Spring Sesshin

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good morning
those of you who are here ah
for just this morning
may notice
that it's a bit quieter
than usual here today
there have been between fifty and sixty of us all week
making a great over together
to cultivate
the stillness

yesterday evening and this warning
this stillness of the zendo
was so profound
that i want to thank everyone in says shane
for the effort you have been making all week
to create this great
ah container for us for our practice and for our effort
but if this quietness only benefits those of us sitting so ashamed
then it's a poor thing
so i hope that those of you who are
coming to join us this morning
will feel
the depth and sincerity
of the effort which has created
this school of stillness for us

it's rather remarkable that
how palpable it is
that the quiet that happens when fifty or sixty of us
are all being quiet together
is so much more profound
that one at any one of us
it's quiet all along
we begin to feel deeply
our connection
with everyone
course everything
and in our pain
as we sit very still and very quiet with it
and become one with it
not pushing it away but embracing it
and allowing ourselves to be completely
one with whatever is arising
we include the pain of the whole world
in this situation
we can allow the situation we call says shane by the way in japanese it means to gather the mind or together the heart since this word shin in both chinese and japanese
means both heart and mind
and this effort we've been making this week is called in japanese
sir shane
gathering the heart
in the midst of this
concentrated effort
and our intention
to benefit all beings
we may be able to let our hearts break open
to become fast enough and a wide enough
to include
all beings and the entire world
and this is our vow
and this was our intention
and this is our efforts
there is in buddhist iconography
a a bodhisattva archetype
he sought for means awakening being
there is an archetype
of the body sought for the awaken awakening being of infinite compassion
in sanskrit he was called avalokiteshvara
in china
ha she became coin in
in japan
this archetype is called comes a on a crunchy is i er kunnen
i've brought in here today
a chinese depiction
of this body sought for archetype of infinite compassion
the name meals with garter of the cries of the world
regarder garter of the cries of the world for here are the cries of the world
and as it is in this fast stillness that we create
the week of silent meditation
each one carefully maintaining silence for everyone
that we can hear the cries of the world
but this fast
ocean of stillness that we have created
by sitting still
by letting go of the thoughts that arise non pie pushing them away
by just letting them go whatever arises
letting it go not grasping anything
simply being present to whatever arises as it comes and goes
this fast
of stillness
is the compassionate peace and calm that can contain
all of the cries for the world
our own sorrow
an anguish
and can bank bring peace and calm
to the disturbances that arrives

this week many of us here at sends her
have been sitting in the awareness that to of our dear friends
each of whom has cancer
have entered
a new phase
of their life in which the cancer
is becoming more insistent

but each one in this room i am sure
the aware of some deep sorrow in your life that you need to embrace
and not push away
what to be one with it
and to allow yourself to find some peace and calm and vast ocean of stillness
which underlies all our lives
what i hope we can do is to develop some confidence
some assurance
that this stillness
is available to you at any moment at any moment at every moment you are free
to let go of the disturbance and settle into the stillness
which can contain
an out of this
cons both peace and joy
and an opportunity to share this
with all the beings
with whom you share your lies
this is a great
intention and practice
not that we find some safe
quiet place
to escape
from the suffering of the world
but that we break open our heart to include
all of the suffering
of all of the beings
and find our peace and joy
in knowing that we are not separate from anyone
or anything

this is the archetype
oh of cheaters for bodhisattva
the hero of the cries of the world
this particular version or like she sits in the polls called royal ears
perhaps some vs machine will love decision as personal lawyer

in the midst or for a total
of all on the suffering of all of the beings everywhere
she sits with great composure
and peace
in a royal is
receiving each one
fully and wholeheartedly and unreservedly
this is this change you use some mine we have been speaking of this week
the self receiving and self fulfilling some monday
this calm mind which fully receives
the self
completely and unreservedly receives
everything that we find here
rejecting nothing
embracing it wholeheartedly
whoa whoa it by
receiving it
if this
suzanne which we
practice so devotedly
devotedly of vow the sandwich which we practice as a vow
does not include
the great earth and all living beings
then it cannot be considered
put an activity
it is buddha activity because
it receives and embraces and includes
the great earth and all living beings
so it requires for each of us
returning again and again to this effort
making this foul
not being able to do it
i'm feeling repentant
and returning to zazen as repentance
susan as how
chosen as repentance
this is the vision
of the put away
the token send you officers

this is the whole hearted way
they opened hearted way
today for me the broken hearted way it has to break open
you can't keep it closed and embrace
all names
breaking open the heart
is a source of great joy
great relief we don't want to live with a ghost heart
it feels pitched and time

early it's a shame
he were asked to consider what is it you're doing here or why are you hear what brings you here
this could be said to anyone at any moment alicia sahel
what brings you here
what sustains this effort
there is someone who requires it
we can't
say who but we can feel it
we can sense it
we can't name it
we don't need to name it
it is our hearts in the most request
that will you be one with all being that we not separate are so
here at sunset or which had every day
the heart sutra the heart of perfect wisdom
which begins
polo gti for a bodhisattva
when coursing deeply in the profession of wisdom and approach no primate the wisdom that goes beyond
perceives that all five scandals and their own being were empty
and saved
from all suffering
i sits a little the languages as a little interesting it doesn't really say and was saved not the a-hole akita's for was saved from all suffered for it saved all suffering
so that all his constituents of existence
which are described as five heaps
and with psychology
are empty of own being
do not have any
separate inherent existence
when we can see that we ourselves
do not have any permanent separate inherent existence but are constantly flowing throughout one another arising independence on one another and the causes and conditions of each one
when we say how totally interconnected
interdependent we are with all that is
we will no longer be confined to this narrow separate self that we imagined has some substance
and we will freely
the sport ourselves
what royal is
for the benefit of all beings
this is our faith the confidence
this is what brings us
to make the effort
to sit
i should mention to the participants in session
that this was the last dharma talk of session that tomorrow
ah we will have a ceremony known as shows on
many of you have participated in such a ceremony but some of you have not
if there are other participants in the practice period who are here
who want to participate in the show signed
you may come at two thirty and do so
but in the ceremony
each one will it's show sign means literally public interview
each one please come forward
to meet me with a question
that is
the most urgent question of your heart
and i will make every effort to meet you with some response
we don't call this a question and answer sir
the question and response on

and i would like now to ask your indulgence to allow the participants in session
to return to the sandal and continue to said
and i won't stay here for a while longer with those of you for visiting for the day and perhaps have some discussion with you
and her
it may make yourselves comfortable on session participants leave will do the end of liked your chance
and then session participants can return to the sandow
fully penetrate every man players were true america does way shoujo
it's a on
no bano g a
dawn on emory last a long ago and would say or mucho a joe
these are numberless
hi to say
new shows are inexhaustible
the to and now
it's are boundless
the to enter them but does way is unsurpassable
the to be a comment
session participants who can

excuse me down
this session will have came in until eleven and then they'll be ah
a long period with an interval


so at this point i like to respond to questions or comments that you may have

yes fit my
i think it is the archetype of great compassion exactly and there are many archetypes of great compassion this is the great compassionate and hairs in every one of you you to and you and you
this is the great compassion
that we choose something to represent so that we can see it in ourselves



and yet
others see in you
compassionate activity
that we see it in ourselves would probably be very dangerous
oh i love sure
pretty good
i think that immediately
bills the mode
when we are simply acting from our heart were insight about there's no more there
but when we try to
see ourself as
susan o'connell or blanche hartman
me example the key to shore
then we've we've already built the separation that keeps us from acting from our heart were then acting from our concept of look at me
and since that happens to us we keep tripping over it over and over again this is why we always have to face thousand with repentance
this is why is which amaurosis says in the solent a bunch of sutra it says and itself is repentance thousand his vow and sauce same as repentance
we make our best effort it always falls short of our best attention
and we continue to make our best efforts over and over again dog and she says
zen masters life is one continuous mistake
i thought why would he particularly say that about a zen master
my my the best i can figure out why would say that particularly about of zen masters the more developed our awareness is the more constantly aware we are of our mistakes
the more constantly have to return to repent said sasha
mrs helen
yes that's right
striving for
you're trying your best

i wanna go back one step i won't go back one step between profession or awareness to this striving
the striving to me sets up something like a an idea that there's something out there that's outside of here to attain
but to arrive at
and i think you know there is that feeling all the time
and situations always saying no goal seeking mine or not i mean it says in the suit or nothing to attain know attainment because there's nothing to attain
no gaining idea he said it's such a a paradox you know he also said zen is about making your best effort on each moment forever
so what is this war effort that we make this making our best effort on each moment with nothing to gain with no gaining idea
with the with the confidence that each one of us already complete and already completely put up
what kind of effortless there
that's a different kind of them have been striving i think
that's an effort that doesn't put some go outside purchase is making an effort to fully express
what's already right here
to find a way to bring it into the world
to offer it freely wherever we are
it's more like the effort that are flour makes to bloom
it doesn't have some idea of i want to look like this when i'm when i'm done it just brings out that which is already here
the world
that's i think more the kind of effort that we that it would make
and it feels different to name them striving
you know this this teaching that were perfect as we are just like this
ah was the first thing i ever heard hiroshi say and when i heard him say it my mind i said well he doesn't know me
yeah but he said something like that very often you have everything you need your already complete just this is enough or just this is it you know is always or things as it is this perfect exceptions of things as it
is he talked about a lot
very confusing when you when one thinks of oneself as imperfect flawed lagging
all of the ways that that we sometimes think of ourselves
and the buddha dharma i think speaks precisely to
that that tendency that we have to not see that we are appalled sheepish far that these archetypes that we set up we are my shree
these archetypes are setting up or set up for us to see
what's already here and find a way to to
due to through
i want you to i'll come and read this one when when we're through a this is a very lovely think i think i think the originals in the cleveland museum but i really liked this one
but more opposite
wanting me

well i think the first thing is to notice how much it hurts when that happens you know
and notice
i know what i want to do that doesn't feel that doesn't express my true hard
so one those thoughts arise we just see them and say oh i'm so sorry i'm feeling why now
i don't want i don't want to harbor these thoughts
maybe i can let them go
just make this effort is actually this effort is not good this effort to let go
actually have these thoughts that that come up that make us same separate
it's not to push them away but just to let them go they'll keep coming up they'll keep coming up this delusion of being separate is where we live it's where we live but just that we don't grasp onto it and make it solid and real and it's just say oh they're the there it is again there
his wife view of self again oh do i think i am right now i think i miss right oh
i know begin to bring a little lightness into it and little humor and forgive yourself for tripping over yourself because we all do it
that's why like this a zen masters life is one can probably in one constant mistake so how come i'm exempt
why do i think i should be fun
just hope this again it's your feels bad when i do it

i thought that morning when i say of said it was thinking and noise i'm not sitting right oh i just noted my cancer
and i kept doing that you never know
the think what am i doing
and then i came in here they are very fitting
with a
and i realized that we
yeah ratings fact
we have a habit we have these habits and in sitting we try to let go of these habits we have a denigrating ourselves we denigrate ourselves and then we turn and denigrate others as well
so thank you for noting
wouldn't hurt

that's really all we can do as clearly observe
but if one were clearly observe
it makes space for things to change
it it's sort of opens up some spaciousness
when we see what we're doing then we can see that there's some choice if we don't notice what we're doing there doesn't appear to be any choice we just get caught in this habit
a shovel
women are different turn and face it and come to know it intimately so that it doesn't trip you up
bring it out of the shadow and him tear in into your few
we all have a shadow
and this is one of the reasons we practiced together in a community and the sanga this is one of the think that song and can do for you it can say did you notice this little shadow hear that maybe hadn't seen
samba samba helps you in that way
oh no i i've noticed that this is one of the great things about summer
is that all of your friends help you to see yourself in the ways i mean it's sort of like being on a hall of mirrors you know
and sometimes you don't like what you see in the winter but ah
but you get to become familiar and intimate with it and then it doesn't
then you don't find yourself acting out of the shadow ah
without awareness that that's what you're doing

he looked very dubious
very remote data

you can
and so that's that's why i say to practice with others and they will help you to become more aware of it and shine some light into the shadowy areas
so i find some good dharma friends to practice with but good i don't think the government leadership you'd better get shattered their said the show
no but then it doesn't it doesn't control you
that's the point
it doesn't your ear it it doesn't become the motivation for your actions than
the more the more you become aware of it the less your motivations come from the show
if i reply right away
i think what's meant my by choice lists awareness is just be aware of whatever arises not just not just choosing than i have the nice things that you'd like to be aware that be aware that being including being aware of of a shadow elements when they arise as well
but what i'm talking about choosing action and one i'm wrong by choosing i'm choosing the atomic choosing what to act on
i give you a little example that happened to me some years ago in a session at green gulch
when i was quite infatuated with somebody
and it was a really beautiful morning at gringo general if you've been out there but it was one of those time it was the time of day just before sunrise of the twilight and what in the morning twilight yeah you know what what that's called exactly ah and i was standing looking at that that the pie
pond and there was a great blue heron on the pond and it was just was just beautiful and i went into the down and i was just feeling wonderful i sat down and i began thinking about this person than i was infatuated with and thinking oh isn't it too bad they're married i'm married where but wouldn't it be one
can think of into the red wasn't there a manga low fantasy and my mom and i'm in five minutes i'm just feeling miserable i wasn't too bad i'm so sad i can't do the
and i thought to myself and as suddenly it occurred to me what am i what happened you are feeling really really good and now you're feeling really really bad and nothing has been sitting here
you did it all yourself
now how i do that
and i kind of went over how i did there
but that gave me a choice then the next time this will thought rose i say boy if i get on that thought train i know where it's gonna take me and and then pigmented dumps will
and they gave me a chance to decide do i want to play out this fantasy and i want to let it go you know and so almost in a i won't say instantly this infatuation went away but very shortly with then you just drop the sort of fantasy and and then this person like
can be very good productive friends and it wasn't this little shadow of this fantasy land going on around it that that made it but had made it up until then very tense and tight and every time i was visiting their house their spouse would be didn't like that me around and so forth and also
that's it any that's a story about what i mean about choice when you see the kind of mind
maybe that's enough