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Feet, toes - funny introduction. Memorial Day - historical information. War. Relating Memorial Day to our practice.

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oh the days to choose the to targets as words
hi everybody
friends fellow practitioners

more you today that i had expected
because the weather in the weekend
thank you for coming
i have an image in my mind
i gathered about two minutes ago
you know
if you do this practice very long usually have bare feet
and you have shoes or
zari something like tend to come with the zendo he of course you have to take your shoes off
so that means you have been down that means that over the years you probably notice your feet or don't notice them but at least you have some kind of contact you're looking at them hundreds maybe thousands of times
and today i noticed them again in fact i got got almost entranced by my toes
and i have a conclusion to make about feet or toes about tours tours are funny
tozer real i think towards a very comical
no hands aren't funny hands can be beautiful you see pictures in magazines of hands you never see pictures amazing usually and less important
so specialized magazine for but you don't use a sci fi pictures of feet advertising think so
and it see the big toe always reminds me as it's like the like the boss when the mirror and then there's all these little guys falling behind your like via locomotive of the trends that know caboose the little one in the very back anyway
i think toes towards a strictly vaudeville
harlequins and of course they do all that heavy work to the support they do all the work this is a support all of our way to us around the world they do all the support work while the hands get all the fun the touch everything and feel things
i hope you pay season here are not offended
pace's rules the feet you know the here
when you can come to you about toes
i really think i'm me to talk about tolls
but now that i did i'm glad i did
i you know today this weekend is memorial weekend course
and so i thought
i thought it might be appropriate to say
to look at this this holiday this memorial day
complicated feelings and this day and age about it they think well least for some some people solve us
i thought it might be worthwhile to
who's look at the day historically and also long
how it relates to practice
since it is about the question of death dying
you know i i didn't know myself much about it i i haven't done a real research on it but
i did hear that memorial day is actually
begun in making sixty eight originally for the civil war for the veterans of the civil war
you know
particular the union at that time
and that's understandable you know how great civil war that resulted in an enormous carnage
divided the country or culture and against itself
family against family and so on one would want one would see the necessity even for some kind of closure some kind of healing
some kind of recognition of the sacrifices that
that's so many made him at war with north and south and in fact i'm told that to this day in the south has besides this day as a national holidays many of the states of the south correct me if i'm wrong have their own memorial day for remembering the confederate dead to gentlemen
several the states have their own day in remembering the past
you know it's hard for me to imagine something like a memorial day
in in the ancient civilizations
i can't imagine that the greeks
the romans
we typically the spartans would have had something called a memorial day in the sense that we know what maybe some sort of mythological pain of homage to the greater powers mars
whatever but dumb
and you know the trojan women story was that the mother would say that the sun come back victorious or come back get on a on a chill
so i had a lot to do with the values of a culture of how we remember the fallen in conflicts anyway i find it difficult to imagine
or even an italian city states
the medieval times and renaissance and so that they would have had something called a memorial day since most of the battles armies were fought by mercenaries
seem be kind of a grass roots
it was not as such a thing as the draft
an earlier course there are often fought by slaves
so when did this thing come about this idea of a memorial day for particular particular group of people particularly group of those
men usually who had died
for some so-called national purpose or greater purpose and of course i think it had to be the nineteenth century where this thing really became became important
the napoleonic times definitely
it was a time when conscription began
the time after the revolution the american and
french revolutions in which the sense of equality so-called common man became important rather than just the caesar or emperor
i don't know if the grand army and so soon after their does the disasters at waterloo
or the great battles a bargain on the australasian sign of those particular disasters human disasters if there was
a national recognition of the suffering it had resulted for so many millions or trick
probably but at least it
the idea came about
that a group of people were dying for just cause
dying sacrifice for some kind of just justice and just cause
i remember my mom memorial day before the second world war when i was a child and by that time of course home
it was much more room
a family day long as it is now going to the graveyards of your relatives and lane flowers on a visit visiting know
cleaning up the graveside so i can remember the plane around the graveyard the old gravestones in hearing about the noticing the flags and certain of the and estimate my mother who were those four inches or whatever those for the soldiers who died in the great war
the war of nineteen fourteen nineteen eighty recognition i went to waving a great world there was a great war to end all wars
andrew and of course planes would fly over and drop flowers in the military such as it existed in those days which wasn't much
and there was recourse
the unknown soldier and the rituals at arlington's on were going on but i didn't know much about them it was until the second world war
the end of the second world war
but i became aware of of what we call memorial day as being something more than just go in a sprucing up the family graveyard
and although this country didn't suffer the the catastrophes and losses that europe and asia did
any means still there is half a million dead top like that
and stars and windows of gold stars and mother's windows and so on anyway that was a family since sense of loss and there was a sense of of
until i say over
national there was there was a very naive i guess i would say a very naive sense of a national identity pulling
it's weight our weight against forces that once they were overcome we could go back to so-called normal life
oh how sweetly now even dumb we were so many others those days to believe that there was the truth of the world
i bought it and i was a kid of course and i was enamored by
millions of men going off to war and coming back heroic defenders are some faith or other
i wanted to be one of them
and so when they had they played taps or when the plants came into
dropped flowers and so on i would think of
the debt i would think of all of those who had gone and had sacrificed themselves so that there could be or at least something in the world different from what we had been taught at least to believe with ebola
hmm dark
we were the good guys we were the white hats
they had died for a reason is understandable
but of course you know if there's another part of this before the second world war at least since the times of chivalry
there had been a kind of code of honor are among the combatants that the civilian populations should be spared the disasters of war
as much as possible
this was course not always observe not even a napoleonic wars lord knows in spain and so on some book things that happened to civilian populations
and of course before and the days of unique khan and in the old days when the clans fought one another and encircle their castles and so on people were
wholesale was wholesale slaughter of civilians that was quilted the way that things were run
the women were either raped or sold into captivity as concubines and so on and the men were either slaughtered if they really worth well they were
forced into labor it was the way the will work but then something had developed where is is maybe the instruments of war became much more powerful that the civilian population should be saved from some of that so then the civil war or civil war at least from what i've read civilian populations didn't suffer so much in terms of loss of life as they did course
loss of property
marshall values and most kind of die but the second world war i will you open the doors again on everybody is fair game
have we all contributed to that and i don't think even in this country for a long time we recognized
the kind of dogs we had let slip actually by doing so by the firebombing of dresden a tokyo on of course the atomic bombs and so forth anyway the the complete devastation in the cities and their populations has been for
and that particular tendency of course as we know has carried on up to this day so that now in are many little wars around the world's are many more civilian casualties in there were combatants and three cases
so this is something to consider when we've been sort of memorial day just who are we for whom are we holding his memorial
genocide in africa india the balkans and i have all these all these crimes have been perpetrated since and second world war of course was only five years after the second world war that the key
korean worse though
to the my generation the generation that was born in early thirty's too young for
the so-called glories of coming home victorious in the second world war could catch that one it would seem that after that that each one of our generations in this country's could have their wonder the war
but by this time at least was i remember it
the whole new attitude had settled it was cynical on the fighting themselves
it was an attitude of desperation and of hopelessness in many cases i don't believe that when i went to korea that there was anybody that i knew whether they were from west virginia or the south and who actually believed we were going to fight the chinese
and behind them the russians who by the way had been our noble a is only five years before that there was a single one there who want to believe there were fighting from some abstract idea called freedom
i don't believe so
but i do believe that we discovered which men in most wars and probably always will discover that ultimately when it gets down to it
what you fight for a are your friends would you die for your buddies
and then of course
all of us who know what happened in vietnam
had i think really go to death blow to our navy in this country finally
and i wonder how many
why people today young men today and women now
want to go to war and sacrifice themselves this is my opinion and speaking for my own opinion for multinational corporations
in a world of growing interdependence and globalization
anyone would have some ideal that we're fighting for
who are dying for on a battlefield
those values could not be
demonstrated or
judy kid or
processed to the policy to international agreements and so forth but it's still happening and just happened again
now we have in the in the east a home
series of nations and they're not actually nations a series of people who are countries what we call countries who are held together with a religious ideal islam
where your islamic first
the new national identities or second
people who are willing to die for that there i religious ideals rather than have mcdonalds maybe your
hollywood movies set the tone for how could they wanted the how they want to live
what does this they mean to us now besides the fact that we go to our family we recognize our families
the loved ones that have departed from us
for all those who have died who have given their lives
where what where does the stop
when we blow taps today are we blind caps for humanity instead of a group of people who died
in this country or that this reason or that
but i am
i personally and course i want to i hope i can connect us with
what practices about
in a minute or two but first i want to see a little bit more about
there are among us even now
and now in this country but all our country's maybe
men and women who have
survived the horrors of combat and for whatever reason
at least want to remember there
beloved dead
and there's some poems about this
here's a short one memorial day
he goes of course for the ones who were there this day may bring back the smell of nitrate in the thousand yard stare never mind the whys and wherefores this day may stand like a ghost in the door waving to the ones who made it back from over there
there is a poem is an american the african american poet
yusuf cumani aka know his name used to coming up i think i saw you pronounce it i'm not sure
he's a native america and or in a her
african american born and raised in the south went through the
vietnam war and discovered his gift for poetry
became leader of a proposed prize winner is now teaching at columbia university's on an amazing part
extensively about the experience of loss on all sides what this means
but here's one attitude here is one
result of a death in a war and it's called between days
i'd like to read it to her

between days
expecting to see him any time coming up the walkway through the blue wood and the and the blood word she says that closed casket was weighted down with stones
the room is as he lifted fourteen years ago everything freshly dusted and polished with lemon oil
the on cast death check from uncle sam marks the passage in the bible on the dresser next to the photo staring out through the open window
mistakes mistakes she says now he's going to have to give them this money back when it gets home
but i wouldn't i'd let them pay for their mistakes they killed his daddy and janet she and her three children by three different men i hope be strong enough to tell her to get lost lord lord mistakes
his role of tin soldiers lanes the window sill
the sunset flashes across them like a blast she's buried the silver star in the flag under his winter clothes
the evenings for as fireflies and
the evenings for his fireflies dance in the air like distant tracers
her chair faces the walkway where she sits before the t v asleep there's a screen dissolves into days between snow

so there's all those also who this kind of day remember
those were those who were so close to them and who hang on to the memory and won't let go of it fact i have a distant relative in my own family that i remember from my childhood her son children of farmers will visit them and then a sort of her son was killed in a
south pacific she held on for over ten years wouldn't anybody go and was rude and kept it exactly that with today he left it and song could not accept could not
he said the truth of his going until one day all at once she let it go
and then she changed her whole life change in fact she divorced her husband were not into the world and out a new life
those kind of little many dramas they a times repeated in this country and all countries all over the world
here's another one that he wrote himself about his experience
i think it has to do with the vietnam memorial confessing it

my black face and my blackface fades hiding inside the black granite
i said i wouldn't dammit no tears i'm stone i'm flesh damn it
my clouded reflection eyes me like a bird of prey the profile of night slanted against morning
i turn this way the stone that's me go i turn that way i'm inside the vietnam veterans memorial again depending on the late to make a difference i go down this fifty eight thousand and twenty two names have expecting to find my own and letters like smoke
i touch the name andrew johnson i see the booby traps wave flash named shiver on a woman's blouse but when she walks away the name stay on the wall
brush strokes flash a red birds wings cutting across my stare the sky a plane in the sky avoid this image floats closer to me then is pale eyes looked through my
i'm a window he's lost his right arm inside the stone
in the black mirror a woman's trying to erase names know she's brushing a boy's hair
so what are the ideas you know the question of death is interesting because we've moved from a kind of a collective progression
in our culture from fear of death to fascination with it
to kind of acceptance of it
and now in this kind of culture in this kind of setting we have here in to incite toward insight into death
into the great message the which is great message of the universal
he's not that we survive
great messages that we awaken into a process in which nothing whatsoever ultimately survives
and the awareness of death becomes her practice not just death down the road not this death in some particular context that desperate moment to moment
breath the breath from day to day the letting go
of the attachment to the separate self sets the separate sections not only as an individual not only as a family member not it was a member of community of a business or a national
identity all identities
dying from moment to moment all clings the book forever and whatever war and whatever place however we look at it die grief
going through the process of grief and letting go and there's no way out of it
there's only a way into it
and there's not a person in this room sitting here who has not experienced losses
eh losses of identity
the nameless wars
family worse
business wars
and so the question then is
what is the principal teaching i think what is the principal what does the principal would come down to
the dealing with this kind of situation
i think it comes down to the would sacrifice
for moment to moment given up our attachment
and the impossibility and the recognition of the impossibility of doing it
i can't do it and the echo comes back door to do it i can't do it to do do do do i won't do i do to to do it
because whether we want to do it or not it's going to go within it's all going to get ripped off
in some sense every day every minute as a memorial moment is a memorial day
the point of view practice and the point of view of attachment for the point of view of law losing something beloved
in my version of the buddhist story you know
it's like guy you know men they're never run when you need him you know he's off somewhere in the world
doing important business and his wife is line back home staring into space with their dead eyes
he gets the message
comes over to a telegram someone handed to him it is you've gotta get home the wife died
he's the peak it to fly back from his
important business it's delayed on the way and so on and finally comes home to face that
to face that
not quite the same as sitting in a cave somewhere not that good for forgetting the final signature on the business deal he had to face that face
staring at him with dead eyes
and that's when he decides to cut his here that's when he decides to strip off his or identities that's what he decides to go out into the world again leave the fruits and flowers of anything that he considered holy or sacred to find out how to in that agony
that's the job we all have
that's what buddha is to me
me and
here's another problem of course this one you will know this one is by pub for in pablo neruda
in a beautiful poem this part was using the movie
i think i think this is
even in translation is very moving
if suddenly you do not exist
if suddenly you no longer live i shall live on
i do not dare i do not dare to write it if you die i shall live on
for where a man has no voice there shall be my voice where blacks are flogged and beaten i cannot be dead when my brothers go to present prison when my brothers go to prison i shall go with him
when victory not my victory but the great victory comes even if i'm dumb i must speak i shall see it coming even if i am blind
no forgive me if you no longer live if you beloved my love if you have died all the leaves will fall on my breast it will rain on my soul night and day the snow will burn my heart i shall walk with frost and fire and death snow my feet will want to walk to where
you are sleeping but i shall stay alive
because above all things you wanted me indomitable and my love because you know that i am not only a man but all mankind
that's a wonderful poem isn't
have caught dead woman
in translation
so though if those are three
so a poetic expressions of people's experiences that come to our come to mind or come to to the for so to speak on a day like this on a weekend like this time to remember
time to get in touch with that kind of loss
veteran and knew that is suffering the one who died for that you sacrifice for
one that you gave up to one that will never come back to one that will never come home again
we have veterans' day and other days you will take care of the the morrow
flag waving aspects that i do not see memorial day as a flag waving day i see it as a day to open the heart
and they include everyone everywhere everywhere
in all countries men and women are cuts across all lines and maybe all the way back imagine that cries that have risen in this world
from the wars that we have suffered the battles we have been lifetime after lifetime engaged
no one of the ocean is filled with our tears
the wonder fire burns with her eyes
looking at that kind of thing no wonder the women in cambodia went blind
when blind to see in the atrocities
when def i remember in korea one of my friends going deaf nothing wrong with this year's he couldn't hear a game where you want to hear the cries of the order
you can find the wrong with them we just shut it off
memorial day for them
for that
i don't see any other reason for me to sit here and talk to people if that weren't the case and in the world and what would be the need for buddha christ allah whoever if this was not the case
this has been the case is what continue to be the case it is called the world
it is memorial day
two thousand and three
houma celebrated celebrate our lives
joyously together
indomitable he said be indomitable is all part of man indomitable of humankind
i can't do it alone i fallen the
hopeless i fall into helplessness by myself
when i read the paper in the morning when i hear the news and sort of way i shut myself away from it whereas they all those
fill in the blanks
when i put my fingers and then what i say it with only they would wake up i would be happy
and i know i'm calling myself i can't help it
that's why we're all these robes all this class for centuries people have been pulling on roads you know
this was a or the indian rule the point and then on this was the chinese confucian
that's the japanese rule and events the american t shirt
and under all of it is our pimple worded wrinkled
differently colored flesh human flesh
stuffed with consciousness in pain
the job
i need you
you need me
he and done
next we meet some of us won't be here
and set some of the people that you know today were no longer be around
baba need a know
i just said goodbye to my first wife
haven't been with with her for forty years we may married over fifty years ago
she was an a for national japanese we have a son and i thought when she went i would feel some grief but you know what it was like
the way i look at it was like a you know how you might have when you're smoking days you might have dropped a little ash you look down the selling there's a whole a little hole
your pants are in your shirt or something a little hole was burned there it's like there and look down and center business little hole in way
well well somebody's around even though we don't see him anymore even though they're not our friends even though there
even our enemies and they're still in the world there's that we can we have that feeling they're here
and then this day and age of you're not six degrees of separation your about one book hither dot com and you hit the google or something you'll find a runaway
but suddenly they're not there you know you that you can find them anywhere they're gone they leave a hole
when too many holes happened too fast who are we were just hold
that's with independence mean i made up of everything that out there have you to all my relationships with them been out so i suddenly have on this whole of my life and then prove that hook him on the memory
i did tell her once i love she said the same to me
when she was gone i was gone we were all gone new relationships new loves
you know nobody is it's an old story
so anyway this a day was full of holes
and as we lot walk along it there's another thing that was walking along looking at my feet walking and do you know how to do

walking along leaving a footprint
user name and each woodman
the name of those that are gone
you live long enough or you can walk a mile until every foot friend of the me
memorial day

well i think there's much feel we're gonna get together in a few minutes and talk some more so if you have questions
you can discuss a little bit more
i know i always the world the most important thing
i always do it we're not what i'm saying here just a moment to say
oh he's gonna tell him this and leaders and the most important thing i had to say i didn't tell him
but it seems in my world at least had set up that i won't remember it i can sit here until tomorrow i still won't remember it until they get back and then i am not come there
i'll even if you're an atheist even know believe in anything say a prayer
we need it
may intention