Wednesday Lecture

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SF-01875
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ah vow to chase the truth of the dung words
yeah

so a little while ago i was having some breakfast and me have some dinner had had
been disoriented and on the phone rang and it was my darling daughter sabrina whom
i called the say goodnight should be asleep when i get home and she's a guess who's here mom and i said i don't know she said lucas i said oh great and she said to want to talk to him and ice has sure so then there was a silence and
i said hi lucas i lucas and still nothing and and sabrina came back on and she said mom when you don't hear anything that's lucas
the
the trick is just like buddha you don't hear anything that's buddha

in my middle years i have grown rather fond of the way
when the spirit moves me i leave my solitary hutton go and see the things that only i can see
i follow the stream to the source and sit and watch the place where the clouds pile up
or perhaps by chance i made a woodsman and we laugh and sing with never thought of going home

so as all have you witnessed on well not all of you but most of you on sunday morning when the baby buddha and emerged from his mother's body he took seven silver steps
and pointing one finger to the heavens and the other to the ground proclaimed i alone am the world honored one
so that's what i want to talk about tonight about i alone

and i'm going to use them myself and a story that happened to me this last christmas by way of example
i alone
and
i was thinking that probably most of you know me by name and by face pretty well and that i've lived here at gringotts for a long time you might know that
i'm but only probably a few of you know how i like my coffee
and i imagine that none of you know about my secret affection
for trains that true
so if there were something like a being or soul or a person then
i alone would be riding through this life on a train
my father jumped to train when he was fourteen headed for hollywood
and his father worked for the railroad all his live long day
so i really do love trains and
i get excited around trains
not at all like airplanes which you scare me
is so
i was thinking about my grandfather who i don't remember so well he died when i was pretty young but the couple of times that we visited him in san antonio texas his house actually was built on railroad property
so in the middle of the day he would reach in his pocket and pull out his watch it was on a chain
and then he'd say it's time
and my dad and me and probably my brothers and sisters but i never noticed went out in the yard and waited ah kind of like at attention
and then i would start to feel it in the ground
think the closest i've ever come to this feeling is a san francisco earthquake
and then the sounds of the screeching and clanging metal heavy metal and and truly heavy metal
and then all of a sudden there would be this kind of breathtaking moment when the train would just fill the sky above my tiny little head
and i've seen that right now and the best part has ah
the the engineer at the top of the train beer in a way up at the top of the engine with the hat and scarf you know just like you'd expect miss sleeves rolled up and he was leaning on the window with one arm and smiling and waving at me hi
and then my grandpas said okay now do this go like this so i go like that and the train whistled
for me
so this this last christmas i had to a very great gift of riding a train from here to portland oregon and back again
this what i thought of as my christmas present
it didn't know is that inside of that gift there was another gift to bigger gift than i hadn't planned on
and i'm beginning to understand that for me in this life and maybe for some of you that joy and sorrow are both packed into this one human heart
they are kind of a set
the reason that i went to portland was that graces father my dear friend grace
her father peter was in hospital and on a ventilator with very little possibility that he would be able to be taken off the mental here
and i really like peters so i wanted to go and see him and say goodbye
so we had a couple of days in fact we left on christmas eve
and we got on the train over in emeryville
and and i didn't sleep really it was at night we started but it was christmas eve sabrina was with us and i brought lights plug them into the in a little compartment and the stockings and
nibbled reindeer food and all that stuff now and then
we got it all set up and then in the morning when we woke up we left about ten o'clock i guess
when i woke up i looked out the window and it was kind of like a miracle but there was snow all over the ground it will we were in the cascades
and it it's snowed the day before so the sky was blue and the ground was way him i was on the train
hi along
i think sabrina what she liked the best was the snack bar
i was okay
baby the mystery will appeal to her later in life
so
let's see them on i wanted to tell you
oh okay so
that was christmas we spent through lunch on the train and then after lunch we got to portland and we were taken from the train to the hospital
and i went to peter's room and he looked really good you know he had oxygen for the first time in years
like my dad he'd been a smoker big time smoker so emphysema was had destroyed his lungs and he could no longer breathe on his own so he was pretty happy because he was pink us he was well ventilated
and so i walked in and he smiled and said he will actually couldn't talk as he had him the ventilator was in his throat
but he mouthed merry christmas merry christmas santa on peter is what used on what i used to here called a gentleman
the old school like maybe some of your dad's here
very nice man very good company
so we spent the day with peter in the family and it was very pleasant and
at the end of the day i plan to go home on the train and so we went back to the hospital to say good bye
and when i got there the family had passed around this clipboard
and everyone was crying
and there was so single sentence at the bottom of a long kind of practical list of questions and things that pittard written to his nurse and it said should i go today
on and in some ways i feel like i'm still there in the room with everyone you know it's one of the reasons i'm talking about this is to kind of bring it forward
and i feel like that room where the people we love go to to go is always with us it's it's here you know it's part of my life
so the family wanted to talk together and i offered to stay with peter
so he wouldn't be alone and they all went out in the hall
and while he and i sat there are i watched him and you know he looked like a well seasoned meditator
he had a very calm expression he was looking straight ahead
on very clear eyed
and we didn't speak or communicate every once in awhile he turned to me and smile
and i i just came to treasure that time shared silence with him and i thought when i thought about it i thought it's not so different than the shared silence and that we have in the morning together i'm just being together is quite quite wonderful
so

i was thinking about what he might be thinking about him
and i wondered for a while if patients tried to say something or offer a maharam a buddhist priest in i shouldn't give him
i couldn't think of a thing you know but it really seemed that he didn't need anything that his whole life had congealed into the present moment the one we're always trying to study
you know he didn't need anything his past was done his future there wasn't much of a future few hours mimi
and i he appeared to be perfectly content

ah from some years before that i had spent some time with peter at the helm of his boat he had a boat that he loved called the juliet which was named after grace as mother
a wooden trawler and he would
drive it around the water and he lived in the san juan islands and drive it around the water around the islands we go around the islands and ground around and
there was great fun
and i kind of felt like that's where i was again you know back in peter's boat only this time he was headed out for the open ocean i had the look of a sailor
so when the other people came back to the room i left for a while so they could talk with their father and i happened to go to sit down in one of the waiting areas
and ironically there was a program on
ah science show and stephen hawking the all know who stephen hawking and be not know who steven hock his a physicist who has a advanced lou gehrig's disease
so he's completely immobile except for his mind
and he's also on a ventilator
and the interviewer was asking him questions about outer space which is his specialty is written lots of books about outer space and then at the end of the interview
the the man said to him can i ask you a personal question
i kind of got my intention
and stephen hawking speaks through a computer this
he uses his eyes to communicate
and so he said he typed out yes you may and the man said are you happy man
and there was a pause and then the computer typed out yes i am a happy man my but that's not what i expected
that's odd
and then the man also obviously surprised said well how is that so how are you a happy man
and stephen hawkins that will while and he said because i'm deeply curious about life
i've had boy that's the secret you know for a student of the way that's it right there i am deeply curious about life
it's not about conditions and asked about curiosity what's gonna happen next

so
i wrote these notes when i was waiting there in the room
it strikes me at this time how utterly simple life really is when it's now
when it's i alone
in this moment in any given moment there is nothing to add and nothing to be taken away no matter how hard i try like a cat chasing it's tail it can't be gotten and it can't be lost
in this life has come to me as a gift but not the gift of a thing but rather the gift of a deep affection from beyond my ordinary way of thinking and feeling the i alone for which nothing whatsoever is outside i alone am
the world am honored and one
so when nine on the family came back into the room peter called us all around and there must have been there were some lab techs and doctors and nurses and all the children
and we all got around the bed and
and peter said with this very clear voice he actually got some air out of his mouth and he said now
that's the last thing he said now
it was no debate
so we all put a hand on him and i i have my hand just blow his left knee
and and then
the doctor started this morphine drip
and he said to peter you nod when you're ready
so
pretty soon peter nodded and the neighbor carefully to a gently like a baby a unhooked the ventilator
and i'm not sure what i expected but i know expected something other than what happened i think we asked him
because hollywood said peter started to smile he had this big grin on his face and it just gotten bigger and bigger and he looked at each person one by one and he smiled and he smiled and it started to look like he was gonna pop in on he just like
so radiant and happy like a sunflower
no i alone
one by one
and then still smiling he closed his eyes for the last time
kept smiling
finally he went to sleep and several days later he still had the little bit of ability to breathe couple days later he when everyone else had gone to sleep here
he became still

so i really don't know what's true about death or about dying i don't know much about it really i just feel like i watched
and i feel that way about living to for that matter
but it did seem as though or whatever it was whatever the invisible boundaries are that separated peter from the universe dissolved right there on the spot you know
a for great elements return to their own natures like a baby taken to it's mother

so i was i was thinking about this in preparation for us as she which are often for me thoughts of death come up when i'm getting ready for session and i can take care of old newspapers and business and tidy up my space
put on a new sets her tip stuck
return on my phone calls
i can shut down
and
many of you in this room are going to be joining me alone in this room poor a week of silence
will come in that door and find our seats one by one
will stay there until the bell rings and then one by one will get up and make circles for kin him
one by one will sit back down and eat and well
walk and will sit
am rest
and that's madam
and i think that's just about it always
it's very simple
when you find your place where you are practice occurs actualizing the fundamental point
when you find your way at this moment practice occurs actualizing the fundamental point for the place the way is neither large nor small neither yours nor others the place the way has not carried over from the past and it is not merely arising
now
accordingly in the practice enlightenment of the put away meeting one thing is mastering it doing one practice is practicing completely
so i wanted to end this talk this evening by reading you something that i wrote last summer
ah it's an essay for this celebration that i did with my teacher a reb anderson
tension roshi
and
i am
ah i
i found this and i thought well this kind of fun
something i want to share with people so i hope you don't mind if i read it too
hum
for what is the venerable shockey mooney revered this is a from logan it's facile in the szabo guentzel called the heritage of the document of heritage that she shot
and you can read this fast cycle and moon and and dewdrop which we have in our library
what for what is the venerable shock him mooney revered he is revered for his way of awakening
for what is great master young men revered he is revered for his way of awakening

so the beginning of this essay i basically and disclaiming any ability to understand via classical
pena standard disclaimer have a clue what this means
but then i got a little toe hold on this sentence of dough games
without ancestors mastery there is no merging of realization between ancestors
so here was the common thread a suture for time the ancestors together their mastery of the buddhist wisdom great master shakyamuni buddha great master bodhidharma great master a hey dogan great master show goku shinya
the inconceivable mastery of the buddha dharma all for one and one for all
there was entry here for me in that i have some understanding of mastery through my own study of both dharma and of tea for example i know a master when i see one
last year at the a multisync a new year gathering in san francisco that's the t school that i am a part of
i sat on the wooden benches with the lovely ladies and their kimonos and watched as one senior student after another competently made tea for their guests and then to my deep surprise and delight one of the senior teachers easily eighty or ninety years old appeared in the doorway
and said in a quiet voice or also associate mask i will now make bowl of thin t
for the next forty minutes i was utterly transfixed by the simplicity and the artlessness of her t her movements reminded me most to watch him my mother's practice tans making the morning pot of coffee only daily repetition for decades of time can bring such quality to a craft
there are actually some forms of tea which one is not allowed to perform until you are over fifty years old the silent benefits of age for wine and women
this teacher is tiny to like suzuki roshi the same gene pool yet her power and presence shook the ground beneath my feet as she moved lightly across the room
just keep walking in the morning mist and by and by you'll be drenched to the skin no effort no choice no turning away
and then this morning being monday during the priest meeting i had a mini vision of the she show this document or heritage while partly and neti was reading lou richmond's cricket story i saw for a moment a place in the body of reality or all the buddha ancestors immer
haim or sequence this place opens with the arrival and closes with the departure of each new ancestor one by one by one like inhalations and exhalations there is blood there to lots of blood the document is written with blood
brain swelling sudden infant death mass murder rifles fired in a high school library for that reason for the suffering of this world this place has been given to us for opening and disclosing the buddha's wisdom it's kind of ordinary when you see it just around but
wow cushion in a dimly lighted cow barn but after you sit on it for a while night and day and day and night you begin to understand some very simple things like the sun the moon and the stars your body begins to get it first shooting pains to the knee
and the hip heart pinching memories of long lost love little by little you're tuned in as the first chill of autumn brings the sweet scent of sesame soy beings by winter you forgotten how you got here the breath now visible and grand years go by but
not you you for some own unknown reason refused to leave and there were chances lots of them but they only made you darken in your resolve may skin indeed and sinews and bones wilt away may flesh and blood in my body dry up but until i
attained to complete enlightenment this seat i will not leave this was the a statement by shakyamuni buddha as he sat beneath the bodhi tree
so big shot you got what you came for the end of suffering and the beginning of suffering and all of the suffering and between you see how it works in that qualifies you as a buddha ancestor however until you come out of the forest and find those who might likewise understand
the buddhist way will not appear in the world the document of heritage is about giving all you've got for the benefit of others with both hands until your hands both fall off

thank you very much
may our in