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lewis richmond lou rich lynch many of you may know lou he was any lived at gringotts for many years and was the head of practice for me the eight years in the seventies and early eighties out again notch ah lose a disciple a suzuki roshi and for
the last several years maybe the last ten fifteen years blue has been
a musician a ah computer also computer software company and has many talents and they'll be a book signed exchange you'll be talking to help about his new book work as spiritual practice work a spiritual practices please welcome
blue ridge me

in an actor
in thousand in cash prizes
just listen to around
the tapes insurance as i type of those words

huh well good morning everybody thank you very much linda for your kind introduction
i haven't sat in the seed for fifteen years but it feels just the same
i used to sit in a lot it's nice to be back i think maybe some familiar faces from a long time ago that we never need hello wherever you are
how's my voice i realize i'm mumbling here can you hear me in the back or now now
thank you
i'll try to remember to speak up
i am
i will talk about my book a little bit but more generally about work as dharma and i'm pleased to be here because this book is a little bit of a stealth book is it's a stealth buddhist book although the buddhism in it is fairly overt a lot of the things that are in it i don't talk about in any detail
except to audiences like the so i'm gonna take some opportunity to talk a little bit more formally about the the dharma behind
what i've written and
i don't know how many of you are familiar with the phrase ganges con maybe it's been lectured about a lot here and maybe not
it's a technical term and xin that means the the co-owner spiritual problem of the moment that your in and that really is the underlying dharma of what i'm going to talk about
and i left here in eighty three and went to work at smith and hawken for about ten years a lot of people from the zen center community work there at one time or another so as a nice place to work and i learned a lot about the business world i was kind of a rip van winkle because i was well
is your thirty five i don't think very many people in america can say they started working at the age of thirty five you'd have to wonder you know what kind of deep freeze you'd been in and i had been in it was fairly cold here in the winter so i suppose deep freeze is not an inopportune description of where i was tassajara was even colder
but i am
i began to realize that seeing that world with the eyes of where i've been
the pace was very much faster the mission seem to be quite different which was basically making money and i suppose that that was one of the missions one of the nice things about the workplace is the mission is typically quite clear and that clarity is one of one preps the few clear advantages of mean in the workplaces
yeah it's pretty obvious what people are doing and why they're doing it which is not true about most other parts of life so it had that that to recommend it
but i think that i never stopped looking at situation with the eyes of a monk and the eyes of a contemplative in the eyes of a buddhist and
the first thing that was very clear there were two things that were very clear and continue to be clear to me one is the workplace is where all the energy is in our culture almost all of it it's also where all the time as people spend all their time in the workplace most people and if they're not they're making a conscious decision to opt out of that
activity and the second thing i noticed was that although there is a veneer that defines people in the workplace differently than in the rest of life for example when i was there i had a title executive vice president i was the boss of many people i had power over people
i could hire and fire and make decisions and spend money and make money wu's money lose my job which is eventually what happened because smith and hawken became sole you may have written the paper has been sold again just yesterday but it was sold before and to the people that sold it now that's what happens in business and
all the people that that were in smith and hawken all two hundred and sixty of us lost our jobs
the the second thing that i noticed is beneath that structure that all of you that have jobs live within were all buddhists everyone is a human being everyone is in some way
equal so that's a kind of contradiction or paradox that we've invented in the modern world that human beings gathered together
to perform a common purpose in the workplace whether it's medicine or business of some kind software in my case i have my own very small software company or whatever it might be and everyone organizes themselves a long various lines of power and money and some people get more
your money some people get less money some people keep jobs some people lose lose jobs it's a vast rather in some cases threatening edifice but underneath all of that it's human beings or in the context of this place buddhists who are doing all of this so what i ended up with was a co
on for me which is how can this situation which is the dominant activity of twenty-first century america in the whole world be a spiritual or dharma type of activity so to me the underlying dharma of the situation was the ngo com
on and maybe i'll take the opportunity to read what i said about it in the book and then go from there

i call it the on of everyday life and

how do you feel about your job do you love your work but find that it takes up so much of your time that it really is your whole life or is your work dull and drab but you don't mind because you're going to night school to prepare for a different more satisfying career perhaps you work in the helping professions or in education and it is not your boss but your clients or
patients are students or parents who drive you to distraction regardless of your situation there are certain characteristics of work that are universal unless you work at home you traveled to work when you get there you perform some tasks such as computer programming carpentry or management for which you are financially rewarded you interact with other
people in an environment where power is unequally shared your job performance is measured in some way you compete with others for rewards you can quit your job you can lose your job and you have we hope a life outside your job let's contrast this description of life on the job with the life of the spirit in our spiritual life
we are not in competition with anyone else for spiritual rewards how well or badly we do is beside the point we honor and appreciate all people including ourselves for their intrinsic humanity we care for others we share and are generous we forgive the world of the spirit is not a matter of
bonuses promotions or awards advancement is not the point we are already whole and complete just as we are so the world is full of spiritual opportunity the trick is to be alert enough to notice it that is the real work and the joy of work and if we catch onto that trick it doesn't matter in the short run why
our day job he is in the end if we are kind to ourselves our efforts will be fruitful but what kind of fruit will it be a raise a better job a happier work and home life perhaps but not necessarily spiritual practice is more about questions than answers more about searching than finding
more about effort than accomplishment in one school of buddhism our school those who practice ponder spiritual questions called cohen's there are hundreds of memorable stories usually taken from the lives in ancient buddhist teachers that are used as cohen's some of them have even become part of popular culture for instance the question
one what is the sound of one hand clapping was featured in an episode of the simpsons television show
bart knew about it
try to explain it to homer
he didn't work
in addition to these prefabricated questions there is another kind of on called the cone of everyday life get the ngo coin human life itself the mystery of being thrust into the world by birth and swept out of it by death is an imponderable puzzle one that we can try to ignore but cannot escape so much of what passes for quote
ordinary life is when seen through different eyes not ordinary at all but full of potential for spiritual learning to practice the co on of everyday life means to confront every situation is though it were a profound spiritual question in that sense every cohen story is a specific instance of the on of everyday life
one such cohen story goes like this a monk asked his teacher what is the buddha and the teacher answered the cypress tree in the garden
what does it mean what does the cypress tree have to do with buddha that is are awakened to self
let's imagine this cypress trees spreading over the path in the monastery garden what could be more ordinary or familiar than that aged tree that each month passed every day for the whole of his life in that sense the cypress tree means the most familiar thing what familiar thing do you pass is that your kitchen table your car you're good
friend your spouse or children your co-workers the copy machine in the office corner this book is based on the premise that are ordinary routine contains numerous treasures and the details of our workday from the morning commute to the coffee break the lunch hour the afternoon meetings the evening ride home contained within them and
a number of gifts for our spirit if only we would allow ourselves to receive them
and then i tell his story true story about a woman named julie who was a customer service manager
and who figured out she she had to answer the overflow phone calls and found that the ringing constant ringing of the phone was very annoying to her interrupted her work and made her tents and she figured out that if she just spontaneously if she control the volume of the ringing of the phone in
rhythm with the ringing of the fuck and oppressing the phone as the phone rang there was some kind of she began to feel that it was she who was doing the rigging and that's how she described it this is a very buddhist experience you know to understand what ordinarily we avert from and i think that most people find the phone
the reign of the phone rather annoying intrusion and into life somehow to join with that sound and to make it part of oneself to open one's self to it so it for her the ringing of the phone was like the cypress tree in the garden it was the thing that was confronting her and it became in that moment her awake
can self in that sense so
this is one of the only time in the book that i that i am actually used in traditional zen story
stephen hawking who
was told when he wrote the bestselling book a brief history of time that if he took every formula he put in the book would cut his sales in half
so he put in just one formula equals mc squared and he he said okay fine i'm willing to let the book be sales be cut have to have that one formula so and i have this one story of
the fact is that the xin school which was brought to china my bodhi dharma had existed in india for hundreds of years and a probably for six or seven hundred years if we count the time in india there were no such thing as co on stories caught the first cons as we know that these kinds of stories
like the cypress tree in the garden really didn't become used as practice or spiritual stories until about the ninth century so there were many hundreds of years when generations of xin students and teachers accomplished the dharma without such stories in fact the stories are
our renditions of spontaneous things that happened and one of the little secrets about in that some of you may not be aware of is that very few awakening stories where people have some breakthrough or opening occur during meditation in fact i can't think of hardly any even
the ones where people are sitting in meditation the awakening occurs because somebody shouting at them or the hear a sound or something is going on in a great many awakenings occurred during work
in fact this story here probably occurred during work i can fill out the story stories are very terse in the chinese literature but i can fill it out a little bit and imagine let's put the story here there are i don't know if they're cypress trees but there are plenty of cedar trees here so you can imagine a student here raking or sweeping or doing something right
next to a tree like a tree right outside here and the teacher comes along and the students sees a good chance to have an interaction and says what is the buddha and the teacher says this tree because that's what the person was doing at that particular time that was the situation in a situation itself
was the opportunity for awakening so that's the the fundamental spirit of the co on of everyday life and my guess is that the reason why over time specific stories became memorialized as teaching stories is because it's quite said
oil and may be difficult to really it's easy to to say let's make every moment of our wife a moment of spiritual confrontation or spiritual inquiry but in practice is it it's rather difficult and my own conviction over time is that well this is a wonderful environment to live in and i really enjoyed
my particularly looking back on it my fifteen years as as in contemplative
for most people most of the time of your life is going to be spent on the job and the next most important time is going to be spent with your family and then their sleep and that's that's pretty much yet so where are we going to find moments of transformation or awakening i think that if we rule out the workplace we're cut selling ourselves short and in some
way also failing to honor our own tradition here where one of the great
awakenings they're great contributions of the zen school in particular to human spirituality was the notion that work itself was a spiritual practice i didn't invent this slogan it was invented by yeah joe in the seventh century a d he was the first buddhist mass
stir in over a thousand years to put buddhist monks to work for twelve hundred years in every buddhist tradition monks were prohibited from working and the deal was that monks meditated and farmers work and farmers gave rise to the monks and the monks hopefully gave something back to the peasants that was the that was the
the social contract for buddhists up until that time and yeah kojo maybe because culturally the chinese are very hard working and maybe also because he was uncomfortable having these hardworking peasants bring their hard-earned rice in lacquer bowls to the monastery and giving
it to the monks he is famous phrase was a day of no work as a day of know eating of all have you heard this phrase this is a very famous phrase and he basically change the rules of twelve hundred years and said you know i think we should work and there was a good thing that he did because about fifty years later
the taoists in china became preeminent and converted the emperor and convinced the emperor that buddhism was bad and he made an edict that said all buddhist temples should be closed all buddhist monks should be defrocked and go back into a society and the one buddhist school that was somewhat protected from this
rather harsh suppression where the zen people because they were widely and deeply respected by the ordinary people because they weren't so i think that this notion that work and the way that we do livelihood and our spiritual life are connected is very is very much in the center of our
of the tradition that i was trained in and all the people that are here and all of you are trained in i'm very comfortable with it however
work is very different now than it has been in any time in human history and buddhism traditionally has no ready-made tools that are adaptable to you know a dilbert style cubicle farm you know or
the knowledge economy that we're all working in in america or the capitalist notion of efficiency and time is money which basically is the ruley mantra of our society time essentially what employment is is we sell time
that's what you do when you work you sell time your time is evaluated you know by the hour and then you still a certain amount of it to your employer and they give you money
okay time money one of the things i do in the workshops that i do as i
i actually have people bring money big money like hundred dollar bills is the best because it's real money
you know the old oldham everett dirksen was a great senator from the fifties and sixties and he had a famous phrase one hundred million here hundred million they are pretty soon you're talking about real money
that was before inflation now we have to add a zero and go to go to ten figures
we actually take out money you see in the old days buddhists used to stare at things clay discs was the ancient meditation object for the oldest stratum of buddhists and they would look at a physical object until they in a sense could merge with it until subject and object disappear
here it's so i figured well why not you know it's as good as a clay disk and it's quite interesting to study this physical object and so we do it you know and we look at it and there's andrew this is an old twenty andrew jackson kind of small compared to the new one and you realize you realize many things it's actually if you should try some time just
look at money for ten or fifteen minutes and ask yourself what is it
what is it is it a piece of paper know i mean if it were a piece of paper i could drop it on the sidewalk and it would stay there right like all the other pieces of paper but if i drop one hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk i might cause in the wrong place i might cause a panic and you know if you drop one hundred dollar bill down a you know a sewer grate on this
sidewalk something will happen inside you'll you'll probably say something bad you know your heartbeat will go up all these physiological reactions will occur right now if it's a piece of paper how could that be is not a piece of paper this is partly the existence of this as money is partly inside of ourselves you know this is actually a meant
will construct a very very elaborate one that we all participate in and i think it's a wonderful study for buddhists because buddhists are experts in how the world is made is constructed by the mind this is what we spend a lot of time doing on the meditation cushion is realizing how much of what we think is real is
some kind of innocence imaginative construction that we put together to help help the world makes sense and this is one of the most embedded of our cultural realities
and you can go to school for a long time and study lots of elaborate he kept economics class and still not really be able to answer the question what is money i spend some time talking about it in the book because
i don't know if any of you were around when harry roberts was alive harry anybody he remember harry harry was a great character he was he lived at green gulch and then near green gulch for several years and he was important to the community here and i want to honor harry here as i've honored him in the book because he's aside
from suzuki roshi he's really the the guru behind a lot of the notions in this book and harry was a gruff fellow he was enough native american to be legitimate but mostly irish i think and he but he'd studied a native american spirituality he grew up in the community of the of iraq and northern california
the very beginning of the book he said to find joy in your work is the greatest thing for a human being
that's what he said and when he was around here he was very grumpy because a lot of us you know came out of college without much physical intelligence maybe
and the other the trucks got all dented up and the tools were left out in the rain and various things that harry thought were just really done so he is to go around grumbling and cursing and telling us that we really weren't all that great you know and one of the things he used to say a lot and he said it here maybe even set it in this room was if you
can't i'll try to do it in his voice that you can't take your meditation out of the meditation hall your meditation is worth a hill of beans and the hill of beans is a euphemism for what he really said so
he was a real proponent that the real test real rubber meets the road quality of whether what we were doing here at green gulch was really working was you know not so much what we thought was going on but whether the tools got cleaned up properly and put away whether the
the pumps work properly and they were properly maintained whether the cars were tuned mean those were things that to him were important and i tell a story in the book which many of you may know because it's so it's been told other places very very
a short story when harry was a boy his spiritual
mentor was his uncle robert
and he was about eight years old and he was was watching robert
so a headrest that was a ceremonial object for a dance that the community did from time to time and he watched his uncle so it quite carefully and then at a certain point tear out the work that he'd done and start over and harry bill a little boy
just asked why did you do that
the dances at night no one will see the no one will know if there was a little mistake and his roberts said his teacher said i will know
and that's the story and then i go on and talk about that i talk about how that's that's an example of work where time is in anything close to money time has no relationship with anything quantifiable it didn't matter to harry's uncle how long
long it would take to do that headdress but it had to be done right
and the reason that had to be done right was because for a culture like that and also for buddhist culture
what goes on inside of you is real and not only is it real but it's real to other people so if kerry's uncle had cut corners to get the headdress down quickly in other words if you've been efficient in modern economic terms and done what many of you are pushed to do in your workplace which is to do law
less than eight quality job to meet the demands of the organization than that to hear his uncle would be a crime it would be terrible to go to the ceremony where he was an elder in have in his mind the knowledge that he had not done the best that he could with the headdress
you see the difference it's it's it's very clear that for that kind of culture which is a pre modern culture like the cultures where buddhism had flirt has flourished for most of it's existence the important thing was his own state of mind and his own satisfaction which was not secret mean for that society and for
buddhist culture
your own sense of how you do your work is something that is he is not secret it's shared it it moves out onto the ether of consciousness and quality and fix everything and
the great khan for our society as we don't work that way for us time is money but i think beneath that sense we all have particularly if were spiritually sensitized we have a sense that there is some other way to do work and typically where most people do
work the way that harry's uncle does work is in your hobby because people will if you have a craft as a hobby or you're an artist to your and artists and artists also will do this you might spend hours sanding and resigning some small piece of okay
wooden sculpture or a a tool or something that you are making and have no sense that the amount of time that it's taking has any value that what's important is the quality of the object so time is money is how we've created the world currently and it works
it's in a material sense to accomplish certain things but in a spiritual sense it's rather
corrosive and so the real challenge is how do you
bring a sense of of of spiritual life into a situation like that you see i'm not satisfied to give up and say well
the workplace is that we've created our to spiritually challenging so let's not try anything there that to me is the opposite of that the spirit the spirit should be for us buddhist more challenging the situation the more enthusiastically we should jump into it so to me the challenge and i've to
tried to develop in my own life
in and work and work is how do you bring a sense of practice into distracted difficult for profit or or or time is money type of situations and work with it so i've come up with about thirty five or forty practices some of which
you'll recognize for example walking as a spiritual practice is something that any of you who've come and done meditation here know that that's what we do it's walking is is not just walking for us it's some way to be concentrated into be aware of ourselves physically and mentally other practices
like the thing with the with the twenty dollar bill are things that essentially i've worked out with other people i've worked with as ways to an elaborate on and extend the buddhist meditation tradition of a lot of what actually goes on in most workplaces is interpersonal the
there are in most of the problems that people report when you ask them about the workplace have to do with anger frustration worry
resentment envy ambition power these are the kinds of things that emerged very strongly in the workplace the workplace is a tremendous amplifier of negative emotion
and i'll explain why in a minute but just as an example
how is it that over and over again we pick up the paper and we read that somebody has walked into a workplace with a gun and killed people because you asked them why if there's still alive and they say well my supervisor gave me a bad review
you kill people because your supervisor gave you a bad review there's something not right about that picture you know but we see it over and over again workplace rage and
the experienced common experience people have of having their boss for example stick their head in the window of their office and make some common and having then having it destroy their whole week you know it can be a very subtle thing like
oh you're still here
and suddenly because of all that goes on in the power relationship with that person to you that person has power over your your paycheck power over your livelihood there's a lot that can go on in that kind of situation how do you work with that how do we deal with in that person's still going to be your boss
regardless of what you do how do we work with that in in in in a in a more awakened way well how do how do we for example
find any way to do traditional meditation in the workplace a minute here a minute they're one of the main messages i have for people like yourselves who have some familiarity with buddhism and some familiarity with traditional meditation is a real shift to the expectation and also a read
definition of what constitutes real practice let me go into that a little bit
when you come here and sit for forty minutes on your cushion you have some experience
typically it's some experience of be more calm or even if you're not more com there's some more aware experience you have more awareness of your own internal state the thoughts that you're having various things like that and because you're doing it continuously for forty minutes there's some real measure
durable change in your state your and they know measured this now meditation really does work your post goes down your blood pressure goes down a lots of different things happen to you if you were to for example if you sit in front of a computer at work if he were to take one minute
in i recommend that you reach out with your finger very mindfully and turn off the power to the screen which you can do without affecting the computer i don't know if all of you know that but the screen is a separate machine and that computers you can turn it off you reach out and turn it off and then you have a gray screen sort of like these walls and suddenly you can
for ten breaths let's say probably get away with the minutes respite from what you're supposed to be doing unless your boss sticks his or her head in the window and says oh what's going on
in the early days of computing they had these funny screensavers that where you could be playing some kind of a game and then there was a boss button you know that you could push a button and it would put up a spreadsheet or something that looked official
what you know you see how much humor that tremendous success of dilbert comic strip and all the humor about the workplace is this is a sign of the tremendous amount of energy intention and anxiety that this area of our life that produces for us so even if you were to do that for one minute probably you
you wouldn't get a sense that much was going on it's not long enough to have that feeling of zaza so a lot of practices that i recommend are ones where you're not going to get a lot of direct measurable feedback back to you that it made a difference and that's the hardest thing about any kind of practice
it's in the midst of chaotic activity is since you have to give up the notion that you're going to feel something
but this is a very important point because the actual benefit true benefit of spiritual practice is not measurable
this is something suzuki roshi used to talk about all the time he said enlightenment is not an experience anything you can experience and describe and say and compare and say i felt no different or better or newer or more wonderful or whatever it might be that's still in the realm of things that
you can see or hear it still in the realm of form we say technically so the actual benefit of a practice is in a strict sense invisible
and those of us who can rest in that fact and be comfortable in it can practice anywhere some of the most important and transformative practices that you can do in the workplace or instantaneous for example the act of apology
which is a traditional venerable practice not just in buddhism but in all spiritual traditions just to be able to sincerely and wholeheartedly a transform the attention of a situation through apology or alternatively if it's somebody who
was harmed you through forgiveness forgiveness and apology these are practices that typically take only a snap of a finger to to have an effect and actually those are i practices you can feel
if you have a chronic problem with somebody at work and somehow there's some way to forgive and apologize there's a tremendous amount of transformation of energy that can happen right in that moment and we don't need to be buddhist experts to do those
kinds of practices we simply need to have two things and these are the to prerequisites for all spiritual practice that i know of
one his attention and the other his intention attention and intention
hmm if you're not paying attention to what's going on you can't figure out what to do so without attention there's no practice so attention is the main thing and in a sense the kind of formal practice that we do in places like green gulch are ways to cultivate the skill of attention
and there's a great story my ultimate favorite and story practically about a q
the queue was a very eccentric buddhist master of sixteenth century japan
and one day he was the abbot of late in his life he became establishment and took on the abit ship of a big temple and a wealthy patron aristocrat came to him one day and said
would you please master do a scroll for me and so acute had pen and ink broad and now keep in mind the typical thing when you a wealthy patron has given a lot of money to the temple goes to the master and asks for a scroll the typical thing they get some kind of poem you
know about cherry blossoms or ducks flying you know something like something san marino so that's what he's expecting i mean really what he wants as he wants to hang it in his mansion when it goes home so when his guests come for parties and things they can say all create the great a you know and they it's very impressive right is sort of like getting a picasso you know to put in here in your in your for yea so
he goes and uq gets out his brush and he gets the whole thing lay down and he writes one characters the character for attention
okay so
there's a pregnant pause and then the aristocrats says oh perhaps the master is not quite finished with his palm
so if you picks up the brush and he writes the same character again attention
and the patron cannot insult the great master but he's not very happy and he says again
it will be marvelous when i can see the full completion of the masters poem
so make eu of course is just as annoyed as the patron he picks up your brush and of course what do you think he does he writes attention attention attention so what the met what the guy got was a scroll with five characters they're all the same they say attention attention attention attention attention so it gets to take that home and hang that and as for yea if he dares
now this is a great story because eq was a no nonsense person not interested in the games of society the guy asked him for a scroll that meant something so we gave them one you see that's a scroll that actually has real meaning for somebody practicing because attention is the key to everything and painted
attention noticing things being aware of what's going on is in a sense what getting back to what i started with the the cohen of everyday life the cohen of everyday life emerges the minute we pay attention it doesn't matter where we are what we're doing whether you have any experience with formal meditation the minute
you pay attention the ganges call on his before you it rises up like a boot out of smoke and it's there and that leads to the second requirement which is intention intention is the
the one of the spokes of the eightfold path right intention and intention is in a sense tells us what to do with that attention it tells us where to go with what we see with what we're aware of and that intention is in the sense of buddhism to awaken all beings to awaken our so
elves and every one that's our fundamental intention may all beings be awake may all beings at peace be at peace may all beings be happy may all beings be awake this is our this is the fundamental now that turns a human being into a bodhisattva and of buddha and that intention applied to the situations
that we're in creates the situation of spiritual practice immediately it doesn't matter what's going on or whether anybody else in the room you can be in a management meeting at ibm and not say a word but if you're paying attention in that spirit of the buddha has entered that situation a buddha is there and
already something as is different something is going on it's just like harry's uncle
saying i will know i will know he didn't really care whether anybody else ever knew how many times he had to so that stretch of feathers
it was enough and in his culture everybody understood that it was enough that he knew because he knew everybody knew so in a sense the most important practice of of the workplace if if that's our theme for today is to the underlying practices to be awake
with the intention of the dharma and from there there is lots of possibilities apology then emerges as immediately as possible strategy for transforming energy
if we're angry at work and one of the things i discovered in the workshops than i do is when you ask people if anger is a problem for them sometimes at work there is one hundred percent response every single person raises their hand there's lot of anger in the workplace and
a lot of it again is amplified by this
structure of people having power over other people and consequential power power to destroy your life to change your life to make your life very difficult as a particular very personal example of for me back a long time ago i was seriously ill this was by
rules that have provided some degree of a safety net for people with health insurance
do any of you or any of you familiar with the phrase job luck i had job luck because where i too have left my job i would lose my health insurance and would not be able to get anymore and i would run the risk and if i got sick again of losing everything i had
that's not a situation that it's very easy to deal with and it's a situation that is entirely the creation of the way the workplace works
you would think in a sane society someone like myself would not have to feel that way but i had no choice i was simply stuck with it and so i had to keep working at that job whether i liked it or not because it was life threatening in and
in a sense not to so there are situations that come up where even the smallest irritations become quite major issues so and the everything about anger and negative emotion in the workplace is that
for that reason it's often rather justify the emotion that you have we have a kind of stereotype in buddhism that somehow negative emotion is a sign of spiritual weakness and i certainly felt that going out into the workplace one of the things i discovered when i went out there is that all these years of expensive meditation had not ceased
to make me a hot tempered person depicted
i didn't have as many opportunities out here at gringotts to blow up at people so and it also wasn't very socially acceptable so i didn't do it but you know out there in the workplace if you pound on the table and yell and act like it's like an idiot
if you're paid highly enough and year of high enough rank nobody will say anything you can get away with a why it was very sobering for me to realize that the only person who was gonna stop me once i attained some power was me because everybody else would just put their head down and walk out and talk about me later you know this is the way it works so
various i think some real opportunity to really confront the real stuff in the workplace because that's where the negative emotions that we have are really hot and that heat that energy that consequent consequential ness
of the feelings that we have mean that the game joe cohen has suddenly become a much bigger opportunity suddenly this isn't small stuff it's big stuff and if we can somehow penetrate those things in the situation than we are we actually have a chance to make it makes them real transform it
so the the kind of practice that i recommend and that i have tried with respect to emotions like anger have to do really with two parts the first part is more traditional mindfulness practice to put some space or container around that feelings so that we can actually hold it and experience it and
and sometimes inner speech true speech right speech helps a great deal so any of you who studied the the mindfulness literature know that when you're angry to simply have an internal verbalization
this is anger
to name what is going on to give it a definition helps a great deal not to make the anger go away exactly but to allow us to actually hold the anger without necessarily acting on it right away this is what i call buildings space or container around of the img
motion and there are other ways we can do a to breathing will allow us to do it sometimes you know there is a practice the tick nine han likes a great deal the practice of the half smile he teaches it in in his retreats where we make a conscious effort to change our express
so that our expression manifests our intention to find some sense of kindness or acceptance in the midst of our angered a lot of the mirror of us americans don't like that practice because it seems insincere you know for angry when we want to be angry will want to look angry when we want to act angry to somehow be smiling while we're at
gree feels smarmy or something but give it a try you know they've done scientific research
and they've asked people to do this it's amazing what psychologists can get grants for no no
i know some of you are psychologists that get grants so please it's i'm not to be little in your your work and i thought this was very interesting work because they actually got people to you know artificially do various facial expressions so they have people smiled and they measured them you know with galvanometer is and stuff and lo and behold
physiological changes occur you frown like this it actually raises your blood pressure if you smile and and relax your face it it it changes you so these are these are manifestations of intention and that's step number one to bring our intention into the situation attention intention and then really the third step is to
transformation and transformation is some action that takes the energy into another place when we're angry we can say to ourselves i'm angry we can breathe our anger we can smile we can visualize kindness we can visualize a buddha
a we can do all of these things as you might say symptomatic relief but ultimately we have some responsibility to take it further and to actually transform to follow that energy and figure out if there's some strategic way that we can move that energy
maybe forgiveness maybe apology may be a a truthful interaction with the person that's causing the problem let me just quote read you a quote that i took from a recent book by the dalai lama and case you don't believe me on this point
he says here in a very good book which i highly recommend called healing anger
he says the following if one has been treated very unfairly and if the situation has left unaddressed it may have extremely negative consequences such a situation calls for a strong counter action now we probably can guess what kind of situation the dalai lama is talking about for his own culture and people under such
circumstances it is possible that one can
not have compassion for the perpetrator of the crime and without generating anger or hatred actually take a strong stand and take strong counter measures in fact one of the precepts of the buddhist vows is to take strong countermeasures when the situation calls for it if a buddhist doesn't take strong countermeasures
when the situation requires than that constitutes an infraction of one of the vows
this is interesting news from one of the great buddhists of our time and i think suzuki roshi would have said something quite similar that it isn't enough if were sincere about our vows to work internally with what is going on when the situation calls for it when there's a situation of injustice and impractical
since where most of us on a day to day basis encounter injustice to the extent we do it's in the workplace
we're actually have a responsibility to do something
so let me just give you read you a true story about somebody who did
this is a story called confronting the boss
david had a boss who seemed to take pleasure in demeaning people it was not uncommon to see the boss and his office dressing down a subordinate over some supposed mistake this may david quite angry he felt bad for the people his boss mistreated david the boss is personal friend as well as an employee was usually exam
from these outbursts but didn't know what he could do about it one day he glanced into his boss's office as he was walking by and saw the familiar scene the firm's sales director was being blamed for what was really the bosses own mistake immediately david stepped into the office and physically placed himself between the boss and the sales director
that's enough he said to the boss the boss stare coldly a david david just as coldly stared back the sales directors sensing a chance to escape excused himself and left
that was your strategy
that was smart that was smart don't ever do that again the boss sputtered that's what i was just going to say to you david required that was david's story is the true story i've changed the names and some of the circumstances but david is actually
a practitioner of the dharma as all of you are and there's more to this story than what i write here but i'll finish the story out whoo i exclaimed when david recounted the story to me that was a risky thing to do were there any repercussions know david explained i was lucky my boss and i go way back i had some immunity besides i think it's some level he really
wanted someone to call him on that stuff i just finally got clear enough in my own mind to do it were you angry i asked not when i was in their afterward i was a little shaky though i would have been shaky to in talking with david more i realized that his ability to act decisively was the result of a lot of prior work and processing of his
anger a lot of raising the question what can i do hear it became a kind of co on for him you see he he was watching the situation over a long period of time feeling angry about it working internally with his anger because he was an experienced meditator but also in the back of his mind his intention wasn't letting this situation just be the way
that eventually became articulated as what can i do what should i do what needs to be done and then at the right moment
he was able to do something that actually was transform into
my recollections of suzuki roshi were that that's the way that he taught people when he taught all of us you always felt that he was kind of wandering around not noticing things he'd be puttering around with the flowers and plants and things and then suddenly
if there was a situation that called for the he saw an opportunity he would suddenly be there and he would say something and twenty years later people who knew him when remember that thing that he said because he was paying close attention his intention was continuous of course but he was very patient and very clear in his own mine
and that it was when the moment emerged when his intention could become explicit that he would interact with the situation and after all this time and i think back i think that quality of him is the part that i was the most vivid to me that i remember he was a great strategist of so
spiritual transformation and people who talk about him like in david chadwick's new book which is his biography there are some stories in there about this but i think it was his defining characteristic as a teacher and really for those who are who who noticed and i must confess i didn't notice what he was doing until long after he was gone he was man
fst and i think for us an example of how we can practice in all of our activities is twenty first century americans we don't need to rely just on the way dharma was done a thousand years ago or five hundred years ago we can create circumstances for practice out of whatever situation we're in whether it
the workplace or a family life by paying attention by making our intention deep and continuous and by being alert for those moments when we can do with the dalai lama says and activate our intention in in not a consideration
with others and if i want to leave you with any message it's really that that each of you do have that potential each of us do and i think that it really is the next frontier for the dharma in america yaba dorm as well established when i go out and talk to people in the business world everybody knows about meditation
it's not a it's a socially acceptable thing to do it's not weird anymore the way it used to be this is very we are now really a part of the mainstream of the culture and i think the next step really will be not just to implement a tradition in the culture but to create the tradition in the culture
i think for our culture a big part of that tradition will be how to activate the dharma spontaneously in all the situations that were in and the party secret that i'll leave you with is that the the bigger and hotter and more consequential the energy the bigger the opportunity
i have a quote in my book from an willie sutton the great bank robber
and people asked him once you've probably all heard this story it's quoted ad nauseum but for any of you who haven't it's a freebie a fresh story they asked him once why rob banks he said it's where the money is
so i think as buddhists in our society we need to look for where the energy is follow the energy you know in the watergate days they said follow the money my messages follow the energy them aware of where the energy is that will be where the dharma is so thank you all very much i talked longer probably than
i should have were expected to but it's great to be here and great to see all of you and i'll see you i guess out in the dynamic yeah good question answered here now the way to be a book signing and now so i leave now and then we come back so i have to learn all these things
zakaria all right thank you very much

i can hear me yes i
it's tuesday evenings at seven thirty and in mill valley and we meet in the amante club which is
off of el monte boulevard slightly behind the tan high football field and if you want to get detailed instructions because it's not an easy place to find unless you know call them the there's an answering machine that tells you three eight nine eight seven oh seven and it'll give you detailed direct
options to get there but at seven thirty every tuesday except for this coming tuesday where i'm i'm reading a book passage so we're we're going to not do it because all the people in the group want to go to the reading so yes i would like to thank you thank you very time probably
right i have time job at a very stressful
feel fine jointly also you make costly and i'm constantly torn
on my inside healing and would be to have appear as are to do good job and also making money that what i'm doing before
yeah i just don't i'm constantly on which way to go the time withdraw my hand i wish people i am actually good at outside but inside
a lot of time
and we'll just have a time with with you
you didn't even crack
well i think just for you to articulate that is clearly as you have as is a great step forward there's a kind of clarity and that realistically and i'm speaking really from my own experience to i don't think that conflicts ever going to go away there's no resolution to it it's just something that we have a responsibility to keep working with
creatively and i think that's that's to me and because i've had to
i work my way through this in my own work that's in a sense when the dorm or really comes alive
i think that that when we first first two thousand and five or thirty years of buddhism coming into our society we really have been rediscovering the value of sitting still and being quiet that's a great gift that dualisms brought to the west and that's really the first stage but it's it's a mistake to say
ink that buddhism is just about being quiet mean being quiet is the ground experience that allows us to be true
but being true is are being awake is really the key and being awake isn't the same as being quiet or being calm or feeling good or feeling that everything is okay and some sense and this is really straight from suzuki roshi when like when things are most difficult is when the dharma is most alive so in a so
since difficult situations are the ones that were we really grow
what do you will take us into a state where you knew something was
underhanded website
but it was part of your job and it expected you to do that but inside had a problem
the vinegar that part of your right now
did you do
well those are really hard i remember one time i was compelled to fire somebody whom i didn't think deserve to be fired but they reported to me it was my job to do it that was really bad and i did it
i tried to do it in a way that made that person understand
the complexity of what was going on and she told me later that i did a pretty good job all things considered that was really that as much of a payoff as i think i could get i did not go so far as to sacrifice myself on the altar and say i'm not going to do it you know do with me what you will there are a lot of ca
compromises that you have to make in the workplace and moral compromises ethical compromises and as i say in my book not every battle is worth you know fighting to the death you have to pick and choose your battles and sometimes be very skillful and strategic to see the battle is something that you work on over a long period of time rather than
kind of draw a line in the sand and be a hero sometimes it ends up not being terribly effective particularly if it's sidelines you i mean if you it sounds like you're in a management position so you have some authority and some no i'm not i'm not i'm i'm i'm also i also
i think now i'm so but i think they'd basically you'd have to use your own judgment and be skillful
and that there is no purity i i i gave that up a long time ago the notion that you can find me if you want to have purity
the only way to get it is too
start your own business don't have any employees
and then even then you have your clients job you're still involved you know but that's as close as you can probably get it's like being an artist you now
the up for stones ready with similar contact me on a similar situation where does that really arrived at any place other than i dressed the same issue where i went from one field to a lot of feel i went from let's a real estate sales to current manage
you were when i'm working on how to verify what british feel good about be in switch
he said
yes this one unless they here here for your guys of that
trying to work with your practice in the workplace and i think that's right on the that throats and most of our time or energy as so it's just very good that you're trying to do that and also i liked your comments that tension
the need for trying to find ways for right action in that insurgency in in both your talk and and leafing through your purchase now i notice that the great amount of the focus was really at war
can a personal level of issued in the workplace and i and to be much more interested in that social level of issues in the workplace remember that economic justice now
oh they should visit a two-tiered gallery left out and structure county don't have a chance to participate in what the consequences of their and i'm curious whether that's something that you tried to work with as a practiced also it so are you staring at a distance yourself are you trying to work with
well thank you for bringing that up i made a conscious intention not to try to make that lot less larger issues too much of an emphasis in this book although i'm thinking very seriously about writing a second book on that very topic the larger context in which we work which he has
to do with the at the free market capitalism as a system of economic organization what that what that does to pay us from a spiritual standpoint but i think it's a different topic it's more theoretical more speculative at this point i think it's it's it's will my see
theory is that all chain all change in society really begins at the individual level and emanates out and so i really wanted to start from there but i'm not at all
oblivious to the fact that if enough people in the society begin to visualize how we should work and be and conduct commerce together differently than we will eventually but how that process is going to occur is clear to no one this point it's a it's an act
venture that we are in the early stages of i i my own instinct
is there were further along on that path and you might expect there are for example quite a few people at the very top of the corporate edifice in america who are seriously studying buddhist texts going to make meditation retreats looking for alternatives but they're quite a secret about it because they have shareholders who might
look askance at such interests at least their secret for now but there's a lot going on under the surface is a lot of percolation happening i think that that the the the larger question of of how human beings should organize their economic life essentially the you might say the plane out of the right livelihood doctrine
of buddhism is the next great social issue i really see that within our lifetime will see that as emerging as as a key issue for all sorts of reasons i mean
it has to do i think in a certain sense with scale that we are in a planetary scale now and we need to take responsibility for this or you know all of us will suffer
so as far as you asked me about my own business i am kind of a very small business it's a niche software company that provides software to catalog companies and
i have made a conscious effort in my own business not to mandate as the boss how
the details of how we should be because people in that i've hired our of differing sentiments in different now alex for example we for a while had a fundamentalist christian who was our receptionist and really was rather uncomfortable with when she found out i was a buddhist
and that's okay with me i mean i i reassured her by saying look it's fine with me for you to be who you are you don't have to have any sympathies for for how i am for you to feel welcome here and she was very appreciative about town she said well you know i like which we talked about it you know part of it is that she doesn't know a whole lot about buddhism and when
she does know from her background makes her uncomfortable so i think that lesson taught me what i instinctively understood is that and also this is also my conviction is that someone in a position of authority and power who wants to ah move the bill
business in a certain direction had best do it mostly by example and not by
explicit kind of this is how we're going to do things on my example there is the herman miller company which whose ceo is a very devout christian and it's just a very good company and it's always ranked as one of the best companies in the country to work for but he never kind of touted as a sort of spirit
offshore company he just tries to run the company well and take very good care of the people that work there and that's as far as he goes night that's kind of my attitude at this point i mean my attitude may evolve over time as this issue becomes more articulate can in in the business world but i don't think we're at the point yet where the
you know buddhism is fairly radical and if you really take it seriously a challenges very directly some of the main assumptions of capitalist economies and i don't think we're at the point yet where people with that articulation has really happened when it does you're going to find buddhism attacked and
when that happens you'll know we're getting serious and we're having some realistic
well for buddhism buddhism sees the cosmos as one thing which everything is connected in which there's no outside so for example there's no such thing as waste in the buddhist notion of the material world and waste or discarding things or having a garbage dumpster landfills is
really essential to at least capitalism as it's been as has been exercised up to this point and if you really take seriously the notion that there's no outside then fundamentally you have to start including the costs of the ozone layer in in everybody's been a piano which nobody's even remotely
yeah paul hawken has proposed this and it's great that he's put it out there but it's going to you know it's gonna be a long time the phrase that comes to mind is when snow when hell freezes over but at the same time i think that in other ways it will it is already starting to happen and there are in fact very large corporations ones that are in the manufacturing sector primary materials manage
manufacture who are from a business point of view already thinking about you know in the next fifty years that this is gonna be a healthy company we have to figure out ways of producing non-polluting sustainable type products otherwise we won't do well as a business the one thing i'm really hopeful for is that business people who are good at business are very realistic
and very innocence tuned in to what's actually there that's what makes business a kind of a wisdom in its own way and i have a certain appreciation for that it can be extremely misguided in its goals but there's a certain to a realistic van and buddhism's like like that too but isn't really begins with what's actually going on
on here you know so in that sense i actually see unlike most people i actually see the business world as as at some point in the future becoming the in the vanguard of change because the business world can change the world in a way that that no other instance set of institutions can i think more effectively than government
so i'm actually kind of looking at different sides of it and try to keep my opinions flexible and not fall into some black and white notion that you know business is bad or something
so we'll see i mean i i think these these issues are very complex and it's part of the reason getting back to your question that i wanted to there is a section here on right livelihood and i do bring it up and talk about it and i basically define it as conscious livelihood rather than to be judgmental about right and wrong i also point out that the ability to chew
choose your job is a privilege of the affluents and education a lot of people don't have a choice about you know right wrong and different it's my job i am got a choice you know we have to be very careful not to be elitist about our notions of right livelihood and critical of people who work
is a warehouse person for a petrochemical from that pollute the planet i mean if that's the only job they have and they have medical bills and so forth you can't serve to say find a different job yeah so i don't think it should i notice
he didn't need to work to women to capitalist economic structures know would be hard to explain to this guy
yeah suggested
to explain them at every juncture that there are other systems that have been equally of that much of his relatives
yeah what we have everything else i quote winston churchill the great wit more than twit he kicked made this statement about democracy but i think it can equally be made about free market capitalism he said
free market capitalism is the worst system areas except for all the other ones and that's kind of that's kind of as far as we are now and i think it's i think we should be patient with ourselves in realize that human beings are trying to figure out how to be on this planet it's taking a long time you know and we have to understand that
that the good and bad are mixed up together and some of these efforts in one hundred years ago communism was seen by the working person as the shangri la at the golden place and it took one hundred years for its contradictions and limitations to become manifest with great suffering on all sides and so
you know but but there was one time when people thought let's try this this might be it
you know the best and brightest exactly and i think we can forgive ourselves for that effort it was a noble effort it was flawed i think that part of what marx was missing was an accurate understanding of how the mind works and how the psyche is can be corrupted fundamentally how power corrupts that's really what he missed and i think
if you'd been a buddhist and had studied the abi dharma he he would have been a little bit less
a certain about the rightness of his positions because we've seen all of this so these these started to tail off into you know sort of big picture issues which i think are very important for us to keep in mind but i still think that that true che planetary change begins with individual change and individual change begins with your own mind and body
me and that really is it's more of a gandhian approach to transformation which is that if you want to transform the universe transform yourself because you you and the universe are on intimate terms
that jewelry
lost your job
i haven't seen him and quite a while he is although i think that he's primarily making his way in the world as an author and speaker he doesn't have a business anymore
and smith and hawken if you've been following the presses his business corporations are immortal they keep going and they fell into bankruptcy and were recently sold to a wisconsin investments consortium so life goes on yeah
yes well i just wanted to and his comment on whether it's funny that you should innovative come up from the mecca
when you talked about communism how it kind of time
kittens kelly and his family of you will but he would look at how it existed in the united states and to the least it's not unlike food it anyway man it was a certain purity and the capital is
power is it were and in fifties actually smashed they smash the workers hopes and aspirations and
it just seems to me that when we have a word and movement and it wasn't really a social experiment
in the soviet union it was no know i didn't
it seems to we talk about
well economic system countries but i mean what i mean united states what happened i mean i think it's important to know mccarthy era when it did evil and and how it it really was a martyred a lot of people are going to strike lives and kind of people that were in charge of it weren't when i was call
you know greatest leaders you know
a capitalism are already on the and and it was
just i bring it out because i think a communist in a sense has a certain theoretical sense it's not for the soviet union was i would say surely communist state then sorted on some lower league system isn't in fact it's a bot
and so for example when you as you would read about it and take the madness that on certain level is giving all beings even it will improve your state litres of to people equality and equal value and so in a sense not that far removed from each other in actual practice
well that's a that's a complicated topic and you'd have to make clearly define what you mean by communism in buddhism and all that but i think in general
you're right and also it it speaks to what i said earlier that
when the society begins to take these ideas seriously then you though it will be perceived as a threat and then things will get interesting
i think to part of the reason why now keep in mind also many of the of communism and socialism best ideas are now part of you know standards with this standard government issue you know and many of the ideas which the republican party at the moment is trying to do were fifty or sixty years ago radical socialist ideas so these things do not
is that these things were failed in many cases they succeeded but they succeeded by being co-opted in in in and brought into and a sense capitalism has survived as the leading system by incorporating some of these ideas and and trying to take care of people a bit better and all of them we certainly have better working conditions
we had one hundred years ago but the fundamental worldview of capitalism still has this inside outside notion you know the notion of profit
eh in implies that there's some
residual that you can push things into that you don't have to notice and and buddhism fundamentally sees that as a flawed view of the world it's not how things really are once you begin to see that then it starts to to foment a radical we examination but we have to remember about the law of unintended consequences any time you change anything is mba
added as the things we're talking about lot can go wrong that you don't anticipate in particular human beings are flawed corruptible beings and don't necessarily behave or or react the way that you might expect and that's important to keep in mind that's true whether you're trying to change a five person company or or a two hundred
and sixty million person society or six billion person planet you know there was a hand or to bacchus
i really want
and if they are certainly not

a weapon out scan luggage and
you can't predict will happen
having peace to happen
that's defeated helping
well in the short run capitalism will be alive and well as long as the third world wants coke and cars i mean there's a tremendous it means to speak and strictly business terms as a tremendous unfulfilled market for being like an american okay and so coca cola compa
in all the tobacco companies is to take to example will be will have great bottom lines for a long time to come as the people in china get started to get lung cancer emphysema i mean the unfortunately they will be a lot of human suffering as people all over the world are seduced by our model of how to live and that will that will
i mean the reality is big change that's to speak about an individual an individual changes when they have to change for the most part only a few of us changed because we want to change and people stop drinking when the alternate all the alternative is worse than stopping for the most part so i think that as long as the world
at large fines more ha ha benefit in the things the way they are things the way the i will stay fairly much the way they are i think that the two things that might change it would be
a environmental catastrophe of some kind of kind of wakes up the whole world in for example if global warming goes and never degree we're going to start to get the glaciers melting and icebergs you know hitting san francisco and all sorts of things i mean it's already last year was the warmest year in human history since the last ice age so that's one thing and the other would be
some kind of similar disruption of whatever you know and they were released start people to to to look otherwise i see this kind of change being on the order of the industrial revolution which took about one hundred hundred and fifty years to fully work itself out
i think that we are now in the very beginning stages of the biggest transformation of human beings and how they live together since probably the middle ages in europe and that that i don't think even though we're in a much faster world that that process can be rushed i think that it's a it's a vast change of consciousness in which buddhism will be a player
but not the only player i think that buddhism will probably always be as a religion if you want to call it that a a minority religion but nevertheless already just as well i said in the lecture the fact that you can say the word meditation anywhere in the country and people say oh yeah meditation
the years ago the story i'm telling my books a true story i had a friend of mine and i who who are met it meditating secretly at college this is in nineteen sixty three sixty four we meet in his room and he got caught and he was called on the carpet by the dean of the residential house his name was so
was jake open the guy said checkup
it's come to our attention that you meditate him which you have candles in your room
handa please reset of equally equivalent crimes for instance to incense incense was hard to get in the early sixties you know this is before the the sixties i mean there's the sixty three was not the sixties ryan who is still the fifties at least where we were and you know that's not the way it is now i mean now you can go into any institut
bhushan or or whatever even the most conservative business environment
in the country and talk about meditation and all that sort of thing and people at least have a passing understanding that's a tremendous penetration for thirty years you know to have buddhism and hinduism and other asian traditions come in and put all of that on the map the notion that you could sit still and be quiet and observe what goes on is now part of the car
picture and that's a tremendous accomplishment in thirty years i think and the next step is the implications of what you find out when you do that that's not on the map that's just starting to come onto the map that's the radical part that's the radical part that the the part of just doing it isn't actually so radical because it's something that you know
no it's fairly natural to sit still and not do anything but the next part which is why with all it's implied by that that's a much bigger issue and they'll be a lot more resistance to that yes yeah i just want to echo what you're talking about like staring because i think that second
from that i have seen and myself if it's too easy to point fingers and thing and ceo of this way he should be more this way he should be left with a micromanager and yet in fact there are times that i am are times where in a tech pollution and ethnic off of it
so i really think that a death star individual and in i also like you were saying very hard to change and fell i think it's too easy to point to will find needs to change and you know it's really on at a level of it out there and yet what are we doing and from the individual point of view and if myself i've been
try to change for quite a few years and be respectful of others just some of the simple things which are very difficult than a daily basis when there's a job to be done and objectives to be mad and you know main level guys that the net things that i think that if if they're a really good the poor that and i think off
a to the course is that years that been teaching and getting from dialogue about whether the very simple you went to raise on a daily basis before we can kind of take that huge leap that well you will need to change the well let's talk for a minute about the jewel netted injury because this is how buddhism actually sees the world and i talk about
it can the book the jewel net of indra is a picture of the universe of consciousness and the image it's a visualization practice but it's also a teaching and it's in the of atomic a sutra and you see yourself as a jewel first of all a shining jewel that's reflective and then you realize that sure
a node in a net like a fisherman's net which is fast in every node is a jewel like you and each jewel is like a diamond and every diamond if you peer into one diamond you see the reflected image of all the other diamonds and anything that happens in one diamond is reflected out in all the diamonds now this is how buddhism actually see
seize the working of the cosmos it's not that different from the way physicists are starting to see the working of the cosmos so there's a kind of
a meeting of you know particle physics and and meditate meditation yoga but that image which which is a sort of a yogic vision of how the world works means that literally there isn't any such thing as an individual you say an individual is simply a location on the net
sixteen this word net is now become such an important word we say net we need the internet but buddhism already has has developed the internet from the standpoint of consciousness and
it's not that different than sending an email to somebody on the internet it can go anywhere and it's sort of like to eat and really use the the image of the internet if you have a thought is like an email to everybody in the universe just say everyone you know and if everybody someone else has thought you get their email you know it's that kind of it's that basic so in that
very profound sense the the transformation of the individual is on the wire the minute it starts you see this is why the bodhisattva vow that we chant in the lecture to save all beans is not as unrealistic as it sounds it's not like you have to go around one by one and say oh you i haven't saved you yet okay got you six billion and forty three i'm
going to get you it isn't it isn't like that i mean actually what it literally means is that when you practice for yourself you're you're you're putting it it's on the wire that effort is on the wire and that's how you save all beings by you know doing because people criticize buddhism and say oh it's all just for the self you know it's very selfish
inward looking and all of that and there there is some truth to that but also if you're really serious about what you're doing and very clear about what's going on
the activity that you do even the simplest things even a single thought of generosity towards your abusive boss or whatever it might be those things are on the wire and they're on the net and they're out there and that's where i can say with some confidence that the transformation is already well underway even though i don't have
direct personal knowledge of it
yeah no know that i loved your point about
yeah the other reality just to be very again this is you know this book is published by a publisher who has to exist in the capitalist world and make a profit this book is a book they would buy the second book i knew in advance they wouldn't buy until they bought this book so this book if this book is successor
well i'll have the credibility to write a second book and the second book i feel much more responsible to have to take a couple of years at least to do a lot of research do a lot of reading find out what else is out there educate myself about economics about which i know very little when i was in college i concluded in my arrogant way that economics was a bra
bunch of psychopathology and therefore was beneath contempt and now i understand that economics is a branch of spiritual study and so now it interests me a lot it interests me a lot the details of of how people understand that you and i could trade with each other you have something i want i have something you want and you know we trade and all of the
that that that that's what economics is fundamentally so it then becomes very fascinating but i i think that writing a book that's about concrete specific things that each of us can do is really the first step you know and i'm frankly not prepared to even do much more than just chat with you about the bigger issues because i
i'm not i don't feel like i know much yet you know the produced during yeah
think can candidate
yeah no i think i can consider you choose what products eg
implication and
i had a guy i just to follow up on a team that you said and a reading recently who's in the back kind of glowering at me and then he when the questions came he said don't you realize that all the ceos in the world are criminals and they deserve to be strung up and shot and they're the people that are destroying the planet and you want you know
he did a harangue and then he got up and stormed out you know
oh how party was the armed
no this was up in an area where a lot of people with ideas like that with and i'm so i understand i understand that feeling i'm sympathetic to it but that's not terribly productive way to go forward you know that the in fact he's making the same mistake that the ceos as he's treating something is outside it's then the
minute you say it's them your loss because that's the same attitude that got us into this trouble in the first place that's what starts a war you know oh it's then you know as soon as we understand there is no them then and then but then we have to work together with all of our conflicts and be who we are with each other it's very very difficult i up by
as a lot of ceos these are the most this