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Daigan's dream last night. Way to listen to a dharma talk. Practice period. Why people come. Things. Material things.

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oh the time has come the walrus said
the talk of many things
of shoes and ships and sealing wax of cabbages and kings
the last
i don't know anything about cabbages and kings and very little about shoes and sealing wax
which means i have to talk about the dharma
the dharma
problem is no one knows what the dharma is ultimately

hurley's died out
last night i had a dream
and i don't usually dream about this place
about my life here
the life of practice that i've been
involved in for the last twenty or more years but i did last night
and i have a sneaking suspicion that has something to do with this talk
because in the dream
i was with some other people who i seem to know in the dream but i can recognize when i woke up
except for our senior dharma teacher
tension rob anderson
and we were on our way
to this place or a place like it
in some sort of unknown country has stopped to have something to eat together and suddenly i realized
and while he was all dressed up in his
full buddhist regalia
i wasn't
and i said to him but somebody was hovering about us i've got to go back and get my robes
and they said too late
now that maybe some of you out there who are
analysis or analyzers have dreams and maybe later you can tell me what you think that means
i think what it means is that when one comes the least this one comes to set up before you
one feels abandoned
many sure
footing in something called the dharma
we set up your naked
and of course that is the xin way
many people are fortunate enough to sit down and write out there talks ahead of time
to think clearly about a subject and to ponder it and to bring it to fruition
as their moment of truth comes up
but i seem to be unable to do that
i try
but as i think about a subject lord behold it keeps changing
so that i finally have to wait to the moment of truth to the moment i sit down in front of you to spring into action

now there's a way to hear talks like this
there's a way to listen to dharma talks which is not the same as going to a class
the so-called dharma talk anyway
in a situation like this
what is that way that way is to listen to a dharma talk
the same way you'd listen to the wind and the trees
two water flowing by in the stream outside
or leave skittering across the rooftop as you're sitting waiting for something to happen
that is to say you hear it
but you make no effort to grasp it
not that the you in any danger of doing that today i don't mean that

too often we come to practice we come to talks to class while to classes to talks particular to our meditation
in some sense whether really or mehta metaphorically with a pencil and pen in hand ready to take notes
to bring something home and to ponder it to grasp it
to laminate and putting our want to put it up on the wall to study it
but if i understand zen right if i understand this teacher right the teacher gives us something so that we can throw it away
had not to added to our collection of things
and i think that word things is going to be the subject of this talk
but before i talk about things out there's another thing
to mentioned in that is that today is the second day
of our seven or eight week spring practice period
as we have some
not quite thirty people are who are here with us today many of them anyway
people who come to study and you have the intensive practice for a number of weeks together
come for all kinds of reasons i think
some come because they're recovering from some
particular problem in their life some shock some
upset the loss of someone or something a job a person a place
some come on a curiosity they've heard about xin as a religion that is a non religion with a teaching outside of scriptures
it's spontaneity made appeal to them they think on that sounds like something i could get in
some people become because they really want would have been here before we have people were will her new some who've been here many times and some we've been here for some time and are coming back to practice with us from the outside and then some within our community itself we are
enjoying their first practice period
the who have been here a number of months and have worked up to this point where they are offered this opportunity for extensive sitting and practice
and some are coming because they actually want to make a career out of this
life way of living in so
let's say i'm
kind of stew with a lot of different ingredients but i think we all come it would seem that we all come
because we are motivated primarily by some dissatisfaction
with the way things are either personally socially and the interactions with the world
with ourselves with our history
and although we've heard many times that we should practice with no gaining idea
i must admit that we have a gaining idea
it's already have a gaining idea we want to improve ourselves with the quality of my life maybe you know how we function with people and so on
so we come to study something called the dharma
incidentally the word dharma you know is an indian word dharma really just means a way of life one is born into a certain class of people one followed ones dharma one's place in the world
it was the dharma of being a cookers the dharma of being a filling station attendant a dharma of being a financial expert a dime of being a teacher and doctor and so on he's in ways small d a way of being in the world a way of functioning with others and then there's the dharma was a large the in that of course refers to
the buddha dharma dharma that we study here and color
the teachings of the buddha and all that the ancestors and those who have practiced over the millennia

but is it a thing
is the dharma
something that we can acquire or is it something that we already are
so that the practice is not a matter of accumulating
more knowledge more information
it is a matter of uncover
what is already always the case
the word
clay shaw
what's the word problems over to amazon multiple
defilement glacier means covering
we come here to uncover maybe that's something the dream head same maybe could come here to uncover ourselves
try to get down to the some kind of essence
quotation marks
no one of the things that we practice with of course is sitting meditation
but it's very interesting that in sitting meditation were given a shortage of practices to do in order to let go in order to uncover something or the order to find out whether or not there is anything ultimately to be uncovered
in other words we come with a set of strategies
ways of getting at ourselves
and all too often
we find that we become more and more dissatisfied as we practice with our strategies following the breath watching the mind
trying to surrender trying to let start school always trying to do something or trying to do nothing but simply sit
sit and let things be whatever they are in their own way
so we try to do that
and there will we get up and turn away from the what i say we
when one let's use the universal one when one gets up from the
matt and turns away and puts one's foot down one picks up the the za food and fluffs up a certain way puts it down a certain way bows a certain way turns away a certain way leaves us and old files a certain way of leaving the of putting one's feet down in a certain way to off the doors certain way and so far
and all these forms that we learn the practice here are forms that help us in a sense to get in touch with the first level of our entanglement which is of course the so-called material level
this is particularly true and becomes even truer as we get into the practice because the more we get into learning about the non materiality of material the insubstantial allottee of being itself the more layers of material we put on
have you noticed
have you ever tried to run for a bus and something like this
we have a layer underneath of course the american layer of a t shirt
maybe you something in boss boss don it
the next layer we have a japanese layer the yeah
the job
and the chinese layer and japanese to the caramel or
no the next layer is the key japanese underneath that
and on top of that a koroma which was actually originally as confusion role
and then on top of that when we have these funny little strange little objects that we were called a rocker jews buddhists robe and then also the one increased training and a priest ordination is called the okay so so we have several layers already of ways
become entangled and very cunningly the teachers have found over the years that by putting all this stuff on and then trying to follow prescribed ways a boeing for example bring something else in your hand at the same time
to try to do that gracefully mindfully without getting all tangled up and making a spectacle of oneself
leads into very interesting mindsets reactive patterns
you know when you first get your robes
that is the press room they don't tell you much about it how to put it on and so on and the next morning maybe someone to say i want you to be no learn they don't say this but actually maybe you have to make a circumambulate and or at least i did because i was leaving the day as
do i got my priest room dozen years ago so i had to make us circumambulate ocean around the sinned or bowing to everybody because i was leaving to go to tassajara to be the head cook
and i had never put on a priest rule before and had practice a little bit but as i put it on this morning that morning of course i got entirely tangled up in it
because i tried to bow i stumble and so on it was
mean that's another reason i dreamt i didn't have it with me
so much easier to bow in street clothes
at any rate the thing you see the interesting thing that we study about materiality is that the material world is now material but at this level it is definitely very material that the dimension in which we are practicing we are practicing with materials
so we have all these forms to become
help us to become sensitized are sensitive to exactly the way we touch the world where we manipulate things
it's just stop for a moment to think about the things in your life there's not a person sitting in this room
who doesn't problem who doesn't know where everything is in your house almost and when you do miss les something he'd become quite upset honey where's the much i think it's in the bottom drawer
but isn't it amazing the relationships that we have with things
the thousands of things that we have touched in our lives and that we have taken for granted
now this is an interesting point because it's some
place in his teaching that is see exactly in the ginger co on that we that we practice here that we can't hear every week
from dogan zingy
our thirteenth century founder in japan he says

to go forward and experience the myriad things his delusion to go forward and experience the myriad things his delusion that all things come forward to experience themselves his enlightenment what does that mean
to go forward in experienced things his delusion
that all things come forward to experience themselves his enlightenment
as a conundrum
what are the reasons that we learn mindfulness practice that we become more sensitive
the reason that we are given a nest of balls wrapped up in this certain way titus a certain way with utensils a certain way that when we have our meals who are opened in a certain way the bulls are picked up in a certain way this blues are put in in a certain way and so forth
is to bring the consciousness
the rituals that we take for granted in life in are functional or day to day activities that they are rituals and that the things that are coming forward that the steepness in our life tells us who we are and what we are
self all you can find his otherness
but how do we go through a doorway
somebody so what is in pick up your clothes
hang him up
how you keep your room that's the first teaching the thing about monastic practice is to have everything prescribed into detail to bring us into consciousness about those things in our life shoes and ships and sealing wax that we never think about particularly
now of course
this is a big problem things because
particularly in our culture which is about things
getting more and more things
in fact somebody once said i probably told you this before there's only four questions and life what what thing do i want how do i get it when i get it what i do with it when i don't want it anymore how to get rid of it
mm one of the reasons people became monks or do become monks as they get rid of all this stuff
was it a george carlin who talked about stuff maybe george carlin he had some kind of rapid by members very funny
but it was very point poignantly pointed because he said when i don't want my stuff anymore i say how do i get rid of my shit
and the question is is there anything so small that is not worthy of our respect for our attention is there anything so small
that is not worthy of our respect
and i don't mean ideas i'm talking about stuff things
vis-a-vis that there is an interesting story that someone here told me just recently and i think it resonate with all of you
her mother had passed away and she was obliged to go and take care of her mother's things
that's a very touching thing to have to do to go through a departed loved ones things
we begin to realize that these are vested by us and is to say by he's doing intrinsically had this and we invest into things are life and they feed back to us who we are and she went through her mother's things and she said
my sister ne and others i guess in the family decided which things what things would go to the church which things we would take home to remember mother by and that the end there was a pile on the floor of things
can she said something like i was touched to see all of mothers things that were discarded unwanted no unwanted things
she said i started to pick them up and put them all on hangers and put them in a special place all at once it was very important for me to do that to take those things pay some attention to those things that we don't need anymore
and i told her you know i had the same experience recently we had this heater in my room a room and the heater had burned out
it didn't work anymore so we said well we'll just go and dumbstruck too i guess we can't use it would have to get rid of it but in the dumpster maybe can be recycled
we let's get rid of it was it took who took it out try to carry it up there
it felt like it here is something that had given service here is something that had made us warm for long for long winters and was just going to take it away a thing is just the thing it's usefulness is over
good bye
and there's a moment at least where i stop and i felt this poignancy
and i realized one of the reasons why one divests oneself of things when they come into religious practice
is that those things that come into our life is it has been set in the scriptures come as guests but before long they become a host
in other words our possessions begin to also possess us
for things come forward and experience themselves as us his enlightenment

i think it was diogenes wasn't it who said i possess not in order not to be possessed
to finally get down to one begging bowl in one role and
pair of straw sandals and to wander from place to place looking for the dharma but even then ryokan rights above great japanese port poor rock and writes about or today i left my begging bowl some place it's out there tonight lonely under the moon
he misses his begging bowl not because it is only functional because there's a relationship with it me tackling just seem all my relationships say the yokota yokota india american natives yeah it is a the yeah see all my relations not just the people
all my relations to all the things in this world that come forward to confirm
themselves as you
and me
hey what a problem
when were deluged with things that we think will make us happy
so the relationship is tricky
there was nothing so small that we should not have respect for it but at the same time the things that come into our life
because they have you ever noticed have a flat table that you've cleaned it all off on monday afternoon by wednesday afternoon as grow and all kinds of stuff
always picking up things always touching the world how do we do that
how do we open a door how do we pick up a teacup you're taught here to pick up the teacup with two hands gently style does hammer
drink it with two hands now because you need two hands to do it
put it down a certain way
how we come in contact and how we structure our lives around things and how things become in our masters that relationship that tension
we're working with that all the time like it or not and not just those functional things that we'd take care of our cars
our dishes those things that we need day to day but all the little stuff
all the trinkets
when i think of my parents and all the things that they had over the ears they've been there over thirty some years one thing has come down through all those years to me of all the things they had a beautiful things they loved beautiful things wall hangings and pictures and paintings
nice furniture etc etc
because it coming out of the depression they had never had nice things and because they got some money during the war suddenly having nice things was who they were
there was an extinction the extension of themselves
little by little after they died all those things disappeared except for one of all the things that came down to me and i still have it i think somewhere
it's just kind of mickey mouse pencil holder
you know that kind of things you put like a kind of funny leather covering you know
but because i impute because i
project onto that thing those times with them
it has it's sentimental value of you see

it's hard to appreciate the world when is so filled with so many things
it's one of the interesting
ah ha
i want to say things but this weird thing is getting a little out of hand you
aspects when they were interesting aspects about japanese culture and and one of the things we love about and appreciate about japanese culture is they're great attention to the way they handle things it came out of a sense originally i think of a sense of poverty a sense of heaven now
not a lot in life but what you had was enough and those things
had spirit comey invested with power
so you treated them with great respect
i always noticed that when category roshi was here he never just pulled a chair out and crack scraped across the floor he always picked it up took back and put it down so
i thought wow
just the way he touched it to caravan
that respect that attention to detail
this is also about
it's not a fancy thing it does have anything to do with philosophy doesn't even need to do a narco jonah particularly with the buddha's teaching or the precepts although there is a precept the eighth precept of the grave precepts
a disciple of the buddha is not possessive of any thing
and is often added including the dharma
so i think this practice and that this practice peers and what we learn and practice spears is to pay closer and closer and closer and ever closer attention to the things in our life
and of course you can extrapolate that to mean a mental objects as well naturally
but the first level this level
we can practice with that everybody can practice with it all the time
it's interesting isn't it
to do this because i can talk about this and i can go home and be thinking about this pick up a ball with some left over food in and stared at the window or maybe a piece of celery that's my thing put some salt on it he's taken into something else and put the salt shaker down bang and not even hear it
but you know this so called awakening and enlightenment as often happened to you just that moment when
caught up in some
the monks sweeping stone hits a piece of bamboo or one trends one's face and season in a stream ones
reflection at that moment that attention the world coming back the so-called world you realize that the to of arise together one thing two sides and one thing
and you wake up
all things come forward to confirm who we are
in all people
yeah it's a marvelous thing to realize
and yet at the same time we can't get to the bottom ultimately of anything where we begin to stay and what they're seeing your dharma teacher will be talking about rob anderson
is the ultimate are no ability
what anything is
only it's conventional functional
and conceptual understanding
we call this piece of wood for example a coach who are on
when has given to us when we have garnered transmission by our teachers and my teacher very generously made this himself
in some sentences is kind of looks like a
some people say it's and it looks like a backbone
the spine some people says to pull down the dharma
or to pull it up maybe
or to scratch your back to see can become many functions you remain there there's a weapon
depends on the function where thing is and it changes from moment to moment according to its functionality and how it is use that has also what it's called dependent core rising or
ultimate emptiness of the thing itself
what is it in itself
molecules atoms so far you never get to the bottom of it
so in some since we started with the first material layer and pay close attention to the world as it is as it presents itself a little by little we deconstructed with our practice with our city
until we get down to the place that there is nothing that can be held on to nothing can we claim our as are all
or maybe a shakes percent that small parcel of the earth it will serve as paste and covered to our bones they wouldn't call that our own
otherwise it slips through our fingers through our minds
we can't bring the wind home with us
you can't bring the moonlight home with us the sunlight into the room with us and even the teachings we cannot hold onto
muso so shaky famous japanese monk of the
fourteenth century barry
famous know even today in japan for his gardens temple gardens
wrote a poem and the first part of the poem and practice period students the alert
year after year i dug in the earth looking for the blue of heaven
year after year i dug in the earth
how material can you be looking for the blue of heaven or immaterial can you be only to feel the pile of dirt choking me
until once in the dead of night
i tripped on a broken brick
and kicked it into the air and saw that i had without a thought smash the bones of the empty sky
he woke up
he tripped on something broke his top
you say that things are nothing
materiality nothingness hurts a lot feels a lot
he say we pay we pay feeling attention to our life bring feeling attention into it
the roughness of the material
have you remember at tassajara where was so icy cold in the mornings and the wintertime the sun you'd be sitting for six hours before it ever get like almost you've finally come on the zendo after electric maybe around ten o'clock and to be a little patches and some just break into it a little patch of sunlight
on the deck on the angola
you put your foot down and that suddenly have been cold and all at once that warmth
oh at that moment that more has like
it was like the whole earth coming forward and saying warm up your i am son a sense of appreciation
the sense of enjoyment in that simple moment
so again one the ideas of monastic practice is to strip down our life
and as we strip it down to the essentials those essentials become bottomless endless
and we appreciate them because all that is what supports us
makes sense i guess
but finally when we go away to the place where we have to go to do the things we have to do
we go empty handed we give it up we let go constantly let go

i think that's going to be my mantra this practice period
what others they helped me to pay attention to the way i treat things
my clothes
dishes we wash it all we want to get them with the dishes you know get to the next thing
i got a lot of things to do today and once i get those things on the way we'll get together and we're really sit down get this thing work out
we're always on the way to the next thing
meantime everything everything is passing by so fast we can't catch it
so again practices to help us slowdown you don't have to worry about making a living now folks you don't have to worry about cooking the food i have to do is be here
and finally the other thing about sickness is how we become our ego becomes invested in how we relate to the thing do you notice how well i laid out my balls
how delicately i picked up my teacup
how perfectly i bow
how i'd pick up my zagreb
for this thing
so those things can also come in yossi and the we notice that i'm no longer so much interested i mean i'm interested in the big questions of the world and so now i'm going to bring world peace and so on well that's a very important question
the meantime i'm going to pick up my saga and what is my or hold this think what is my relationship with my relationship with it this
help my relationship with this i'll be in a better place to deal with all of that
those things
lisa hope so
that's the practice to keep trying and are over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again interestingly enough by doing things over and over again you know you've been reading all these things about buddhism in the tricycle and the other magazines you know there's all this scientific inquiry into the brain now and then discovered that by
with people who sit very start very young in their lives to do meditation practices and so on your are changes that actually occur in the brain
in other words and neural pattern new neural patterns and so on so i don't know even a know nomenclature for and i can't talk knowledgeably about it but soon as to be broadcast that science has found evidence for the reality of god
but we all be happy because at last is proven that we aren't just what we think but that view
there's infinite information about
the practice new books publications constantly can do things your company coming for get on the internet there's no end to the information about how to practice know in information about buddhism is on
but when you sit down to the computer when you open the door when you get up from the computer things come forward to confirm themselves the teaching is also there a real teaching as there
we go to universities and earn everything we can go to schools and burn but our day to day life with think this is our practice or mindfulness that way
you see i came here thinking i didn't have anything to talk about
but get an old man started and they become garrulous as have
long winded

i think there's something else with something else i wanted to say
i can't remember it
but it has to do
with are already being
and the world is already just as it is in all of his whore

can't be saw
if we work really hard tomorrow the next day the next year a millennia from now maybe the world to be perfect huh
let's hurry up and get there
forget this world

year after year i dug in the earth looking for the blue and heaven only to feel the pilot or choking me
only until once in the dead of night i tripped on a broken brick and kicked it into the air is so that it had without a thought in the dead of night
everything in darkness not knowing a thing seeing a thing i smashed the bones of the empty sky
and i was happy
many people are happy