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the and tree
everybody has problems of course
and lately one of my problems is i'm having a hard time
preparing dharma talks and
i think the reason why is because i really don't feel like giving dharma talks right now
which is unusual i usually get a big kick out of it
i could have put her out in my study and pull books off shelves and
i like doing now and then i like coming to give the talk
because it's a wonderful
exchange of energy even know i'm doing all the talking it's really a communication i think
between us
and i like that but lately
i haven't been in the mood and i mean i have a lot of energy to practice with people who really enjoy that
and talk to people and so on but when it comes to preparing for a dharma talk
not much happens which is very inconvenient
since right now there's a practice period and i had to kill lot of talks this is sometimes i don't have to give them and talk so this is the wrong time to feel that way
so i sit there you know and i can't really think of anything to say
you know like what would you say

i mean it seems like our practices so supremely simple
that what would anybody want to say about it there's an old saying and you know like giving a dharma talk is like taking a perfectly good sirloin steak and then gouging it with a knife you know making a big mess out of it why would you want to do that
it seems like talking about it is an exaggeration
so all we do as you know we sit on these little black cushions
and then the bell rings and and we get up
can we try to do whatever it is we're doing and it could be anything
one not anything but a lot of things
with a full heart and full sincerity
and then we try to be as kind as we can do one another
and that's about it you know we're going to say about that
and i mean i realize that there are tremendous numbers of books written about this tremendous numbers i mean i keep getting these books in the mail you know books written over and over and i think wow you know all these books and i know that they're very
engaging and entertaining teachings i mean i know myself i when i especially right now i'm reading the
all his teachings from the pali canon and it's really wonderful to read them it's but i mean more or less it just comes down to you sit down and you get up and do something you sit back down
that's about it
is now
so today's talk is
actually wanted a series of talks that i'm giving
to the practice period
the rest of you who aren't in the practice period you're eavesdropping okay
you just listening in and hopefully it's not too boring
so for those of us in the practice period
it may seem funny that i just said what i said about not feeling like giving talks because just the other night i gave a talk
the ran to about an hour and half or so in that talk i said gee i feel like giving hundreds of dharma talks
i have so many things i want to say for like even hundreds of dharma talks
which is true also
i feel like giving hundreds of dharma talks at times
and then i you know start giving one of these hundreds of don't like taking notes and write down for one of these hundreds of dharma talks and then i can't think of anything i had to say
and i figure it's probably because i really don't feel like giving any talks
but then one has to do it so you start in and then you think of too many things and you go and you give a talk and it goes to an hour and a half
and you feel where i said too much
then you walk away and afterward you think about what search and he said in your city so is i didn't say anything at all
so it's really confusing all these different things a pretty contradictory and confusing
and i'm confused about it but
that's the wonderful thing about zen
training and on the bell rings you go to in then it rings again you get up during a different bell you're going to work meeting the hit the clappers we do something else
so you know when it's time to give the talk the bell rings you go and you give the talk right it doesn't really matter that much how you feel about it i mean not that you're unaware of how you feel about it or you ignore how you feel about you know you you feel this way you feel that way you feel a lot different ways maybe
but you just go ahead and do what you're supposed to do when the bell rings
so i was sitting there in my little hut and there was a fox sitting outside on the ground
in the sun and i was doing zazen
as if i would never have to give another talking of just sitting there very pleasant but then the bell rang and i realize how the other the second round i'd better get up and go give the talk
so we have our various thoughts and feelings but life goes on
and life creates us along the way
we create life but life creates us
not that were passive could some like were passive we're you know we do various things as long as we're alive we're going to do various things
and we have various feelings but we're not in control
we're not making what happens happen
we're cooperating right cooperating were operating and the universe is operating are cooperating and that's her life and there's no use complaining
and i think there's a lot of fun in to
and this is a good way i think the alternative books i lost my reverberations
the alternative
is too
you know live in the middle of a raging storm perhaps
i pushed and pulled around by our thoughts and our feelings
blown around
like trees in a storm
and getting drenched in
and broken apart by our emotions and desires
and a lot of us have been through that and as too hard i think it's too difficult to live that way
and i don't think we will want to keep that up for very long

so buddha had a pretty powerful experience
and set his heart to rest
and come to think of it and he didn't feel like giving dharma talks either
the gods talked them into it
and the first way that he thought to talk about his experience
was a what we call the four noble truths and i know
you have all heard of the four noble truths right everybody knows
and i think it's wonderful that he called them the noble truths
they are true said if we
relate to them a deeply and with all our hard they will enable us
they will provide
a way for us to live a noble and dignified
whether or not
and instead of being
broken and crashed around by when we can be tall stately trees maybe like redwoods at muir woods just gently swaying a little bit in the wind and making a beautiful sound
so i think it's wonderful that their noble truths
so the first of the four noble truths says that
discomfort or dissatisfaction
is pervasive and unavoidable
often the word the english word used to translate
door duca which is the word i'm talking about his suffering
but today i may be translated as dissatisfaction
this satisfaction is pervasive and unavoidable
sometimes we notice
powerfully notice this this satisfaction
other times we think that everything's great and we don't notice it at all
but it's still there and it's piling up debris behind us as were merely going along with our lives thinking everything's fine but actually this dissatisfaction is still there it's because it's pervasive and piles are
happening behind our back
but what do we know it or not are there is this dissatisfaction all the time and that's that's the first noble truth the second one is that there is a clear cause for this dissatisfaction in the cause his desire
because very naturally seems like
we always want something
slightly more than what's there
are a lot more but at least a little bit more and so naturally were dissatisfied with what's in front of us this is the second noble truth cause of the satisfaction his desire and the third truth says that the satisfaction can be truly set to rest can truly be put aside and
put behind us
and the fourth noble truths sets forth the path
that we need to tread in order to set dissatisfaction to rest so
four noble truths dissatisfaction
the origination or cause of dissatisfaction
the end of dissatisfaction and the way to go
to end or stuff to satisfaction
so in all this you see how crucial
some kind of consideration of desire is desire is really the pivot point in all this
so in our practice it's crucial that we have to focus some attention on desire and learn to practice with desire
now we have to be subtle about this it's a tricky business
if we think that will we're going to do here is eliminate desire since desire causes dissatisfaction
i think that we will have a mess on our hands
i think we will do violence to ourselves if we think that way and practice that way
and we will make ourselves very unhappy
not too easy going very rigid
and maybe we will feel very guilty about practically everything that we do
maybe we will even go crazy a little bit or make other people around us crazy
with our
plan to eliminate desire so i think we need a more subtle analysis than this because that's what would naturally i think come to my logically come to mind but it won't work

i once some years ago i had a big insight into this my own desires
and so that's what i want to tell you what i want to tell you about this insight although
i'm not really sure whether it will make any sense to you or not but i'm going to try to tell you about it

one day i realized it was very startling to me to realize this
i realized that every desire that arose in me
was already satisfied
it was already satisfied
when a desire arises
even if you don't act on it you don't do a thing about it
just in the arising of it's a desire itself
it is already satisfied there is already satisfaction
the desire comes up
in all its fullness and beauty
just like a sunset see
and there it is
and it's wonderful you can really enjoy it
and then naturally since it comes up in that way and it's already satisfied it very gently rolls away
now before i had an inside i always imagined that every desire that arose posed a question to me
how are you going to get rid of me or how are you going to satisfy me there was always a question that arose with each desire and so i had that problem to to deal with it and i was dissatisfied
but then like i say one day i saw
that each desire was already satisfied
it was already complete it didn't need me to do something to make a complete
that's a desire was full and beautiful just as it was
so sexual desire
desire for food desire for fame desire for justification all the millions of desires that we have
all these things
a very natural human impulses
and they are all
very very beautiful
just as beautiful as trees sprouting lives in the spring actually there are almost the same as trees sprouting that lives in the spring that energy
to begin
all of life
a comes from these desires this is life this desire his life
so this is sir
what i realized one day now am i making sense you are you following me can you understand this
not entirely the ravings of a madman

so what i'm saying is if you can appreciate your desires like that
and if you can practice with and harmonize with your desires in that way
and conduct yourself based on this appreciation of your desires in that way i think that dissatisfaction can be reduced quite a lot
quite a lot
now it isn't easy to this is a good idea you know and you're saying oh yeah so good idea but then the next desire that comes up can you actually
work with it this way it's not that easy i realize
and i think the buddha was aware of this to that's why he said truth number for there's a path and they path is as many aspects to it because in reality very simple idea may be hard to realize in our living without some way to do it without some
program or system or something that we can do together to help us to realize it
and the reason that is is that although we have a great deal of confidence in our minds
when it comes to something like this our minds are not necessarily our best friend
our mind is very slippery a quick very clever
and we think we are our minds of who is it that's going to get in there and do this the mind is already turning desire in the way that it's used to doing
and we really can't get in there do much about that and as soon as desire arises immediately before we have a chance to think about all this stuff
boom there we are
crashing around trying to satisfy our desires making trouble
all our good intentions are not enough to
get a wedge in there
so in order to i work with desire and the way that i'm suggesting i want us to have
a pretty stable mind minus the pretty settle
and train even to some extent
in order to
have the suppleness the just to get in there before the habit takes over
so we need to
do some practice i thing
it can evolve certainly are thinking and studying and so on that's important but this is not sufficient
to stabilize the mind enough so that we can work with desire in the way that i'm suggesting
the buddha actually thought about this and recommended
that the best way to stabilize the mind for this kind of work
is the practice of awareness and the best kind of awareness practice the most concrete kind the kind that will help us the most is awareness of the body
because the is so quick and so tricky if we try to get in there with the mind will be can turn us around like a magician you know just when you think the rabbit is over here it's over there
so if we try to start like that we will be confused will think that we're doing really well but we might be completely upside down so awareness of the body is simpler
so would a recommended that we start with that and one of the great ways of working with the body is with the breath
so i was recommending to my friends and the practice period that we work with our breath during meditation and sometimes even when we're not on the meditation cushion to check in with our breath
and that's in a way
the whole secret of our practice period routine
we try to eliminate anything that might be complicated
make it really simple schedule
you don't have to think about anything
and what it takes a little while to get used to we just had the first week so everybody's sort of everything seems new every day but once you get used to it it just sort of flow like water through the day everything is taken care of
of course you work and you do things but you don't have to really worry about accomplishing anything you just do it until the bell rings like i said before the bill range just stop
and that's it whether it's finished or not
and then you know you're supposed to stand and a certain way walk in a certain way bow a certain way and then we have a numerous numerous ceremonies during which you stand and move and do things in a particular way and all you have to do is really be aware of your body how are you standing are you sitting all day long
and with this kind of daily practice
one finds i think that the mind
slows down and becomes stabilize to some extent and then becomes more possible
to see and work with our desires more carefully and with a greater degree of subtlety than is normally possible at least this is what we hope how we doing practice period guys it is this makes sense now listening
thanks over think
this is the hope anyway

now the other night in my hour and a half i was shocked when i walked outside with the clock i didn't realize it was an hour and half it was almost an hour and half how can anybody
tux that long it's amazing
during doing that
to talk i was talking about
how we condition ourselves to see ourselves in a very limited way
everybody has you know i'm so and so and i was born here and i do this and i do that and i can't do this and they can't do that we all have our particular ideas about ourselves that we're conditioned into
and we have a tremendously powerful habit of thinking
this is us and so i am
no i'm bringing this up
not only as a review
but also because this idea that i'm saying here is very connected
the trouble that we have with desire because i think it's where
the desire actually comes from it's why we can't just see desire as something beautiful arising
because companies as soon as the desire comes up this deep habit that we have of thinking where this limited person
instantly kicks in and are limit itself comes up and just puts its big ugly face right in our face and says
this thing is there i think we need this we've gotta have this
because without it this limit itself is really not really worth much but we have this or him or her or this feeling or whatever then we'll really be somebody right and right away you you're caught by desire
sometimes the opposite way because desire
sounds like something we're going toward but it's also something we might want to go away from in other words
yeah you know our live at itself sticks as big of ugly face in our face and says get me outta here let's get us away from this person or thing or place because this limits and denigrates us so we must flee
and right away were tangled in our desire
and this is the whole very nature of this limit itself habit that so strong in us is that it is not a satisfactory self it is incomplete it needs something that's the whole nature of it
so every moment desire arises and we get all twisted up in it because our limit itself is pushing us off a cliff
with each desire that arises
so it's gotta be something you know we need to have something we are not okay as we are we need to study buddhism
right we need to get enlightened
we need to learn how to bake bread i would you definitely need to
do yoga and get more flexible
or take up jogging we really need this we need
to get a phd
or maybe lose ten pounds maybe five pounds would be enough but something you know we really need something because the arrangement the way it is as not quite it right
not quite it
i mean not that we think of it this way we might but necessarily but it is like that i think i really do
we feel the unsatisfactory confinement of being stuck in this very limited notion
of a person
and we have to make it better some somehow even if it's if we can make it better by believing this make it better by feeling that whatever it is that emotion of belief an idea of person
something don't you know we need something to make this situation workable and of course there's no end to that because once we lose the five pounds
then we have to get a phd and normally get the phd we have to jog and when we jog you know it's it's there's no end to it right
so desire wins
it rolls on and on getting bigger and bigger the wind comes up the trees are crashing branches are falling down the trunk is cracking and the stage is littered with bodies
and that's our situation books and so it is
now oh said
some had bad thing as terrible but that's it
i'm sorry that's i think that's the way it is now this this whole thing sometimes gets worse and even if it's not worse it's it's pretty bad anyway
but there is such a thing as a kind of obsession
with desire
what do you live in it
the up
writers are always obsessed the
so this we have this i would say myself that obsession is actually constant i think
but it's more noticeable at sometimes but i think it's constant and i'm sure that everybody in this room knows exactly what i'm talking about this can be very dramatic it can be very fairly ordinary it's when something comes into our mind and heart persistently and we cannot let it go even though we know it's
a painful and very unpleasant the more we wanted to go away the more it stays and gets bigger
an almost always the cause of this is past activity we have done something in the past or we have said something in the past that has produced in us and unrest and this unrest produces obsessive thoughts and emotions or somebody else in our vicinity
has done something or said something that produces this unrest in us and the thoughts and emotions churn on
and you know everything fails we cannot stop this
so how are we going to
work with this know as far as i know
dramatic instances of this have not yet arisen in the practice period but they will
probably less dramatic instances him occurred
i would say that the way to work with this is a
first of all
try not to do anything in other words turn out to have a lot of activity going on sometimes this is unavoidable that we have activity because you gotta go to work or whatever you have to do
but to try not to make it more complicated than it already is because i know i do this all the time i'm always thinking of bright new ideas every bright new idea has twenty five or thirty little things connected to it that one has to do
so at a time like this don't think of any bright new ideas just do the minimum
that's necessary
and try as much as possible to stay put
in your awareness
that's the first thing try not to do so much and try to stay put within your awareness
now the next thing that you have to do is pretty hard
the next thing that you have to do is accept responsibility
for this problem that's arising no matter what it is even if it's actually and clearly somebody else's fault
you need to accept responsibility for it
make your heart and your mind big enough
stretch the limits of that limited person
and accept responsibility for what is going on because when we accept responsibility for what we as possible and to work with it to practice with it
and to learn from it and go on
it's difficult like i say because to accept responsibility for something thoroughly
something difficult and unpleasant
break our heart actually we can have a broken heart
as long as we blame someone else or something else our heart stays intact
but we're not really accepting responsibility
enough for not accepting responsibility we have no way to work with it and desire keeps rolling on
but if we do accept responsibility and we may have a broken heart so we have to accept responsibility and
painful as it is just
let our heart be broken
it may be actually an advantage to let her heart be broken we haven't maybe have a greater possibility of calming down
and working with our desires that way
i'm thinking of this because
on friday
we had a funeral in this room
for a young woman who had obsessive enraging
desire and aversion
and could not
set it to rest and so she killed herself she shot herself and was very sad and we hadn't funeral on friday and
in the funeral her mother
ah sarah
to address
her daughter
departed daughter
and her mother said very eloquently she just began by saying
my heart is broken
it was very moving know almost everybody cried a little bit when she said
my heart is broken
so it was said but it also i was very
healing and felt very healing you know for her it's just say that i think it was her saying that was coming to that for herself was
i think she realized she couldn't try to hold her hard together you know that would be just to not accept what had happened and to go raging on with her grief and agonies so she let her heartbroken she accepted what had happened
and now she had the possibility of taking full responsibility for this not in the way i'm feeling guilty or it's my fault or something like that but i have to live with my life now
in that way i think she will go on with her life
in a beautiful way in a creative way

so first we have to stop doing a bunch of stuff and just be with our obsessive
desire or aversion then
regardless of how difficult it is we have to accept responsibility for it and then next we need to make a strong vow or commitment
to change our behavior to to take care of our behavior to let go of what is difficult and troublesome and to begin
did do something that is positive
we may not be able to change what's outside of us
our true range of activity really resides in what we can do with our own life
so we make that vow to work with our life
and enter the pass and then we have a lot of things that we can do no matter how disastrous the situation may seem
we have many ways that we can work with it if we make this vow and commit ourselves to this so that's a way to work with obsessive desire or aversion is first
practice awareness and not running around too much doing things second accept full responsibility and third bow to work with our life
and this does much more to be said about this process but that's all i want to say now
now in traditional buddhism there's a wonderful metaphor for talking about all of this
and it goes like this there's many realms
and in distant realm the beings called hungry ghosts are wandering around starving
and a constant hunt for food
these beings have big swollen bellies that are just aching to be filled
but their throats are as thin as needles
so it's hard to get enough food down there to fill the belly so there are very compulsive about their search for food and they constantly want to be shoving food down our throats
so they're raising around with their minds clouded by painful desires about which they can't be very much
and also they're very thirsty
and i'm looking for water old time
so eventually they wander around and see a beautiful clear lake and they make a beeline for that lake and then immediately pops up on the banks of the lake
fierce fighting demons who are fighting them off as sores and they have to fight with the demons and then finally they slip around somehow the demon and get to the leg and they take a drink and the water in the lake turns to puss
this very unpleasant and
pathetic situation that seems to go on for quite awhile
so can you relate to that this to understand
what this is like
so it's like that would that's right our desires raging and no matter what about what we try to do about it we can't seem to satisfy it we have a kind of boundless restlessness
and then we skipped close to the river when we get close to some calmness are some relation to the teaching that's positive then our demon like resistances which are so powerful come up and we have to do battle with that resistances
and then we finally you know overcome them get to the lake take a drink of water come the full concentration come to powerful relation to the teaching and then it all turns to puss in our moss this happened some sorry
it's terrible we keep on going are limit itself you know keeps coming up
time after time
so it happens like that and i'm afraid that
it happens like that a lot you know i'm sorry to say that there are many moments and months and years like this in the process of our spiritual search
so don't anybody said that we told you it was easy and pleasant to whole time
it can be really nasty
so how do we get around it well
you can say a lot of things but i think basically we just had to be lucky
i think that's a just just lucky in luck somebody or something comes along and saves us get lucky
and then we feel better and even if we're still raging around
we can see that it's rather ridiculous and the humor in it makes us feel better is not as bad
so there's a story about magana one a buddhist closest disciples he was having nightmares and he's waking up in the middle of night with these bad dreams and he would use his dream you dream about his mother
and in the dream his mother was running around looking for food and unsatisfied and all that and
couldn't find any food and looking in the direction of mogul ana as if to say you can't you help me please and then mogul i would wake up in a sweat really upset and this would happen to him every night for a while having this dream so i went to buddha
because they were really good friends are intimate together and he so he told me about this dream
and you know what should he do and buddha said well
you see when you're dreaming and like that you're actually coming into contact with your mother and she's in this hungry ghosts roam
and she needs relief
so why don't we you know i have as will have a special ceremony will get it over here and i will give you some food and will get recent teachings and will satisfy our it's as simple as that and that made mogul on feel a whole lot better and so they decided to do that now i just so happen
that at the time that this all came up it was near the time with the full moon when
the monks and nuns that were practicing with buddha always had a ceremony every full moon they would have a ceremony where they would
chant that their precepts
and they would look with awareness into themselves and see how they were keeping the precepts and they would accept full responsibility for how they hadn't maybe done enough and then they would vow that they would do better next time this was their ceremony and every full moon they did this and so they had the same
any for mobile on his mother right around that same time
so it became clear to the monks i think as it's clear to us this relationship between
obsession and grief
and remembering those who passed away
and desire
i'm taking responsibility
and vowing to change our life
and ever since that time of maulana and his dreams about his mother
in the ceremony has this kind of double meaning it's a ceremony before our own wild desires
it's a ceremony for accepting we are responsibility for our life
it's also a ceremony for
selling to rest the energies of people who have passed away and the energies of those still alive than a restless in this world
and just remembering those who have gone before us and our love no longer with us
so in japanese the word for hungry ghost is gawky and say gawky means feeding hungry ghosts and that's the name of our ceremony say gawky ceremony which we will have today in here at four o'clock and you're all invited to come
it's interesting ceremony i think and very powerful
the hungry ghosts come around at the beginning we kind of like a seminal for fourth with various we have a highly
sophisticated and well trained monastic orchestra
which you will you will hear if you come to the ceremony and this monastic orchestra will
you know play
subtle music too
cause the hungry ghosts to come out because they're little shy and kind of scared of people
unlike that fox and that has anything to do with this think
think of it
anyway but they will come and see you can't have any buddha's around because that really makes them shy against this to watch for them are not ready safer to see the buddhist so that's why we never have the ceremony around the main altar to have it somewhere else where they don't notice
buddha's when they come in and you don't put any buddhists
on the altar anything like that so we'll do that and they'll come in and well it will chant and offer them
incense and food which we have to cut up very small because of the throat
and so that's it will do and you please come if you can and you can add a name to the list of names because we will read list of names of people whoever
gone away passed away
in the ceremony now in china they have a story that after the ceremony happen mogul ana his vow to save his mother was even stronger so he went straight to hell
to like get her out and he broke the lock on the gate to hell
and all that these different ghosts came rushing out and they were inhabiting the world
and this kind of story is common all over the world
and it's usually a story that says at this time of year in the fall just you know as as the year is turning that there will be these ghosts walking around and that's the same story about halloween halloween is that's why we do say gawky ceremony around halloween time
so that we can deal with all these ghost is
now the interesting thing is with all this
such ceremonies all over the world are connected with festivity and joy
this is the interesting part
and in china they have like special performances of operas and circuses and all kinds of stuff because the idea is that you want to entertain the ghosts they're all over the place and you want to entertain them and show them a good time set of at ease and sort of gently show them the door because you don't want him around you not a good idea to be happy
you know like obsessively
community with ghosts all year long you want to make it light and fun and show them a nice time you know like if somebody comes over to dinner you know you shorten the nice time but then when the evening is over it's bye bye
so that's how it is
for us to it we do it like that
so i find it enormously interesting that all of this should be associated in this way you know
desire and it's ghost-like haunting suffering quality
taking care of others in this way being willing to some of them at our own cost and maybe danger and help them out
grief remembering
taking responsibility for our own actions and making bows to to work on our life and the joy of festivity and fun that all of this should be mixed up together in one occasion
it's kind of a little bit like life itself which seems to be like that somehow
i think i did really well for having nothing to say
i mean i've got on a long time here i can tell by people's starting to move around a little bit
must be time to end
so whether you can come and join us today at four o'clock or not
please do
a desire in yourself
and suffering and dissatisfaction and yourself and grief and joy
and please i use this time of year and whatever you're going to do for say gawky or halloween
as a moment to reconsider all this and
see what you should do next
it's such a wonderful audience not a single tomato it's great
thank you very much

har the morning
is sometimes referred to as question and answer
but i prefer to call it discussion
and offering people respond to each other's or questions or comments
i'm thinking that i first want everything i mean i already gave really want to doctorate it
so yes well
what does that such
that was happy obsession
happy obsessions are only the prelude to unhappy
after i so enjoy them while you can
be aware of their nature scooter
yes it's not about sponsor responsibility
they take responsibility for your emotions going to feel
well i hope we are creating
right right
yes i was i think that i'm saying that
taking responsibility for your mental state completely but not blink
now not like it's my fault and and because blame and guilt
a little bit of it is good you know
because that you know i might
make us
reflect on ourselves and do something but obviously i think we all know that blame and guilt itself can become obsessive afflicted emotion that blocks are ability doing anything
but i think we really have to say this is my life this situation this is the way it is and i can't blame it on humor humor him or her her this or that of the other thing this is just dead and i've gotta find my own way to work with this i think that's what i mean really have to do that because so much of are afflicted and then
states are mixed up with blaming someone else or the situation in the world were different or if i've only worse if only it was you know fourteenth century tibet i would really be able to some
that's sort of thing i think we have to i don't think there's really any choice for just completely got blaming yourself yeah that's another yourself as only somebody else right anyway
right you know to me

how to place it my and access to contraceptive three steps that pay for is to
to will be aware but not not to do anything by way that from permits you to be really fully aware of it ah well my question is the back rather than three things at the crenshaw at first when you're not really doing anything particular and just being aware and the
a step after you take responsibility as tip
just that thing to commit your tech about and change your behavior whenever appropriate how how do you know when it's time to go from one to the other how long do you sit live in awareness before you hear something about it well i don't think it's that like in that and it
c kind of thing i mean
i think he just start to feel settled enough
what we want someone things are really bad and somebody tells you it's you didn't have to take responsibility for this
how do you feel when they tell you that they were like gonna kill me because you're not ready for that you know ready for that
that's not the
skillful way to work with your mind at that time the first thing you have to do is just stop running around and raging around and just be with it so when you feel like you've been with it long enough to kind of feel like it's not so it's not an impossible stretch to say okay now this is my responsibility then you'd just take that step and then when you really have to
can that the next step comes soon after that but then you know
afflicted mental states are powerful enough so that it all happens again it's not like know now that i know it comes to the then they go through the process again and again and again maybe maybe you could even say as they often do and buddha dharma that this process happens on every instance owner and over and over and already were constantly going through the
the process
and so it's not like you know you complete this and that's over with and you do so i think like that
after side
share because
i feel like if i never on my desire you know i'm to stand cash there and that sunday sire there's the same practice it's the desire to take care
ah i mean it worked
sanders desires
actually while others last year least way
is this effort the part of the story that i didn't bring up in the talk which i was a very aware but not bringing up and i'm glad that you brought it up tonight and i knew that you would
and the reason i didn't bring it off his first of all the talk was long enough as it was
but also it makes to bring this part of is much more complicated and subtle because what this is really what you're what you're raising is the fact that yes and then also in addition to just being aware of our desire taking responsibility for letting it come and go as i was advocating and all that there is the idea that you
do act on your desire
but once you open that door then it gets really complicated because
then oh i got my desire then right away your in the soup again so it has to be you have to it's kind of tricky for sure once you in the practice period or in the sixteen or in the meditation period when you don't really it's not appropriate to act on your desire to and that spirit
as a trainee moment right then you can really practice do not act on your desire that's appropriate that and that practice enables you to kind of get a grip in of situation because that instruction you know some desires you act on others you don't i can be very confusing and media to trouble so
do the practice of letting it go had that experience and once you have some experience that i don't say that you're completely see everything but you know you are some experiences that some feeling for the then that's the business of being alive right as you have to discriminate and i've now i haven't desires how to why some of these desires i'm going to act on some of these
desires i can act on with clarity some desires that even might be wholesome desires i don't feel like i can act on with clarity this is a good thing that i want this but at the truth is that even though it's a good thing when i try to act on it
it turns to ashes well i'm not ready to do that so what does it feel like to act on our desire with clarity and other words to take the energy or of our desire and turning them into enlightenment or turn it into the teaching what does it feel like to do that well in order to to see that i think you have to have the practice of letting desire go and study desire and understand desire and understand
the difference between a clarity and and confusion and the difference between possessing someone and loving them etc etc so i think this is this is the big con of our whole path this is our number one issue for our lives and it's it's a fairly difficult to work
with so i was really addressing the situation of practice period or retreat where it's possible to let it go and not act on it and i do feel like i really do feel as if we all need to have that kind of practice somewhere under our belts in order to clearly work with our desire i think it's impossible
and without some training like that and it's an never ending process and we get caught i mean you know great
buddhist masters think that they're acting on their desire for clarity and of enlightenment and then and they find out later if you know out there was a little place that i wasn't aware of and i didn't know what i was doing so it's it's it's a
you know it's system constant refinement and we go back to stage one and keep going through so thank you for bringing that up and and this is it's also very situational a very personal and very individual and so i couldn't even begin to put out any general statements you know because every general statement will be
you will be the opposite in a given case so i always take that
common sense is not to be
denigrated i mean just ordinary everyday common sense has to be mixed in with all the lofty ideals of our practice and i think we have to become and sensical about our lives to
thanks yes
first class
i was laughed at how seems that
i decided that i how like
an attempt
somehow happening
somehow manage to
choir find out
now that i can
mark can stay sound like you aren't out turning heads down incorporate strong off and size larger out
yeah well this is very much like what lawyers bringing up the same kind of difficulty and
maybe one nice way to figure that is
you and i are a team okay and so today i'm in the monastery
and you're out there
working for us justice which is hard to do an exhausting and you try to take care of your practice but also it's it's pretty pretty hard to keep your balance but you but you get on on purpose because you know that what you're working for us is right and in accord with buddhist teachings
but we're a team so next week
you come in here and i go out and i do the work that you're doing so that you can have a break and so that i can understand my sitting practice better because otherwise if i keep sitting here for a long time i may get to think that this is the only important thing and the other people outside are really only in my
my mind
well it's true you know that early in my mind but i don't really understand that unless i go out and change places with you
i think if you know we have a the way that we usually think of things it's like what's the right thing to do and then i should do it and i shouldn't do what's wrong and i cannot figure out what it is know if i should do it so if you're doing something different you must be wrong and i must be right it must be this way that this way i do that way but actually suppose that it's many ways and
we do what we need to do depending on the situation so i actually think that everybody who's socially active it seems to me maybe this is still serving because i'm in the business but it seems to me that everybody who is socially active should have some contemplative life that they pick up and put down because of
was that it can be really hard to to have to be straight forward with what you're doing and continue to do it year after year after year day after day and the other way round so so we're in it were all on it together and we and we help each other out
so i think it's like that
no minutes it also act as that much of food there you're doing line are the other sarah next the real question here rarely experience there's a bad message stuff break down or you understand the air and connected with topics trail your meditation practice that and naturally part of that s
and sharing for an maybe at the sufferings of others as your arms africa so sometimes she becomes me when she sits down and i become her when i get up so it's these two people that are a team can be in one person is not separated out into different individuals so in in oakland in one day you might get up and sit
i know for many years i lived in the berkeley and practice at the berkeley's center and i used to have different jobs and things and when i would do is get up in the morning and sit and then they will you know sally forth into the world at large and do various things and my idea was well just like all the monks i'm know cleaning up and clean sweep in the garden i saw
go out and sweep the garden whatever that meant for me that day and then i would come in an evening and meditates and more so i felt like i was living in a monastery even though i was in the world at large and so sometimes when i was sitting i was you know not active in when i was doing things i was active so
within each day was in each individual and then there's also such a thing is times when you're completely active and you don't really have time to sit in the morning of the people have that happened to in their lives and other times when they draw up entirely what they're doing and they go on retreat
and even in one moment you know a moment when we put our energy out and then even in the middle of an encounter with someone we we come back in and take a breath and let go
so you know i was saying in my talk the other night there's two parts of our practice sitting down and getting up
so you know and we we can't do without either one and we have to see how these two completely depend on each other
and so
if i see that it's difficult but i don't see any other way really in a way to do it
the some that you talk it out desire and like
my life like society
suffering and it's almost takes illness or my by is quite telling you something's wrong because i'm to hire in the this desire and like for instance having tree okay our house want the kids and my email is that can highways to test and tell yours
self nationally this is gonna make you happy and you get there are seven can't really change your boss and yeah so it's like you it's like as to and we've been doing for years and years and else take it really really sad and it's like you don't have a choice and one as
at what you're doing on a day to day basis sometimes i wonder when people saying well they're workaholics
now the last few years i realized what colic slap me there's something to that exact repent desire you know where we don't really we are usually don't go to retreat we asked down to reflect on our game day
are we excited about something yeah yeah
yeah i know that lot of times the that's what happened somebody gets sick and then they lend bet a lot and have a chance to think about things and
and that
so last year happens at work that's true and i and i always think is such a shame it
you know like how come they didn't tell us when we were little
you know how can they didn't tell us when we're a little that we should really that that part of living is taking time to
look at what's really important look at what we really want what our heart really is and the that's they're looking at that is a skill and it takes time and so how come nobody told us that they only told us russia and ahead and get this and get that and then we do it and then we get sick or something so i started your whole street last night on bag limit and was very intense now
out fish that how term as child now like thomas yeah they said okay get me i just that they never said something like don't study
when that not plan joe southern nh yeah is significant person you as we teach our children than real basic ingredients seems like just talk ask you know that's very important in i have some hope that that
is changing that i know that i see lots of young people who have do know these things i know a lot of things that i know things are at sixteen or seventeen that i didn't know when i was thirty and are so i think if you know a little by little
it is changing
i'm confused too are skeptical or on ghost
more new treaty another name for them are lot of hard to like the focus on
well how about energies
okay okay
why is earmarked for this
you know
take this funeral ceremony that i was alluding to him i talk
now you know where do we do we got a bunch of incidents
we have fancy clothes
got a little bell
you know you walk in thrall to incense around mumble a few things what's the big deal you know and yet
if you do take these the elements and
combine them with our daily practice and the energy of everybody's sitting over many many years and one's own practice and empowerment and so forth and you going to do this it becomes a powerful occasion for people to settle their hearts around this death that happen and they really appreciate they come together it provides a framework for that
they come together they have a chance to express themselves they have a chance to put to rest is this energy that spring so upsetting and serving for some weeks now since the suicide and not that now it's base fine and they walk out smiling no but and but it does mark a watershed it doesn't change the
situation it does give people some new way of looking at and working with one that's about so i've come to after many years of resistance and indifference to a ritual
i've come to see that it's useful has its place and has its place authentic ritual can be helpful and so saw ceremony like today i've been talking to the practice period about how they can use the ceremony as a way of
in the same way that we use the funeral as a way of making a watersheds that we can go on and work with our energies that are in this direction we can use a ceremony like this today and that way also
if you have your the name of one of your loved ones in the ceremony as i always do
it's very powerful to remember that person at that time so it's got a double the ceremony as two different sides are one is we just remember someone has passed away and if we have
the lack clarity in their relationship we can bring that up in the ceremony or if not just a wonderful didn't remember that person i don't think about them every day but now in the ceremony i can really deeply think about from so you just as ceremonies and meditation and you go there and you focus your mind on the energy of the ceremony and when you loved one's name is
read you focus your heart on that person and i said it's a continuation of your relationship with them that you had during your life if you decide to use the ceremony to meditate on unfinished energies in your own life of desire and so on and you bring that to the ceremony and you
let you yourself settle with that during the ceremony and it can be transformative like i say not that you walk out there and everything's fine but that it gives you some mega some beginning or middle or end or something to keep working with so as and i think the the ghosts stuff and all that is wonderful expressive
way of looking at all this i think it's i enjoy quite a bit i i could go on and on about
the different hell's and different than in buddhism has the most colorful tells you ever saw him in tons of different kinds of hell's cold hills high hill it's just gonna be so and that oh it's fabulous now and so i love it because everyone is described sort of a different nuance of the kind of lunacy that we provide for ourselves
you know just in the course of living and i think it's a wonderful kind of poetry and for me poetry is very real
and no one can visualize and so forth and so on so it's quite nice the difference between a christian how like dante and i read dante's version of hell which is very gruesome and horrible and everything and they sell you know hell begins and ends with judgment you the worst part about the hill and never mind
getting burned off its this judgment that god is telling you comes down with
and not only that but it's forever and ever
now that's really grim and you know when you're there
they sell him as you are not a happy camper and is bad it's dim and dark dank but in the buddhist cells none of our judgments about simply well you did this then that's going to happen naturally but then later on once you brute around and when those hills and burn up several times then we get out
do you get out of them and you go somewhere else and you keep circling around after all these different places until finally ultimately inevitably no question about it you will become buddha
snake great
okay you know if we have to be down here you know burning up for a while well as pretty terrible but that's looks like doesn't we're going to have to do so we do it with some faith that will later on once we exhaust the energy that we're here for we will then be reborn in another realm which hell is about the
worse you can get so maybe wouldn't be reborn as a cockroach or something like that now her who knows and a human being it's great to be born in human beings it's really big deal be human beings that's why you have to honor and respect everybody because we all have been through tremendous stop trying to get to this round
think of it
obama we've been through were so honorable and noble creature that made it to this state so
know we should all i really appreciate each other who knows what tremendous things each one of us has done to achieve this beautiful birth in which there's just enough suffering
in the higher realms there's no suffering pure god
you don't suffer you don't have a body to live on a row instance smell
that's wonderful and you're happy few blissful
never get a stomach ache you know
but the problem with that is that you can't practice because why would you practice no suffering no reserves and he knows so that's why the human realm is the best that's perfect because we have just enough suffering the hell you can't practice either because you're just on fire all the time you can't do it but in the human or off
just enough suffering so that you have to do something but also we have a bright intelligence and we have a body that's that's enables us to practice and so on so there's that sense of the realms and buddhism it's a wonderful poetry i really recommend that you'd read about the house and and six realms and although i must we had a wonderful
workshop which we should do against sometimes was really fabulous where we gave some teaching about the six realms we talked about each of the six rounds and all different health and stuff and then we asked people to visualize
just whatever came into their heart as a realm where they
have resided or will reside or just whatever came in their mind then quick draw out like a sketch of it and then we went up to the shop at all this papier-mache and everything we made masks
of that creature in that realm and we spend a whole day or couple days making paper machine masks of that around it was really wonderful them we hung them up all over and we wore them to the cigar case ceremony
but we have that was several years ago i haven't done since but it was really fun we had a lot of children came and children worked with that's making a name a mask
my name's his whole mass and i reach on the animals in each
when he works for is china is that the other thing with such passion
seems that it's all for now i'm here anger hatred or interesting the human race
in this case the negative part of what we're doing three children and how we are and and i can't help it needs to kill me it's not quite as much as to be some of the animals have locked page in hot one hundred requests that and
ah yes well the we have a checkered record no question butter
yeah and there's much to me now regret it
as human beings
but we are human beings right
at least right now
and so i think it wouldn't really serve us to
ah be embarrassed about that or feel badly that i know people who really feel ashamed of themselves from a human really because they feel like liquid all humans have done is terrible you know and they really feel you feel badly about be human in fact they sort of like don't like human beings
they really don't like them and this is a real problem because they're a human me you say so i think we need to be very clear about all of the ignorance and confusion of the past that has created such trouble
but i think we also have to have a healthy feeling that you know where human being and since where it human being and when i say it's great to be human being i don't say it's not also great to via fox for fox i mean if a fox wants to be human being that's a problem for a fox fox you really feel like a it's the best to be a fox you know
it's really the best of a human being and i know that human beings that made a lot of mistakes i made a lot of mistakes and i'm trying to work on myself very hard and i think of you know naturally people who haven't taken up the cause of working on themselves will make mistakes and those mistakes have resulted in a very big mess but all are real
isn't to feel like okay i thing i have this possibility i bet at work on and i better i better do it not to feel badly about being human human being or just like human beings i think it's obvious that in our
in our world human beings are still pivotal right because if we do a lot better things are going to do better if we do a lot worse things are going to do worse so i mean really really isn't up to the foxes and a deer enough to turn things around i mean they're do what they've always been doing their best you know it's us who have to do better and so the
a way to do better is the begin with gratitude for you know who we are and where we're ash of our to look at what's going on and forward do better in and
so you know i don't think there's a percentage and
put a human beings down myself and even though i understand it and and a lot of people do i do feel that way
and it's it's i think it's reasonable to be ashamed you know for all of us what we not collectively but then they get up and go on from there that's important too
you know i was thinking back about this is ceremonies and
i know there's part of me so hungry ghost
i learned when i was it
at first was introduced most wonderful thing in the world which was cow
leonia and over my life i think i could pass examinations catalogs
it's and it and there's that part of me i know that i know about and i think you know we in our own way
become these hungry ghosts for little while or are these are
a disembodied spirits that and that's part of
us and and and it was somebody
that feeling of incompleteness of things that we might have done should have said lawyer jokes and stuff
that's us
and and the ceremony is valuable
for for those or there
never mind whether that was gross actually get in the door not
and it's it's just my sort of reaction yes thank you yeah i kill my to
i asked at the sand
this percent that is just share
i have missed a sense that has compared to him to play last part of your talk that it for me
to be president guess and we have my own lineage and yeah for my own long self employed itself
and i wouldn't be or to at the idea or related to the us will die but my own capitulation process from my family origin and my own guilt that been different and separate and having a quality like that i want that know what my family and them chosen as
and there is a hundred ghost point a that i
consents and also in my family so i was wanting to in fun
you might hear about angle thought of perspective on how to use the ceremony for in that way this party that this danger of fighting the family was toxic to killed in that situation than on the other hand that here
that's not the spring which doing
no you can come to the ceremony and bring all of the you know and hope
and hope that the ceremony will settle some and that's the beauty of it is that maybe it would not be a good idea to bring this up so powerfully on your own because it would be for but that's the whole thing is that we provide a safe space we get all this stuff you know robes and gear and we get all the all the monks and their sophisticated new and we got
so we got we got and we will you know so so that's the whole point is that were telling the first thing we're going to do as are going to tell long ago summary you know you can calm as all right you know you are not going to do anything to you everything is fine this is a very safe place
by are living near this it's a very safe place whatever it is i mean i'm saying this i'm i'm leaving a ceremony i mean i hope i know either
why are you
i think our marriage and south africa
after last new here so but anyway or that's the spirit you know i think that we can handle it tough years we've put all this together and with our collective energy
in our practice we can
it'll be safe i it's just don't know would i have i comes to that whole lot i come
bring bring all of what you just said the feeling of the the energy of that to your breath come to the ceremony and just when it's time to chair through the chanting be aware of your breath and the rest of the time to stay with your breath and stay with your what what arises in your mind and just that's all you have to do
i am profoundly sorry that i hadn't heard this song for today because i can't beat it well but i saw at least i don't think that i i sought it and at it i will be next year a cause it sounds
i've been to nine funerals this year and i think thirteen the year before we've all been
a having multiple deaths occur in our lives now it isn't just one person although each person is terribly special
and i had to concept new it's hawking of being able to bring them all exactly at one time they all knew each other home they didn't all but many new h i earned it that is
we've been while i can not appear it's an amazing feeling you know i mean
to sit there and
so we have a when someone dies
sometimes we do a funeral because the people come there they're part of the community and they request the funeral other times that we don't do a funeral we simply shared a service for the person which we do frequently and we have their name on the altar well during the stakeout ceremony we take all the people that we've had a service for during the year and we read the names of every single one of them
in addition to all of our
teachers and supporters of the past and students monks who have been in early to have died it's hundreds and hundreds of names and it's very profound to sit there and listen all these names and relies on many of us you know are gone
it's a meditation on death itself that we also you know what we gone and that that's part of every moment
and that's certainly a part of what the ceremony is so yes if if there had been a funeral during the year you would bring that name and hear it read again and this time another in the funeral also i'm sure all generals or the similar in that they're all the purpose of bringing things to the for and putting on the rest but this is another opportunity and over
a year we can have this opportunity
yeah yes but person is when i was hearing about this
i was actually a lifelong for
yeah like hundred and i ever met
four point plan
so that doesn't
here yeah yeah yeah yeah but it doesn't need to be in a medium texture but but for us in terms of the temple we don't read the names of everybody we've attended a service for for twenty five years there's some names that we have risen for twenty five years and these are the ones who are you particularly important to the saga
and in addition to those we read all the ones that we chatted for this year in addition to that we read all the names if anybody brings in from any from any year
so i mean six a long time to read all these names you know
that was yet
extremely path
the yeah
and he prepared for how you're not
yeah no that's wonderful years different cultures all over the world as i was thinking to celebrate this halloween we lost the spiritual side of it i think i mean it's authority and thus the remnant of of what what it was at one time because now all over the world we have a in accounting has its
yeah it's fun
some there's there's two one week really talked around this ceremony as value and
these are connection is
and our connection with her own mortality
so nicely but there's a question or names premade when she used the word catch you can you have
description is in discussions of i i admit to feeling
astronaut as to what that energy is one i'm sort of scientist and it has a rather different meaning
so so where do we go and we got no
which i've flown fifty supply over and
yeah i mean that we go into each other's minds in the way of describing we are we our existence continues in that play and we honor system was in this ceremony
these way is cathartic
the still still here energy
spirits are some out an average
well that's a kind of vague word energy it's true but what you said sounds good to me you know that's what i would mean by the impulses and kind of energy or where we were going to call it impulse to move forward that's in my mind as a result of people that i've known