Sunday Lecture

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tenorshare is the to the to dongo those words
morning everyone would one
so i wanted to welcome particularly all of the younger people who are here and thank you for bringing your parents
i was thinking about all of you and remembering
being you being a child
and i thought about a lot of the times when i went with my parents to a very quiet place called church
kind of like this
and there was a big person talking
and i remember being very restless and
but there were a couple of other things i remember about that time to in particular that i wanted to share with you
and one of them was that i made a puppet
when i was in church i have a roman soldier
and this puppet was for an easter play that we were doing and i made my puppet his helmet and his armor was aluminum foil
and then he had a kind of velvet rope
which was the way people dressed in those days they wore robes kids wore robes too
so i think my puppet also had a spear that was very sharp
and in the play we were doing my puppet was the bad guy
this was a story about somebody named jesus the all know who jesus is somebody
you know christmas
has interesting
well jesus last name was christ in christmas
is his birthday
so the other holiday that that's a big one is easter the chocolate eggs and that that time and easter is the time that people remember that jesus died
and actually he was killed
and my puppet
was the puppet of a soldier who had helped in the killing of this man jesus
so the other part of this story is that
my puppet received the robe the jesus was wearing when he died
and as a result of getting this robe
he changed from being
kind of confused and angry to being kind and gentle just like jesus
this amazing thing
that was the point of this story was about the robe and how a rogue can change your life
so the other thing i remember
from church is that around the same time of year we would sit in church late at night
and the idea was that we were watching with jesus who was having a hard time
so the few days before easter or called good friday
and the night before good friday we sat in church late at night and was very dark just a candle on the altar
and the idea was that we were gonna stay awake
while our friend was having trouble
and what i remember about that night was that i really believed it i really believed with all my heart that my good friend was having trouble and the best thing for me to do was to sit and wait quietly with him
so i found a story about a little girl who also discovered the joy of sitting quietly
and i want to read it to you it's called play with me
do you know this some anybody he did

the sun was up and there was due on the grass and i went to the meadow to play

a grasshopper sat on the leaf of a weed he was eating it up for his breakfast
grasshopper i said where you play with me and i tried to catch him but he leapt away
a frog stopped jumping and sat down by the pond i think he was waiting to catch a mosquito
prague i said will you play with me
and i tried to catch him but he leapt away to
he goes the frog
right off the page
a turtle was sitting on the end of a log he was just sitting still getting warm in the sun turtle i said when you play with me
but before i could catch him he plunged into the water
a chipmunk was sitting beneath the oak tree shelling and acorn with his sharp little teeth chipmunk i said when you play with me but when i ran near him he ran up a tree
a blue jay came and sat down on the bow and i n jabhat and scolded the way blue jays do blue jay i said where you play with me but when i held out my hand he flew away
a rabbit was sitting behind the oak tree and he was wiggling his nose and nibbling of flour rabid i said when you play with me and i tried to catch him but he ran into the woods
a snake came sneaking along through the grass zig zagging and sliding the way snakes do snake i said will you play with me but even the snake ran away down a whole
none of them none of them would play with me so i picked a milkweed and i blew off its seeds and then i went to the pond and i sat down on iraq and i watched a bug making trails on the water

think these it can hard to see
she's sitting on iraq
and as i sat there without making a sound grasshopper came back and sat down beside me
and then frog came back and sat down in the grass and slowpoke turtle crawled back to his log
and chipmunk came and watched me and shattered and blue jay came back to his bow overhead and rabbit came back and hopped around me and snake came out of his whole
and as i still sat there still without making a sound so they wouldn't get scared and run away
out from the bushes where he'd been hiding came a baby fawn and looked at me
i held my breath and he came nearer he came so near i could have touched him
but i didn't move and i didn't speak
and fond came up and licked my cheek
oh now i was happy as happy could be for all of them all over them were playing with me
so thank you for coming and playing with me and we'll see later okay


well i i didn't really think that story was for kids
just that sort of where we all got our beginnings you know the restlessness and all the longing
and all the strategies for getting what we want when we want
so it seems that that's just kind of built in to the organism that we are now that's how were born
and in buddhism this is called beginning this greed hate and delusion
no it's not a fault wears no blame for judgment it's just very painful
so i was thinking that you know for thousands and thousands of years it's been this way
no one has come up with a plan or as set of directions for how we're all supposed to live together on this earth
and a kind of looks like we just keep improvising
like this election
you know we just gonna make things up as we go along whether it's moral systems are
politics science stuff
it is just seems to be more and more and whatever there is you know is soon replaced by something new or at least there's a good argument against it
and then somewhere in this great mountain range of data and possibilities the children
are expected to go out and find a job
and maybe start a family of their own
so this pattern within our human life
if untreated meaning basically are lacking consciousness or any intention beyond caring for itself
is what the buddha called samsara an endless wandering endless circling
and these in fact are the first and second of the noble truths first is that there is suffering this is painful
and the second that it is caused by are endless longing and desire

so i was thinking about this situation
mean in my life
and i think about it a lot and
and i was thinking that i wish i had received when i was around seven years old a piece of parchment
calligraphic graft with the simple life plan
maybe wrapped in a silvery ribbon like harry potter got his invitation to hogwarts you know
i thought that it would be just like this so i i wrote it down for you something like this so step one
successfully work out all your family relations before leaving home
check that one on
step two after leaving home follow your bliss
step three this one's optional marry for love
a step for philanthropic endeavors
step five die deeply fulfilled
and step six failing any of the above start again without judgement at step one

so i didn't get this set of instructions when i was a kid
and as a result i spent all of my youth and most of my middle years of trying to get some good advice on how to move through the uncharted waters of this human life
and i've talked to just about everyone
therapists teachers zen masters children peers
movie stars
and where my research brought me was basically to recommend to you are the teachings of the buddha
which when they arrived in my life came kind of like the bridal bouquet at my best friend's wedding
you know as though the buddha himself to herself had just gotten married

and catching this bouquet of the buddhist teachings is a good prediction of things to come you don't know who is going to be where it's going to be or what it's going to be but you have been promised by the universe
through these teachings of wisdom and compassion that are all of your unrequited love is going to be satisfied
and the only thing that you need to do in return is to have the smallest amount of faith that these buds are really for you

you know i think it's hard to do they did i really walk through the right door this morning you know is this the right place and these the right people
this the right life whatever it is
we're always wondering
but i think that are actually you do blonde hair from you'd do belong everywhere
and that this extraordinary gift of life is not a mistake or a bad joke it actually is coming to you continuously from all directions

and that each and every moment still using the metaphor of the catching the bouquet okay
each and every moment of this catch
and then when i thought of that this morning i was thinking i remembered sane willie mays in the outfield halfway up the wall
member that picture of some of your town anyway with his glove up in the air
it's like that
it's just like that instant replay over and over again
and this cat puts you right into the center of this wonderful amazing ongoing process of creation
like the little girl surrounded by her animal playmates and the only thing that you have to do is not to move
and what that means is not to move from this connection which is always there between the glove and the ball

this way of of talking and this way of thinking and have been is called affirmation
or confirmation
and it involves both giving and receiving
approval agreement yes yes yes which of course includes no no no no affirmation isn't disturbed by how we think or what we say it doesn't block this fresh or
oh the present moment of our experience

so as long as we're able to stay with this is happening this is happening this is happening this is happening
it's just like the of gentle beating of the human heart
that's the metronome of reality

so my daughter goes to school in mill valley
recently the students in the upper school were given an assignment to build some rube goldberg come to contraptions in teams of four
i think that was the biggest challenge for them actually
what i hear so on all curriculum night we went to see what the teachers and students are up to and they had a couple of these gadgets up and running
and the first one i saw a was being demonstrated by our very own elisa rudnick who's the daughter of club peter rudnick and wendy johnson who lived here for many many years
and this gadget and was called a burger maker two thousand
and with a little pull of a string the burger on a been went sliding down a chute and thereby squirting catch up on it and then at the bottom it flipped over onto the other half of the bunk
and there was a lot more ketchup around the burger than there was on it but we could all feel the potential of this
so the other one that was demonstrated was called the stuart smalley stress reducer
and this one was done by team of boys and it consisted of an elaborate sequence of levers and pulleys there were all set in motion by what i later was to learn is called a stomp rocket
and if your parents know what stomp rockets for you stomp on it
and it's full of air and it shoots iraq it out
so they stomped on the rocket and than the rocket this is a description of this gadget from the boys i happened to meet one of them in person as name is dylan
the rocket cuts through a string thereby dropping a weight into a basket which lifts a block of wood that tips over hitting a lever which is cocked with a ball that rolls down striking the bumper of a way to car sending the car rolling down an inclined plane and flipping it over thereby popping a film canister filled with burnt shot into a tube
that lands on the start button have a tape recorder which plays the following message
you are good enough smart enough and doggone it people like you
the the sequence
or the affirmation
you are good enough smart enough and doggone it people like here a hero
well that's how i felt like my little heart just kind of popped open
in a looking at these gorgeous boys with their clever machine that had no other purpose than this compassionate message
may it always be so
so acts of confirmation toward each other and toward ourselves our extolled by all the buddhas and ancestors as the essence of the teaching
so that makes sense
and i would like to share with you a portion of a very remarkable lecture by duggan's mg on this subject of affirmation this is from the show begins or treasury of the true dharma i which is his great masterwork
and this bicycle is called precisely this duking which means confirmation
this is one of the longer festivals i'm not going to read a lot of it too but some to get a flavor
and i really at after reading this over many times i really envy those students who got to sit there and listened to this great master speaking to them in this way
just about every sentence of this lecture contains the word confirmation affirmation
the great way uniquely transmitted by buddhists and ancestors his confirmation
at the time of confirmation even those even those who have not arouse the thought of enlightenment are confirmed no buddha nature is confirmed buddha nature is confirmed body is confirmed no body is confirmed all buddhas are confirmed
all buddhas keep the confirmation of all buddhas
buddha said there are many kinds of confirmation briefly speaking there are eight number one confirmation known to oneself but not to others
two confirmation known to everyone but not to oneself
three confirmation known to oneself and everyone
for confirmation not known to oneself or to anyone else
five confirmation recognized by those who are near but not by those who are a distant
confirmation recognized by those who are a distant but not by those who are near
seven confirmation recognize both by those who are near and those who are a distant eight confirmation recognized neither by those who are near nor those who are a distant
these are the kinds of confirmation therefore do not think that confirmation is only known to the mind of this present skin bag body
do not say that a person who is not enlightened should not easily be confirmed it is usually thought in this world that a person is confirmed when the merit of his her practice is complete and becoming a buddha is determined but it is not so in the mood away
following a teacher and hearing one phrase or following a sutra and learning one phrase is itself obtaining confirmation because it is the original practice of all buddhas and because it is a great route of one hundred grasses
when confirmation is expressed those who obtain confirmation are all people in the ultimate realm
you should know that even one particle of dust is unsurpassable even one particle of dust is going beyond itself how could confirmation not be one particle of dust how could confirmation not be one thing
how could confirmation not be myriad things how could confirmation not be practice and enlightenment how could confirmation not be buddhists and ancestors how could confirmation not be pursuit and endeavor of the way how could confirmation not be
be great enlightenment and great delusion
confirmation is my essence has come to you vigorously raise it up in the world confirmation is you are like this i am like this confirmation is a guidepost confirmation is beyond your knowledge confirmation is the face breaking into a smile confirmation is coming and going of birth and
death confirmation is the entire world of the ten directions confirmation is the whole world is not hidden
you get it
whether you do or not that's confirmation

so my experience of this festival is kind of like a drumming or feeding on that ah
barricade between what i imagine is my inner self
and this longing for union with the other or what roomy caused the beloved
and the buddha and a likewise repetitive fashion
lead on this beat on us with this reminder over and over again over hundreds and hundreds and thousands of years
he said the problem you are having is a misperception of yourself as separate from all that surrounds you moment after moment
the problem you are having is a misperception of yourself as separate from all that surrounds you moment after moment
and like the little girl in the story due to this misperception we are constantly chasing after thing trying to get them objects people ideas
those long plan for vacations both mental and physical
and again and again
you may have noticed that those things slip just out of reach of your grasp
well that's one idea the other ideas that actually you think you're successful at getting all those things
you know you've collected the photo albums
and the sports equipment
and all of it is nicely tucked away in your great sack of collectibles
i'm a little bit more like this
it's my style but what i've begun to notice there's a big hole in the bottom of my sack
and everything that i stuff in there you know seems to be falling out
the other end whether it's mildew or a gene
or plunging stock markets
so as i'm busily seeking out new things the ones i've collected are slowly rotting in my bag

when shakyamuni buddha was awakened on the morning of the eighth day of his meditation retreat
he proclaimed i and all beings together
attain enlightenment at the same time
i and all beings together attain enlightenment at the same time as he said i was his insight
so the important word here is together to gather
to gather together
and this practice of confirmation is always done in company
good company
and that's what is meant in buddhism by the word sanga
together to gather together
so the last term
two and a half days i've been
attending a performance of alice's adventures in wonderland at the little theatre in mill valley little studio theatre
and my daughter sabrina is the tiger lily
and i must admit that i sit there breathless as she goes masterfully pull through her for lines
so after last night's performance i was backstage where the other parents we were all kind of pitifully holding out our bouquets of flowers for the kids were running biosphere
and i was listening to the children talking to one another their children from the play and they by name they were calling out to each other good job savannah good job sabrina you to good job good job michael
you know good job dylan
what's really amazing kept listening
and then later on when i got home i was slain in bed and i realized they hadn't seen each other perform
only those of us in the audience had a privileged seeing these beautiful children doing their thing you know
and i began to understand that this good job was about their belonging to one another they were team
they had done this good work together and they knew that this was confirmation of their union
and as a result
what was really true was that there were no stars in this play there were only stars in this for every one was a star his play
it's really have been asked me she said mom how did you like the curtain call
so yeah that was the best part
everybody out there all clapping and
beautiful thing
everyone in wonderland is mad
one of the lines
so many of the people in this room right now we're going to be sitting for seven days here in this room says sheen
which means literally to gather together to gather your heart mind into one place where you are
and this kind of gathering like the children who are playing is the opposite of trying to get something
and it's also the opposite of time to get nothing
trying to get nothing is on just another strategy that the miserly settle on when they realize they can't have everything they want well then i'll have none
that doesn't work
so when shocking money would i tried that strategy of emptied his mind of all thoughts he reported that it gave him a terrible headache
and he said along with many of the others experiments that he'd done and his first years of home leaving this is not the way
the way that the bullet todd is called the middle way between the extremes
not getting caught either in pursuing are running away
recently steve weintraub who is one of our residents and is also have very well trained psychologist and a buddhist teacher said to me while i was having some difficulty with the situation here you have to learn how to maintain the strain
maintain the strain
so this is this inborn intention of our human life that pulls at us to pick a side
one side of the other know we've all been going through this for awhile now the gore or bush
maintain the strain
poverty or will
good or evil
right or wrong mere you
and the buddha taught that
at this process of choosing one side over the other
is exactly the source of are suffering
by holding views are fostering opinions but arguing fighting killing
we bring great suffering into this world
and all of it comes from shutting off have
of what's possible in any given moment
including the possibility that we ourselves might be terribly terribly wrong
so this line that runs down the middle of things creating the world of opposites is called in in buddhism the big delusion
being delusion like the big kahuna
see imaginary line that splits the world into two things
suzuki she said that when we find the joy of our life in our composure when we don't know what it is when we don't understand anything then our mind is said to be very great and very wide
our mind is open to everything big enough to know before we know some thing
we are grateful even before we have some thing
without anything we are very happy
even before we attain enlightenment we are happy just to practice our way
otherwise we cannot attain anything in it's true sense
so learning to sit quietly and to maintain the strain and not know anything are the ingredients to affirmation
that's what i have to say and if you have another idea please add that into
so i'd like to finish with a poem and honor of session called zazen it was written by a woman named virginia hamilton and air
when i first floundered in no one knew me
not even myself staggering under a saratoga trunk crammed with humiliations bottle like urine samples nail kegs of anger
carbons of abusive letters chemistry quizzes with f's even the horse i never had
and the to casseroles left over from a diamond dip supper
no one remarked that i had brought too much
i was wearing three for hats donated by opulent cousins my feet encased in cement ever since the failure of the patio project
and my mouth full of barbs as an old trout
no one praised my appearance
the trunk fell off my back disgorging it's unusual contents at my stone feet which also came off
the for hats tumbled like a moth eaten avalanche burying a small monk
no one noticed
my sweat began to dry i folded myself into one piece no one
so this is the poetry of confirmation
testimonials that have been left for us by people that we have never met and never will virginia
a dare not virginia hamilton and air duggan's g shakyamuni buddha pose on roomy
mojave joppa t on the poly
and yet i think we're very lucky that they chose to live their lives sending their discoveries on like messages in a bottle
when we chant the ancestors lineage here each morning i
gratitude to each and every one of them
these are worthy the worthy navigators
across the ocean that connects the dark to the light
so i wish all of you the benefit of these great teachings
and i especially wish it to those of you who will be sitting session
and i especially wish it to those of you who will not
good job