June 12th, 1996, Serial No. 02712

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ah to test the friends on the time at other words

while the last term
the last few days
i have found myself on
very occupied
and you could say i was occupied preparing for this talk or you could say i was not occupied from occupied other than preparing for this talk ah
i'm going to speak tonight on the ceremony which were having on saturday afternoon
mostly i have been doing
the preparations that are required in order to do the ceremony
so what i'm going to talk about nine is
something about the form of the ceremony and each of the
each of the elements of it
do chi as you know means receiving precepts
it is the
the dragon gate maybe you know they say and
chinese sir
tradition they have what's called the dragon gate in the river the fish swims up upriver and swims through the dragon gate and comes out the other side of dragon
this is a gate
this to chi we stepped through and we are changed by it
some friends of mine
who did u k and number of years ago
took me out to lunch the other day and they were talking about you should put a warning on the uk ceremony like the surgeon general's warning you know this ceremony could change your life
ah this ceremony
can have a deep effect on your life
trungpa rinpoche's says of the of taking refuge which in his tradition is the ceremony
which is parallel to this
and the buddhist tradition the purpose of taking refuge is to awaken us from confusion and moreover to allow us to associate ourselves with wakefulness
taking refuge as a matter of commitment and acceptance and at the same time of openness and freedom
what we'd do by taking the refuge vow is to commit ourselves to freedom
he says it's not so much that there's something wrong with the traditions that exist around us the difficulty is more our own personal conflict
arising from wanting to have and be the best and taking refuge we have to give up some sense of seeing ourselves as a good citizen or the hero of a success story
we might have to give up our past we might have to give up our future our potential future by taking this particular vow we will end are being shoppers in the spiritual market supermarket
now we are deciding to stick to a certain particular brand the rest of our lives we're choosing to stick to a certain particular staple diet and flourish on it
suzuki roshi is to say it's all right to shop around shop around as long as you want to but some time in your life
instead of digging dozens of shallow holes you need to dig dig one deep hole
until you come to the heart of your life
so this this taking refuge this receiving precepts
is our commitment to sit right where we are a dig one deep hole and open up our heart
and let the vitality of i live life flow out
and cover the earth

so the ceremony as the ceremony begins actually before the ceremony
we sit zazen together
and then
the initiates will take a period and go and take a bath
and put on all clean clothing i was talking about this in the sewing class the other night and i said even if you have a chance maybe get get new underwear start like a brand new newborn baby
fresh from
from wild from the skin out
from the very heart of are being out we will be fresh new baby boomers
and we symbolize this by beijing and putting on fresh clothing
and we come we go around we do a jindal which means going around the whole temple offering incense ah at various alters
what's the sense of
making a circle of protection around the temple
then we come in to the buddha hall
and offer incense here
and bowed to the buddha and bowed to the precepts
and then we will ah
all of the buddhist and ancestors
to come and be with us and
sustain our practice
we evoke or invoke the presence of the buddhist and ancestors to be here with us and rejoice with us at the birth of these new baby buddhists
and then
we will
a new name as new baby should
and what does clothing
a rocker su
a field far beyond form and emptiness we say in the chance or the zen center of los angeles
translation of that line which i love
the lion
ah muso who could then ne
they say a bountiful field of benefactor one
this robe is made in the form of rice fields
which ah
in asian tradition is the source of all sustenance
and so it's referred to as a great field of manufacturing
so with the new
ah rob of liberation
we then begin
when we then purify our mind with the confession and repentance

in the
in the actual official book of soto ceremonies which i asked read to check out for me even before receiving the role there is a gesture of head shaving
the razor's laid on the head and the first switches a normally chanted in the priest ceremony of the head shaving verse know i'm being shaved i vow with all beings
or i may i with all beings
be free from self as attachments forever
so this is our
this is a renunciation and so this gesture pronunciation happens not only in the pre-ceremony but in the in the lay initiation
renunciation of self clinging
in the press ceremony there is a second head shaving
and the chant is shaving the head and again shaving the head ah the bonds of attachment or hard to cut
we find that the self cleaning
is difficult
to renounce
and so moment after moment
we try to be aware of self clinging
this is our practice

but the a vowel and repentance is in fact to vow
that all of our actions body speech and mind
are we we own them
we acknowledge them we take full responsibility for them
and we acknowledge that
greed hate and delusion or a arising all the time
and therefore we have to
again and again
repent or
turn again toward our vows
feel our
i regret
at actions which may have caused hurt or harm
when return to awakening an awareness
with renewed effort and vigor
having purified our mind with a vowel and repentance
then the preceptor will ah purify our bodies with wisdom water
and having thus been purified then
it's time to receive the precepts
the precepts begin as you know the sixteen bodhisattva precepts
begin with the three refuges
with taking refuge or returning to
the buddha or the teacher or own true nature
the spirit of the universe
returning to the teaching
the truth of things as it is
the teaching of the universe
and returned to or take refuge in
the sanga
or the community
of all who are making the same effort to live in awakening
so these three treasures
of our tradition
we once again
a return to appreciate
the tremendous richness
of this tradition which has provided us
ah with this refuge
so we call them the three jewels are the three treasures
because they are treasures because they support our life they support our intention to live according to the deepest intention of our heart
to have someone with whom we can meet one on one face to face like a mirror
and meet ourselves in another
to have a teaching which encourages us
to fully express our life
in every activity of body speech and mind
with our whole heart
and have a community which supports and encourages us and helps us to go through the dragon gate again and again
and following the three refuges the next three precepts
our to
give up action that creates attachment
two or two ah
embrace the conduct of a buddha
the vow to do all that is good
so the first is to avoid action which creates harm and the second is to do action
which is helpful which is good which creates
good result
and the third is to vow to live to benefit all beings
recognizing that we are one with all beings
these are the three pure precepts
and then
we turned to the ten
specific precepts
where they're called the grave or heavy precepts
the precepts about those actions ah
we need to be very careful about those areas of life where human beings on observing and studying and attending to how we want to live together in the world
those aspects of life that need particular care

the grave precepts are generally speaking presented in statements of things to avoid
i vow not to kill
not to take what does not given
not misuse sexuality not to lie
not to intoxicate mind or body of self or others
not to slander
not to pray herself at the expense of others
not to be spiritually or materially avaricious are stingy
not the harbor ill will
not to abuse the three treasures are refuges are support in our life
and we have been throughout this practice period discussing one by one
each of these areas of our life and what it's actually like to observe ah
to observe our moment by moment daily life through the lens of one of these precepts one at a time
we've been trying to examine the precept and examine our life and find out on
what it means in our ordinary activity
maintain a constant awareness
of these are
hmm warning signs
these these be careful here science
and we've barely scratched the surface i don't know about you and your discussion group but we and our discussion group
i feel like we could we could examine these for a long time and indeed these precepts are in the air inside tradition which
the studies con studies
in a particular his studies
the buddhist teachings as a questions to sit with
on very very precise matter at the end of all of the traditional and stories that are used as pawns the precepts are studied as coins
and i think this is the way we really have to take the precepts each one what does it mean in my life
what does it mean in my life
what does it mean not to take what does not given
for me where does this come up from me in my daily activity
what does it mean not the harbor ill will
what do i discover about
what is like the harbor ill will if i'm paying attention
what can i how how can i
let go of it when i'm holding onto it
we can you know each one of these
can be the source of a lot of study and ah
questioning and it's most rich i think for us if we hold them in this way
just being aware
that these are areas of life
where are we often find self clinging leading us into actions that we later regret that we may regret this much just a moment later
and zucker of she says when you find yourself feeling regretful it just means you need to be more conscientious next time
need be a little more alert a little quicker to notice
just before instead of just after you said it or did it
oh this doesn't feel like what i want to do
so after after receiving the precepts
then we are ready to receive
of the buddha's and ancestors
this lineage which we receive
is the blood vein
the precepts are called the blood vein
of our lineage
the one great cause of the gate
the one great cause of the sandgate is to find out how to live our life

in harmony with our deepest intention the intention of our put a heart
the bhutto heart which is in each one of us how do we allow that good a heart
to express itself
the daily activity of this particular being

and this
blood vein
flows from all of the buddhism man sources from shakyamuni buddha through each one in our lineage
traces of hiroshi
through your particular teacher
through you
and back
two emptiness and to spend to shakyamuni buddha
your activity your life your practice
is the beating heart that keeps these precepts alive
that keeps this lineage alive
it keeps the practice of the bodhisattva way alive
each one of us
is the living
of this lineage
and this is the
this is the meaning of the lineage paper and this is the the form in which it's designed

so then after having received
put his name
robe precepts and linear
we all go celebrate
it has said that
all the buddhas in the ten directions in all the borderlands
and all the bodhisattvas
celebrate and rejoice
that these new bodhisattvas have taken these precepts
so this is the form of the ceremony
that we will be doing on

it has been for me on
as it always is wonderfully exciting
ah to so buddha's role
with all of the
new bodhisattvas who are preparing to receive precepts
you know
my teacher a jewish and son once said
every put his robe is the whole body of buddha
this was her conviction
this was her life was sewing buddha's rome
and every robe to her was the whole body of footer

and i think that each of us who have been sewing recognizes how much
our own robe
oh how much of of ourselves as in this rock sioux that we have sown
each one is made exactly the same and each one is completely different
each one
refuge and buddha in each stitch
and you can see the moments of which you were really concentrated and you can see the moments at which you
got carried away
you can see the moments at which you got excited i remember on
when she first came back from japan after having studied with joshing son
ginny baker was was sir
the tip teaching us how to sew and she said you see that rule there and it was a little bit little bit wavy and she said that row there was when and said was a very hot day in august and she said
time for bureau
that was so they had a beard
and she said that row wasn't very straighter you said
so you can see everything that happens while you're slowing you can see the times that you got impatient and the times you are concentrated
and it it's actually very helpful
it's another kind of mirror
no all of all of our practice with each other is is to see ourselves in a token she says to study the brutal way as to study the self
and every one is a mirror for us and every
every rock assume that we make is a miracle for us
almost every stitch we can see our state of mind as we took it
so the sewing of buddha's row
has become really i think of very helpful practice for us to study yourself
as well as a very intimate way to work together with one another
and sometimes great kindness and generosity comes out in the course of sewing and sometimes great impatience comes out in the course of soy
sometimes great anxiety comes on and the course of sewing
sometimes we see what a perfectionist we are want to take out every other stitch because it's not quite right we just get us and get to be more familiar with ourselves in the course of making this voters road
so this whole process of preparing for jew chi
is as important as the ceremony itself it's all swimming up the river
to enter the dragon gate

it's all developing intimacy with ourselves and with each other
and this work of developing intimacy with ourselves and with each other
is just beginning
this is how we really
develop and grow in this body sought but way
becoming more and more intimate with ourselves and with the help of one another
until we see ourself wherever we look
and i have to say that because i've been doing all this preparation this is as much preparation for talking as i've done
one but i will be glad to enter the discussion with you if you want to bring up some questions

sorry my rasp
took our watershed it's here
know what i like it

it's sort of like rejecting a bit of yourself isn't it

well gosh i mean undo it that's pretty pretty rejecting
i know
so i can see how put a would shed a tear if he would reject anything of yourself
you are completely a child of buddha and so
it would be very sad
if you reject any part of yourself
thank you

this is business

well if we see it as a rejection my projection is that it's a tear of sadness i would hope that none of us reject any part
of this being
which is buddha
but maybe that's just my project

no thanksgiving

he said

to take all the cards oh good

he said

thank you

the precepts are called a wake up the precepts are a statement of of waking up ah the precepts are a reminder to stay awake
i said what do you think i mean i think they're all of that
the precepts or maybe ah
also a way of saying what waking up is like

well you know i've i've been impressed by the similarity
ah between the specific precepts
and specific precepts that have come out of many other traditions
i've to me it speaks to the fact that wisdom is not
human wisdom is shared by many different
traditions in many different the
ah parts of the world
the precept not to kill ah
is in probably every religious tradition in the world and i think it comes from people who
want to attend to how they want to live their life ah
and they look as they look at the way human beings lived together they see
this is something
that i need to be careful about and this is something and this is something i mean if you look at these precepts and you look at precepts of other conditions you see a great deal of similarity
and i think that's not an accident i think this is just
one distillation of human wisdom
one way of stating in words
what is really beyond words and that is just our deep intention mom to live in peace and harmony

and i are you know as as suzuki she said
really the precepts are all about zazen about just sitting still in the middle of your life
and paying attention
and that the precepts grow out of
the one precept which is before words
which we sometimes try to talk about when we talk about
we talk and put it about buddha as the spirit of the universe or a we try to get some very very very very big image that includes everything
and this is no the one precept before words
so when we try to look for a word we take sort of the biggest word we can find
can the particular precepts just grow out of art out of our own
effort to live in the light
of that vast and an name bubble precept of
the complete interpenetration of everything with everything

i have read some of his writing yeah


i think that on

i think that is one way of talking about the essence of buddhism i think it's very hard to talk about the essence of buddhism it's not something that can be really really captured in words
you know i think the essence of buddhism is just
returning to silence
returning to

our inmost request as a hiroshi is to talk about it
how do we want to live
and that does require
dropping self clinging
which i think is another way of talking about the great bear

i think you could use the similarly of the dragon gate to talk about to to refer to the great death as well i'm using it in a little different way here amusing it here
as the moment of vow or refuge to follow this path
to ah to choose this path as a way
of living our life
and to explore it
ha fully and deeply
you said
not all

well there's
i don't know you know we we talk about no merit in this tradition right so on
i don't want to fall into that trap as
but of
i think it ah
oh what oh what we come guns fan as we practice is that all actions of bodies feature mine have consequences
and ah
so part a part of of the
taking care
in these areas that the precepts point out to us as as
areas where were the horror more can occur or were bad results can occur
is that we don't perhaps calls herself a lot of unfortunate results
but i i i hesitate to
get into the area of accumulating merit you know in in this in service when we chant a sutra you know that used to be thought that you can accumulate great merit by chanting sutras so we're very careful in our services as you know since you're co-ceo very often just in case we accumulated some merit
from channing the sutra we give it away with the echo
so we're not trying to gain anything by following the precepts are we were just trying to live more closely how we want to live
on without gaining idea but more just to feel more whole to feel more connected with everything because because her
since we're already buddha
we want to live like buddha

i feel you know we've come to the end of the tape maybe that's good enough
the or