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an aesthetic as much as a teaching to be understood, you know, and I was pointing that towards the mind of appreciation for existence. Not so much in contrast to understanding, but more that the appreciation is primary and understanding can offer its enhancement, its attribute to appreciation. And then the other attribute I was mentioning was inquiry, you know, offering that example of all sitting and listening to the voice of the dharma arising in its myriad forms in the room, you know, and what is it to let each arising be the flower that Shakyamuni


holds up. What is that kind of inquiry in contrast to figuring something out, in contrast to this is the right understanding, so therefore other understandings are the wrong understanding. This is it and that's not it, you know. That diversity is an expression of an abundance, not the grinds of exclusivity, not the grinds of creating higher and lower. So then what is the state of being that has this kind of appreciation, this sense of abundance rather than scarcity, this sense of ease and inclusion rather than dis-ease and exclusion?


What is the state of being that engages existence as the unfurling of the banner of the dharma that each experience is a teaching rather than a reenactment of some small self, some self-centered intrigue? What is this state of being? What is the mind-heart of the great sage of India? You know, the translation is immortal, for the word sage, the more literal translation is the immortal. In Taoism, the great sages were called the immortals and in some way, sometimes the way


of the Tao was to become immortal, more literally understood to create a sense of health and well-being that you would live forever. But there's another way to think about immortal, you know, I was thinking of Bishop Agui and his close relationship with Suzuki Roshi, you know, so that when I called him up and he heard that I was Suzuki Roshi's dharma grandson, you know, so this was the grandson of a dear friend, so I think, I mean I don't know, but I think it disposed him to hear my strange ideas and to entertain them and to agree to come, you know, so that


in some ways we could say, well Suzuki Roshi's dead, but then in another way he lives on, you know, and so often and in so many ways he's referenced his teachings, his spirit, his way of being in the world, that to be such a being that it resonates throughout time and space, you know, this sense of immortality, not so much that just the physical body lasts or doesn't, and maybe this is a more Buddhist way, you know, but still I think it says something just about, you know, the nature of our human life and how it can flower.


So what I'd like to talk about mostly this morning is indeed the mind of the great sage of India and how that mind, that heart, the word is shin, which means heart mind, so how the heart mind of the great sage of the Mahasattva, the great being, is realized. And from a Buddhist perspective, everybody is a particular somebody, you know, we're all born somewhere, we all had some kind of cultural upbringing, some kind of familial upbringing, we speak certain language or languages, we're a certain size and shape, this is the particularity of our being, but there's a way in which we're also all the same, we are


all human beings. There's a commonality to us, and that commonality speaks of not being stuck in the differences, and that speaks of this inclusive appreciative mind in contrast to this exclusive mind. And that when we talk about the great sage, yes, in one way we are talking about a particular person, we're talking about Shakyamuni, and then in another way we're talking about the human capacity to awaken, we're talking about the simple fact that when each person, when any person, when every person releases the limitations of self-centeredness, something,


some great potential is activated. So the great sage is also a potential in all being, and the heart-mind of the great sage is both the heart-mind of Shakyamuni, that just like Suzuki Roshi, is vibrant and alive right now, and it's the potential in all of us. And that's, and zazen, as I was saying yesterday, zazen is to sit down and open directly and completely to this heart-mind. And the way to do that is shikantaza, the way to do that is to just sit.


It's like, it's not that small mind, small self-centered self ceases to exist, it's just that it isn't allowed to define reality. It just becomes part of the play of reality. It's held with the big mind of appreciation. And that the practice of zazen is to keep returning to this appreciation and to allow this appreciation to create chi, to create kai, to create transformative heat, to enable the alchemy that shifts the being from a small self-centered person to a big, great sage,


an immortal. And this is cross-legged sitting, and this is embracing the ten thousand things. Each moment of creation met completely and fully without separation is the flower of the dharma, is the flower of all being. So, nice work if you can get it. So how does that come about? So to my show and tells. So, my first show and tell, and I'm going to leave these books here so that in study


hall, if you wish, you can read them. My first show and tell is the direct path to realization. Just in case you want to get straight there. It's a book on the Satipatthana Sutta. It came out a couple of years ago. We'll put it on reserve. I think there's probably a copy in the library. The reason it occurred to me that that was relevant was because each of the schools of Buddhism has developed its own methodology of realizing the mind of the great sage, of actualizing. And, you know, we could say that early Buddhism, we have the four noble truths.


There's something about when we forget the potential and the actualization of this great mind of appreciative being, all-inclusive appreciative being, we fall into suffering. And that suffering causes us confusion and wrong view. And then we start to act on premises that simply are not correct. There's us and there's them. There's us good people, by coincidence. We happen to be the good ones. And by very similar coincidence, they happen to be the bad ones. You know, I was thinking of the Chinese history, which like many histories of new groups coming to America. But, you know, it's a tale of woe up until very recently.


You know, the Chinese community was constantly attacked for all sorts of reasons for a long time. I mean, many of the Chinese came here to escape starvation, as did many others, including the Irish. And then they were preyed upon for a long time. They were held responsible. They were them. And us attacked them because they deserved it. And they were the source of our suffering. So, the four noble truths are saying, this really doesn't get us anywhere. No matter how many times we raid Chinatown, we're not going to be happy. You know, that a different approach is needed.


And that that different approach is to realize the mind of the great sage of India. And that to realize the mind of the great sage of India, we need to diminish the agitation, the fear that's going on inside of us. And to do that, we cut off attachments. Diminish. Spanish? Diminish. Diminish. Diminish. Thank you. Okay? Thanks. Yeah. So, we practice sila, living in a way that doesn't accumulate attachments. And that sets the ground for practicing mindfulness, seeing clearly.


And the fruits of seeing clearly is the realization, is the transmission of the mind of the great sage. And this book, you know, rich in footnotes, which makes it a great read. But it's also, it's also a wonderful direct illustration of the methodology of mindfulness incorporated into meditation. And so, you know, you can look through it, you can study it, whatever you wish. But that's my thought about it. And of course, there are many other texts, you know, all of the Nikayas offer the same teaching. But the Satipatthana Sutta is a classic in the Theravadan tradition.


And maybe next week, when we go to the Theravadan temple, you know, we can talk to Achan Prasad and ask him about this, you know. How much has this been part of his cultivation of his teachings and his own practice? So, then, the other book I brought along is Zen Comments on the Mumon, Commentary on the Mumon-Khan, which there are several. But I just brought this one along because I happen to have it on my shelf. But really what I wanted to talk about was Mu, the first case. So, the cultivation of the Zen school, this is my own notion,


that this wrong view that arises from Dukkha, that is brought into being by wrong view, this narrow mind rather than this all-inclusive mind, that one can start to work on it directly by diligently letting go of all the self-centered thoughts that are right. And touch this state of being that we might say comes before all the discriminative thoughts and agendas. So, the practice of Mu, in contrast to the practice of Shikantaza,


has a certain cutting off, cut off all the streams of thought. And so, to explore this, I would suggest not so much this commentary, because there are several, you know, there's Aitken Roshi's, there's Konyamada. Yeah, well there's this one too. But to read and savor how they talk about this transformation from small mind to big mind. To just savor, here's a proposition. And to see the common ground, the way that is common with the school of Shikantaza,


the Soto school, and the way in which it's not. The way in which it's common with the school, the Theravadin school, the school of early Buddhism, of which Theravadin is actually one, but it's the one that's in existence now, and the way in which it's not. You know, to savor the difference, you know, to appreciate the different flowers. So here you have a sutta, and it's written in a particular kind of language. Thus have I heard. Thus have I heard, on one occasion, the Blessed One was living in Kuru Kanti, in a time that the Kurus called Kama Sandama. There he addressed the monks, thus, monks, venerable sir, they replied.


The Blessed One said this, monks. This is the correct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of dukkha and discontent, for acquiring the true method, for the realization of nirvana, namely, the four satipatthanas. So just savor that, and then hear it in contrast to this. A monk asked Master Joshu, has a dog the Buddha nature or not? Joshu said, Moo. You know, so one part of our mind might immediately say,


well, I like that one better, or I like the other one better, or, you know. This one's the true way, and this one's not. But, you know, this inclusive mind of Sandukai just experiences them as different flowers. They both offer something. They both express the mind of the great sage of India. How do they do it? Yeah. And this is the inquiry of the Zen school. As I was saying yesterday, you know, inquiry is not a narrowing down. It's not a figuring out. It's not solving a crossword puzzle. It's opening up beyond thinking. It's engaging beyond separation.


Where something becomes so manifest that it's realized beyond understanding. This is the inquiry of the Zen school. So the monk comes to Joshu and, you know, give me an answer. Is it or isn't it? Are we all the same or are we different? No? Let's pin this done. Is it us or is it them? Who's right and who's wrong? And Joshu says, none of the above. Not to exclude the above, but to go beyond them. Okay, in case you weren't thoroughly confused yet, I'm going to continue.


Then how is it transmitted? The mind of the great sage of India is intimately transmitted from west to east. Intimately. Xinyin translates it as esoterically. Sometimes it's translated as mysteriously. You know, in southern Thailand, they have a fruit that they harvest at a certain time, but I can't remember now. It's, I think it's called durian.


Durian? Durian. And when I was living there, I don't know, but when I was living there, it was very, very popular. It's about the size of a melon. And if you know what a chestnut looks like when it's still in the coating, it looks a little bit like that. It has this very strong flavor and a very strong smell, almost pungent. And the people there love it. And you know, it's hard to transmit the experience of eating durian or even the experience of being around a bunch of people who love eating durian and what goes on for them,


the way they get excited at harvest time. You know, it's hard to transmit that. It's a little bit like it's a secret. You know, you can talk about it, you can say it. You know, you can say it has this pungent smell and you might think, oh, like lemonade or whatever. And it has this intense taste and you might think, oh, like chocolate ice cream or whatever. So what we do, you know, we hear something and then we create a reference to it. You know, oh, yeah, it's like ice cream. I mean, I have tasted chocolate ice cream, so I'll use that as a reference. You know, I have smelled all sorts of things. I'll use one of those as a reference. So I reference it


in the realm of knowing. I mean, what else can I do? I can't reference it from experiences, from concepts that I don't have. But in some ways, to truly get it to truly get what durian tastes like, you got to taste it. You know? And then you go, oh, that's what you meant when you said pungent. And to be in a market, you know, in southern Thailand, when, what's going on, you know, and everybody's over there, you know, buying it like there was no tomorrow. And you think, oh, that's what it's like to be enthusiastic about durian. What is the name of this fruit? Durian? Durian? Use the D. D-U-R-I-A-N. You can buy it on Torment Street.


Not so much, too. That was an example. So to realize that this is the nature of knowing, you know, that it's referenced in our own databank. It's referenced in relationship to what we have already experienced and know in that way. And even there, you know, there's this interesting point because we have an experience and then we wrap it in a concept. The challenge is, can we stay informed by our own direct experience? That's interesting. You know?


How do you learn to do Zazen? You learn to do Zazen by doing Zazen. When you do Zazen, you have direct experience. That direct experience teaches you how to do Zazen. If you want to learn how to sit inside the body you have, pay attention to the direct experience. You know, sometimes people come to me in Dogasan and I say, how's your sitting going? And they say, good, bad. That's the answer to the question is, what is your judgment on your sitting? You know? My judgment on my sitting is that it's going good. What experience are you having that you came to that judgment? My knees didn't hurt all day.


Okay. Or, my mind behaved in a way that I thought was appropriate for sitting Zazen. Okay. You know? So, we're always having direct experience and our impulse is to do something to it. To have an understanding of it, to have a judgment of it. And then we consider that our knowing. I know the difference between good Zazen and bad Zazen. Well, that's according to me. But, something beyond the world, according to me, something about direct experiencing, something about letting move,


cut away, and exposing something elemental, fundamental. Something about letting Satipatthana craft a clarity, an attentiveness, a dispassion that just sees what arises, what exists, what falls away. You know, what's the craft of Satipatthana? See it arise, see it exist, see it fall away. And let that register. So, always the Dharma is abundant. But our human tendency is to want to judge it, control it, change it, understand it,


to translate it into something else, and then use that as our primary reference. So when the Buddha comes along and presents the flower of original, intimate being, it's like a secret. I don't get it. What's the guy's point? You know? Describe it in a way I want you to. How can the Buddha do that? It just, it is what it is. So, part of the challenge then in exploring the Dharma in exploring the suchness of all being is to discover what transmission is about. Is to discover how to meet the moment directly. And let that


direct experiencing be informative. The mind of the great sage of India is intimately transmitted. It's not transmitted in the ideas and feelings and judgments I have about it. It's transmitted in something beyond that. And then those ideas and feelings can be used as a reference. And then it's transmitted from you're going to get your chance to comment on all of this in a few minutes. It's transmitted from west to east.


It's transmitted from person to person. It's always abundant in everything but something sparks the realization that that's so. Maybe we should look at Dogen Zenzi's Only a Buddha together with the Buddha. Saying that the person who really gets the transmission about how durian tastes is the person who's tasted durian. And then what's transmitted if they've already tasted it? Exactly. So sometimes transmission


is called being of one mind. Sometimes it's called being of the other mind. That nothing is transmitted. It's about sparking the realization of the true nature of being. So how does that happen? And then again each school has its own answer to that, its own response. That's what we will see when these wonderful teachers come and when we go to their places. How do they adorn their temples as an expression of this? What kind of clothes do they wear when they're practicing it? What kind of things


do they chant and not chant? What kind of rules have they made up for themselves? To enable it, to create a structure that can hold it. So we'll bring an appreciative mind to that. Not trying to figure out are they doing it better than we are, but it's all this amazing abundance of possibility and example. That this is a Buddha field and in this Buddha field there are 10,000 flowers blossoming. And there's West and there's East and I guess we're West


again. Or maybe we're just further East depending upon your reference. And even though it's the one mind it's a different culture, a different body, a different mind, a different heart-mind that holds it, that speaks it, that lives it. You know. I was thinking of a Japanese teacher that I practiced with and he almost never mentions his teacher. And then one day I said to him, what prompted you to do this? What prompted you


to come to America? Which is very close to a Zen koan but neither of us were intending that. He said, I'm living my teacher's wish. My teacher wished to do this but he died too soon so I'm living his wish. And I got this feeling like they weren't even two separate people. You know. One person was thirsty so the other one drank water. But when he expressed the Dharma he never mentioned his teacher. So it was very interesting to be around that how incredibly deep and intimate the connection and then at the same time


the way it's expressed was totally his. He just brought it forth through his own body and mind and heart. So it's not that Dharma is transmitted from west to east and then east mimics as best it can. Like I wasn't here when Suzuki Roshi was alive but several people have told me that for a while it was de rigueur here at Zen Center to speak with the kind of Japanese English. You know. That somehow that was more Zen. And then of course that influence has faded. But somehow the devotion and deep appreciation


reflected itself in a certain kind of mimicking. And maybe it's you know not such a bad thing. Katage Roshi said to me the first thing your students will copy is your bad habits. So of course because I think of Toshimaru Roshi in Europe you know quite a character you know and he used to drink a lot and and guess what? Guess what his students do? That phrase that saying or category I come back to and I'm like oh okay. It's it's right there. Not to say it's good or bad it's just what is.


I think it just expresses something about how we mimic. And I think it's important for us to realize that to stay true to our heritage we become the Dharma and then it just comes out of us by us being completely ourselves. Something about trusting our own being. It's not so much the product of what we think we ought to be or the product of being a certain way. It's just quite natural. It just pours out. Okay. So here's today's


inquiring mind. A little bit trickier than yesterday. what if you heard but what if you were to let that sort of like sink in to let it reverberate to let it to try to sensitize yourself about what it initiated. You know Shakyamuni holds up a flower. It's not that Mahakasyapa said oh I get it it's the suchness of everything. It's something more thorough something beyond just the idea is set in motion. Something is directly experienced and realized. So you've just been


listening to me ramble. I think you've been listening. For the last 55 minutes. But what did you get? And what did it what did it touch? No I didn't. I said what did you get from from what I've been saying? And what did that touch? How did that reverberate in your being? Okay. So we'll do the same as yesterday. You can just speak when you're ready. Say a word, a phrase, a paragraph. Approaching everything


as it's advancing. I feel the Buddha's all-flowering. This arises it existed and fell away. You can't really know the taste of durian until you've experienced it yourself. There is a way to move and to be as one body. A few days ago the Zen calendar in the small kitchen said


the eye doesn't see itself, the finger doesn't touch itself, and the mind doesn't know itself. And I really liked that but it finally made sense now for myself and practice. There's what I experience and what I think I'm experiencing. No regrets of the possibility


of getting my mind putting my mind aside directly to it. Nose, body, pencil, swelling and flowering. I'm ... Diversity is an expression of abundance not separateness. It's been like, I don't know, how long it's been since I've been in the water.


I'm just this way, and look at that, everyone else is just this way, everything's just this way. What is intimate transmission? Experience is different from perception of experience.


Okay, thank you. So, in a way, these are all instructions on how to practice, and in a way, these are all instructions on how to do zazen. This inquiring mind, it has its own embracing, appreciative quality, and then there's something about letting that register. Maybe we could say, contact, acknowledge, register. And something about registering is allowing, enabling, discovering, realizing, transmitting the path of practice.


It's like we transmit it to ourselves. So, we sit zazen, and we experience the body. How does that experience of the body that we are inform how to do zazen? Here's one suggestion. Here's more than one suggestion. Several came to mind. What can I say? Before you move, you think, oh, I gotta move. What's being experienced that causes the idea I have to move? Not so much, okay, then have an idea about that.


But feel it as exactly and directly. Dogen Zenji says, take the backwards step. Go backwards from, I have to move, to the experience that gives birth to it. How about, I have to stop thinking? Hmm. That's a more complicated one. Better to work with the body. We'll get to that, don't worry. But for now, better to work with the body. Then, another one. When some feeling arises, this is it. This way of being in body has settledness, connectedness, whatever. What are the little or large physical phenomena that give rise to this is it?


Is it a feeling of softness in the breath in your chest, in your abdomen, in your shoulders, in your nostrils, in your gaze? Is it a feeling of softness and aliveness in your fingertips? Is it a feeling of lightness in your torso? Whatever it is, and all of what it is, can that be allowed to register? Can there be a yogic learning? Can that physicality of being be learned? Can it be embodied in a way that it can be enabled? It's our moments of realization that teach us about realization, that transmit realization.


And that's a different, if we can return to the sensation, that's different from the idea we had about it. Many of us have experienced, you're sitting in Zazen, you think, that was a great period of Zazen. And then the next period you think, I'm going to reproduce that great period of Zazen. As long as that's happening on a mental level, as long as that's the product of, this is what I want, because I know it's right, I know it's good. We're just muddying the water, we're stirring it up. When we can touch the direct experience, that very touching exactly and directly requires something quieter, more exact, more attentive. Less about me and more about what's happening.


That offers us transmission, that offers us yogic connection. This is the yoga, this is the joining of the body of Zazen. And then we get up off our cushion and we carry that body of being, that transmitting of intimacy in ourselves, in our body. And we carry it and we pick up the broom and we sweep the sidewalk and the body and the broom and the sidewalk dance together, move together, become one flow of being. Hold up the dharma flower of total engagement.


Okay, any comments or questions before we close? I have a question. How is returning to the physical sensations of a moment of realization different in terms of being a gaining idea from returning to the mental state of realization? Yes, exactly Molly, that's what's called walking the razor's edge, because Molly was saying, well how can that not just be simply a refined or not so refined form of a gaining idea? Because in its exactness it's an expression of giving over to. It's not, okay, this is my agenda, this is what I want. It's a giving over to experience. I don't experience, experience happens, and out of that experiencing an I arises,


a judgment, an idea arises. So it's like can I take the backward step from the judgment, the idea, the me that's created, can I take the backward step to direct experiencing? Sometimes called walking the razor's edge, because on this side we separate, we get distracted. On this side we grasp and want to turn it into something that I'm going to own, I'm going to have. So what is that middle path? You know, what is it to sit zazen that isn't just perpetuating either my aversions, my ways of spacing out, or my grasping, my ways of trying to get what I want,


albeit the mind and body that I think constitutes great zazen. That's the question. Not particularly an answer, just a question. Well in a way it's a zazen instruction, you know. All these arouse this mind of inquiry, arouse way-seeking mind, arouse the mind that says, what is zazen? You never seem to win when you get an answer though. You never seem to win a victory. Well if you're looking for a victory, you know, is that what it is, looking for a victory? No, that's my point. Yeah, exactly.


We all know what it feels like to lose, but sometimes it feels just as bad to win. You don't really get anything out of that either, you know. It's like playing the game, I guess. How about this? Keith was saying it feels just as bad to win, too. For me to win, I have to create a loser, is my point, if I get in that mindset. Yeah. It doesn't really help anybody. Yeah. Well if we're caught in winning and losing, well then, we're caught. This is Joshua's move. Cut it all off. There is no winning or losing. Drop it all. Drop, drop it. Okay, any last comments? Okay, thank you. We will end by chanting the four bodhisattva vows.


Four bodhisattva vows. Beings are numberless.