January 15th, 2000, Serial No. 03934

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how many and here isn't the first time

are you are welcome
who or do i say thank you

i have no idea really what i'm going to talk about this morning my my am
my my my
so hang on okay
when the turn a lie
have i that
okay can you hear me out that oh yeah
not so so
my hand uneasy my best lowest voice
which i am completely not in control it but it's coming out this morning
and i am i am glad to see people here i'm actually happy to be with you and glad to see people here this morning i had no idea why but it's true i think it's a wonderful thing to say everybody here with money
listening to at the dharma maybe
as if you have been to my taxi for not taking a little while to can get into
yeah man are a little bit can be patient other this may be the entire thing
i'm happy at the moment it was really nice to see the saturday sunday which were very intimate kind of group and and
oh you're invited to anyone who wants to come to the doesn't live in a building and has a practice and i am
i feel safe with them and
and also i have no idea what i'm talking to her
there isn't isn't because ah it's hard for me to get here and what's been going on in my life last that debt and
i can't not talk about it because it's still very much with me and in it
and i will get to it eventually
but i was thanking you for coming
i was thanking you for coming because of some odd reason i actually really do believe that the study of buddhism
if we all steady it well enough and if it spreads out well enough and if the compacts with other kinds of
people who are
studying the same kind of thing even if they don't call it buddhism it is possible to heal the world to heal the tear the wound in the world which is this sense of separation this division that we have
and one of the ways it occurs to me today to talk about a little bit about it is because when i was home recently
it's not
it's easy when we all believe this and and zen center airs in this really a lot
harmony it sends her that's the thing everybody's kind of supposed to be cool and equanimity is gwen amateurs economists
is that re we kidding
that's the word economists
like hippopotamus
somebody should remember when i'm talking about because it's going to be hired from the located
what what
oh thank you yes because it's no sense in it because zen center we err on the side of harmony in everybody or at least we try to err on the side of harming it but the truth what happens really is is that we have all of these feelings you know with each other and stuff they'd come up and what we need i think to practice was mostly as how to be able
to be together with our differences
that was one of the neat things that was happening with me and my family recently in los angeles there were differences that came up and it was very interesting to see how we walked through those differences with is under undercurrent anyway just like we have a zen center and basically we you know completely
ah connected totally

and i also would like to thank people who have given me cards and flowers and hugs
it's been very supportive and i
appreciate near carrying of me in this way and night gentlemen
and company
i'm giving you hints
i'm getting closer
anyway so okay area so what i what's been happening to me i think
in an unusual way know that i think of back on it a little bit
over the last five months i've had three people in my family and passed away and the last one who passed away with my father who's sitting up on this altar which is very peculiar for me
i can't even say that it's been a lot you know
as i can't even say it's been a lot it's just been what has been and i've walked through it step by step by step by step and i think it's over now
i don't know anybody else my family is sick
and although my brother did total his car is less well i was down there this last time he was okay luckily
have you
so my feelings are all over the map
i'm watching them and beating them
next week there will be a next week and then the week after that i'm going to go on a retreat and just try to
absorb oil but what's going on what happened
many many many years ago a long time ago there was a little girl
and she was very happy
and quite popular she a very good athlete she enjoyed music
she had fun she played in the seals and when it was damp she would pull out big long
pieces of grass they were really long and the end of the grass it would be these big clumps of dirt and you'd throw them in each other stuff
a los angeles at the time was paradise who is oh i'm not supposed to tell you what happened in most areas
but anyway she was that the
twelve or thirteen when this world of various started to fall apart
her friends of which they were many began to have other kinds of interests that she didn't understand and she herself was having feelings about things that she had didn't understand and her family was having a lot of difficulty and
she went to a new school and lots and lots of things were happening and she felt very last and very alone
and one day she was sitting on a guy never
golden hill with the grass dried out grass is already dried out
and kind of crinkly
and she thought to herself
i wonder is there anything at all
in the world that you can really count on
anything that it absolutely is true always all the time
and it was important for her to find out because she wanted that
security i guess
so she kept that question with her
in the back of her mind and one day
but a month or two later
she was walking to orchestra rehearsal with her flute in her and
and she was walking across a courtyard of the junior high and she was going to
and all of a sudden
she understood
and what she understood and what she knew she could count on always
was it everything
always changed
the only thing that didn't change in the whole world the only thing
that was really always gonna be there was change itself
and for a while it comforted her
and then she got involved with other things and
the importance of it
was lost to her for a long time but it was a seed

this teaching that everything changes is the fundamental teaching of buddhism on which everything else blossoms
the teaching of impermanence the teaching of no self the teaching of buddha nature the teaching of equanimity everything
dependent on rising
everything rests on this understanding that everything changes

and yet this teaching is enormously difficult for us to actually accept we can accept it when things are difficult than we want things to change of course
but when things are going well or when it's even just sort of even
we don't accept it we don't go there because
because i think what's familiar even in our pain and suffering we choose what we know
over what may happen next that we don't know
and so we get caught in this round of grabbing onto things that can't we can't hold onto
because they're not tangible in the first place
and because they're not tangible they're not solid and separate they're going to change there's no question about it

in fact this is the basis of equanimity when we really deeply know that we can hold on to nothing
then we don't mind
it's not that we don't mind exactly i mind my father is dead
but it's okay hayes
there he's dead that's correct
in the scheme of things
he said
and when someone dies who shouldn't die my dad was almost eighty seven
but if a child dies
or person a young person dies
it's not that that's it's not that it's right that that happened it's just that it did happen and
is there
and on some level we know

my mind just made this late to category roshi you'd have told you the story before when my mother died in nineteen seventy four
i'm an orphan do we have other orphans in the house
my brother and i visited quetta gere roshi we had a personal meeting with category roshi he was my i love that man
he's also did
in do you realize that there are billions of more people who have died in our life right now
death is the thing that's happening
well obviously right we're all gonna die and were just pretending right now we're just having it and have a nice get together for awhile very temporary it's really fast were just together for little while trying to make the best of it
it would be good if we let go to the struggle trying to figure it out
cannot figure it out no way
my father was lying and i have to about carry my father was lying in bed i think now that he died of kidney failure which is a very good way to die if you can choose it kidney failure is the way to go
i think what happens is it well why what happens is is that when your kidneys fail you know when you urinate you eliminate toxins has basically what's happening and when your kidneys fail you don't you can't eliminate like that your kidneys are not processing the toxins of the body so in a
very gentle way the a poisoned to death and what happens is oh it's very nice i think i'm sure i've seen a couple of people die this way to jerry died this way
what happens is a probably about a day and a half before you actually going to die you fall asleep
so you just and this is what happened to my father although my father was in such a deep sleep that we couldn't even reach him but
it's a very very gentle
it's it's just like a wisp like a whisper
the line between life and death is so thin you can hardly catch it
just a person doesn't breathe again just a doesn't take an ex brett what happened what left his body still there
what was that he's not moving
but what is though what it what what happened
i've seen lots of people die and it's a mystery what was that life it was there that's gone
anyway calgary where she said there's no difference between life and death
i used to think a man
somebody's here and then somebody's gone when mean there's no difference that's ridiculous

but if we don't think of it as a personal death which is why when great zen masters
think or talk about it when their self is not so forward in their lives they fail no difference between the huge event that's happening which is life death
it's this big huge
in which we all can also can't comprehend but we know it
so in that way there is no difference between life and death and when i was in los angeles
oh that was happening it was like a tunnel
i think for people who who i have been around death it's an extremely interesting event
it's like a tunnel it's like you go into this deaths samadhi and nothing else exists there is no time which is true so it's wonderful you have no idea what day it is the date is completely irrelevant you listen to the news but it goes in one ear and it's right out the yeah that you can't i mean
just doesn't touch was going on
and it's not as if what's going on in our daily life is not an important it's because it's so transient transient that it is so important
it's because everything is so fragile so ungraspable so tenuous
so quickly gone
that we need to pay attention
this is how i paid attention in l a so i'm driving from i had just but my dad went into the house for three times in three weeks in and out the emergency room in and out
and the second time he went in ucla emergency room i had just taken him their emergency his kidneys were failing they saved him to bed
but anyway
he was so sweet at this time he was very soft at that point and anyway as dr i'm just coming back on the emergency i hadn't spent the whole day they are trying to get him what he needed which was basically
well they took care of it was okay and i was coming home as going toward my brother's house to pick up my brother to take him back to the hospital emergency room because we knew we didn't know in my dad was gonna die he was on the edge for awhile
and i saw
almost saw not quite an oncoming red light
and i'm sure i thought about it for a minute like for a second and i look to my left and i looked to the right and there was no way coming
and i made a decision in that moment in a split second i thought
i didn't even hardly think it was like get your brother
and i passed through the light
and the neatest thing happen
it was so great
right when as in the middle of the intersection there were two flashes of like a spotlight flash flash er det
i was so shocked i couldn't believe it it never happened before in my whole life
they had taken a picture of me

and notice of me of my car
in the wrong place at the wrong time
was really interesting and i thought to myself oh this just happened this actually really happened
oh my father is spitting up blood oh it's happening
oh i feel furious oh i feel blah blah blah this is really happening it's like
just this which in fact
never changes just this present moment always for ever
right now
and it's okay
even with death

so just to end the story no bit when i came back to my apartment you can you know that u s of have isn't as of heavens a year maybe i did i had four pictures waiting for me
for patients and the cost of the ticket was just in case you're thinking of doing this two hundred and seventy dollars plus if you don't want a record on your on your a mark on your record thirty dollars more and you don't get the two hundred seventy others back either
it it's an impressive a tap on the shoulder
but anyway yeah you get for pictures
it's okay
the first the first picture is of your car where it's supposed to be
which is just before the crosswalk way
the second picture is a picture of your car in the middle
of the intersection
the next one is a just in case you know the next one is a close-up of your license plate
and the last one is a picture of you
it's very effective i didn't i was so care for your light haired yellow and i would stop
which i think it's are you supposed to do
anyway that's just it to finish the story people
people sent me a poems during this time and a solid oh the first thing you know this is irrelevant actually to meet you but is my favorite part of the diamond sutra that i wanted to what if i were following when i was supposed to be saying

i'll just say this because i like it so much but at this plants irrelevant anyway to what i was saying but not really relevant i mean it's about how to view what is conditioned you know what condition means you newcomers
everything's condition everyday depends on something else
and everything that is condition is subject to loss because there's nothing know nothing holding it together
anyway so this is the and you'll recognize it does if you will say this is every every week to said
from the diamond cutter asia the last little blurb
you can lower them from black
how does one view what his condition is the question how to illuminated and the responses this how to look at a human being how to view the floor a rug the sky the flowers a tree a bus the
what's the relationship to it
you view it as stars
as a fault of vision
a lamp a mock show dewdrops or a bubble a dream
a lightning flash or a cloud
that is how one should view what is condition
and that is us
we're here only temporarily for now a moment the emotion that we have only a moment if we don't hold onto it
a thought a wisp of a lightning flash if we just don't hold on that is who we are the body
sure looks like a little bit longer but really not
after my father died
i was so grateful first it he was not suffering anymore which was grade and then just for him
a wonderful little welling up of gratitude from giving me like you know this the opportunity
to be here just a little while temporarily
what a gift
so here are the three palms the from three different people so i thought i'd read all three because they really great
oh i wanted and ten before i tell you that i want to tell you one thing about
well maybe that's not relevant either
i will in jewish my family's jewish
in jewish when a person dies you say a prayer
also before this i was reminded just before i came down here there's this other thing that happens it is really powerful for the people who are the close persons of the person who died they put they give you a pin with a cloth on it actually used to be your own clothes
and the rabbi walks up to you and if you don't know this is coming it is so devastating it's it's ah
a lot to said little bit much but they take a clause and they rip it and the sound feels like your heart is just ripping apart
wrapper which it feels like it feels like you know you have holes in you for these losses
and then you sit what we call shiver you sit for a week you stay at home you don't do anything which is an excellent idea because you don't really wanna do anything people come over bring you food talk
but what i wanted to tell you was
we say a prayer it's called a cottage
and essentially what the prayer is at the moment of your deepest grief what the prayer is about is it's about life
god or in the true understanding of god this
excuse me i didn't mean to say that i don't know who believes in what kinds of god's i take it back but in my understanding
it's a it so anyway this this prayer what it does is and the moment of your grief it reminds you of your faith that reminds you of the miraculous this of this saying that we all are
enjoy in an uplifting and each person when you need to have to do this with the community you can't say this prayer by yourself you have to do with the community
and then everyone who has had a loss like this in the community stands up
and then the whole community says the prayer together yes we re confirm our commitment to life
like we say la hi i'm as a toast and jewish it means to life
so here i was
engaged in losing some life in my immediate thing and some people sent me three people sent me palms and these are the three poems i'll meet them and then i'll stop
the first one is called bird wings and it's from roomy
your grief for what you've lost lifts a mirror up to where you are bravely working
expecting the worst you look and instead here is the joyful face you've been waiting to see
your hand opens and closes and opens and closes if it were always a fist or always stretched open you would be paralyzed
your deepest presence
is in every small contracting and expanding the to as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird wings
that's the first one
and this was from another kind of a person who is giving me that kind of support
it's called an angel in your pocket
i'm a tiny angel i'm smaller than your some i live in people's pockets that's where i have my fun
i don't suppose you've seen me i'm too tiny to detect though i'm with you all the time i doubt we've ever met before i was an angel i was a ferry in a flower god herself hand picked me and gave me angel power now god has many angels
that she trains in angel pools we become her eyes and ears and hands we become her special tools and because god is so busy with way too much to do he said that my assignment was to keep close watch on you
then he tucked me in your pocket blessing you with angel care saying i must never leave you and i vowed to stay right there
i appreciate i have always had a fair a parking theory
so now i have a pocket angel as well
this one is from milka
it will be a different tone
as we all get his but i love him so much
overflowing is this is so rocha over flowing heavens have squandered stars flame brilliantly above your troubles
instead of into your pillow weep upward toward them
there at the already weeping as the ending visage slowly thinning out ravishing world space begins
who will interrupt once you forced your way there the current no one
you may panic and fight that overwhelming course of stars that streams toward you
brave the darkness of the earth and again look up again
lightly and faceless lee depths lean toward you from above
the serene countenance dissolved in night makes room for yours

so i have no idea what i've said but
i really again am glad to have you here with us trying this practice
trying always to do our best always in fact doing our best truthfully
i wish you a great joy and luck in this life and

thank you