an awakened mind and each to the teachers and stories i express their understanding at the moment of their own awakening and each story is different
of course know each each of us is different
so the first story in the book is about shakyamuni buddha and case on rights a commentary about each of these stories
so in response to the buddhist statement that i and all beings on earth together a ten enlightenment at the same time kazan has this to say
i i is not shakyamuni buddha
even shakyamuni buddha comes from this i
and the case or notes can tell the difference in sound but the i miss the writing by case on is the the letter i capitalized not this i
and it does not only give birth to shock him when he buddha all beings on earth also come from here
just as when you lift up a net all of the holes are raised in the same way when shakyamuni buddha was enlightened so too were all beings on earth enlightened
while this is so do not think of shakyamuni buddha as having become enlightened do not see shakyamuni buddha outside of all beings on earth
now he changes from the letter i to the i this way okay
however immensely diverse the mountains rivers land and all forms and appearance may be all of them are in the eye of the buddha and you to are standing in the eye of buddha the i has become you
but as i has become everyone's whole body each standing tall therefore this clear bright i that spans all time should not be thought of as the people evidently here you are buddhists i buddha is your whole by
so i don't know how it is for you but when i hear this kind of talk i feel really enthusiastic like
there's a possibility of breaking out of my limited view of me and of the possibilities for my belonging in this world in this universe
i once had an image of each of us as a kind of portal and empty space where the universe both talks and listens to itself
and one of the images from the sutures is of the waves and the ocean rising up to take a look around you know but sometimes these waves scary each other
get frightened
you're looking at yourself and it's like woot
you are my right hand and left him being afraid but at other times we can really see how funny that is how wonderful how playful you can wave at each other without fear
without are false imagination
session she is an ancient technique for study in the waves rising in the oceans of the mind
and we're instructed from the very first moment we arrive at the zen center to sit upright and to place our bodies on a cushion either on a chair on the floor
and to live our eyes open our lips closed our minds open to breathe comfortably and to relax
func not thinking
how do you think not thinking
nine thinking
this is the essential art of zaza
this phrase to think not thinking comes from zen master duggan's universally recommended instructions for zaza
especially recommended for those of you about to sit session
thinking and not thinking when combined
create all of the possibilities there are in his human life
would you like to think about that
and so do inside with outside
inhaling with exhaling
and silence with sound
perfect compliments
oppositions or dualities are a creation of our minds and of our language
and they serve to separate the universe into twos
or so we imagine
however the universe despite our magical spells and are shamanic incantations refuses to be separate
it remains resolutely inclusive and still
this is non thinking
non thinking
the kind of thinking the entire universe may do or that a buddha may do
nowhere no one and no thing is outside
buddha is none other than the basic nature of the mind
kazan goes on to say that once you come to know your true in herself shakyamuni buddha can wiggle his toes in your shoes
so i want to wish all of you says shane people a lot of luck with that
and then the last thing i want to talk about this morning is for those of us who are not going to be sitting sessions starting tomorrow morning and i promise you it's a much larger number by far
and at the same time i'm wondering what are we planning to do this week other than drive around quickly in our cars deliver
i have no doubt that we a non ciders are just as eager for liberation as the sitters are
but i also know that many of the perspectives i've been talking about the swarming are very difficult to see without the concentration effort that arises quite naturally when we sit these long sitting in such as a session
this is largely because the mind is so busy that everything it looks that looks i'm busy too
it's kind of like riding on a horse and commenting on the mountain ranges bobbing up and down on the horizon
finding the com at the core of reality is an essential prerequisite for insight into our own true nature as awakening beings and once that connection with tranquillity as established then sitters and
non sitters alike can dip into it freely
there's a very famous story about all of this in the book of serenity called union sweeps the ground
as union was sweeping the ground our whoop his dharma brothers said too busy too busy union said you should know there is one who's not busy
that was said if so then there's a second moon
union held up the broom and he said which is this
as young i was sweeping the ground dow will his dharma brothers said too busy
union said you should know that there is one who's not busy
thou loser if so then there's a second room
union held up the broom and said which one is this
can't like url and miuccia very good friends playing nothing
the main point of the story is not to fall into the trap of setting up a special reality body something like heaven or nirvana that's separate from the physical world
if we imagined that there's a special place where the sitter's go to sit than that leaves those of us drive him around in our cars kind of stuck on the highway
and traffic as a matter of fact is just a good a place as any to wake up to the to nature of reality in fact it may even be better there's a greater motivation for us to wake up and we're stuck in traffic
so even if those of us who are driving cars sit up straight and concentrate with all our might on are driving and turn off the radio
they are still will never be a second one
awakening to the one reality is everyone's assignment
so to close i would like to suggest that the kindest gift we could give to the sitter's most of us who are not sitting with him this week is very much the kind of gift that much gave to his dear friend earth
we can support these people by giving them absolutely nothing which is precisely what we have to give them
and it's my prayer that those people will open that giant box of nothing and find their way to freedom
perfect freedom
and when you do
please don't linger there
otherwise you can't come back here to the imperfect world
to receive our imperfect love for you
and we really really want to give it
thank you all very much
me aren't