Wednesday Lecture

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vintage
today's the drew the to the words
pay me

so i'm these thoughts i have brought in here tonight nighter and little wet on the paper still show on please forgive my inconsistency is and false claims
yeah
when you sail out in a boat to the middle of a notion were no land is insight and view the four directions the ocean looks circular and does not look any other way
but the ocean is not round or square it's features are infinite and variety it is like a palace it is like a jewel
it only looks circular as far as you can see at that time all things are like this
so some years ago i was the know here at gringotts farm
and one of my jobs was to
i invite the speaker for the wednesday night dharma talk
and then when we came and i didn't have anyone everyone was gone kind of like now they're all away
so i called around the others and centers in the bay area and i finally got mail weitzman on the phone and i was very relieved and i said mel can you please come tomorrow and give the talk and he was quiet for a minute and he said you do it
you give the talk
ah and i was quite stunned
i think i still am quite stunned
i'm so i said to him i don't give talks
and he said you do now
so this is or as and training program in action right here
so anyway i'm here again today and wondering how this all comes to be
and
i have had people say to me oh it's so comfortable for you isn't it sitting up there giving talks yeah you seem so confident and brave and you know they say things to me like that
but it's not true
it's not true at all
but i wanted to tell you what it is like to sit up here and face you
it's actually unfathomable
it's like being on a boat in the open ocean
am i was thinking that it's just that way for you to
each meeting
with someone else with another person
i'd i heard to hurt human to human
is unbelievable
undefinable unimaginable
ungraspable
and i don't think it's any different when may face a mountain or the sky or the great blue sea
when i wanted to talk about tonight is what we do in the face of our enormity
in modern psychological jargon it's called projection
we make up something
and most of the times our stories are rather quick
and skillful
we don't even notice how good we are
i saw this home phantom menace and darth maul has a dual lightsaber
is a light coming out of either end of this weapon
that's kind of like us you know i like it i don't like it it's good it's bad as pure it's impure more or less right wrong easy it's very easy we very quickly chop up reality and to tiny little pieces
so recently i had a very prolonged experience of my imaginal life in company with some good friends a circle of women that i have been practicing with for many years
and this is a true story i'm going to tell about a good friend who became very ill a member of our circle
actually she's a woman who lived here for a little while about a year ago during our winter practice period she was sharing a room with lee lip her name is carol williams
and fact carolyn's doing very well right now for those of you who remember her
but she's had quite a journey and all of us who care about her went along
on her journey
hum she left the practice period because her heart is what we call it bad heart
i it relies on a pacemaker and for her to be living and for some reason her heart wasn't functioning well
so when this happens here lungs start to fill up with water
so for a long time she was really suffering with this condition
so all of us who care for her asked her to please get another opinion to see some more doctors she did that
and i eventually had open heart surgery to repair to valves that they suspected were leaking and causing her her decline
so the surgery went very well and carolyn ah looked great she was pink and breathing happy and seem to have a new healthy life
and we all felt great we did it and we'd saved carolina and we celebrated
and then about two weeks later
he started to fall
she spiked a fever and within
eight our she was in the intensive care unit with a tube down her throat lions in her arms and a feeding tube and morphine
kidneys were failing her heart was failing and she was delirious
and we all felt terrible
and we blind ourselves
how could we have changed things made her get the surgery
so what i began to notice as the data on carolyn kept in and we all have it out an email and all that so we every day we knew exactly what or temperature was and how she was doing and the more information and we got
to those of us close to the information i noticed we began to make up stories
about what was best for carolina
and
it was really a very
profound experience to be so close to someone who was in such desperate
struggle for her life and to be talking about it
i well maybe she's telling us she wants to go and that's why she pulled out our lives she's telling us to let her go and then some of us for same away we don't know what it means you know and then we switched camps
oh yeah i guess it's for as she wants to go back and forth and macro
and i know that many families in and all of us go through this with friends with some point in our lives his dilemmas and that actually the consequence of those conversations can i bring about actions that will end the person's life
it was very close their decisions that the family could have made about her life
and i want to admit to that i at times wish that someone would do something to either end her life or that she would get better so that my suffering
about her would stop

but no one did
so
now none of us wanted carolyn to be suffering and of course the first noble truth is that there is suffering
and all of us wanted something to happen either that she would quietly die and end her suffering or that she'd get better and end her suffering we wanted that and the second noble truth is that the cause of suffering as wanting
so with these simple ingredients of wanting an ignorance and suffering we created a whole world around carolyn
we strategized and we planned and we prayed and we ventured and way decided many many things and meanwhile carolyn simply got well
it's a miracle
truly a miracle

so the buddha was on to projection
from the very first moment of his awakening because that's exactly what he woke up from
he woke up from stories
and i was thinking that time when this talent we have for projection as turn this direction than what we create is what we call the self me
and when this talent for a projection has turned in this direction so we imagine ah that's the world
so we can do this

i think what's not so usual for us is to identify ourselves with this process of creation and generally we put the blame outside on god or goddess or her parents or society or something and i didn't make myself i didn't ask to be more
it's kind of unusual to accept the idea that on even for a moment that i'm actually what i mean by god or goddess i'm the creator
this is my world that's flowing out of my imagination
and that in fact everything that comes in contact with my
eyes and my hearing my smelling
my hands my mind comes to life
through the contact with me
that's like god is mecca
i bring the world to life to my life
and i think it's this very active projection that clouds are view
of how wonderful this truly is
it's the clouds over the moon we don't see the magic of what we are and what we do
the story is getting away
so i wanted to read you a passage from
the dharma powder which is one of my very favorite passages and all of buddhism
since the first verse of the first chapter
what we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday and are present thoughts build our life of tomorrow our life is the creation of our mind
if a man or a woman speaks or acts with an impure mind suffering follows them as the wheel of the cart follows the beasts that draws the cart
what we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday and are present thoughts build our life of tomorrow our life is the creation of our mind
if a man or a woman speaks or acts with a pure mind joy follows them as their own shadow
he insulted me she heard me they defeated me he robbed me those who think such thoughts will not be free from hate
he insulted me she heard they defeated me he robbed me
those who think not such thoughts will be free from hate
for hey does not conquered by hate hate is conquered by love this is a law eternal
many do not know that we are here in this world to live in harmony and those who know this do not fight against each other
so the the history of buddhism or of zen hi if you will is really
a string of stories about individuals who have entered into the dark forest of their own imaginations and found their way out
and i think of all the many things that are sad in this world one of the sad things is that not everyone finds their way out
i am years ago found a book on
korean sham and women
and in the villages in the mountains of korea when a young woman loses her mind which
ah can sometimes happen to young women
i they give her hut and beautiful clothes and delicious food and then they wait outside
and if she finds her way out she becomes the sharman for the village
and if she doesn't than she becomes
like all next such women around the world a bag lady who wanders utterly mad
so i think that the zen teachers are really kind of like this there are people like us who were very last very confused and found their way out
and the way you can spot them as if they're usually hanging around either shouting were whispering or emailing encouragement to people who are still in the dark
and they say things like to just sit still
gord tried turning left
a fluff your cushion things like that
shakyamuni buddha was the first zen teacher and his disciple was maga shopper the great aesthetic
maha shop of bind by came to have the same mind as his teacher the buddha
so that when the buddha raised flower and blinked his eyes mahyco shopper broke out in a smile
the buddha said i have the treasury of the i have truth the ineffable mind of nirvana these i entrust to mark shopper
and the story goes on to say that once you come to know the inner self you will find that mark shopper can wiggle his toes in your shoes
so i was thinking tonight that may be some of you might wonder how you recognize the gateway to freedom
or how you recognize the feeling of the ancestor wiggling his toes in your shoes
and i think it's an okay thing for us to ask here at his and center
not particularly ah right now as we're about to enter the practice period which is our season of contemplation here on the farm
work and dnr season of long days of light and hard work and we're about to take up the business for which we where our robes
this words n comes from a sanskrit word that is pronounce something like jonah jonah
and john means
meditative absorption that culminates in the cessation of all dualistic distinctions
meditation of meditative absorption that culminates in the cessation of all dualistic distinctions
self and other inside and outside is or isn't
basically you turn off the light saber

and there are eight of these china's described in the old wisdom sutras for of them
in association with the bhutto's on enlightenment the first four
and basically what this is is that the meditator
follows the ah teaching and the old texts and through a contemplative process begins to peel away all the layers of their imaginal life
all the projections outward and the projections inward
until there's so little left to experience
at that point they try to confirm for themselves whether there's anything there that is absolute reality or not
so they're going down into the labyrinth of their minds
looking for the treasure
and i find it very helpful as a meditator to study the old stories of the old yogis the older depths and what did they say about what they found it's very interesting
and most interesting is that they're very much like us and they make up stories lots of stories and some of them are are quite wild
an imaginative
i recognize them right away i i can think like that too
and they are particularly interesting stories around this experience of cessation
neruda some ah party when there is
barely anything perceived
cessation
now one thing that's interesting about cessation is that the yogi is in fact emerge from this trams to talk about it so that's an important thing to notice
cessation is a trance that last at most for two or three days and then you come back to thinking pondering arguing and complaining

there is in the promo dollars outta
i a series of refutations by the buddha our our very own yogi
who are refutes sixty two different views regarding the nature of reality
and half of those are the views of thinkers rationalists philosophers and half of those are the views of the yogis the meditators
and among the views that he refutes our eternal isn't neil islam materialism and creationism some of our biggest most favorite beers

what's interesting to me is that the buddha and his yogic exploration failed to verify much of anything at all
and what he says is that all of these claims
by others
our overstatements
have the facts
and that through his insight and teach him he basically said there is no ultimately real subject me and no indestructible essential world
when that which surrounds me
and fact there is nothing substantial whatsoever
that's what he got out of him
no claims at all

so what's left
this is from the diamond sutra a description of the imaginal world that we all know and love
this is what's left
as stars has a fault of vision as a lamp a mock show dewdrops or a bubble a dream a lightning flash or a cloud so should one view what is conditioned
what is created
it's not that we stop seeing these wonderful visions we just don't believe them
you hear them like a dewdrop

so the main point that i'm wanting to make this evening is that our very own buddha
did not
ah find the combination of his practice in cessation nor did he find the combination of his journey in some absolute
but rather he found a deep and profound insight into the nature of
how we create the world
and how we create suffering pour ourselves and others that's where he saw and understood
how it all works
and this young man who became the buddha was just like us
and that's exactly what he was stunning
he was studying us just the way we are right now
this ordinary everyday independent separate person that we believe ourselves to be

and fasting and trance and drugs and sex will give you a break from that person
it's true it really will but then he or she comes right back at shoe again pair they are the next morning with a terrible headache
and that's just what happened to the buddha it didn't go away the person kept returning
so finally on one cold winter morning what the young man saw
was a star
he saw an ordinary run of the mill twinkling star in the dark black sky
and from then on he wiggled his toes in his shoes he smiled and he held up flowers
and this ordinary person
that he experienced himself to be did not go away
but he knew it was a story
and that made him very happy
and that's my story
so i was looking for a kind of closing poem or something that i found what i think it's a perfect story and one of duggan's classical called everyday activity is the way
the great master jojo asked a newly arrived monk have you been here before
the monk said yes i have been here
the master said have some tea
again he asked another monk have you been here before
and the monk said no i haven't been here
and the master said have some tea
the temple director then asked the master why do you say have some tea to someone who has been here and have some tea to someone who is not
director
when the director responded the master said have some tea
thank you very much
may i