July 5th, 1995, Serial No. 00987

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no numbness
you're leaving

i need an introduction
who am i tonight

oh no oil

thank you
thank you for inviting me

i have a sitting group that meets on monday nights
my living room
in san rafael
so two nights ago i asked them what i should talk about tonight
it was the world's
right after before the july so you should talk about freedom and pursue happiness
somewhere else guys should talk about evil
what is the buddhist
perspective are able

then i looked at the data
the newspaper yesterday and on the fourth of july they were running series in a independent journal which is a sandra fell paper asking people what does freedom mean to you
so i thought well maybe i should say a little bit about that

is my voice audible backer or canvases
quite a system

so i may work in
something about freedom
in this time

i grew up essay on
i've raised as a mennonite
and we
sang hymns
and i think you'd rather stilted fashion some enthusiasm
but tell there was a part of me that wasn't touched
and so there was a part of me that turn could never become free under that particular approach
as i was driving over here tonight i remembered that for me a gate
the passage way from
doctrines that i grew up with to buddhist practice
was a different kind of singing an american
art form
god the blues
and the blues
i began singing learning learning to sing the blues on was about fifteen
and for some years
there was very helpful me to listen
does the blues would actually address suffering and address death
we're directly

here's a few lines from more
has been a long time so i think this was probably a combination of them something from blind lemon and the blind lemon jefferson
an answer lipscomb
how do i listen to a great deal about some tea and eighteen years old
a troubling my mom long
we are fixing to die
how troubling mambo
ah but he ah
after taking the dog
well i bought mine
but hey it to me to cry
got hard luck and fro and from me all the time
ah ha now can trouble
the front of me all
laura got nothing
have you want some lahar look in trouble
i won't even charge you want then done
i got probably in my lord
the you are fit and die to die as i got trouble in my lord
i believe i've been to die for will our tall man die him but hey to leave my children crime
so i think good your answer a bathtub for freedom
means to you
has to go
completely through
ha ha luck and trouble and
what singing the blues for me it was not to
i still i can sing the blues but i never really understood
ah i never really penetrated to the other side
until i was able to practice
is a part of our practice
and then stopping in you realize what an what is going what are you doing
what are you doing unconsciously
what are you doing habitually
and down
and then what is being done
but you're not controlling what is being done that you might turn
deluded about you might be thinking that you are doing
i like eat
joy man doing a breath check right now
check and year your own breathing
bring your attention to your breath
now we say your breath
but whose breath is it
he might turn
join me in this experiment and just stop breathing
make no effort at all to breathe
hi your breath completely stop
and don't start it up again
i'm waiting
to see people falling over
and though it has fallen over
who's breathing
so we went to claim my breath
but you don't even have to
the yeah
question then of course is who can be free
who is it
oh we have i don't mean to diminish the fact or demean the fact that we have
an unfortunate behalf
some cultural awareness of human rights and some cultural awareness of
individual freedom

in fact if we didn't have a certain amount of
an individual freedom and
support and protection for human rights we will be able to help and buddha hall like this
there are places and world where you can't
open up as xander
buddhism actually from its beginning i think from reading there
dear talks that were given by shakyamuni two thousand and five hundred years ago assumed a certain amount of individual freedom
and extended their freedom and that understanding of of rights
actually to
all human beings
the caste system was
just a devalued
what is early voters did not put the energy and supporting to the caste system
and in any of the day many untouchables are becoming buddhists because it's a way for them to actually have
the cultural possibility of developing culture that recognizes their individual worth individual value and buddhism extended
this understanding of rights and freedoms to
non human animals
and non animal plants
and all beings
of any kind of origin
even origin that could not be understood are expressed
which might include
an atomic particles
so there's a certain appreciation for individual freedom
at the same time the question who is it has free
who has the capacity to be free
who has the capacity for realize complete liberation
now most of the people who answer the question for the independent journal and marine county
ah said
basically that freedom meant that they could do what they wanted
freedom means i can do it i want without interference
and people get various examples and want to be interfered with by the government or my other people
ah they didn't want to be defined by other people's opinions
rambling jack elliott quoted the chris christopherson
freedom's just another word from nothing left to lose
but this but the
the person who
surprise me
had this to say
his name is lenny lipton
so i'll nominate him for
july independence day buddha
he said
last weekend my fifteen month old son noah but me with a toy workbench
and now i have a black eye
in an instant too brief for thought when i felt the rush of pain
there was no anger
i had nobody and nothing to blame
i can't recall having been in such a state of mind facing my own suffering
at such moments usually i get angry and blame somebody for something
but my love for my little boy fried may of self pity
blame and anger i accepted my fate
that's freedom
from an amazing and wonderful
no blame
no anger
and he realized
that he was free of suffering
but this black eye
and his fifteen year old fifteen month old son if it has been a fifteen year old son may have been a little different
but that's the test that right
so he can tolerate certain that indiscretions
painful experiences from children
but it's hard to accept from
people who should know better
it's really hard to accept
it's really hard to accept ah being
stepped on bumped pushed
even if it's not intentional
not to mention one it's intentional
when someone steps on you
what pushes you are put it down
sometimes you don't know if it's intentional or not
but it's pretty hard to find freedom
and those circumstances

but we have a deep inside and his practice
which is called the bodhisattva vow and bodhisattva vow is making room
for dumb people at that
it's making room for people who do stupid things right in front of you
on without hitting a ball then blaming
and of course it's very easy to find examples just driving over here as are many examples people changing lanes in front of me without turn signals and
of course it's dangerous on the highway
so what is
your your bodhisattva practice every day how do you save all these being traded fund of you
to really act
you need a fine
you're open mind
i think most people find their open mind
right here
the center of europe
your body
your heart
in your gut
i was at them the museum of modern art
on sunday first time the new the new museum and probably all of you who live in the city are familiar with the exhibit their i saw some of the in the current ten modern japanese exhibit which was quite interesting if you haven't seen addition
make a point to go i think because there for your fist
like to the end of july
and of course japanese people suffered a great deal in the war in the aftermath and to
how that is expressed and the art of the period i think this is quite an interesting so i reprove provocative
but then i was on the what is the second floor i think where they have the matisse to
ha ha out the contemporary collection summit which is his hands of course and it's a rotating collection but many of you probably know the painting by jim dine which is a big big canvas may be five by five six by six
and it
mostly a big heart
sort of red brown
right in the center and the center of the heart
is a blue clamp
a seat clamp that he got from some hardware store
and attached to the center of his heart
when i saw that i had ah
near feel
i felt that there was a part of me that was in a peice
was an almost instantaneous reaction to that which i wanted to
get rid of that feeling
i want to loosen up the clamp and take it off the painting
you might think that freedom would be to take the clamp off the heart
her practice though reminds us that
that's not quite right
for this self through advance
and confirm or recognize your experience
the myriad phenomena
his delusion
for the myriad things
come forth
and express herself
his awakening
so even if your heart is in pain and with practice there is
an orientation to
don't to
your breath let your breath bigger breath
don't try to push the clamp off the heart
right effort
send my beginner's mind
suzuki roshi is pretty clear here says if you're
if you around
effort is headed in the wrong direction especially if you're not aware of it it's diluted effort
and says our effort should be directed from achievement
to non achievement
so how do you do this you think to get from achievements and an achievement means that you're trying to get rid of unnecessary and bad results of effort
so if you notice that you're trying to get from
where you are to achievement
investigate their tendency
the be aware of it
as the luna practice
the practice that he recommends
is to let go of those tendencies that are unnecessary
and direct your effort
a boundless mind that includes the pain that you're already feeling
it's outside it took me about ten years of practice before i really really
felt miserable at that that me

the crash
and asked as pretending i was feeling pretty good
i wanted to feel better
had actually it took me long to realize that
ah was but i was actually feeling was pretty miserable
so from a buddhist point of view freedom means
to actually be completely comfortable
with things exactly as ar
no pretense
no idea about making a difference
things are gonna be different things are going to change
but ah
it's a radical approach
so this is
the way to pursue happiness is a completely forget about pursuing happiness
and to
remind yourself again and again
to simply see
what's already in front of you
not only that but not grasp it
i don't see it but don't grasp it and i say it but don't push it away now have to to precepts
however we have ten what we call grave of prohibitory precepts in the first tour that a disciple devoted does not kill and that a disciple the buddha is not steal
and if you look at that from
a more subtle subtle prospective you realize that not killing means you don't even push
her way
if you push your way sometimes you need to push away i'm not saying that somebody run over you but i'm saying if you push away realize that you actually can't get rid of
they experienced that you're feeling
it'll change but you have to you have to fundamentally receive it accepted acknowledged
even push it away and and your who entered garage of emptiness where you're not actually pushing away
doing it was more fundamental understanding is that not taping
not grabbing
first as your breath is already there
so much has already given
so much has already arising within you and when you go out
you actually narrow down your experience and deny we are in your bigger sense
so freedom
means to be able to be committed to completely receive
and of course you are already receiving everything already
why fight it

so this this practice
here sir
simple and easily available
you can do this practice any time
so when you're ha
today i was doing had a lot of things to take care of so all day long acting taking care what i need to take their and stopping
take and i need to take care of stopping
you can extend your practice of sitting
the you stop every day
doing if you're doing now as as and practice on a daily basis which is
highly recommended
ah you have an opportunity to stuff
you have no habitual stuff going on right
ah but you may notice that is still habitual stuff going on and we'll see that again they just don't entertainment you don't put any additional energy into it that in itself
it is cultivating this practice cultivating awareness and expanding
here's on actually his own freedom
and so it is if you have the experience of stopping and then you bring that experience of stopping
and for your whole day
whenever you have an opportunity
sometimes it's obvious you know you're driving along for the stock light you stop thank you have a chance to stop and ten but the you're still holding on the steering wheel like this
or leaning forward what is that like a
there's something back to them or whatever
these complicated things ah can just be dropped
so just like lenny lipton to realize that even though he had just been
he has black eye
worse too
feel the pain

so in this way
your realization
and you're building of your character
which is actually building
a vessel
that stops
perpetuating old karma
this goes hand in hand the realization
and the building of the character
so this this is bob
a matrix
the then that produces wonderful people who i think they can go out and help heal
wounded the society
and to now wounded friends
most leaders by being there and being willing to face what's really what's really happening what's really going down

oh how it's going to
ask you to join me in another song
what you might remember while you are
out there extending your practice from the zendo into the activity of your daily life and it's called relax your mind
and this is a song at town
have you lead better lead belly
ah here's the same
and tom
it has a course which is very easy has just relax your mind relax your mind helps you live a very long time
some time you've got to relax your mind
and and their couple verses which i will do

and then maybe we can have a few minutes for question if it's not too late
relax your mind relax your man
helps you live
her grey long path and that's too low relax your mind relax yo man honest
give you my dear
relax your mind relax your man have you live a great long time some time you got to relax
oh man than the town
okay so you can all join in right relax your man relax your mom and help you live grid long time so ah you got to
i had a friend
across the railroad track oh lord he forgot to relax
that was the tie his shoe
relax is he
relax your man relax aroma and help you lay rug gray long time
so ah you got to relax
oh and the lad turns green photo foot down on the gasoline
that's the guy you've got to relax your man moving the relax your man relax your man have you a hug read long time
and you got to relax your mind
the movement and when the lad turns red pearl that break down to the bed that's the time you got to relax your my
an even relax your man relax your man have you a great long time now the time now the time you got to
thank you
hub we're ten minutes or so for you and other com answer a question can
when the light can
the i
be sure you see that blue light


i then
yeah learn of course the biologists are quarreling about the border lines in the were there are certain certain forms of life that are not quite plants and not quite animals or
it may be that
that turn the forms of plants evolved into animal forms
and there
of course we need to make appropriate distinctions and turns to fat
you know what we bring into our house and
but we eat and to who we shake hands with
but ah
now there are a number of their number of things that to
for example one of the founders of our lineage don't john
for long time investigated the question
what does it mean that rocks and trees expound the dharma
how can rock expound the dharma
and the diamond sutra
pushes them there are many many or references with the down to driving one of my favorites it let's go through a list of all beings and in terms of
their origin at the time of course two thousand years ago they didn't have the
study with genetics they weren't even sure quite how many beings came into existence when they just said are being whether there
born from
animals for they're born from moisture for the born from unknown sources ah for all all these beings ali's beings are included anomaly that all these beings are part of a bodhisattva vow and all these beings when a vote
for realizes awakening all these being realized awakening
and so it's pretty clear that there's
ultimately no distinction
this really is a boundless commitment they don't just cut it off as okay he looked pretty much like me so are you a beating heart and red blood so they are included it goes beyond that

hmm fulfill it
you can't tell
well i'd say one moment one moment miserable
one moment free
but you know you if you think all the time we're never going to feel miserable
that's a miserable state to put yourself in fact

so it really doesn't their the point that i went to really doesn't matter who feel miserable nikkei feel miserable
we feel ah
ah and their misery can be physical i can be physical pain it can be exhaustion they can be psychological but whatever it is that something to work on that's really an opportunity to bring your attention to what that experiences
and so
i actually don't think so much about
ah grading or rating
or judging but more about what is this experience once its texture what's what's really in there
there anything else
well don't forget to make a great effort
relax your mind