Sesshin Lecture

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SF-03584
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our intention
the loose
huh

are you in are you retired
yes no
just taking
ah
i'm i'm glad that this some of your word so totally wasted because unless and myself i'm feeling fine
which has when they do the fact that i mostly slept for the last couple of days
i i'm sorry
i'm sorry that i wasn't able to be with you off
burden just kinda sick
then don't
even though i basically slept i was really tired no matter how much as slipped i was still tired but today i feel great so
but those of you who are feeling so great i extend my sympathies
it do religion
sure they do and i
hey
anyway i think someone told me advise me some time ago the the the main point of talking in the zinda was to encourage
i'm encouraged practice and it is working purposes
so that's my be my effort in my intention this morning and i really appreciated the time the talks that have already been happening on all of which i didn't like listen to
either come here or
hora
over there
and then it did seem to me that everyone who spoke was really trying to bring forth on the energy and intention of practicing for the benefit of others
and today in particular would i would like to talk about is receiving the precepts so as i think you know last week i went to a
event called uk a a precept
receiving ceremony was actually a five day precept ceremony at is in shuji in los angeles so i'm i still have a very
it is a very encouraging and inspiring event for me and i still feel it very strongly
so i'm thinking about the precepts a lot and i really wanted to talk with you about the importance of receiving precepts
i'm
so when the a question that came up earlier this week was the question of who are you that is sometimes asked and i was wonder
it seems to me that that question
can be a helpful question when you ask you of someone else like going to summon and and i often have that kind of
ah question in my mind looking at someone like who are you know who is this person and i actually think it's best to leave it unanswered
in a to just to have it as a question like this person is a mystery in a who is this person just over and over again who is this person and i've always found that when i apply that question to myself it's a big mistake and then it's not
not it's not so helpful list and i haven't found it helpful because the tendency is to answer it right each build answer it for yourself a mean that kenneth
would seem that way and and answering it is
going to fall into is going to be very static it's like you know i am so and so i've had such such education or i live in such and such a place or
spouse or children or parents or education or by with this is my profession or whatever
and i think at times my life i have really wanted to answer that and
you know that i i felt a need there was something to hang onto like what if i'm okay if i can get these costs if i can get down the answers the ants the right answers and if i have the right answers than than i'm safe and some
way so
it seems to me that all of these kinds of answers that we may give for self to that question really emphasize our separateness or individuality like i am
such as such person as distinct from you or the other possibilities that there might be
and
at the
this gk a qb roshi who was
ah he was kinda the director i guess of the the whole event i'm not sure what his official title was but anyway
he
give
he get he did speak some and i'm also he wrote wrote some things about receiving the precepts and and one thinks that he wrote he quoted a poem by real con
it's from exactly but his translation was if i'm asked what is human suffering i respond it is the mind that create separation between oneself and others
if i'm asked what is human suffering
i respond it is the mind that create separation between oneself and others
and we've been studying particularly in as some dynamo china sudre how that mind
happens you know how how is it that the mind create suffering so i think we're all familiar with that and a basic
fundamental characteristic of the human mind that quit creates separation
between oneself and others and a keeper she talked about the importance of receiving the precepts
as a way to
bring up one's vow to
understand the connection
between self and others and to live one's life for the benefit of others so that rather than emphasizing the side of separation to see how do we how do we live our life give
even given this tendency
this inescapable tennessee
now what how do i live my life away see the connection that is also there

so another
a question that dogan asks which
for me is more helpful than the question of who are you for myself to ask something to ask myself is do venerate the three treasures or not
do you venerate buddha dharma and sangha or not are you on the path or not on it's kind of like saying what are you doing what is what is your life the way of asking what is your life what
what is the functioning not who are you in a static sense but what is the functioning of your life is this something that you that you do do venerate due respect do you have faith in to uphold
buddha dharma and sangha or not

so the things that we usually
oh take refuge in like i mentioned before our accomplishments or
possessions and so forth all of these things are impermanent
unreliable
unstable
they on
they missed they may in fact be helpful
and kind of a way to live our life but if we put our reliance on them we find at some point that they that they're gone that they changed they're not they're not there for us so what is it that is there
that we can always go back to
it seems to me that to shift our perspective from taking refuge in the things of our life that we can but look at and describe to taking refuge in the three treasures is not so
simply a matter of like x rather than why you know this thing rather than that thing but it's a it's a different it's really a different kind of perspective but in our whole life it's rather than picking out some particular things it
it seems that were actually a part of indra's net so rather than placing ourself
it's some particular point or points in that net and saying these are the things that will support me it's to see that entire constantly moving interconnection so it's a very radical reorg
hunting of our life there's actually nothing that can be or not nothing that we can grasp nothing that we can actually hold on to so
taking refuge in the three treasures is not just grabbing onto something but it's actually a letting go
and i
i thinking
earlier this week one of the talks may be show i'm not sure brought up the the heart that is broken
that you
yeah
the heart that is broken the hurt that bleeds and
this is it's funny how sometimes some theme comes up and then it just keeps coming back over and over
anyway that happens to miss sometimes and
so the steam of the red heart is something that has been coming up for me in different contexts and first came up because
mako asked me to name and this may sound silly to some some of you are kinda strange but i'll say it anywhere in that are explained she asked me to name tasha go for her
and
i think that
t students may understand that but
does everyone know what a trash ako is no at a t scoop it's basically just a little spoon camp made out of
well in this case bamboo and there's this custom of giving the t scoop a name what's called a poetic name and
it's a custom that began i think in the maybe the sixteenth century or so and
earlier two scoops two scoops are kind of throw this much as to talk about t which i
i wasn't planning to do this but i can't resist so
so originally when t came to japan from china the t was medicine right it is medicine and so it wasn't like a little medicine containers and with the ivory scoops to scoop it out and then later
started sometimes carving their own two scoops at bamboo which is a very cheap materials so serve a throw away you know you carve one use it and then throw it throw it away and then i guess people guests would say what you're going to throw away wanted to give it to me it's kinda nice
and
oh and then also at sea you i guess gave a t scoop to one of his disciples or ebay and after eq was forced to kill himself or a they named the t scoop
given a name he called the meta or tears and he put it no case and used it as a e hi to know and he hires to memorial plaque like in the cassandra we have a memorial plaque for suzuki roshi and one
for category roshi in of this row plaques and sometimes they're just plain wood
anyway so he used it
as a as a as an e high and its name was nami to tears so there's this this custom of giving a name to a to a to scoop which chris makes a lot more interesting and
so michael carved a t scoop on a while ago and she asked me to name it and i i was thinking about names and assertive since i i liked his scoops a lot and carving them and i really liked this kind of customer i had these names that
you know whatever i i come across and the a nice poetic name i can tuck it away and it's it's kind of an obsession makes it but and i think it's not not unwholesome but
anyway so i kind of looked at some various possible names that that might work and you know but keeping in mind that this was for mako not for me and you know what might work for her and so i looked at his name's and you know this one was good and that
and was good and then i came across this one
saiki shin and sort of like there was this will pop
and
sir slow emotional part for me that was like okay that's it so and and this is a phrase that that
it occurs in various cohen's you see so it's a certified
and this is a certified zen phrase
i'm not something i made up anyway so so i told her the name and i think she kind of
i'm not sure what she thought
but anyway
but she asked me about it and eno's so had to think a little more about what what what what does this really mean and
so looking it up in the characters and characters up in the character dictionary psyche is red and she and his heart basically like red heart and in like dinner secondhand red rice know anyway it's very good but
so it's the same the same same character secchi for for read and but in this case this like read bleeding heart and
so this comes up in
you should do this case
well first the you why why i'm bringing it appear which is that the
so at this gk ceremony on the
last day or the second to last day when people actually received the precepts
they hung the hall with red cloth
so probably a lot of you know that this is this has done here when there's a
a dharma transmission ceremony and i had no idea that this would be done in this context of lay people receiving the precepts but in oversight like hundreds of yards of cloth and mean it was a huge huge amount and but the entire
for the entire place was it's like you went away and then you came back and and it was transforms that they had they had a whole but teton rio you know so like
hold crew people like stagehands you know in children's or sir like stagehands right they said the they took care of everything and so they had hung the it it's huge amount of red cloth completely around the whole hall and you got to sit in
it you know you were just there sitting there for quite a long time while this various ceremonies enchanting and
various things went on and at that point
and you i thought maybe later i'll talk more about the
this the whole process but
most of the time i was like the priests were mostly involved in she doing the ceremonies
and lay people were kind of in
the audience kind of like in a zen churches sort of it's like a church i guess it's like there's an altar and then there are these pews where people sit which is core somewhat different from a traditional and temple where you would have just a vague
vast to tommy room but so i think traditionally people would be sitting probably says a for days or so in this case they got to sit on
you know and benches so most of the time i was involved in the ceremonies in the lay people were were sitting there but for this particular part
the lay people were going up
ah onto the altar and everyone else was basically just sitting in and watching so
but anyway the point them making simply as that it was just being in this red room for a long time in life for some hours was very moving to me it just felt completely enclosed by this space and
the the person who
it was the in the instructing master i guess said in his talk that someone
someone who does not tell lies has a red heart for sickie shin
the mind that does not lie is very big so in this case of symbolized by a red curtain so i've been there was thinking about that you know is what what does he mean by that the mind that does not tell lies is very big
and is symbolized by a red curtain so what what is the fundamental lie
that we tell herself so what is this mind that doesn't tell lies the the fundamental lie is the why of separation between our self and others the mind that that
create sur ses separation is a kind of lies so the mind that
the mind that is just open
and a naked and doesn't tell this lie
is
this red
red heart psyche shin
duggan's and g in i i think us in shinjin cargo door body mind studied the way there's a phrase a straightforward mind which i think is this
this another translation of the same term staycation
in in that case it's defined as undivided or selfless mind
oh okay
another translation is naked mind moment by moment so just
each moment one moment after another just continuously forever
seriously open open naked
and
in the first case of the blue cliff record
i think you're all familiar with
bodhi dharma coming to the worst what i want to talk about it is the very end of the commentary
ingo is commenting on suede said chose verse and he says such a feared that people would pursue intellectual views so he swung open the gate and brought out his own understand
ending saying give up recollecting what limit is there to the pure wind circling the earth that's not a great name pure wind
sir

so give up the thinking mind as if there could be a limit to the pure wind circling the earth
once you give up recollection what will become the affairs you busy ourselves with
such oh says here and know the pure wind is circling the earth throughout heaven and earth what is there that is limited so so i was talking before about this question of of who are you is there a limit you know you really think that you can define yourself
is there a limit to who you are
suede you picks up the numberless skins concerns of all ages and throws them down before you this is not confined to suede shoes time what limit is they're all of you people what limit is there on your part
again so i do feared that people would grab hold at this point so again he exposed to skill in a loud voice he asked is there any ancestor here and he answered himself there is swayed do doesn't hesitate to bear his heart entirely for the sake
of others
so again this is the this is this naked heart that in order to help others in order to break through the limitations that we see between self and others he was willing to cut through an open his heart
completely
so i in this but gathering this gk a container was created
for
i for
being able to receive the precepts so people had left home and you know i was thinking the whole time about being there and being in that
being in that event and then the practice period here going on and that that was kind of like this little mini version you know innocence this whole practice period of is a kind of an axe
expanded in psychic a long retreat and that event was this very
pm
basically it was like a little mini retreat for lay people who could
actually the lay people who came were only there for three days and the the priests were there for five days but anyway the whole thing was very was very short but the basic elements of it were quite similar to the elements of coming here for this
practice period of leaving home giving up your private space your private activities joining with others spending a day of
chanting making offerings reciting scriptures
listening to dharma talks so all these things were going on in order to make possible this are taking of the proof of the precepts taking refuge
joining in a communion time to understand what does it mean to actually have communion with buddha
and ah

so wondered though i guess for me the
well the main thing that really struck me was how this whole event was a question of really taking the precepts
into your body with your body that it wasn't and it wasn't just a question of receiving a the presa it wasn't just the mind so dogan talks about studying the way with the mind and and studying the way with the body and
and
no even though it was you assume that people who come together to receive the precepts are already living basically a moral life it's not like they're good they're
i'm violating the precepts and then all of a sudden they're going to stop assume that they're already basically following the precepts but what's the difference
you know how is this a shift in their life and it seemed to me that this whole
a ceremony was a kind of ritual reordering i get kind of had this image of
a book like a one huge massage going on in like someone reaching in inside that or maybe this is too gruesome that
ah
anyway i keep having this image of his hand miss going inside the head and massaging and over massaging your whole body and sort of it
as close as that as you can get you know that by putting your body through this
forms of bowing making prostrations that something happens that can't span it just it can't happen otherwise
one point that i that really struck me was i think again this was a cube or oh shit talking about doing full prostrations and how when you raise your hands your
but we lift buddha's feet over our head
and i think i knew that a minute but i never quite had that
if and i've talked about that you know that when you raise your palms you're lifting up buddhist feet but i never had quite the image before that it's not just that you're lifting buddha's feet but you're raising buddha over your head
and somehow that just became so powerful for me
not just raising up a little but actually you're racing put a higher than your the near head and so when you do that over and over again somehow that
oh
i had know describe it i guess it's like for me this again the image of being in indra's net in a like where's where's your place what is what is your relationship to buddha that you can express it in that
way through your through your body so i saw the whole
saw this gk as a kind of creation of a buddha field that people coming together and creating this kind of buddha field that people are then invited into
and then going through this whole process which is kind of life
growing a bodhisattva you know how do you grow a bodhisattva you you leave home you take on a kind of discipline
and
you take vows
and you
make a karmic connection and one way they describe this was as
and receiving lineage papers you have a karmic connection with the soto shoe and when i first heard that i thought
like what
because i think of the soldier shoes is like this bureaucracy you know this offices people and stuff and it to me and you had a thing about it quite a while i realized no that's obviously that's not what that's not what's going on what we're talking about as the teaching
the teaching of soto zen it's a connection with the teaching that's been passed down from dogan that without receiving the precepts
this teaching wouldn't continue it wouldn't have continued for hundreds of years in the way that it has in it and it wouldn't continue from now on but this is how it continues how it's passed on from teacher to say
student and how people support each other to a practice in this way is through receiving the precepts
ah
and then at the end of this whole ceremony there were many congratulations and then questions and answers
so
i thought this would be a good time to see if there any questions
maybe answers these questions
yes couric
days
here
ah a lot of ceremonies
a lot
ceremonies
offerings know a lot of ceremonies
i never knew there can be so many minister
chanting chanting resending scriptures certain in our servant has
making offerings like legacy there is as enormous cheat rio and they just kept
producing offerings which was offered
and then those would be taken away and then there be more
and
so
traditionally
this is a seven day ceremony
eminently so it has been done and seven days and then that can be read you know
reduced to five or three or two hours
but
yeah when you do the long version there's and there were also some talks
those very full it was refused really full the full days
yes

did you
yeah i'm like

i'm actually i didn't like i can imagine that one could and in some
i guess the to
usually i get bored if i don't understand what's going on and i feel separate from it dislikes so something is going on and i don't really get it and i'm kind of watching it but it doesn't mean anything for me
so

they talked well that the so basically what the ceremonies were was a
so they they chanted in a lot of things that that we're all familiar with
the heart sutra
a sandow chi
song of the junior samadi japanese of course
are they chanted something that i think most of physically not so for me with costs shoe shogi which i think is a kind of compendium of teachings of dogan so it it's in that the
a book that love you a real-life you have seen that that's been published couple of years ago by the so joshua has english and it's it's in there and looking through it alot it's familiar to you know and you can say oh yeah that's from this festival or less from their bicycle it's so it's taken from different parts of doga and way
they it that seems to be something that's recited a lot and
there also was something called tongue boots zoo which is
oh
reciting the names of buddha says like inviting all the buddhas and
ancestors to come
so they describe the altar as mount subaru with the abode of the buddha's and at the beginning of this whole event you spend on each sort of setting the stage by inviting the buddhist to come in and be present so there was
it took a while and it's circumambulate hitting and they also did did this think i'll show you which is a very melodic chanting and very beautiful it's kind of like
but you know that little bit of melodic chanting that we do in the full moon ceremony
i think that would because show meal and there is so that there was a lot lot of that and
and so i recorded a little bit of it so but maybe i can play it may feel build
find time to to play a little just to give you some sense of
what it's what it's like so on
it was exhausting
but it wasn't boring of was exhausted
yes
i'm not too long ago rep was working with aren't cheap me on showing us how to offer the train
one way of hundred and one of the jones asked why offerings and that question
since then wonder what
is one
well since you've been thinking about it tomorrow say a little more
ah
one aspect of making an offering he is expressing gratitude
not expressing gratitude to much israel dead
ah

so
wait
no with it could have you in here too so are you know giving
the perimeter of giving his is really important and on
this is how we express
giving
so going back to the real con poem
you know the mind that create separation is the mind that create suffering so this is a in giving and making offerings this is the mind that is expressing our connection
can do it too much
i know i don't think in there's no end to offerings that can be made
sir
i think that sex

just because
yeah
ma
he started china immediacy you in that area to cheat you like to read the rosy cheeks go away and and even the red heart
my great pieces
and a footnote red heart is sincere effort for
hard
oh thank you and will look at here sometimes i think it's also talked about in terms of bits and pieces the bits and pieces of the heart in a moment by moment bits and pieces

two
oh you asked us we were type
having a hard edged sword
and southern thinking about scrum body lot
know how it has been that says she just
so
i really appreciated the imagery of
this massage
you know i am i going to my side
ah okay i'll try and think of how that might be person
and don't get anything about the current volumes i was thinking of bush with soreness
some kind of opening
the dharma body and i don't feel like i want to reject
physical pain

some teaching
but what is it yeah so painful
why does that hurts

would you like to rephrase that
yeah is there are many ways same
ah what i would i notice is the holding
when pain comes up when i notice is the grasping on you know the muscles grasping and the mind grasping and the the clinching that's painful
so
i knew it
there's different kinds of paid but that's that's what comes up for me
jared
check
how are you know
what
that sounds would
right
couldn't give a crap what can happen

well i think that's
that's kind of the usefulness of this pair of pain
because pain does come up and then that gives us the opportunity to examine and study what
is the cause of this pain would you know where's this coming from
and in than we go to the affordable truce you know what is the cause of suffering and and hideaway
see the end of it so i think we really
we start with our own experience the experience of are actual life and
you know the dog and hosts about faith in are taking refuge in the three treasures we start with faith and i was hesitant to
mentioned the faith word because
in iowa no matter how much i study it i still can't define it but but the the you know they're also there is
there is faith
faith also comes up
that
this i guess so like this universe is not just me you know at least there's that that much faith that in others' pain in their suffering and ah
but it can break open
and there's faith that
asking for help there is there is some connection you know there's this communion
with buddha so
i think that's anywhere that's that's what i find to steer by
barrett
context
talking to us about this
i was reminded of some brief circle
one
sir
s
oh thank you
wish is dying
and
ah
you know it the

now i may have a a crucial moment
the
oh
so it the at the end of this ceremony like i said there was a chance for questions and
so we were asked
beforehand who would like to you know anyway you will know what to show some ceremony is so that's it's basic that's where it was and whereas beforehand who would like to ask a question so i said oak river is my hand and
said ask a question and
i think just because it
i guess those are some kind of state characters from an my mind
you know it was that red curtain i guess i just
anyway edges
so i said as questions so then so then we had to say beforehand what our question was
but for the translator
and
and
so
i said i as so i thought why you know i should keep it simple since it since i was going to be translated so i asked about this phrase or ek como
which literally is something like one precept bright light it's something i've thought about for awhile and then later actually my real question was about my friend
and
you know it's kind of like how do i
practice with
this
friend who's actually
you know feel this connection that i
she's just part of my family so with her dying
no wonder if something about what is
what is it to practice the precepts with someone who's dying
something like that but
anyway then it just seemed too complicated to translate so i had to stick with my
what i had said but actually it didn't seem so different you know it seemed like
like it it really
this phrase ek home yo
one precept like the light of one precept
enveloping the universe
oh includes everyone doesn't
and just you know each moment
oh breathing in breathing out
nothing is outside of that so
anyway
i still haven't been able to talk with her
because she has been asleep whenever i called but
she evidently is
ah she's not with the i guess there's sprays actively dying so she's not in that ah face as yet she still intermittently up and about and so forth so
i'm hoping to
he able to visit with her
thanks for risk
judith

well i don't know
vivian
i guess like i said can good
maybe the the main thing that i'm left with right now is this real bodily sense of
the the importance of ritual and how one takes it in through the body so there's this
ah

yeah i hope so
ah but i i don't either i don't know that we have other than just as i said this
really seeing it as a as a
as a kind of physical
practice that that takes time
and you know it would also be kind of like it or sometimes we have a a precept ceremony like at the end of a session or the end of practice period so
that i think is very similar kind of feeling that you you've gone through this intense practice of that enables you to really open up
come completely
hama
so
yeah
decision

do they smelled the where this milk
and i asked read right
and he said well dressed like parasite
ever since
at first episode

right
just hearing a to produce away presents sentencing
yeah
i also feel like i'm
i'm like a dancer trying to fit still here
so my question
how on you
your peace and prestigious difference
practicing

yeah
yeah
yeah
you know those those are all really important questions and they came up that this actually one of the m
they had they were like two or three afternoon
i'm talks for the priests about this event in one of them
the miyako roshi was giving this talk said there are three let's see three ways of of
can three different ceremonies are resuming the precepts one with
i do chi
receiving the precepts one his shoe k tokaido
oh we call priest ordination in one a xico tokaido which is what we call layered nation and he described there's as three different
events so of course we all said what's the difference what to do you know what's the difference between a gk and
this what we call a ordination
and
just basically he he
he didn't really answer i mean it was very very hard to answer that and
i don't know maybe i should spent so much time i know i'm not sure that that's exactly your question
what is your question
yeah
am

what's your question

yeah there there are several different questions that will support me which one is about ah
but maybe one thing i could say that came out at this gathering that was really interesting was that kind of the inner the japanese model it's pretty clear the difference between lay people and priests and in our practice it's actually not
as clear i mean world basically doing the same practice here you know in this practice period were all
kind of doing a monk's practice and
a
you know in this in in the japanese bottle
it's like there's where they called donco the parishioners and there's priests
and the parishioners by and large don't sit zazen you know sometimes they do and there are lay sitting groups that might meet once a week or something so much saying that they never do but the you know the model mostly is that
you have lay people who support the tempo
and then you have priests who carry out the the
rituals and
that is pretty clear difference and that's not the way it's very different for us so in always becomes a much more complicated you know maybe agonizing question and they like well should have over your day and or not because you know cause you you can practice
the doing this practice as a lay person so should i be your dance the priest and the you know so it's it's very very different
for us and an never quite sought that clearly and you know i even in the ceremony like a set the priests for the first two days where kind of doing the ceremony on behalf of the lay people who didn't have time to do the five day ceremony that's kind of how they described that like okay with
and do a five day ceremony but since all you people who are receiving the precepts have busy lives and can't come here for five days we're going to start at two days before you come
and
you know and then you'll join in when you arrive so that you know that that's how it was
so
ah
yeah anyway i i don't feel so comfortable right now talking about my own turning a center known to interesting to people of this kind of getting late but
some maybe some other time
danny
i guess you're listening to all of this what comes up for me a little bit reaction is
like why do we need all this religion or and
and started sounding very complicated
a lamp remove him too much
and priest and i mean that whole distinction really sours money
what i mean for me i don't i mean it
so
what do we need all this religion
cathode something like that might be happening
what do you think
i don't think with you
what what is it that we need
a clear harm

yeah so i think
so my my understanding about this stuff is
what is for me is that it's a way to
enter into that clear heart
and i think in a like ryan's question is will does get boring sometimes are too much or whatever yeah i'm sure sometimes it does i mean there's definitely that possibility that it becomes kind of you know could become like a a sour heart or
we're or form without yeah form form without
without meaning without heart without love yeah that definitely can happen so
so then you throw the whole thing away physical reformation night you'd get rid of all you know kill the priests you know burn
burn all the robes burn the buddha you know get rid of all that brocade and and stuff and start over again
and how do you start over again start over by
bowing and lifting up buddha you know invoking the buddha's
revering perfect revering paying homage to the buddhas and then you want to make offerings to the buddha and then you start all over again so yeah i think it's
i think it's always questionable and risky business to really risky business so have to find kind of what's the
what's nourishing
what's nourishing to the heart
and on and keep keep looking at that know what is it it's nourishing and you know maybe that's hurt the what has to do with why some people become priests and others notice that some people kind of
fine the stuff more nourishing you know to be involved in it and you know it to wear the robes and to walk around mumbling and chanting
is somehow nourishing
i know
so

okay enough