Rilke's 8th Duino Elegy

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SF-03128
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One-day Sitting: This tape belongs to the Everyday Zen Foundation Tape Club

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our intention
i know that preparing dharma touch doesn't necessarily make them any better
another
and all my forethought and even writing talks down doesn't really make an improvement but the reason that i do that is just food for the fun of it after myself and also because
i feel it's respectful and i'm not to show up and speak off the cost of that to do that seems always struck me as disrespectful however
yeah i'm making myself a little crazy with preparing to many dharma talk so
excuse me but i don't really have a diameter prepared to the understand a talk to your little bit
just because i
well it's easier
that's gonna get me through the week
ah let's see one thing is that it says on a poster and other room
quoting
henry david thoreau
that
you can't something this is a paraphrase you can't
you can only see beauty with a calm mind
which i think it's true and a wonderful say and
so it's nice to practice at a place like this today with so much beauty around and when the line becomes com you appreciate the beauty of it
because another poster in there that says
something like
have you hugged your camp cabin counselor today
so
and that was thought provoking saying i thought
asked myself have i hugged my camp counselor today think we all should
like i can't count this everyday
coming in here was a thrill by the this morning did you notice all of the turkey vultures sunning themselves
and i guess they must have a lot of
natsu things like that they open their wings me the air it out
must be very comfortable for themselves we saw that there was we were going by a high pole and we couldn't figure out what that was on the top of the paul it look like something really weird it was to turkey vultures are huddled together with their wings about three quarters open
very i don't know that ever seen after for then there was another place where there were many than one on one afternoon and posts our what we say
oh yeah
oh yeah they do in the morning but
well i can imagine i'd wanna do that then
when you try trying because the morning the wizard with
i'm except
there was a bluebird by by across the road we think wasn't movement
so
and i've been in compass in nepal
where the walls are covered with murals very colorful murals all over
buddhism body and booed as good or realms
and of course this you know in sand the style is very spare nothing no art at all in the room in the zendo
there isn't even really have much of an altar a buddha statue and zen center we have big buddhist because the zendo double as buddha house
but in a in a zendo there's nothing no adornment at all and maybe there's a little tiny buddha somewhere
but today we have a tibetans down the hall and i'm really enjoying these murals are really kind of wonderful because they are the depiction of the ecosystem of this place of this area
and i think they're supposed to show you
the entire
wholeness of it in the water when he lost and coming up and coming down and animals feeding each other in a cycle of birth and death
ah you know this guy overhead the waters
and
i really think that
and what we're trying to understand in our practice is that
you know so in the grandpa's
those murals are
he picked
the inner space
in these murals depict the outer space
what i think that what we're trying to understand in our practice is the non difference
of the inner space and the outer space
that the world that we live in the trees the plants
the animals grasses waters
the buildings the other human beings
then all of that is our own mind
and when we look inside of ourselves our hopes or fears our thoughts
our aches or pains
all that is nothing but the world
that were not separated an isolated but we're in in it
a whole world realizes itself through my body
and my body is taking care of when i take care of the whole world i think that recognition that realization
is what our practice is fundamentally about and that's where why we can that's how we come to feel at home and i will and appreciative of our world
and that's the root of compassion is the recognition of identity
so that's why this is a perfect meal
for us since this is the inside of our mind
surface ranelagh condensation precipitation
that's our mind and i remember i had a wonderful experience many years of guys that when i when i first started going to the pacific northwest
every time i when i would go out and puts on some trip going to see learn more about the area now i don't do that so much anymore but i used to do that and i remember ah i would look at a lot of art of the northwest pupils
and then one day i remember on after looking at a lot of art
seeing i think it was
geese
a huge flock of canadian geese were walking around on some park public park
and i realized that for the native people there it was really true that
the people that inhabit in their dreams where the same people that within these people in the fish people and on that's why not their images of you know the art of the pacific northwest people's is very dreamlike a stylized but it's based on salmon and
eagle and so on and i realized that that and
the dream world and the inner world of those people and the outer world the animals was one of the say
and i think it's although we don't dream animals made me so much they're not as prominent in our psychology it's really true that the planet the outer world is our inner world
and that's why when
when you know we live in such a way that we
ruin other species and so forth
we're losing part of it were literally losing part of ourselves
when that happens
so i was thinking like today unless it is to be in this in this room
and this place is dedicated to environmental education is so as as the headlands but we're usually make so it's a good thing
anyway what i want to do today is
appreciate with you upon
and
what i'll do is
i mean upon
through a little long and then i'll talk about it
and then i'll need it's really good and that'll be my diameter
okay
this is the
do we know lg by
welcome

with all its eyes
a natural world looks out into the open
only our eyes are turned
backward
and surround plant animal child like traps as they emerge into their freedom
we know what is really out there
only from the animals gas
for we take the very young child
and force it around
so that it sees objects
not be open
which is so deep in animals faces
free from death
we only
can see death
the three animal has its decline in back of it forever
and bad incident
and when it moves it moves already an eternity
like a fountain
never
not for a single day do we have before us that pure space into which flowers endlessly open
always there is world
can never
nowhere
without the know
that pure unsaturated element which one breathes without desire and endlessly knows
a child may wonder there for hours through the time was stillness
may get lost in it and be shaken back
or someone dies and is it
for nearing death
one doesn't see death
but stairs beyond
perhaps with an animal's vast gays
lovers
if the beloved we're not there blocking the view
a close to it
and marvel
as if by some mistake it opens for them behind each other
but neither can move past the other
and the changes back to world
before ever turned toward objects we see in them the mere reflection
of the realm of freedom which we have doomed
or when some animal mutely serenely looks us through and through
here's to be opposite to the opposite and nothing else
forever
if the animal moving toward us so securely in a different direction had our kind of consciousness it would wrench us around and drag us along its path
what it feels it's life as boundless unfathomable and without regard to its own condition pure
like its outward case
and where we see the future
it sees all time
in itself within all time
forever healed
yet in the alert warm animal their lies
the pain and burden of an enormous sadness
for to feels the presence of what often overwhelms us
a memory
as if the element we keep pressing toward was once more intimate war true
and our communion infinitely tender
here
all his distance
there
it was breath
after that first home the second seemed ambiguous and drafty
oh the bliss of the tiny creature which remains forever inside the womb that was a shocker
roy of the net which
still within lives up even at its marriage for everything is warm
and look at the half assurance of the bird
which knows both inner and outer from its source as if it were the sole of an etruscan flown out of a dead man received inside the space but with his reclining image as the lid
and how bewildered
is any room born creature the has to fly
as if terrified and fleeing from itself it zigzags through the air the way a crack
runs through a teacup
so the bat
quivers across the porcelain of evening
and we
spectators always everywhere
turned toward the world of objects never outward
it fills us
we arrange it
it breaks down
we rearrange it then break down ourselves
who has twisted us around like this so that no matter what we do we are in the posture of someone going away
just as upon the farthest hill
which shows him his whole valley one last time
he turns stops lingers
so we live here
forever taking leave
a beautiful is that
quite wonderful
i'm going to just go through it and say a little bit about it
that it needs it but
i just thought i would do that
so with all its eyes the natural world looks out into the open
the natural world
in the opening as capital oh
the open as the space of
he turned to the
in which there are no objects only relationships
there's nothing over against you know there's only and sharing this is a natural world and everything shares just like this mural everything everything's in one system recycling and re emerging and disappearing and coming back again
and i think he's saying that a natural world this how and this is how life goes life manifest and understand itself but only our eyes are turned backward it's interesting because dogan uses the backward metaphor exactly the opposite way dog has turned take us take the backwards step by which
he means on dog is has take the backward step and turn the light inwardly to eliminate himself he means enter the open
let go of objects and into the open and hair he's using the opposite
the same metaphor in the opposite way
we are turned backward not facing the open but turned backward and we surround animals plants trees like traps
because we make them into objects we we we evaluate them with our ego
is this good for me as as bathroom you do i like this do not like this so i want this to i don't want this how does this what does this do for me
whenever we look at the world in that way
full of fear and desire
we have made the world into an object and we've cut ourselves off from the open
we know what is really out there only from the animals gays
for we take the very young child and force it around so that it sees object not the open
which is so deep and animal spaces and it's true know just when i'm sitting in the room next door i could there's a deer on not just saw the deer outside eating and whenever you see animals you know if you're fortune and especially wild animals but domestic animals to have you ever look into their eyes you know
there's something immense there
there's a beautiful passage in there
martin buber he talks about his house cat
looking into the eyes of his cap
yeah i know your cat story
you know our animals seen him
giving ourselves you know usually we die know we have lot of tests i usually don't really pay attention to look at them particularly but if you let go of everything for a moment and look into the eyes of an animal really allow yourself to be affected by the animal you feel
some sort of sense of infinite belonging
that is a natural part of the animal's life
and we're not like that we've trained ourselves from very young
to see objects
not the open which is so deep in the animals faces free from death animals are free from death
because you know there isn't any such thing as death
did you know that that news
when death is there is a concept we have a concept called death
ah but ah
there isn't such a thing as death
there's only
life
and transformation
certainly we we breathe in we breathe out that we don't breathe in again
the flesh transforms into something else goes back to the earth
but does that death it's just
breathing in transformation change
animals don't have this burdensome concept called death that they can project huge ego fear onto
so for them there is no death it's literally the case with animals can tell i'm what you're going to die they say the crazy
only we can see this
the free animal as its decline in back of it
forever
in god and front of it he opened infinite space in front of it
and when it moves that moves already an eternity like fountain
we don't move in eternity until our life is over
then we're like a fun
until then we're plagued by our conceptual minds
moving us from
this world that has already complete
including you know that the earth is our body
we can touch the earth by really entering our own bodies and inhabiting our own bodies so it's therefore us it's not that somehow we're doomed not to have it in our lives but we so deeply ingrained is our habit of he got thinking and conception
how were removed from it
never
not for a single day the we have before us that pure space
into which flowers endlessly open always there is world
and never know where
and that's what's so nice about taking a day like today
the why i think we need to do this
every day
an intensely once in awhile because you know today is day for nothing and nowhere
it's a day for allowing the apparatus of conceptual mind that mind to simply just fade away we will have to do battle with it
you just have to let her go it's natural way i'm not encouraging it more
and so you can let everything fade away and enter nowhere and nothing
that pure on separated element which one braves without desire and endlessly knows
again logan has aligned effort without desire
when people ask what kind of effort to make in practice i always say effort without desire
and then the next line of the poem is
a bird flies like a bird a fish swims like a fish
so you make effort as animals make tremendous effort
but without desire
just the effort of this moment
without i'm going to get something on over there are some he's going to happen for me because of it
something like that just the effort to pay attention
be still to let go
and there's a feeling endlessly knowing
endlessly be held
when you make that kind of effort
a child they wonder there for hours though the time was through the time or stillness
may get lost in and as children do thickness of time the openness of time something children experience
that's why play is so important
play is how children enter
this realm and animals play a lot in our animals very important for animals to play and all animals play
we forgot how to play

and then it says or someone dies and is it
becomes it becomes this openness that's why if you've lost someone in your life close when you enter this openness
there there
not really gone
there really there
and you can you sense that sense sometimes you touched deeply or your connection with us that you've lost because in the openness
are there
for nearing death one doesn't see death
but stairs beyond perhaps with an animal's vast gays
and i noticed some of us here i worked with dying and know that that's true that sometimes not always because many people facing death
but sometimes even when they do have tremendous for despite that
every now and then
something they say
and they're like they have the quality to them like an animal just step to are beings as a pure being because their closeness
to death
then this part about lovers is if one of the things in the duino elegies and and also of workers life
lovers of the beloved we're not there blocking the view are close to it and marble
as if by some mistake it opens for them behind each other but neither can move past the other and it changes back to world
so i think this is really just really seems true to me i can really understand and relate to this because
i think it's true that that's why i often say no it's unbelievable how ninety nine point nine percent of all songs you hear on the radio or love love fall in love and all of angles and love why why i mean there's all these things going on in the world and why is that so interesting
but it really is interesting the soap operas and all the stories in your own like that
peabody's really interested in that because it's such a powerful thing in our lives
and and then and then everybody's you know out trying to cultivate these relationships and then there's such problems with these really kind of really have such huge problems and difficulties it's very hard to you have an intimate relationship with person
so but i think that he's onto something here to me because i feel because
why it's we so desperately need and want these relationships is because it is in the feeling that comes up inside of us of loving someone
we feel this openness that he's talking about the feeling of love is so close to this and in evokes as invokes it for us and then we take the beloved and turn them into an object and don't allow ourselves to embrace the beloved through the beloved
to enter the openness of the world instead of
you know if we we have our egotistical expectations of the beloved and that's when we have big problems
and then that which is so important to us and so powerful in our lives become so problematic so it's it's not easy but it's the only chance we have i think is to remember over and over again
that it's through its it's love
that inspires our lives and opens our lives and if we have another person in our life who can help us to practice law in a vocal that's wonderful
and we have to honor that person
and through our relationship with that person go beyond so that the other person is not standing and our way i think that's the problem with our relationships we get our relationships organized in such a fashion that the other person is standing in our way
even though we spent twenty years
it's very confusing and difficult so we have to find a way to we're ever going to have these kind of a wonderful and important relationships in our lives which i myself am a believer in these relationships in my life something really wonderful him open
thing
beautiful but we have to find a way
to not create the other person as a stumbling block in our path
that's of the few lines of here in in the allergy but in the other elegies he speaks about this a lot as a life was
like that he couldn't figure out a way
but i i have many problems with rocha you know i always get annoyed with
one of the problems is that look at can never figure out a way to be human being in the world
he always
hit his head in the cloud of here
anyway forever turn toward objects
we see them the mere reflection of the realm of freedom and forever turn toward objects we've seen them the mere reflection of the realm of freedom which explains
which we have doomed the mere reflection of the realm of treating which we have been which explains once again my favorite a concept and the economy this explains the economy
this is why we all like to go shopping
i do
i get extremely excited when i'm going to turn through the shopping and go to the mall and everything
because
there's a reflection of the realm of freedom
in that desire for possession and enhancement that we're going to get out of our shopping
so we make the world of the objects know are we relate to those objects we feel a reflection of the possibilities that we have doomed
and then we go out and shop
i realize you know that shopping as you can throw the things away you can just get to bring 'em home and then right put a run the garments you could do that actually would be fine
it's not because it's not having an a is rather bothers them
it's that thrill of here
shopping
because the objects have a reflection of the realm of create in which we have doomed
so we we have to that's why we keep our practice sega we don't want to get twenty people of off because it would be very bad and economy
because mostly people should shop is very beneficial
can we get recovery act
yeah right
so i went some animal neatly so really looks us through and through
in other words when when the now at an animal looks at us and we're not related we can enter the space of that animal that's fate that's what faith in fate fate in the sense of being a catch a captive
a time and space
a victim of time and space that's fake when you're a victim of time and space you're you're a victim are you you're a victim of fate say this to be opposite to the opposite and nothing else forever opposite means not to enter your not to not to be in relation to allow something to come in
in and change your life and you to change that things like to merge and mesh and listen and be changed by everything that you every moment of your life
the opposite of faith that's freedom
his engagement always with what happens
i think i was writing on a little blurb about
every day you know because that always gonna change the thing on the web pages and and i i wrote something like what we want to do is change the world
and be changed by it moment by moment in a dialogue
so it's not that we have a truth that we're going to impose on the world
we don't know what the truth is we're going to be changed and challenged by the world as we made it and we're going to talk back
so were receptive and directed all at once that them were in dialogue then were not a victim
and ah
we're free
if the animal moving toward us so securely in a different direction had our kind of consciousness it would reach us around and drag us along its path
because that's how human beings are they make the world and objects and then one of the great objects of course is believed
i notice this i believe this and so you should believe the to otherwise you're on us off
so if the animals were like us they would grab us and they would say okay you should be like us
they were animals with with drench us and and drag them along in their path
but the animals don't do that we need to do we need you i need i need to get you all to believe what i believe in i'll feel better they
but animals aren't like that they don't need that because they feel as if their life is boundless and unfathomable and without regard to its own conditions pure
like it's outward gaze
the sense of self sufficiency in amherst
but it also was in us if only we can find it you don't need to talk somebody into something
you don't need to make things go the way we want them to go how limiting that is you know how limiting that is to make things go to where i wanted to go as if i was so smart that i could figure out the best way for me
for things could go on much more wonderful to be totally surprised that the way things go and to learn every moment from what happens
that i didn't plan on that i didn't pre predetermine
animals or self sufficient enough to be able to not need and if you more than what they find
and where we see the future
the animal sees all time and itself within all time for ever healed and that's a surprising and wonderful
it and to have a field because that's what feels you know
but heals us is not getting what we want
because one finds over and over and over again that you do get what you want and it's not what you want you ever noticed that
that's why shopping is so great because
you know shopping is about the fantasy of getting what you want you bring it home and then you habit and and who needs it is the shopping that's important
yeah right because it's never quite but in the normal enough shopping and it really feels right
so
we are healed not by getting what we want
either in an inner or outer way say we all are beyond the shopping on this year
because we know that what we want is not some something we can get it wrong
we want happiness we wouldn't love we want peace with so what's the difference we want a little shopping doha
but animals don't want any of that i see
what way that they see they just live in time
they just are in time
and they
see themselves as non different time
and that's their healing and that's our healing to our healing they didn't they get something outside of us are inside of us are healing is to just live
to allow ourselves to live
just to live in time in this body with this conditioning that we have
to release ourselves to being what we are
whatever that may be whatever inadequacies and limitations and desires that we may have just to have those desires as they are
and the honor what it is that we are in time to be there with it
that's our healing
and then he says well animals are perfect here
who knows also suffer too and they also have like we do a memory
because we all know this is this is the thing that's so
dragic about human beings and so wonderful loving this is we all know better
it's not like we're doomed to this horrible thing you know all this thing really talking about and that's it
we all have the memory
as if the element we keep pressing toward were at one time more intimate more true in our communion with the world was infinitely more tender we all remember that somehow we all know that
and i think got to the source of our spiritual longing
as we know so
we can almost taste it
there is another possibility
and so were were given to go in that direction
here all his distance that means in the world of objects there
it was breath isn't that interesting the contrast to the world of objects which is only distance and alienation his breath which is so intimate and that reminds me of another part of europe
about really
breathing
you in his little palm
complete interchange of our own essence within worlds space you counterweight in which i rhythmically happen
single wave motion was gradual see i am you most inclusive of all possible sees space grown worn and breathing space word i am really is
how many regions in space have already been inside me
there are winds as seem like my wandering son
do you recognize me air full of places i was absorbed
you who were the smooth bark roundness and leaf to my words
move is why
our practice of breathing is so profound
you know there's nothing honestly i really feel there's nothing more beautiful or more profound in this life and just breathe and to pay attention and be with an inter fully breathing which is basically our practice just to sit and be present letting go of everything but to breathing that's the intimacy
the of connection it's literally our connection and are entering and being entered by everything
and then we get up from my seat and it's a world of objects we live living
we've said enough
heart and not we recognize that it's all the breath
every person every cloud the object in the world every emotion
is all the breath it's all intimate it's all based wormed
then he has this funny part of tiny creatures
the worst for the animals have this little bit longing like we do because they remember something more intimate only it's only the little things like gnats and will add at crawley on the ground they are still they'd never left the wool
the animals because animals were you are warm board so they have been in woods and they have left the woman and so there's some longing there that they experience but these other little creatures they don't have that
for them everything is wool and this a woman is interesting word i was reading a poem i couldn't find it but to bring it would mean for you but there's a problem as reading by you who to amilcar the israeli poet
which turns on the idea of room and it turns out that in hebrew i think the word for a the word wound is the same route as the word for kindness and compassion
so kindness
is the quality of to return to kindness and to return to this rule connection feeling
so so the the little creatures the nats are still in the world
then there's birds the birds are so the in between i was thought that you are about birds birth as looked at birth or thought this is very unlikely
and i mean birds they like what where did this come from the strange thing is birds the bird will they not just not human