Sesshin Lecture

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good morning
well we have some wonderful news i'm not sure everyone's heard about it but the baby chicks the baby birds hatched did you know that know greg our resident birding person where are you greg
i saw that she was looking in the nest and the mother bird wasn't there and then she looked have noticed that they were broken open right and in fact part of the show was still sort of attached to the bottom of one of the little birdies
and the mother's been
stay very close and sort of on top you can't see them she's really protecting them with her body and they must be underneath her
and greg also mentioned to me that it's very important that they be given that we not go around and like point in ah
because it's a very vulnerable time right now for the baby birds in fact correct me if i'm wrong greg but when ah
ornithologists are studying birds and these nasty they've fake out other birds by pointing at different places where there aren't nests and then studying the nest because the birds will actually go after ah
the humans have been there ah and and get the birds they'll they'll notice where the human activity has been so we should be kind of surreptitious about a look in
anything else we should know craig or gary well i just noticed this morning are also
the came oh oh my mom
the they don't
when i saw of the girls lying around the trying to see what we're doing so i trying to give up windows
the servers meal
looking in to the service meal
this was after
it was on great ah
buddhists law among the birds
so someone mentioned that they thought that i was like a mother bird and i thought i might be the brown breasted dharma warbler
western species
red brick
you know if you really want to hear my imitation of the of a crow i can do that

later it
so the mother bird is feeding them in the father bird is feeding them and
you know this pete seeger the basketball and the backstop you know you might feel that i'm feeding you ah
and you're like little baby birds going to you don't like olive trying to get those pairs you know just the mouth
or not you know the backstep
it bounces according to however whatever the causes and conditions are so
but damn couple people mentioned
they felt the talks for sweet very sweet and i realized this is how my mind working mothers milk is sweet in a human breast milk is sweet the baby's first flavor that they receive if there
ah fed by breastfeeding as humans have been for lo these many years mostly it's sweet flavor so i think that's
that's important but they say about the dharma that it's sweet in the beginning sweet in the middle and suite at the end it does have a sweet side to it
and there's also the bittersweet so
i think it's important
you know i was talking about projections and idealizing and having someone be the shining one i remember somebody once when i first started practicing now literally i had been there a week and they had just gotten there so i was a week
you know senior to them and they sat next to eat a meal and said something
oh your practice that i die and how long have you been practicing and i say just got here last wish to know
it was a kind of idealized thing you know i think we want to see shining practice body surface and we see them if we want to see them we we can see them
but when we separate ourselves from someone through idealization ah then we may be reticent to meet
but i also realize that
ah the way human the human process of projection transference and projection in these kinds of things are parade
it's beyond our
poor power to add or detract you know it's beyond we can't control it actually
ah we can study it but put someone in a central position in your life i feel ah
this is a very useful thing at times very useful phase baby to go through to have someone be very central and then at a time that's appropriate us go when it's found that go if you hold on i guess it's like that image of the raft
you use the raft across the river but then if you drag the raft of the shore and kind of portage all over the world you know your shoulders can't really
soar pal
but i think it is important to include chateau we were talking about shadow earlier on now looking for shadow exactly but just
knowing that there is shadow their to ah not digging for it just
not kidding ourselves that there's no shadow
so a shadow story about me came up which ah
being sweet or good or the mother bird
i think it's useful to know about shadow so the story they came up for me this morning to tell us about a person who for i think about two years have been coming to sixteen and really wrestling with whether or not to receive the precepts
based on some understanding that if this person took the precepts that meant they couldn't go out and have fun with their friends and they enjoy a good bottle of wine at dinner sometimes and that would mean they couldn't do that and
they just saw it as rigidly cutting themselves off from their life force and they were not about to do that and they wrestled and we talked for
regularly for about two years you know and at the certain point there was a turn and this person came and said they really had settled and they had one they now wanted to read receive the precepts and i was very happy for them and for the world and and they said it and i'm going to talk with ramp tomorrow
about receiving them to ask graham
and i
you know talk about the shadow was like why do you mean reb you know
with a good trip for those of you who don't know rabbits one of the main senior dharma teacher and my teacher
you mean we've been working for the last two years you know down in the minds here turning this and study at tn and examining it and you know that's i yeah
that's very funny
and i was happy for them that they had settled and they grab is the person they want to relate to in this when you know
i realized i been pretty soon or did i yeah that whatever they want it was okay and it doesn't matter the precepts are free flowing nobody has a corner on the precepts
but this thing of whoo that student is kind of a plum i remember someone saying about someone at tests are they are real plum you know and they're interested in being ordained who was going to again and this is the shadow side i just wanted to bring up so you can taste it
so this goes on but
the examining it in the study it and the confessing it is you know freely moving in ah in our life integrating dark and light
so i just don't want you to fool yourself about
but that's how it was for me to when i first came with the older students in anybody who were iraq's of had to be enlightened i thought that sort of meant you got this thing you got to where it up
iraq soon as the little world
i wanna be like that i want one of them whatever it is you know
so this is the perfection and imperfections you know we ah
we fight wholesome being wholesome or whole is integration of light and dark it's not just all the light that would be kind of lopsided
what are those countries that have like twenty four hours of light who was telling me
michael was time is twenty four hours a day during parts of the year is all light and then maps and yeah three northern sweden
so anyway i wanted to bring we've been talking about yesterday i talked about my stuffed animal george and i some of you have been to and have met him but i thought i would bring him out because i found him in the momento my memento box
and i noticed he has this tag still from going to camp my mother's soda and it says linda ruth cuts
and i forgot about he has this sort of building his tail which used to be really special
now i've been thinking a lot about church because
the i remember we drove when i was seven we drove to california from minnesota and one of the things we would do
there were no seat belts at the time there are no seat belts we my sisters and three of us and the back my mother my uncle uncle drove and then we'd roll down the windows and then we put our stuffed animals out the window and then they fly through
and i just remember him flying through the wind you know
he liked that
he doesn't smell regular now he's felt very musty so don't smell him if you meet him
that he's perfect isn't he perfect
just the way is no neck
so some of you may remember i know some of you have been telling me about your own stuffed animals and
memories have been you know jogged about things that have been very important putting my hip

our earliest impressions

let's go
oh else i was they gave doing my imitation of the wicked witch of the west just to show you you know that i wasn't all sweetness and light

i will it go i'll take it off i'll take it out because i don't want to split your ears
so let's see here eating
oh yeah
ah you know in the for cancer saying it it says do not pass your days and nights in vain and it occurred to me yesterday as i was trying to
i talk about or you have by the way i thought this may just be total projection and my part but i thought lunch and breakfast were very quiet meals did anyone else feel that way or aoki practice and it's the fourth day in the fifth day i think settling into
the body practices for ah i think that's part of that but i appreciate everyone all of us practicing hard with her or yaki balls
ah in the food cans as a do not pass your days and nights in vain and you find this phrase in a lot of different places do not pass your days and nights in vain
and i realized ah
part of
the am
these admonitions about you know doing that which is before you and so far so forth is so that you can live your life thoroughly so that it doesn't pass you by you know it's not that the days and nights vainly passed by its that we are veins
lee doing other things
and our life like the person who said they'd never take the they don't think they taste their food and or aoki
do we
and it's not grasp the food taste you know it's available but ungraspable but are we there for her life for all the different parts of our life
so this attention to detail attention to each thing we do and our body and breath in
because it goes by very fast you know
ah the other day someone was talking about a look in the mirror and they see all this skin this person is over fifty all this skin of her neck and is all all wrinkly you know it's all wrinkly when did that happen
that just best known me all wrinkly there on my neck like a goose or something you know and i and my hands and i look get my hands and they're all they're all wrinkles they're not smooth you know compared like my daughter who's nineteen in her hands but it's just like this you know
so do not pass few days and nights in vain and
r zen practice being exposed to these practices that save you know what was it in the sixties be here now you know
to thoroughly live thoroughly live every
every day
and yet not grasping

another i'm a part of the for kansas and give that we never talked about in the class and that i wanted to look at is that line between a sharp and the dull witted there is no distinction
so these practices that we've been talking about turning the light back and think of mine that thinks reversed the thought to think of the thinking mind this these practices to not depend on being really
a bright you know like really on the ball and really you know you did well in school or you're smart it is it is not dependent on that kind of
ah intelligence really it's a very simple
it's basically
think of the mine that's thinking and then what does the mind thinking of
bird lunch breath
bird bird breath
breath mind bird caught bird brain
so i think we we almost make it more complicated we add an elaborate and what could it mean i'm going to try this and how about that maybe she means this ah it's simple it's simple i think actually it's simple and we've been hearing it
from the day we walked in in some form or another the you can now and i as a practice with this boy whatever i pick up it seems to be pointing to the same thing
often we have some idea about ourselves either i'm the brightest you know based on
you know where we were in our family ecology you know my
middle sister
for whatever reason was she was a great she's a tomboy she loves sports and all sorts of activities like that and she didn't like to read my older sister and i love to read so she was
the designated one who wasn't smart for some reason she was the one who the and in fact i asked my mother about this recently
and she said it's terrible but i i thought because she didn't like to reach he wasn't as smart as you and your sister
so my sister carrie that and when she finally got her phd she said
you know i'm going to gap a phd to prove to daddy i wasn't gum you know this is an enormous enormous life
you know energy and flow that goal was you know i'm the dull witted one
or i'm the bright one so how come i don't get this or i must get it because i'm the bright one haven't i always been top of my class or whatever this is a kind of small and narrow way that we
think about ourselves and we carry this
food and i have a good story she comes from a family very tall people she was the shortest out of tall brothers and sisters she always thought of herself as being short
i on other hand was that besides my dad i was the tallest my mother was for eleven my sister
at five feet and five one and i was almost five three and i thought i was
tall and thin until i got into the world's and me so we carry the and i still think of myself as tall
so what is you know it's what is tall on what is short
so to let go of dollar sharp where did you don't it doesn't have to obstruct you between the don't sharp witted there's no distinction
just practise fully whole that's all
a dull person like queen on pounding the rice you know unlettered and an educated when he went to the monastery after hearing the diamond sutra you know in the marketplace he went to find out more about it and they put him in the
he actually had a little encounter there with the fifth ancestor who thought this guy is pretty young
awake i better hide them away a little bit and he put him down on the race hauling department where they
took the holes i guess brown rice they took the hulls off and made a white race is that what happened
so it just
you know working that way between the dull and the sharp witted there's no distinction if you practice
single mindedly that in itself is negotiating the way is that the old translation i just say it probably is
so if you just practice single mindedly with sincere heart with our broken hearts
we accomplish the way we realized the way it doesn't depend on
the things that we thought it was going to depend on and that we worked really hard to put in place
ah it's not that those things are bad or don't function well for the benefit of all beings to to be in the world and have certain skills that's fine
but in accomplishing the way we have to the goal
of all those
ways that were expert

so another wave
wording phrasing that i came upon for think not thinking by the zen teacher radha roshi is
leave thinking as it is think thinking as it is or leave it
two just thinking as it is
so it's not a matter of making your thinking one way or another are making your breath long or deep it's not deep enough i'd better make it more deep it's just this is the instruction you get in zazen instruction the first day just count the breath if you're counting just the way it is if it's long
counted long if it's short
short of it's shallow fits rough just as it is i'm an excuse
so leave thinking as it is thinking is if we think we're supposed to stop thinking
or somehow make our thoughts be a certain way
this is creating traps and snares i think and also doing damage actually to our free flowing human our full functioning
so please
notice if you're trying to stop thoughts yet rid of certain ones and only get certain no ones leave thinking as it is
we usually don't do that so that's why they say i think it's not thinking or non thinking because it's are not our usual way our usual ways
leaking ashraf a flowing out towards objects and elaborating and involving and trying to control
so this turning the light back is as i mentioned when the ten thousand things come fast and furiously don't try to control them leave thinking as it is leave it leave it and that in itself
pacifiers the mind or is coming up the mine
now or one of the things they come fast and furiously
you know our karmic
our ancient twisted karma you know the thoughts of
what we omitted to do when we could have done what we did do that was harmful and
the experiences we had that were painful the murkiness of all that and the pain sometimes this comes very fast you know
so leave thinking as it is i wanted to read a story about
so we are body dermis
disciple was
put a downer day you should taste so acre or quicker pace so i can die you're showing you probably he's famous
for you know standing in the snow wanting the teaching and cutting off his arm finally and finally bodhidharma felt he was sincerely
wanting to hear the teaching and taught him
and quakers
disciple case orchidaceae can she saw son was
he had leprosy he was a person who had leprosy and he was old when he came to practice he was over forty seven was speaking me to me about how you know how difficult it is they feel for an older person to come to practice just their bodies are you know
maybe have more difficulties are less flexible or so forth and that the young people have more easy time but i'm not sure that's true you know i think it depends on it's sort of like with the dull and the sharp witted with the young or the old there's no distinction just pract
this the a single mindedly doesn't matter so can so son came he was over forty he had leprosy
which i've never seen anyone with leprosy
those of you have traveled in india probably have her other places
but i've seen pictures so this is you know it terrible physical affliction and on top of that where he lived in the time he lived it was considered to be bad karma to be the fruit of bad karma so not only are you
ah riddled with a terrible disease you're dealing with but people who look at you in that time and i think we still carry a lot of this to are saying well the he deserved it right that's why as leprosy proceed because of all these terrible things he did in his past
so that sets up
you know
but that's sets things up that not only do people not want to be with you because they're afraid of the disease but you're a bad person and that proves it can look at you
so airy was and he came to quaker case so echo echo and he said to him
my body is infected with leprosy
i beg you owe priests to cleanse me of my wrongdoing
so he believed it to you know i must have done something terrible this is the proof
and i you don't take it from me clans me make me pure again and body and mind oh priest
quaker tezuka said bring me your wrongdoing and i will cleanse you
country so son said he paused a while and then said when i look for my wrong doing i cannot find it
quaker replied i have already cleansed you have your wrongdoing you may rely on buddha dharma and community of believers
i think come
we feel the weight of our ancient twisted karma
heavily heavily and if we try to look for it just like the oreo cookie balls that i was talking about if you look at you know an act that you did let's say or something you omit it doing and if you look
an examined as carefully as you can you see that the causes and conditions that or present that arose that
ah if you look at that act or that
you see that there was all sorts of things that were not the act itself that were there meaning ah it is made up of non
the the elements that made it up there's nothing there that you could grasp it was made up of
you know your past present and future your ignorance how you were treated
fears and it's like you can't get at in this is you know when you
when people work with prisoners you know what was that movie
then i didn't see with the bannon who came
them dead man walking guess every some have you seen that movie
well the what he was imprisoned for what he did was terrible was horrifying
and yet the want the more you studied the life of this person you see the pain and suffering of his life and i don't i didn't see the movie but the more you look at your own suffering or what karmic
ah events you see what contributed to that what were the causes and conditions and the causes of conditions of that and that and that and that and your and out and out and out until you can't grasp it you can't so so wake up
said bring it to me and i'll cleanse you
i beg you to cleanse me on my wrongdoing bring me your wrongdoing and i will cleanse you
but when i when he looked for he couldn't find it
what was it could you have done anything else
but there's pain there and there's repentance and confession that's why we chant every morning all my ancient twisted karma from beginning this greed hate delusion born of body speech and mind i now fully about i
i ah acknowledge this fully and i let go of it and this doesn't need to obstruct me from
practicing and we just chanted the costs kosovo to gunman which talks about that to they're asking
you know put free me from comic afflictions so that i can practice the way without difficulty
and just chanting their chant i feel is the true flavor the true color
of practice
having that
arising of wanting to acknowledge live thoroughly and and having a heart to look at our life that's the bitter you know the bittersweet there's the bitter
that it's like medicine you know bitter medicine i was telling someone it's it's like chinese herbal medicine or you get this concoction of
and you drink it and it's it's bitter but it
it must be swallowed
and you must bit we have to bear it you know i talked about burying it

so between the sharper the dull witted or the late in the dark there's no distinction ah we can practice the way fully and and country so son went on to write that
the shinjin mink you know the trusting trust them
sutra interesting mind the the supreme way is not difficult it is just avoiding picking and choosing that's what he wrote which are we looked at as abedin class earlier
the cleansing of our karmic past you know there's a way that we when we study now week we buy
the so
and see what brought us to practice is often these things that are our karmic ancient twisted karma i always think of zen center as the lack of the french foreign legion you know the french foreign legion people come there
and you don't know what's gone on for them you don't know what suffering they've experienced but you can you can trust that they have seen they have experienced they have received suffering that's all
there's no
it cannot be any other way because people won't stick with practice and less
there's some suffering that must be attended to it must be

so leave thinking as it is even this painful painful thinking you know for effort is to cannot try to push it away suppress repress block it
you know be the shining body suffer
you know i told that story about someone called me a little miss bodhisattva yeah
as they were breaking the precepts by talking about somebody i am
we're in a boat
i think it's a canoe and they were behind me they are the passenger in the middle i was the bow there was somebody in the stern and they were busy going on and on and on about
somebody and i was very you know assiduous we paddling
and not participating in this gossip and slander
and she said what do you sew sewing about little miss bodhisattva
so you know nailed rate there it's like no i don't do gossip and slander i whatever
i was already slandering her right big time holier than now praise itself at the expense of others and all the rest of it you know so
how do i get into them
i was going to back up the tapes i can
i really lost where i was going back because it was so strongly image of paddling and how she got me ah
anyway it's just admitting where we are just admitting who we are and
and remaining upright that's a bright
so we get a chance to do confession and repentance every morning and you can do it you know more than that if you want to ah

the ever since we've been talking about birds a a came upon this that i know i had read it before in another lecture earlier in the practice period but it's it's minded environment using birds instead of
buildings towers trees you know
so the mind and environment coin is young shine asked a monk where you from from you province do you think of that place i always think of it that thinker is the mind and the thought of as the environment reversed the you know they're in live mountains rivers in that so here's here's this one
but there are many ways of access to the principal i will point out one entry way by which you can return to the source do you hear the kind of the crows and the chattering of the jays smell great
the students said i hear them
now turn around and listen to your own hearing essence or there's still so many sounds in it
student students as when i get here all sounds and all discriminations are ungraspable
the teachers this marvelous marvelous this is the sound sears gateway into the principal the sound sear is of a low-key dish where are the one who
here's the sounds of the world or sees the sounds of the world
you know when we hear sounds if we reverse the thought to think of the thinking mind nets thinking sound
it's called the sound seer the sounds here
you say that when you get here all sounds and all discriminations are totally ungraspable since since they cannot be grasped does that mean that there is empty space at such a time the students as originally not empty it is
clearly not obscure
i'm not exactly sure about that for me what is the substance that is not empty and the students says it has no form there is no way to express it in words
so do you hear the kind of the crows and the chattering of the jays i hear them
now turn around and listen to your hearing essence
reversed thought to think of the thinking mind
now i'm going to make my son of the crop they can
but this isn't a real crow this just a sound i used to think was it
that would crow sounds like
how are we map
startled crowed
the kitchen has left which you know was my cue that it's getting close to eleven am
i just wanted to say
something about resting
i looked up the word rest which in those of you who know me i love to do this and i just wanted to read the definition of rest
the actor state of ceasing from work activity or motion quiet
peace ease or refreshment
resulting from sleep
or the cessation from an activity
relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance
mental or emotional tranquility
termination or absence of motion
and then in music and interval of silence

i carry my writing
having to do with the time value within a measure

and then the word restive you know the phrase never give a lady a restive horse
it's that familiar to anybody

know it comes from it it's a phrase i know never give a lady arrest of horse
i'm so as we ride the bucking broncos you know of our karmic life and our
sensations you know riding bronc bucking assets booking along it reminded me of a rest of horse and this phrase never give a lady arrest to us came up
and i think i think it's an old phrase from in other eighteen hundreds or something but rest of means impatient or nervous under restriction
so that horse
you know out in the mountains down with beach running around so restive that impatient that but when you have some restrictions or limitations like
schedule bells and silence and
then there's some nervousness or impatience that arises with those conditions
so nervous mister in patients under restriction
or pressure
and it means uneasy are restless difficult to control refractory which i don't know what means exactly refractory unruly refusing to move
a horse or another animal refuse to move is also restive so you know it could be nervous and fidgeting and restless and an easy or it could just be stuck you know it's that's the other side of it really just refusing to move freely
according to cause and conditions are so
i know a number of people are working with resting in the moment finding their tranquility with whatever the causes and conditions are
finding their rest they're not looking for the brakes
you know i only i love sushi know i really feel great the brakes but during the rest of the time it's really hard or somebody else made her feel i feel great during his us and pick shipment if the brakes i begin to feel uneasy you know so
finding our rest in whatever the causes and conditions
and and give a lady and gentlemen arrest of course i think that challenges us right

how did you like the lecture george
very good
thank you very much