Saturday Lecture

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ah today is the time of the words good morning

first i want to say how profoundly grateful i am to all of you
for being here and how much i feel supported in my practice by all of you and each of you
ah yesterday i came home very tired of i was helping my daughter and i got back late and i was really tired
and during the night i was rather wakeful i think i was rather excited about the beginning of the practice period and the one day sitting and
the morning when the way the bell rang i was i couldn't imagine how i was going to get out of bed
just the most enormous resistance some oh tired
but i got up
and when to them though and i was so
i can't tell you how restored and refreshed i felt sitting with you and the sendo this morning
i once again i was just overcome with appreciation for the practice of zazen and for practicing with others
the the energy and and
effort of all of you was palpable when i stepped into the zendo
and i want to thank you very much
we chatted on this morning and service the
who five mg zingy is a universal recommendation for the practice of zazen
i want to to quote a little bit from it and case you don't remember it
the way is basically perfect and all pervading
how could it be contingent upon practice and realization
the dharma vehicle is free and untrammeled what need is there for concentrated effort
indeed the whole body as far beyond the world dust who could believe in a means to brush it clean
it has never apart from one right where one is
what is the use of going on here and there to practice
and yet
if there is the slightest discrepancy
the way is as distant as heaven from earth
if the least like or dislike arises the mind as lost in confusion

so this is what we practice with
that our perfect
and non grasping mind is with of always
rhodamine mine are awakened mind our
our enlightened nature
he's never apart from us wherever we are
there is nothing that is outside of it
and yet
if the least like or dislike arises the mind has lost in confusion and we think that we are separate from our enlightened nature we think we are in separate from all being
and like and like dough rise and we do think that we are some separate ah
being with an independent existence
and so
we get lost in confusion
so our practice is ah to keep coming back
to our fundamental being
to keep seeing her likes and dislikes arrived to keep seeing our mind
getting confused and coming back to the body mind and breath right here
this is the nature of our human existence
that we have nothing to gain
that we have everything we need right here and yet confusion arises and yet we think
it should be like this
i want to be like that
that went over there is certainly not the same as me and certainly not
i am not
i'm related to that one
so our effort is again and again just to be completely this one that we are

and this practice of sitting meditation
is one way
the way that we in this tradition have chosen to come back to our fundamental being and recognize or completeness and are related enough with all being
again and again because because our delusion of a separate self arises again and again our f we take up this effort again and again
suzuki roshi want said then is just making your best effort on each moment forever
so dog angie says four sons and a quiet room is suitable eat and drink moderately cast aside all involvements and cease all affairs do not think good or bad
do not administer pros and cons
cease all the movements of the conscious mind the gauging of all thoughts and views
i have no designs on becoming a buddha
he had designs on becoming a buddha it's because you're imagining that you're not already awakened
that you're awakened state is somewhere else out there and you have to get to it
what our effort is is to is to settle here let our awakened state bloom
as this one

do not think good or bad do not administer pros and cons it sounds so simple
i don't know about you but i find it very difficult
ah i am administrator pros and cons all time
cease all the movements of the conscious mind the gauging of all boats and pew
so it was in we we watch our mind
we watch the incredible business of our mind and we tried to let thoughts come and go we try not to entertain each thought that arises suzuki roshi wanted said you don't have to invite each thought that sit down and have a cup of tea
home again easier said than done
there are so cute these spots for proper hit
and sure you know i could dance with this one for a while
and so we do and when we find oh i'm off down the road with this cute thought were just come back to breath and posture and settled down again
this is why it's making our best effort on each moment forever
it doesn't stop some time in a don't finally get
ah some great
mind boggling enlightenment experience and no further effort is required
i don't think so
i never have seen any of the pretty good teachers who live met from time to time ah put aside effort because they've already arrived somewhere
my last experience so suzuki roshi was the enormous effort that he made
ha to put on his robes and come to this buddha hall
to install a successor
it was an incredible effort with an overpowering experience or category roshi when he was dying of cancer and i want to lead us a shame there because he was too ill to lead it
coming downstairs each day
just to walk around
the zendo buddha hall for make a little john doe
and going back up the stairs and i asked him one day it was obviously an effort for him to walk and i asked him would you like me to walk up the stairs with you he said no thank you and he went up the stairs completely erect
with what was clearly an enormous effort
he and his effort to complete the transmission
of the students he had ordained
before he died
right up until
ha a few days before he died his effort looking normal
so i have not noticed any one ah
whom i have
well ah
as a teacher
who has come to a point
where no effort is required the dalai lama ah who may maybe has developed as anyone around seems to live his life with great
great attention and concentration and effort
ah to maintain his life and practice
so i think we should not practice with the thought that the well we'll finally get there someday and there's no effort
required anymore and i can just hang it up
but the effort itself
is fun
that is our vitality that's our liveliness that's that's how we know we're alive
because we we step forward into our life and make an effort in each moment this is our our life express itself
so i want to appreciate doesn't completely the sitting meditation
which dog fancy
speak serve and few cans are banging
his eyes designs and i speak of is not learning meditation it is simply the dharma gate of repose and bliss
the practice realization of
totally culminated enlightenment
it is the manifestation of the ultimate reality
so we're just make our effort to get up come to the zendo
adjust ourselves in our posture
sit without moving
and be who we are

and that in itself is
is our expression of precepts
and i want to speak about precepts some today because tomorrow
there will be a jew chi ceremony
a ceremony of receiving presets at green gulch
abbott read tension anderson will ah
give the precepts to a number of students
when the ceremony is at three thirty in the afternoon and everyone here is invited
so i'd like to talk a little about the precepts
and i'd like to begin by quoting
one of the teachers who came from japan to help suzuki roshi when we first bought tassajara
ha and came down to help start the monastic practice at tassajara
he was here for a few years and went back to japan and returned and taught ah
in mountain view los altos for some time
and he still teachers from time to time here in this area and some in new mexico
i wanted the things he doesn't he leads a session which he called them go a in the fall it's fun
it's about
well i'll tell you how he describes it he says the main subject of than go away as how to become a transmitter of actual like life light
practice takes place to shape your whole ability to reflect the light coming through you and generate to regenerate your system so the light increases its power
each precept is a remark about hard climbing
maybe climbing down
you don't use the precepts for accomplishing your own personality
or fulfilling your dream of your highest image
you don't use the precepts in that way
the precepts are the reflected light world of one precept which is buddha's mind itself
which is the presence of buddha
johnson is the first formulation of the accomplishment of buddha existing
the more you sense the rareness and value of your own life
the more you realize that how you use it how you manifest it is all your responsibility
we face such a big task
so naturally
such a person sits down for a while
it's not an intended action
it's a natural action
the more you since the rareness and value of your own life the more you realize that how you use it how you manifested
is completely your responsibility
we say such a big task
naturally such a person sits down for one
doesn't is the first formulation of the accomplishment of buddha existing
you know i don't know i read now things like this many many many thing
that sort of a help me to think about
maybe why it is that from the first time i said levin i knew i wanted this and thousand but i've never known why
i've never been able to say why it just was something that i kept doing
i kept getting up in the morning him going to the zendo i kept arranging my life so that it would be more convenient for me to sit zazen
it was completely not a conscious choice of mine
somehow i trust them that in me which kept coming back the said susan
seven thousand was not because it was easy for me i was in my forties when i began to sit and i had a lot of trouble with pain in my legs and i was very restless and i couldn't sit still and i compared myself to everybody and really was disgusted with myself from moving all the time and
you know just felt like i'm never gonna be able to do this and be no one has ever able to design and we just keep trying every day i remember when i was one time out and green gulch and i was taking a census for the secretary of defense and and i was going around the smallest asking each resident of green gulch you know how long have you been sitting so
thousand and then and i went up to one person had been around by that time for ten or fifteen years and i said showing how long have you been sitting zazen when he said while i tried again this morning
and that was a real eye opener for me know of course we just go to the handle and sit on our cushion we try again

receiving of precepts
is really the gate two thousand practice it is the entry to doesn't practice we ah in in the ceremony of receiving precepts we receive also a lineage paper called a catching me i cook all the blood vein of our practice
and there is it begins with shocking when a buddha and it goes through all of the ancestors
through our teacher to us and there was a red line beginning with buddha begin with an empty circulation and buddha and going through all these names and then through our name and returning this red line to woulda this is the blood vein of our practice
this means that the life of the buddha right now today is m the one who is practicing at this moment that's where the life of the boot it is
and this blog vein goes through all the ancestors through the one practising now and returning to buddha and is circulating in this way through our lineage as we said
and on the kitchen me i call it says ah a statement at the bottom that on such and such a date on the full moon night of such and such as such and such a temple it was revealed to me by monks on so my teacher
this this is mrs sir
written at time of transmission of the precept
that the one vein of this practice is the precepts
so what are these precepts that are the blood vein of his practice
the blood vein of the buddha
the first one is taking refuge in buddha
this taking refuge know what does this mean they're taking refuge is probably on the one thing that is most common throughout all buddhists
schools cultures traditions is taking refuge in the three treasures of buddhism buddha dharma and sangha
buddha the mind of awakening the come
the mind of compassion are fundamental nature
that which is never apart from us right where we are
and what is this taking refuge in english rifle game gaming to fly back to return to the word used in japanese for the refuges key ah as i mentioned the other night key means to plunge into to throw yourself
in to something without reservation and the a means to rely on to return to
so with full ah
enthusiasm and with no holding back we throw ourselves in to the ocean of buddha
like a drop of rain returning to it's source
we plunge and buddha rate in all in when we receive the precepts in a ceremony like to chi
or in an ordination ceremony ah for priests or in a transmission ceremony which is another receiving of precept
we so buddha's robe
and many of you have done that and you will see some people wearing ah miss ramkissoon which are small versions of this larger role
and each person says his or her own
i'm lucky stitch we'd take refuge in buddha
we say either in english i take refuge in buddha or i like to think just the people that they say it in japanese because i love that whole hearted feeling of the plunging into just a plunging into pro yourself in don't hold anything back be whole and complete in
each thing you do
this wholeheartedness on
if not for the sake of what you're doing it for the sake of main whole heightened
this whole hearted effort
is it's own
this this is our vitality this whole wholeheartedness
so i like to use novel cable tsunami okay a whole okay so which is the japanese version of i take refuge in buddha i take refuge in dharma and take refuge and sanga because it reminds me always have this the kid is plunging him as the needle goes into the cloth
on the our tradition is that the buddha and and his disciples made their ah their road from cast off fabric or cloth was a very precious commodity in india twenty five hundred years ago
and the monks were mendicant and so it said that they they collected fabric that that the ordinary people considered impure and
wouldn't use their there are whole number of things fabric that had been caught that had been wrapped round corpses and that been chewed by oxen and cloth it had been used by women from menzies they're quite a number of and that were considered impure and people wouldn't discard it even though caught the so valuable and amongst would take it and why
wash it and disinfected with turmeric
which gave it the saffron colour that was traditional for roads that was a disinfectant
on and then sew it together and make their road and this pattern in which the pieces are put together is quite old i it said to begin with shocking when buddha it's supposed to a look like rice feel like rice patties with raised path and
and lord patties but the pattern is very old because i've been doing this sewing for some time and i've been interested in looking at all cases from monks have very many different buddhist countries and all of them that i have seen ah have been phone in the same pattern so buffet
the pattern goes back to before buddhism spread to ah sri lanka and burma and tibet and china and korea and japan at least those those are the countries where i have seen cases from and they're all in a similar pattern so it is very old and perhaps in fact as
or ah
legend says that goes back to the buddha ah himself
so it's called a field ah
in the zen center of los angeles translation of the robe chant
bountiful field of benefactor
a field to benefit all beings
ah with a field far beyond form and emptiness and our rope chant in the morning when you put it on
but this robot itself represents our vow our intention our motivation
relieve all being of misery
and we noted in our own practice as we watched the comings and goings of our thought forms that
much of our misery has to do with our state of mind
ah much of our misery has to do with this rising up of ah preferences of
no one should say in through pennsylvania went with the words that he used to stay with my fame here
our likes and dislikes
so ruthless motivation
ah to leave all beings of misery
we were this robe
we take refuge in buddha
ah mais oui roshi says be that this to take refuge means to be one with buddha or just be buddha
hey who you are this is the first precept includes all the precept all of the precepts are an elaboration of this first precept of be buddha be completely
ah your your true self
or as severe as she says moment after moment making this effort for the benefit of all beings
you know i didn't bring a watch and i'm nowhere on a schedule and i can get very loquacious
well what primary yes but what time are we supposed to


so i have a upon here which i would like to read
an endless sir
this comes from a from a lecture that pet feeling of many of you know gave here two years ago the day before uk bring on it
and this misses a poem by a seventeenth centuries and lung tissue
receiving the precepts
sentient beings are one with buddhas
what are one with all being
individual just as they are reveal the unity of widows and being
without inside or outside
it is wholly manifested at this very moment in this very place
receiving the precepts
sentient beings are one with put up
but are one with all being
individuals just as they are revealed the unity of buddhism beings without inside or outside
it is wholly manifested at this very moment in this very place
i think it can only be manifested in this very moment in this very place
that's the only only place and only time that anything ever happened
isn't this moment and displace
so the second of the precepts is to take refuge in dharma
dharma we sometimes say is the truth of things just as it is in this very moment in the three place
sometimes we say the dharma is the teaching
over the buddha
for the way to return to
our enlightened nature
and the third precept is to take refuge in sanga
in the community of beings with whom you practice
or the community of all beings
and this taking refuge in sanga
is the theme of this practice period which begins today which many many of you here
will be participating in for the next eleven weeks
was taking refuge and song appreciating ah
other being with from to practice
what an encouragement it in
but a support it is
to have other beings with whom we may practice this practice
and to take up as we as we decide to do this practice period to take up some responsibility to each other
some accountability to each other
which in turn encourages have to practice
i when i first went down to visit tassajara
we had just we had just acquired it about a year before and i started to practice at the berkeley than though and
oh i kept hearing people come that sahara
i said to know who was that the head monk at the berkeley center and what's this casar i hear anybody's time about tassajara delphi i what's the big deal you know what's so great about concept for well it was at that time the only residential practice place we had
and he said well at tassajara you know where we were together so intimately we live together we fit together we ate together we band together in the hotsprings
we bound together we
pretty soon everybody can see where you are
you can't hide anything you might as well say it yourself
we're so intimate there
and i was heard struck by that
and and i went down to tassajara oh i i had a southern instruction on july third i went down to costs her and august sometimes a guest student ah for a few days and i just fell in love with it
and as soon as i came home i made arrangements to taken the ten a vacation to go to the left and days of the summer ah period before it closed up for winter practice period and went right back down there nose just ah i loved everything about it i mean
has also started falling in love with everybody i met down there because i was so in love with the practice none ah
so i really miss a boy i wanna go to customers since i can and i really want to go to from and i started trying to work things out my job my kids were still at home and i had a full time job i was the only one or the full time job cause my husband had been blacklisted during the mccarthy period and he was doing the best he could freelance writing
and i kept saying well i can't quit this good job until my less get us out of school and and i kept wanting gotta try and be accepted and i work out a
in on a leave of absence and that would fall true and it kept happening and i thought i always thought it was somebody else's fault and i didn't get them and finally i realized that i want you know i really wanted to go but i wasn't really i was feel scared that that's a big commitment but ah sorry practice and i wasn't really
ready for it i mean i'd never said it's a shame anyhow i finally calmed down and decided it was not everybody else's conspiracy that would keep me away from tassajara that i just wasn't quite ready to make that big a jump into practice and i could should just relax and when i was ready i'd go
and that's what happened you know finally another one of these times came when i'd applied and i was accepted and
ah had a leave of absence and they had arranged their and on them to leave of absence my boss or your name on it said something like plant doesn't seem like you want this leave of absence i mean if i wanted a three month leave of absence i'd be in here every night and weekend finishing this project before i went away out a lot of lowered mri and
suddenly i said you're right i don't want to leave of absence particularly robins i have to come back in december i don't want to come back in december i want to quit and my whole body through lax and he looked kind of fun and i would stand up and i was driving home i what am i going to tell law on the with the
job and you know we have even talked about them i got home i told looney hood will thank god i will wanted when you were gonna through the next month
and i started talking to my youngest daughter who the only one left haunches i want to go out and live with the jerry was here she's she's got a rule she's gotten a rude when we can fix it all up and i'm gonna go look and no kidding
what happen in all the sudden all even as soon as i was ready to go all of these impediments to my going to talk the hard kind of disappeared so i went down to toss her know
and it was hard
as much as i wanted to be there and by that time i had been sitting for over three years and i'd said quite a few sessions and i still moved every period
but time eating up really early in the morning and footwork well
on monday
i decided i was not going together but tassajara one of the great advantages is if you don't show up in the zendo on schedule and you don't send a note or a message the tank comes down to find out where you are and if you are right
i mean i had somebody tell me and green gulch that if she got sick she could go on an unintentional fast for three days no one will ever come and find out what from one where she would but it tassajara the first scheduled event that you don't show up for somebody comes and knocks on the lawrence's what's one run and if you're sick and on if it will do you need anything
so i just decided i wasn't going to get up i wouldn't say i just wasn't going to get up
and i was just waiting for it was tank and they come and knock on my door i was gonna tell him what i thought of him
well i'm lying they are just kind of all ready and for knock on the door and as a ah
blanche yeah
can i come in
on are you are ma'am
are you going join us in the sand and pack
okay do you want to be my
the time
don't know what can you say i'm not even getting to push against you it just immediately reminded me don't want to encourage him to do what it took him three and a half years the yet here he had to turn your whole life on its head and now you're finally here or would you come for letter
you wanna do
it was just amazing if you ever have the job of tank and please remember that all you're doing you're helping people to do what they want to do you like judging whether people are being good or bad i know in the hasn't got anything to do that it has to do with what
you hit for why did you make this huge effort to come here
oh yeah now i remember i really wanted to do this okay size that can all that it was just sort of like i was running man with him because he didn't give me a fight you know and i was ready for a fight
but it really helped me to to remember what i was doing there and it helped me to remember all the other times my resistance came up it's not got anything can do about what the tank and will say what the know affair with the ponto was say what am i here why are you
anyhow ah
this is some
this is the great
gift of thunder
this encouragement and support we have to do what we what we want to do
i think maybe
there are no more precept you there are
i just got through the first three
ah maybe i'll just run through the rest of them or maybe you can go to the ceremony tomorrow and green gulch and hither our
miss the next three or call the pure precepts
and they are
they come from vs adama pada ah avoid all evil do all good
purify the mind thus have all the buddhas taught
ah the way that we ah
those change over the years in that and the last of the three on
as a the mahayana tradition ah rather than purify the mind ah the new focus became benefit all beings so that the three pure precepts ah as we use them in the my yana tradition
stated that they come from this avoid all evil ah which has to do with being careful about unwholesome actions because on alternations produce unwholesome results
produce misery
ah and to do all good ah we sometimes say to
make every effort to live in enlightenment
ah and to on
benefit all beings we sometimes say to
the ten prohibitory precepts are grade precepts of specific presets ah are
our actions that we notice cause often need to soften
i'll just go through one version of the briefly not kill not to take what is not given and not to misuse sexuality
not to lie
not to intoxicate mind or body of self or others
not to slander not to praise self at the expense of others not to be avaricious are stingy not to harbor ill will not to abuse these three treasures of buddha dharma and sangha
we'll talk more about the precepts as the as the practice trade goes on
but our time is running out and we want to we want to go back to the first precept of the buddha
and go to the zendo and citizen together
which is the first
manifestation of the first movement of buddha appearing in the world so let's go
and with this very body mind and breath
manifest or fundamental nature of buddha in the zendo