Sunday Lecture

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well we
we have the most perfect
spring day

and for the children
there's a i'm not sure if the parents know that there's a children's program going on out there and they're reading a story and all did you know that you did but she chose to be here okay
so if if any of the children would like to go out or go with her parents to join me i'm not sure where they are exactly but close proximity
across the law this way so please some you're welcome to go now if you'd like to

cause like

so today's the day that we celebrate buddha's birthday the birthday of shakyamuni buddha know that actual date of the birthday
varies in different countries and in the tradition of zan from japan but the birth date is april eighth but a green gulch since we want to have a big celebration and picnic and pageant we choose the sunday closest to the eighth so so it's today
factory and other things
so how many of you know the story of the buddha's birth
or maybe i should as hundred of you do not know the story of the buddha's birth
okay how many of you have never heard of the buddha before
okay so
about two thousand and five hundred and
eighty three sixty three years ago
the birth
there was ah
a wonderful
occurrence in india where
a baby was born now we often celebrate the births of babies
all over the world when a baby comes there is celebration
not i should say not every single time a baby comes but all over the world when babies come there are celebrations and this baby came in a in an unusual way
and i wanted to read from a book called the buddha character which is the x of the buddha which is written by ash pagosa and it was there is it was written on palm leaves there were fifty five palm leaves that were found and the story was pieced together and it's a poem it's a
long poem and
the pageant today which which in enacts these very things that i would read about you see them in living color out of milan
come from i believe norman's a former abbot norman fishers poem that will be read today as the narrative for the pageant i believe comes from the buddha character
so i thought i'd read a little bit is called the birth of the holy one
there was a king of the unconquerable shock years
the buddha came from a clan called the shock years and he was also called shock your mooney
and his father's name was his father
legendarily was a king of the shock is or head of the clan so there was a king of the unconquerable shock is pseudo donna by name of the race of the each marco and the pier of each baku in might pure he was in conduct and beloved of his people as the moon in autumn
that counterpart of indra had a queen
a very such he whose splendor corresponded to his might
in beauty like padma in steadfastness like the earth she was called mahama from her resemblance to the incomparable maya
this ruler of men dallying with his queen
enjoyed as it were the sovereign glory of via shrove varna then without defilement she received the fruit of the womb just as knowledge united with mental concentration bears fruit

before she conceived she saw in her sleep a white lord of elephants entering her body yet she felt thereby no pain
so my i had a dream of this big white elephant and we today we'll see this white elephant come to visit maya in all its glory and the law
so she saw in her sleep away lord of elephants entering her body yet she felt thereby no pain maya the queen of that godlike king bore in her womb the glory of her race and being in her purity free from weariness sorrow and illusion she set her mind on the sin for
three forest she wanted to go into the forest to have the baby in her longing for the lonely forest as suited to trance she asked the king to go and stay in the grove called lumbini which was gay like the gardens of caterer rentier with trees of every kind
the lord of the earth full of wonder and joy recognize that her disposition was noble from her possession of piety and left the fortunate city in order to gratify her not for a pleasure excursion
in that glorious grove the queen perceived that the time of her delivery was at hand
and amidst the welcome of thousands of waiting women proceeded to a couch over spread with an awning and we have that couch yesterday
then as soon as pusha became propitious not exactly sure who pushes from the side of the queen who was hallowed by her vows a son was born for the wheel of the world

without her suffering either pain or illness
and then they liken this to the birth of another legendary figure as was the birth of our var from the thigh of pre to from the hand of mud at tar the pier of indra from the head of cook she that from the armpit on such wise was his birth so this was a marine
oculus birth they came from queen my aside
when in due course he had issued from the womb he appeared as if he had descended from the sky for he did not come into the world through the portal of life and since he had purified is being through many aeons he was born not ignorant but fully conscious
and then this is a description of the the baby shockey morning with his luster and steadfastness he appeared like the young son come down to earth and despite this his dazzling brilliance when gazed that he held all eyes like the moon
so he was like the sandwich you could actually gays and i'm like the moon
for with the glowing radiance of his limbs he eclipsed like the sun the radiance of the lamps and beauteous with the hill of precious gold here lumad illumined all the quarters of space
he who was like the constellation of the seven sears walked seven steps with such firmness that the feet were lifted up unwavering and straight and that the strides were long and set down firmly and we today we'll see the baby buddha take these very
seven strips seven steps very strong and steadfast and from lifted up unwaveringly
and looking to the four quarters with the bearing of a lion
he uttered a speech proclaiming the truth i am born for enlightenment for the good of the world this is my last birth in the world of phenomena
and then to streams of water clears the rays of the moon and having the virtue one of heat one of cold poured forth from the sky and fell on his gracious head to give his body refreshment by their contact
he lay on a couch with a gorgeous canopy feet of barrel and framework glistening with gold and round him the actual lord stood reverently on guard with golden lotuses in their hands
the dwellers in heaven themselves remained invisible held up in the sky a white umbrella and bowing their heads in no business
before his majesty muttered the highest blessings that he might obtain enlightenment the mighty snakes in their thirst for the most excellent law
fanned him and with eyes shining with devotion be stood bestrode him with mandara of of flowers offices they had performed for the buddha's of the past and so on and so forth and then wonderful things happened delightful breezes blow and
ah clear water comes and troops of heavenly beings come and birds and deer
did not call allowed in the rivers flowed with calm waters and all these wonderful things happened in the world and all four quarters and will also see that enacted although what wonderful things happened during the pageant
so when shakyamuni buddha appeared in the world
you know it said that
it doesn't matter so much
shakyamuni buddha per se himself his his personality or his human existence the most important thing is that he brought the
ah the dharma or the truth or the law trance the dermis translated as truth or law or the teachings to bestow or that he discovered himself not he didn't created himself he discovered
the truth that was already there that's discoverable by all beings
so i the
the fact that this being lived and died in the world
as long as the truth was brought forth and is passed on that's maybe the most important thing but still
it comes up in the human heart some feeling of gratitude and thankfulness and happiness and joy that this teaching was brought forth that is available to us and that we've been exposed to it in this life
so this is that the the earliest moments that i was talking about of the buddha coming into the world and like all legends
there are miraculous things that happen
no we have in this
hall this this zendo this is also this room is called a zendo where we do meditation and it's also called the buddha hall and in a in a different kind of monastery or or temple there will be separate buildings for the meditational and for the buddha hall where it
the lectures and ceremonies and services enchanting and so forth they would be separated but we have just one place so we have the traditional figures of the meditation hall the manjushri which is the large figure on that altar and the manjushri figure is the figure
of wisdom and then right in front is shakyamuni buddha sitting right in front of manjushri and shakyamuni buddha's is in the gesture of touching the earth calling the earth to witness ah and then on this side of the zendo we have the big statue is jizo bodhisattva or the
the of compassion and then right in front the smaller figure is tara buddha or the female
emanation or the female
form of enlightenment or the awakened one so the room is balanced with wisdom and compassion and male and female energies
which is what our practices a balanced of a balance of wisdom and compassion
and male and female energies you might say the balance of our the wholeness of our life
so when i first came to zen center at the san francisco zen center has two rooms they have a zendo in the downstairs floor in then we come up to go to the buddha hall for service and i just followed along with everybody it was pretty interesting to me what was going
on and i came into the buddha hong
alva said there with bells going and everybody turn when turn to one direction so i did that to and the office and everybody dropped down the whole rooms that are dropped to their knees and i
panic slightly in thought well when in rome and just went down a mania to
and then i got up and then it happened again and again and again and over and over there is i wasn't counting with there are nine full prostrations down to the ground with hands touching the ground and well i have never done such a thing in fact i had been taught very strongly in my religion of
origin to not bow down to graven images or idols and job
if i was pretty i'm concerned about what i had gotten myself into
now another friend of mine when this happened same thing kind of happened she was surprised with edge that oh good calisthenics i like to do
so i asked somebody after the service i went right up to the head of the practice and said what is this point down to these images i don't know if i can do that and they said oh that's just honoring your own true self
and i thought oh that's what i'm here for that's what i wanted to find that's okay with me i can do that
and ever since ah
in boeing which
comes up in many ceremonies regular everyday daily services and other kinds of ceremonies and today before the pageant will have a traditional ceremony marking the birth of the buddha and and that ceremony they'll be
and there's an ultra set up with offerings and of light and fruit and they'll be food offerings and sweet tea and water and incense and our voices enchanting and they'll also be full bows there that will be made by leader this
ceremony the officiating priest which will be me
so i don't concern yourself about a a thing don't worry about think the the whole this elaborate
someone recently said they were a little embarrassed that we do this ceremony front of all these people that don't necessarily know what it's about and don't actually care and
and maybe misunderstand what it is and it's an uninitiated group you might say or it's a it's a it's a combination of tadpoles and frogs meeting new people new to practice a new to this kind of ceremony or service and people who have been doing this
these kinds of ceremonies for many many years and appreciate this expression of gratitude and devotion
so it's it's a very it's a combined group today so when you see full bows to these figures you may just call to mind this is a way of expressing our
gratitude for our own
true nature which is not different then buddha nature which is in fact sentient beings or human being sentient beings and buddha's the teaching is that they're not to so what the buddha discovered through his life and we
just are celebrating the birth but they are followed
many years of being very well taken care of as a young man baby in a young man very good mothering from his his mother died actually queen maya died
about seven days after he was born in his foster mother who was also
his father's second wife so as a combination of his and his mother sister so it was foster mother and aunt and stepmother all rolled into one ah he was very carefully taken care of very well mothered and fathered imperative and and
and saw even though he was he was so well taken care of we actually realized there was something missing there is something left that he needed to ah
settle for himself he had everything materially that one could want and still there was a vague unrest and that grew to ah
realizing that
if there's old age and sickness and death and lamentation and grief in the world it's not going to help me to have
material goods only and even though i have a wonderful family and wife and child and
still i have to settle something deep inside
and which is why he set off eventually on his quest of the truth and and he
ah practiced austerities and found out that those were not those wouldn't take care of this longing and so he had both a full material sensual ah
exploration and the exploration of austerities and then decided and practicing in a balanced way the middle way and began to take good care of yourself again eight some good food and then sat in meditation and and that statue of him shows him after he had been sitting for quite a
well and had made a vow to not get up until he understood in a very simple way
what needs to be understood and once he understood and was enlightened then after some kick some encouragement
when to teach for forty years or so other people so what he what he found out was that
marvelous marvelous
i'm all beings throughout the entire universe are completely and thoroughly enlightened
completely and thoroughly are are awakened the board buddha the
root of the word buddha means to awaken so buddha is the awakened one and his awakening was that all beings are also the really wake and except for our the clouds of and the coverings of our delusions we usually don't understand this
so this was one of his most basic teachings so when we do this bow when we do these bows and make these offerings and celebrate the birth the celebration is is our celebration to the celebration of our own ah
our own
birth rate which is awakened the awakened to be the awakened one
and i think this this celebration is it's our celebration
now the the translation of the word buddha in tibetan means purified and fulfilled a term that means purified and fulfilled for a little bit different from
that sanskrit awakened
so what does that mean to be purified and fulfilled purified from what and fulfilled how
ah but the purification has to do with being purified of our ignorance or delusion about the way things are about the the actual way
life is
and through wisdom
which is manjushri city on the altar over there the the budisa of wisdom the ah
but that's not enough the fulfilling of that the fulfilling of that wisdom is to help other beings to have compassion for other beings and help them to understand as well this is fulfilling that because it's not it did one doesn't feel filled or fulfilled to just and
or stand all by yourself alone we actually i want to
have those that we love and care about understand as well and be free from are suffering and
lamentation and grief and pain
so wisdom and compassion is being ah
fulfilled and purified purified fulfilled his wisdom and compassion
now there's i wanted to mention
the three bodies of buddha
so we have this shakyamuni buddha that we've been talking about in that we're celebrating today and this sometimes there's a teaching called the three bodies of buddha or the
ah but
the word for body as kaja so there's the dharma kaja or the truth body and some boga or the enjoyment body and the near monica or the emanation body or the transformational body
so the dharma okay is this truth body that the
the the law or the truth of the way things are his dharma kaja and the buddha is a buddha
can be understood as not not just shakyamuni buddha
son of ciudadano and mamiya but the truth body by understanding the truth you become purified of ignorance and
operate in the world or act in the world
based on the truth rather than based on delusion or misconception our endurance so one becomes truth body but it's also the the
the dharma itself the teachings themselves as the truth body of the buddha
when someone is born into the world
as an emanation of truth body they're called the near monica and that's the ordinary person that appears is the near monica and it's in myriad myriads of near monica has him
been have come down through the ages all the different teachers and zen masters and enlightened beings of the world i thought of as near monica or emanation bodies in
that trance having the dharma okay or truth body actually come forth in form
and another of the foreign bodies that the form the word performance rupa or rupa kinds you have dharma chi and group ukiah and the two kinds of rupa kayak to form bodies are this near monica and sam boga okay so the some book okay his enjoyment body and
maybe this one is sometimes harder to understand that
when we make figures like these figures that are here jizo body safa and tara buddha and shakyamuni buddha and manjushri these are thought of as some bolkiah or enjoyment bodies they're like idealized you it would be hard perhaps to see a being
that looks like these particular figures their idealized
and they contain what are called the thirty two marks of a buddha
there's wheels of the law on their hands and feet and their ears they have the all these different marks their ear lobes very very long and they have like manjushri has or the buddha has this top not on top of his head and sometimes a circle of hair that
twirls clockwise in the center of the forehead all these all these i am
i'm very particulars that are used in icons are used in ah
making figures these are part of the some bolkiah or enjoyment body or idealized collect it's a collective understanding of the enjoyment body but you wouldn't see someone walking around necessarily with a bump on the top of their head like better you might be very worried about them so this is this is a way
way of for that artists and
people all through the ages have
depicted these energies of compassion and wisdom and awakened ness
so the three bodies of buddha dharma kaja some bolkiah and near monica
and they're all in one really they're all one these are different aspects of buddha body

so there's some bug okay is also sometimes expressed as embodied in speech
in words and thoughts and on the level of ideas
so i feel like the pageant that we're about to see and the ceremony there are going to about to do his part of our
celebration of some bolkiah buddha as well
as well as the near mana kai buddha the actual birth of buddha and the birth then of all the teachings that have come down to us and that we can partake of so it's it's the triple body of buddha events being celebrated
so traditionally we talk a little bit about what the ceremony is and what your participation is so i'd like to do that now after we leave the zendo or go out in the lawn and there's a circle a designated cirque
on and people can take their place around the circle and ah once everyone has settled then we'll have they'll be the children will start this the ceremony by
certain emulating the buddha and setting up a big parasols that delineate the space further and will strew flowers from a little cart and then the procession will come in and go to the altar and chant cards will be passed out will be chanting the heart sutra
the heart of perfect wisdom sutra
before that sutra is chanted we will make offerings of incense and light and flowers and offering cups of sweetwater sweet tea and rice and there's also food offerings on the altar already
and bows will be made and then will chant the heart sutra and everyone please join in and try and that the traditional chanting it is done with your ears we say chant with your ears now usually we chant and we know that we chant using our mouths but list
to the people next you and across the circle from you try to listen to each other so that we can all stay together it's hard to chant outside because we lose each other
but can't use your ears and then after the chant is completed we will circumambulate which is a traditional practice keeping r right shoulders towards the buddhist so by that's a counter excuse me that's a clockwise motion going around the altar
and it's a very old
practice keeping in the buddhist time the and in hot countries the buddhist monks and nuns were there right shoulders bear and the robe just like our robes keep are not over the right shoulder but we don't
in northern california especially we don't have bear shouldered rose we were under rogues for for ward than in other countries as well the arms are covered but the the robe is over the left shoulder so the right shoulder stays towards the buddha and you were will be circling around doing this chant which is
own now mo shakyamuni buddha and own is kind of like homage to do want to say that after me
oh now move shakyamuni buddha all the now move shakyamuni buddha okay and they'll be a drum that will go that will keep the beat and so it's difficult sometimes to circumambulate with such a large
it begins walking all at once we can do that so will circumambulate
oh however many times it takes
i'm not exactly sure if we'll all get around more than once or not depending on how fast we're moving and and then it's traditional to bathe the baby bhutto's payment who's there's another little alter under a pagoda of flowers because these mandara of of flowers came floating of out of the sky when the baby stood up
after he was born and so we have made a pagoda of flowers decorated a decorated pagoda and the baby buddha a little baby buddha standing up with one hand pointing to the heavens had one to the earth where he stated i alone in that world entered one and
it's traditional to bathe the baby boutique cause these you know this hot and cold water came out of the sky and came down and bathed him so we reenact that and each person can do that but we won't do that during this first part of the ceremony and during the second emulation will have the pagoda set up to the side so all
during the rest of the day it'll be there and you can go over and and there's a little scooper there and you can pour the water over the baby buddha to re-enact what happened
and then a following the circuit emulation and then with the drum they'll be a dedication dedicating the all the awareness and effort and energy that we've
gathered together by doing this ceremony and that will be dedicated to all beings in all ten directions
so we don't keep any of that
positive energy for ourselves we give it away so after all a l always have to redo a ceremony we give the the merit of it are gifted this wonderful positive energy give it away so we'll be giving it away so you don't have to worry that you're accumulating any merit or something that might then be lost later you don't have to worry it's all given away
to all beings
and i think
following the ceremony then we will settle down on our picnic blankets and they'll be
the pageant or begin and soon thereafter and then awful you bro picnic lunches and there's also birthday cake and lemonade that will be available
during the morning and the afternoon
and please enjoy yourselves today and this beautiful spring day
have i left anything out

thank you very much
me here