October 1st, 2005, Serial No. 01116

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in ten shot
ha today's the truth of the to target as words
good morning good morning is this working can you hear okay
oh so good morning everybody and welcome to send center thank you for joining this the saturday morning my name is jeffrey schneider now be talking for a little while and since this is the first monday sunday saturday
we've been doing two days city and of a little love nodded not with it senses the first saturday of the month this is the of the the children's program so he dedicate the first few minutes of a of the lecture here to talking to the kids so good morning guys
how are you i'd like your like euro goggles
thank you so anyhow goes i don't have a whole lot to say that i thought i would like to tell you a little story if i may so and this is a this is you know kind of a once upon a time story but it's actually true because it really happened to me so you know it's true
so what's the photos and that goes for everything else i say today
so this has hep this happened to really really really really really long time ago and i was coming home one day and i can't remember where i was coming home from i think maybe school or maybe work that i was a really really bad mood has anybody ever been in a bad mood and you guys ever been in a bad mood here so sometimes
sometimes you're angry or sometimes you're sad or whatever and i can't remember what i was but i was i angry or sad or something and i thought i can't get rid of this bad mood hama going to get rid of this bad mood how am i going to get rid of this bad mood and i couldn't think of anything at all to do so i thought well maybe i'll do something different maybe i'll walk down a different street to get home that i
usually do so instead of going down my street i went down the street next to it and i was walking along in my bad mood was going like this and it happened to look up and there was this great big giant tree and i think it was spring because they weren't too many least on the trees it was all kind of beer but anyhow hanging from the tree
where gazillions of tennis shoes there were ten issues tied together and and draped over the branches and tennis shoes tied to tennis shoes tied to tennessee is tied to tennis shoes so it looks like it looks like a fruit tree accepted head tennis shoes on it and it was huge and it was really and it had a gazillion tennis shoes on it and i looked at it
and i was so happy to see the tennis shoe tree that my bad mood went away
so so i kept visiting the tennis shoe tree and every now and again
to make sure was still there and what happened was there was some man out in front of that one day and i said what's the deal with a tennis shoe tree and he said oh this is where the kids come in the neighborhood for years and years whenever they were out a pair of sneakers they tie them together and they put them up in the tennis shoe tree
so i thought that was pretty cool and the reason i wanted to tell it the story of the tennis shoe tree because first of all it was fun and secondly a kind of taught me something which is if i'm in a really bad mood i have to keep my eyes open because i might see something that i didn't know was there that will make me
happy and so that's what i try to do these days if i get in a bad mood i try to look around for something new something that will surprise me because if we always go the same way we don't get surprised so often so and sometimes surprises are just exactly what we need
so it wasn't a very long story but that was it and it was really troops that happened to me okay so i think it's time for you guys to go out with maria

so i am i apologize for ah
not doing the full bows i managed to m crack one of my toes rather badly and the of this morning and i've got it all bandaged up and the way i can tell them my practice is progressing is that i i didn't curse
in the zendo
okay so
you know the other day i was washing the dishes at my house and i noticed that i was almost out of dishwashing liquid and i thought oh i need to get some dishwashing liquid i'll go down to the store later on i thought well i'm also opt out of paper towels i need to get some paper towels and then i thought well i'm you know i should find get some toilet paper while i mean
at it you know just these things that we sort of normally need for our houses in our daily lives and then as i was thinking about that i thought isn't it amazing that when i'm out of something i can just go get it you know and it struck me how amazing it is and that when i turned on the water there there's always water there
and when i turned on the hot water there's hot water almost always and that it's never a problem for me to have what i need
and of course this extends throughout my entire life and what it would occur to me is and this is sometimes i'm thinking about a great deal lately is that
i and i think probably most of us live in what i think of as a cocoon of privilege you know and we don't realize how privileged we are you know so many of us have never known what it's like to be without that we take what we have for granted and i see
it's important to bring this up every now and kidnapped so that will feel guilty or bad about what we have but to remind us of our good luck and you know in buddhism it said that it takes them out a certain amount of good luck to be able to hear the dharma you know you have to be you have to be born in the human body you have to
be in good health
relatively you'd have to have a be born in a place where the dharma exists where there are people who are teaching it and you have to have and this is important for us i think as americans you have to have enough material possessions and wealth and leisure to spare time for the dharma so we were gifted with
days incredible gifts so we wouldn't all be here today and so i think it's very important for me to remember that these gifts are not to be squandered you know we have such a short time that it's important not to squander our time but rather to use it to hear into practice the dharma

yeah so i just wanted to mention that before i get onto actually the lecture just just something i've been thinking about and to get off my out of my mouth can i see a show of hands for people who are like maybe of here for the first time
okay and like maybe baby this is like your then here less than five times
okay so this this is there's a fair amount of new people here i just want to make sure that i am explain things as they go on and don't take things for granted
so for the past two days about twelve of us thirteen of us have been doing a two day retreat and we've been sitting and trying to be silent and working together and eating together and and we've been studying together in one of the things we've been studying were actually the thing we have been studying is this
thing called the bodhisattvas for methods of guidance and it's by dogan senshi so i want to say a little bit about this dogan was the thirteenth century japanese monk who founded this lineage of then you know he went to china
receive permission to teach came back and and taught in japan and he's a a very very prolific and brilliant writer and much of what we study comes from tobin in one way or another he's also notoriously difficult when we read toby and i think we have to remember that
he lived eight hundred years ago he spoke a language that we don't speak he spoke a language that isn't even in our language family
he lived in a completely different culture and a lot of the
you know a lot of the things that he took for granted are quite different from the things we take for granted so you know even with a relatively good translation dogan remains difficult he was difficult for the people in his day but i would like to suggest a few things for those of you who read dogan occasionally that i find helpful first of all
i think that it's it's useful to remember that
dogan likes to take an idea
for a sentence or even a word and sort of hold it up to the light and twisted around and every possible to see every possible facet of it and because of that i think that there's not always a one to one correlation between word and meaning sometimes he's just looking at it i
think and so for us it i think we can make ourselves crazy trying to figure out what exactly did he mean by that what exactly did he mean by that and perhaps all he meant was that we should look at the look at things in somewhat different way
trying to buy the use of language to go beyond language to sort of jar us out of language out of concept and into
on something like reality maybe
so he can be a perplexing and difficult and even irritating at times
but if we read him more along the lines of poetry where there's not necessarily a one to one correspondence between word and meaning we expand the idea of meaning and i'm
i think it's i find it more useful that way
so i'm going to do something a little bit different today usually when i give a lecture here or any place
i put it together very carefully over a period of a week or two and i want to make sure that i've got all of my references and all of the things i want to quote now on i have copious notes and i want to know what i'm going to say so that i won't look like a buffoon and so today i decided to look like a buffoon
so i'm just going to read some of what dogan has written and then see where we go with that the short writing that we have been studying is called the bodhisattvas for methods of guidance and for those of you who don't know i'll give you sort of stuff
male sketch of the word bodhisattva it comes from two words it means enlightening are awakening being body is enlightening or awakening software is being so a bodhisattva is one who is an awakening or an enlightening being so on one hand she's one who is awakening
in her own cells and on the other hand she's somebody who works for the awakening of others and so traditionally the bodhisattva is somebody who has made a vow and the vow is to remain in the world of suffering
for as long as it takes for everybody to be liberated not to seek com our own final rest until all beans are liberated and of course you know in buddhist mythology this requires you know going through like a gazillion and a guild zillion and a gazillion lifetimes right
in the thing is it doesn't really matter whether we believe in rebirth or not that is completely beside the point that's part of the mythology maybe you do maybe you don't maybe there is maybe there isn't the important thing for the bodhisattva is that here she is always ready to come back a gazillion times if that's what's take
though we don't know where the vow will lead us we take the vow to be here as long as it takes and if that doesn't take a gazillion different lifetimes so be it or maybe we just die
which actually it's considerably more restful that
but we don't know okay so the bodhisattvas for methods of guidance what's kind of interesting about the title for me is that
i think it can be read in two ways that the bodhisattva is these are the methods of guidance that the bodhisattva takes on for him or herself and these are also the methods of guidance that the body for uses to guide others to awakening and there are four of them the first one is giving
the second one is kind speech the third one is beneficial action and the fourth one is i did identity action and i'll read a little from each of these and talk about them so giving
getting is to give away unneeded belongings to someone you don't know to offer flowers blooming on a distant mountain to the to target her or again to offers treasures you had in your former life to sentient beings so the first one of those to give away things you don't need to people you don't know maybe you give a buck to hear the guy
guy on the street or maybe you know your your move to support a charity or maybe your moved to bring food to the homeless which some people here do so that's that's pretty straightforward right
but then he says to offer flowers blooming on a distant mountain to the tathagata to targeted by the way is another name for buddha it's another title for buddha it means the guy who shows up and that's why i like to translate it so
to offer flowers on a distant mountain to the to the buddha is rather odd first of all we're not on the distant mountains secondly we we can't gather the flowers and thirdly you know the to togheter is not here in front of us to be offered like i would offer a you oppose the to my friend
so i sort of struggling with what that means and and the best that i can do with it is that
the flowers on the distant mountain are things that are in the realm of the senses things that are in the field of the i consciousness just as sounds are in the field of the ear consciousness feelings are in the the
feel that in the realm of the a tactile consciousness so what we do is we take all that we have all that we experience all that we see all that we know and we turn that over into an offering into enlightenment we turn it over to an offering for the awakening of ourselves and for others we offer the
flowers on a distant mountain to the to target to the buddha it doesn't matter that they're there we offer in offering them we offer ourselves when we see something you know flowers on a distant mountain are are the face of our friend are you know squishy sotho
you know that site changes us you know the reflected light from i'm from can hits my eyes and it does little chemical and electrical things to my eyes and then that does little chemical and electrical things to my brain and that does you know so i am chain
changed by the sight of you as you were changed by the side of me i am changed by the sound of you as you were changed by the sound of me an actual physical change you may change in my body so the flowers on a distant mountain
we turn everything over ideally into enlightenment we give it over again and again and dogan and another place says although we loved them flowers fall and although we don't love them weeds grow so the flowers of course are also a symbol of that which is beautiful and transient over and over again they're falling over
over again we accept their falling over and over again we love them and we let go of them
and then he says it's also to offer treasures you had in your former life to send your beans
so the treasures we had in our former lives you know or not just you know the gold crown you had when you were cleopatra last time are you know something like that
but rather the experience so all that we are really is the result of the the karma that came before us and we inherit not only our own karma
you know for example if i if i said something unpleasant to somebody yesterday you know that creates that creates karma that's karma they come back at me the next day we create an environment of mistrust and distaste and unfriendliness but we also inherit generational karma we had higher here at all the karma of our parents
it's we hired all the karma of our grandparents and their parents in their parents and their parents we inherit the entire karma of our culture in our language we hear inherit the entire karma of all that has been up until this moment these are the treasures of our past lives and these this to we turn oh
over we offer our karma we offer the results of our karma we offer we offer who we have become because of our karma good and bad we aren't we it over into enlightenment we make that offering and sometimes you know we asked me feel if you're anything like me that the offering isn't good enough
you know that what i have to offer is not is not enough is not good enough is it should be better somehow
but that's not true
you know when we offer ourselves completely it's enough
let's see
k and further down he says
even when you give a particle of dust you should rejoice in your own act because you correctly transmit the merit of all buddhas and for the first time practice the act of a bodhisattva the mind of ascension been as difficult to change you should keep on changing the minds of sentient beings from the first moment that they have one particle
to the moment that they attain the way this should be started by giving this is the reason giving us the first of the six perfections so i find this really interesting because what he does is he places giving generosity at the very beginning of the spiritual path you know he says
for the first time practiced an act of the bodhisattva so our first act actually have taken a vow of the bodhisattva is this immense giving we give our our life over and over and over again we make the pledge to do that no matter how many times we fail our do less than we would like to do we come back and do it again
when so this is the beginning this is the beginning giving us the beginning of the m
the path you should keep on changing the minds of sentient beings from the first moment that they have one particle to the moment that they attain the way this is how the bodhisattva guys others through generosity through the generosity of physical things through the generosity of friendship through the generosity of sharing the dharma to the general
ah city of a smile you know this encourages people on their own past and it encourages people to to give themselves you know giving repeats itself as does was holding
they should be started by giving for this reason given is the first of the six perfections the six professions or something that we talk about sometimes include just in buddhism just as a way to sort of talk about practice we have lots of little trellises we like to wind the flowers of dharma around and the sixth but perfections are giving ethical
conduct patience energy meditation and wisdom hey that's just something
so the next one is kind speech
and he says says he
praise those with virtue pity those without it if kind speeches offered little by little virtual grow thus even kind speech which is not ordinarily known or seen comes into being you should be willing to practice it for this entire present life do not give up world after world life after life
you should know the kind speech arises from a kind mine and kind mind from the seat of compassionate mind you should ponder the fact that kind speech is not just praising the merit of others it has the power to turn the destiny of the nation
so i like where it says
praise those with virtue pity those without it if kind speeches offered little by little virtue will go one of the you know how sometimes and this goes back to
this is it's a form of kind of speech actually i i don't know i'm sure everybody has some experience of somebody some somebody will say something to us and it may be just a very short thing and we remember it for years and years and years and years and years and it could be a wonderful thing or could be heard
whole thing and so we we for some reason something stick for one of the things that has stuck with me as something in a lecture here that i heard many many years ago shortly after i came to zen center and what the lecturer said was it is by observing the virtue of others that our own virtue
it is by observing the virtue of others that our own virtue gross and i've always loved that i repeated often anybody who hears me speak no set because i think it's so beautiful and so true it it requires an amount of virtue on our part to be able to see the virtue of others and if we practice looking for the virtue of others are virtue
grows because on
it's sort of like
i was going to say it's like mirrors facing each other but actually it's more like a positive feedback system you know for to convert who grows upon virtue and when we notice it when we train ourselves to notice that our own virtue gross
and he says you should be willing to practice that for this entire present life do not give up world afterworld life after life
so cut you know kind speech all of this stuff that we're talking about you know it's not something that some people are just born with you know maybe there are a few you know i have met in my life a few people who seem sort of naturally virtuous and wonderful and there are such people but most of us the great majority of a don't
start out like that you know what virtue we have what practice we have that's why they call a practice you know so if we're going to practice right speech it takes practice it takes pausing it takes saying to myself is this helpful is is true is this timely is this kind
much of what i say it's none of those things
that's why have to practice in why why i'm encouraged by the idea of practice that as we go on we can practice more
and then he says you should know the kind speech arises from kind mind and kind mind from the seat of compassion from the seat of compassionate mind
okay you should ponder the fact that kind speech is not just praising the merit of others that has the power to turn the destiny of a nation's so this kind mind arises from the seed of compassionate mind
so i always thought for the longest time that wisdom came first and then compassion came i figured you know you do this really hard practice and you sit a lot of sauce and and you know you get enlightened and then you can have compassion for the poor slobs that you know irritate you
it doesn't work that way
once i was really i was fortunate to hear the dalai lama speak and he said that wisdom arises from compassion and the more i think about that of crystal more true it is because wisdom is being able to be in contact with to the intimate with and we can't be intimate we can't have intimate knowledge as long as
as there's no compassion as long as there's no fellow feeling he he calls itself identity later on and so then of course we have to ask or i have to ask where does compassion come from where it is compassionate mind come from and that seems pretty obvious to me compassionate mine comes from suffering
you know we become we all suffer you know buddha said that and he was right and as we become more knowledgeable are bought our own suffering and this means this means not trying to escape from it not trying to put in all the things that we can put in to to run away from are suffering you know it can be
be television it can be food it can be sex that can be drugs can be drink it can be shopping it can be you know oh my god i'm having a feeling and it hurts you know give me a pill
will we become
acquainted with are suffering
we see that it's like the suffering of others and to understand our own suffering and to see the suffering of others is to give rise to compassionate mind you know that passion you know
compassion means with passion and you know there's even when we think of passion these days we think that you know mainly sexual passion or a passion for sports or something like that but another meeting of it is suffering for example those of you who may have had a christian background will have heard of the the passion of christ on the cross
so this is also suffering this passion compassion with with was suffering
k beneficial action is the next one
let's see beneficial action is to skillfully benefit all classes of sentient beings that is to care about their distant and near future to help them by using skillful means and then further down foolish people think that if they help others first their own benefit will be lost but this is not so
so beneficial action is an act of oneness benefiting self and others and this is one i like to greet petitioners a lord of the old times three times stopped in the middle of his bath and arranged his hair and three times left his dinner table he did this solely with the intention of benefiting others
he did not mind instructing even the subjects of other lords thus you should benefit friend and enemy equally you should benefit self and others alike
if you have this mind even beneficial action for the sake of grasses trees wind and water is spontaneous and and unremitting this being so make a whole hearted effort to help the ignorant so
he he says a couple of a lot of good things in here in this very short paragraph but when he says to skillfully benefit all classes of sentient beings to care about their distant in near future in buddhism there's something that we talk about a lot called
a skillful means rupiah is the sanskrit word and what this means is to reach out to people on the level where you find them to give people what they need where you find them
what they're asking for it's often said that the buddha is a skillful physician who gives the right on the right medicine for the for the right illness and so you know if somebody like really hungry you know it's not going to help to you know about dharma anthem you know it's really not and is some people is just somebody
he is just beginning to practice you know probably what they need is pretty specific information about sitting practice and just the basics and you can get into the you know that the more esoteric things later so this is their distant and near future so in the near future
our in the present we give people what we hoped it can help them right now and then we also think of what will help them when they're a little bit further down the ask you know i don't know if any of you are teachers are funny have you had the experience of teaching anything either professionally or are you know something
you know if you're if you're going to teach somebody something you start with the start with the basics i think that's what he's saying here you know if you're going to start
i you know teaching somebody how to cook it might be nice to show them how to chop a carrot or something
foolish people think that if they help others first their own benefit will be lost but this is not so beneficial action is an act of oneness benefit himself and others together for the way i like to think about this you know better fitting selfless together is sometimes i like to turn it around and use it look at it in a
in negatively first because i think that's very useful for me for example if i steal from you you know if i steal your wallet for example
you know i take from you i take from you your material possessions i take from you perhaps what you need
but i also make myself a thief if i lie to you repeatedly i lie to you you don't know what to what to trust but i also make myself someone who cannot be trusted you know etc etc etc this is what we call environmental karma sometimes but on the other hand if i
i act consistently in a useful
loving kind of ethical fashion i helped to create that kind of environment as well you know so this is this is the mutuality of action
and the thing about the petitioners and the lord of old three time stopping in the middle of his bath
when we were when we were well we are talking about this earlier one of the people in the retreat said well what about telemarketers but ah
i don't know if i don't know
we should try to be polite
but i love this that i think that just the fact that the lord of all is not only that he's a lord and these petitioner says something to meet you know these guys were probably peasants or would have you are he was the one in power and beneficial action is that when we have power of whatever kind you know maybe we're you know the boston
the officer you know heading of a work crew it's and centre or whatever we step into that role completely and stepping into that role is is to take care of the people who depend on us you know we we we we accept responsibility in whatever
roll we take our our our agree to take in in life and you know that that has beneficial action to
identity action
there's a little trickier says identity action means non difference it is non difference from self non difference from others
this is that this is where to remember the dogan is sometimes more poetic than exact that the ocean does not exclude water his identity action water does not excuse you get flu the ocean either this been so water comes together to form the ocean earth piles up to form mountains
my understanding is that because the ocean does not exclude the ocean it is the ocean energy large because mountains do not exclude mountains they are mountains and they are high because a wide lord does not weary of people his subjects assemble subjects means nation wise lord means ruler of the nation a rule
or is not supposed to weary of people not to weary of people does not mean to give no reward or punishment although a ruler gives reward and punishment he does not weary of people in ancient times when people were uncomplicated there was neither legal reward or punishment in the country the concept of
reward and punishment was different even at present there should be some people who seek the way without expecting a reward this is beyond the understanding of ignorant people because a wide lord understands this he does not weary of people so this thing about the
the water does not exclude the water water comes together to form the ocean ah
therefore it is the ocean and or just large because mountains do not exclude mountains they are mountains and they are high you know there are a lot of different ways we could interpret this one is away at one of the ways i liked to interpret this is identity action you he says we we we must identify with others but we also identify with herself
which is a sort of 'em
not particularly
it's it's kind of a difficult way of saying it but i think what is what is meaning here one of the things perhaps is that
when mountains or mountains and the ocean is ocean it's like when i am i fully when i have accepted myself fully for who i am all of my past karma good and bad all of who i am at this moment all of what i have to give all of without
wanting to be different you know we strive to be better we strive to practice more more more with more purity or whatever but still you know the beginning to beginning your spiritual practice is when we arrive at the present with what we have accepting it without denial so we the mountain it
accepts the mountain and because of the at the mountainous hi the ocean accepts the ocean because of that the ocean is wide and deep
and then i like this about the wise largest not weary of people his subjects assemble subjects mean nation okay a ruler is not supposed to weary of people
and i think
that we
obviously we all need some time to ourselves and we're not expecting i don't think this means that you should be constantly
around people twenty four seven and like that but i think what not weary not too weary of people means is that when we see others as we see ourselves you know that engagement is
something that gives us energy you know something that gives us energy it's so easy to look at somebody else and see something or somebody different and you know we all do it of course but i think that if we look are listen to another person with the
intention of hearing of looking for what is the same and hearing it what is the same at least on the feeling level we will always we will always feel identity everybody wants to be happy and everybody wants to avoid suffering you know flat out
we're all the same we and when we realize that we have a beginning of building relationship and relationship
his self identity because we we don't build relationship with the other
we build relationship with it's not like we're sort of 'em you know ping pong balls sort of wandering around an empty space and sometimes bouncing off each other i think i'm more a more useful look on more useful metaphor is to think of ourselves as points along a continuum you know where we're intimately
connected as points along continuum as i said even now i'm making changes in your mind and your body with my voice were intimately connected
and then
i also like this
even at present there should be some people who seek the way without expecting a reward this is beyond the understanding of ignorant people because of wise lord understands as he does not weary of people i think that that this that the wise lord understands is that this is beyond the understanding of ignorant people what that means is
i believe that you know the whys lord whoever that is whether if you can be you can be me understands that
people are where they are they exist where they exist they are who they are and as much as we would like them to be different and sometimes
that doesn't always happen and some people are ignorant they're ignorant of how the world works they are ignorant of kindness they are ignorant of how to get along with other people
you know and a wise lard understands this and does not weary of people you know as long as as long as we
except the bodhisattva vow our realm of action is people you know it will be nice to think that we could sit in our cushions and you know have wonderful on you know orgasmic spiritual experiences one after the other but actually
this is
this is where we work
dogan and another place says
i'm going miss quote perhaps here is the place here the way unfolds so
that's what i i have to say about what dogan here to say about the bodhisattvas for methods of guidance and i think i said enough to thank you
the or and ten