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and blaze
well it's very nice to be here this morning
he take a little rest till it's nicer
so continuing
many of you know studying
the cliff record so
thanks for listening in while i study
case number eighty one
yeah tions shooting the elk of elks
is the name of the case and the pointer of the case says
he captures the banner and seizes the dramas
the south the thousand sages cannot search him out
she cuts off confusing obscurities
ten thousand devices cannot get to her
this is not the wondrous functioning of spiritual powers
nor is it the suddenness of the basic essence
but tell me
what does she rely on to attain such marvels
so that's the pointer and this is the case
a monk asked the ocean
on a level field in the shallow grass
the elk and deer former heard how can one shoot the elk of elks
and the ocean say hey look an arab the monk fell down dead
not really but pretending to be dead
and the ocean said attendant drag this dead fellow out
at which the monk
leaped up and ran away
and yasha said this fellow playing with a mud ball
will they ever been into it
and suede a commented saying though he lived for three steps
after five steps he had to die
and the verse poem on the case the elk of elks
take a look
ja schon releases one arrow the monk runs three steps if he had lived for five steps he would have formed a heard and chased away the tiger
the correct dharma i has always been given to a hunter
in a loud voice suede oh said look an arrow
so that's our subject for today where this morning

it's traditional when you discuss why these cases to her
talk a little bit about the
director of the
people in the case
so we have to say a little bit about the background of the ocean way and who is the hero of our story today
yeah zhang was one of the great masters of the so-called golden age of zen and the tang dynasty when the school was first
coming into its own and many great teachers appeared
hailing from seventy seven not seventy and seven seven fifty one to eight thirty four
quite a while ago before even why one k

and he i and is
in our our immediate lineage
in japanese you say his name yok son so every day
we chant the lineage from buddha and we chant second turkeys and dai osho jaco son again dai osho wooden gun down john dyer show toes on real guy de ocio and so this is jackson you can die or show for those of you chance lineage everyday so you know
so he's disciple as you know from the lineage of sure the over second toe kiss and who is the
author of the sandow chi which is a poem that we also chat frequently
so for those of you who don't know about these things doesn't matter
very interesting how pseudo worked with his student he ah shine
ja schon like many typical kind of biography of a lot of the doesn't add up so this period was that they were ordained usually in the most conservative traditional schools of buddhism and they studied the video the monastic rule and basic teach
kings and they tried to purify the mind and become wholly
and at some point they felt that i i wanted some other way of and really enlivening the teaching make it really alive so they heard about the sin ad apps and they would go to visit
and usually have a revolution in their understanding so this what happened to ja schon he went to shoot though after having studied for a long time and the older schools that were existing and
he brought he said and i've done all the stuff studied everything and and yet and yet it doesn't feel complete kenya really help me and trudeau said to him something like
the way of zen is not about negation and it's not about affirmation
and it's not about both or neither of these things
and ah ja schon was completely mystified by this say and
sure shadow looked at him up and down
size them up and said
i can see that
this is not the right place for the right time for you hear you shouldn't study with me go and study with monster
so he sent him away that's how he turns
by sending the way to another teacher which happens a lot
so should i was very famous eminent master and so as matson and in different parts of china and they would have you know historically you would think that they were rivals and they actually were
ah ancestors different schools
so you would think you know they will be rivals but he said not go over there study with months of so yasha i did
and brought the same kind of question to master mott
and master moss said to him
sometimes i make him raise his eyebrows and roll his eyes
other times i don't let him raise his eyebrows and roll his eyes
it's really him
who's raising his eyebrows and rolling his eyes
and sometimes it's not him who's raising his eyebrows and rolling his eyes
and the archons understood this perfectly well and was very happy to study with master mafia and number of years and he became awakened and finished his training and then he went back to sugar and so even know he actually study with master maher he's
listed in our lineage because his official transmission was from sugar
course this story is all i'm sure quite streamline and telescoped
makes it sound like you went over here and then he went over there and that was that and i would actually probably spent some time here dump some time getting from here there and some time
working with master laws understanding
but like i say the stories are made like fairy tales made to be
sound simple more simple
so this is a kind of striking saying don't you think from mastermind sometimes i make him raise raises eyebrows sometimes i don't let him raises eyebrows and so on
it sounds funny but actually is very simple thing
for all of us here in this room
oh i have been born and will die
we always have a question
what is this life
what are we actually doing here
in this life
and i don't think that that is anyone here in the room
who if you really considerate deeply could possibly be satisfied
with just this very small me
it's very small person that we all are with her preferences and our strengths and weaknesses and our confusion and our intelligence and all this
it's a pretty small
pretty unsatisfactory
and yet i can run away as we might there is no other person that we can be this is our
destiny this is our life
so how can we find
the me
that is also not me
how can we find endless
in this short span of life
so that's the basic human problem let you think and this is what master my was talking about with the ocean
and i think that shadow was a very good teacher but maybe he was a little too abstract
he could see that his way of expressing himself was not going to be useful for ja on so he sent him to muster my knowing that master mom would be able to express himself in a way that the ocean could understand
so mastermind was much more
practical in a way he expressed in terms of eyebrows and rolling eyes
and for us every moment
of standing and walking
talking eating
licking your lips
coughing blow your nose breathing in breathing out
all these things we have to ask in a who is doing these things
and what kind of activity is this really
the ocean eventually went on to become the abbot of a monastery
and he had two very famous disciples that we also know about in our school douche
ten million and one of the most
famous and important stories of the school
maybe some of you are familiar with it appears as one of the early cases in the show you rocco
the case of union sweeping the ground
and so ah
since we're sitting around the campfire telling stories i'll tell again the story for those of you who know it and those of you haven't heard it before our very short story of these great disciples of your chance union sweeping the ground one day with a broom
and thou will said to him too busy
and pay union said you should know there is one who isn't busy
and yeah and that will said oh you mean there are two moons
and union held up his broom and said which moon is this
i think that's the story more or less
if it's not it's another story
i didn't i didn't have time to look it up and i'm just saying it from memory so
anyway that's a good story to them
and it's the same point as raising the eyebrows and role in the eyes
in the middle of your busy life
there's someone who isn't busy
in the middle of you
there's someone who's not you
actually whether you know it or not you desperately have to meet that person
this necessary when they meet that person
are there to people
which moon is this
so this is very much
our practice
this is the discovery that we are trying to make
another little story about a how shots once a monk asked him how can one not be confused by phenomena
and yasha said if you go along with them how can they obstruct you
the monks that i don't understand
yao said
what phenomena are confusing you

so this is also a very important teaching for us
our way zen practice is not the way of holiness for religiousness or spiritual practice even
it's not that special it's not that different from what mean everyday ordinary life
our way is just to see
the actual empty nature of self and other
and to enter into our lives fully just the way it is
without imposing some ideas from outside
because there isn't any outside or inside this outside and inside me and you
these are
powerful habits of mind that don't represent fundamental realities but only designations from long habit
when you see that that self and appreciate that
then how could anything obstruct you who can be it's obstructed where would there be something from the outside that would obstruct
so this is for all of us a very very hard point to appreciate because we always want something for our lives is very natural that we would want something for our lives this is being human is to want something for our lives
but to see things that were they actually are
has nothing to do with wanting something
the things just are what they are
life just is what it is death just is what it is
i guess maybe the equation is a equals a equals zero
so in this there's no room for confusion
this pretty straightforward
and we see all of human emotion all of human longing
all fuel confusion which still comes up in our lives against this background
ave equals a equal zero and
like a color you know against the background the colors the same but it looks different and we experience at quite differently depending on the background big spacious endless background
one more thing about he has shown in his life
but times sent masters often have great fun when they pass out of this world sometimes i felt really big jokes you know when they're die
and the ocean was like that when he was dying he suddenly
burst out saying the dharma hall is collapsing the dharma all as collapsing everybody quick prop it up
but sir
this may or may not be true but it's a good story
and i like to think it's that it's true you know
one good joke and and see later

so that's the backroom that's reaction a little bit about ja and how he fits in with us and so forth
now i'll go back and discuss the pointer and so forth like i read in the beginning so the point of begins
he captures the banner and seizes the drums the thousand and sages cannot search him out
so the
the zen person in ja schon in this case is being referred to is somebody who's always on top of things
but not in a sense of you know dominating things and never being wrong or something like that
but in the sense that when you really are clear that fundamentally there's no one there you can't really find anyone that you would be able to put forward
then there's no one who could win or lose anything or be right or wrong about anything or beyond top over underneath something
so this is considered to be the ultimate winning we think of the ultimate winning as like the lottery
but then the ultimate meaning and winning is not a lot or the ultimate winning is being beyond winning and losing so the great master is called the great victor this is actually an epithet for the buddha in the early sutras is the conquer the victor
because going beyond victory and defeat is the true victory
so that's how the great zen person is she cuts off confusing obscurities ten thousand devices cannot get to her
or cutting off
complicating things complications
so that then add it doesn't get entangled in things
cause beyond complications like trudeau said to ja schon it has nothing to do with negation or affirmation or both of these
the complications also means
you know winning and losing or yes and no going beyond both of these
it also means in a narrower sense
collins and teachings
these in person doesn't get tripped up in cohen's and teachings but just cut through to the essence no matter what devices in life or in the teachings that you would bring up
this would be immediately untangled and fall to the floor in a puff of dust in the face of as an adult
so this is
hyperbole great praise for yasha
this is not the wonder is functioning of spiritual powers nor is it the suddenness of the basic essence
that was saying minute ago zen practice i mean i've gotten in europe now to using the word spiritual and spiritual practice which i avoided or ten fifteen years now i realize that we'd better use the word cause
you have to say hundreds of words instead
but it really isn't about spiritual practice where the development of the personality or anything like that
this is that we would
have the courage and depth to simply be ourselves simply be the persons that we are
raising your eyebrows rolling your eyes
these are the marvels of zen practice not seeing visions are having profound insights but
raising your eyebrows
phew i'm an up and down all over the place in that last time i was around we had that great day maybe somebody who were here where we had all these
great disciples of suzuki roshi we knew that there's some human throw the room while these people and i looked out and i saw so many people had tears in their eyes seeing this
because all these people who worse up here all had a deeply appreciated suzuki roshi teaching and each one had made it their own and each one was a totally different universe
damn you saw them
lofty zen masters ordinary people
not too much difference actually between them me but each one completely unique
we're all thinking we have to improve we should be somebody else summer
but what has never somebody else
it would be good just to be you
and not you
spiritual practice you know
good day or so ago i was in the high rocky mountains
on the full moon night at midnight
i was looking at the moon's
and now clear mountain sky it was so bright and beautiful
so what shall we call that shall we call that spiritual
shall we say it's extraordinary
shall we say it's ordinary
shall we say it's profound

so the case
a monk asked the ocean on a level field in the shallow grass
the elk and deer former heard how can one shoot the alcove elks to the monk presents this question the ocean
and the whole story with the monk falling down and the ocean on shooting in with an arrow and all this is very typical style of zen
kind of funny jokey anything sends a big joke of course you on the end
we sit for ninety two hours in a row of breaking our knees and our feet are falling off and are your smoke is coming out of our ears and and it's hilarious
someone was saying kit went to a workshop that i gave with my old friend rabbi allen lou and someone said that
that you and rabbi lou really have good sense of humor
they said the course it's very usual for religious types
data good sense of humor but most of them they tell a joke in the beginning or to to kind of warm up the audience and then they get into the real serious part but thing about you and a rabbi louis it's all one big joke you know seven save ever gets a serious part at all
and i was talking this over with a rabbi lou and we were agreeing that yes we do think that religion is hilarious at the beginning in the middle and also at the end
but i don't think it's just ask you know
a baby
i don't think it's just us
like in this case
it's you know actually i noticed that a profound spiritual teachings are becoming more common all the time
sometimes i read ads in magazines and there that all about spiritual teachings and fulfillment and all this stuff so there's no use in my saying the same thing that it says in the magazines and on it i had some in the newspaper
and people know that i was in mill valley and yesterday
and i went to this shop and they had these beads called bodhi beads
which were a kind of i mean i didn't say anything but there are a kind of like off kilter version of regular buddha speeds they were inserted the same except movement that off kilter either because they didn't want to want them to be buddhists beads or because they didn't quite how to make buddhists speeds one of the other day where they were and each one came with a little thing which explain
to you the meaning of these beads and what they would do for you and how the different spiritual depths that were attainable by wherein a speeds which i thought that was pretty good know
the necessity for religious people to give profound teachings is long gone we don't need very
because that's anywhere you look they'll tell you about this no problem
so it's easy you know it's and becoming quite common to be profound wisdom i really feel that everybody understands of wisdom everything is no problem nobody understands everything
but so that's not a problem with the problem is living and of course this is more difficult
you can get the beads
but but how how was your life and of course
and of course
what can i do for you nothing right
nothing whatsoever
so we have fun
and in these cases like this one
the furnace true play in our practice is true play
playing with reality
and real play means not holding on anything
that's the source of play and the source of real fun is nothing to hold onto so every moment
one doesn't know what to expect every moment is very surprising
so that's the style and that's how these guys are relating to one another with that spirit of of real of true play moment by moment shedding letting go of absolutely everything
and that's what stands behind their joyful bantering and pantomime
course even that can be formalized
and gets formalized zen is probably the most formalized of all possible with just traditions and even down to the point where these kind of fun and pantomime and jokes
are all a formalized and ritualized and you're supposed to fall down now not over there but now we're here we're supposed to fall down the that happens to so we have to watch out for that it's always a danger can we keep our life alive can we keep our practice really live
so that monk this question of the monk on a level field in a shallow grass support that's actually a very sophisticated pun
which how would we ever know this because we don't speak chinese but that commentary tells you that it's a pun on the name of the oceans monastery
which was something like level field was the name of this level field temple so in a level field he says there's a herd of deer
how are you gonna shoot too thick king pin dear the real tough deer the deer who has very sharp horns and when the tiger comes preying on the heard drives them off how are you going to shoot that out the monk says meaning okay here i am
and the alcove alex
i am a strong student what are you going to do with me
so the other deer and deer are easy to shoot
then i heard you know have been her deer herd of deer it can be easily shoot one but the alka box that's another matter
so that has opening questions and
the commentary says
that this is called intelligence as this kind of question is called a question that uses things
and then so one than worthy in the past wrote a little treatise where he talked about the eighteen different kinds of questions
categories of questions
like i'll give you some of them i had to list written down here i won't give the whole thing but questions like these are the different kinds of questions
meeting of minds ask you for instruction presenting one's understanding
not understanding
real question fabricated question so eighteen different kinds of zen questions
in this particular type of his own question is called
bringing up
question that uses things
you know and then practice there actually isn't a theology or a set of doctrines or beliefs certainly
zen practice is more about
a kind of feeling for life
since about the nature of our lives kind of what i've been trying to talk about this morning
which comes out of are practicing together and come this feeling is not something you can read about in a book or so but it could tell you it comes out of relationship and being together and practicing together we pick up with feeling for life that the ancients talked about and so the teacher can't be
something that's written down on are you know we could study exactly it's dynamic and it's relational in a way we could say there is no teaching and zandt exactly
but this is not to say that zen teaching is relative that could be anything you could say anything we look at at case a call on and any meaning than anybody could come up with is the right understanding know there is a particular absolute understanding but as soon as you try to say what it is are defined it in a fixed way automatically your you're on
and the absolute truth
just appears in different forms according to conditions
and that's why is in practice dialogue is so important question is so important i've spoken before about the endless questioning bringing up the teaching question in question and questioning as a way of engaging one another and in the engagement comes the truth that we need
this one teacher said there were eighteen kinds of questions we couldn't get all upset about that and try to figure out what the eighteen kinds of questions are but he could have said that their eighty one or eight kinds of questions it really doesn't matter much
they express the fact that questioning is a very complex rich and subtle necessary matter questioning is endless
where there are are not any final answer is there are always the it's only the answer now
questioning never stops
i would say myself there's four kinds of same questions
make it simpler
well in kind of question is asking actually asking a question you're actually trying to find an answer you're asking a question either because you're very much beginning and you have no idea about anything so you're asking or because maybe you've practiced for some time and now you have some questions that have developed through your
practice and now you're asking something about the answer to that question or maybe for people who have studied many many years you begin to become interested in a means of understanding
when you realize that the means of understanding and the understanding itself or not actually two different things so you kind of this like shock talk talking by asking questions of i now this case there why did his comes out like that so there's a kind of questions where you really ask you something
then there's a whole bunch of different kinds of questions which are in effect not really asking for any answers at all
but just testing reality
bring something up just to bring up the dharma you don't really looking for an answer particularly but just to bring up to activate the teaching you bring up a question
and as you see in some of the dialogues when when you're bringing up a question like that this kind of testing question it's very difficult not to fall into right and wrong say
in a kind of a contest with someone that you're going to be right and they're going to be wrong very difficult not to fall into that and so that that becomes the point of the question is can you a question and be right and be wrong
and it makes no difference
can you can you be wrong understanding that there's no right and wrong can you be right understanding that there is no right and wrong
so that's interesting
kind of question
then there's the question of just simply harmonizing bringing up a question beyond testing anything
but just because that's human to make music together
with teaching
so that's a wonderful way of questioning also
and so we'd do that sometimes we have formal question ceremonies sometimes were we
ah teacher sits there everybody comes next question one after another band mm sometimes the head monk of a practice period also engages in this kind of questioning its can be quite wonderful i liked this myself it's great fun
it's kind of questioning and the fourth kind of question is the best of all silence
in silence you see you express
that there are no questions and that this itself is a question
every question is most fundamentally only silence
nothing to hold onto
so anyway
this monk it comes forward for the question
this kind of question throwing himself right inuyasha on hands and say okay here i'm already going to do with me now look an era so yeah sure you know the i shot i could have easily fallen for this and so more how do you share the local elks well let's see in i think that the
best way to go about this would be
and then the monk would have cut his head right off
ja schon forget about speculation
let's be together right here
so yeah shaun
being a very ready teacher
how do you shoot the alka box look here's the arrow right now
what are you gonna do
no the monk
falls down
i did that once in one of our questioning ceremonies i think what happened was if i'm not mistaken as a monk came forward ask question
and she was maybe a little nervous or something and she chipped a bit on a robe
and when she tripped on a robe i fell out of my chair
i think that's what happened
something like that was that it would happen to him was mary mary was tripped an arrow
anyway i was a while ago i don't think i've fallen on my chair since
anyway that's what the monk that he fell down dead right away so they're very ready this look and yeah a very ready to work with each other you know no fooling around there's no distance there between the monk and the monk or between the monk and yasha
so the monk falls down
and yasha private oasis let's get rid of his corpse can you come over you can drag this corpse that and at this the monk comes back to life
in runs out and aisha says
this fellow play with a mud ball when will it ever end
and psuedo and commenting says that we lived for three steps after five steps he had to die
and so the commentators suede and new one will seem to think that
that the monk only could go so far
say he yes he was an addict he was pretty good he fell down he died when he got shot he was ready to for the hat
but then yoga and said okay drag the corpse out and he wasn't ready for that they got up and came back to life and anyway
so he he had some insight in other words but in zen practice inside is fine it's good we should all have insight
but it's a little like the advertisements in the magazines you know it's easy to have insight
but what about
ten or twenty or thirty years of practice
just being there willing to give up everything any time
in zen the possible you know you have a zen enlightenment and go on to other things
definitely possible but so what they
it could also get a new car
that's good too
so they say that the monk only go so far but i'm not sure i agree with their assessment of this monk personally
after all isn't the buddha also just a fellow playing with a mud ball
and there's no end to are playing with mud ball spring
our life is a ball

there's many other story the commentary gives you many other stories in the tradition of
zen masters hunting with bows and arrows you know the kind of like fake pretend bows and arrows like a half right here
and in some cases of masters sticking out their next and having their heads chopped off
this kind of
pantomime swords
the good teacher is always being hunted are going hunting
hunting for students with her bow and arrow
trying to kill everybody dead beyond birth and death
this is what it means to appreciate me not me right is to be killed beyond birth and death

it says in the commentary
in the meeting of epps from beginning to end there must be an uninterrupted interchange of guest and host and there must be an uninterrupted interchange of guest and host only then is there a share of freedom and independence
so guest and host as yeah i'm sure many of you know is a kind of like terms that refer to
teacher and student the teachers the hosts the students the guest they also refer simultaneously to the absolute truth of our lives and the relative every day this of our lives
which is what
our relationship with our teachers is that interplay and zen masters you know our
ah not supposed to be ordinary people
and it's not because they're different from ordinary people that they're not ordinary it's because we
our own sincerity of our lives
give them that opportunity and they
if they're really teachers fall down dead and work with us
and then so they're like gurus in a way but they're not like gurus because there's a interchange is the there must be an interchange if there's no interchange teachers and students replacing each other and switching positions picking up and letting go and it's in that play of picking up the relative i'm just me this is my
my everyday practical concern and in the middle of it putting down the relative and picking up the absolute beyond birth and death right here
in our relationships with each other as starting with our teacher and beyond every every relationship every moment
so there's a secret of our practice we have to live at how do we live in this the problem
so that's a nice case don't you think
it's late so i won't go any further but i just in closing
ah wanted to mention ah it's a commercial now give you a commercial
i guess it's a commercial for death
you know see too many commercials
ibf after death so i thought i would give a little plug
just got a call yesterday morning that are very close relative of mine younger than i
died and the night
she was
courageously fighting off a death from breast cancer for years and years lived longer than anybody could ever met you know just on sheer love for her family and will and the way she died and
ah the funeral right now i think
but i i couldn't get there in time but i'm going tomorrow
to be with her husband was my
first cousin very close relative
and i don't know about your circle of friends in your life but this has been last month or so boy so many people have died our alter has been a forest of name plaques and people died
something in the air
so death comes this is no doubt
we must try to understand that which is not understandable
we have this word deaths of course there's no such thing as death what's that that's a word
if you are fortunate enough to be with someone as they pass on you you understand that you don't understand
and there's something very profound about this
anyway many of we we some years ago recognizing the importance of desk we had said center formed a hospice so that we could have the privilege and the spirit of the dharma taking care of people who were dying
it's a very wonderful program it's now independent events center and goes on cross the street from zen center in the city and a have you here i know i see some faces of people who have worked with the program as volunteers and they threw a volunteer training twice a year and they're having another one in the fall so this is a commercial if you are interested in
joining the volunteer training
ah with any luck at all there should be information
about it in the office
and the name of it is a zen hospice projects so you can call them up over in san francisco zen hospice project if you're interested it's a wonderful program and i still i'm actually chairperson of the board and very involved with the organization even still after all these years
it's a wonderful it's a spiritually based obviously a practice
a wonderful thing to participate in so
i would encourage anyone who has interest
so ah
here we are
this is a if you do
what else could we possibly
need or want

well thank you very much for coming i having been running around so much it is a real treat
to be an agenda for more than five minutes which is about usually how long i'm here about five minutes a day so it's nice to be like a whole hour is greater
breathing together
being peaceful together considering
our lives together what a blessing
thank you