November 22nd, 2000, Serial No. 03936

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spencer
i
hey how's on the bill

rest leave today
with whether i take it

everything is as it should be
how nice
as i was doing the bows and some so forth and set and sitting down it occurred to me that
cut a couple of things one was that that
what
i could i care
tonight and i was thinking
what have i withheld from people you know
and then i thought well maybe i will have been withholding my vulnerability
and i thought maybe they don't know that
why maybe they do i don't know
but
anyway i thought
and the other thing i thought was how nice it was that
you come today's talks because that's a gift to me
then i get here
stay in think and
they with you and a way that i can't be with you like on saturday this is to me more
intimate small close we know each other
so i'm wondering why you're sitting so far away so many home
come close
come on

how
so good it feels warmer down to me
although i was saying at the t today that one of the things here here's something to know
one of the things that really gets me is space i have to have my space because i grew up in a family where there the boundaries weren't real clear
so turns out in my life i've been trying to make some boundaries so when i was ten so it has a her and somebody put something on my desk and who is a real product comes
my desk as the only place in the kitchen that was in viable
anyway
so i want you to think tonight right now and even as i talk is my effect as i talk it's okay with me if you'd continue thinking because what i wanna date night at the end of tonight that talk which is not going to be too long
what i'd like you to do is to think of something that you have received
that you are thankful for
maybe two things i'm not can ask for much just one or two things but if but also in my pit go to wrong if you think of too many things but if you have a lot of things to think of that's nice for you but i'm going to ask us to just share at m
very quietly with no comment no nothing just go from person to person to person and just say something that every saved that you feel you've received as some of you are going to have to think hard so you might not be listening to be much tonight
but that's okay maybe that's your gift in a way that's a you have a real clear picture of the practice because there's pain there
so
you can start thinking now
meantime i'll talk to the with the than at the end we'll just go we'll just go through one or two things each person
i'll say something

so as you know tomorrow is the day that we celebrate thanksgiving and judith who gave her voice taking mind talk today mentioned that in alcoholics anonymous the whole month a devote to gratitude so today it's and center today and tomorrow
arrow of going to celebrate this holiday of thanksgiving and it's clear i think to anyone who has grown up anyway in this culture and that our culture is
the main i would say thrust of our culture was not necessarily one of giving but getting
that the things that were taught and told in our culture is that if we course had this that or the other thing we would be happy
gimme gimme culture
or if i just had or
if only
something like that
and because it is that way were destroying the earth
today we're destroying our home little by little it's not funny
and of and this is based on this as we buddhists know it's based on this sense of separation and out of the sense of several out of this delusion is holed into a sense of separation we are willing to grant you know gather to a
us what we think will make us happy and push away what mostly gather to us what we think will make us happy and the united states is so good at it were so good at consuming that were going to consume ourselves to death to oblivion
this is not funny

so often
i would say that we almost rarely do in our culture talk about giving
although the indians in the north west they do pot lashes to know the name of those indians anybody
kochi you're right here at kochi orleanians they had this wonderful thing that the people who gathered and gathered and gathered and were really good at gathering and gathered the most would give it away and then the their their status in the tribe was very
three connected to how much they gave away she's a wonderful thing
but anyway in our culture we don't have much take pride we own gain a lot of you know points for giving away
and most people give a lot in the united states because they get tax deductions
doesn't the only reason but it's a big reason for people who fell out of money
a it i apologize to those who are giving from the heart as well i'm sure that a pick and choose what particular things they want to give to so it's not all just self serving but
but anyway i wouldn't you say that mostly in the culture is about getting rather than giving so
after that
so often we don't
really kind of know how to give but or what that even feels like we often give expert mostly oftentimes maybe i'm just like you for myself we give expecting something in return either having somebody think of us a nice person or
i'm getting something back from that person or something but there is expectation along with the gift
but at tassajara there's this wonderful ceremony and called the ninjas and i forgot to bring the palm shucks
call the ninja ceremony where everybody in the community thanks everybody else in the community it's a really terrific ceremony but nobody gets told what the ceremony is a bad
so it took me years to figure it out and i think this is what it's about but still no one's ever tell me but what you do is you know when you go around and you make agenda you if you bet you uber agenda is i if you know but because it happens behind you but in the morning when the doshi goes around the doshi
oh we don't do it here at all now so casa her agenda is you alias we do when the cooks gender you know to the cookers in this kind of position going around basically what they're doing is they're gushing to everybody and everybody has got showing back so it has a horror they do that the first about you
have to wait outside interminably in the cold and freezing cold in the winter well the doshi goes around to all the different altars and offers any sense at all the altars and then the doshi goes in and as a in for everybody said in front of everybody seat and then issue so goes in had student goes in and may
x agenda and then it meantime everybody's waiting outside
gets really cold and toes particularly the toes
hey and
so anyway then it's time for the whole community comes in three at a time come in three to time and then there's a little the
tobacco thank you is over there the cavaco and the middle person offers incense and every ball three people bow together
and then you go and you do this gender in front of everybody i mean whoever's at that time in the zendo but all of the seats can you go to your seats and the next day people come in and so it's over the by the end of the ceremony everybody has done agenda in front of everybody else
since the ceremony of appreciation and thank you and connectedness as sanga the oneness of the sanga and the appreciative of each individual person is an individual's a wonderful ceremony and you do it at the end of every monastic week said every week you do that
ceremony of remembrance that thank you very much
great
i gave
so this giving and thanking giving and thanks giving and thanking also went home most at tassajara rehab was leading the practice period and he had this thing where people had to say three
things they had to say to another person and we had to do this individually with each person thank you i'm sorry and i love you it was really interesting ever we've had you had to face every single person in the saga and to that person
yeah to say thank you for just didn't even say it for anything just thank you and then i'm sorry for whatever i've done i've hurt you and i love you i just say i love the part is a little bit of a stretch but it didn't seem like it it as our doesn't america
eric it's very interesting
so giving so thanking and task so giving actually i'm talking about giving i'm talking about giving and giving according to do again according to suzuki roshi and his books in mind beginner's mind he has little fanciful called god giving god given
the and he quotes dogan in that fashionable and what he says though dogan says is that giving is basically non attachment
so he doesn't emphasize how much the activity of giving as he emphasizes the activity of not holding on which actually is one of the precepts the eighth they think precip is called don't be possessive of anything can wander the main things of course that were possessive of is the self
and we can't really give anything if it comes from a place of self so we always have to be aware of the motivation of what it is when we are giving a gift so if we really check it out and we're not giving from a place of wanting something in return that's a pretty trust while chess
sport trust while gift and the same thing is true was saying no
sometimes saying no as a gift
but if it comes from a place of self concern herself napkins i don't like concern but self self thinking of self self reflecting then you have to wonder about it
but it's very difficult to know what whether the right thing is to give a yes or to give a know unless you really clear and you can see the situation really clearly but if there's a lot of you locked up in the situation does something to be aware of are we giving because we wanna get something back are we giving with comply
lately no expectation completely unconditioned gift
and when we give him that way the reason why we feel good about it is because we feel connected because there's no self there
we just completely one give her doesn't sound familiar giver receiver and gift completely the emptiness of giver receiver gift because they won because they want because he can't have a giver without a receiver
and right now true you can have a given a rare says he's so giving and receiving is completely not separate
which is really interesting because it just occurred to me because that's how connected we are with everything but we don't get it
so the emptiness of giver receiver and gift if the emptiness of giver receiver
without
obstruction and that's why we feel good when we give

so what i really wanted to talk about tonight is receding because receiving as a really important part of giving
and as manufacture thanks give him is really about receiving
because when you say thank you you've just received something
so thanksgiving is not really about giving although he gave tonight but it's really about receiving
and receiving interestingly enough for many people is more difficult than giving
sometimes it's very difficult to receive
now trump said
i'm going back to give me again trungpa said the reason why it's so difficult sometimes for people to give is because we come from a place of poverty because underneath it all we feel like we lack something
anna is spiritual poverty or financial poverty makes no difference if we cut if we if we give a penny fully coming from place of magnanimity
this a same as if he gave really a lot
it's a question of whether you have inside ourselves a sense of the glass is half full or the glass as half empty if mostly your life is the glass is half empty you're coming from a place of poverty
and
nobody is poor it in that way at all
when i was in india that's the one thing that really struck me india is a very weird place but one of the things as it first of that the reason why i say weird is because it takes away from you all of your ideas of what you thought was right or wrong good or bad or anything it's really incredible in that way
way
so i was there and when i landed i went to india with it
catholic nun because from i was in africa and i was going home that way so i met her in africa and we both were on the plane together and so she invited me to come to her monastery and stay there for a little bit in india and it never occurred to me when she said that that
of course her monastery would be completely in the midst of the worst
you know ah
the indescribably
i'm wretched ha
place in india called
i'm
started with an m and that place was called
it's such an ironic name like ours forget it
california but anyway so we got off the plane and we're going deeper and deeper and deeper into an area that's completely way beyond what my idea of poverty is supposed to be bared i mean this is really
amazing they were like nope first of all no toilets anywhere so people when they defecated they did it just all over the street
and and on and on and on it was like the smell and everything is so overwhelming that you just have to give up it is completely give up what your idea of anything is and then you meet the people cause she took marianne and
and the strangest thing of all for me it was that the people didn't feel from the near side poor
which completely blew me away
you know they the feeling that i got from them was of abundance and of yeah they were not miserable because of the poverty
which was an really interesting to me but anyway way digressing
muslim muslim and diverse because i can see my notes

ah okay oh it
saturday
and i could done
the company so surrender so i wanted to have a best surrender earlier i may maybe
so

so the question is how much can we are can we actually receive in our life so for example it's okay to receive let's say a gift on your birthday although for some people it isn't because for some people that gift won't be enough or it's okay
aid to receive a certain kind of gift from somebody but if you're really connected with that person and they miss and you think that they haven't really seen who you are that gift will be
difficult to receive or what have you given something really in your life that you don't expect for example illness
can we receive that
so where is it in your particular life that you draw the line
you know i can receive
i can receive money but i can't receive
i don't know
ill health i can receive
i don't i don't know i can't make it up for you but think on your own self where is it that your band what your line stops
i'm okay with
ha feelings of gratitude but i'm not okay when somebody's angry with me can we receive that
can you receive of negative feedback criticism but you can't receive compliments
can you receive compliments but you can't take any feedback
where is it that you'd say this is not okay
now for person who really isn't a control they're going to make sure that basically in their lives they are going to receive what they want and not receive what they don't want but our practice is about surrender it's about not being in control
it's about accepting life the way it comes to us receiving what is our lives in that moment
and can we say yes to that
not so much that it's what we want to have happen but yes this actually is happening
and sometimes we have to go through difficulty over and over and over and over again before we can actually say yes because it might be that the difficulty that comes to let's say whatever you have difficulty with some person we all have difficulty with each other here and the saga so may
be that person that you have difficulty with you have difficulty over and over and over and over and over and then one day it's different
and you can say yes
the kind of mine that we want to develop in our practice is a mind of flexible mind an open mind a mind a surrendered to what life too
what our life is as it arises press
yes
completely
receiving
and this is ours as in
this is awesome so yesterday the other day we had a half day sitting
paul and i and other people sat and hit first and i walked in the room i thought books
because of that ten people signed up on the list so is at first kind of taken aback
and then we started to sit and it was lovely and paul invited the two people chris they were sitting on over there paul invited to pupil to sit right next to us so the four of us kind of the xander and i'm learning it was really sweet
it was lovely was really lovely and then at some point i laughed and i had to go to idea actually wanted to go to a staff meeting a little bit of it so i worked myself up
and went to the staff meeting and south and it feel like saying very much but i was happy to be there
and we had the day before had a little difficulty in one of our other meetings so i was numb
who is good that i was there i think
so i went and sat and hum
it was very nice very kind actually very kind and way did it
and then i left and then i went to see alan denison who uncle just time and talked about death for a while and then i went downstairs i went back to the sandown sad and the day was and i can say yes to every single thing happened that day

but i wasn't able to say yes to what happened the day before as much henna is difficult but because it was difficult the day before
and maybe i didn't exactly completely say no because we've been you know things have been working on staff a lot so
something turned in the difficulty that actually allowed me to say yes the next day
and i think a number of us did so the next day was very different than usual after we have difficulty
anyway that's just a thought
so i hope you've been thinking well i've been talking
did i miss something i wanted to say i don't think so
right
so now not not too long as and we should stop him but i thought we were just
go around the room
and think of something that you have received good or bad doesn't match so called good or bad difficult how about difficult or not difficult or challenging or not challenging something like that
that you would like to share with people
then you can say thank you
okay
my my start
tuesday i received a to bedroom was that
the

can
i have able to get cars get
birthday thank you
ah thankful for the of my way
sorry

yeah

oh
joe

oh

bond

the
ah
the opportunity to practice here
before
kobe

extraordinary for
hell
a great
go
for a water levels of assurance
which

hello
just is your do
on

the street
cover up
start that

so
lol

here
right
a meal

just like

oh i'm grateful for yeah okay practice
ross are they're
and
are the opportunity to
my stop them
but
but com
true friendship
so far
i'm grateful for him to scumbag
environment songs
what a degree
people are my mom
having the ability

before you close friendship

it was hit by half an hour up
nurse
hmm
african language
vertical for or

i'm thankful for support saga
i ankle or stupendous thanks
give the
the i
from a health
i'm thankful
but
the same
the the opportunity sport to be here community and practice and i received a wonderful relationship that's teaching how to hold to be held
i read
i am
get me to help me out

i'm
and the great place
the stop

stop
and response
but and

i'm grateful for by

i have a great everybody at at hand
smells wonderful breakfast and said at a table
hey
why we have it

your gratitude
an argument now
through all that need this job
boy

grateful
love it
am

for low family and partner
you
hey darling right
i'm grateful for private a few like it let me know
cheng adventure
to qualify
i'm wrote the americans

oh for
i think come

i was grateful for someone put flowers in the hall
have a building when i walked over here
that's really nice
hand then i don't know what i would have done in my life without his practice
then i thought one small other thing
if you can think of something during these next few days
to give that you haven't well that's not easy for us like a look at someone or a smile at someone who usually going to ignore pass by or something that for you is just to live
little bit
tip just a little bit more
think of something like that and then see if he can make a vow
to do that one thing that one
openness
and then please take care of yourselves over this weekend please don't eat too much cake
i have a good time