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Summer intensive

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One of these days we should just do a seminar or something or a class on this Hatsa Gunman because it's all, it has everything in here to hear the true Dharma and that upon hearing it, no doubt will arise in us nor will we lack in faith. We will renounce worldly affairs and therefore the great earth and all living beings. Here's the part. Although our, this, you know, every day I kind of hear a different part of it. Today I was hearing, because of our past evil karma is greatly accumulated, indeed being the cause and conditions of obstacles. So we call on the teachings and the Buddhas and ancestors to be compassionate to us. That's us being compassionate to ourselves and free us from these karmic effects which is our practice, allowing us to practice the way. We are one Buddha and one ancestor.


This is, you know, the Buddhas when he was awoke, when he was awakened, he said, I alone am something, something, I forgot, but that's what he meant, we're all this one awakened life. And that's what this is saying. Josh, were you the person who wanted the Samyutta Nikaya website?


Then just a second. Okay? Okay, write this down. Okay? and then slash canon slash Samyutta. And there are other things there as well. Okay? Okay. So, I have another reading for you. I've been getting things off of that web page. There's tons of stuff on the computer. This is from the Anatta-Lakhana Sutra. Then the Lord addressed the group of five monks saying, body, monks, is not self. Now, were this body self, monks, this body would not tend to sickness and one might get


the chance of saying in regards to the body, let body become thus for me, let body not become thus for me. But inasmuch, monks, as body is not self, therefore body tends to sickness and age and one does not get the chance of saying in regard to the body, let body become thus for me, let body not become thus for me. And then guess where he goes next? Feeling. You guys always skip over emotions. It's amazing. Remember the last time we did this? Okay? Feeling is not self and one does not get a chance of saying in regard to feeling, let feeling become thus for me, let feeling not become thus for me. Perception, same thing. And here is the next one.


Consciousness is not self. Does this come as a surprise? Consciousness is not self. Inasmuch, monks, as consciousness is not self, therefore consciousness tends to sickness and one does not get the chance to say in regard to consciousness, let consciousness become such for me, let consciousness not become thus for me. What do you think about this, monks? Is body permanent or impermanent? But is that which is impermanent painful or pleasurable? But it is fit to consider that which is impermanent painful of a nature to change as... Oh, excuse me, but is it fit to consider that which is impermanent painful of a nature to


change as, quote, this is mine, this am I, this is myself? You don't seem very confident. If something is painful, is it appropriate to call it me if it's change and impermanent? No, thank you. Same for feeling, same for perception, same for consciousness. Is feeling, perception, are the habitual tendencies, these are the samskaras come up for us with manas, stored in alaya, are the habitual tendencies, is consciousness permanent or impermanent? No. But is that which is impermanent painful or pleasurable? But is it fit to consider that which is impermanent painful of a nature to change as, quote, this


is mine, this am I, this is myself? No. Wherefore monks, whatever is body, past, future, present, or internal or external, or gross or subtle, or low or excellent, all bodies should, by means of right wisdom, be seen as it really is, thus. This is not mine, this am I not, this is not myself, feeling, so on, perception, so on, habitual tendencies, whatever, consciousness, so on and so forth. This is not mine, this am I not, this is not myself. Seeing in this way, monks, the instructed disciple of the Buddha disregards or does not identify with or does not give substance to body, and she disregards feeling, and she


disregards perception, and she doesn't identify with habitual tendencies, and he doesn't identify with consciousness. Not identifying is dispassionate. Through dispassion she is freed. In freedom the knowledge comes to be, I am free, and she knows, destroyed is birth, lived is the... well, then it goes on to that kind of language. All right, thus spoke the Lord, delighted the group of five monks, rejoiced in what the Lord had said. Moreover, while this discourse was being uttered, the minds of a group of five monks were freed from the cankers without grasping. At that time there were six perfected ones in the world. Are you getting the gist of what the Buddha is saying to us?


Okay, this is his teaching. This is what he is saying to us over and over again, none of the skandhas is myself, and the way to work with it is not to identify, not to grasp any of them. In practice what happens is, is that first of course what we do is we work at a very gross level, because we believe, just like most of us here in the room, actually believe that if the body is me, how could it not be? Perceptions are me, sensations are me, mine, I have my perceptions, they're happening... Well, actually, if you say, they're happening to me, then you have to kind of reconsider, are the perceptions you, or is it that whatever the me is that they're happening to is you? Are you following me here? We talk about my practice, and we talk about my consciousness and my emotion thoughts.


So at first we believe this, of course we do, how could we not? We believe it and it's fine, the only problem is it causes us enormous amount of pain and suffering. Okay, so what the practice is, the first turning in practice is that you begin to take responsibility for the emotion thoughts that come up in you, as you. First is we must take responsibility, it means we stop blaming everything else for causing us our own discomfort. The next thing is, once we really get that these emotion thoughts are located over here and not brought to me by the fault of somebody else, then what happens is, well, we still believe, at that point we're still believing them and we're still in a lot of pain. The next thing that happens is we begin to take away our identity, our grasping at emotion thought, and begin to see what happens as a process, rather than being completely caught


by the events, we're no longer completely caught by the content or caught by the emotion or caught by the whatever it is that comes to you, instead we're studying it, we're studying it, we're resting in a kind of awareness, we're resting as the watcher or the observer and we're watching the process go by. With that slight detachment, and it only takes a teeny crack, comes less pain and less suffering and a more subtle understanding of what actually is happening. The next thing that happens, once we are no longer... once we kind of are freed really from the hysteria or the drama or the stories of our emotion thoughts, then we settle even


deeper and we begin to look at the self, we begin to look at the identity itself with these things, what actually is happening underneath the emotion thoughts and underneath the stories and so on and so forth. And I'm going to suggest to you today that what is happening underneath the emotion thoughts and what we identify with as me, which is the teaching, is exactly what we call the watcher or the observer, which is manas, which is the thinking, reflecting sense of separation. It is with that consciousness that we pretty much are identified with as me. So it gets subtler and subtler and we take back our identity even with that consciousness.


As it says here, consciousness is not me. So going back to the text, alaya, and I think functioning is a very good word that somebody brought up for us the other day, alaya is the possibility of all past events, all the samskaras, the emotion thoughts, all the possibilities are being kind of held or attached or they're sticky. Alaya has a sense of stickiness, it has this attaching quality, but it's undifferentiated, we don't experience it as such, it's just all the possibilities. And in that regard I looked up volition the other day, because remember the five universals


that come with alaya, one of them was volition and I didn't quite get it there. The way I understand it now is that it's a potential there, it's not actually an active willful event at that stage, but it seems to be actually the same kind of volition or the same kind of karma. So the two definitions, one that was given to me yesterday is the stirring in the mind in relation to the object, that's that possibility, it resides in alaya. And another definition that I also kind of like is, it's defined as egocentric demanding, I thought that was kind of neat, and it's having the function of holding the mind to what has become its reference. I think both of those are pretty good. But yet again, it's still a potentiality, it's a potential. These potentials arise with the function or the transformation called manas.


These functionings or these transformations are not separate from consciousness, it's not exactly that it splits, it's not a different kind of consciousness, this is all one event that happens extremely fast and even simultaneously. So, as soon as manas is there, manas has the effect of both affecting alaya, because what happens in manas with all of the tendencies of grasping, because of the sense of separation and this thinking and reflecting mechanism, and the bringing up of defilements, when it has its new, so-called new experience, it of course puts it, a new experience which is another reification of self, that reification returns to alaya and influences alaya, and because of all of these possibilities being held there, these possibilities influence


and come up with manas, that's that relationship. Oh, that's just the way I wrote it. This is teeny self, this is small self, this is the arising of the sense of duality we're talking about, this is small self. Okay, Mako? Oh, we're not anywhere close to 19, Mako. Do we need to go there now? Yes, right. The third one, and I think this is really, I told you the other day, this is really an


interesting one that kind of gets overlooked. The third function, the way the mind functions, a natural thing, and the Buddha did not say that the arising of the sense of self is to be destroyed. We do have individuality, it's the nature of how it is to be human. What he said the problem was, was attaching to that, giving it a sense of inherent existence, a substantiality, a reification, imputing solidity where there is none. That's what gets us in trouble, the grabbing onto it gets us in trouble. So, what this does is, and manas is this grasping at self, the grasping that manas does primarily is grasping at this side of the duality. And you can watch this, you can watch yourself grasp on the side of me or grasp on the side


of other. So, manas tends to grasp at self, that side of it, but of course exactly coming up with self, because they're not separate, is a sense of other, of course. And this sense of other, what happens is that this idea, this is a concept, the third function is a concept, concept of object, concept or idea of externality. So, for example, when manas is functioning, first what happens is like if you see that flower, that famous flower that we're studying, when manas is doing it, there is a sense of self, an other, but the other is kind of like that, manas is more staying on its own side. But by the time you get to the concept of the object, not by the time, I mean it happens


immediately, the concept of the object makes sure that we think, makes sure that how we relate to it anyway is that now the other is actually a solid event. And I'm sure it was useful in our development as human beings. Now, along with the sense of separation that manas brings to us, it not only comes up with the defilements, in other words, remember we were talking about when we view something in perception, it runs on the same neural pathway as an old view of the similar thing.


So, not only do all those old stuff, all that old stuff come with it, but also, this is kind of interesting, along with manas, kind of cute, we have self-confusion, self-esteem, self-view, and self-love. These are defilements, but these defilements are the samskaras. Yes, Barnaby. Yes, I think so, yeah. So, along with this, this is really interesting, the first thing that comes up to kind of, I don't know why, I'm making this part up, to kind of mask that this has just happened,


we have self-confusion, which is simply being confused now, this is the beginning of ignorance. We are now a little bit confused about what the reality is of this sense of separation. It's actually an illusion, but we kind of get confused about it. You know, confusion is a really interesting thing. In the Tibetan way of thinking about things, they have families, psychologically families, and one of the families is the Buddha family, and the tendency of a Buddha family person is that they have confusion, is one of their just kind of fallback modes. It's kind of interesting, because confusion, people usually who say they're confused, they're not confused, they just don't want to be feeling or thinking what they're actually feeling or thinking. It's always plus, minus, or neutral, always in Buddhism, it's really sensation.


I think it's just because those five things are necessary in order to have consciousness, period. Consciousness comes with the fundamental universal characteristics of consciousness, they come right with it. So anyway, the same thing is true with this kind of confusion. It's not exactly that we don't know that this sense of separation is an illusion, we just ignore it, we're just confused about it. Then, after we, I don't know if it's then, but okay, what happens then is because we're kind of confused about it and we need some kind of rationalization for making that okay, we become proud of it right away. Oh, I've just made separation, isn't that great? It's self-esteem or self-pride, we begin to take pride in this sense of separation,


this individuality. Oh, individual, puff, puff, puff. And then what happens is, and again, I don't know if it's and then, it's just the way I'm saying it, what happens then is that, now this is really the key, or it's all a key, but it's a big key, is that we see everything through the sense of self. That's self-view. We view everything through a me, a mind. It's important or not important depending on how it affects me. That's basically our stance. You know, whether we're going to have a war or not has basically to do with whether it's going to affect me or not, you know? It's a sense of referencing everything to me.


So, it's like a picture of the whole world is happening, and then right in the middle of the whole world is me, and everything relates to me directly. And then, even if we're not feeling good about that, you know, if we've kind of been... It doesn't even have to do with whether we have a good self-image or not. We do still love the self. And I just want to say again that the practice with this, what the Buddha recommends as the practice with this, is basically letting go. And this letting go sometimes is problematic because we don't know what that means kind of in a way. But if you can think of it, letting go basically means returning to the present moment, returning


to silence. It means release. It means renunciation. It means renouncing the self whenever it comes up. And at these different places, you know, initially you renounce the self at the very gross level, at the level of emotions and thoughts. Eventually, you renounce the self whenever the sense of separation comes up. That's what you renounce. You just note it and you're not bothered by it. You come right back to the present moment. You do not identify with consciousness or anything else. So, now let's turn to the text because now we should be able to kind of zip right through a number of them.


Yes. Now, it's not recommended. True. And that is one way of working with it. However, working with it in that way is still pretty gross because there's a self there saying, this is not me. So, for example, in our Zazen, it's recommended not to do that. And in fact, in the text, it says you have to stop at mere concept. It doesn't say... It says right in the text, if you say this is mere concept, that's too much. You just want to be aware of feeling, for example, and then just... That's it. You stop and you come back to whatever it is you're doing. If we can.


I mean, this is not easy, right? But... Okay? Yeah. Right. But this is exactly... This is the problem and the practice right here in these two paragraphs. This is Anatta Lakkhana Sutta. So, let's take a peek at the text. I think we must at least be on three, don't you think? So, it is unidentified... It, being a laya, is unidentified. Unidentified in terms of concept of the object and location.


It is always possessed of activities such as... Excuse me. Contact, attention, feeling, perception and volition. And I think... In a way, I think that what helped me understand yesterday was the business that it's not knowable to us at that stage. It's not identified. It's quiet in that way. It's not locatable. It's not active in that way. It's kind of a resting place for all the possibilities. In that context, the neutral... See, so here it says, In that context, the neutral feeling is uninterrupted and is not defined. And so are contact and so on. And it proceeds like the current of a stream. Now, when you sit... Oh, did I miss somebody else? I called on... Oh, I called on you too. Okay. You can see when you sit in zazen that it proceeds like a current of a stream.


You know, the mind stream and all of the possibilities come up and... Something happened to me the other day and... Oh, okay. What? Yes, I think the whole thing... Right. It is below activity for us. Below... It's not conscious for us. It's just underneath happening like a current of a stream. And then every so often, lots of the current of the stream come up for us, like when you sit zazen. You know, there it'll be. Nothing's happening, really. Nothing's impinging on you. You're not... The person that, you know, in zazen, you all of a sudden have all this anger for didn't just come into the room, right? It's just the stuff popping up all the time from down there. It's just popping up and doing its thing. The sad thing is, is that, you know, if you don't sit and if you don't develop this kind of awareness that we're actually run reactively by all of the stuff that's popping up from the past.


Hmm. Thank you. Yes. Yes. Number five. It, it's, alias, dissipation occurs in arhatship. Associated with this process and depending upon it occurs the consciousness called manas, which is the nature of mentation. Now, this is a really interesting part that we talked about yesterday. A couple, somebody in me. And I thought about that. I think when it says its dissipation occurs at arhatship, what I think is happening is, is that the nature of the attaching, the function, the attaching of alaya, the, the quality of holding on to the defilements is what in this case is dissipated.


That's my, that's my latest understanding. And I think that happens because what happens is two things happen when we actually practice with the kleshas, the defilements and manas. As we begin to pull away our identity, our identifying, or as we begin to not impute substance to these dependently co-risen events, instead of ignoring their dependent arising and ignoring their impermanence and ignoring their constant flow, we grab onto it and then we get flung into dealing with the events rather than just knowing the teaching, which is this constant empty change of apparent events just going on and on and on. So, as we practice and the defilements are seen through, and as manas, as we don't identify with the thinking process, which I, here I'm calling the observer,


as we stop identifying with that, that, that dissipates. And because manas and alaya are, speak to each other, the attaching mechanism of alaya releases. That's what I think dissipation is at this point. No? Oh, okay, good. Yes? Well, the thinking, thinking remains. I think the attachment and the attachment to, the identity with that function stops. And I think manas actually does. I think manas, the way it functions as a sense of separation, it said, you know what it said about the people who are really awake? It says that they have both awarenesses, that they see separation, they see, you know, they know that they're, they know, they don't merge.


It's not like this merging event. There's still human being there. It's just that they see, they don't see apparent things with inherent existence. So in that way, manas is over, way over. But is the place of, well, the possibility of this one, right? I think of that, and manas is alive. Yes, that's right. But there's sort of, like, not this, set up to this. Exactly, the kleshas are gone. You've walked through your karma. The past stuff does not come up when you have a perception. Yes.


Yes, that's right. Yes. [...] That's exactly right. Yes. Oops, lots of hands. Yes. Can you speak a little bit louder? Yes. Right.


Yes. Right. And the different direction is, instead of grabbing on, with just awareness. Yes. It doesn't come up. Just a second. Yes, very much so. Yes.


That's a way better way of thinking about it. What? Well, maybe if we get there, I don't know. What do you mean? We've been talking about it in terms of karma. Oh, you mean that question? That question? Oh. Yeah, I could do that. I'll bring it next time. Okay. Let me write myself a note. Okay. Okay. James, did you want to say something? Yes. All right. No.


No. Let's use the other word. What was the other word? I forgot. Transform? What did it say? Transform? Transform. Use the word transform. Well, you know, it depends on how deep the karmic event was. For some, you know, as you do this practice, the more superficial ones don't even come up. You know, they're gone, gone, gone, gone. You have to walk through all of it. That's why, you know, our path is this path... I don't mean to... Why am I hesitating here? Because it's bad news or something? It's good news, actually. We walk through our path of suffering. We do the same patterns, how we related to people, over and over again, ad nauseum, until we really get it and remove our identity from wherever it is that we get stuck. That's why, as you're practicing, if you're present, really present,


first you see the suffering, you know, first you believe the whole thing, okay? We're talking after you've already stopped believing the whole thing as being the truth. You see the suffering, how it causes you suffering, and then before that is a really weird part because you know that what you're about to do is going to end up in suffering, but you still have the karmic momentum, the energy is still enough to keep you going right down the miserable path, and you're seeing yourself do it and you're going, oh my God, you know, don't do this, and there you go. It's really an interesting place. Then what happens is that you, being more present and doing that enough so that you really see the consequences of going there, your mind, as your mind gets stronger, is able to be present for things before that event, and then before that event, and then before that event, and almost usually always there is a key turning


where you're holding, where you're identified, where you're identifying a self that you need to, we've been taught to. There's some place there in the self that we have developed that we basically are afraid to let go of, and once you find that place, still it's going to be scary to let go of it, but you do, you don't identify with it, and then you don't go down that path. Question inaudible So we have to know ourselves really well, that's part of going down, that's a big part of practicing. We need to know if our tendency is to, for example, be averting,


and some of us are more graspy, so you have to kind of know what you are and balance your effort, learn what that is. So if your tendency is to avert, then you need to know that about yourself and make sure you go right away, make sure you feel the whole event in the body before, you know, pushing it away. What? Well, you know, there's an added factor to that, because that's actually, that's a disease, that's a physical as well as a, you know, a person can have an enormously strong mental and really want to stop, and, you know, physically they're not quite, they're not there yet, and they need tons of help to hold them in that situation. This is not quite the same, although sometimes with really deep personal psychological addictions,


it almost does feel like that, you know, like it is an addiction, and it takes that much strength, and it takes that much courage, and it takes that much help. Sometimes we need a lot of help, and we should know that about ourselves, and get it, you know, when we need it. I think it might be one area where there's a whole idea of, you know, pathway development, and how to take care of our own needs, and to take care of our own health, and I think that's a big factor there. Uh-huh. Did you get your bathtub thing taken care of? Oh, okay. Because I did, I, it is passed on, and it is, it is being, it'll be taken care of. It seems like babies don't have a kidney, a lot of them, it seems like they're more open, strong in their body, and so on, and so forth. I'm wondering, like, if you actually concentrate for a while,


and you get to a place where you're kind of, you know, more optimistic, is that, you actually don't... Uh-huh, that's also true. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Yes, that's also true. Right? Okay, back to the text. Endowed with the four types of defilements, constantly concealed and undefined, and this is an interesting part of this, because those, the four defilements in this case, what he's talking about, of course, is self-view, self-confusion, self-esteem and self-love, and the tricky part about this is they're really subtle, they're concealed and undefined, they are happening and coming up, and we don't notice, we don't notice that we are confused about the nature of the self, we don't notice that we are seeing everything through the point of view of self.


All of this stuff needs to be brought to consciousness, and when we do see that we are seeing things through a sense of self, this is a... So, I was going to give you some examples about how this works from the point of view of your daily life. I hope that you are... I hope that you're watching the stuff that we're studying happening in your daily life and clicking yourself into wherever it is that is appropriate for your particular practice, that what we're talking about is actually helping you view what is happening in your day-to-day event as well as in zazen. One example. I was talking to somebody the other day


and I was happy to see them in the zendo, so I said, Thank you for coming to zazen. you know, whenever we say something or do something or relate to something, you never know what's going to happen, you know, from that completely neutral statement. The person made a judgment about it, you know, whether they... I forgot actually the whole thing. Oh, could you... Thank you, I forgot. Could you tell the story? What rolled out? It turns out, in an instant, she's mad at me.


That was her tactic. What is she talking about? Of course I'm going to put her in a zendo. What if she thinks I have a bow? My practice is that with her, there's no... I can't stop. I have to keep the hooking. So I'm following her out the door and we're opening the zendo, so we have to go to each of the alders in the temple before we get to the zendo. So I'm walking, and I know that I'm walking, and I know that I'm mad, and I'm sad, and all the pathways kind of presented themselves to me. So each alder was like, I hate her. Each alder was like, it's nothing. Don't worry about it. It's all ideas. I hate her. You know, this is a liar. I hate her. All that stuff. It was rising.


My department got tremendous. And since we've been talking about this for a while, I guess that it was pretty clear that that event was going along my own pathway. And that the teacher, and my mother, and my friends, and then that's when I came in with all ideas, and then reading, and then all the stuff that sort of arose. And then we went back up the stairs after the first period of time, and I asked her if she was being sarcastic, but at that moment I figured it actually didn't matter. Like, it's hard to explain. That's what it was like for me. Like, I was literally walking these paths, and I saw all these different pathways, and I was going down only one pathway, and I was going up another pathway. And when I came back in 1910, that was very clear to me, the conditions that I was in.


So that's really, that's when I really had to come down. Right. Right. Right. Because I really appreciated her coming, because the night before was her birthday, and it could have also been that she celebrated her birthday somewhere, and stuff, and she came to the Zen Dojo, and that made me happy. So that was actually nice to see her, that's all. You never know, you know. And also possessed of other forms of contact, and so on, attention, feeling, perception, volition. Born of such, self, you, and the rest of it, it is not found in the worthy one, nor in the state of cessation, nor in the super-mundane path. Such is the second transformation,


and then tomorrow we'll go on to the third one. And... Yeah, I think that's good. Now we can zip through the... We'll zip through the... What was the first transformation? Alaya. What's the super-mundane? Oh, I think it means the path of Arhat. It's not there. Let me leave you with this one. Are you okay? Oh, wait a second. I just want to read this thing. This is just a renewing of what we just talked about, but... Just in terms of the same thing we were talking about, this teacher, Tony Packer, said something during one of her talks, and she's saying,


maybe we are hearing an implied criticism in that question, that I shouldn't have any motive because that's wrong. Whatever is being said here, no matter how critical it may sound, can there remain moments of simple listening? This heavily conditioned brain has difficulty in hearing anything innocently. Whatever is heard is fitted into a pre-existing context laid down in the past. It hears criticism where there is none intended. It assumes that conditioned reactions that are pointed out in a talk are wrong, and therefore the opposite, no conditioning, must be right, and that therefore I need to get rid of my conditioning, and please tell me what practice will do that for me. On and on. No criticism is implied. Just watching the minds rattling on. How simple can the listening be?


Is it humanly possible to listen without adding interpretations, judgments, conclusions? It all happens at lightning speed, and no one is doing it. The brain interprets, judges, concludes, demands answers according to its accumulated structures laid down in the past. The body orchestrates the process with an array of sensations from the most pleasurable to the most painful. In our daily life there is so much living in brain-made stories and so little waking in plain unadulterated presence. There is constant entanglement in habitual reactions with little awareness. Labels, concepts, prevent looking. Memory is relentlessly shielding


immediate experience with stories from the past. There is nothing dangerous in being completely unconditionally what is. The only danger lies in maintaining the defensive cover. In this inward listening can resistance be clearly felt and seen and abate on its own. It takes subtle attention because we are so used to our resistance that we do not often notice them directly. But as we listen and watch openly there is less interference from memory telling us what everything is and how it will be in the future. Is it possible to move through one's day and be with people without referring everything


to a personal me? It is a good question to ask and a wonderful way of discovering the nature of that me. It is not in the words. It is not a practice. It is not subject to will. It is bird singing, air moving gently, story coming and going, breath flowing, back aching, heart beating, sun shining, beholding it all in silence with an open heart that does not go anywhere. That's the wonder of presence, Tony Packer. Okay, back to the zendo. Whoa. And tension.