June 7th, 2003, Serial No. 01107

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good morning everyone
can you all here is loud enough okay it's want to look around and see us here
thank you all for coming i'm very pleased that there's so many faces here that i don't know because i wanted to talk this morning by taught this morning will be particularly directed towards people who are new
and some people are not only new to zen center but relatively new to the world and this is the first saturday of the month as you probably know but what that means is that it there's the children's program so the first on the first few minutes of this talk will be devoted to for kids at
you you you and our friend who left
you know a friend of mine just got a puppy and i would i was visiting yesterday and the puppy is about oh couple of months old and
she's not much bigger than this but you reminded me a lot of that little girl who is to serve jumping around looking to adorable
so anyhow i wanted to tell you guys a story if that's okay
you know most of what we do here is tell each other stories so this one is this one is a story and this is a true story because it's what happened to me okay and this was there
and this one was a long time ago okay this one was a really long time ago when i lived in a different place and one day i was coming home and i couldn't i can't remember whether it was coming home from work or from school that i was really in a bad mood i don't know if i was sad or if i was angry are i don't know what it was close really recently in a bad mood and i got
the bus and i couldn't decide how to get out of my bad mood so i decided well i can't think of anything to do so maybe i'll just walk down a different street cause you know when you go home you usually go the same way all the time so i decided to walk down a different street going home and the street where i lived in the part of town where i lived there were lots of trees
like really big giant trees you know as tall as the buildings taller than giants and it was a nice it was nice thing about this place that they were lot of trees but anyhow is walking down the street and all of a sudden that happen to look up and which we don't do enough by the way because if you look up you'll see things that you might not normally see and one of the trees this is
true was completely covered with tennis shoes
it's true some of the branches had like a tennis shoe tight with some of the branches head like tennis shoes tied together dangling tennis shoes the whole thing was covered with tennis shoes and it made me so happy you know it was such a surprise i just laughed and laughed and laughed and i completely forgot about why was in a bad mood
so i kept going by this tree you know every time i would walk that way and one day there was a man out front near the tree he was he know doing his garden whatever and i asked him about i said so what's with the tennis shoe tree and he said well the kids in the neighborhood whenever they get a new pair of shoes they take their old ones and they tie them to
the tennis shoe tree and they've been doing it for years and years and years now i had lived like just a block away for quite a long time it had never taken the taken the turn around the block to see the tennis shoe tree and so it was a wonderful surprise and it completely got me out of my bad mood so you know what
kind of reminds me if i remember which i don't very often is that there's often really cool things that if we look up aren't we go around the block are we just look at things slightly differently that will help us get out of bad moods
and you know there are tennis shoe trees all over the world
it's a good thing to look for them
and that's all i have to say to you guys today so thank you for being here

k now for the rest of you

so as some of you know oh first of all can i see like a show of hands please who's here for the first time
oh good good good good who did doesn't and who heads as an instruction today
okay create good good you know this is called beginner's mind temple so you guys are especially welcome
as always
so the the theme of this practice period that's being led by michael is way seeking mind and most of the people who have been giving lectures for the practice period have been given what we call way seeking mine talks which is what encouraged them to come to practice here and
being somewhat perverse i'm not going to do that sorry
i told michael i wasn't so he'd forgive me but i would like to talk about way seeking mind in the sense that you know what is what is this mind seeking what is the way that this mind is seeking and that perhaps i think is more important than my story
you know
we offer our stories to each other as encouragement and his gifts and the these this is a very important thing that we do and it's a very it's a loving and
wonderful thing we do but actually i've heard many stories over many years and one of the things said touches me about them is how similar we all are you know you know just as we sort of are similar physically more so than not i mean we all have this sort of same organs generally speaking and you know we all
need to eat and we all need to sleep and things like that so we're much more similar than we are different and our stories are the same you know
you know leave out such minor variations as gender ethnicity country you know generation and pretty much what we experience
is the same and so so the mind is seeking away and what the mind is seeking the way the mind is seeking is the way out of suffering the way to live at ease with itself to feel comfortable with itself to feel comfortable in the world
so the real answer to who i am or who you are is perhaps not so much in the details of where i grew up for what my luck lousy childhood was like
but i presume everybody had a lousy childhood right
in all the years that i've done here i've met exactly one person who told me she came here because her life was going well you know
she didn't stay long
that i read 'em i read recently a quote from a tibetan teacher who said that to understand one phenomena is to understand all phenomenon so as we understand ourselves we understand each
each other you know and you know this is a this is a corollary of the teaching of emptiness which i may have some time to get to in a little bit okay so what i would like to talk about today is that since we all have the same needs and we all have
we're on the all more similar than dissimilar what i'd like to talk about his practice the essentials of practice so we've all come here presumably with some now let's back up a little bit i think that most of your particularly the particularly those of you who are new today are somewhat new over the past few
months or year or so probably don't really know why you're here you may have come today for the first time because you know your boyfriend or your girlfriend drag you are because you read a book or because you've been walking by the building and that wondered what was going on are you know any of those things
and whatever those things are are probably true but i think really the reason that we're all here whether we are here for a long time or a short time beginning our old timers so to speak on is because we've had some glimpse of possibility some oh
moment of insider some moment of grace about how our lives could be some understanding of how lot not a can understanding some some vision however briefly seeing or however fleeting of one our lives could be like
you know if they were transformed in ways that
we don't even really know how they could be but for today since you are here and you may never come back or you may not come back after for a long long time or you may find some other path that suits you better but today you're here at zen center
and we're going to talk about buddhism we're going to talk about soto zen particularly that you know what i have to say about soto's and about this practice is actually
the essentials for this practice a pretty much the essentials for any spiritual practice
because they're only a few things that worked for human beings you know and they work all across the broad spectrum now this is not to ignore differences in the basic differences between spiritual paths because there are and different is different and mixing and matching
is perhaps not the best idea but on a broad on a broad way of speaking in a broad spectrum
just as we are similar so the ways of the spiritual development or similar so the first thing the first essential the first thing you need is suffering so got suffering yeah okay
now suffering is actually not enough we need to be aware of our suffering and this sounds like pretty easy right you know like if you step on a nail or something or somebody punches you in the nose or you know if your canary dies you're aware of suffering but not always you know i remember when i was at a horrid our monastery was taught
into somebody and we were in a situation that was uncomfortable and easily remedied i don't know maybe we were in a cold room with the window open or something and i said to this fellow i said why don't you close the window and he said oh i guess i'm so used to suffering that i don't notice that i can do anything about it
so you know it's just having suffering is not enough
but if you are aware of yourself renounced that's a pretty good thing that's the first step because our in cop tire culture mitigates against awareness of suffering you know we are constantly being fed dines against suffering
knowing that you are suffering is not good for the market economy
it's true
no the downside of this of knowing you're suffering of course is that it gets worse you know there's a there's a there's a metaphor and buddhism that to the are unaware weekend
suffering is like an eyelash on the palm of your hand you may feel it but it doesn't hurt so much to the awakened suffering is like an eyelash caught your eye it hurts a lot more so you know we have to have some willingness to wake up to our own suffering and to accept our own suffering as suffering and your the buddha
said i i teach suffering and i teach the end of suffering and that was basically what he said and in his in his own words
he said or something like his own words we presume
what is the truth of suffering birth is suffering aging is suffering sickness suffering death is suffering sorrow and lamentation pain grief and despair are suffering associated with the loathed is suffering dissociation from the love to suffering
not to get what one wants his suffering i will hear improve upon the buddha and saying getting what's one wants his suffering
in short check it out in short
the five aggregates affected by clinging are suffering okay so we do have suffering and it's not enough to be have suffering and it's not enough even to be aware of suffering what we need to understand is how we participate in the creation of our own suffering okay this is really important because if we do not understand
and how we participate in the creation of or own suffering there's no way out we remain you know passive victims of a malevolent universe okay so we have to understand that we have some i was going to see responsibility which is a good word but another word
ah well maybe responsibility is good that we do helped to create our own suffering we're not entirely passive victims i mean obviously there are some things that we can't do about most of most of our suffering i think has at least a component of our own ignorance our our own willfulness involved and once again the
buddha in the second noble truth
said what is the noble truth of the origin of suffering
okay it is craving which renews being and is accompanied by relish and lust
relishing this and that and other words craving for sensual desires craving for being craving for non-being and whereupon does is craving arise and flourish wherever there is that which seems lovable and gratifying thereupon it arises in flourishes so the actual word that the booty use taha for create
means thirst so imagine like working outside on a really really hot day and that that tremendous thirst you have so like this thirst we go grabbing for things things that will quench our thirst thinks that will satisfy is thinkable if only i had x y and z i would be happy you know if only i could fill
ill in the crossword puzzle of my life it would stay that way and all the answers would be that way and so we keep you know if it's not this thing it's next thing it's a person it's a place it's a thing it's an object it's a whatever you know so once we realized that we are are suffering is driven by our cravings you know
we have some
ability to effect that through practice
so suffering i think is the first essential and realizing are suffering and realizing that we have some
part in our suffering is one of the essentials of practice another essential of practice is called his car his faith okay so faith has a pretty red wrap with a lot of people ah faith means believing something that you don't want to believe believing something that they told you in sunday school
faith means you know
having to
put up with all the things you were told as a child that you couldn't relate to blah blah blah but i don't think that that's what faith is really are doesn't have to be what faith is so the questions of course our what should we have faith in what is faith and how can we get it
so i'd like once again to quote the buddha on the subject of faith
so this is a m this is a teaching that he gave he was he was you know the buddha was an itinerant pure preacher he sort of wandered around india for forty plus years after his enlightenment speaking to whom ever wanted to listen and he was going through a town that was populated by the coat kalama kalama clan
and this was a town i guess in india there is tremendous on a spiritual are ferment at the time so there were lots of teachers coming and going and they all had their various practices and things like that
so the so the buddha came to this town and the columbia's wanted to know well they said lord some aesthetics and brahmins come here they expound and explain their own views but they cast aspersion on despise treat with contempt and impair the views of others we have doubt and uncertainty
about them who indeed among these venerable aesthetics speak the truth and who speak falsehood
so another was what can we believe what can we have faith and how how do we determine the buddha said como columbia's don't accept anything from mere hearsay or from what you have been told are because it has mentioned in sacred teachings or because of logic merely or because of its method or in consideration of plausible reasons
ing or by tolerating views based on speculation or because of its appearance of possibility or because the teacher is venerable but when you realized by yourselves that some views or unwholesome faulty censured by the wise and that they have they lead to harm and misery when practiced and observed then you should reject them
so you know the buddhist talking about the buddha here is speaking about the
what we have faith in is that which we can prove in our own lives that you know if somebody says something to me i will take it and i will look at it and i can try it in my own life you know
so the face the basic face of buddhism then is that the world is to some extent rational in that cause and effect apply right that if we do something there will be an effect and that we do have if not control at least a pro
practice is possible so what that means is we're not once again hapless victims of a malevolent universe we have some power we have some responsibility you know if we can mess up our lives then the possibility exists that we can improve the kuala
the of our lives as well that our actions matter that there is cause and effect consequences the teaching of karma karma by the way means volitional activity okay so
things that we do out of you know out of volition
and so why and howland the this this problem of face still continues on sharon salzberg the buddhist teacher who teaches at spirit rock recently wrote a book on faith
in buddhist
teachings i'd like to read a little bit from what she is said the buddha ones told this story about faith a herd of cows arrives at the bank of a wide stream the mature one see the stream and simply wait across it the buddha liking them to fully enlightened beings who have crossed the stream of ignorance and suffering the younger cause less mature in their wisdom
stumble apprehensively around the shore but eventually they go forward and cross the stream last come the cavs trembling with fear some just learning how to stand but these vulnerable tender calves also get to the other side the buddha said they crossed the stream simply by following the lowering of their mothers voices the cavs trust their mothers
and anticipating the safety of reunion follow their voices and crossed the stream that the buddhist service the power of faith so in other words we can have faith not only in the teaching ended our own experience but if we look at other people who are following the teaching and we like what we see in them than we can have
some faith you know if you see somebody who has a pretty good life and here she is happy and available to others and seems to be free from the most egregious forms of selfishness and suffering and they say you know i this is from my practice then maybe you can have faith in them
salzburg continues in buddhism the process of examining in a critical and discriminating way the teacher or teaching that awakened fate is called verifying faith this is a crucial process of verifying are validating through our own experience what we previously have only heard or seen outside of ourselves the buddha like in this process
of investigation to the method for analyzing gold in this way we learn to trust our own experience of the truth rather than an abstract tradition or authority and further for faith to be alive and to deepen we need to use our power to enquire to wander to explore truth intensely for ourselves this requires us to appeal
coach the practice with an inquisitive eager self confident capacity to program question it requires us to examine what are we place our faith and why to see if it makes us more aware and loving people to develop a verified faith we need to be open to the messiness the discordance the ambivalence and above all the vital force of questioning
if we don't have faith can wither if we don't our faith will always remain in the hands of someone else as something we can borrow or of jour but not as something we can claim fully as our own so you know both the buddha in sharon salzberg a buddhist teacher tell us how deeply important it is
is for us not to take anything on base but rather to have faith in our own experience and in our own you see it's it's practices a little bit like it has the same
it has the same sort of burden of proof on it that a scientific hypothesis does a scientific hypothesis i believe needs not only to explain the phenomena but to have a predictive power and to be repeatable so this is what practices and if it's not it's not practice okay are
faith and is that practice the way leading liberation is teachable learnable practices bull and practical and you can check this out for yourself k
the other the other means for having faith is noticing that
and i'll talk a little bit more about this later is now
through the consistency intellectually of the structure of the teaching and how it relates to my own experience
you know what i was very young i remember standing outside by the house where i lived and looking at it from the lawn and realizing this isn't a house we just call this a house you know it's boards and bricks and glass and nails and they all come from someplace else are we just put it together and call at our house and it was quite an amazing thing for a young child to term
realize and of course i couldn't go anywhere with that because they didn't have the intellectual equipment but years later when i started reading buddhism and the careful deconstruction of the self and of objects as having intrinsics existence it was like whoa you know that's what they're talking about and as i read as i read buddhism more and more i
what do you call it a shock of recognition this is how i experienced the world and nobody's been talking about it in any way to me until i read or heard this
you know the other thing i remember i'm somewhat later when i was i don't know in my early twenties bicycling to work and there was a tree that i always loved i was the deciduous tree of some sort i lived in the midwest and i would pass it almost every day and it was beautiful in the spring because it was just come in to and was beautiful in the summer and it was beautiful in the fall with all the
colors and he was even beautiful in the winter with it's sort of sculptural purity and i remember i saw i always looked for it every day this is a little moment of pleasure on my ride to work and i remember writing past one day on my bike and having a sudden realization that my observation of the to
three was as much a part of the total reality of the tree as it's leafs are it's roots are its branches and this of course is the teaching of the interconnectedness of all dharmas of all phenomena so you know i had these little these little insights which are later confirmed
through my my reading a buddhism so this is what i mean by certain intellectual consistency or an intellectual feeding k so we another way we acquire faith is by becoming faithful if we are faith men and women of good faith we acquire faith if we show up when we say we're going to do
what we say we're going to if we are faithful in our affairs with others and tell the truth we become men and women of faith
so that segways neatly into another essential for practice which is ethical behavior
so ethical behavior in buddhism that ethics or morality of buddhism is not really about good or bad it's about training training the mind and training the entire person
it's about calming the mind and commun our lives and having a relatively calm life so that we can proceed on the path
you know if you've got your hand and the til at work a lot it's hard to feel calm and your life you know you worried whether the boss is going to catch whatever if you're cheating on your spouse you know you're not going to feel real com if you told so many lies to so many people and have so many different identities that you can't figure out who you told what to
this is not this does not make for calmness and concentration in your meditation
it's true
so the formulation of
the basic ethical principles that we that we talk about in this school isn't the the so-called grave precepts i'll read them without going into them greatly i vow not to kill i vow not to take what does not given i vow not to misuse sexuality i vowed to refrain from false speech i vow to refrain from intoxicants i vow
not to slander i vow not to praise self at the expense of others i vow not to be avaricious i found out to harbor ill will and i vow not to abuse the three treasures know what's interesting about this formulation to me is that
although they're written and spoken his statements are actually questions when i say i vow not to kill what does that mean i mean obviously it means that i'm not going to take a gun and blow your head off on what does it mean about eating meat but has been about swatting flies were
green leather shoes abortion the just war you know and these are formulated i believe as questions because as we question our behavior of body speech and mind with these as the basic guidelines you know we become more informed and reformed you know
if all of my behavior is sort of
i have to question it constantly and i don't mean obsessive i mean but just you know asking myself what am i doing constantly then little by little my behavior is going to be informed and reformed by the precepts
so the other reason for having some sort of ethical behavior is to promote on the practice of meditation meditation is often spoken of as comprising both concentration and insight and concentration
implies that the mind is calm enough and your life as com and up to you can actually sit down for awhile and pay attention to what's going on you know as i said you know if you're constantly in a turmoil if you've created great chaos and your life that's not gonna happen
so the next essential of practice and these by the way we not any particular order his meditation zazen the word then some of you know i'm sure means meditation it's a japanese transliteration of the chinese transliteration of the sanskrit word it means basically meditation so it's our basic tool of practice
us and of course
it's also not a tool it's also the goal dogan century who founded this particular school of on and in japan and the thirteenth century talks about practice realization as one thing in other words we practice out of our realization on of our in age of enlightenment
so we can see you know it's like one of those weird pictures you know is it a vase or is a to proof profiles you know it's both a tool and and not a tool it's both the path and the result is on his meditation dogan and she talks about calls it the dharma gate of repose in bliss
suzuki roshi who found in send center
has this to say about then and i think it's spirit i think it's very pertinent for people who are here
for the first time then is not something to get excited about
some people start to practice than just out of curiosity and they only make themselves busier if your practice makes you worse it is ridiculous i think that if you try to do us and once a week that will make you busy enough do not be too interested in san
okay just continue in your com ordinary practice in your character will be built up if your mind is always busy there will be no time to build and you will not be successful particularly if you work too hard on it building characters like making bread you have to mix it little by little step by step and moderate temperatures needed you know yourself quite well and you know how much temperature
you need you know exactly what you need but if you get too excited you will forget how much temperature is good for you and you will lose your way this is very dangerous or an exciting way of practice may appear to be very negative that is not so it is a wise and effective pair way to work on ourselves it is just very plain i phone
this point very difficult for people especially young people to understand
on the other hand may seem as if i'm speaking about gradual attainment this is not so either in fact this is the sudden way because when your practice is common ordinary everyday life itself as enlightenment so
you know when we have arranged our lives so that we can sit zazen said meditation and let me back up a little bit okay sauce for you beginners suzuki roshi is right don't get too busy don't make it just you know don't make thousand and another possession when i talked to people who are trying to start a practice most of them
have very busy lives and so what i suggest is if you decide you want to try and practices and if you say to yourself i will sit fifteen minutes three days a week for two weeks and see what happens that's a good way to start you know it's consistent it's doable
and it's time limited so this is a good way to start you know just to start a little bit at a time and if you can it's also good to practice with people maybe once a week so if you can sit by yourself for fifteen minutes three times a week it's also good to do that at the same time everyday like fifteen minutes before i go to work for
two minutes when i come home from work
three times a week for two or three weeks and then at the end of that you can decide whether that's what you want to do
okay so i could say a lot more about meditation but i won't
cause perennial ten okay so other essential is study
faith is not enough we need to have some intellectual background is to understand how it works you know i've read from several things that the buddha said that other teachers have said so we and we inform ourselves we increase our faith in practice by understanding how it works you know you may be able to drive a car but it's real
really important
to know how it works you feel so much more comfortable if you know how the car works right
my friend kate is going to
automotive class she knows that so you know it gives you some it gives you some sense of knowing what's going on and been able to take charge so if i understand the teaching and the better i understand the teaching the more available it is to me so this is a very important thing to to study and it's useful to study with somebody who knows what's going
and one of the things that
a study gives this is that it helps us in right right view you know let's say i mean just read a little tiny bit

views condition action they lie behind our goals and choices and our efforts to turn these goals from ideas into actuality the actions themselves might determine consequences but the actions along with their consequences hinge on the views from which they spring if we
it you believe us toward courses of action that eventually in suffering on the other hand if we develop a right few that few will steer us toward right action and thereby towards freedom from suffering though our conceptual orientation towards the world might seem innocuous and inconsequential when looked at closely reveals itself to be the decisive determinants
of our whole course of future development okay so we become as we as we teach as we teach ourselves as we learn more about on the teaching we can develop right few we can have little by little we learn how to
experience the world than are different way we learn a different language to describe ourselves to ourselves others to ourselves on the world to ourselves our relationship to others into the world to ourselves and
other essentials of practice are on
a teacher you know a teacher or a good spiritual friend to call ya know mitra
is not necessarily somebody to whom you turn yourself over but if somebody with whom you examine your life in the lotus sutra and important buddhist text says only a buddha together with the buddha can fathom the reality of all existence so it takes a buddha in nevada it takes you and me because we can't really see it
see ourselves very clearly you know
and we have to have another person or persons in our lives to whom we give permission to speak to us honestly without
without trying to to save our feelings somebody who we are willing to have no us and to be known by and somebody who knows and has practice perhaps longer than we have and who knows more about the path and we do you know if you want to learn to play the violin and you go to a violin teacher you won't learn to speak
banish you know she gonna go to learn how to go to work on computers you go to a geek you know so we need dharma geeks okay
and then sanga in a sanga means community originally it meant in buddhist teaching the community of monks and nuns who are supported by the lay community and this was to engender merit for further for the people who supported them over time the lay community came to be include
did in the understanding of sanga which means gathering a group
and you know sanga community is a basic human need it's a basic human need that is not only ignored by our culture but as actively destroy by our culture once again it's not good for market economy
if you're alone and afraid you tend to buy more
i'm not kidding
so i've been practicing in this particular sanga for almost twenty six years it'll be twenty six years this month i was very young when i came
i was abandoned in a basket on the steps or
and some days i walk into the building and i think what have i done you know to a minute to to to be worthy of being able to practice in this wonderful community and some days i work i walk in and i think how did i find myself in the midst of this miserable bunch of losers
and they're both true right okay you know depends on the way i look at it but you know community is essential we we need to be embedded in a community or were just were lost and alone and you know in buddhism we talk about the three treasures the three refuges which are buddha dharma which is the teaching and sanga and
and you know what it doesn't go buddha dharma sangha right because buddha dharma sangha okay all the same or at least all of equal value all needing to be in place at once and the the greatest perhaps
we take refuge in saga and the the most to me moving symbol of this taking refuge of sanga is what we call the bodhisattva vow the bodhisattva vow is the vow that one takes not to achieve full liberation for him or herself until all beans are liberated
and in buddhist mythology you know this means you know being willing to be reborn a gazillion gazillion gazillion times in all the realms of hell and and all the various places of existence but you know i think that the idea of literal rebirth is not important some people believe in it some people don't what is important for the i
idea of taking refuge and saga and the bodhisattva vow is that we are willing that it be so
we are willing to should the bodhisattva vow be real and should it mean that i am to be will be reborn many many many countless times for the benefit of others to be a service that i am willing for that and that's what counts it doesn't matter whether it's true or not the willingness is what counts
ah the willingness to be with and not abandoned
i'm almost done another essential of practice he didn't know there's so many did you
is stability i believe stability in a place in into practice on dogan zingy says in the practice enlightenment of the buddha way meeting one thing is mastering a doing one practice is practicing completely this ability to stay with one practice is gives us gravitas seriousness roots
it's and it's important i think it the beginning of a spiritual practice to look around and decide what's right for you but it's some time you have to abandon the spiritual cafeteria it doesn't work you know a little bit of this and of the sufi stuff looks good over there and liberal christianity and i've been to quaker meeting for a while and
you know it doesn't work essentially because it makes you it makes us dilettantes of spirituality you know if you really want to practice the way practice at wholeheartedly and give yourself to it
this is the dharma according to jeffrey you may disagree and the so this this this this settling into one practice has also akin to to the bow and you know there are the vow is to to stay with something okay it's like the booty stuff above their humbler by
as as well you know here we follow a schedule and we take on the schedule as a sort of bow and when we take on something like a schedule or like a bow it means that we are practicing beyond or particular personality beyond our preferences you know and beyond our own psychology we are practicing with
and for and in the midst of something that is greater than all of that you know it is a it's a power higher than our own preferences and you know you can take on valves for a very short time you can take on valves for a week you know i talked about by sitting thousand and fifteen minutes three days a week you can do
ooh that for week and that's about you know
kind like giving up candy for lent
you know the the vow is essentially a decision and the the etymology of that were decision is to cut away so we cut away everything that are extraneous we cut away everything that doesn't work and we focus on what is important
okay so to recap the things that i've suggested as a essentials for practice are suffering understanding that we have suffering understanding our complicity in our own suffering faith
ethical practice meditation study a teacher stability in the vow and perhaps the most important is patience patience with ourselves patients with our progress patients with our lack of progress and i think it was g k chesterton the english author who
he said somebody has always been tremendously encouraging to me he said anything worth doing is worth doing poorly
and i think that that's important i think that that's very important
there's a there's a
and we also have and patients is also forgiveness you know we can forgive ourselves for our shortcomings we can forgive our friends and hopefully our enemies for their shortcomings the diamond sutra says the patient acceptance of those dharmas which fails to be produced which is all of them
and the the other important thing i think to have forgiveness for and patients with is the way things are you know i read it i read it i read a book once a novel and then there's an old lady who's dying has been severely handicapped her old look her whole life and she's making her final confession to a priest and she says
oh father there's one more thing and he says yes he says she says i want to be able to forgive god for making me the way i am so you know we don't talk about god and buddhism and certainly not in zen but to forgive things for being the way they are to have patience with things as they are
you know suzuki roshi talks about things as it is and to have patience and forgiveness for things as it is is pretty important
and when we do that we see that things as it is is are transient empty and inherently liberated
so that's kind of my spiel on practice today i want to thank you all very much for coming you know it's
it's tremendously important for me and for anybody i think who practices to be able to share their practice but with others and
to to be able to speak this way
for me because it encourages me and my own practice
i just have one little housekeeping kind of thing i'm you know after this we have tea and and sort of informal discussion in the back of the dining room and that usually goes till twelve sadly enough i had to go to a funeral today and i need to leave somewhat early so i'll be there for a while but if you did want to come and like hang out for a little bit
we should probably do it sooner rather than later so but then i thank you all very much for coming if i have said anything that is of use to you please accept it is my loving gift and five said anything that has confused upset are irritated you
which is not impossible
please forgive me and come back and listen to somebody else thank you