Willingness To Be With Our Difficulties

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move on to understand it
today's centers around directors words

but we are today comes from my thoughts of yesterday and i present thoughts create a life of tomorrow
if a man or woman speaks or acts with an impure mind suffering follows them as the wheel of the card follows the beasts that draws the cart
if a man or woman speaks or acts with a pure mind joy follows them as their own shadow
he insulted me she heard me he defeated me she robbed me those who think such thoughts will not be free from hate
she insulted me he heard me she defeated me he robbed me those who think not such thoughts will be free from hate
for hate is not conquered by hate hate is conquered by love
this is a law eternal
many did not know that we are here in this world to live in harmony those you know this do not fight against each other
some months ago paul heller who is the had a practice here the city sandra asked me if i would give a talk here
and i said sure i'd be glad to do that i thanked him a long time went by
and then he asked me again and he gave me a piece of paper with some dates on it
so i picked the last date on the list
and and so happened that a good friend of mine
died and the federal was on the same day that i chose so i had to cancel
ah and then i said to paul will i'll get back to you and a long time went by
so he gave me another piece of paper with some dates and the last one on the list was december twenty eighth
so i wrote it down and here i am
the reason i bring this up is that i realized and going through this
dance with paul that i had some resistance to giving a talk here
and the closer the time came to giving the talk the stronger i felt that resistance
i really felt it coming down stairs just
so what that are did was forced me to look at the stories i've been telling myself about this bill name and and particular about this room
and i began to realize that there are ghosts in this room for me
and some of them are you probably can't see most of you who knew that some of those of you who are a little older maybe you can see some same ghosts that i see
go so for students who were here and have gone
and then there's the succession of teachers
think the biggest spook it's and center is suzuki roshi
have you heard of him
what his pictures on all the walls and
and we chant his name daily and service and we do a monthly more me to a early memorial we have videos and lecture tapes and ah
i noticed the shadows been nailed to the wall kind of like tinkerbell
they got him
but the bigger ghost for me as the one whose name we don't mention
and whose pictures are not on the walls
and his lecture tapes used to be stored in a closet upstairs but i just stop by their little while ago this morning then they're gone i don't know where they've gone
and so i thought it would be interesting for me to say his name
this morning his name is richard baker
richard baker
we didn't call him richard baker we call them big regime
like one were big bushy
or roshi
we've even done away with that word at simpson
we have rab and blanche norman it now
so i wanted to say that baker roshi was my teacher for seven years here at and center
and fact that time baker oceans and center were kind of like one thing
and everyone here was a student of baker russia
so when he left a big hole opened up in my abdomen
and i remember deciding at the time that i wasn't going to fill that hole ever again
and it was very painful thing
for me
but i've actually found that it's been very valuable to have a hole where i used to imagine there was something there
so anyway this is the sense that occurred to me when i was asked to give a talk of the city center
what we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday and are present thoughts build our life of tomorrow our life is a creation of a mind
so what i just told you as a story
it's a story about me that i happen to believe but nevertheless it's just a story
kind of like a hairball it
came up and out
so i'd have to look at it and then i got to show it to you
so that i want to talk about this morning his hair balls and how important it is for us to get them up and out
all of the ideas we have about ourselves all of the ideas we have about other people all of the ideas we've had or have ever had about the world and about what's right and wrong was pure and impure and so on
and i understand that it's there's a lot of reluctance to actually look at a hairball you know i share that reluctance
we'd prefer to treated the way the cat does you know just leave it there for somebody else to clean up
and this is one of the reasons that we encourage each other to practice because
it's not our way to clean up after ourselves i know this firsthand by i have a three year old at home it's just not our way she likes to just run through space and leave a long trail behind yeah well we've all done the same thing throughout our lives you know there's a trail of debris
all our relations to our family and our friends and old lovers and our jobs and our schooling
the way that we treat objects
the way we've treated the air and the earth and water altogether we've made quite a big mess
so the wisdom of our founder shocking little buddha another all spook
for us to sit still and to face the mess directly
to really look closely at the contents of his mind to watch how their thoughts i produced and how they entangle with one another
one after the other creating a chain
chain making a wheel and the wheel going round and round around over and over
we will a person to
we're all stuck on that will
he was just like us
but he sat still and he watched
and he saw how it worked
that was the content of his enlightenment we've seen how it worked
sarah this nasty little bears with form inside of us
are called and buddhist jargon dusty or views
and correct views are actually foundational to our liberation
i think for most of you who studied a little bit of buddhism or maybe a lot of buddhism you know what the four noble truths are you've heard of them the first one is suffering the second one is the cause of suffering
as ignorant clinging
the third one is a cessation of suffering
and the fourth is the cause of the cessation of suffering so disordered to paris actually have a result suffering and it's cause clinic
the result cessation of suffering and it's cause
the eightfold path
so the for path
ah begins with conducted go through all the begins with first fold is right view right view very important right at the tongue how do you understand the world
unfortunately we are rather simple minded creatures have at the core and what we tend to do is think of the world and tubes it's called dualistic thinking i think it has something to do with having
to arms
and that's why we can temps
it's no coincidence
so dualistic thinking is when we set up the world as though they were just two choices is or isn't
right or wrong black or white
pure or impure
so that we do when we look into our hairball
is to go oh yuck
i can't believe it in this is terrible i'm going to change myself right now once and for all
i've been bad and now i'm going to be good
well i know if you did that but that's what i do
so this is called the buddhist make-over you know and we've all tried it to various degrees of success one time or another i'm sure
it's kind of like having an interior decorator come into your house and throw it all your stuff and then repaint the walls and put in colour coded furnishings and drapes and carpets and then you come in and you hang up your new views on the wall
right conduct right speech right intention
now you have a soft food for those spontaneous urges to sit
and so i'll set up and it's very beautiful and we love to invite friends over to our new room
how do i have i look
unfortunately it's not so easy and redecorating actually sets us way back from where we need to be
and in fact not only that it creates a new hairball
really pretty one but this one is very hard to get rid of it kind of sticks in our throats and makes it hard to breathe it's called zen practice
i want to read a quote from master milan about this problem
he says to observe the regulations and keep to the rules is time oneself without a rope
to act freely and unrestrained italy just as one wishes is to do what heretics and demons would do
to recognize mind and purify it is the false sound of silence sitting
to give rain to oneself and ignore into relating conditions is to fall into the abyss
to be alert and never ambiguous is to web chains and an iron yolk
to think of good and evil belongs to heaven and hell to have a group of you and dharma view is to be confined in to iron mountain's
she realizes it as soon as thought arises is one who exhausts her energy
to sit blankly and quietism is the practice of the dead
if one proceeds he will go astray from the principal if one retreats he will be against the truth if one neither progressive nor retreats he is a dead man breathing
now tell me what will you do
here's the answer you work hard and be sure to attain it in this lifetime less to have eternal regret
what is right view
and how can we possibly cultivated without irritating master move on
right i really don't know and but i have thought about it and and i want to share with you some what i thought
the couple of years ago i gave a class on buddhist history and and standing for that class
i began to think of practice as a process rather than the thing that you do or thing that you have done and now you've done it in there it is but it's something that's emotion it's warming and the image that i liked of that process
was a been like each of us in little boat
now of out on the bay and at first i saw these little boats
kind of comically with some people who are rolling backwards and some you know falling in the water and other people yelling for help and and then there's those people who just roll right along and a great spade i hate those guys
and so i had this kind of sense of all these little boats practicing together
but then i thought i liked another image even better which was have a great sailing ship
and that
all of us are on this ship together and same things are happening people are bumping into each other and falling overboard and sign but actually the consequences for the whole ship
and together we practice together we form community sanga
and that's what our practices is that it's all of us together not any one of us
and the ship you know is very dynamic it's it moves and it responds to changes in the weather and i hear there's a good storm coming in today it makes me nervous
the waves change and the boat response to the waves it responds to the skill of the crew into the skill of the captain and so on
so am i read about buddhism and why i came to see this ship as manifesting in the form of a conversation
on this conversation has been going on for millennia back and forth back and forth
and each of the practitioner as each of the sailors has tried to manifest their understanding and to express it and then someone else response and another response and so we have the great debates and buddhist history the hinayana vs the mahayana and of adriano vs they hit a ah
on mm ohana
then there's the sudden and the gradual enlightenment to bay and there's the ordination of women layman and priests
windsor i soter
and we have our modern day conversation to about farming at green gulch and sitting zazen was gonna win
workers are the sitters
back and forth
and of course in any given time any one of us is leaning too far one way or the other
you know somebody is to lose somebody else's too strict somebody's too arrogant
so this is i think why we argue all the time he noticed
he's stuck around here long enough you'll notice it's all we do argue no it's not like that it's like this back and forth and i think it's really very kind you know we're just trying to write each other's wrongs
get back to middle
just briefly and off we go again
fortunately removing it so i may just the wind blowing and filling the sales so that the ship can get out of the harbor
the ships are safe and harbors but that's not with their boat for their both for the open ocean so i actually think that zen center is really better colds and centering
it's it's what we need to be doing we need to be moving
there really isn't any static place or any position where you can stand and judge or praise
are we can do that but you know just the wind
but of course when the wind blows particularly hard or way cold it bites and were hurt by that we take it very personally
particularly when the criticism has coming at us
i'm pretty good at sending it out that way i don't like it when it comes this way not at all
and i understand that we have this problem but i also heard one time that the best way to locate your ego yourself is to be falsely accused
that is there she is i didn't do that i didn't take your is awful
pop right there can really seeing see it there
there's a good story that weblogs to tell about a monk who was accused by a village girl of father and her child so
so her father very irate went to the monk with the infinite hand and said you know you rotten monk you did this terrible thing that my daughter and now you take care of this baby
is that so
and took the baby
and he cared for the baby and so on and then a year later the girl repented and she told her father will actually it wasn't the monkey was the boy next door
so the father went back to the mungkin of so sorry and how praised what a wonderful monkey wasn't help but great care he'd taken care of his grandchild and could he please out of the baby back and the monks said is that so and returned the baby

so this religious journey that were on his
you can imagine that it has a purpose actually there's a best kind of a point to our effort here and the point is awakening or liberation you know i don't like science and philosophy which try to help us to better understand the world or to have some basis for judging false and true in a buddhism
really doesn't care so much about that when it cares about is why we suffer
fly humans suffer and how to
alleviate that suffering that's really the only point
and press these days there are lots of guides and lots of charts and maps and saw that we can refer to to help us in our efforts and if you go down to the library hearings see all kinds of books and things many great teachers and particularly the bay area the buddhists everywhere
so we have lots of health and that's so much like the young buddha shakyamuni buddha he didn't have a lot of clues about what to do he just sat down
and hit upon the right combination
and i want to remind myself that when i think about maps and guides that i don't want to be too literal you know that a map often will have very distinct landmarks that are named and destinations that are named in hong kong and moscow and so on
you you probably decide where you're going before you set up voyage him but average is not quite like that
no average is one that's in constant flux and that the destination has no name
it's not graspable what we're trying to accomplish cannot be held
and we use words like thus
where could that possibly be
what are they talking

so for the buddha to arrive at that place that destination was through a root called the middle way
middle way which is also called reconciling differences
reconciling extremes so i wanted to say a little bit about what reconciling extremes
i'm a sort of been what i've been talking about but i must say a little more butter
i'm one of the first actions that the buddha took in establishing the sanga the first sanga was to ordain are one of the ascetics the first of the aesthetics because nameless kendama and corn is distinguished by being the first one to understand the buddha's teaching
in fact as name means the one who knows
so what's important about the buddha is not his enlightenment even though that's what we get excited about what's important about the buddha was that he was a teacher and he taught others how to find their way
that's why we care about him
is he was a teacher
and so condado was a good student and he learned what the do that what the buddha taught
and was ordained and that was the beginning of the samba and what kangana but reported in your text the kangana said to express his understanding was that all that is subject to arising is subject to cessation
all that is subject to arising is subject to cessation
and buddha said you gotta
so this is the fundamental inside of the teaching of the middle way
and later on in another tex it explains that the enlightenment one seeing how the world arises now you see it
rejects the idea of non-being
and seeing how the world parishes now you don't
rejects the idea of being
so it's new existence rare non-existence
we we need to have these both
it's a kind of a juggling act
and it's dynamic
on one side and the existence side if you just told that one up you tend to posit eternal truth like a god something like that if you just where web the other side
the isn't say then you tend to fall into nihilism like there's nothing there it's almost like the hallelujah side and that was me side
when are people that are on one side of the other
but our job as buddhists is to cute both sides a
as reconciling differences the middle way

so by not dropping either view we were completely express the paradox of our human nature you know it's sort of attempting to drop one or the other
i feel that all the time and i can see how i do that all the time dropping one of the other but if you do that if you drop one and what you do is you end up blinding yourself in one eye
and then you have no depth perception
so and then we express this understanding with our entire bodies
you know in our zazen practice we walked back and forth looking for you go left and right front and back and where center where is it
and then we find it
kind of their and that's where you settle
and that's where you watch the arising in the the perishing of all things
and then you get up and you go back today
so i want to suggest that effort and practices for the middle way to find this this path that goes between the extremes over and over again just like this great ship back and forth back and forth
we just keep on sailing that's all together
i'd like to end with a quote from
suzuki roshi my favorite old spoke
america enlightenment but it's not always so and enlightened person does not ignore things and does not stick to things they don't stick to the truth either there is no truth that is different from each being
being itself is the truth
thank you