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Sunday talk. Children's lecture.
Legend of the blue bonnets; Seijiki, offering food and light; karmic life and emptiness.

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good morning everyone
an especially good morning to other young people who are here it's wonderful to see you
did you all have a nice halloween
yeah did you have fun why did you go as who where did you dress up as
has anybody a fireman
has any by the ghost a pumpkin yeah
what else to do was anyone a which
red panda you are a panda who else was an animal some kind
he were an animal what what animal were you a black cat that's a good cast home
and did you get scared walking around at night in the night was it scary little bit know it's okay
you got a little scared
it is you thought it was fun and funny to be out
i used to get a little bit scared when i was trick or treating
in one of the problems when i was trick or treating is i lived in such a cold place
that my mother made me wear a jacket on top of my customers
well one of the things that happens at this time of year when it starts to get colder and darker and all the fields all the food and the fields has been harvested and gathered in
it's a time to celebrate the harvest and also to give to other people who maybe don't have so many things so be it gets to be the season for giving things giving offerings and giving gifts and halloween
lots of people gave you think's right
did you also did any of you collect money for unicef for children yeah so you did too so you collected money and then you're going to give that money to help other children
i wanted to tell you a story about a little girl who made a big gift a big offering to help her family and her friends and she was a little scared to make this offering but she did it anyway
this is the story of 'em it's called the legend of blue bonnet you know the story some of you might know it
well it was this time of year and getting very cold and one of the problems was all summer long there had been no rain the susan a a native american tribe
and so they didn't have any food the whole summer they couldn't find food and the animals couldn't find food and there was no rain and many people got sick many older people got sick and many little people got sick and died and there was one little girl whose
mother and father had died her grandmother had died and she was all by yourself living in another family's tent and they named her she who is alone because she was so alone and she had one very favorite toy which had been made for
her by her grandma it was a doll it was a little dull that had feathers bright blue feathers tied to their her hair
well things were getting more and more sad and that tribe and medicine people decided to ask the great spirit what can we do what can people do to change our situation so the medicine men and women are prayed and dad
danced and ask for guidance and they were given some some instruction and what they said was that someone in the tribe has to give a gift and make an offering they have to give the most important thing get the medicine people gathered everybody together in the tribe
all the old people and all the young people and said something has to be given we have to make some kind of offering
so everybody came away from that meeting and thought gee i wonder what it is i wonder what the most important thing is and one man who had just gotten a new bow and arrow thought well it couldn't be my bow and arrow must be something else my bow and arrow that's not that important and another lady who who
a new blanket that
the great spirit couldn't mean my blanket this blanket no no couldn't be that and i can offer that must be somebody else gee i wonder wonder what it is and everybody looked at their very important things that they owned and thought no no must be something else couldn't be that
except for she who is alone for that little girl she knew right away she thought i know what the great spirit wants it's my doll
my dollar's the only thing i let have left for my grandma and my parents and it's the most important thing that's what they must want so that night she went to sleep in the tent with this other family
but she didn't fall asleep she waited till everybody was asleep in the tribe and she crept out of the tent and went to the fire and found some embers in the fire and brought them up on the mountain she went up on the mountain and she made her own little fire making very assured that there was nothing or
around that would catch fire she has put lots of
racks she cleared a space had put rocks all around
and then she made a fire and she prayed and she asked the great spirit to help her tribe and to please do whatever i
i could be done to help and then she took her special doll and she threw it on the fire
and it burned all up and the fire burned all up and then she waited until everything was cool
then she took those ashes and she spread them out through them into the air all over the hillside and she was so tired she fell asleep
and she woke up to a big rain cloud coming over the hill and coming closer and closer and big rains came big showers and covered the land is far she could see and the rest of the tribe woke up that morning and they couldn't believe it that the rains had come
i'm and new grasses were starting to sprout already and horses were finding things to eat and everybody was so happy they were dancing and dancing and they fucks who has who made this offering and then they saw she who is alone coming down from the hill and they all
all knew that it must be her
and she saved her whole tribe all the people and after the rains had passed the hillsides were covered with lupin and another name for loop in blue bonnet you know the loop and flower we have that here and
oliver california this loop and oliver many places
and and they thanked her and fainter and renamed her
they instead of calling her she who is alone they called her she loves her people
and she became a great leader of that tribe
so that's the story of the legend of blue bonnet and this some young girl who gave something that was very important to her
to help other people to help her trying
can think about what you might have given if it were a it were you right you might have given to put on the fire
well thank you very much for coming this morning i think you're going to go now with leslie and mikhail
to have
and i don't know you're going to have some fun i think
okay thank you very much for coming


there's some
our cushions up here in the front of anybody would like to move up

so the the first senate a month we have i'm just a a brief time in the zendo for the kids and a little bit of the lecture devoted to them and then they go off and i think they're going to make beeswax candles the smarty and decorate them and then have a treat and
they might even have some for sale at the m farmers market we have after and the money i think i think this is going to happen is going to go to
the canal alliance and san rafael forum
you know that story about the legend of bluebonnet some of you know

the am
the word offering
comes from a word or of frame which means to sacrifice
i also am to bring or to carry
it comes from the route that means to carry or to bear
ah to bear children but also to bear a burden
also another name for children is bearing be a i r b a i r n bayern
and a wheel barrow
kerry and born
and the latin of that is some
ah fatty to carry and words off her suffer transfer fertile and many many more words differ prefer i'll come from this
the same enema etymological root
and in greek metaphor and euphoria that same for
for to offer is to present for acceptance or rejection
it's just to offer
and it may be accepted or rejected
also to present as an act of worship or devotion and offering make an offering
a presentation made to as devotion
and it also it's the same the word ablation which i've always wondered what operation means the act of offering something as worship is a charitable offering his operation so
this is that time of year
we are offerings are made and sometimes it's
pretty wrote you know you've got your list gotta get your gifts gotta get him in the mail and time
and it may not feel like much of a sacrifice really ah
or an offering
but true offering
true offering
is from the heart
i've been reading about the heart
and in my reading eight i came across the fact and maybe i've known as but in a little different way that the heart actually radiates an electrical frequency right i guess that can be measured right but
i'm in the brain it's electrical frequency but the heart rates are forty to sixty times stronger than the brain's electrical frequency
and this
i'm also that there is receiving and radiating
at the heart and of the brain
and this incoming and outgoing ah frequency also they are all sorts of biochemical reactions echo on
and changes in response to sensory input
so there there seems to be some sense that the heart the intelligence of the heart
can i respond
more accurately to what's going on when it's ah
not in total chaos or upset or stress
and this kind of balance comes about when there are certain emotions out we could say or
how often the word emotions has negative connotations sometimes like like someone might be true emotional but the emotions of appreciation ah compassion loving kindness
when these kinds of emotions are activated there is a
the electrical frequency is more in balance and news from what i saw all sorts of charts you know to show this can irregular pulsing of the frequency
when there's positive emotions as opposed to afflicted emotions
and along with this comes intelligence a certain kind of intelligence
and healthy
i like the immune system works better and not so many
secretions that
bring about the aging process for example
this is also kind of intuition a different way a different kind of intelligence
and suzuki roshi mentions in session is a way to open our intuition and in this reading the young in times of com and stillness and
how quiet
there's more of an ability to open our intuition
and meet the situation accurately
there are also these interesting graphs were two people were sitting close to each other about eighteen inches apart
and the effect of one person on the other day i imagine there are hooked up to these things
and then when they were touch and and
in a leap of the electrical frequency with
so when one is in the presence of someone whose heart is open
whistling hard
he even the most upset person can actually feel the effects of that
helped wing
even subtle many times subtle
but having a com hutch in front of you

so this this afternoon we're having a ceremony
that's the actual name of the zero ceremony has the words offering in it
offering of food growing offering our
and this ceremony is rather esoteric actually ah
i think this
this kind of a ceremony of offering and it actually includes am remembering those who have died and making offerings
to them in whatever
forum they may be even if the form is our own remembering around remembrance her own memory of them as a kind of form don't know
so the the ceremony ah
we're calling it now same st jiechi are offering or charitable offering is the say ah
a food
we recently found out that job in japan that the name we had been calling the ceremony for the last thirty years as now
the meaning of that has changed i think it's become am
idiomatic expression that has a kind of negative connotation so they don't use it anymore in them to the name is ceremony so we've had to change our nomenclature this last week
for the origins of this particular ceremony
our in in scripture coming from india translated into training and then into japan and it has to have two stories of disciples of the buddha who were greatly distressed about ah
certain things before i tell those stories i just wanted to say that
these the ceremony is a way to
nourish connect with honor
appreciate with com
i have a negative aspects of our life other's lives
i'm not not just negative you know
and of loosely saying negative but i mean great distress great suffering greek ah restless and satisfied
in the dark parents of ourself and those we know and those who have died
so this is a ceremony especially created to meet that part of human life
that part of life i shouldn't even add human ah those aspects of life that we so very much want to
disregard turn away from a word from get get thee behind me you know i don't want to look don't make me look
i remember once i'm cutting my fridge and falling down on the ground covering my eyes and saying don't make don't make me look don't make me look don't make me look
not wanting to see
something terrible you know
and i think that attitude of vida wanna look don't make me look how we have about our own comic life our own actions and the consequences of our actions our own relationships
the lives the suffering lives of those we love and knows we don't love and knows where neutral about we don't want to look you don't make me look
so the ceremony has a salubrious quality korea i help the quality including dark and light as we go into the dark of the year including the shadow and the dark
it it will include itself but often in an unconscious way so to consciously turned towards these aspects of our loan
is part of what the ceremonies about
but to stories have to do with the disciples of the buddha one disciple mogul yana and also the disciple and nanda these are very close disciples to the buddha and more galiana came to the buddha because ah he was having very very strong dreams
i upsetting dreams and kind of nightmares about his mother who had recently passed away and these dreams showed her
in a very suffering realm of very terrible state
in which she wasn't able to i'll get nourishment she wasn't able to feed herself
ah the word food by the way comes from in
english and anglo-saxon word the to feed or protect and other words associated with it our father which is feeding of animals forage
going after the food you know how for a which isn't bad
heading out to forage i guess to look for food
pablum in greek
and to give
food to feed into foster
so food in are being fed that the are being thoroughly fed adequately fed and nourished in all the different ways that we need to be nourished and all the different with all the different kinds of food borne
regular eating food that we take by mouth but also spiritual food being met in always intelligently i mean our intellect food for the intellect root for the mind food for the heart
spiritual food they're all kinds of ways that we are nourished and where we foster ourselves
so his mother
in this dream was not been fed was couldn't feed the food she tried to eat i turned into fire and terrible things so she couldn't eat it and and her son
how was in morning at the time was very upset about this and came to the buddha just to ask what could be done
and he suggested that ah you you can't savor on your own you know
and to ask the other monks in the practice period at the end of the practice period
at the time when they have a ceremony where the
allow their actions or body speech in mind the we say precepts and
acknowledge and admit where they need to work more where they have not been in alignment with their own vows
at that ceremony it can be dedicated to your mother
so there this regular ceremony that occurs and the new in the full moon
he asked that the ceremony before his mother and this is where this connection between
karma or our coalitional acts of body speech and mind
and the consequences thereof is kind of part of that and this ceremony come together
this feeding
are making offerings
ah so that the offering is a kind of cleansing or it's spiritual food you might say of ah
cleansing or meeting
the karmic life our own and those of others and sending our hearts wish our loving kindness and compassion and wishes for beings to be well and protected and fostered and
it all
come all comes together in a ceremony
so it's with the kind mind and a kind heart
that the ceremony is performed or enacted
p m story about a nanda is a little bit different but there were some
being who came to him and told him that he was gonna die in three days and that he was going to go to when he died he was going to be in a very unfortunate situation he was going to be a was called a hungry ghost and mrs sam
you can think of this anyway he want but the qualities of what a hungry ghosts years or prater
i think we're all familiar with it a hungry ghost is someone who cannot be satisfied no matter how many lovely meal no matter how many concerts erm you know
travel or
possessions or fame or success is a kind of insatiable quality or it's not enough it doesn't satisfy
and this can be at the most extreme this can be
being completely taken over by addictions of all different kinds and it can also mean in one's own practice or spiritual practice feeling that even though you're surrounded by the teachings are you hear the teachings you're exposed to the teachings because of your
because of our doubts or skepticism or cynicism or
current disposition we can't accept it we get some problem with it we won't take it up
are always constantly on the outside looking in and everyone else at the table you know
so one may feel this way you may feel this way about what i'm talking about right now you know
like this is weird and i didn't come here to hear about hungry go since over
i understand believe me so
our own personal
i'm able to rest
i'm able to take up what we know intellectually we want to take up but somehow we get caught up in our old patterns and
either negative ways of thinking or put ourselves in situations that are not conducive to breaking up or were influenced by our circumstances are friends and so
this is this kind of realm and amanda was told he that was furious about her head to that realm and he went to the buddha and down
asked for i help in is
vm buddha had him also make these offerings
how in including are included with the community
so this particular practice
the buddha said to him there in a previous life these are these stories that the budisa of infinite compassion comes a own
him a particular very esoteric ceremony which is this feeling of the hungry ghosts and he
had a to perform the ceremony
and in this ceremony when i say esoteric their mantra which the word mantra shingon means true word for their these words that are spoken there's offerings or food given there's offering of chanting and good wishes
as well as sound light
for the ceremony and abused in china with their own the chinese cultural
inclusion of ancestors and and caring for ancestors and so it's very similar today as the dead ceremonies which i think were yesterday or day before christian second were in trying to date there's a whole month where people go to the cemeteries and bring food and make offerings and
in a very conscious way bring up
the memory of those who have died and it's a celebratory that feeling there's puppet shows and chinese opera and it's a it's a joyous advantage not so somber and scary although
there is always beside you know
in mexico as many of you know there's a very elaborate alters that are made to those who have passed away
foods are maiden shapes of skeletons and skulls and so forth and it's it's really bringing this aspect of our life right into consciousness in a you know ah
a lot of energy
so how
and foods are put out an n a no trails of food to bring people to bring departed ones to your altar that you made for them cakes and things are put out
the young
the ceremony of
connecting with those beings
and those parts of ourselves
that need some attention that need to hear ah
an encouraging word that need to be invited that are frightened actually prides herself that are afraid i'm afraid to relax and relax the heart you know this sound
i was picturing this pulsating this frequency that's been knitted you know from the heart
and i think in the lotus sutra in and other sutras often they'll be in a you know description of energy coming from the heart or in certain visualizations
element of goal coming from your heart going through every being in the world you know this is some these are ways that have been now offered to develop this to feel this
to live from there
harold p m
the ceremony sometimes has called ceremony for the and more and dead and ah
it's a chance to call to mind all those who have died in accidents war famine
natural disaster suicides
car accidents all these
situations in each one of us is touched by those each one of his has stories that we carry in our own body just opening the newspaper every day just turning on the radio
so this is a chance to bring up in this conscious way and send with our heart body
our loving kindness

so you know in buddhism we often talk about
emptiness the teachings of emptiness or the grey transcendent wisdom that has grown beyond and one may be wondering well how do you put those two things together
emptiness nothing with inherent existence
and all this talk of
the dearly departed and you know how do we how to win out of those things go together karma karmic life and and penis
i think this is a m
something that has been grappled with you know over the years but i wanted to something came up in a meeting a pre-screening this last week about the teachings of emptiness
ah or the teachings about the route ignorance which is that are we have a brief in the inherent existence of self and phenomenon
ah be
i am teaching that there is no inherent existence existing in some way separately on their own without
conditions without somehow not been conditioned by other beings and things and rather and everything else there is no such thing
or being
so then what are we talking about when we talk about ah
what are we talking about
so one one thing that we were
studying at this meeting press beating actually was the importance of
being grounded thoroughly grounded
in precepts
and compassion practices before we can actually thoroughly understand or even in many cases even take up emptiness as a as something to study the there can be a destabilization if we are offered emptiness teachings
the teaching of non inherent existence before we have established our our kind of mountain legs before we have established our ours
practice in rooted deeply in the presets
and compassion
so with that without those without precepts and compassion one may make the mistake of going into nihilism or nothing exists what's the use doesn't matter anyway there's nothing nothing out there anyway so who cares if i steal or do anything that that kind of thinking is
a grave mistake you know it's a it's a misunderstanding of the teaching and it it swings way off into our
disregarding cause and effect riches one which is part of right view both down mundane and superman dane cause and effect so
so we scourge you know if you if you are
grounded in precepts and she less sheila or morality or ethical practices be the body separate ethical practices or other ethical practices there's when your own ethical practices thoroughly thoroughly grounded in
taking care of your life in the inner
in the details in the details of body speech and mind knowing there are consequences to our actions having a deep
and jones has a deep belief in cause and effect a grounding in cause and effect
watching it studying it watching when something leaps out of our mouth and consequences you know how do we
speak from the heart
and compassion
where it matters that
we are affected that other suffer that we suffer we know by looking at our own suffering we know others suffer whether they are
i have a beautiful circumstance or the difficult circumstances we know that circumstances do not ah
dictate whether we suffer not you can suffer in a palace you can suffer in a hovel
it's not about that
although we do need the basic things to be able to to appreciate that
so having compassion suffering with responding to beings
these practices are necessary to be thoroughly part of our daily life in our our hearts were hurt turns
ah for emptiness for the teachings of emptiness to make any sense in it in in how bodhidharma is is presented brooded garment does not say
doesn't matter you can do it every want this because it's because there's nothing inherently there that's as bad growth
misunderstanding in in fact erwin says sam
well the emptiness misunderstood this is the gardener is like grabbing a snake
and not being trained to handle snakes what's gonna happen grab a steak and you get hurt right unless you know
pick up a steak and mean there are ways right there are snake handlers
so this is some
our misunderstandings of emptiness or the lack of inherent existence guess applied to
compassion practices
so these this is some nice are not opposed to one another the way things exist in that very way we
after loving kindness and compassion
it's not like while they don't exist so why should we offer compassion are offering also doesn't exist in a separate in inherent way it's completely interdependent and call dependently quarter isn't offering to the dependent
lee call arisen departed once
do we get stuck in are they don't exist but may offering does we have to be here have a thorough understanding but before we have a thorough understanding
the teachings are
very clear about non harming compassion generosity patience
so we don't disregard
karma with somehow with the m
with the teaching of emptiness instead we realize the ah
emptiness of karma that our karmic actions are also
dharmic actions meaning completely dependently core reason
an empty of a separate existence to so we realize this we realize this through or practice with her practice beyond our practice
so we have great effect on each other we have great effect ah with our heart you know this com heart in the world has we never
know how how we affect others
and the m
tibet and teacher soviet ripper in nam
living and dying
i had this court from him if i can find it here
can find you
ah basically the that kind of mystery of our own existence and the mystery of those who have left in that mystery we can
after something to them
so you're all invited to the ceremony tonight at that said five o'clock and also if you're going to be coming and you'd like to have a name read because we read
you're welcome to make an offering and and have a name read
so this sound is a little bit scary sometimes you know are turning towards this side of things
and our ability to relax in the middle of that
in the middle of all are scary
is key
i wanted to close with this dedication from permit children's book the places that scare you

this is her dedication after reading this book the places that scare you a guide to fearlessness in difficult times
so this is her dedication throughout my life
and we can all
imagine as dedicating an action body speech in mind in this way
throughout my life until this very moment whatever virtue i have accomplished including any benefit that may come from this book
or any action i dedicate to the welfare of all beings
may the roots of suffering diminish
may warfare violence neglect indifference and addictions also decrease
me the wisdom and compassion of all beings increase now and in the future
may we clearly see all the barriers we erect between ourselves and others to be as insubstantial as our dreams
may we appreciate the great perfection of all phenomena
may we continue to open our hearts and minds in order to work ceaselessly for the benefit of all beings
may we go to the places that scare us
may we lead the life of a warrior

thank you very much