One-day Sitting Lecture

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SF-01879
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so the first thing i wrote on the top of my page the other day when i was thinking about today
and you
is don't move

and then i waited for why

a long time ago there was a young man who sat down under a tree
henny spent the entire day and meditation
i'm just like us
and we don't know we don't think he had much of a plan
you know maybe forty minute periods and ten minutes of walking
you really don't know
but we do know that he had tremendous determination
this is from the pali suitors turning his back upon the trunk of the bodhi tree and with his face toward the east he made the firm resolve may skin indeed and sinews and bones wilt away may flesh and blood in my body dry
high up but until itay attained to complete enlightenment this seat i will not leave
and he sat himself down and a cross legged position from and immovable as if welded with one hundred thunderbolts

so this decision that he made not to move as the inspiration for what we're doing
or maybe not doing today
and i think we all have some kind of feeling for what it means not to move
no week we we use words and our language like
solid as a iraq
stiff as a board
dead as a doornail
but fortunately the buddha had something else in mind when he said
don't move
and that something is to be right where you are completely who you are leaving absolutely nothing out nothing outside of yourself
your big big self
in the image that came to me when i was
i'm trying to
me my big self was ah an experience i had at the opera
sitting very close to the front row
i never been to the opera and a friend invited me to go and
we sat very close to the stage
and what struck me most from that experience was from the moment the curtain went up the utter stillness of the people around me
nobody coughed wiggled or whispered they just looked and listened
and felt
a tremendous amount
i could tell because every once in awhile all of us were crying
the story was so sad
every one good in it was fated to die
so it's pretty impressive the level of practice at the san francisco opera house
i was really tested hours went by
so the young would have to be likewise was sorely tested under his tree
hour by hour day by day
and little demons and dancing nymphs came to knock him off his seat
i think these are pretty familiar a little beings to us they have names their names are things like sensual desire
discontent
delight
boredom
cowardice
doubt
but he allowed no such feelings as arose in him to gain power over his mind
this refrain appears over and over again and the account of the buddhists awakening
with each new inside each new level of understanding
he says to himself
i allow no such feelings that arise in me to gain power over my mind
so i wanted to suggest to you that today this might be something you could adopt for yourself or your practice
this phrase

and whether you are being drawn into very pleasant varieties of experience or very unpleasant varieties
see if you can remember what the buddha did as his core practice
allowing no such feelings as arise in me to gain power over my mind

so after seven days in the light of a morningstar this young man declared it is liberated birth is exhausted the holy life has been lived out what was to be done is done
there is no more of this to come i and all beings on earth together attain enlightenment at the same time
ignorance is banished and true knowledge arisen
darkness is with banished and light arisen as happens in one who was diligent ardent and self controlled
but
i allow no such pleasant feeling as arises in me to gain power over my mind
has what it says
following his awakening
even then
so after this wonderful morning the buddha did something that i'm not sure many of you know i boys people seem surprised when i tell them what he did
he spent forty nine days enjoying himself
first he spent another seven days under the bodhi tree revealing what he'd learned
dependent core rising four noble truths
he went over and over in his mind forward and backward both forward and backward
what he came to understand
so i wanted to tell you the basic formula
what he was studying he was studying causation
how things come to be
and the formula is very simple like a lot of formulas you know equals mc squared and is very easy to say but what does it mean and how do you understand
so the formula of causation as a simple to it goes like this
when ignorance and desire are present suffering
comes to be
there are present suffering comes to be
when ignorance and desire cease
suffering ceases to be
that's it
very easy to say and not so easy to do
i'm even the buddhist spent a week thinking about it again
so after he spent this seven days under the bodhi tree he then moved to a goat herds banyan tree and spent another seven days
and then another seven days under oh melinda tree which i don't know what that is homes going to ask wendy she knew
mukha linden tree and then back to a banyan tree again and so he kind of made his way around the forest
now if the story ended their i propose said we would not be sitting here today talking about the buddha and his realization
if the story ended with his ginger use my self fulfilling realization self-fulfilling samadhi change you use on my
personal liberation
because we wouldn't know anything about him he would have kept it to himself

new you've all heard that kind of silly question if a tree falls in the forest and no one's there to hear it does it make a sound well
maybe it does who maybe it doesn't but who cares
you know our practice is about intimacy
about experiencing the truth in all the way into the marrow of your bones
seen for yourself knowing for yourself

so it really isn't the buddha dharma until it's shared with others
and the buddha know precisely how difficult it was to understand his mind and the manifestations that appeared in his mind and he was very reluctant to teach
he didn't think people would understand
so he remained silent and this is what he said how could liberation which is so exquisite and profound be expressed in words it may be better not to give out my thoughts he said to himself and so remained silent and at peace
but lucky for us he had second thoughts
and he remembered that he'd made a vow when he was a young bodies aren't fun
then he would help other people he made that vow and he remembered his vow
and thought now maybe i should try to explain and when he had that thought
the lord of the gods brahma came down and said please teach please explain to people for the sake of the suffering world
so i think it's really important for us to keep in mind throughout our whole life of practice these two days to very important key elements in one is our vow or promise her word and the other is caring for others
and the basic vow is the vow to care for others
equally with ourselves
to even though though the entire teaching is expressed through wisdom
the point of the teaching is entirely compassion

and each of us needs to find and nurture in our own hearts that deep desire to care for others
as we would for ourselves
because the buddhist world is a world where there is no second person
there is only great pics off
this is todd you use on my todd you use on my
the joyful somebody that has shared with others
so only when this young teacher came out of the forest in search of those who might understand
did the buddhist way appear in the world
so in part to of what i wanna say this morning is has to do with well what did he teach
what did he have to say
and he really just taught to things the first thing he taught was how
how
how to sit with your head balanced on your spine
how to hold your hands and a nice oval shape
how to use your legs for sitting and walking how to use your bowls for eating
how to use your mind for calm and clear thinking
the very simple basic stuff
and we call this stuff practice he taught how to practice
other names are the way or the pass
the way or the path to what he also taught what realization
liberation
how and what
the path of realization
i think some of you know that i've been spending a lot of time sewing idly
and
at first it was kind of a chore in i thought i was afraid to calculate how many miles i had to go
but it was something like that
and it seemed like so much to do and so little time you know even though it was over ten years
but most of those ten years i was doing the other kind of sign we do here which is not something
so my time is up
and
what's happened is interesting and wonderful to me because
hour after hour and day after day
have placing the needle into the cloth
i have really come to love those little dots
that mark the rose up and down up and down
one after the other
they look like little seeds in soil
and i don't know what's going to grow from them i haven't the faintest idea
it's mysterious to me and what is the business under the road

all i can see are these little details one after the other
and once in a while i get a kind of feeling for something that looks like completion
oh my goodness almost done
then i start to wonder what done with what
done with a row than with a robe done was a ritual
with his talk
with the next inhalation or the next exhalation

i allow no such feeling as arises in me to gain power over my mind
so this is this the other thing that the buddha taught his
liberation and inconceivable liberation
and i wanted to read you a small sample from the women security sutra
for the to targeters and the body suffers there is a liberation and called inconceivable
the body for who lives in the inconceivable liberation can pour into a single poor of her skin all the waters of the for great oceans without injuring the water animals such as fish tortoises crocodiles frogs and other creatures and without the nagas
yorkshire's gandharva as and assurers even being aware of where they are and the whole operation is visible without injury or disturbance to any of those living beings
can pick up with her right hand this billion world galactic universe as if it were a potter's wheel and spinning it around throw it beyond universes as numerous as the sounds of the ganges without the living beings therein knowing their motion
or as origin
and she can catch it and put it back in its place
without the living been suspecting they are coming and going and yet the whole operation is visible
he was so when we read about this kind of liberation have really seems like it might be a lot of fun
and in fact it is when we redid our minds enter into the words become the words off we go
without pain or confusion the waters of the for great oceans pour into my body through a tiny opening in ah it's no problem i can do that you can do that
mind is a wonderful thing yeah
but the problem isn't how wonderful the mind is the problem is said it's not limited to things we enjoy
what about when people we love begin to die
or when children with rifles began to shoot one another as though it were a game
sometimes the miracle is unbearable

so each day of our life is filled with all kinds of things good things and batting sad and happy light and dark birth and death
two by two
so the reason that we practice not moving immobile sitting isn't to get to some kind of wonderful place some eternal bliss from which we will never have to return
we practice so that we can bear
that we can be strong and com
so that we can face what's going on in this world where we live

and our minds are com it's really difficult for us when miracles happen when magical things come into our eyes and into our ears

a combine sees everything both inside and out dogs cats fish mountains and rivers without being bound by them or liberated by them
so we don't ignore what's happening
and we don't desire that it be anything different and exactly what it is
when ignorance and desire are present suffering comes to be with a cessation of ignorance and desire suffering ceases to be
suzuki roshi said that if you are determined to sit he should not try to find some easy way the only way is to sit right where you are and to find the complete absolute composure right where you sit
when it's hot you should be hot buddha and when it's cold you should be cold buddha
so if we want to change our lives
we can't change the circumstances of our lives like moving the real dad
but we can change how we understand our lives
we can find up in a who we really are and why we use suffer why we suffer this was the question that brought the buddha to his place under the tree
who we really are isn't so easy to know
it's very common question and who are you were asked that question all the time we fill out forms at answering that question as best we can
and yet every time i answer i feel like i'm not telling the truth has not who i am
what are somehow not answering seemed closer
so i found it to be a great relief in the buddhist teaching that who i really am has very little to do with what i think one way or the other
had thinking is only a very small part of reality
we are reality itself

it doesn't get much better or worse than that
you are not it it actually is you
and the other great question that people ask us all the time is what's happening
non
commonly will say or not much horror
same old same old
there's another kind of a lie and and because everything's happening
all at once the entire universe in a cup of bright green tea
we can't stand it and also we make us small we try to make it smaller
but it was in everything that our true self can be found within each site and each sound each smell each feeling each thought
his very hard for us to say what it is but even a baby can do it

so i thought i would ask you also to consider your experience throughout the day
to notice
how it is
how big it is
when did it start
where will it end
is it one thing is in many things
the for great oceans pour into your body through a single tiny opening no one is injured and nothing is disturbed
the language of these teachings is the language of our true self
it's inconceivable
unlimited
suffering is caused by limitation by contraction by getting a hold of a small idea and not letting it go
i'm old i'm fat i'm tired i'm angry
this is our ancient habit and it's much harder for us to break this habit
then it is to quit smoking
someone once asked one of the teachers here what they were gonna get out of sitting here all day day after day after day
and
he said it's not what you're going to get that really matters it's what you're going to lose

so i wanted to just tell you very quickly when it issued by to live
and that is your upside down views
and you only have four of them and they all fit together very nicely there said
the first view is that there is a self
the buddha said there is no such thing
and the second view is that there are things
durable long lasting
acquirable things
and the buddha said there are no such things not the way you think of them
and the third view is that this self chasing after these things is pleasant
we believe that
and the buddha said is just a cat chasing its own tail
round and around with around
ignorant desire and suffering ignorant desire and suffering around her toward samsara means endless circling

so this the last of these beliefs the fourth one is the glue that holds the others together and this one is the hardest one of all to break this belief is that what i believed to be true is in fact true
and swear we come to our convictions are deeply held convictions
i am here and this is mine
and as soon as i get it all organized properly i will be happy
we believe that's true we believe it with our whole game
the reversal of this pattern is called wisdom that teaching of emptiness that there is nothing not the way we think of it there is no thing
no thing nothing there it's an illusion to wonderful illusion but it's an illusion

so how these solutions are formed is precisely what the buddha was watching on the night of his enlightenment he was watching the pattern of illusion making how we make allusions how we make up the story how we continuously create our version of reality and imputed on everything
it's like a kid with dirty fingerprints he put our fingerprint on everything our opinion our view our preference

and it's not so much that these solutions are a bad or not entertaining or useful because they are useful and they are entertaining but i think what's important and much more deeply satisfying to us is when we actually pulled back the curtain and see how the wizard of oz is may
making a show
it's much more interesting
to study the buddha ways to study the self and all of the stories that flow out from that place
so i want to finish by telling you about a very real wizard
who stood at the crossroads of the town creating elephants and dragons out of sticks and pebbles is a true story
when people came to look they saw elephants and dragons and they ran away
but the question is what did the wizards see
well he saw elephants and dragons but he knew they were sticks and pebbles
so if we continue our practice please don't expect that the world will change the way it looks
but you can expect that
how you think about the world will change
and even vanish
which brings me back to the very first question which is or how how do we do that how do we do that and it's very simple
we sit here
for a long time in this room by the pond
have we watch
on the inhalation the world arises
and on the exhalation the world to sense like a bright green turtle on the open ocean
wonderful wonderful
but i allow no such pleasant feeling that arises in me to gain power over my mind
thank you very much
me