Spring Sesshin

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venture an equal
good morning
so i was preparing
an encouraging dharma talk based on dogan cengiz teaching of the whole hearted way and uchiyama rashi's commentary on it
with many
inspiring words
my noticed that my mind was quite disturbed
and that it was not going to be possible for me
ah to speak
about anything except the actual experience of my life at this moment which is that my mind was disturbed
and my mind was disturbed by an interaction i had and which anger arose
and self concern and defensiveness and self righteousness and
i'm various other nasty things
so i thought i'd better speak about what's right in front of me
ha so messy

the smiled of mine his unruly
just when i think
it settling down
it throws up a judgment
a preconception
so someone
they're how to speak of this
someone came to me asking to take some time out of session to do some other work that was necessary
and i suggested that be done during work period
i think i made the suggestion was some sort of edge like go
while i don't know anyhow

i had
already a notion that the person was perhaps trying to
find a little relief from the
the schedule
and so instead of just having set of meeting this person directly
and addressing the situation directly there was some little edge
in my response
go which the person
what the good deal of anger and self righteousness and
i'm upset and that was son
and then i became defensive and self righteous
that was kind of a mess

so there we are
right up against ourselves
no one to take responsibility for the state of this mine except me
no excuses

so while it's perfectly true that the first admonition officer as to follow the schedule completely it's also true that the second one is if you can't follow the schedule speak with a know
that's perfectly true that maintaining
this container
oh sir shame
for the benefit of each of us who was sitting says shane
is ultimately my responsibility
we're all doing it together and we're all doing it fully intending to take care of the session together for ourselves and each other
and i should always trust that intention
of everyone in session since each one of us here completely of your own volition
you must be here because he want to sit sir shame
and if you want to sit sir shane it must be as much your interest as mine to maintain the container of says session
so i have to have that confidence
in all of us
and treat each of you with the respect that you deserve
because you have chosen to make this session happen
but i couldn't help but be reminded of one of my very favorite
oh suzuki roshi his lectures
one that i have found extremely helpful it is a session lecture
ah probably since it's june nineteen seventy one may be ah the last session that he led here since he became ill in august
ah and although i've been trying not to read much in these lectures
i think i will read this lecture to you
chicken taza are zazen is just to be ourselves
we should not expect anything
just be ourselves and continue this practice forever
that is our way you know
we say even in a snap of your fingers there are millions of cheetahs chaiten as a unit of time
we say moment after moment but in your actual practice a moment as too long
if we say moment or one breathing after another your mind is still involved in following breathing
we say to follow our breathing but the feeling is to live in each moment
if you live in each moment you do not expect anything
with everything
you become you yourself
if you feel yourself without any idea of time in the smallest particle of time
that is susan
the reason we say this is the that if we unfold and an idea of time
various desires will start to create some mischief
but when you have no idea of time
your practice will go on and on with everything
this practice is not so easy
tigress from this little that you know he said once some say that the practice of zazen is difficult
but it's not so difficult because
it's hard
the cross your legs and sit upright
it's not so difficult because we get up early and we go to bed late it's not so difficult because we have to follow a strict schedule it's difficult because it's difficult to keep our mind pure he said to keep our mind from
making comparisons and judgments and
discriminating between this and that and between self and other

this practice is not so easy
you may not be able to continue it for even one period you must make such a big effort
maybe what you can do though
for the next five days is to extend this feeling for each period
or to prepare for this gun taza
and this preparation or extension of the practice to another period of time eventually will be extended to everyday life
how you extend our practice is to expose yourself as you are
you shouldn't try to be someone else
you should be very honest with yourself and express yourself fully
and you should be brave enough to express yourself
whatever people may say you know it's all right
you shouldn't be just yourself at least for your teacher
until your teacher says okay you should continue your practice in this way
you should try hard
and after your teacher says okay now you should continue that practice forever you don't need me anymore
that is actual practice the actual life of you
this is rather difficult to do unless you trust your teacher
but if you find out that your teacher spirit as the same as your spirit then you will be brave enough to continue this kind of practice
sometimes you have to argue with your teacher
that's okay you should do that
but you should be ready to give up your argument when you are wrong when you find yourself foolishly sticking to only one viewpoint or when you are making some excuse
that is how to be honest with yourself
you should give up i surrender okay i'm sorry
if you cannot accept what he said you should try to understand your teacher until you can accept them
what we should do for the teacher and for you is to try to have perfect communication
so for a teacher the important point is to be always ready to surrender to your disciple
if a teacher thinks he was wrong he should say oh you're right i was wrong
pure teacher has that kind of spirit you should too
you may think that is easy
but it's not so easy
if you continue this kind of practice sometimes people think he's crazy something's wrong with him
but it doesn't matter
we're not the same you know
each one of us is different from the others each one has each one's own problem
so it's okay anyway you should be yourself
fortunately you have said center here
sen center is not an umbrella which will shade or protect you from outside
but here you can have real practice you can express yourself fully
and you should open your eyes to appreciate others practice to
you should be able to communicate with each other without words
your eyes should be opened each other's practice
this doesn't mean to criticize others
but to appreciate or know others
that is why we have rules and rituals
you may say if you are practicing zaza no one knows no one understands your practice
but when you are practicing for me it is is the easiest chance to understand you
especially if i see you from behind it's very easy to understand what kind of practice you have
that is why i walk around not to hit you but to see you
this is very interesting if you're dancing are talking are making a big noise it's rather difficult to understand you
but a few reciting a surgery each one has each one's own voice and the way you each of you recite the sutra is different from the others
and it is easy to know each other even though you are not trying to understand if you practice together eventually naturally you will be good friends
because you know each other
you know too well so you have difficulty because of your small mind
but as long as your mind is big enough to expose yourself
you will practices and rituals together then you will be good friends
to know your friend is to know something beyond yourself
even beyond your friend
another point that i already made us that we are free from an idea of time

you should just practice without expecting to be something you should be honest with yourself
when you try to be someone else you lose your practice and you lose your virtue
but when you are faithful to your position the true being of you is there
this is a very important point
sun center is a community
those who come and sit or also our members when they come to send center for the first time it may be difficult for them to know what we're doing but more and more they will feel what we're doing and join our practice
so those who know who are practicing our way should give them some idea or feeling of practice
the best way to get the feeling of practices for each one of us to have our feeling fully
then naturally people who come will have a good feeling
but if our practices wrong what they will feel as something completely different from the proper feeling a buddhist must have
why wrong feeling is created as because we are involved in selfish practice
i said don't have any idea of time
why i say so is that if you involved in an idea of time to day or next year or tomorrow selfish practice will start from there
it is all right to have an idea of time when it sinks is it is an extended form of non selfish practice on this moment
this is to express ourselves we don't know what will happen on each moment so if you fail to express yourself fully than you will regret it later
because you expect some other time you fail to express yourself fully now
and you are misunderstood by your friend
so you should always express yourself fully

that's why we eat in a certain way you may think that you cannot express yourself eating that way but it's not so because you have a way to serve the food you can express yourself express how much sincerity you have if there's no certain way if you have many ways of expressing her
yourself you don't know how to do it
but if you know how to do it you can express yourself in that way
it is a big mistake to think that the best way to express yourself as to do every what do whatever we want to do that you may do exactly as you feel with superficial feeling just choosing some way when you don't know what to do
this is not expressing yourself
if you know what to do exactly
and you do it then you can express yourself fully
in that way doing the same thing a strong person expresses himself and a very strong way and the kind person will express himself very kindly
when you pass the sutra cards from this end to the other end of the row each one passes them in each one's own way
so if i see it it's easy to see because they do it the same way
if they do it in different ways it's very difficult to know
because all of you are doing it the same way from this corner of the room to the other it's easy to see you
and because you repeat the same thing over and over again you can all understand your friends ways eventually
even if your eyes are shut you know all that was so and so
that is an advantage of having rules and rituals
without this kind of understanding
your understanding of or your relationship with people will be very superficial
is someone wears a beautiful robe you'll think is very kind to you
if she thinks a beautiful thought you think she's a good person
that kind of understanding is not good understanding it is very superficial

the usually the system of our society is built up on some superficial frivolous way always changing
the controlling power is money or some big noise
that is the controlling power because our eyes and ears are not open not subtle enough to see things and are failing is very dull
most people who visit since i may feel zen centres of very strange place
they do not talk so much they don't not even laugh what i'm doing
but actually we can communicate without talking too much
we're not always smiling and talking but we can feel others' feelings and our mind is always open and were behaving exactly expressing ourselves fully
actually you know even when you are not trying to express yourself
you're expressing yourself anyway
if your mind is open you can see
it's just that those who are accustomed to big noise cannot see anything here that's all
we should extend this kind of practice the city life and we must have more friends so that all of us can be good friends with each other
it's not difficult to do when you decide to be honest with yourself and to express yourself fully without expecting anything
just to be yourself and to be ready to understand others is how you extend our practice to everyday life
but is not so easy to be free from selfish practice
so even if only for one hour a day you should try to sit she can taza without moving without expecting anything as if you are in your last minute
moment after moment you feel your last minute
in each inhaling and each exhaling there are countless units of time and you shouldn't live in each unit of time
and you should read smoothly
and maybe i've put you to sleep with us up to now but this is really instruction for zazen so please pay attention
you should read smoothly exhaling first and then inhaling
commerce calmness of your mind is beyond the end of your exhalation
if you exhale and that way smoothly without even trying to exhale
you are entering into the complete perfect com list of your mind
then naturally you're inhaling will start from there
all your blood will be cleaned and the fresh that fresh blood will carry everything from outside to pervade and refresh your body
you are completely refreshed
then you will start to exhale to extend that fresh feeling to the emptiness
in this way moment after moment without trying to do anything you continue can taza
complete phantasm may be difficult because of the pain in your legs
but even though you have pain in your legs you can do it
even though your practice is not good enough
you can do it
so with you're exhaling you will gradually vanish gradually fade into the emptiness
an inhaling will naturally bring you back to into yourself with some color or form
and again with you're exhaling you gradually fade into emptiness empty white paper
that is common taza
i'm just explaining the feeling of contessa
the important point if she can taza is in your exhaling
instead of trying to feel yourself try to fade and emptiness when you exhale
when you have this practice in your last moment
you have nothing to be afraid of
you are actually aiming an emptiness
the empty area there is no other way for you to have a feeling of immortality
you become one with everything after you completely exhale with this feeling
if you are still alive naturally you will inhale again
oh i'm still alive
fortunately or unfortunately
so then you start to exhale and try to fade into emptiness
maybe you don't know that what kind of feeling it is but some of you know it
by some chance you must have felt this kind of feeling
when you have this practice you cannot be angry so easily
because you're interested in inhaling more than exhaling you become angry quite easily
you are trying to be alive always you know
the other day my friend had a heart attack
and all he could do as exhale he couldn't inhale
that was a terrible feeling he said
but if he could have tried to exhale at that moment as we exhale
aiming for emptiness
then i think he wouldn't have felt so bad
the great joy for us as exhaling rather than inhaling
he tried to make a take another inhalation and they thought he couldn't inhale anymore
but if he could have tried to exhale as we do
then i think he could have taken another inhalation more easily
so exhaling is very important for us
to die is more important than to try to be alive
we always try to be alive so we have trouble
instead of trying to be alive or active
if we try to be calmer and die or fade away into emptiness
the naturally will be taken care of
buddha will take care of us
because we lose mother's bosom were i'm not her children anymore
if we feel for the emptiness as we feel for our mother's bosom
then mother will take care of us
moment after moment you shouldn't lose this kind of practice as you practice can taza

various sects of religious practice are included in this point
when people say namo amida buddhist to namo amida boots who they want to be a mere buddhist children that is how they repeat amida buddha's name in their practice
the same thing is true with our saas and practice
zazen practice is not different from their practice
if you know how to practice can taza and if they know how to repeat a meta buddha's name it cannot be different as long as their practice as buddhism
as buddhists we have the same practice in different ways
so we can enjoy we are free
we feel free to express ourselves because we are ready to fade into emptiness
if you are trying to be active and special and trying to do something you cannot express yourself
small cell will be express
but big self will not appear from the emptiness
from the emptiness
only great self appears
that is she can taza
it's not so difficult if you try
if you really try


the only will learn one thing
before you die
maybe learning to breathe in this way
would be the most helpful

learning how to die with each breath
when you can do it with complete calmness of mind

then when you do not
inhale again
you will be calm

i think you will find this practice


but please make the effort to stay with it
stay with your exhale
just letting it go
not the inhale take care of itself
if you find some difficulty
then stay with that difficulty
with kindness and compassion

this is where
we depend on each other
this is where we support each other
this is where the container of session
is are great gift to each other