One-day Sitting Lecture

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is the to the for

come morning

it's the fall of the here and very close to the equinox
coming up
and the fall for me as always a new beginnings in school new school year
beginning give her practice year
and this is the same and other traditions as well at the fall is the new year
so there's an evening out of the light
and i think an evening out in our own energies
and some feeling of returning coming back to
our practice
coming back to studying the self

and it's a very quiet time of year here in the mornings there's
not too much activity and the pond approx are quiet and the crickets are quiet and nurse the birds are quiet it's very quiet time

so i'd like each of us to reflect and
what we're doing here
how it is we
our sitting here today
what's it all about
someone was recently telling me that
this is a relatively young person late late twenties who was practicing at st center and they said that down the people that are in that age group knows peers twenties and early thirties
they don't think that sends so cool anymore used to be really cool
and yeah
i know when i started practicing in my late teens and early twenties there was nothing they almost nothing as
fire out at cool as practicing zen nothing came close
but this person was saying that's not the case anymore it's a little bit of pike there's a lot of aged aged aging hippies at them center and in are a little bit musty in a scheme
so where's the real life where's the real heartbeat blood
and i suppose that's true you come to sense and analogous
buildings that look like they've been standing for years which they have and are falling down to you can and it all looks so established and so
as if no one could
have much
agency in terms of changing or adding are detracting it's all kind of there but i don't see that way myself i feel like it's all it could all
disappear tomorrow
and we'd all go our merry way
and then it's just as chickens

so if it's not so cool anymore how is it what is it
that is
going to make a difference for someone to practice or not to practice
so that's a question we can ponder
now maybe it doesn't turn on coolness being cooler exotic i mean hopefully that drops away anyway even if that was the initial draw but that
we have to get people in the room first

so i want to hear from people at some point now right now but
i want to know
so i've been thinking a lot about trust in the last several weeks and days what trust means and what interest meant means and what being trustworthy means
in terms of our practice in our life together and i in life ah
so one definition of trust by the way trust comes from the word that means
ah that that route as the word has to do with woods and trees it has a derivation from wood and trees and firmness solidity and things that are made of wood had this like tray and trough
and now trouble with tragus some kind of eating fish
and also truth
trust and truth and trough to plate ones troth is to pledge ones truth
and to be betrothed
truth is to be willing to trust and interest with another person
so the the zen teacher jan chosen chosen bays so he'll be know her she practices up in portland or seattle
portland i think anyway out she was at this western sam teachers' conference and there was a pre-meeting meeting of some of the same teachers and we were talking about what direct transmission means what entrustment means
dharma transmission is a yeah
ceremony between a teacher and disciple
after which the disciple has been empowered to go their merry way aren't go their way ah
in never in a full
they have been fully ordained it's the last one of the last ordinations and once you receive democrats mission you're interested to
give the precepts
ordain others and so forth so that the conversation was about what is diamond transmission and how do you what does the criteria who would you ah
complete the ceremony with how do you is there anything that we share that we could talk about among the teachers who have received during with transmission and will give dharma transmission
and the conversation was sam
it was going around different people saying different things and then when jan spoke chosen son spoke i it was very very clear
she had thought about it a long long time and so i i thought i'd share this with you because i
it's not only for dharma transmission but it's how we trust each other and lived together i think
so she said that dharma transmission interesting the dharma to another in this way dharma dharma the buddha dharma is the most precious thing
the most important thing
so who you would do this ceremony with this is not a light matter
and she likened it to how she feels about her own children sick equal to or second to the dermal would be in importance for her were her own children
so in thinking about that who would she interest her children to
and she said she would have to choose someone
who she would have confidence and she would know that in
a difficult situation or a dire situation that this person would
put the children before their own selfish concerns and save her children she would have to have some confidence that that would be how they would act
and that they would not revert back to self centered action
and the same with the dharma she would have to know that this person when push comes to shove and in difficulty would be relying taking refuge in flying back to
buddha dharma and sangha and not
selfish self-centered strategies

so how do you know how do you know
how can you possibly know this about a person and what she said the only way you can know this is to live together in an intimate way to live day by day to live your lives together so that all sorts of opportunities for learning and understand
ing each other come up
if you just see and get to know people in one way with one flavor you don't know that person may be so well so this then
pointed straight at residential practice it went went straight to thus we need
a thorough residential practice so that we get to know each other in all these different ways in the good times and the bad not just with more feeling great and ready to talk about our practice spent all different types
that's how we really get to know each other
or that's ah
one way that this intimacy can grow and it's not a guarantee
so we have these residential practice places and there's all the difficulties of living together this closely
for those of us who are in residential life and for those of you who come for shorter amount of time for residential practice or even for a one day sitting of residential practice
reveal ourselves to each other
we can't help it
and then we're able to see who we can trust who is worthy of trust
who will not revert back to self centered selfish putting that first
so another definition of trust is a from assured reliance on another's integrity
the from assured reliance on another's integrity and i think this is just another way of saying that ah
now it's not that mistakes can happen but the integrity and integrity comes from the word
integer or which is whole so integrity ah points to wholeness and completeness
and also a harmonious whole someone who has integrated all the various parts of themselves
and so
our trust in them is based on
this from assured reliance in in a person's integrity

so our own
are we worthy of trust are we worthy of trust and this come this
putting together a trust and integrity is i think very very important
when people have had traumatic experiences in their life or gone through trauma and i when i say trauma i mean i don't mean
the there's a wide there's a continuum of trauma
trauma means
a wound a wound so we have bones breaking a leg those kinds of woods wounds in combat in war and then there's also the emotional wounds and emotional shock to the system that's also called trauma
and sometimes this kind of trauma
the emotional trauma that we experience may not be one particular event but may be
an atmosphere or conditions that we grew up with over long periods of time
where we were hurt
in it
in an i am
the drawn out long way
so i think we've all experienced trauma in different in different ways
and the healing from trauma it seems to be connected with
relationship and relationship with those who have integrity relationship with those that you can rely on that you can trust will
be acting from
wholeness and completeness
rather than an unexamined self centered
wow action
an mistakes are made
so to interest ah means to commit into the care of someone else to commute into the care and
dharma transmission or entrustment or lay introspect which is another ceremony for those who are not priest ordained we are working on another ceremony called les entrustment
where the care of the dhamma is committed into someone else's hands

so well prepared for this talk last night i realized as i was studying that
i could i had this feeling like i could sit and read the words of the buddha and dogan and enter
the teaching in that way forever
that vr
the great
buddha dharma
the yeah
endless fathomless quality
that is forever meeting me for ever meeting me whatever happens
i just felt that wash over me

so that this was from reading you know how the words of the to takata the words of the best come one
also feeling no limits limits of my abilities to convey that to express it to
to encourage people feeling the limits and also the unlimited quality
the buddha is said to have said that
all human beings blood is red and all the tears are salty all human beings blooded red and all human beings tears are salty
so knowing that we're all human beings and we all share this suffering life together
and not making the distinctions of a divisive distinction so
this one in that one and old and young and not letting those distinctions get into way how do you bring forth the dharma
so we start in a with are sitting we start with suzanne and
you know in the for cancer zheng the recommendations for
sitting universal recommendations for sitting exist as as and i speak of is not learning meditation
it is the dharma gate of repose in bliss
we come to a sitting today and the forms you know the myriad forms
were asked to harmonize with the myriad forms of the know how we walk in how we take our seat and then when we sit sitting upright
with our back not too far forward not too far back not leaving to the writer the left our chins
i pulled in so that the back of our head is the highest point
all these details
all these forms the myriad forms
and yet
one can't say that you know chin in equal thousand or arms freely away from the body but not too far and not too close but freely there boudreau against
the body
you can't point to that and say that's it that's it that's it we don't as the zucker she says in our practice we don't emphasize anything
now one might say well we do emphasize we emphasize you know walking like this in bowing like this and
and that may be one way to look at it but
in terms of everything being equal not emphasize the anything
what i mean i don't know it's insecure she means exactly but what i hope he means is we don't get caught and one thing and making that the most important thing for getting about all the other things that need our full attention we just respond
each moment to what is brought what comes that is the thus come one
the best come one
the to togheter that less come one
response completely to whatever comes rather than looking around for what looks like
the coolest actually
the most exotic the best the one that looks or i'll look the best well as where i'll look like i know something or any other emphasis
our practices not preferring not preferring cool
and not preferring not cool
it's just being with whatever is happening whatever that is and being with ourselves completely whatever's happening
so to say we don't emphasize anything that means
we give full attention to our or yogi practice full attention to the tastes of the food the forms are serving each other the chanting bowing the walking the sitting lying down the greeting the laughing to crying
the salty tears and the red blood
each day gets its do
and nothing is over emphasized
when we overemphasize i think actually our minds become
to not emphasize anything is
but when i say not emphasize anything i'm not meaning it's everything's okay man and indifference you know the near enemy of equanimity as i mentioned wednesday night in the gamma cock his indifference so it's not indifference anything goes it's complete attention to each
each thing whatever it is
another person an animal or plant
and over and over and over making this effort that there there's effort there there there's deed effort there
it's may be less of an effort to emphasize one thing and forget about the rest
but i think we get off balance actually
so for one day sitting yes take take very good care of your body mind and your posture and breath and
thoughts and emotions and whatever else is coming but let's not emphasize one or the other let's not push away
emotions so that we can feel calm we take care of emotions even if it means we're upset
let's not emphasize emotions and lose
our own critical intelligence and and critical judgments about what's next in
what's appropriate that buddha dharma to
so not emphasizing anything
and i think this is a very hard teaching and i say that because
you know i've been hearing from people who have been living in green gulch
and i feel are some difficulties around understanding how our work practice is practice or how it's it's very clear about formal practice zazen and service and or maybe it's not so clear about service doesn't maybe that's that's about as clear as we can get it maybe you
mm for some people i don't get it you know sitting down every day
why do we have to what's that all about so maybe there's no common denominator but let's say zazen service certain formal things we can get the hang of it that there's that's practice but what about making beds and cooking and doing electrical work and planting and going to market and taken
care of kids and
washing dishes in and all the anyway we're not into zendo that much during the day how is that practice at some people might say i don't get it i don't feel like work practice practice
formal practice but what about informal practice so informal practice is done with informality
and we don't emphasize one over the other know someone might say well i wish we really did emphasize it
because it's too hard and it's too
confusing it's too confusing when you're in new person
to not have emphasis one way or the other so maybe this is a very advanced practice i think someone mentioned to me they greenwich was a very advanced practice it's not entry level
because we don't emphasize or trying not to because green gulch we just emphasize green gulch life and that has all sorts of different things so in our own lives it's the same way how can we
stay true an upright when we emphasize we end up falling forward or backward or to the right or the left this as a pasture doesn't emphasize
it just it's balance you know back straight ears in line nothing is emphasized
and even when suzuki where she says to push down firmly or maybe he doesn't say for i think he says firmly in zen my beginner's spent on your diaphragm to push it down
ah that may be a little bit of an emphasis there that was made
so sometimes we do that
provisionally we make an emphasis
so there's a wonderful story about
the ten xo a ten zone that don't exam met when he was in china and some of you have heard this story but i re took a never look at it the tensile is the head cook and this tensile that he met
the ship that was an anchor i was anchored and doing had to stay on a ship for a time and this old six year old that to old as i get into and fifty sixty doesn't seem to all anymore sixty year old tensile came to the ship to by mushrooms
and dogan was very interested in meeting this venerable teacher and he invited him to t and spoke with him and he asked when he had left his monastery he had left right after the noon meal had been prepared he had left to come to the ship and it had been
you know a good ways away and he had gotten there and he was choosing these mushrooms and he said in i have practiced for a long time and my old age i have been given the opportunity to practice as the head cook at this temple the abbott asked me to be
the head cook the tensile and so i there's a special ceremony tomorrow and i wanted to get mushrooms a special dish for the monks so i've come here to buy them
and da vinci what country i'm so interested in talking with you can choose stay a little while and we have a meal together and it's it's so auspicious we've met each other here and he said no no i must get right back this surprised oh and here's this older venerable monk
i just have to hurry back he said if i am not back there the offering will not be good
so he felt he personally need to needed to oversee this particular offering for the ceremony
well don't get was
preterm by that will couldn't surely there must be somebody else in the monastery could take over your duties and get the meal out and
and this is when the tensile spoke
in a very clear way to dogan that really
made him sit up and listen
the the tens or said i have taken this position in my old age this is the fulfillment of many years of practice how can i delegate my responsibility to others besides i did not ask for permission to stay out so
you know great care with the forms that the myriad forms of the monastic life not reverting back to well i'm i've been around long enough and i'm pretty senior and if i want to stay out of a bit i think i'll go and do that not reverting back to self centered strategies of what
you know what would be cozy to do stay up for me on
but very clear and very upright not leaving
and then he said dove into to honorable tens of white or to concentrate on zazen practice and on the study of the ancient masters words rather than troubling yourself by holding the position of ten zo and just working
is there anything good about it
so dogan asked why are to emphasizing and at this time i need to emphasize as end and and steadying cohen's and the ancient teachings in the ancients words
instead of holding the position of cancel and just working is there anything good about it how get it you know
and that the terms of laughed a lot it said i think that really broke him up he laughed a lot and replied good man from a foreign country you do not yet understand practice or know the meaning of the words ancient or no
the meaning of the words of ancient masters
so good monk from a foreign country he was from a foreign country
very well schools and buddhism practiced a long time read you know the entire canon and so on and yet
you do not yet understand practice
so i feel the tensile was pointing out if you're going to emphasize this over that and that over this and picking and choosing you will never get to ah true understanding of buddha dharma
or the what the ancient teachers have been saying all along so dogan now
hearing him respond this way i suddenly felt ashamed and surprised so i asked him what our words what is practice
and the tens or said if you penetrate this question how can you fail to become a person of understanding
so what are words and what is practice what our words and what is practice
that's for each one of us to turn maybe today what our words and what his practice and how come this tensile about such a big kick out of davion you know saying what sounds pretty you know it doesn't that sound
kino pretty straightforward how come you're not concentrating on south san and and
and studying more
so this isn't to say i don't get me wrong the
this is a is what happened with words you say you say words and then because words are the way they are they are always dualistic you think i can almost hear but
she say someone might be thing was she saying i don't have to maybe i won't go to thousand and so much of a the requirements to a day here but you know i'm not going to concentrate i'm going to emphasize anything that's this reverting back to so centered strategies and
not having buddha dhamma and sangha being v
of one's life
so as but as soon as one says words they can be misunderstood and misinterpreted they sound like they're emphasizing one thing or another this this duality this is the pain of our life that we can't say anything
we can't really say anything
but we do
say whatever we say
so this is the myriad forms and with in the myriad forms one single body is revealed right there in duality right there in subject and object and self another right
there is one body revealed
so how do we as consumers she says crack duality how do we crack it open
so we're not forever
lost in the true and the false
and the emphasizing that this and the that
and you know the myriad forms of practice are given to us to crack duality to crack it open sitting in the pasture itself folded up like this you can't tell right from left right suzuki roshi says
right for them top left foot right foot left foot on top hands together whereas right foot left foot whereas
where is to not one not too
is is buddha dharma
so assassin bowing all these married practices of not emphasizing not emphasized as soon as we emphasize we've fallen to duality
so i think we all
may i speak for us all long we long to
be complete
to be whole
to be
integrated meaning
worthy of trust
an interested
so later on the damsel found a window and came off the ship and was at a monastery this tends heard that he was there and went to look them up you know
andover just really happy to see this guy was moved with joy and he served him t they talked and then dogan brought it back to that discussion they've been having on the ship the discussion of words and practice which had taken place
and the tanzer are set to steady words you must know the origin of words
two endeavour in practice you must know the origin of practice
what are words the tanzer said one two three four five
indo been asked again what is practice the tensile said nothing in the entire universe is hidden
nothing in the entire universe is hidden
what is practice nothing in the entire universe is hidden
so if nothing is hidden
then if we emphasize one thing over another
will tend to high some other things but just by giving it the emphasis or the preference or the
this is good in that's not good how do we practice was with each thing because there's nothing hidden it's all back it's all for us to practice what looks like
you know untrustworthiness what looks like betrayal what looks like
those things that were usually feel could not possibly be practice
there is nothing hidden everything everything is a chance one more chance to practice
so later their dog found in a poem by srei do and i'm not sure which show a do it is there's one that was
routines teacher or or a teacher averaging so maybe it was that when it didn't say analysts if i can recite this poem
i have to give myself a hint
through one word or seven or three times five
even if we thoroughly investigate the myriad forms there is nothing to depend on
night advances
the moon glows and drops into the ocean
the black dragon jewel that you've been searching for for so long is everywhere
through one word or seven or three times five
even thoroughly investigating the myriad forms there is nothing to depend on everything changes you can investigate and go after all the forms but they're always changing always you can't hold anything is ungraspable
night advances
night advances
yeah i think of night advances as our life goes on you know our death is right around the corner
that's one way we can think of night advances or it also could be oneness or in the darkness
where there is no discriminating this that meet you he she just night and darkness the fullness of darkness night advances
the moon glows and falls into the ocean
the black dragon jewel you've been searching for priscilla on is everywhere
there's a the image of the black dragon a dragon could be a green dragon to it carries a jewel under the chin is jewel he hoped to drag and holds the jewel under the tent
and that jewel a supposed to be the buddha dhamma so to get the buddha dharma to actually get the jewel you have to meet the drag you have to wrestle with the dragon you have to cry with the drain and fight with the dragon and swim with the dragon fly with the dragon
plant with the dragon whoa cook
you that dragon it cannot be
you know overlooked
but jewel is right there
and it said that in in monasteries japanese monasteries dosa
carved wooden dragon that struck before meals which is this dragon this sub
form of this dragon is struck before meals
so the black dragon jewel that were searching for is everywhere he's everywhere it's a as dolan says it's under our own he'll like dorothy in the wizard of oz you know it
most he'll clicks
it's all i do so right under her heel
so here we are sitting today
nothing is hidden the black dragon jewel is everywhere and please please let's not waste this fall day
i don't know how we would waste it i don't even know if it can be wasted
but if we think we could it it probably could well let's not even think about wasting
let's just
poulenc ourselves down and are cushions all day long taking care of ourselves taking care of each other
thank you very much