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Sesshin Lecture: just sitting with no technique or theme; monk: what about when not carrying anything? Zhaozhou: put it down; Shakyamuni holding up the flower; zazen in everyday life, all the time; softening the heart, saying yes to life; Okumura Sensei sick and hopeless, sitting zazen for the first time; Kumon's poems; Q&A


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this is the morning when
become to the last
alaska a gathering opening
opportunity to sum up as it were that has been going on for us this week
maybe to bring into will be discussion
whatever residue or whatever
leftovers or it will be finished up in terms of our conversation
ms you know i am
i haven't spent much time doing talks this week
although we've had enough cock i think we've had discussions with a face to face purchase discussions
and extemporaneous outbursts from my seat during zazen of one kind or another that at the moment of newseum pertinent
in the in the long run i have not tried to either of find or develop a particular theme or line of
of discussion
pretending to techniques of meditation
different styles of practice and so on or in particular
scriptural teaching
rather i preferred as this for this session to experiment and just sit
can see what happens
because if you are like me and i think we're all pretty much the same
we come to say sheen with
certain mindsets certain expectations experiences that we have had in the past that
have motivated us to practice even harder or again and every session and i have ever
experienced than there are a lot of them know about each one is different
and none of them have ever met my expectations
they they have presented new
material or new experience or new vistas are new scenery i think to the word i'm looking for
that in zazen
just sitting and letting everything else besides the sitting in the posture go whatsoever because they said that the beginning all of our ideas about ourselves and the world and our practice and sofa just let them go in order to as we sit actually begin to
experience and feel the texture
of our psychology of our
physiology of our mentality
the rough edges the schools
the smooth this the should be
round edges the falling off the edges
experiencing emotions from may be rapture to
panic and sometimes occur even in one day with the person the scenery of our life arising and passing away you might say ourselves arising as to the extent that we are that scenery treating ourselves cause what we call the self constantly
in motion constantly and change as we sit still
and without gaining idea without using doesn't for anything whatsoever
in terms of
the future
what am i bring to us what it might what we might gain from it although we will gain from it and it will be used although in ways perhaps that have not been in or accessible so easily accessible what i was sitting
that this openness to our condition to our human condition to this condition of in of change
and impermanence that we are that impermanence
and that to the extent that we try to get hold of in some way of of ourselves i used a lot of different metaphors metaphors that i used earlier in the week was the metaphor of the cartoon character the why coyote and road runner that
that as we sit we find out that were trained we're hoping to attain or reach some place a boom called equanimity realization freedom that the the egoic or the separate substance that is creating that is putting out our in front
is the same self
that wants to get away from itself and so we are in this kind of dilemma mentioned that at the beginning
but by doing that by placing ourselves in that
dilemma that was characterized by the saying
nothing will do not do something or nothing will do
do very st cogent way of the chinese
ah expression of putting us
in the position of either facing the fire are turning away and neither will do now do something
and it one of the strata and you want to call a strategy behind this has to see finally that you just have to give up and surrender to what you are moment to moment without any plans with are the anything
to rely on to hold you up in fact you begin to look for this new that's going to hold you up and you probably noticed you can't find it he keeps slipping away in two different images into different modalities of experience
i think we use the
i use the
little story of jojo
the monk who came the jodrell remember that one we talked about and said to jojo what would you say to someone who has
it's not carrying anything
when the net
here's a monk that it probably practice we don't know how long but with these monks after our their children and they've got very grounded first in the teachings before they kind of took off into the realms were speaking of here very advanced practice so there's no does this month had done considerable practice in his life
about releasing hearing about the constant need to release to let go to let go and no doubt found a sense of exhilaration and freedom
when his experiences go to this old
monkeys so teacher and says what what will you do what would you tell a person that has nothing left to hold onto it and geologists have put it down
i think it's clear enough what he's saying this monk is still hanging on to the fact that he has done something like getting rid of it there's still the same problem
so the monks had when i don't have anything to put down can keep carrying it
geology or another would you still have this idea about yourself and you're still hanging onto it and you still are building your identity around that idea in my job is to pull out that nail that peg so that you can have total freedom to move in the moment standing free and happy in the midst of your life with no grasping whatsoever it's a kind of freefall
are you ready for it
i think one night i also said
something about we are you know about shakyamuni buddha
that wonderful wonderful picture legend
archetype collar what you were picking up a flower twirling it between thumb and forefinger
when the monks are asking what is the
the real meaning of the dharma the final meaning other the deepest meaning of the army tools the
the mohawk hush up or smiles
a single flower and universe boobs a single thought and you blew a single moment in your blooming
every single thing is nothing other than
the shovel guns or the to i have diet treasure
but though we can hear these teachings and we must hear them i think because we're always reconditioning are ourselves through new information
it is only because when we begin to practice again and again and again in situations in which we are which we take it upon ourselves the discipline to actually sit still long enough for this stuff to manifest to come up to cook as it were
that we begin to understand what that means that each moment just as it is regardless of its temperature regardless of its characteristic where there was dark or light whether it's heavy weather feels emotionally one way or the other that too because it is our life each person's life
living the life of life fully completely one hundred percent
just as it is at this very moment that is the one flower blooming throughout the universe that was dogan zingy teaching it's not something outside of that
and if we need any strategy or in a what should i say in the directions about our practice it has been pointed out again and again and again but all of our teachers what is in front of you
from the moment you open your eyes in the morning to the moment you go to sleep at night what is in front of you
that is the one flower and universe blooming and you are that and that is you
paint total attention to that giving total energy to that in whatever capacity we find ourselves driving down the highway shopping for groceries meeting a client feeding our kids
going to school studying endless activity or our human life if we can from moment to moment come back to that breasts to that realization that openness and everything from the past that has ever made us imagine
it mean everything in our evolution has ever made us is coming to this moment right now
do not waste the bodies of the fruits of those who have come before us to put it to use totally to use and out of that comes what sounds like a kind of negativity about dropping this having no gaining idea the more you let go the more impoverished you become about hanging
on the richer you become and so on it all of these religions are teaching the same thing
well i think it was so awkward roshi who who said gain his delusion loss is enlightenment well course that sounds
in a really negative but in the context of which i'm speaking now and which we've been studying this week i think we understand it's not that we're not to have some kind of conventional sense of
ourselves having gain and loss it's simply that whatever you get you're going to eventually lose anyway
so do not be attached learn how not to be attached or learn how we are attached and the fire of that and and existential reality of that and let it go and then the next one comes up the next bit comes up her
so it's this moment this person this place this thing
that is our practice and we can practice it anywhere at any time and that's when we we're over and over season is not a matter of simply sitting
letting or zazen is our life from moment to moment
so the next time i go to the bank to cash a check on him and a big hurry i'm in a supermarket and somebody's in front of me coming out there changed slowly and i'm already an hour behind my appointment and i began to get uptight and anxious
aggressive usual speed aggression that propels our life forward into our day to get the next thing right there right there at that time at that moment is perfect place to practice my zaza
i mean everything's perfect right there have been going to need is still right there in front of me
but i forget always always i forget and so do you and so do we are so we come back again and practice and that's why every morning i think we say all my ancient twisted karma i'm here to avow again and again that i am willing to put everything i have and what i'm doing moment to moment
with and even if i'm judging by moment to moment activity in the light of some goal or other to understand that that to is nothing else but a single flower ability there's nothing outside of the single for a booming delusion enlightenment all the dualities
once we begin to manifest that feuding and a heart and i the
doesn't the practice begins to work not up here anymore begins them will go we see begins to soften our hearts begins to take that tough
strong gristle of a heart that has been so well defended for so long and work it
until it begins to open more and more and becomes the good food for the will to eat
the share our hearts with one another
and the deep it's intention which is to say yes to our life
what else could it be and by saying yes to our lives no matter what it is we've become an inspiration everyone else who's also in the same place in the dark about their lives
everybody everybody in this room has been doing his in her best friend the beginning
but as the zuko she says even though were perfect we can use a little improvement
so we come to improve ourselves a bit

i want to tell you if i may a little story about the zazu has you know there's this teacher that somebody who have met many have you heard speak
woocommerce and say
it will be an associate with green zen center for many years and so don't now has his own sanga in indiana
but he tells this story and you know he started very young and his live as a young i think you've in teenager becoming interested in buddhism and when to
ah university commissar are you in a buddhist university and and studied all of the scriptures and so on and graduate and then
when to ontology the
training temple of psylocke roshi and uchiyama roshi in that particular lineage of the soto's and school in japan a strict sitting school
not a lot of
one inches and that a lot of coverings around mostly just as awesome they have a say she in every two weeks five days every two weeks this it plus all day so mostly they sit and work work sit at work and it's very very strenuous has you know and there's not much fun and is not a lot of
food and they go out on talk a hot soup of begging x x x or expeditions
and so their life is one of continual serving the needs of the practice and of one another and putting these teaches into practice total total wholehearted involvement in what is interested in so i use it
so he did this phone number of years and so can she died of course was younger or she became his teacher and which erosion himself had gone through talk about ups and downs if you want to read an interesting life about despair and so i'm working with the ups and downs of his life during the war and before the war and after the war just as begging for
and the mouth almost
and having nothing is very inspiring story anyway
whichever raja okamura sensitive for and he came to the states where the couple of other monks and they decided to they would come here in order to set up a practice center in the east
i think it was in pennsylvania maybe it was nowhere massachusetts yes
and they worked very hard to do this and of course didn't have a lot of money so they have jobs and they had to build this place and get it together and get the sangha and the upshot of the whole thing is he he lost his health he got so sick and so weak that there was no there was no recourse for him but to go back to japan i don't remember why didn't go back and
ah gee i don't think we're prepared to maybe they were going through some change that i don't know but what he said what i remember him saying is that

somewhat vague
i guess it began to feed himself wouldn't let the best he could with wood scraps of food you can find
and then he said
there was nothing left to do but sit down
i had come to the end of something and i simply sat down folded my hands servants and for the first time for the first time i did us
and from that moment on my life changed
have we understand the teachings know
everything you see we hear this again and again and on and everything in some way as swept away zen is about you know sitting and sweeping but also have the passive recipient of that sweeping that is happening and it can come in painful forms like that sometimes before we can actually understand that there's
no gaining mind and that all we need to still right in front of us and always has been
as far as we always will be
anyway too familiar with very inspiring
no dairy no
during a session at the invitation and i supposed to be nicer with him at the end of this sum up some message to carry with us what did you learn you get your friends and so on a when you get back
name from the outside of a practice between so you sat for a week or a for three weeks or what you've been there for it so what did you get what can you learn
rainbows and
gonna show
sometimes we have a conversion a kind of you know what a radical shift that the basis of our consciousness which is constantly simple affair and for a long time of pushing the and a bonfire and glowing like a whirlwind but eventually that will wear out
and when that is happening in and you've had that kind of conversion and just sitting in front of people with enough of the statement for most of us
we do the best we can we have whatever we have and what we have between a rock and a higher place what did it do for you show and show me some know something about you can use your opinion would have a practice
and in we're going to say into vast emptiness
no merit and vast emptiness
i have this brother and my older brothers took call i'm seventy five and seven the his kid brother
i call him up in hawaii we call them set eyes on you still doing by you know what isn't city now tell me again what we do
i feel like bob newhart talking to somebody pick what's that you you sit for your legs and stir in a lobby
long pause
what don't you think there's something else good night when i'm glad you're happens that the wall
what new things

baghdad dad but people pay to do this
the other story that goes with that as when i was a little kid growing up you couldn't drag me to church i hated churches i was nominally a catholic but they could get me in church although some of the benicio the first conveniently through that but i remember this irish father saying now davey how do you like the you
like mass and as i don't like a father and he said why not i said it hurts my knees
right then they send out some karmic chickens ever gonna get more
so there it is what are you going to go with
i just wrote down a note that uchiyama had written he said you learn there is finally no other place to throw yourself into that a separate from you
no other place you control even the that that that's a duality to cuz the thrower and hot has going to be different from the place to land and so
we throw ourselves into our work with ourselves out of but wherever we are there we still are in their everything else is again and in each individual life is equally the world my world as i see phenomena is a little bit different from yours or yours or yours although we have a
conventional world that is ruby establish still and understand still my experience is different somewhat different from yours water the word water is different for somebody who lives on the desert all their lives and someone who lives by the ocean problem he saw or subjectivity is different
yet that subject activity in that world that we manifest as the self is the small self
now there's also the whole universe the big self the whole will coming forward as dorgan said to realize itself as you and me as the self
the big self on small for yeah is suzuki roshi said big self
all things coming forward to establish the subjectivity i guess another way of seen that is
the universe experiencing itself as subjectivity
pebbles trees rocks everything is nothing else but the self sitting on the self
once it becomes obvious to us than the world becomes a kind of love affair and
we never quite slipped back to the old dungeons of despair that might have had is in his script
although this does not mean that we want to suffer depression and go through dark dark times in our lives or grieve those people that we and those parts of ourselves that of the world that make us who we are those loved ones love things
in fact i do not believe on the contrary that practicing us and are practicing the dharma makes us less and vulnerable to the world in fact it makes us considerably more vulnerable
and this a motability that softening and an opening to the world which
they help makes us actually relieves us feeling even more susceptible to the
whips and scorns of time the injustices of the world and so forth all the suffering that we what we call suffering which is also nothing but a single flower blooming
anyway i
i don't know how it was reach with you i do want to say uncommitted all of you i think this the city was has been really solid and this is true of the whole practice period everybody has done his her utmost to be here is practiced with body and mind and speech of
an awareness
in of in a fashion that has been for me really inspiration on thank you
and it makes me want a practice even water and harder because of you and this experience i've had
so-called leading but sitting in the damacy on the hot seat and
feeling all of this of this stuff come and go and happy in it's coming and going essentially
so i want to be sure to tell you each of you thank you very much
now sometimes people do have
have we read a couple of poems and then i'm going to relate to have a little discussion
here's a poem that was written by somebody at tassajara number years ago so it's called are you ready
are you ready you who come fleeting over the horizon bounded by mountains between storms famished for praise in a lifetime of waiting ready at last to stop shaking their fist at the sky and the passing traffic drop your heavy bag and mtl your pockets this place why
you saw from yonder on the highway like pistol

like everyone
but you just nobody else how childlike i can do the whole universe is the image of new still everywhere i look just you nobody else those are written by our own came on
so i think that's why we love poetry somehow parties language has intensified experience and shakespeare says to give to i always used this but to give two two to nothingness a local habitation in the name
the to get there nothing's alumna to it is what we do
so then would come into the end and we're going to do a little more sitting and today and then we're going to be done
and on
if anybody would like to say something
have a little discussion of ask a question
as you know i'm not a very good answer man sometimes i'm really off
center and don't hear the questions properly but i think i'm a little more focused after a week so
in my heart isn't beating so fast and is it was last time they pay
so sitting works is a
anybody wanna say something
a confession last night on the music play
i know why
well i saw
anybody up
an ever
and that
this data

where i had no deal it
and that was kind of that is the best you can and then after that them
understand what and because there gives them a question about fireplace
oh my gosh
let me say coming from have a commander
there was named and what over there
right here and what i'm i've been studying violin has made them
now remember africa
join other
i am
but this is the explanation
because i realized i ended up right
we not use it
ah and we don't use it because there are people who are characterized by the that's right people
clinton and i never fully understood that and always seemed like
and i go
from now on a spot where you
but i am
thank you
this is in
i was hoping he would get up and yeah
a i said i
hmm i got
that someone
they would
you could have done it you know bit of started dancing
it's no longer gets up to ads yeah
i've often thought i've often have the temptation in the middle of the full moon ceremony it is suddenly start singing blue moon
and you saw me stand in the known in the room would get up and dance for a moment and and the bowery with i'll go back to
ah yes sir
i'm no

you have to look at work out
name is that near by
way more
explain more well there there are over the is did you say to explain where
the mordovia
over the years it hasn't happened a lot but there have been occasions there was a teacher marine a marine stewart i think roshi at the end of her sessions she would often play and she was a i think
concert level pianist or so i believe she play some a piece at the end
we had a person here once who have a was a professional musician with one of those kind of fold up electronic piano organs and he brought it in and played some music at the end of the session we are saying and
when i was at tassajara one
i was sitting also very quietly and suddenly beethoven's ninth came on
level the joy but beethoven was a little
powerful at the anniversary sheen and it was forty minutes of that
which was a little much some people left resemble there
so i always liked and norman played some jazz once at the end
and another one or the other occasion somebody's head louis armstrong singing it's so
it's it's one online yeah so all of us are so
i didn't think of it until yesterday afternoon actually yesterday morning and kind of scrambled around for a piece that would be just short enough like no more than five minutes so we finally settled on
ha ha ha e o m box piano
concerto for two violins number two i think they the second beautiful piece
course this is not dolby sound and probably just as well for you it wasn't
so it wasn't there are so clear headed to overtones are scrambled and so on but anyway
yes adam i'm like you
i also
but but it was one
how many people liked it
how many people didn't it's okay if you didn't hear
yes that's true or software and some yeah
it helps provide there's something about box you know it's almost the music in the universe and the spheres
no no i understand we're with you we understand
the i learned that that he said it had some nice places where it seems like it's almost yes ma'am
right now then
the area is that a sonata form the golden
established as a theme and variations of it maybe we're doing some other form is awesome

disturbing you



sometimes if somebody states are like that will you know of samadhi and sounds come you can't identify them at once and they can be disturbing
people who've had a wake me experiences like david from a burger something any of this bamboo or something you know
yeah yeah

now that's right the i work at
come on
like heaven

well i i had them

it's something

the interesting isn't it
yeah i know i've sat in head people say things are sudden and there is an era is an irritant at first yeah irritation to the
the colonists probably someone is a bit health a wave brain nicotine

well it's been wonderful
and so to this tool begun in this moment will never happen again for him this this particular grouping
oh yes thank god that me
no u s is contact up
say something and then music was why didn't they may not say christina
when i know that happening and even added expenses ethnic may my
you think they in
nitro and it kinda them
yeah the interesting thing about music from is you don't listen to music to get a beating well mean opera something there's a meaning of the story but music illness and for the meaning something else was language will one carries meaning
concepts but music you just listen to it
come on
hey hey

and while
yeah i know
here we have
my mom
you know

how can you
you know
get humble
can you say

i just want to see that this machine and a very memorable moment
thank you