Sunday Lecture

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SF-01036
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the morning
good morning everyone particularly i went to say good morning to all the children for here on and i want to start today by talking just a little bit too i'm sorry i can't see you from behind my podium so i'll peak around everyone's once awhile

so this morning i wanted to talk about this statue
the person holding the staff and what looks like an egg in his left hand and this statue is called jizo in japanese
and jesus very special and that's why we have him here in this room
and his special for quite a few reasons he is very kind
he's pretty smart
he's nice looking french
and also most importantly he made a promise
many thousands of years ago and he promised to take care of children
and also he promised to take care of travelers
so i was thinking about travellers and travelers are really basically children who've grown up but are still trying to find a place to call home
so
my daughter was telling me recently that she's going to someday maybe when she's older live somewhere else
and you know i i listened and i said well where do you where you going to live and she said mill valley
and she
because i i want to see you every day you know but but i'll probably what my own house and i said okay i'm glad you'll be close by
but then i thought well maybe she won't live so close by
as some of you have grandparents i bet they don't live so close by don't you
yeah so that's the traveling part sometimes children and their parents have to travel a long way to see each other
and when you travel sometimes kind of bad things can happen
i i had to stories of my own from traveling i wanted to tell you to traveling stories one time i was travelling in my car and i got out to take a picture in a very pretty spot out in the middle of really nowhere and i locked my keys in the trunk
yeah i did and then
another time i was traveling with a group of teenagers i was the responsible party
and i was tired and i fell asleep on the lawn and this little town where we will waiting for a bus and the bus came and went and i was sound asleep
and all the kids were saying why did you do that radical know so anyway bad things happen when you travel sometimes so that's why jesus made this promise to take care of us
another thing that happens when bad things happen is that sometimes you can get in a bad mood
quinoa bad moods are some of you guys you get for you they come and go pretty fast so
but for adults they can go on for a long time
and it's kind of like going to jail you're stuck you're just stuck
so there are six kinds of bad moods that we we know of in the universe and i wanted to tell you and see if you recognize those bad moods the first one is the bad mood of being stuck up
my stuff is the best and you can't have any that's one bad mood
another bad mood as of being jealous of the guy who stuck up you want his stuff
you want all of it
so that's a second bad moon
and the third one is that you're bored with stuff altogether
i don't care one way or the other
those familiar at all kind of been bored i want his toys or these remind you can have them
i think those are familiar to the big people to
the next three of the six or kind of worse versions of the first three the first one is being angry i really want that stuff i'm mad at you i hate you that's a very bad mood
and on the other side of that one is whining
please give me that style
that's a baton
and the worst one of wall is called i am so sad all i can do is cry
yeah
so the thing about jesus is that this staffing has it doesn't quite show and this particular statue but he usually has six rings on his staff and those rings are keys to the bad moods each one of them opens one of those bad moods and let's
you out
and this this egg in his left hand is actually a wish granting jewel
like aladdin's lamp to member aladdin's lamp you rub the lamp and who comes out of there
the genie big blue genie
robin williams and he says what do you want and then use tell him and he gives you three wishes
well this tool unlike the aladdin's lamp will give you all the wishes you want it's unlimited wishes
and the kinds of wishes you can ask for once jesus opens the door of your bad mood with his keys then you can wish for something that will make you feel better so that you'll come out of your bad mood i may be one a hug or a turn on the slide
or maybe you wanna be alone in your room for a while
whatever makes you feel better
so you can make these wishes either out loud or in your own head it doesn't matter because jesus will hear you
now i'm just kind of like santa claus or the tooth fairy
because actually jizo is made from a drawing that someone was asked to draw a picture of happiness and kindness and they drew a picture that looked like that and someone else made a statue out of the picture
and the real jizo with a staff and the jewel is actually inside your own body
right here right next to your heart
so whenever you're in a bad mood you can just put your own hands on your own heart and take some deep breaths and after a while i was just doing this upstairs waiting to come down here to talk after a while i felt ever so much better
that it's going to be okay
so i thought maybe today i would give this statue to your children as a gift
said okay with you yeah okay so this is now for the kids program
and i haven't checked with a staff yet but i think it'll be okay
and we can keep taking care of it for you we put flowers here and offer incense and he has a friend is laid nice lady down here called tara
and and any time you come here you can know that this statue is yours okay
so please come again
and right now you can go and
quickly
what was wrong

i remember

in the meditation instructions that are given by thirteenth centuries and master greens and master named channel he says
we should not have we should not fear the arising of thought
we should fear being slow to notice
so it occurred to me as i was preparing this talk that some of you might imagine that because i'm wearing his robes and have spent a great number of hours of my adult life sitting here in this meditation hall that
i
would know something about meditation by now
but fortunately for you you will be wrong
i really don't know so much about meditation or about buddhism either for that matter even though i've read a lot i have heard a lot and i've even set a lot
but i think it's because the reason i come into this room day after day and year after year has a lot more i intimacy and as a lot more personal and therefore compelling to me than anything
anyone could ever say
i come in this room to gaze into the well of existence
to stop and look and feel and taste and touch
and listen to my own life

so what i've come to know something about after all this time is myself
and to study the buddha way is to study the self
and yet what it is that i've come to know is very hard to talk about
it's not without speech it's just that the speech is not yet correct
that's a line from nia whole kills on my the song of the jewel mirror somebody that we chant here in the morning
so that's the pickle that i'm in whenever i attempt to talk about meditation
and i really want to share my practice on to offer to you what was given to me freely
ha
with my heart as a gift
it's just that the speech is not yet correct
jesus here is a
representative of this thousand year old lineage of grateful practitioners extending the wish granting jewel
in hopes that it will be received
you know but it's kind of like email you push the send button but you really don't know if anything happens or not
there are no squeals of delight from the other end of the line like when you use the telephone

really from the realm of human longing
in the protein chain there is nothing to send
nothing to receive
nothing to wish for
you've already got it
this jewel that we long for
is sitting right there in your pocket next to the kleenex
you alone know the brightness of the moon in the night sky
so i'm sitting here just for one purpose and that is to encourage you to continue your own excavations of your life of yourself
until you find
your happiness your jewel
embedded in the seams of your pocket
where it's been all along
the buddha's enlightened inside begins with the knowledge of who and what we really are
the location for kindness compassion wisdom generosity
and as the buddha gazed into the well of his existence
he saw his own face reflected back at him
and he smiled
so from now on until it's time for us to all to go to muffins i thought i would just talk about ah
how it is to be me
ah through how it is to be me thanks
so i wanted to acknowledge something that seems quite obvious at the moment that i was only imagining earlier and that is that i appear to be sitting in front of what appears to be a lot of other people

right
it seems like that to you too
okay that's one
and i also noticed that there is a feeling in me of ah vulnerability
ah or even low grade fear
mick and i were talking kind of laughing nervously he's gonna give the talk next week about
the use of the podium as the kind of deflecting shield
just in case you can
duck down there
so the other conviction that i notice
is have a feeling that i have never been here before
kind of like ocean travel without a boat
and i have a another conviction that this is something we all have in common
we have never been here in this place in this way before that a life is always fresh and new
so this is what i think of is a familiar feeling
the familiar feeling of main just this person right now
with no other possibility

in the japanese tea ceremony which i have been exploring for many years there's a conscious appreciation of never having been here before that's built in to each and every occasion
something that does and teacher richard baker used to call the non repeating universe
when you slide into the tea room
you're invited on each each visit to remember that these people and this day and this assortment of utensils and you
ah are unique
it's never happened before ever
and soon it will pass
now you see it now you don't
you know it's the commonplace impermanence that marks or everyday life and him so commonplace that we have practically ceased to notice
i looked up this word comments
so common
and it has a lot of associations ah
community
communicate
communicable
commonplace common sense common knowledge
common stock
communion
commiserate
and it was interesting to me i love looking in the back to these ancient words you know the indo-european list of where words came from what they sounded like long long ago
and it comes the word common comes from two words old old words one as com k o m meaning with
and the other is may m e i meaning to go to change to move
the old try breaking up
and together they refer to the movement of goods and services and information throughout a society
based in customs and laws
so both email and impermanence are things that we all have in common or what the dalai lama calls flashes of lightning in the night sky
so of all the things that i have come to appreciate about t and zen and myself how
one of them is that i know i will never come to understand them
i will never stand under them there is nothing to stand under
an imaginary solidity
you know this word understand we used to mean something like we got it you know i got it
it's in my grasp i was as i was saying that i was thinking you know kind of like a forty nine tight end you know i got it
and don't we wish

so as i think most of you already know through your of
the scene and hearing of basic buddhism that i've got it is the cause of suffering
the first noble truth is there is suffering the second noble truth is it's caused by ignorant grasping
and what we're ignoring his non separation
from the jaw
it's there all along it's always been there we ignore
non separation and what we grasp after his collection

so gisele mozart to pony sought for is not grasping
the wish granting jewel deliberated mind
he's extending it
implying that he's about to give it away
to let go
you know the same way you or i might hold a butterfly that sitting on our finger

so meditation whether it's in this room or on the freeway or while you're doing dishes
is what we used to call him the sixties happening
it's what's happening
you just pay gentle and careful attention to what's right before your very eyes are on the tip of your tongue
last sunday about this time i was involved in a happening of the tea ceremony and in japantown for the cherry blossom festival
i was the first guests
and i was nervous than to come to think of it ah
the butterfly
the gist of the ceremony the tea ceremony is kind of like full bodied awakening to the present moment through the arousal of the five senses
full-bodied awakening to the present moment through the arousal of the five senses
when i thought of that line i i thought that that would look ok on the back of a romantic novel anime
and i was also remembering this image that i i had or popped into my mind one time of what full bodied awareness might look like i was contemplating full body to awareness and the image i got was have a bright yellow
rubber glove
filled to bursting with water and bobbing along happily on the open ocean
that's what i do when i meditate
think of things like that if
so this ceremony the tea ceremony and begins
with a very subtle odor of
precisely cultivated harvested and blended aromatic herbs
and right after that there are the textures
and the sites of bamboo iron and pottery craft
and each of them in turn shouts up from the well
for my limited capacity to appreciate them
at the same time it's built into the ceremony and by extension our life itself that a guest does not linger
at each of these wondrous objects
we don't sit there greedily or obscenely trying to take them man or hold onto them
in fact the training involves being taught to simply bow and move on
when you enter the tea room
you take one look around
you stand and you walk in a prescribed number of steps to what is the equivalent of the altar
you kneel and bow deep bow and then you read the scroll written by usually as zen master some teaching of the buddha
on either side of the squirrel there are fresh cut flowers and a small incense container that has the incense that you've been smelling inside
then you get up again you walk and this time you sit at the kettle which is bubbling hot water over a charcoal fire
and next to it is a cold water jar with a black lacquer lib you admire these each in turn again stand and then go to where you'll be sitting to receive your teeth

pretty soon the hostess comes in and
she makes your gives you a sweet makes you a bowl of t he watch her do all these elegant gestures
and then you get your bowl of t mean what can be more wonderful
now i don't think it's our
ah a coincidence
that about thirty or thirty five minutes into this ceremony
my legs began to scream

and at that point unfortunately the hostesses
not quite finished
in fact
based in the custom of tea i am expected to ask her if i can inspect the utensils that she's been using
which she very slowly cleans and passes over to me for me to look at
and that this point in the ceremony i'm usually beginning to question my sanity
whatever made me think that t was something i really wanted to do you know and spend twenty years now and each time at the same question what am i doing here this is terrible
kind of like the first three days of says sheen
so time begins to slow and pain becomes the one clear and persistent element of life
and yet i carefully and lovingly look at the scoop and the caddy and passed them on to the second guessed
and then i asked the hostess what is the name of this tea caddy and what is the name of the scoop
she answers and then gracefully gets up slowly and leaves the room for the final bow
at that point i get to stand up
and weight as best i can with as much poise as i'm able for my legs to again have some sensation

so this is why i find it hard to talk about practice you know if you ask me what i think about tea or zan or parenting for that matter i'll tell you that they are the greatest joys of my life
but it's pretty clear to me that that joy comes from intimacy with myself in my are widest experience and dimension
where there is both one teen and not wanting
pleasure and pain
gratitude and ingratitude
laughter and humorless nest
and all of it tied together in a lovely afternoon with friends
well jizo ah jingles his keys
would you like another bowl of tea
the present moment is the only access channel that we have to what we casually call reality
and it's kind of hard to know what to do with the present moment
it's naked and free of strategies
propositions
alternatives
blame improvements
whatever you can think of you won't find in the present moment
it's already gone
passed away like each word that i'm saying after it spoken
it's kind of unnerving

i was so this point in my thinking about my experience of impermanence i remembered my mom who talks a lot
and
not so many years ago i asked her while we were driving somewhere if she would mind trying an experiment of ah i tried to word it carefully of being quiet for a few minutes
and i'm very grateful to safe you said sure i'd be willing to do that
the great so i said how about five minutes and all time you
so she agreed and i'm driving along and about three minutes later she said is it time
i said no not quite close though and so we went on a while
and then i asked her after the five minutes how that was for her and she said you know when it's quiet i get kind of scared i think there's something wrong
it's really helpful for me to know why my mom talks all the time
when it's quiet we scared
so this quiet place right here and right now is precisely where jizo takes us when he opens
the door of our tiny imprisonments
and it's ironic that being released from prison doesn't always make us terribly happy
your free your free
but my legs hurt in my child is ill and my hair is turning gray
i have heard a story about a ceremony in japan where they release animals on a special day as kind of celebration of animal liberation
and then after the crowds disperse if you stick around you'll see that the animals all come back and get into the crates again for the trip back to the farm
know this seems of deeply familiar to me
freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose you know
i liked that song when i was in my twenties
janice joplin wailing away
this is the the nihilistic version of freedom freedom freedom from things
but there's another understanding of freedom
which has to do with the
freedom of things just the way they are
bright yellow gloves on the open ocean

in order to develop a taste for this kind of freedom it's recommended by the teachers and guides
that we engage fully our body and mind and awakening of the way
and the method is very simple
it's called upright sitting and olive view hoof come for his and instruction have heard all you really need to know about what to do
it really is very simple
it's a happening

so from the ever incursions and master dogan in the ginger user my self fulfilling somalia he says the zazen of even one person at one moment imperceptibly accords with all things and fully resonate
it's through all time
thus in the past future and present of the limitless universe this season carries on the buddha's teaching endlessly
each moment of zazen is equally wholeness of practice equally wholeness of realization
this is not only practice while sitting it is like a hammer striking emptiness
before and after its exquisite peel permeates everywhere
so when the prince gautama who was to become the buddha arrived at the bottom of his own well
deep in the forests of india twenty five hundred years ago
he reported on his findings there
and that report was unintelligible to human beings
it was however written down several hundred years later and recorded as the other tom saga sutra
or this song that the sutra of the jewel ornament or the flower ornament
so here's what he saw
he saw that the ground of the whole park was scattered with various jewels just as the ocean is scattered with dual islands the earth studded with blue lapis lazuli and inlaid with all kinds of jewels
the earth was soft and pleasant to the touch and would give way and spring back as one walked on it the grounds were covered with diamond lilies of pleasant texture and lovely scent the sweet sounds of the cause of various birds were heard and the park was graced with well arrayed stands of heavenly scented sandal
wood trees
you know that place
well if you do or if you have an experience of that place
it's suggested that you do the same thing that the buddha did and that is to get up and go for a long walk
to find some friends and to talk to them in common language
what's happening how are you
through the intimacy of our friendships through community
the awaken vision seems less like a fantasy and more like a collective dream
have a garden where we all will be safe and fed and healthy
a garden for all beings
and perhaps together
this vision can rekindle in us our commitment to one another
and to the cessation of harm that our collective action is causing
to this great and wonderful earth
where does the bodhisattva stand
she does not stand in form perception or in feeling in will or consciousness in any scandal whatsoever
in dharmas true nature alone she is standing
then that is her practice of wisdom the highest perfection
change and no change suffering and ease
the self and not self
the lovely and the repulsive
just one sexiness in this emptiness they are
and so she takes not her stand on the fruit which she won which is threefold
that of an are hot that of a solitary buddha or that have a fully enlightened buddha
the leader shakyamuni buddha himself was not stationed in the realm that is free from conditions nirvana
nor in the things which are under conditions this world samsara but freely wandered without a home
and just so without a support or a basis a bodhisattva is standing
a position devoid of a basis has that position been called by the buddha
thank you very much
may i