May 11th, 1996, Serial No. 02704

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like that too
ah today's the truth of the vectors words good morning
today is a one day sitting
beginning practice period
which will are and on june fifteenth with a ceremony or ritual of receiving the precepts for a number of people to coyotes com
when we begin a ceremony of receiving precepts
we say in faith that we are buddha we enter buddha's way
so that receiving the precepts is ah
a ritual of
i'm saying now i am entering put his way but of course were always entering put us way
the way is wherever you put your foot
since we are buddha
the way we live our life
is buddha's life
when we can open our heart and pay attention to how we're living our life
and coming to sit zazen
for most of us comes from some
impulse to pay more careful attention to how am i living buddhas life
buddha is just you know put a means awake
and we use the word buddha
and we may think of something outside ourselves or someone who lived twenty five hundred years ago
but really it's how we live our life that were attending to when we enter buddhist way
it's just our human life and how to bring it into ah harmony and accord with
the deepest intention of our heart
ah i ran across a quotation from the talmud
recently ah
that says something like your heart will give you
better council than all the world scholars

and i think that
this is this is not
an understanding which is limited to any particular
religion this is the source of religion in human life
listening to the heart
finding a way to become more settled
more awake
the council of our heart
the ceremony that we
ah do has has a number of aspects
it begins with
actually was purification of the space
and then purification of the mind and then purification of the body and then were open and ready to receive
the precepts to take refuge in buddha dharma sangha and receive the precepts
and this purification of mind is ah
called repentance
we begin with a
a group repentance repent means to on
expressed some regret for actions of body speech your mind or to confess actions of bodies feature mind
really in in in our repentance you say i fully a vow all actions of body speech mind i
i take full responsibility for all actions of body speech and mind i acknowledge
all of who i am
everything that's here i acknowledge and embrace
but in repentance
we also say sometimes there is some regret
for some action of body speech remind which
seems to have been out of harmony
which has caused which may have caused pain or harm
and suzuki roshi said once i if you feel some regret
for an action
it just means you should be more conscientious next time or perhaps it means you should be more conscious next time
to use what may be a trivial example i have some regret today that i forgot to bring my bow and cloth because when i received this book as robe
and received the bow and cloth i vowed to use it
to protect put as road
and when i arrived here i didn't have it
so then i had this little balancing act to do do i wait until my she goes upstairs to get it and make you i'll just sort of sit here while i stand there
what do i proceed and bow without it and express some regret and try to be more conscious next time and remember to bring it

there are many actions large and small
that come up for us
and each one can remind us just to bring our attention more closely to where we are
moment after moment because when our attention is right here
as we acting then we can act according to
our hearts intent
then we can feel and taste is this action appropriate is it responsive to what is needed from me right now
but if my mind is caught somewhere
thinking about the past planning for the future wondering how i look wondering what people will think of me i can't really be attentive to this action of this moment and know that it really includes everything and is in harmony with

whenever i think of repentance
i can't help but turn to a career roche's chapter on entering buddha's way
he has expressed i i recommend to you to any of you who are interested in this whole practice period and our study of entering put his way our study and preparation for chi
i recommend that you read and re-read cutting your hiroshi is
chapter on entering put his way because it's it's not something that can be digested in a moment
but it is very deep and and inspires me
over and over again
so i want to just share a few a bit of it i have been chastised by my friends for calling too much on those teachers who have deeply inspired me and not speaking enough of my own
bringing up enough from my own upon
experience but this is something that that i deeply love
there is a ritual and zen buddhism for entering the boot way
it consists of making formless repentance of taking refuge in the triple treasure and vowing to practice the three collective pure precepts and the ten prohibitory precepts
this ritual is based on the idea of repentance
which means in buddhism perfect openness of heart
if we open ourselves completely consciously or unconsciously we are ready to listen to the voiceless voice of the universe
repentance means and buddhism perfect openness of heart
if we open ourselves completely consciously or unconsciously we are ready to listen to the voiceless voice of the universe

this is
the voice of the universe category roshi refers to as buddha
he says
the spirit of the universe is buddha the teaching of the universe is dharma
and the harmony of the universe is sanga when he speaks for the three treasures
so opening ourselves completely
this repentance well that means that zazen itself
our upright sitting meditation is itself repentance because zazen is completely about opening oneself
to the voice of the universe
that right here where we are
if we sit still
and pay attention and listen
the voice of the universe is right here
in our own body
this morning in morning service we chatted for and a dog and cengiz teaching on sitting meditation
and he says it has never apart from you right where you are
it is in this trust and confidence that we sit
upright in sasson

and this itself
according to done according to cut hiroshi
his repentance
he says also

repent in buddhism repentance does not mean to apologize to someone for an error or mistake
already this is setting up a dualism if you apologize if you think you're apologizing to someone outside yourself
this is setting up some separation between self and something outside
we were actually we're expressing regret to ourself
i want to be more open
i want to be more compassionate i want to be more loving i want to be in greater harmony
with everything around me
not i should be or someone else's asking me to be but just because of my own heart from my own heart
this is how i want to live i want to live in peace and harmony with all being
because i'm not separate from all being

for this repentance is not looking outside ourselves it's feeling some regret that
we can feel in our body oh this doesn't feel
something feels a little off i want to
i want to settle myself more in my actual life and in
in and breathing out with everyone that i shared this life with or with all of the other
aspects of this life that i see around me
and he says

i have to find it
he says
what is meant by readily accepting buddha's compassion
it means we must actualized buddhist compassion in our everyday lives we have to live our lives in the complete realization that we are already forgiven
we are already allowed to live and that we ourselves must make our lives come alive
we are already for uses we are already embraced
and in a book which i received my birthday party last night called the music of silence
brother david stangl rest is is speaking of the a monastic life and the hours of the day
and the service that's done at the different seasons of the day in a monastery
a speaking of the season called known which is about forgiveness
forgive us as we forgive we ask
jesus says those to whom you forgive their offenses those offences will be forgiven those to whom you forgive their offenses those offences will be forgiven when you forgive god for use in fact
brother david says god has forgiven before always
god has forgiven before always
we are invited to let god's forgiveness flow through us into the world

category roshi says repentance means to recognize
that we are already forgiven
it is just the act of
noticing attending to
our regret for actions which caused difficulty which cause disharmony
just that
itself means that we're already forgiven this is the to cultivate compassion for ourselves and for others

so in our zazen
again and again we come back to really attending to
this heart from which we receive
the truest council
really becoming open to our own heart
and it's connection with everything
again and again with breath we return to right here

again and again becoming aware of the connection
of right here to everything
that breathing in and breathing out
we begin to become personally aware right here in our own experience
of the total interconnectedness and interdependence
of whatever we may think of as inside and outside
and the separation that we make our mind between inside and outside
less real and more clearly just just an idea that we have
and our connection with everything
becomes more palpable
more direct our direct experience

in that openness
had comes as we attend carefully to breath
we can begin to hear
the voiceless voice of the universe
speaking through our own heart
when our heart is open
when our heart is open it has opened to the whole universe and the whole universe can be heard right here in our heart
this is our practice of repentance
to be
each time we feel some regret to return to becoming more open
oh i see
i was not attending to this aspect of who i am
to this aspect of this being

in in my own life this vowel
we the verse we say in this sort of ritual repentance that we do at the beginning of the ceremonies as all my ancient twisted karma that as
all of the actions
that i are all of the the accumulations of actions that done
that i am
from beginning this greed hate and delusion
born through body speech and mind i now fully of our
in the midst of
greed hate and delusion
which are continually arising in our life in the midst of it
we're completely embrace all of our actions of body speech and mind
yes this is who i am
in my own life recently i've been talking some about
some of the actions of body speech in mind that a cut me off from myself
when i was young
and it's been very hard for me to really truly embrace what at that time
i abandoned
because i thought it was not what others wanted from me
so i gone on with my life but i've always had this sort of
of separation in myself
essential aspect of who i am
not not being willing to be holy
just this one as it is
and recently i have
had the joyful experience of finally being able to embrace that which i discarded
on i was about four i think
it seems so simple but it took me seventy years to do
and i thought you know we had a birthday party here last night and lou gave me a card that had a quotation from helen hayes saying the most difficult years in life are those between ten and seventy
good the rest this is all gravy now
this is all just a free gift i don't have to worry about anything anymore
but you know oh what was so wonderful about that was it was just a reminder that i had that same realization it's all a gift
after i recovered from my heart attacks i thought gee this is all gift from here on you know it's all free and at that moment i said well it's always been like that from the very beginning this life has been a gift this life has been just free gratis given to me
me to experience
but we don't appreciate it you know
something has to come up to just call our attention to the fact that every breath is a gift
every moment is a gift
from the very beginning
and all we have to do is really be awake for it and appreciate it
and enjoy it
and instead very feeling of gratefulness for the gift of this experience of life the generate joy
brother david said in his book go gratefulness the heart of prayer we may notice that those who are grateful
are joyful
and we may think that they're grateful because they're joyful but that's not true they are joyful because they're grateful
and i find that to be true when i remember that this life is a gift
and can really appreciate it as a gift and be grateful for it then i find great joy flows from there
everything ah is everything is kind of refreshed by that recollection remembrance
so i i commend to you remembering from time to time
that it's all a gift
this whole life
this possibility to experience
ourselves and each other and each breath
and each each moment of experience each moment of aliveness is totally a gift
when we don't take it for granted we can really enjoy it and appreciate it much more
even the possibility of feeling our alienation
when we're feeling alienated
gives us the possibility of finding our connection

so this repentance
this ah
deciding again and again to be more alert more aware more conscientious
so that we don't miss this opportunity that we've been given so that we don't
miss this life
so that we don't go
just let it go by waiting for it to have
this is repentance this is on the verse of the han which says
carefully says great is the matter of birth and death impermanent quickly passing awake awake each one don't waste this life
this life is a gift
to enjoy
to appreciate that
to open our heart to
this vs on the hon because the hon calls us to the zendo to sit
the hon reminds us
to come to the zendo
to sit still to sit upright to be present with herself
and with each breath
the open our heart to the voice of the universe
with each breath
to appreciate the gift
of this breath
which with each breath
to experience the joy of our connection with all it is

and with each breath to allow ourselves to experience whatever pain may hum
to be willing to be with and to be present with
comes to us in this moment

can we appreciate it all
every aspect of our life
can we appreciated all
as a gift of the universe
and can we give it back to the universe as a gift to the universe
allowing at all just to flow through us
to be just part of the flowing of ongoing life
completely present and connected with everything as it is
this is our opportunity
and it sounds really neat and it sounds really easy and it's takes all we've got it takes every bit of effort intention energy
that we have to really be alive in our life
to really allow the universe to express life
where we are
and when we can
we can rejoice it

when we can we feel some regret and we turned toward where we're feeling closed and see if we can become more open
moment after moment can i be more open
can i let go of anything that's closing me off that separating me
can i just let it flow through me
with me
breath after breath
this is the effort of our life
it goes on as long as we're alive
the dave of the day he was dying or the day before he was dying jerry fuller said to
norman well there's nothing to do but just live until you die that's all there is to do
it's so simple
can we do it can we do it
can we just live fully and wholeheartedly

and so we sit zazen to help us find out how
we sit zazen to just
stay very still in one place
opening ourselves to breath
attending to any place that's not open
taking care of it
allowing it to open
breath after bruh
as long as we're alive
appreciating each breath
appreciating each opportunity to see ourselves in every aspect of the universe that we bump into

so today as we go back to the sandal
it's be open
to the voiceless voice of the universe in our heart
be open to the council of our heart
be open to
whatever arises in each moment
for not returning to the zendo to sit the one day sitting
wherever we go
whatever we do
can we be open to the vast possibility of each woman
can we be present for whatever our life offers us