Saying Yes!

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ah today's the truth of the to target those words
good evening
ah i'd like to this person over here and the farthest corner and that person over there and the farthest corner to be kind of monitors into way that me if you can't hear me okay
sometimes i have a reputation of letting my voice trailed off so please
let me know
ah i'd like to welcome all the guests here
ah but i have to be quite frank with you this is probably my only opportunity ah this summer to speak to this particular ah group of students
so my remarks are going to be primarily addressed to them and i hope there may be something of interest to you and what i have to say
i have just what this is and i may or may not refer to it
is a
a doctoral thesis in anthropology studying intentional community using the community of untidy monastery in japan where she practiced for three years in the seventies when gmo she was still abbott
as her example of an intentional community
and having just come back from japan
where among other monasteries i visited untidy
and that's what i was going to talk about anyhow i was very interested to read this doctoral thesis which sure someone had just come across and offered to me
so i have i have you know mark pump teen things with post-its and i may refer to it may not
but those of you who are interested me ask me to look at it i'm here
so a group of us went to japan in the spring
some of the people are here susan and vicky and kathleen
and i and fourteen others including mill weitzman
went to begin with to stay at suzuki roshi his home temple
renzo in
in the small city of yazoo ah and shizuoka province
where we did a three week
so many
angle many practice period
ah i love to do that i've done did it once before in a group and which may lead was present
because there's a little
traditional monks training hall
at de rienzo in it has twelve to tommy's
and it's very intimate and it has set of all of the things described in logan's angie's rules for the pure monastic community
and i just put the first time i when it would be fun to practice in a place that has all the bells and whistles and try to do all the forms the way duggan's and you describes them and we had varying success there were those among us who thought the forms were just peachy keen and there are those among
as who thought the forms which is kind of a pan the egg
and particularly in all the intricate detail that i kind of wanted to do
maley was one of the ladder but i know she she went along with the game
and this time also we had we enjoyed ourselves a lot we learned a lot about zen practice but the most significant thing to me this time
was observing or experiencing
which avoid serves as a hero she's in a says a shinier issues with iraq is sign
responded to
well responded to whatever arose responded to the members of his community and to us
with a presence and availability and
on unhesitating quality
was remarkable to me
a remarkable to me in that
i'm i have this ideal in my mind as the way a monk should respond and in particular the way and airbus should respond
but i have a very hard time doing it
because from me
i notice there is an idea of me and i should
and it interferes with the just the spontaneity of response that i observed throughout our visit
from a hurry sushi
and it was very instructive i mean i didn't really kind of get what what it was
captured me about this until i got back and began to sing because
after we left
renzo in we visited some other monasteries and we went to
so gg monastery one of the to head monasteries
of soto zen in japan which was established by a case on century
ah and many of you who are here
here at zen center at one of the three places during january february and march of this year met a young monk from so gg shattuck son who was here for awhile and in the city and a green gulch
and he was i went there to do is we went to visit but also i want to do a ceremony and he was my my gisha for the ceremony so we spent on then he also was our guide we spent some time with him
two things or commented on that i that i want to bring up
in the reliable other things come around but these two things i want to highlight one was the monks were in the middle of a training period many of them were brand new monks
and as we walked around the campus from time to time we would hear this sort of unison exclamation of hike which means in japanese yes
and and self as she talks on what what that was well this is this is the monks getting their sergius islands
if are getting their work assignments and they're saying yes saying rushing off to rake here and sweet player and do whatever and then
it's sort of sounded like
book him
and so we've got a comment or not you know my ourselves at this is this is really
no sort of
militaristic or anyhow though they were comments about about that instead of and then there were comments about
what sweet guys these were these monks who were showing us around
so gg and actually than on out into the town and went and had noodles with us for lunch actually took us to lunch
and what really wonderful sweet guys they were and so accommodating and so forth
and to me there is a direct connection between this training activity
i'm just saying yes
just just doing it
and their availability that just do it showing us around to just be present showing us around without
the grumbling are withholding or in a week we're spinning anyhow
nothing held back and and to me there was a direct connection between those two things and it went i'm a straight line to what i had noticed about weight zero she's ready availability
anytime anytime you not done the door of his good family has its own room are in it's right next to where we were any time you knock on the door there's such a pipe yes what can i do for you know if you'd drop what he's doing a turn toward you and be there
right there
ah so that in fact we noticed that we really had to we had to
limit ourselves and be sure that we really needed to call on him because he's going to respond any time we call on him do we really need to disturb his t to disturb as dinner to the service time with his family to the you know do we need to go to him all the time we began to sort of really consider can we take care of this or
was where do we have to ask for help
because he was always he was never going to turn the way
and that became clear
ah it was never am too busy now please come back later
and i recall a time in my training
when i had such confidence in my teacher
but whatever he said to me
my immediate response was yes i will and i would do it
and i didn't always understand why he would suggest this to me but i am i really i had a lot of confidence in him and i i just did it
and in that way i learned a lot
and yet you know and you know
my primary teacher my home teacher for my receive dharma transmission one of his favorite phrases is just do it
just do it
i think that i had the notion
that this was a very masculine very i don't know what but i have not i have not taken that approach with students who consider me their teacher
and i have recently realized that it simply a lack of courage on my part
and it is not kind and it's not helpful and it is not good training
to sort of say oh you know do it your way so okay
it doesn't help cut through self clinging in the way that yes i will helps to cut through self me when you then you get to see where you're where you're
grinding your years where your you're on stock know
but if nobody ever gives you that opportunity it's much harder to see that
and my lack of courage is based on the fact that tongue
i don't like people to kangaroo with me or somebody might not let me if i say just do it you know and because i remember getting
you know a little pouty just doing it beginning a little pouty some time if those has to do something that
really want to do it
so that's one of the things i brought home from
from japan
we'll see if i really learned anything
we'll see if i have the courage to ask students who want to train with me you please just do it let's talk about it later just do it see what you learn and would talk about it later
i may or may not
have that kind of for
but some of you may get a chance to find out

in order to do that
i have to be clear
that what i'm doing
is not just some idea that i have
i have to be clear that what i ask you to do
has to do with ah
helping you
to see where you're stuck in self clean
and not just getting you to do what i think you ought to do or what i think in our that's that's
i have to be clear
or else it's just me being bossy
ah or having some sense in awesome
an inflated sense of power and authority
which is not at all helping anybody
so we shall see
but one thing that i really are
where my practice is right now
is to see where my idea of
how i think i ought to be
ah my concern with on
meeting my own self image or something or or or
how that interferes with me actually being
completely available to respond
because that compete availability to is fun requires that i not get caught up in a notion of south
so that's sort of the cutting edge of
my own personal practice right now
what's two things
but in this study of
monasteries as intentional communities
that i was speaking of or then i went out i should mention untidy because it's quite different then so gg and also ag where we went
which are are too big training monasteries the two major training monasteries along with the yoji the third one also doesn't in pen where monks come to be trained to be temple priests
when i went to anti g which has an altogether different basis of being it's a place that's organized for group of people who want to preserve and practice
and the expression as us and practice in their everyday life
at the center of their life who want to to organize a community where zazen is the focus of their life and their life with each other expresses and supports that sounds and practice
and i i particularly on
like and admire and relate to untidy and the lineage of so aki code roshi who founded it and a g amorosi who continued it
through reading on
which the amaro she's books ah many of them translated by show how okamura who will be here to serve this fall
for while
and who might my very much but also my deep connection with that lineage through joseph son who was a a nun disciple of wacky code or roshi and came here beginning in nineteen seventy two
to teach us the sewing of good as road
and as many of you know
out of my intense
ah feminist observed from militant feminism i got very excited a woman teacher being here night
and so i who had never done any traditional women's activity in my life yeah hanging out with her and of course she came from a traditional society where women in traditional women's things so she was teaching sewing
which i had sort of flunked data of in high school and never tried again
i didn't actually flunk out of it i i made a name by refinishing sewing machines
so i gave up sewing for good until i met chosen son and one of my friends who was here at the time said well as she'd been still teaching none
tv repair i would have studied tv repair
i want to hang out with her so i did and she was from this lineage and she was devoted to southee perversion and so i felt a deep connection even before i began to read our petitions of homeless kowtow and itchy amorosi his books
i approached is an opening the hand of thought
refining your life
the whole hearted way
many most of them commentaries on some of centers writing a dog and zinn
so i was prepared to love ah taji and i went out to visit six years ago when i was there because ocean son is buried there and
she had written me on you moved from kyoto to a mountain top in osaka in nineteen seventy nine and she had written me from there and sent me some photographs of her little house and she said the monks have built me my own little house here
and they take very good care of me and i live now a life of gratitude and cashew
this was a time when she was getting quite old and had had a stroke and had a heart attack ah
really couldn't so anyway had cataract you really couldn't do what she loved to do him in her life had been making what is wrong
so i live in a life now of gratitude and guy show
i thought that's pretty great when i'm when i'm old and infirm will i be able to say i live a life of gratitude and gosh show
so i have a great regard for tidy and i went out there
and spend a little time this time before i just kind of went there said hello did a little memorial service at her haka and left this time i stayed a little longer there's a young man who practices that zen center in san francisco is now out there and has become a month their mark murder ski i don't know said if you remember me
he did zou kai with paul taylor and fat a number of sessions with
so he's out there and i went along with a couple of other people on the on the trip to visit
it's a great bunch of monks you know and they're just aren't doing one thing it's a small group
but they're all doing one thing and it's a to my mind that's what monastery is
now comes from manas and
from dictionary say meaning alone but it also means one and i think it means more a group of people do it one thing together
and since this is also a monastery what is this one thing that we're doing together
what is our intention in practicing together
of course it's zazen but not only saw in
it's also the expression of zazen in in
our everyday life me over and over again suzuki roshi spoke of send his everyday life
rajasthan in enables us to settle on ourselves to begin to be intimate with ourselves
to begin to wake up this buddha
this is not a practice to become something that we're not there's not a practice where the gaining idea of getting something that's not here
this is a practice of waking up and realizing what
is right here always
of who we are
which she was share
with all beings
and you may not know that's what you're doing here and actually if it's not maybe maybe you made a mistake
maybe this is the wrong place
and there are a variety of people here their people here who have made a commitment of their whole life to this practice know people here who are just dipping into taste and see what they think about it there's a whole range of people here
but while we're here
we're doing one thing together
and this doing it together is the way that we ourselves are supported to do what we came to do and the way in which we support
everyone else
zzzz in
if we're practicing wholeheartedly
should inform how we respond to one another
how we bow to each other on the path how we worked together in the kitchen and the cabins in the shop
on them recycling crew on
whatever we're doing
the settling and waking up
that we're doing in zazen
should affect all of that
if you can sit motionless erect upright focused
for hours
and then leave the zendo
and be unresponsive to the people around you
there's something missing
there's something you're not understanding
about ah sir
i think naturally we all come to practice expecting to gain something
i don't know i don't know how we would get here if there weren't some gaining idea somewhere along the line to begin with
but i'm
how much i'm metro be able to read any of this because it can't read it to track him good
o k i wanted to read to you what says a hiroshi had to say about gaining idea
i may not be able to think

suzuka you said there are several poor ways of practice which you should understand
usually when you practice as in you become very idealistic
you have some gaining idea within yourself
by the time you attain your ideal or go you're gaining idea will create another ideal
so long as your practice has caused on a gaining idea is based on a gaining idea and you practices in an idealistic way
you will have no time actually to attain your ideal
so so long as my practice is aimed at
being responsive to everyone's request
being open available and present for everyone songs i have that as an ideal
i'm just getting in my way
i've actually actualizing that possibility
because i have an idea of self as somehow separate from other
and this notion of self as separate from other
is the kind of underlying delusion with which we all live when we cling to a notion of self
if somehow for a moment
we realize and recognize
the nature of reality which is
none duo which is
fuzzy corrections to say over and over again not one not too self another are not one day at actually there are differences but self another also not to
this is very hard to talk about because language is rides very nature dualistic
and thinking is always based on language and so thinking as dualistic
so the actual experience of non-duality is not in the realm of concept for language or thinking
the actual experience of self and other are not to
can be very real
an unmistakable and compelling
but you can't grab and hold onto it
you can't keep it and focus all the time
you can just see it recognize it
and keep practicing based on your realization that this is the nature of reality
and i keep separating myself from it
by conceptual thinking
and so
little by little learning not to be so attached to our concepts
not to be so
mean there's nothing wrong with thinking as long as you don't believe it's true
but if you believe i know it it's true because i think it
you get very stuck
but when you can
by just good luck resident more than good management but when you can open yourself to the possibility of seeing things directly
you will see
that itself another not too
you will see that inside and outside or not to
the inside is infinite and outside is infinite and they're not one but they're not too
i heard recently a description of
she can pass her
soto zen practice sometimes called silent illumination practice by a chinese teacher
ah who said first
is it
and develop
and develop awareness of your body
completely working on awareness of breath posture bringing your awareness throughout your body and this may take some years
ah but this is our be the beginning of this practice
and then when awareness permeates the whole body then we let it move on out to include the environment
sights sounds smells tastes touch
so that our awareness now extends throughout the body and throughout environment
and this may take many years
then he said we
as far as we can go
and we investigate outward as far as we can go and let her awareness extend outward as far as it can go
and we see that outward is infinite
and we let our awareness extent inward as far as it can go
and we see that inward is infinite
what was a free
this practice
but in that realization of the infinity of inward and outward we see the not to
her not one not too
and in that awareness
we can meet whatever arises as ourselves
we can respond to whatever arises
in the most appropriate way
what's better
so please
let us all
join together in this practice
of waking up
this buddha
which is here
and there
and everywhere
but our job is to wake up
this one and recognize it as buddha
and in recognizing this one as buddha
to see it
wherever we look
recognizing buddha in everything
to do this is a hero she says we have to have a com
so we can begin their
me are in intention equally permeate every amen place