May 22nd, 1996, Serial No. 02700

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ah today's the true the potatoes worms
good evening

oh i don't want to put anybody on the spot but the more and more i noticed that the sort of open spaces here and the benches are crowded
i think it's a good idea for everybody to get us off who and said thousand during dharma talks so than even if i don't say anything very interesting you still have the benefit of sitting period try them
really this is all about sitting and considering the dharma together
well as summer here i know
sit on chairs even in the zondo and that's fine please use the bench for those of you who are accustomed to sitting on socials it's probably good too
take this opportunity
to sit
it's much harder on the bench particularly when you're close together to attend to
long breath and posture
that it is sitting on soft

so we've been talking about arousing the intention to practice
and entering the body sought for way
this practice period
is a sort of
will culminate in a in a jew chi ceremony in receiving the precepts ceremony
and the
the beginning
oh the ceremony just to go through the the elements of the ceremony beginning of ceremony is the invocation
ah the ceremony opens with in face that we are buddha
we had her brood way
and we invoke
the spirit of compassion by chanting ah
homages to of the buddha's inviting them to be here with us and support us
and entering the buddhist way
and then and then we have the repentance which paul and i have talked about for the last two weeks which is in a way
oh as as cohen shannara she said when you realize
how precious this human life is
and how we are completely responsible for how we live it
this is naturally such a person sits down for a while it's such a big responsibility
we naturally sit down for a while
it's not it's not an intended action it's a natural action
so because this life is so precious
and so brief
and we are completely responsible for how we live it
we aroused the intention to practice
and this is repentance

and the next thing is
ah having purified our mind
with repentance and confession we then purify our bodies with a ritual purification with wisdom water
the next aspect is taking refuge and that's what i want to talk about tonight
we take refuge in the triple treasure
the triple treasure of buddha dharma and sangha
this taking refuge
the english word we use refuge means to flee back
okay is to flee but with the
to return i refuge it's to flee back to flee back to our original nature to flee back to a place of safety
which is
our original nature
the japanese word that we translate as refuge is key
key is a compound and key means to throw yourself into
with nora without reservation
just to dive into
and a means to rely upon
so just as doesn't send she says to throw yourself in ah into buddha dharma and sangha as a child would throw itself into its father's arms
a place of safety

this triple treasure has
can be understood in a variety of ways

the buddha ah whom we honor as the original teacher shock him when he buddha
a person
just as we are who lived
some twenty five hundred years ago
and the dharma which was his teaching
and the sanga
who were his following those people who practiced with him
are known as the manifested tripled treasure
they appeared in the world

the buddha didn't invent
ah the truth of the universe
the truth of the universe
preceded the sort of beginning lists and endless
and that is
that is sometimes called the the individual an indivisible triple treasure that the truth of the universe from the beginning
the teaching of the universe from the beginning the harmony of the universe from the beginning beginning beginning and
ah is called the sometimes the indivisible
triple treasure
and the
the buddha that each of us is
and the
ah truth
that each of us comes to understand within ourselves
and the sanga
of those of us who are companions and practice
it's called the maintain triple treasure
this is this is what continues the life of a buddha here
in our everyday life in the world today
continues the teaching of the buddha
continues the
peace and harmony of the sanga
in our daily life

so this is the maintained triple treasure
and the symbolism of this is a
ah in they catch me ako which one receives at
at the time of receiving precepts if catching me uncle means literally blood vein
and it's a symbolic representation
of receiving the precepts from
the the in indivisible to triple treasure is represented as
a circle
in red and from the circle comes a red line that goes through the name of shakyamuni buddha
and from shakyamuni buddha the red line goes through all of the teachers all of the ancestors from shakyamuni buddha through your current teacher to you
and returns
to the empty circle
so on the catch me on who we have
the indivisible tripled treasure in the empty circle
and we have
shocking when you buddha the manifested buddha and we have the precepts which the blood vein of the precepts which connects all of the practitioners of the buddha dharma
through the present day practitioner new yourself
maintaining the teaching of buddha
maintaining the harmony of the sanga
maintaining the life of the buddha as your own life
in this present moment and this practice than circulates back and is the heart beat
the practice of the present moment is the heartbeat of the buddha and maintains the life of the buddha
from generation to generation

don't concern she in his festival and schauble gonzo
i'm taking refuge

extols taking refuge as
the most important thing that any of us can do i have a muffin impressed with the fact that almost whatever physical of schauble gonzo one reads
that's the most important thing
and i've come to appreciate that what you're what you're doing at this moment is always the most important thing to be alive and present in this moment is the most important thing so one you're taking refuge in tripled treasure this is the most important thing
but he brings up many stories about the the miraculous
efficacy of taking refuge and triple treasure
to alleviate suffering
the save us from lifetimes of whoa

this throwing yourself completely into
this present life
with utmost sincerity
with full attention
to the completeness
have you yourself as you are
to understanding this in face that we are buddha we enter buddha's way
throwing yourself
without reservation
and two
that understanding entered the understanding of this very one
this fairy one as it is
is complete
and scooter

is what our practices
and are zazen
is an expression of
that face it we are buddha
oh no tokens and says if we're buddha from the beginning why do we need to practice
an essentially what his final answer to this was with we practice we sit zazen because
because we're buddha and that's what put us to
he says practice realization all one word
this is the practice of our realization that were put on that we said cell same
but it's also vessel or of the container within which
we realize that we're buddha
and we actualized have fundamental nature
and we bring it we maintain it
we bring it into the world into our daily activity

this taking refuge and sanga
is for us very important
our style of practice is not an individual practice it's very much a practice in which we join with others
and support each other in practice
when we speak of the three treasures
as we practiced together we really begin to realize what a treasure sanga is
how much we feel supported
by those with whom we practice
and how much those with whom we practice help us to see ourselves as much practicing with others is like practicing and hall of mirrors
and how helpful it is for us to be able to see ourselves more and more clearly and more and more completely
and we have since we since we practice and face it we're buddha
we have
sort of basic contention is to embrace and accept all that is here
everything that is here
yes put up
so that whatever we may see in this hall of mirrors
we need to accept it and embrace it
and perhaps we may need to tame it you may need to
polish it a little bit it may have gotten a little dusty and rusty not being noticed and we may need to a little work on it
first to embrace it and accepted
can appreciate it
as buddha
and each one of us since each one of us as poodle and we're all together buddha
we begin to recognize the inseparable bond that exists among us all
and we begin to build the kind of intimacy
that will help us to meet ourself
wherever we turn
that will help us to see ourself wherever we look
sanga is
most importantly
a harmonious group
of practitioners
bringing the buddha dharma alive
right where we are
and we depend on each other
and i allow ourselves to be depended upon by each other
in order to manifest and maintain the buddha dharma
here where we are

our sanga is unusual in that to in the olden days the song was thought of as those who had left home and become monks
but our sanga here is ah
a much wider than that
the buddhist sangha became much wider than that included layman and lay women also
but in the early days the layman and lay women's major activity was supporting the monks in their practice
it's unusual here that layman and lay women and monks all said sauce and together
chant sutras together
do all of the functions ah of taking care of the temple
and ringing the bells and all of these functions that have to do more traditionally been the functions of monks we all share
we have many discussions here and there about what's the difference between priest practice and lay practice
and it's it's pretty hard to put your finger on it
on most recently someone has said while priests practices or the ritual path
those who really appreciate the ritual pair
tend to move in the direction of priests practice
tentatively maybe that's it's very hard to say we practice so much together and so similarly it's very hard to say to draw any line and say of this is what is priest and this is what is lay practice it's very hard to come to some conclusion
we're we're there was a session here at which
suzuki roshi
who is priest and who is layman
everyone should just wake up
with them
so it's not so useful to think of sanga in terms of priest or lay sanga is ah
all of us practicing together
all of us taking care of the practice together and supporting one another in practice
sometimes supporting one another in practice may mean saying kindly and gently out cheers stepping on my toe
this is how we find out about the
where are prickly parts are when someone says ouch
in traditional japanese monastic practice everyone has one to tommy met of personal space
ah to sleep in to sit on the ada and a little cabinet for
during your bedding in and and robes
and another space about that much and the common room for
storing your books and study material and other personal things
it does that's a very intimate way to practice and it's a very interesting way to practice
i've only done it for one much and it was very intense and it was very wonderful and
there were lots of arches and pickles and all those ashes and pickles
help to build a tremendous bond among the people who were doing it together
here are monastic practice gives us a little more personal and private space than that and i'm not sure
ah that's altogether
is helpful
it's all it's it's more comfortable for us but i'm not sure it's altogether as helpful as that
a period of time when there's no personal space and no private space
it's like gov
it's like pebbles and a tumblr
you know you put some pebbles in a tumblr and you put to put some grit and there with them you know and then you tumble them together and they keep bumping
against each other and with the grit to to polish the smooth the edges
ours is serve the suzuki who is zero she says it's like potatoes cleaning potatoes he calls a potato practice you dig up a bunch of potatoes out of the ground and the you know they've all got dirt sticking to them of it'll pick up each one and scrub it put 'em on a
bucket you put some water in there and then you stir morin and the bump each other and they'd not put her up
this is this a sanga this is taking refuge and sanga allowing that kind of closeness and intimacy and bumping into each other and giving and taking feedback in a very kind and
supportive way knowing that we're all making our best effort to practice the buddha dharma and we all come with whatever accumulated ah
bumps and pickles or or plods of dirt or whatever you want to call it stuck to us and we're all helping each other to smooth it up
we're all helping each other to get down to the original
buddha that's right here
and each one you know when you put a punch pebbles in a in a tumblr and humble them each one you know comes out beautiful and china but they're each one different they're all different colors and all different shapes all different sizes
they're each one beautiful
this is how we are where each one different we each one have
some different beauty
to contribute
the saga
which one or a particular buddha
particular manifestation
of awakening
and our practice and practicing together as sanga is to help reveal the beauty
of each other
there was a story i read recently in know
i told you i've been reading this book of hours that to
someone gave him by birthday that that the brother david wrote speaking of the
the various chance
on a during the seasons of the day and a catholic monastery
the common meal that happens at noon and a monastery
and how important it is
that the monks serve each other
they don't serve themselves and all of the monks take their turns at serving
including the but
and one of the rules is that
are you don't
concern yourself with your own needs you concern yourself with taking care of your neighbor
and you know this is an interested me because this is true also in our monastic practice we serve each other
we don't serve ourselves
and are yogi meal is very much as this feeling of serving and being served
and i mentioned in my small group that was a funny story in in there but this this admonition for each one to take care of the be concerned with the needs of their neighbor and not be concerned with their own needs
when the serving happens and the story is that the
at one meal one of the monks or received as bowl of soup and had a mouse in it and he didn't quite know what to do
so finally he said
the server excuse me my neighbor didn't get a mouse
and so he could take care of his own needs as well as as neighbors needs
that means

but the harmony of the saga is very important
and appreciating each one for the the particular beauty which they bring to the saga
is very important
and i notice from talking to people on
it's very important also to appreciate the particular beauty
that each one of us for for us to appreciate the particular beauty
that we are the particular buddha that we are
as well as appreciating all of the other buddhist around us

in commenting on the
oh taking refuge
ten she wrote she read anderson says

for dogan send you the first step and practice was to take refuge in the triple treasure before we practice ethical conduct concentration and insight we take refuge and after we have accomplished
these practices we take refuge again
after we've accomplished these practices really
this pattern is demonstrated in dogan cengiz life toward the end of his life he wrote the show began so festival taking refuge in the triple treasure
he hoped to revise it but due to his ill health he was unable to do so
and as he was preparing to die the practice of this great and learned zen master this ancient buddha was to write buddha dharma sangha on a pillar in his death room and then walk around the pillar taking refuge
he said i'd take refuge in awakening and take refuge in the teaching i take refuge in the community
this is what the old buddha did as he was dying
a buddha is constantly taking refuge in buddha
so a buddha is constantly taking refuge in him or herself
doesn't that make sense
at the beginning of our practice we also take refuge in buddha's mind and buddha as our own mind and and in our mind as buddha
when you feel like you're beginning to practice or entering the way through imitations initiation ceremonies you rely on and return to this mind as buddha
when you have become accomplished in the way you take refuge in know buddha know mind

so taking refuge in the buddha
we take refuge in all beings since all beings are poodle
and we take refuge
in our own true nature since our own true nature is poodle

and as we sit we see that
we at all beings are not different
we at all beings are one buddha
one buddha with many facets one buddha with many

one buddha with many bodies

the are in