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tension
morning
and a good morning it is for weather paradise california
and it's mother's day
happy mother's day
ah
there's a long list of people that give yes lectures hear her hundred of which i want but somehow i seem to always get picked to come on mother's to have done it before so i'm kind of a mother's day expert in the other time it wasn't mother's day was the week the war in iraq began so
i got to talk about that
today however a green gulch has been kind enough to let me talk about my new book on life's work
living passionately growing spiritually
i've been wandering around the country talking about it so forgive me if
ah some of the things i say kind of roll off my tongue but i've been talking about a little too much i'm getting tired of it i actually won't just talk about it i'll talk about some of the larger themes in it and then afterwards i guess they have some books set up by if you want to
have you sign them i can
i mean
i am as some of you may know i left i was lived here for many years and left in eighty three i can't say why but i returned to the world at large and became a corporate executive and
and then a software developer i have my own software business so i know half monastic half worldly sort of creature and
my books tend to be about that i'm very interested in what i call householders in the the quality that
in the twenty-first century we can practice zen in a variety of ways we can practice in in the traditional way in a monastery like here or tassajara or we can practice it out in the world as householders with families children jobs and i did both and i
i can say that while the traditional buddhist outlook is that you can't really really practice zan unless you're in some kind of monastery i would say that you can but there are strong and weak points either way
the we i won't go into those strong and weak points of points of monastic life since most of you aren't monastics but the strong and weak points of householder life or kind of obvious the weak point is you don't have any time for practice you're busy
and you have many things to do and the strong point is that you're busy and you have many things to do so you get to confront the actual
difficulties of life in their raw form a monastery is more like an incubator it's very well designed so that there aren't many distractions but you don't get to confront distractions so much so it's a co on either way and my books have been designed really for all of you
people who live in the world and have many things to do and how is it possible
to penetrate and dharma to penetrate the way of the buddha in that an environment i think that this is the great moment of buddhism after twenty five years to figure twenty five years twenty five hundred years twenty five twenty five hundred it's all the same
to figure that out and historically buddhism's been a monastic tradition the monks generation after generation have carried the
the tradition but now it's a new world we have internet we have cell phones we have retreat centers where you can be a temporary monk and all over the country all over the west all over the world people are practicing buddhism in a new way
and and so this book is another effort on my part to ah write about how to practice with the attitude that life itself is the great monastery life itself as the great monastery which it is which it is
we haven't been doing monastic practice long enough in this country to understand that
the the big moment of monastic practice is to leave it to go out into the world to be a pilgrim to bang around in the in the stresses and strains of the world where there are bandits were there is hunger where there's wind in the rain where there is
war and famine
the world today days unfortunately little different than the
of the buddha in and respect
of the buddha in that respect
didn't want you to miss my words then
it's hard to talk about this book because it's full of many things and it's really about how to practice dharma in the main arenas of life your livelihood your job your family or with your children as it as up
parent as a student which is one of the main things we do in life particularly when we're young as an elder or teacher when we're old and sick and coming to the end of our life as a monk a everyone these days can be a temporary monk at least for a day or week
as a caregiver or person who is ill
i have aided them there on this
this is one book you can you can tell what it's about by its cover it's got a pictures of different different kinds of work which you do in your whole life and how how dharma can affect each of them
but the overarching idea
ah is the idea of vow the one thing that unites monks and lay people and always have in the history of buddhism and before buddhism is the great vow the great vow to liberate beams how many however many beings there are in a verb in the way
world i vow to liberate them all this vow is not actually something you say or something you take it something that you are this bow is a description of what it means to be human and the vow is there the day were born
the bow is there the day we die and whether were buddhists are not that vow is active when you come to the point your life we are actually willing to say it to live that way that's already a late stage you've already been percolating the bow so one thing you could say
that the title means a whole life's work means that now that's a whole like that's our real work
let me just read i'm not going to read a lot from the book because the book is the book you can buy and read it if you want but i'll read a few things
when we ask what is the work work of a human being
which definition should we use
the beginning here i go through the various meanings of the word work is our life working is it rather than fun work are we working our life like gordian knots that we don't know how to one time working and not know are we worked up about our life excited or do we just go about it day by day hoping for the best
or suppose we go deeper and ask of all the kinds of work we do what is our most important work what are we doing here in this world anyway
where each of us arrives naked and helpless with no map or compass like a trainee in some cosmic outward bound program
as we struggled to get our arms around these questions there are two things we know for certain today we are here and some day some time we will be gone during our time on this planet what will we do what is our responsibility to ourselves to our family and friends to our community our nation to all people and
the innumerable creatures that inhabit the earth to see in the sky what do we say how will we act in other words what is our whole life's work
some of you know there's a slogan in in sandwiches on the
the board that we hit to mark time that says birth and death is the great matter that's just what i said their birth and death were born and then we die that's all we know for sure where here over here s the third thing were born were here and then we die these are certainties
oh yes well
depends
if you're rich enough you don't pay any
you're trying with that but they haven't they haven't figured out death yet that seems to still be there and so what do we do and i think that that is the colon before all the columns this is the call on of being alive of being here at all
our our deep work as human beings is to figure that out for ourselves and for everyone that's the meaning of the vow ah
one of the first things we understand when we sit is we don't sit in the terrain of our individual separate self
the realm of zazen or in sitting is around that everyone in habits were already in it
i tried to use non technical terms in this book so instead of talking about the bodhisattva vow which is very buddhist thing
however many beans there are in the world i vow to liberate them all i talk about i call it the consciousness project the consciousness project means
the great work millennia after millennia to learn how to be human beings
it's very slow we know this
today's world suddenly seems like
a world we read about in ancient history where people are full of hate and
ha killing each other for beliefs and ideologies and land and different ideas of what god is
we may think here in the comfort of america marine county that we've left that world behind we've moved on but we really haven't yet even if we do move on than we slip back so this is the consciousness project some people
in their own lives are very far along some people are not but we're all involved in it this is how i describe it
remember since i'm speaking to buddhist audience this is really the bodhisattva vow i'm talking about the consciousness project this time was journey is known by many names in buddhism it is known as the bodhisattva path or simply the path the path
it may interest you to know that the word buddhism doesn't exist in buddhism scholars made that word up because everything has to have an isn't in the world of academia but the buddha simply talked about marga or the path the path
but for this book i have chosen to call it the consciousness project the consciousness project is both individual and collective both individual and collective so you're working on your consciousness project but all of humanity's working on its consciousness project it's all of a piece the consciousness project
is the individuals discovery of how to live his or her life in fullness in maturity and harmony with others as well as the collective discovery of all the generations that have come before us will come after shinrykio suzuki my teacher once said
i am waiting for the island off the coast of los angeles to come to san francisco
now this is from zen mind beginner's mind do you recognize this this very famous he said this very mysterious i am waiting for the island off the coast of los angeles to come to san francisco
from one of his students he had learned that geologically catalina island off the coast of los angeles is moving slowly north a few centimetres a year and will eventually reach san francisco as a buddhist priests suzuki certainly would have felt a kinship with that kind of timeframe buddhist literature often speaks of thousands
of lifetimes in cycles and millions of years the buddhist worldview accepts the vastness of time and space as well as the gradual nests of human change our species has been on this planet for a few hundred thousand years little more than an instant in the life of our planet in our galaxy science tells us these things
but they are inconceivably abstract what does it really mean for our present life for one thing it means that learning to be fully human takes a long time learning to be fully human fully human is a translation of the word buddha learning to be buddha takes a long time it may seem from the per
perspective of this century that many frightful things have happened but from another view we are all slowly learning generation after generation what it is to be human and how to live together in harmony and mutual respect from the standpoint of one or even a few generations this is a slow process one that can seem to take it step back
back for every one forward
so this is the great vowed this is the consciousness project and we're all doing you're all doing it in the rest of the book is really about describing how you're already doing it he in eight different aspects of your life so livelihood
parenting studentship
creative life hobbies i have a whole section and hobbies in here and you'd be surprised to see how important hobbies really are
caregiving and illness
the monk what i call the monks work and finally the elders work or the work of of old age
i discovered in trying to talk about this book that it's impossible to talk about them all so in the spirit of mother's day i'm going to concentrate on to of the inner virtues or parking meters that are associated with these aspects of our life
parenting and and
receptivity or or or in the inner work of witches generosity in giving or or a patients
but before i do that

for i do that alternate on my tape recorder which i forgot to do
doing so
i'll rely on green goes to have recorded it properly
creepy
as i say i'm very interested in really spending my energy as a teacher now
figuring out how to authentically practice buddhists way in the lives that all of you read in my group which is called the as sanga named after female security the great lame and wise and of ancient buddhist literature our slogan is the awakening path of house
holders in
it's a little clever and that the awakening path is upon its both the path of awakening but it's also a path it's waking up it's not a path it's been fully worked out at all
we don't have as it says in the book apparent sutras to guide us to be parents all the sutures or about celestial beings are about monks really the only
important surgery and buddhism that's about family life is the theme of security sutra which i don't talk about here but it's an important people like these kind of the patron saint of our of our group
you can find out more about our group out on the table there the mima saga
after the lecture but our basic point is that i think there are many places in america now that are replicating and recreating the traditional monastic forms and ways of practice of buddhism that have been passed down through the centuries so i don't feel it's my strong point to try to
replicate that what really interests me is a most people can't do that so and now we have an opportunity in in the modern age to live more flexible complicated lives so we can ah
rob practice in in in the midst of our ordinary life and many of you may not know that the founders and center suzuki roshi
i spent most of his priest career in japan as a parish priest for a group of people very much like you ordinary householders
he didn't lead a monastery he didn't have
very many monk disciples he spent thirty years taking care of all of the way congregation and i think one of the reasons he was so successful in conveying dharma to us as americans was he had a lot of experience in
in in the kind of lives that we all live and you know he's another famous statement he made in said mind beginner's mind is that he could see that we american zen students were really neither lay people nor monks we were some special hybrid and that fascinated him tremendously thought that was very ill
citing and he admitted that he really didn't know what that meant he didn't know what kind of practice would work for all of us
but he felt that that's what we are challenge was is to find a way what he called to find some appropriate way of life
suzuki roshi was only modestly ambitious
what he wanted to do was a convert all of the west buddhism and then change all of japanese buddhism as a consequence that was his ambition happening
unfortunately he didn't live long enough to see that happen and i don't think he expected to but it's it's behooves all of us to try to carry that on so that's a lot of what this this book in and also the emphasis of my teaching locally here is to
questioning in that vision forward
because if we're going to transform america and i would like to transform america that's my ambition i admit it america's my country and
i'm an american i know it well and i think that together with lot of other like-minded people we have a chance but to do that we have to develop forms of dharma forms of practice that will reach mainstream individuals people who aren't inclined to go
give up their family and livelihood and live his monks so with that as a prelude let me just read a few things i talk about what i call the parents work
the parents work is actually it's so common and so ordinary and a certain way that we forget that that's really what we're here to do as human beings is to have children have more human beings that's what all creatures are here to do and the work of caring for those
those human beings is the most
it's the part of our life that's the most like dharma actually were teachers to those little beings and they rely on us like we rely on buddha and everything we do in that exercise is so important so valuable and we know that if that work goes wrong
how much suffering it produces
can we reach you when i say about it

the parents work as spiritual work the parents work is more than just the exterior task of raising children it has a spiritual dimension to being a parent is an unparalleled opportunity to develop the traditional spiritual virtues of love and generosity
as well as to be our children's first and most intimate spiritual mentor teaching them by example and by instruction the basics of an ethical and compassionate life one would think that parents ought to be lauded and showcased in every spiritual tradition as true spiritual heroes the reality is
that until recently there is often been a tendency to see the parents work is incompatible with serious spiritual life the hindu sod who are world renowned aesthetic which the buddha was jury sexuality as a distraction and a drain on the psychic energy needed for spiritual liberation the priests have some cults in ancient greece
castrated themselves as a sacrifice to their god and i go through various other religions over the last century things have changed these days there are movements of foot in all these traditions to reexamine this alienation between family life and spirituality catholics are questioning the value and psychological effect of priestly celibacy
while many of the best priests leave the priesthood to marry and raise families most western buddhist teachers have families and children and are doing their best to integrate the demands of traditional buddhist spiritual life such as meditation retreats with job and family all this is most welcome the recognition that
the parents were can itself be a spiritual path is long overdue
in is consistent with the wider reexamination of old beliefs it is going on throughout our society we now understand much more clearly how important it is to begin life and the care of adults who love us in treatise with kindness and respect and we understand how many of society's ills can be traced to poor parenting
to love and beloved is this not the essence of all spiritual traditions what better time to learn this and at the beginning of life and what better time to practice these virtues than when we are parents themselves ourselves
as for buddhism it's fresh challenge in the west is to see the family not as a distraction from the spiritual path but as an integral part of it this is not inconsistent with the life of traditional buddhist societies anyone who has spent time in a buddhist countries such as thailand or vietnam knows the traditional family law
if there is full of warmth and love buddhist temples often abound with youngsters playing their games while their parents worship within and buddhist priests genuinely enjoy the company of these children in these asian countries the buddhist values of patience and compassion are well integrated into family life
and why should it be otherwise is not the ability to sustain a marriage or other intimate relationship over a long period of time an important test a personal and spiritual maturity he is not the challenge of sustaining an intimate loving relationship with another person as important as the quest for enlightenment in
fact a part of that quest
there are no parent sutras in quotes in buddhism score literature no spiritual heroes whose great accomplishment was that they remained committed to a long term relationship and raised a happy loving family if we consider the bodhisattva vow the consciousness project to care for and save all beings
as the linchpin of the buddhist world view than this lack of parents sutures seems odd
what better practice for the bodhisattva in training and caring for one's own children in that sense the bodhisattva vow is an extension of the love and compassion we feel for our own children the bodhisattva as transcendental parent if we can find no parent sutras in the buddhist literature the
when it becomes our responsibility to write them
so as they say you can see where i'm coming from the whole book is really organized around those kinds of ideas and it's full of stories about people i've interviewed and practical hints for how to
how to integrate the traditional qualities of exam practice of buddhist practice into
our family life our livelihood are making a living our applications
our hobbies
and i've tied each one of those mo what i call modes of work to one of the traditional spiritual virtues of mahayana buddhism great vehicle buddhism the parra meters the perfections the great perfections of ethics of generosity of patience of energy of
of meditation and of wisdom and i've also added humility
and equanimity during which are less common perfections in the tradition but but very important for for away life
i feel that for my own experience and i think from the the emergent experience of american buddhists i think that we're on probably it'll take many decades are many generations to refashion reintegrate reimagine
the path of the buddha to include how we actually live today
so one of the things i like to talk about i have a whole series of lectures i'm doing on the dharma as it relates to things like driving a car
talking on a cell phone
going to a restaurant eating food the way we do all the qualities of modern life you know their these probably pop books that say know how would do to talk on a cell phone how would boot drive a car there's one zen teacher who actually has made a call on you know where is buddha when you're
driving a car well i think those your important questions i think that it's not enough to
i have the dorm and be something that comes from elsewhere
and it tells us what it thinks in what it feels and were kind of hostage to that dharma doesn't come from somewhere else dharma comes from inside and goes out somewhere else it actually comes in both directions but ah
the same practice which is really the heart a buddhist practice
the challenge really is to fine dharma inside your own life not to simply accept dharma as something that comes from elsewhere so
i'm convinced it in fifty or one hundred years
what we see as american buddhism will not be japanese or tibet and or any of those things it will be american and hopefully if it's authentic it will be able still also be authentic way buddhist
the longer i go the more decades i go since the death of my teacher suzuki roshi the more i realize how much he really was an american
he made himself into an american and he understood america in a way that i've rarely met in other buddhist teachers are asian teachers and that's an extraordinary thing i think it's reflected whenever i come here i look at this beautiful place in these buildings and all of this and i realized that all of
vision of this ninety five pound five foot tall japanese man who showed up in robes one day in from this it all came and he's not by any means the only one
it's extraordinary and we're still all part of a year old part of it and i'm still trying in my own small way to carry forward that integrative progressive revolutionary vision
because in the end
the dharma began for the buddha when he saw how the world really was he came out of his palace which is kind of a metaphor for innocence or for being protected in faced
the way people actually are in the way people treat each other and he said to himself why why
why is it this way why are people doing this
and he went you know to all the spiritual teachers to hear the received wisdom from elsewhere
and that was part of the story and it's probably true because that's how you do it when your spiritual eye opens up you look for guidance and you ask why of everyone you meet why
and in the end as we all have to do he had to set aside what he was told all those other spiritual teachers and discover his own answers his own truth
and so he sat down under a tree and started over and that story is our story each one of us are telling the story of the buddha in our own lives

i've kind of mixed in
in the book
material that would be accessible to any general audience readers someone who doesn't know a lot about buddhism but there's also a lot of my teachers teaching in there a lot of suzuki roshi
and i want to read you a couple of passages because since you're all sitting in this hall your all
in a sense connected to suzuki roshi to that way of teaching so
i talk a good bit
in the book about the virtue of patience in the how we practice patients in various ways
hmm and then i say
you suzuki talked about patients to but he did not use traditional buddhist texts or terminology instead he talked about frogs
suzuki loved frogs even as a boy he seem to have a natural sympathy for these creatures in his biography crooked cucumber by my good friend david chadwick is this story the young suzuki overheard some older boys talking about going to a nearby creek and kept
during and tormenting the frogs there
suzuki quickly ran to the place and splashed all around frightening all the frogs away so they would be safe from the older boys
once in a lecture suzuki vividly imitated the way of frog waits for a meal it sits utterly still suzuki said demonstrating by showing us his most immobile meditation posture until a little insect flies by and then zap
suzuki lunged forward on his meditation cushion his tongue protruding becoming for the moment a hungry frogs snapping up the more so on its long tongue and then he laughed quietly to himself for what seemed a long time
this is the way he was i'm not going to try to imitate him it would be silly but you get the feeling you know this is a very characteristic li xin way of teaching there's lots and lots of technical literature about about shanti parra me to about patients about receptivity but
suzuki roshi maybe he thought we weren't ready for that anyway he preferred frogs in not always so his book
of lecture suzuki has this to say about frogs i always admired their patient their practice they never get sleepy their eyes are always open and they do things intuitively in an appropriate way when something to eat comes by they go like this
that that was him
they never miss anything they are always calm and still i wish i could be a frog
so suzuki roshi is frog story is charming until we dig deeper and see the story from the point of view of the frog the frog motionless and with full attention
the that sounds familiar to anyone motionless in with full attention is not performing a circus trick for our benefit nor is it there as the subject of some spiritual homily it is there because it is hungry that is why it is willing to stay there until the fly comes along but when the fly does come
um what happiness all the waiting in the wind and rain is redeemed at that moment this is the breakthrough the inspiration that makes a long wait worthwhile the frog brings life to the dynamic tension between patients and inspiration the connection between the waiting and the reward without the waiting there is no fly but without
the hope of a fly why wait
the point of this story is to make the connection between the frog in each of us to help us see that the frogs patience he is connected with the inescapable conditions of the frogs life with every creature's life with our life for the frog to get the fly and needs to cultivate to qualities
first it must have unshakable confidence that the fly will eventually come without this confidence it will despair how can it even go on living the frog will wait forever if necessary in the hope of that fly
the second quality it needs is alertness tongue coiled and ready to strike for as long as it takes the fly to come if the frog grows tired if it decides to take a nap it might miss the fly in all the tedious waiting will have been for naught
if the frog goes away thinking well there will be no flies today this relieves it's tension that leaves the prague no less hungry than when it began
so the frogs patients and our patients is no ordinary waiting it's hard work and even if the fly comes the work does not end soon the frog will again be hungry the entire process will repeat itself this is the frogs life our life this is suzuki roshi his point
and telling us the story his story was also a lesson and how to do zazen the experience of sauce and zen meditation can be a sense of nothing going on nothing is happening we're just sitting there we may not notice at first that this itself is something special how else can we have such an experience
once such practices are very old and may have had their origins some time in the neolithic when the daily life of prehistoric man and woman was connected with the slow rhythm of the sun the stars the weather in the seasons
zazen is not something unusual if anything it is the rest of our life that is unusual and the zazen is not just waiting either we think again and suzuki's frog sitting waiting seemingly doing nothing until the insect buzzes by in the full energy of the of the frogs
being suddenly comes to life as in a flash the insect is instantly transformed into a meal that contributes to the frog survival

i was at one am by weekly sessions with my group
a woman who's actually dying
said to the group to me i think we need to suffer more
i understood what she met
i've been ill a lot to in my life and
part of the problem with practicing dharma in america is that it's very comfortable here
seemingly
and we've lost the
our prognosis
we're not living like frogs for the most part but
have to dig down beneath the surface of that in realize that we're all frogs were all ultimately
waiting watching hungary frightened frightened i think that beneath the surface of our wonderful country there's so much fear
ah so
a dharma is kind of serious and i said to the woman later i thanked her for coming to the group and i said you know it's it's very helpful when you come because
to just talk about buddhism off the cuff it's hard to get it across but when you're there in your life situation it's much easier i can see i can explain in much better
i am
i want to mention before we end and
now's as good time as any
a kind of announcement but it's actually connected to what i'm saying
at the beginning of the war in afghanistan people from green gulch had a weekly vigil in downtown no valley for some time
don't even remember that ready to participate
yeah and he put ya a few people
at last week i just found myself coming up window ruth who's the abbess here and saying i think we should do it again i think we should do it now maybe from now until november and she may be said okay let's do it so we're planning something we're planning to
maybe resume that we haven't quite got an organized yet and i'd like to see several of the sagas connected to suzuki roshi teaching in southern marine participate and maybe all of you i'm inviting you wish i could say definitively when we're going to start but typically last time it was friday
from to not a noon to one on fridays a silent vigil
not a protest exactly but a digital and some other occasion i'd like to talk into some audience about what that really means
after i hung up the phone and thought about a little more
i thought to myself well you know you could translate the word buddha as visual
the word buddha meters means a awake to are awakened but it also means awakened like the frog like that you know watching
watching ah so i think that the vigil is a very it's a buddha activity
so anyway we're thinking about it so maybe you can stay in touch with green golf sure to see if it's wide starts and how it's going but i think it would be good to do
i think it's suzuki roshi was were alive he would come is what i think
and be a frog with with all of us
of course the frog makes it kind of charming we can think of a frog and it's funny how how rare it is to see a frog these days you know frogs are dying out because of what we're doing to the world and so it's not so common to see a frog but if you think about that as a metaphor for
our life
are now
our effort
and realize that underneath the surface of all of our activity all of our work in life all of the stuff that engages us and keeps us so busy
there is an inner frog sitting there
like that
is it's a serious frog or a casual from we don't know what the frogs mood is but it's there and it's watching always
and i don't my conviction is that on
it's you can't say that a monastic frog is doing better is a frog in a householder frog i think it's just different
maybe different kinds of flies that you have to
for
maybe the flies and householder like buzz faster they fly anymore difficult way to catch but maybe they're tasty or to i don't know i don't know how to how to extend the metaphor appropriate way but
you know i really i really wrote this book for all of you and for people like you all over
to find some encouragement and to be connected to the spirit and vision of my teacher of all of our teacher i was looking his picture out in the hallway
you know he's kind of an icon now legend he's been gone for thirty years and i'm not sure
how many people who passed that picture have the reaction than i do but when i pass it i just you know i see a friend oh i know cause he was alive for me and i was with him as many of us were and
some people say well don't talk about it so much here it makes you seem like your special so i'm sorry if it feels that way it's just my feeling when i saw the picture was all areas you know watching me i feel a little ashamed when i see it too
so
in every chapter i talk about the consciousness project this great work that were on and i paid a vision i use that image that of the island moving
moving northward santa catalina island and i envision all of us on it six billion or so maybe it's more is that six and a half billion in every year it gets more everybody's on it and we're all working
with the island but you know we're not pushing in the same direction as a lot of confusion about it some people when a push it south some people want to blow it up some people one everybody on the island to be their religion
some people want us to live according to their wave of life
some people want to get rid of half the people on the island and so on and so forth there's a tremendous i have this picture of how it is you know that i'm on is a metaphor for the inner life
the island moves mysteriously
and those of us who awakened to that process you understand our full responsibility to make that happen that's the awakening of the vow that's the vow body that begins to take shape and we we look around
like a frog who suddenly wakes up on a lily pad and seas where he is or where she is and you realize what you need to do
and and how you need to change your life so that you are one of the people on that island whose kind of like a monitor or a
ah
i don't know you know somebody who's when i used to go to peace demonstrations back during the vietnam era they were there were monitors with the white with the band at armbands and they were the ones that were making sure we all walked in the right direction so maybe i think i'm thinking of monitors you know the bodhisattvas are like monitors
they they're they're wandering around on the island mostly invisible maybe their parents may be their corporate executives maybe they're monks
a helping the island to move knowing that it's only three centimetres a year it's not going to be quick
and even after it gets to san francisco it keeps moving there's no ultimate destination this is this is what we're all really doing here and ah
when i was in the early days of zen center we were all very young we didn't really know what we were doing i'm not sure we still know but anyway maybe we know a little bit more the vastness of the project the the dignity of it the
a tragedy of the poignancy of it the see me in futility of it
ah
one reason we sit is simply to have the strength to continue to understand
ah how to walk in the right direction

i look back to those early days when i was in my twenties and trying to learn zazi and and realize that i had no idea what i was doing
but something in me had an idea what i was doing
sometimes we say buddha nature but i'm not sure i i like those technical terms that much but each of us each of you in the midst of whatever life you have have that beacon within
and it's there you don't need to create it or manufacturer you just need to see it it's there in your family life it's there in your day job it's there and your night job it's there in your applications it's there when you're sailing on the bay or or
hang gliding or whatever it is that you do
that's how we are in buddhism have faith and it's how we have hope
but it's not a hope that has some conditions attached to it that can turn into despair if it doesn't come true it's just hope for its own sake it's like the frog the frog doesn't say okay i'm going to well let's see could do ninety minutes on the lily pad and if i don't have success
it's not like that it's lily pad all the time
lily pad is your life you know you you settle in it and you'll learn to love it and you realize you look around and there are lily pads everywhere
and
that's the big lily pad the big project the big vow that the big beacon that were all tuned into the big radio station
it's the only way to look at the way the world is in not
despair
so there's two things that the buddha did that
i really important one thing one thing is that he saw he actually saw how it really is
this is enlightenment
the second thing is it's okay
how can it be ok
that's the hard part
how can it be okay it's not so hard to see how the world is actually
we can open our eyes in various ways but what's really hard is for it to be okay in some very deep transcendental inconceivable
since these days i like to talk about buddhism since i'm talking to various kinds of audience that buddhism has three big ideas the idea of buddha the idea of bodhisattva which is what this books really about the third ideas the in conceive ability of everything
and it's inconceivable that it can be okay but
if we try to narrow it down and make it conceivable and it's not okay anymore
it's only when it's ungraspable that it can in some larger sense be okay and that we can continue and we can not despair so it's terribly important that
the island has some supervision
and all of you were here on this bright sunny day mother's day
buddhists day boot is the kind of mother for all of us
you know it's funny suzuki roshi
said in not always so that
maybe he was talking about dying he said
ah
resting and emptiness is like being at your mother's bosom and knowing that she will take care of you very odd statement unless you're a buddhist and you had some experience of practice
but we rest as buddhists he didn't conceive ability somehow we come to a sense that that's the only place to rest and that's what gives us courage and what gives us hope and that's our visual
in the end buddhists are protesters they're not revolutionaries and not visionaries were just
i just realized the noun form a vigil is vigilante i don't mean that visual people not vigilantes not like john wayne but more like buddha
so thank you for coming today listening to me rattle on and i look forward to talking with you more informally later on what what happens now
oh okay so listen to the know he will tell you everything and i'm going to stop so thank you very much
hey