Sesshin Lecture

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good morning

there are some wonderful stories in our van lower than literature about
you know teachers and disciples working together and then something happening like gum
slamming the door and someone's leg and then their leg is broken and they have a big enlightenment experience so just one dimension that this morning
on my way over here we burned me i fell down raid that were
there was some a big surprise and then this morning petition i had another surprise coming out of my room
putting on my shoes and i tipped a little bit so i
held onto the door jamb while i was getting my shoes on just as the g show was closing the door and yes ma'am
so i had this finger that town
was smashed in the door this morning ah and it's doing okay i don't think i'm going to lose the nail but damn we have another member of her precious period who also
injured an extremity and down lost the nail
farah stubbed your toe on a pumpkin
if it were in the xander in the xander
we had the present a decorated for the harvest for thanksgiving
but the stories there's all sorts of then stories where you know
ah if some big realization rented that point so
next time we'll see
but it was amazing how much it affected the whole body it's just the end of this finger and
you know how this is when you injure yourself it's a it's a whole body experience so i i i felt very woozy like i was going to faint and sick to my stomach and you know it's the whole body
was there to help take care of this

and i was wondering oh now the endorphins are kicking in and remembering this book that i'm reading called the worst is over com verbal first aid and are thinking how we think about injuries both for ourselves and how you speak to another person will help the healing
process so i remembered that and i was saying things like the nail is healthy we a deal is doing just fine
you know just practicing with it in a in a different ways glad i had certain phrases that i called upon
because we can also think the other way rate ah we can think oh no
what can happen or how could i do stupid you know that also affects the healing process right
so how we speak to ourselves how we talked to yourself ah how he take care of ourselves our internal dialogue is not just some throw away speech thing that
has no consequences

so today as i was preparing for the talk i was thinking i just ah
i feel like i want to just tell stories and laugh and ah
i remembered norman as so gets to norman fischer the former abbot on this day would often bring in newspapers headlines you don't read what was in the new york times just the headlines in the whole we would just crack up it was so funny what was going on in the world while we have been
sitting here
in an era off he'd read them and you say this is true this is australia amid paper either so i didn't bring the newspaper but i did bring something i i might read later that we might laugh
ah last that i i i sat late i i came back to the xenu sant late
i haven't been encouraging people to come i talked about it earlier with the practice period and it probably was brought up in the orientation the is that it's open to come and sit after the last period of thousand if you want to but when i walked out of my door in my shoes
this is i've been home forbid ahead hot drink and then i was going back down i open the door and it may one shoe was a little am
gift there was a little ah
santa claus chocolate and a little cloth with the bow and inside was some dried fruits and nuts and a little tangerine
oh and then i remembered that today is i think st nick's day and in some cultures you clean up your shoes you clean your boot or your shoe and you put it out and st nicholas i guess come forgives you
you good things to eat and of presence you know about this and if you practice that it and you were growing up
there was one on your bed to a santa claus
so st nick has been make him around here

having a
led the rojas of session for the last i think three years or so i realize you know during this time of year there are certain things that arise like st nick's day and then what arises for me as wanting to mention you know yogi chan feeling that santa claus was one
the bodhisattvas of the western world and he had a santa claus on his alter so a teacher in berkeley
ah and i've told that story again and realizing it's maybe an old and stale story to some of you but the causes and conditions are such that that story arises for me i haven't thought of it in a year
but town
here it is again

so i wonder is this habit or is this according with conditions
also are
the story of the buddhist life
being told at this time of year is enlightenment the great departure and so forth is there's a cyclical feeling to retelling the story and i think our stories are made to be told and retold i think
our told once it's not really a story i think
ah the way of story works within us and and reciprocally and how we incorporated an integrated makes it a story and makes it worth retelling
but i realized that this is this particular rendition is some it's it's too long really and to detailed
to go through although it might be a nice tradition to read this through on a yearly basis the way we do the young
why in the garland sutra at new years we try and read through
so i'm in a skip around a little bit
but i i wanted to read this story and then bring up another call on about carmel with you
and see how that goes
so we we left off with the buddha are heading out with his
course in his attendant and
leaving the palace and so forth now
there's a lot of 'em description there
but down so i'm in a skip along too
the basically the shocking when he sends his attendant and the horse back and before he sends him back he cuts off his hair which is traditional but he cuts it off inside his head dress for the whole hendra
us and hair and fall to the ground and
his attendant is you know it is sad and crying and pleads with them up but the bridges sends him back

and he meets up with some practitioners mendicants who are practice austerities
let's see

the years about how he cuts his hair with these words the mighty prince unleashed his ornaments and gave them to chanda whose mind smarted with sorrow
and then ah
he he says therefore you should not grieve for me
he because i'm going to you know understand birth and death and ah therefore you should not grieve for me since i have left my home for this purpose for a union however long it has lasted in time will cease to be
don't grieve for me

having unsheathed his sword
with its blade dark blue as a blue lotus petal he cut off his decorated headdress with the hair enclosed in it and tufted with muslin trailing from it into the air as though tossing a goose into a lake
the that was kind of a great image
and then he sets off on his way
and he also changes his outfit kicks off his regular royal raymond and puts on a hermit's clothing
and then he meets these hermits and there are practicing asceticism and he decides to go around with them and learn from them

learning about to their practice
meanwhile the his servant goes back to the palace and tells him that what would the prince has done and there's great lamentations in the palace
they're very sad and they send messengers to go and find him and plead with him to come back the send word and the buddha here's this but ah
will not relent

and it was there was big problems at the palace when they heard this his foster mother maha majority although she wasn't my partiality then she was go tommy
with eyes restless with despair lost herself control and wailed allowed in are suffering like an osprey that has lost its nestlings she swooned and with tear strewn face exclaimed
yeah because he brought back the hair have those hairs of his which are worthy of being encircled by a royal dsm diadem been passed to the ground and so forth so she's very upset

they said the deputation to the prince and he he doesn't respond

therefore i who have set out on the auspicious peaceful road am not to be led away towards the passions but if you bear our friendship in mind say to me again and again most certainly hold to your wow that's what he wants them if you really care about me if you
really have friendship for me don't ask me to come back but instead encourage me and say most certainly hold to your vow that's if you bear me friendship so that's that sound when this deputation when this person was sent to bring them back that's what he asked them to do to help me in this way which we
can do with their friends help our friends in this way
so then he practices as austerities and he eats very little one sesame seed one due to be one you know things like that and ah
becomes very weak
he also meets with other teachers learns what they have to teach him and and keeps going down at a certain point he realizes the austerities are just making him
fatigue and sick and not able to support life so he decides to to drop the austerities
and to eat something
he's brought
ah race some milk race he's he washes himself in the river and sit down and somebody a young girl thinks that he's the tree spirit and wants to bring an offering and brings him this are
she was a cow herd
and she sees him he bathed and as in his emaciation he came painfully up the bank of the narrow gianna the trees growing on the slope bent low the tips of their branches in adoration to give him a helping hand he was so weak from just eating a sesame seed in a due to be
ah it climbs up the bank and at that time this daughter of the cowherd chief went their joy bursting from her heart
she was wearing a dark blue cloth or her arms were brilliant with white shells so that she seemed like yamuna best of rivers
when it's dark blue water is wreathed with phone her delight was enhanced by faith and her blue lotus eyes opened wide as doing obeisance with her head she caused him to accept milk rice so after not eating for all this time and practicing austerity
he ate food
ah milk and rice embarked by partaking of it he secured for her the full reward of her birth sheet she received great merit for phoebe came in this way and the five mendicants who had been traveling with him thought he was backsliding and that he had renounced the holy life and they left
him in disgust

on this with his resolution for sole companion he made up his mind for enlightenment and proceeded to the root of a people tree this is some people paul religiosity this is the bodhi tree where the gray
around was carpeted with green grass
and then at that moment color the best of serpents whose might was as that of the king of elephants was awakened by the incomparable sound of his feet and realizing that the great sage had determined on enlightenment he uttered this eulogy since oh sage the or thunders as it were
we're again and again as it is pressed by your feet and since your splendor shines forth as of the sun certainly you will today enjoy the desired result
and this serpent also said since a load aside one the flocks of blue jays
circling in the air proceed round you right handed and since gentle breezes blow in the sky today without doubt you will become a buddha
and then after the lord of the serpent's had extolled him he took clean grass from a grass cutter and be taking himself to the foot of the great pure tree he made a vow for enlightenment and seated himself so he made himself a little cushion grass
and sat down
with a bow for enlightenment
and then he took up the supreme immovable cross legged posture with his limbs mass together like the coils of the sleeping serpent saying i will not rise from this position on the ground til i achieve the completion of my tab
then when the holy one took his seat with determined soul the denizens of the heavens felt unequal joy and the birds and the can companies of wild beasts refrain from noise nor did the forest trees when struck by the wind
and russell at all
so everything calmed down quieted to support this wow this resolution to sit and to not raise from the ground
till he achieve the completion of his task
now ah
there's some the hand of content of the buddha's enlightenment that comes next and the story and i thought about reading it tomorrow but damn i think the buddhist enlightenment day is ah traditionally
the eighth december a but will be ending the session tomorrow as you know and we'll have a will celebrate tomorrow so that your everyone who sent the session will be here
so i
ah feel encouraged when i read these words about the buddha making this resolution making this bar to to sit ah and this bow this strong vow not to get up until now
you know for according with conditions we can't make that bow here because ah
he literally because when the bell rings we also have the practice of letting go of our ah
and according with conditions so the bell rings means we get up but we can follow throughout the day with that same feeling when the bell rings we vow to
completely enter kenny
or service or break
with full awareness we sit down with full of awareness we get up we eat we
and this strong intention will constantly
in the story constantly it's mara you know the buddha makes this supreme vow and to the the degree the height you know the height of the vow or the intensity that wow constantly it's even me the
intensity of you know mara or oh yeah you think so well let's see about that you want a practice well how about this can practice with this
so myra comes with the retinue of daughters and sons named caprice gaiety one tennis discontent delight thirst and various other names that you can throw into fantasy chocolate
vacation whatever it is that distracts us you know and the distractions the strength of just of distractions will beat the our own efforts
even me
so morrow as you know ah
starts out with trying to bring the buddha
delayed the buddha with all sorts of pleasurable things
ah shooting him with kind of the arrow of lust you know but it doesn't reach him it just falls to the ground
and and saying to him up up
sir kershaw tria afraid of death follow your own damn and give up the damn of liberation follow your own comic pathway give up this
you know
the path of practice
you'd do the southern thing get up
but he doesn't move

and to the pays no attention he just ah
i don't think he's
indifferent he sees it he's aware mars there he's watching he's clear he's not in some mum foggy stage or something but it doesn't affect him it doesn't and it affects him it doesn't upset him doesn't upset him take him off where he set himself down
and then mara try something else tries mean angry wrathful a vengeful reviving insulting critical judgmental
scary things to oust the buddha to oust gautama
with all sorts of i'm wildly raging
beings that com and surround him and he also is unmoved
trying to frighten him
with really scary things
teeth sharp pointed their eyes like the sun's orbs their mouth gaping their ears sticking up stiff as spikes
actually might be kind of fun to see me in a way that showering him with hot coals and silver it really i mean this is ah figuratively speaking but we know what it's like to have to be showered with hot cold while we're sitting sour nice feel this isn't
only this is sir
this is real experience that we have to
and memories and so forth that are painful
but the buddha or
just stay seated
and the less the sage was afraid of the fearsome troops of that array the more was mara the enemy of the upholders of the lock cast down with grief and wrath so the longer the buddha sat there and was unperturbed the more mara was we
can actually gives up and finally one of the other beings from the heavens says tomorrow mara you should not toil to no perfect to no purpose give up your murderous intent and go in peace for this sage can no more be shaken by you then
meru greatest of the mountains by the wind
for such as his vow his energy his psychic power his compassion for creation that he will not rise up till he has attained the truth just as the thousand rate son does not rise without dispelling the darkness so this being saw the writing on the wall
all you know he's not going to get up because of this strong compassion for the world and not sitting for himself alone
if this energy
and and power he feels is about his bow and compassion for all beings
all those that he loves and all those creatures that he saw and
it's a it's wide wide bow
therefore since the great physician in his pity for the world line distressed in the diseases of passion etc toils for the medicine of knowledge he should not be hindered
and and he asked martin you know don't harass him let him alone
he's here to help the whole world
for this is are you know this is the buddha's path but this is the path taught for us
when we are
when we take the path of practice
it's not only for ourselves alone
we we can't really maintain it for ourselves alone it has to be it has to include
all beings

so why
he goes on and tells martin and leave him alone and mara
heard the speech of his and observe the great sages unshaken is then his efforts frustrated he went away dejectedly with the arrows by which the world is smitten in heart now this story doesn't have the third thing that maradona dance which tries to my are trying to unseat the buddha by
basically saying who do you think you are you're not such hot stuff go home and i think it was similar to that part of the beginning where you know don't follow the dharma of liberation follow your own life go home take every wife
such hot stuff this one doesn't have that in poetry but we're left with the buddha
sitting there and marek the feeder
and all these flowers bill
and then the buddhist enlightenment through the watches of the night he basically sees beings he sees the karmic actions of beings and how their life and the consequences of those actions i received by beings
ah so he reviews and the first watch of the night
ah lives of himself and others and seeing ah consequences of actions this was one of the first things that he saw
those living beings whose acts are unwholesome passed to the sphere of misery those whose deeds are wholesome
pass to the place
of contentment
and the pain of seeing a
how beings create their own difficulties he he goes over that in is mine
and he also sees the six realms on the wheel
and he also sees the links of the dependent core rising so right in this comic chain
and the dependent arising of each
ah link of the chain he also sees right in the cycle of existence this stream of the cycle of existence has no support and is ever subject to death creatures thus beset on all sides find no resting place so
within this psycho he also sees there's no support their there's no there's no foundation to it

and going through the chain ignorance karmic formations consciousness name and form six cents field contact feeling craving grasping becoming birth old age and death how each of the links conditions the next to
pendant on ignorance current formations and so forth he he sees all this
and he similarly sought the great seer understood that the factors are there a cessation by the complete absence of ignorance therefore he knew properly what was to be known and stood out before the world as buddha as
as he went through the wheel and saw that it could be turned the other way with the cessation of ignorance there is the cessation of common formations with dependent on the cessation of karma formations there's the cessation of consciousness and so forth his seeing this wheel
forward and backward he knew properly what was to be known and stood out before the world as the buddha
the best of men saw no self anywhere from the summit of existence downwards and came to tranquility like a fire whose fuel is burned out by the eightfold path of supreme insight which starts forth and quickly reaches the desired point
so ah seeing seeing all this and also seen that there is no substantial self there there is no permanent self there

so after it says then as he beat as his being was perfected the thought arose at him i have obtained this perfect path which was traveled for the sake of the ultimate reality by former families of great sears who knew the higher and the lower things
at that moment of the fourth watch when the dawn came up and all that moves
or moves not was still the great seer reached the stage which knows no alteration the sovereign leader of the state of ammunitions and this fourth watch of the night with the dawn there was the rising of the morningstar we saw the morning star of this doesn't happen
when as the buddha he knew the truth the earth's suede like a woman drunken with wine the quarters shone bright with crowds of seat hugs and mighty drums resounded in the sky

then the sage
ah and also all sorts of beings proclaimed his praises and flowers fell and
there was joy in the mansions of heaven and myra was filled with despondency
and for seven days free from discomfort of the body he sat looking into his own mind his eyes never waking
and ah he was filled with great compassion
then the sage who had grasped the principle of causation and was firmly fixed in a system of no self or selflessness roused himself and filled with great compassion he gazed on the world with his buddha i for the sake of its tranquility
seeing that the world was lost in false views and vain efforts and that it's passions were gross seeing to that the law of salvation was exceedingly subtle he said his mind on remaining in mobile
he saw this principle of causation and was firmly fixed and selflessness and looked out at the world with great compassion
and thought if to subtle to teach i'm not sure i can teach and he set his mind i'm remaining a mobile and just not doing anything
but then he remembered his former resolution and wow
and he reformed this resolution to teach
and he realized there were people who had great
and had possibility for understanding and so bed he would he would teach

then wishing to preach tranquility in order to dispel the darkness of ignorance as the rising sun the darkness go to my proceeded to the blessed city which was beloved and whose various forests are ornamented then the sage whose i was like a bull's whose gate
like an elephant's desire to go to the land in order to convert the world and turning his entire body like an elephant he fixed his unweave waking eyes on the bodhi tree
that's how this ends

so we have various renditions of this and one
point at which he the buddha was enlightened ah supposedly he said marvellous marvellous marvellous marvellous all beings without exception are completely and thoroughly enlightened except because of their delusive thinker
king confusion they don't realize it
so the content of the buddha's enlightenment was you know this
understanding causation and party ps somewhat para dependent core rising and the absence of
inherent self
and that all beings all phenomena all selves partake of the buddha body all beings are completely and utterly enlightened
this is this original enlightenment except
the cause of delusion and confusion they don't realize it
in some ways
our sashaying singers practice and are sitting you know taking our seat under our bodhi tree on our body mandela
we sit with that
with that teaching
that we lacked nothing
that everything is here that we need
and even though we feel are
so much suffering and have had so much difficulty and
feel so lonely and isolated sometimes
aren't able to trust are unable to avail ourselves of the help that surrounding us
aren't able to feel intimacy necessarily all of these difficulties that we have to remember that ah
this this what the buddha said on his enlightenment or what is what they say the buddha said marvelous marvelous all beings without exception i completely and thoroughly enlighten
except for this confusion
so the admonitions to not seek is to seek is just to seek his bitterness non seeking his joy to sit with that as a as a as a truth there's some joy
they're even in the midst of are suffering and to seek somehow as if we lack something to seek includes this feeling where we don't have what it takes we've gotta go after it
so dropping off the seeking
according with conditions
is the body of faith
not faith in some creed or some mouth
you know how some teaching that isn't able to be realized so we have to just have faith in it but sitting this way is the body of faith
sitting on our siege
accepting our life accepting our life
as dogan said coming back from his teacher eyes horizontal knows vertical
nothing special
i knew this would take a long time to talk about to to finish the buddha's the poem but i wanted to
this is too late
do this i know the kitchens already gone
feel like this is the last chance i when they have to bring this up that's not true
but maybe or our minds are ready for this baby out bring it up tomorrow
so so tonight i will bring up twelve so tonight ah
we can if we want to sit up
a little bit later maybe
only if you want to
as a commemoration of the buddha's great resolve
and commemorating our
non separateness from this body
this body of face enacting the body of faith
an hour ah
this is a kind of relationship with the buddha you know relationship with this teacher
ah called
kano doco or spiritual communion
some ah
our our practices a kind of intimate relationship
and i think we can't actually
in isolation or in by ourselves somehow it's very difficult to develop
we need to be in relationship with beings with teachers with ah objects
and we may have had you know relationships in the past that were damaging that were all
formed us in certain ways that make it very hard
where our own capacities to trust
have been ah
changed in such a way that it becomes much harder
so these
you know i talked about those five things ills that have not been tended for long time
can cannot be
healed immediately in those kinds of things this working carefully intimately with re connecting re ah
in a slow and careful way our relationships
renewing this ability to trust
to open
and no one can do it for us this is something nobody can make us or control us in this way we have to find our own way
but we find our way with others
and all the buddhist and ancestors
huh so
so as we sit and myra comes
in whatever guys ah
if we understand this is awake this can help us american help us to find our resolve
and just the fact that my does come
is evidence is proof of our own resolved for our own effort
so we can see mahrez all
this is this is a help
and this story doesn't have it but the buddha you know in the face of this touch the earth like we have on the altar
i have a right to be here i have a right to sit here for all beings
and ask him for witness
making this effort to accept whatever arises
settled on earth

thank you very much