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Sunday Lecture

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chase the dream the of to tie with as words morning

well hum
those of you who who know me know that i have
a slight towns writing habit
so sometimes despite myself i write things down and occasionally
i read an essay and somebody recently
call me up the shambala sun editor melvin melvin a cloud who lives up there in nova scotia
and he said we're doing an issue of the shambala sun on sex and love and would you write an essay for this issue and
that that was a challenging assignment
so i said sure
so this morning instead of
a usual dharma talk i would like to present to you why essay the first draft
my essay on this topic which has a title romance
i hope that's all right because i don't have another talk

so romance
there is nothing more miraculous to me
then the experience of looking at a baby
especially if the baby is your own but any baby will probably do
the perfect fingers and toes with their tiny precise nails
the intense face with his soulful expression
devoid of any defensiveness or posturing
brown soft body always alive with motion are utterly utterly
a picture of pristine humanness
that delights the eye and heart
parents can spend hours gazing at their babies with endless fascination
how could such a creature exists and where couldn't have come from
how is it that it seems to look exactly like so many different relatives at once
how can its personality be already so clear
and at the same time so unformed
very nature of our lives seems to be called in questions
by this small persons
who's fierce impulse simply to exist
puts everything pale by comparison
to really look at a baby in this way
his to feel with immediacy a powerful selfless healing love
that astonishes you
with its purity and warmth
overcome by it you easily lose yourself in wonder
this is because the baby invokes evokes an experience of pure human possibility
she having only recently come up out of them dennis
there's still the marks
pure skin soft lens perfect features
clear and unadulterated karma
before the formation of self with all it's messy anxieties and complicated desires
the same feeling comes over us when we fall in love
the beloved doesn't appear as just another person's
she is rather the occasions
the locations of something unlimited
a feeling of connection and destiny that dissolves our habitual selfishness and isolation
were overcome with a warm and enthusiastic feeling that can't be denied
and that will distract us day and night
we exist in a special zone of delight as a result of this encounter with the unexpected force or love
all songs
soap operas and most stories feed on whatever memory or longing we have for this feeling

so i think that these kinds of experiences
which are always fleeting
though the commitments and consequences that flow from them can last a lifetime
i think these experiences are flashes of enlightenment
or maybe more precisely flashes of what is called in buddhism
body chitter
the oceanic impulse toward enlightenment not only for ourselves but for all beings
unlike anything else we think or experience
bodhicitta is not a creation of ego
we don't decide to fall in love
with our mate or our child
it is something that happens to us
willy nilly
a force of nature who sources are known to us
the sutures are call this bodhicitta unproduced
which is to say unconditioned
we can't even say it exists in the ordinary sense of the word
so many people doubt that it exists think of it as a youthful delusion
but when we experience it it lifts us up
releases us from all that holds us to earth
love occurs
we now know
although we don't know what it is
we only know that we have been overcome
to speak in using the terminology of buddha dharma we could say that love has twin impulses
emptiness and compassion
using more ordinary language we could translate this as wonder
and warmth
emptiness points to the miraculous nature of phenomena
that things are not actually what they appear to us to be
that they are rather than separate
connected that they are rather than fixed and waited fluid and light
when we see a baby when we look into the face of our beloved
we know that the way we've been conditioned to see the world just isn't right
that the world is not a fearful and problematic challenge
it is instead a beautiful beautiful gift
and we are always at its center
this comes to us primarily
not as a thought
and not even really as an emotion
ah but as a total physical experience so compelling
that we have a strong impulse to merge with another and through that other with a whole world
we want to put ourselves out of ourselves and into the beloved as if our whole body where water
so love is quite naturally
and positively
connected with the sexual
mine's don't love needed to hearts minds and hearts are only abstractions whole beings embodied beings love and naturally we want to cuddle and kiss and touch and hold and feel the literal worms of the other thoroughly penny
straight our bodies
and one of the most wonderful things and one of the most necessary things is to hold your child
physically hold your child next to your cheek or next to your heart
until i lie down with her at bedtime kiss goodnight maybe fall asleep together that's a sweet sleep
and this is a wonderful thing
are apparent to experience
in a wonderful thing for a child this big
peaceful feeling of security of belonging and of transcendent warmth
and sometimes a person can spend a whole lifetime
longing just to return to this feeling
and then just the same way
it is utterly
relieving and wonderful and necessary
to fall into the sexual embrace with the beloved
to enter each other with warmth and delight and finally peaceful release
it takes enormous trust
to give yourself in this way holding nothing back
it's a form of liberation
there's no sense of control reserve or separateness
and there's no one there
who could stand aloof

so i'm sure that this is all true but i also know that this is not what most of us experience most of the time
sexuality may be in it's essence the natural expression of a pure and selfless love
but it is also in the deep economy of human emotion quite chameleon like
according to inner conditions it takes on many colors
clearly the body only seldom operates in the pure service of selflessness
more often deliberative signals
that are always potentially present because we can at any moment fall in love with the whole world
this liberated signals that are potentially they get distorted by confusion of ego and we become conditioned to see sexuality
our experience it as a replacement for so much else in our lives that we need to but are unable to come into contact with
so sexuality so often becomes among many other things a way to express a need for power
a way to avoid loneliness or pain
our frustration fear
probably nothing in our experience is more apt to produce self deception
self confusion and sexuality
and when sexuality becomes deeply self deceptive
it becomes dark
and becomes a source of an enormous suffering
the poorer recognized this and respected sexuality very deeply i think
and he saw
it's potential for disaster
he knew that the spiritual path naturally and beautifully contains an erotic element
any new that the chances for perversion of the erotic are very great
so he taught the practice of celibacy
as a path toward love
most of us don't take her celibacy in that way but i think it must be like that a loving and warm practice and if not i would say that that's not really a true practice of celibacy it's just a justification for a coldness or distance that one may naturally prefer
maybe out of some fear of other people
but a real celibate practitioner is free because he or she is not attached to any one or several particular persons to develop a universal love and warmth that includes self and everyone all held in the basket of the way
but for those of us who
do not choose or cannot choose a path of celibacy
our challenge is to include our beloved or a family as a part of our practice
as exactly the avenue for the development of wide and broad love for the whole world
the fact is there isn't any way
that love can be narrow or exclusive
certainly we tend to see it that way
as if if we were to love one person or be loyal to one group we couldn't love another person or be loyal to another group so we make it very small
but this is a perversion of the real energy of love
cause love's salient characteristic is it's exactly it's unlimited this
it may start local
but it always seeks to find through the local the universal
and if that natural process of the opening and widening of love is subverted in love will become perverted it has to either grow and grow and grow or it will go sour
it can't be reduced or hemmed in
of course this is the most common thing in the world for love to become reduced
we find ourselves making big efforts to domesticate beloved
as if she were known and predictable subject to our needs possessive will
this is where we have jealousy selfishness disappointment
the desire to control in the fear of change
what was once love
easily becomes a mutual conspiracy of smallness
and there's nothing more common among long lasting and seemingly successful relationships than this embattled holding onto the past
in a way that is usually ends up being quite unhappy
and it's debatable
whether this is preferable to the endless seeking for the perfect mate
that goes on among those who see divorce or breakup as a better remedy for an inner restlessness
so unfortunately these are the usual pass
that intimate relationships take so it's a tough go
hinder we we have many jokes you know always about this hard relationships are and so on and the only wonder is that people keep trying
the power of love and are longing for it is so great that we keep trying in the face of such painfully poor odds

so i think the alternative to this
forms of suffering that love can bring his to see
that it is absolutely necessary
the practice renunciation
within the context of loving relationships
i think it really is necessary for us to be willing
and the center of our relationship
to give the beloved up
to recognize that we can never really know her
or in an absolute sense ever really depend on her
anymore than we can depend on our own body
or on the weather
she or he
is a mystery
and as such completely unfeasible
so giving her up is not a matter of making a sacrifice
if we had had our eyes opened from the start we would have seen
that the real vision of love was showing us this all along
all things are impermanent
created fresh each moment and then gone
since this is so the miracle of love between two people are within a family is something precious and brief
any human relationship is really brief
we're together for a short while and then inevitably we part
to love someone truly is to recognize this every day
to see the preciousness i was a beloved and of the time we have together
to renounce any clinging need for our dependency on the other and to make the effort to open our hands
so that instead of hanging on
we are nurturing and supporting

people often wonder how it's possible in the face of impermanence to make a long term commitment in a relationship
certainly seems on the basis of logic
that we are going to deny impermanence and assert are endless wow
or accept it and move on as soon as things change that seems quite logical
but it is exactly impermanence that inspires what i would call a true commitment
exactly because things must always change and we cannot prevent them
arises in our heart this limitless bow
to remain faithful to love
because love is the only thing that has absolutely in harmony with change love is change
it is the movement and color of the world
it's a feeling of constancy openness and appreciation for the wonder of the world
a feeling that we can be true to no matter what circumstances may bring
so i notice may seem impossibly idealistic
i really feel it is quite practical and also the only chance
to really respect the beloved
to give as completely as we possibly can
asking for nothing in return
in face that what we need will be provided
without our insisting on it too much
may seem like the work of a seat
but really i don't think there's any other way
and in order to do it will have to
recondition our ego soften it up a bit
knock off the rough edges
so they can't that it can become a pliable enough fearless enough
to actually be open to what comes
and to me permissive and the best sense of that word for another
if this is true with our lover or spouse it's even more true with our children
and really when you think about it this is the basic spiritual practice isn't it
all other practices are in the service of this this is what it's all about

so it seems to me that for most of us
this journey
of loving relationships
though as we say it's it's difficult
it's probably
realistically our best chance to develop the bodhicitta
in my anna buddhism this bodhicitta the seemingly impossible and unlimited aspiration for enlightenment
not only for ourselves but for all creatures unlimited numbers of creatures
to develop this aspiration
and really have conviction with it
this is the heart of the practice this is the beginning of the practice in the end of the practice
so it's only logical that if we're trying to develop a love that big
and that thorough
it's good to have some place to start it's nice to have somebody to practice on you know and after all if we can have that feeling for one person how can we hope to have it for unlimited numbers of beings
so practice is not about some
something about me and my aloneness
my insight
my enlightenment
it's really about developing love
starting with one person or two or three persons
so to really love your lover husband wife children
taking that on as the most challenging the most worthwhile of all of life's projects
is a very noble thing
and it is possible but it is work and effort revolved
we know it's possible
because all of us have felt from time to time the compelling
force of love
even if we've almost entirely forgotten
melvin club ask for a rather short essay the sand of my talk thank you
our intention
poetry but on which availability

roger didn't anybody tell you that you look like steven spielberg
carry yourself this yeah
because i saw the academy words and i was astonished i thought it was you
after the the resemblance at least on the t v is is quite remarkable

morning and
you know we have chance to discuss things
what do you have on your mind that you'd like to bring up
yes he turned snaps
many things but that sometimes couples when they get together and they seem to form a kind of a closed system of what is reality it's like i have an idea i think i think someone so it's kind of loo we're not talking and then if the other person agrees that it syncs to solidify
it is and become so and then it's both people started acting as if this is
yeah yeah that happens i met the most troublesome part of
couples yeah well i know that your
you're speaking from the perspective of person who lives and works in zen center
and it's always it's not only it's true anywhere but it's more noticeable if the couple lives and works in our community right where the effects of there being that way our reverberate in many directions whereas in the world at large if you work somewhere you might not know the person's spouse and even
if you do know them you don't know them that intimately perhaps you know so you're unaware of the kind of dynamic of their relationship but i think that is common in i mean
it's like
one of the ways that we
cement our intimacy is by
agreeing about who we don't like in her
oh you and i really must be really close because we both know that so and so is really a bit better so we reinforce each other in that wonderful point of view therefore you know shit you know increasing our togetherness but in the end of course this is not a good idea
don't think it doesn't really and in fact increase our real intimacy it only increases that kind of attachment so yeah this is what i was talking about
and a big it can get to the point of caricature you know when somebody that's couple has been married for you know many many many many years and has done this for a long time so the challenge is how to love each other without creating
it closed and small minded reality together can this be done and this is the challenge and i'm going i feel like it's the only way to go about it in the end
so yes limber this i am now
well you never know if it will come out because will him a cloud my real didn't say i don't like it could
so but if it would come out i've actually don't know i guess it's for the next issue because he was telling me and i have to get it done fast so i assume it's for the next issue but you know i don't see the magazine that often i don't even know if it comes out once a month or once every two months
yeah so i'm afraid i'm afraid i don't know
ah thank you yeah
would really like
thousand and seven
and also
it right me
i see this happening with my son is why yes see how
the recognition of his deep right
yeah yeah
so i'm really like yeah sure well as
yeah they'll probably edited and improvement to one time now
i touched on something
see expanded on very much except more
and then is the idea that monsters as a soldier and many different
yes yes right right and sexual
right spirit
yeah i loved it thank you yeah well you know the thing is that when it comes to
other people are observation our our observations of other people and how well they're doing in terms of what we feel is a good path for us it's always best to be extremely patient and a recognized that we don't really see the other person we don't really know exactly what their life is you know
this is it is important because otherwise
if we look around we can see plenty of
examples of how not to do things i mean it's very easy that's the easiest thing in the world you know to see
but somehow we have to have a big tolerance and see things in their widest contacts so who knows how things go now
thank you
one thing i would i i
are few my online
the aspect of the science
your for more
the whole thing
where does is around
it seems i know my own life
i'm a computer time
that aren't
who are
are you
it's very important to have a clear awareness as much as we possibly can so
we should definitely be in touch with our desires in touch with our needs
i feel like if we insist on getting what we need and fulfilling our desires especially if we depend on someone else to make sure that that happens and were insisting on it you know then i think that it's going to be a hard go it seems like to me because
you can't really ever depend on such things
i feel and when i was sitting in the talk as i really feel as if although it seems idealistic i think in the end of the most practical thing to try your best to give to the other person and not expect anything in return that doesn't mean be unaware of your needs and we should be aware but not really expect that the other person kind of owes you that
and then i think if if if there really is love their the other person is going to spontaneously
i help you with what you really need
in i think and i think that you inspire that person to do that by you're doing that see so rather than a conspiracy of smallness we have a conspiracy of generosity we conspired together to to develop our generosity and in order to do that each person has to take a risk i'll be generous
i'll just be generous even though i don't receive anything in return and then and then of course you know what has to be always recognized that this is a kind of project that we're always working on and never really being able to do so in other words if you see that you're being eaten alive by your needs and desires no matter how much you're trying
to be aware of them but not insist on them then you have to just be honest about that and and put that on the table as part of your relationship but now i think what happens is we get aggressive in subtle ways about our needs and desires you know because we really expect i think we have deep conditioning around this that
okay i'm in this relationship so how come i'm not happy or how come i'm not fulfill that how come i'm not getting what i need you know well i should be you know how come you're not even though we might not say anything as crude as that we have deep conditioning around there so i think that when we get aggressive about our needs and desires that's when
we create resentment and unhappiness in an intimate relationship i feel so so but as is possible to try your best not be able to do very well and express yourself truly about how it is for you without the feeling that somebody else should be doing something for you
but just say here's the effort i'm trying to make and here's how i can't do it in a hook and i really feel awful about it and but this is how it is you know
that's the best we can that's the best we can do
it's hard to talk about these things i feel because this is also abstract in own and mean things never appear in the abstract these are these things appear in the concrete situation of who we are and who had our relationship is like and so you have to just take these abstractions and get whatever good out of them you can
so there are no recipes or prescriptions for these sorts of things i'm just trying to give some general thoughts about my experience and about how i understand the buddha's teachings in the light of this but who knows what will really what will really be effective so is try your best yes
i'm steve
working with a key point about respecting history or relax really don't know yeah yeah for lecture to you yes our culture we can believe that com yeah i'm here with the person the bigger they get to capacity and angrier
yeah no no well you have to do is a and long enough and then you know you don't even know yourself
right you can you see that the you see the the complexity and depth of what arises in your own mind and you know if you really really and truly becomes still as as and and really let go of your conditioning and really see the mind you have no it's a big i don't know and everybody is that right so how
can you possibly think you could limit somebody
you know whenever we characterize somebody we say so and so is like this and she's going to do this or he's going to be like that that's always not true you know it's always yeah and always because people feel limited by that and disrespected somehow
the extent to which we are sensitive to not being respected
not being characterized by somebody is immense i find it's immense how we hurt each other you know and not intending to but just by assuming we know what the other person is gonna do you do we're going to think and so to keep an open mind and open hard about not only one
it's a spouse or lover but everyone and to respect you know all sentient beings without exception have the buddha nature this is the nature of creatures in this world and to keep that alive that thought alive to keep that insight alive and real yeah
is i think the best thing that we can possibly do for a wholesome and good human relations and whether it's in the context to the you know an intimate relationship or any kind of relationship it's hard to do but the more we look at our own mind that more it's easy to do here
yeah i i've been married for twenty some years and my wife is a total mystery to me and the faintest idea what she's thinking or what she's honestly i mean well as to it's amazing what what was she but will she do next i'm annoyed
but i trust her
you know i trust her
and i are good huh
that i can have not one person cause

he says
with one person myself
yeah yeah
than that
seven the path
it shows you know
yeah how
how ha what what is what was the method
well i often say that a buddha said in relation to an intimate relationships this is much too hard for me
as a buddha the buddha figure that you know it was too hard for him but were blindly going along and we're doing seo
so so why we shouldn't be discouraged right he said i mean this is this the most difficult thing to do so what why why should we be surprised that we find that were not able to do it perfectly right so so
you know rather than thinking well i'm supposed to be able to love and is perfect way and probably all everybody else is doing and i'm the only one facebook can't do it and that's terrible
resident thinking of it that way it would be better to think that the effort to love one human being is the most noble possibility in a human life
and it would take many many lifetimes to be able to protect it and i am committed to trying so that's then it then then your failure is noble failure not terrible failure so i don't expect anything just try your best and actually to pray for the benefit of others and to love
others is if you sincerely keep up that practice over time
you will notice as you already do that although you have this beautiful aspiration for all beings when it comes to the one person that's near you you're not able to do it then of course it only
opens your heart and makes you feel more like you'd like to do that so so that one one practice helps the other you know it's a good way to see it
as far as the buddha is concern
his idea was that ah
when you are in an intimate relationship
because of the relationship there will be many obligations and activities that will come out of that relationship that will be less he felt less advantageous to the spiritual path than other activities for example if you are in a in an intimate relation
and you have children and family or even in laws and so forth you have to go to different halloween birthday party or something and then schools and then buying clothes and having a house and many many things that come out of these relationships that he felt were not as advantageous
spiritual practice as meditation prayer study memorization solitude quiet and so on so he said better off not engaging in these things so that your chances for spiritual development will be maximized and definitely we should respect this i mean there's something to this
this and i have friends who are celibate monks and nuns for whom i have an enormous respect for their commitment and the quiet that they carry in their lives as a result of their commitment and i think that on
we are too
really see celibacy as something wonderful and worthy of respect and if we ourselves are in a period of our life where we find ourselves in that condition rather than bemoaning the fact that say or how come everybody on tv as a girlfriend or boyfriend limits
better think of my karma is that now i can practice in this way and focus on my aunt my aloneness and that's a benefit i think we all need a positive vision of the practices of celibacy and it gets very very important
but on the other hand
it it definitely and also a dalai lama points out that this is excellent for the population explosion
you know not really if we if we don't think that if we if we think that the whole purpose and meaning of human life
and then everybody has to do that are there are a failure as once it seemed into some societies then we have too many people i so that to believe me plenty of downsides to that too so it's not that that's the perfect solution but in any case whatever is perfect are not perfect our path for the vast majority of western practitioners seems to be
that we would be lay people which for most of us means for some time if not most of the time in our lives that we would be an intimate relationships and then we have to find how can we practice how can we use the situation we're in for practice it's not a question of whether it's the best are the worst or what the question this is what it is
and we start with the faith that whatever situation where in we that can be used for practice
so we have to accept our situation and use it for practice of if i was that's what i was sitting in my talk if we're in an intimate relationship then we should find a way to use a loving our partner as an avenue for a wider love
so but there's many practices in in bodhidharma
to cultivate love
but i really think that the most fundamental of the wall is just a simple practice of awareness just to be aware and honest with one's real feelings and apply awareness and where you see that your disapproving of yourself or others to try to let go of that and simply be aware of what's happening without being disapproving that practice
eventually quiets our heart and when the hardest quiet naturally affection comes up but there are also many other specific kinds of practices for cultivating love

i'm smiling that's this
because i think i'd expect some as sexual and well known this race because and the distinction here that

so the
to out the
how can do and the question i have a
we trust the fuck have i want to know that chance
just simply accepting

well yeah i it's hard to say i don't really know and then maybe we will through different many fights and troubles over the years and perhaps we went through to trust
and certainly i'm always trying to work on my practice and so is she so i don't know how much that as to do with it's hard to say
i don't know
i guess is why is that
first time i'm it
well that's nice
a very relaxed

yeah i guess ultimately our trust is trusting in the whole universe trust in birth and death then we trust everything
so we work on my practice i guess
yeah so that's nice i hope i wish you the best of luck
unhappiness here
thirty four about one
my becomes by affection
well ah
i think when the mind really does become quiet a completely quiet
and there's just
being present without anybody there to be present but just presence
then than this is a feeling of belonging and connection
and so affection is very natural very warm feeling toward the world comes from the mind being quiet i think this is just what we feel what we find in practice
and you know if you read the suitors the sutras talk about this they talk about
the emptiness in genders compassion they said
in the suit was it says and this is this is why because emptiness and means that nothing
exists absolutely because everything is completely connected
so much that there aren't any things there's only connection that's all there is is connection connection connection connection nothing that you can say oh there's something there's only connection where we we we mutually co-produce each other in the whole world moment after moment after moment and when you when the mind is quiet and this truth becomes apparent than naturally you know
loving and other are loving the world is just like loving oneself there's no difference
so this is i think comment all traditions or religious traditions
says the idea
so there's a fearlessness right in trusting quality
that comes from this year
i don't know that
and them
what i'm thinking is and only been in your pocket dress certainly single aspect
i myself and seventy three movies and time and i feel that it's really been a good opportunity for me said
my essential out
connected with this idea of self deception
him because i find myself right now our
i have a friendship which could potentially be a relationship even however and feeling all those think that you
the a lot of strong sense of connection but the external circumstances of this relationship do not suggest and good this is so exciting
what do you do with movies
that but i appreciate all of you so sweetly bring it up this a hint of in matters or but of course it's obvious that i don't know the answer to these questions and
it's all so
i'm never at a loss for words
a and so as long as you understand that i'm not answering anybody's questions i will not be held accountable
for whatever either whatever disasters or success is occur they will have nothing to do with me
but still talk is cheap
so one thing is that
i think that maybe by now you know the sixties were a long time ago
maybe by now
it is clear that
a gentle restraint
can be part of a fulfilling life
that may we maybe we've gotten over the idea that that if we restrain ourselves in any way with our impulses and so forth were doing violence to our spirit syrah doesn't seem that that's true in fact there can be as much fulfillment and enjoyment literally in a gentle and wise restraint as their can probably more than there
ken in an unwise acting out of various kinds of impulses that we have inside so like around here you know we deal with these kind of questions all the time because we have this thing that is never seen anywhere in asia which is a semi monastic enough
ironmen in which men and women practice together and in which as
intimate relationships are possible so it happens all the time people came and went and what we've discovered over the years is that
it really things actually work out better for everyone concerned when there's a restraint of sexuality and other words when there's a the longer the time that there is the more we can develop our friendship and really get to know each other and really develop a sense of where we're going on what we're doing together
the better it is
more than before we establish an intimate relationship so we actually have a very strong there's a very strong sort of the we don't have we have certain rules that are kind of rudimentary but apart from the rules that we have there's a very strong community bias in favor of this is our community here in favor of commitment in relationship
oops so basically you can't have casual liaisons of people if that happens you probably will be asked to leave the community because it creates such a disturbance imagine few people living together you know so that means that that there's a strong for better or worse i don't say this is the
right thing but just in the practicality of are living together in practicing together there's a strong
push or or
concurrent for people who are getting together to say well we're gonna we're gonna have some commitment together now we don't ask that people can become married you know immediately when they create an intimate relationship but we as a day become pretty much monogamous and more you know so that's just our so i think that that is it turns out to be practical in
the synthetic and reduce the suffering for the individuals and for the whole community because when it's i mean it's like almost sometimes i i roll my eyes sometimes that the extent to which if somebody is having
there was a couple here who said that they had i had a name for it but the kind of relationship where each one of them was able to have other partners sexual partners who
well it's not exactly something they had they has no they've made up their own name for their their own anyway so so you know the the the the extent to which this was like disgust and worried over made my eyes roll you know it's like we have nothing else to do for months
and yet so that's what that is what happens you know so
so what am i trying to say if
if there's a wise restraint and if you can and it's not just like you know holding yourself down but rather just you know practicing that with with some good spirit then you go along with the way things go so if things are going in another direction and that's real obvious like you said seem to indicate whoops you know that's not the way it
seems to be going because of conditions then you say okay well that's conditions thank you very much in this is a wonderful friendship and that's all it is but if conditions seem to make it
a path of happiness and not suffering then
then you go that way so one has to just be very attentive to one's own heart into ones like the definitely you know it would be nice if human beings research that we could program all this in in and then turn on and then we just go along and everything goes perfectly and it never happens like that right there's gonna be mistakes and it's going to be suffering and sometimes the mistakes
and the suffering as what had to happen right
sometimes that's how we end up where we're supposed to be
so are we can do is use our best judgment and try to my this is my feeling try to practice the way try to practice precepts
try to be committed not to hurting others and do our best you know
so and i think that it is very important when we are in it like you said a period of non intentional celibacy to actually make them into celibacy intentional that's that's within our power we can say well since this is the way it is right for me right now why don't i take that as an advantage why don't i
i emphasize that side of my life and what an opportunity you know somebody else might wish that they could have this kind of solitude and peacefulness and they don't so why don't i take it on as something positive rather than something you know that's a problem and i think that's the only way to to do it went when this is how it is in our lives so anyway
good luck with the situation
you're talking earlier about every month
all over
yeah i found that is that everyone a lot of man
and now he seems to be
listen to
course let's not discuss the
intelligence and emotional
the subtlety of men or not
because that's not within your possibility of changing right in other words if if if men don't know how to relate to women without making unwanted advances well let's hope that we have eventually enough laws and rules and social and cultural
all information that eventually they'll straighten out you know but in it but it actually it's not you can't do much about that you know so then you have to figure out like any can do it in any situation you to figure out what is the unspoken and hidden language here
and if my loving heart is being misinterpreted
because i'm expressing myself in ways that unknown to me are creating a kind of language or message that i don't want to give them what is hideaway
huck have is it possible for me to not give that message learn the language not give that message and at the same time keep my heart open because i think the alternative to close our hard because other people don't know how to relate to us with an open hard to me that's not a good alternative you know we don't want to have that's that's bad for us when we
closer heart so there must be a way to
two not express drifted to you know to minimize what looks to somebody else in they're confused state of mind like an invitation for minimize that kind of expression and then also to have a contingency plan
it will happen that even though you do that as well as you can possibly do it there's gonna be somebody who comes along you know who does just not going to get the message and is going to you know
give you problems so then you have to have a contingency plan you have to know how you you gently but firmly behave in that case and if if the contingency plan that doesn't work then you have a backup contingency plan and which usually involves getting help from somebody else you know sometimes that's we
have to do right somebody doesn't leave you alone and all your all of your expressions that are pretty clear about that don't work than get somebody else to who can better communicate with the person like maybe have a male ally the tell the person cut it out you know don't you get it if he's trying to tell you this
so i don't know but but i think the alternative to close our hard just can't be right
can't be right
so i'm sorry but this thing happens you know
it's terrible
that's what they have these laws right that have been so much in the news over the last decade or so about sexual harassment because i think those laws have been extremely important right in pointing out the fact that this is quite common and it's very unfair
and now i think there's a much higher consciousness all across the board about this stuff and it's also clear that as a society we have said it is not all right that's what those laws say before those laws you could have argued that well according to our society these things are acceptable they're not right but the society seems to accept him now
now can't say that anymore now you will have to say the society clearly does not accept this so therefore when you stand up and say that somebody was making unwanted advances you're not as isolated as you were at one time in twenty years ago about very difficult for a woman to do that nowadays i think you have the weight of social opinion on your side which
should make it easier
i hope anyway

recipes yeah


i was thinking
thinking now
are all around nice recipes for hours see
recipes for how the ice
the reality is realities recipes

and i wondered if you
about pressure
oh sure
we talked a little bit now
pumps schedule
know risks
the risks of cylinders and so there's two things one is how to deal with the societal pressures which are giving us strong messages about these issues that may not be correct
and then downsides of celibacy so what the first one
well that's why we're here that's why all of us are in this room because we're here seeking support and try to emphasize another another message besides the one that we're getting the from the society at large
so i think it is difficult definitely you know we live in this very
powerful world that is definitely beaming at us messages all the time that are not necessarily
right and none of us can feel that we just by saying that we don't like it or we don't agree with it can feel that were immune to those messages seven it's important to recognize that we have to pay attention to everything that happens all day long influences that's right from the first thing we see in the morning
to the last thing we here at night our influences our dreams and in our whole consciousness so we have to make some choices about what will we put into our consciousness
what will be what will we allow in
we're not that we can create a walled off universe for ourselves but we can you know we can choose and i think to practice together in sanga to listen to talks and study the dharma and meditating all that we do all those things because those are giving us other messages that we have voluntarily said these are the messages that seem most meaningful to me
more meaningful than this other stuff so i'm going to actually invest my time in my energy and my effort into those things because that will help me to be strong to to be clear about you know not being swayed by saying messages that i don't really believe in so we need support in short we really need support and
we need to recognize that we need support and try to get it and whatever way that we can step by step
and then i think it my talk i referred to
one of the on the question of celibacy one of the chief
ah dangers of celibacy is that it can reinforce a coldness or a distance that you might are already so a lot of people who choose celibacy do so because they're fleeing worms they're fleeing other people they might be crabby people who don't like people around so will be celibate and nobody bother me know
and there are you if you can find in any community including our own people like that who don't wanna be bothered you know so celibacy becomes a justification for their not bother me when it's this post of a the opposite it's supposed to be a past a cultivating love and connection
so that's i think one of the dangers and the the danger that this could reinforce our loneliness and so on and so on
and then i think the other dangers are just sort of institutional data is more than individual dangerous and the sense that if you have an organ like an organization of celebrates
because perhaps because of their celibacy have a very strong sense of fundamentalist face let's say in what they're doing and they have power they can create a lot of trouble and they can be they can be so so the fact that you have a religious religious institution dominated by celebrants are not sell events
is no guarantee you're going to have a good society or even a good institution it can easily become perverse you know
so in a way in a way celibacy the practice of celibacy because it makes the whole thing more intense could if it goes wrong become worse when you have a
intimate relationships usually your
spouse keeps you in line
you know that stabs with me on time my wife eyes slapped me up beside the head you don't say you idiot you know how can you say that your children you know you can't get away with anything you know if you have children they're gonna always react indelibly and in absolutely accurately against any sort of pomposity in and
ideology and so on you know so those things may be positive protections against that kind of thing happening so that's a kind of danger of celibacy but i think that that mostly in general we need to develop our problem is not that we like celibacy so much we're going to get off because it's dangerous dangerous but the opposite
that we all we don't appreciate celibacy either temporary when it comes up in our lives or as a commitment and i think that if we if our society did see it as a positive vision that would be better for a lot of a lot of us and many many what they would have benefits in many ways i thought i'm talking about it mm
for in a positive light because i think that's what we need more than to see the negative side of it
it hasn't worked that great for the catholics i think you know that's true
celibacy why i don't know i don't know the history of the catholic church and i'm sure that at one time celibacy was positive or maybe it was but it seems like an unbalance in balance is not a great deal right now for the catholic church in the catholic churches inability to allow the clergy to marry or a lot
women to join the clergy i think is probably one of the chief so the weight dragging the church down which otherwise i think has a lot going for it but that's one of the big things that's pulling it down and if it doesn't change my opinion of doesn't change it's going to pull it down below the horizon so that nobody can see it at all
so but that but i think you know buddhism for us as a fresh tradition and although it may be that celibacy and buddhism has its downsides also for us there's something positive i think at this point in time
that's better
i am
we're on

so i

and then
no i'm

there are

i'm not sure

oh my

i am

move them
that's right

yeah i came here


right now

well i know that
yeah it's very difficult
to do something that one's loved ones and associates don't like or agree with
and then it's even harder to be something you know that we deeply are that we can choose not to be
and have that be unacceptable i think there's a lot of suffering involvement in and i think that
therefore gay people have suffered a lot you know and still do as you're saying
we have to learn how to work with are suffering
in any case that's the only thing that we can do when they're suffering
i actually don't know much about gay culture where the differences if there are any differences
relationships go in the gay community but
we have a number of gay people in zen center and that seems as if their sexuality and in terms of
how their life goes is not any different in the sense that you know they
i heard in the same way or are fulfilled in the same way and so on you know
it's just that the that the gender of the partners not the same as the for somebody else
so i don't know and i have the sneaking suspicion that nobody does in other words people are so various and so different you know very difficult to say
how a group of people are you know as a group of people when there's so many of people in a group how can you say you know and even if you could say
any one person is possibly to a greater or lesser extent an exception you know so it wouldn't be any better or worse to say this is the norm for gay people and i don't fit into i'm gay but i don't fit into that norm so then i'm still suffering because i'm abnormal if you know even though the norm as different norm
so best to just listen to our own heart and accept are suffering and work with it and in relation to other people to listen to them and see what they tell us rather than assume you know that there's supposed to be this way of that way
and it's especially painful i think when our family we all want to think on some level whatever we think about it i think we all want
to have the love and approval of our family members and i think it's very painful not to have that very very painful and i think that it's better to recognize that we want that and to feel the pain of not having it than it is to be angry and resentful toward our family because i think that compounds the pain and makes
were very confusing life
and so
i believe and i have seen happened many times that if we keep a loving heart and if we work on our practice no matter what we are doing that our family may not approve of eventually they will approve of it even if they don't leave up and down and tell us that they will but i think that
to that extent to to a great extent that's our we can affect that by our loving heart keeping an open heart toward them and feeling the suffering and pain of the way that we know i hurt by them so it's it's a very unfair and sad situation but in many case
is that is the situation so always you know we work with the situation as it is doesn't do any good to you know wish it were otherwise and i again i feel like to practice the way is to is to get the tools
that we need to work with these kind of things to open our space big enough within us that we can feel pain and i feel as if we have to run away from it or when a narcotic for it or lash out at somebody else but that was we can just feel it and work with it and turn it into something beautiful
and certainly of use breathe life stories of many gay people over the millennia this is often happen turned some made something very beautiful out of the suffering in their lives and in many cases other times people are destroyed by a to that happens
so anyway good luck with him i appreciate that everybody is so sweet and so trusting of not me but of all of us that you could bring up these things and feel as if it's all right to do that
it's kind of wonderful in a way although i feel quite inadequate to are responding to it all but i think it is wonderful that year
you feel safe enough and in peaceful enough to do that yes

i was i am

i was for as sexually for me

i guess
i mean is wonderful
the to share share now
but i'm using actually
yeah i guess i'm trying to find my way in
how then sounded
you right south some chemo she sobbed into a boy who
the way my family
i realized
i like of bringing be
was wondering
ninety eight
i'm really sorry about what has happened in oh this is sir
such a terrible thing people could be
this way you know so
when we have been wounded you know we have to respect our wounds just like i was saying that ago we have to respect our own wounds and our pain and taken into account we can't just roll over it and think oh i shouldn't be feeling that why can't i just get over this you know just life doesn't work that way karma is not like that you know that we can just get over something
so it's probably a long process with which we have to be very patient
if your partner is is it is a loving person in a patient person all stolen
i can understand
and you can explain and work on it together and build up trust than this is probably the best possible situation for healing as long as you're patient little by little without expectations
grateful for the situation here and now just as it is
member people do heal
from these things and even in the end
believe it or not can learn to appreciate
their circumstances even with the pain and suffering because it brings a kind of wisdom or kind of deep sense of compassion
and it's the most common thing in the world that people who help others in a particular area somebody who helps alcoholics can do it beautifully because they themselves have been through it and so on and so on and so on you know because
emptiness and genders compassion and suffering and years compassion also
little by little with kindness toward yourself and not any pressure on yourself
but little by little i think you know the way to heal these kind of moons is to build up trust because this is a scar on your ability to trust
so maybe it's wise for you not to be precipitous but just to work on trusts were contrast where contrast
so anyway i'm glad that you have a relationship know that can heal these wounds that's wonderful
and i would like to end with a dedicating our time together today my talk as well as our wonderful our here with each other
ah sometimes they say in buddha dharma that to hear the dharma
creates merit positive merit
if that so
and we have a by our time together created some positive merit i would like to dedicate that merit
ah to
all those people that we know ourselves
and also our friends family loved ones associates any of them who might be suffering in some way or illness or emotional or mental pain may they be
have their suffering lessened with this merit
may they find happiness and peace
may they always be removed from the conditions of suffering may this be so for ourselves and for them
an end made a merit also extend beyond ourselves in a circle of our friends widely and to all beings they all beings be free from suffering in the condition of suffering
in the future sunday
when people
will no longer cause each other to suffer in this way made this night
either be a day when this will never be the case
this is what i hope for and this is what we dedicate the merit of our meeting today towards
thank you very much