Zendo Lecture

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good evening everyone
well we are cozy are tucked up with her nice heavy robes and
our fire close by
thank you for joining me in the steam bath
so i've been participating this week in a zen and yoga yoga and santa's workshop called with judith lasater and we've been now
we've been
i can't say what we've been doing it sam
maybe i'll know later but
i guess i would say we've been receiving teachings and ah
completely trying our practice
moment after moment
dropping our preferences and with good spirit just trying things
even if we've done them one hundred times before trying them again very with a fresh spirit
so i would say that that might be one of the secrets of practice
and also during this week i made the mistake of bringing the new harry potter book
so even though i've been giving dharma talks little direct talks every day i also have been staying up til eleven o'clock every night reading harry potter
and to harry potter there there's yeah i kept the more i read harry potter the more it seemed like the yoga class was sort of like hogwarts you know and i wanted to hug the who doesn't know about harry potter is there anybody
well as potter
is a young man now is sixteen in fifteen and his book and he's he goes to wizard in school he's a young wizard
i'm very involved story but he receives teaching at at school can i just wanted to read this one part i it doesn't give anything away those of you who will be really
but this really remain i mean i really had to laugh because it reminded me so much of our yoga class
they were offering a special class to the students on
operating which is being able to disappear and appear in another place at will and it's a kind of advanced practice and but
but the ministry of magic sent one of their teachers to teach them about operating and his name was
i'm missing his name here wiley tricot cross i think and it doesn't matter so much what his name was anyway so the students arrived and he
said the most important thing to remember when operating are the three d's that this teacher was saying and three days were destination determination and deliberation
and he's his step one fix your mind firmly upon the desired destination
in this case
they were standing there with a hoop in front of them and they were supposed to disappear and reappear inside the hope that was their their lesson
so kindly concentrate upon that destination now
so excuse me earlier than that this is what he said he said dumb it's very difficult to separate and
but i would like the this is the teacher i would like each of you to place yourselves now so that you have a clear five feet of space in front of you this sounded exactly like class everybody take your place on spite feet in front of you there was a great scrambling and jostling as people
separated banging into each other and ordering others out of their space and getting already i just reminded me very much a reckless
to add to get your your space
and then
bringing up these three d's of destination determination and ah deliberation
coincidentally when i opened up suzuki roshi his book just randomly
he was also talking about he didn't talk about destination and deliberation but he did say
you must have determination
so i'm in a i'll get back to that are pointers souk roshi bed
in our in our worship we bring bringing up some of the most basic teachings
as part of a
ah creating
a practice ah
container at all times that goes on throughout all all the day it is a good idea to keep in mind five things is called the five remembrances so we've been talking about these and i thought i'd go over those with you as well
so the first of the five remembrances is
i am of the nature to grow old there is no way to escape growing old
in the second is i am of the nature to have ill health there's no way to escape having ill health
i am of the nature number three to die there is no way to escape death
and the fourth all that is dear to me and everyone i love our of the nature to change there's no way to escape being separated from them
and the last one my actions are my only true belongings
i cannot escape the consequences of my actions my actions as a ground on which i stand

so these are very young you might say this is kind of sobering you know i don't want to think about that ah
i thought we were going to have fun and this lecture where she bringing up that enough ah
but when i'd like to suggest is that remembering these things and and this is some these are the teachings of buddha asking us to remember these things
ah creates
our our determination to completely practice now there's no time to lose there's no time to wait there's no other day
there's no other time than right now
so when we bear this in mind how we can
die in each moment we can be let go of each moment and be ready for each moment without
these things you know may not be true for everyone someone may not ever have a lot of ill health but we are of the nature to have ill health something
you know for everyone
needs attention and is painful and accidents and

so ah
we have fun this monastery here this practice place and in the summer it's open and another name for a monastery is called have a soul ring or a
a forest
grover a forest and in this forest in the so mean there is room
for all sorts of different
vegetation and plants and trees and shrubs in the monastery in the practice place which is wider than just tessa her of course there's room for everyone each person with their different experiences and backgrounds and karmic life and coming together
wherever we come together with people
living harmoniously together allowing for each other making space for each other and all growing together helping one another is the is the so rien or the
the monastery as a i think come
having a place where we can experience that
fully and work with work with all different kinds of people in harmony making an effort
to live in harmony
in a world in this world that where we see so much disharmony and so much hatred so many troubles you know i haven't lifted the paper in the last since i got here on tuesday just glanced over someone's shoulder you know and saw
some very sad headlines
so how do we live in a world remembering that we're all our of the nature to die and have ill health and
i grow old and lose those we love be separated from those we love or all growing in this same ground together
and our actions
our true belongings
so ah
one might after here these want to take this up you know what would it be like to bear these things in mind as we move throughout our day
but the mindfulness of death practice
one images you carry death on your left shoulder
and remind yourself death death death will come the force will be cut off
not as a macabre or 'em
pessimistic but as a reminder this is our nature and we have not
we don't have the luxury of
you know some dream of something else
so these this basic we we've been looking at these basic practices the want the first is ah
impermanence or everything changes and those five remembrances you know speak directly to their
and another one of these really basic practices that you've all heard of and ah
i have taken up to some degree or another are you probably wouldn't be here right now is mindfulness practice
mindfulness the character in chinese is ah present moment the top part and hurt that the radical for heart so being in the present moment with full heart whole heartedly is mindfulness practice into a question came up today about
though the way that sometimes we call perfectionism and might we get those mixed up perfectionism and mindfulness
and i think the monastery is set up for lots of opportunities to practice mindfulness taking care of especially
spread especially during practice beer but all during the summer not really no difference everyone has their work assignments and
our effort to take good care of the space the guests be mindful we attend to while people are talking with us while we're taking care of the garden and the food and the baking in the shop in the phone sin
what is mindfulness and what is some kind of idea of perfectionism which i think
we get those mixed up or tangled up and i after this question today i remembered as and story that have been very young in my formative years before i came to zen center and was reading about zen they hadn't really started to practice there is a story you've probably heard it was one of those early stories them
we came upon which was the monk was asked by his teacher to rake the garden paths and so he was out there raking and you know there's some a tradition of making these lines you don't sometimes circular and in sand often been raking the garden path so he raped and raked in the teacher came out and
no no no that's not what i want keep breaking
reiki reiki that's not how you came out again later and that's not how you rate the pairs and the monk is raking and reiki and finally the teacher came out and said this is how you rate the pass and he took hold of this tree and it was full autumn and he shook the tree and there was a shower of golden leaves all over the pat
that's how you rate the bat
that particular story hit me very hard impressed me i should say it was like
i can seal i'm hot wax or some paint was like oh to live like that to understand and to live a life that's like that
rather than caught in perfectionism get every leaf get every always gonna be mad at me i'm not doing it as well they're doing it better and on anon anon anon trying to be
ah perfect are good or something
and losing
losing the wide picture of a beautiful golden autumn day you know
and beauty of you know in the fall here what we don't make the pass we actually let the leaves fall and kind of fill up and sometimes coming out of the zendo you know that it's like golden it's like the yellow brick road it's just golden those of you who are here only in the summer
see another season notice her of it and read reds and golds and
we used to make the past sanctuaries to make all the leaves away until someone said if we keep doing that pretty soon we're going to have a grand canyon and in the pathway going down to the pool will just gonna rake and rake until we dig out the whole center of test sahara know the cabins will be on two sides of a goalie some now we just let the can
work him into the ground and we walk him and then later right before summer we rake
so in our own lives when are we rigidly perfection soldiers as somebody once said to me that she was a perfection soldier very sad
tight you know every part of her life was because there was no place to just
relax there was no place to relax because there was always something that you had to be perfect doing even relaxing you know
i'll also in the class
sometimes we're very strongly perfection soldiers with ourselves but very giving and open with others and weary forgive all sorts of mistakes because we see oh someone's just learning this is how they learn they have to make mistakes we understand that but when but when it comes to us were much stronger
and stricter and judgmental and critical so we can see what activities do we ah
do we have why diffuse mindfulness and attentiveness and attuning and others where were you know where it's never good enough never

you know in in calligraphy
we've been having a calligraphy class at a green gulch and there's ah
you know you learn the technique and this is i would say the same in all the arts and music and in everything we do cooking get the you name it you learn hopefully you receive the transmission of a way to do something that's been
you know try it and it's tried and true and then you bring yourself to it and you bring something new and unique and fresh
we have to or the teaching will die out if we're just copying and some rigid way
ah the life seeps out you know
so you know when i practice calligraphy sometimes i it's never good enough you know i i make the strokes and i i learned a stroke order and i try to work the brush and i look at it and it's embarrassing can't show and rip it up you know but at the class watching the other students it
was like each person's offering was completely uniquely themselves and was beautiful and the teacher also oh yeah good job look
some of the calligraphy of
ah the old masters you know
doing calligraphy and ids
there's drips and splashes and they're not formed according to the way it showed in the book they have like and movement and expression and they know how to make the character so it looks that way the book shows but then
they use it with their own life energy
feeling is not good enough i can't make that line i can't make a line it doesn't look right you know this is very young
this in a big burden in know to carry
to carry
with us
in a commentary on one of the cohens
it talks about in china they used to carry a big
ah vessels on their head of honey and oil on different things like many countries and still today people carry these vessels on their head and in this call on the person was walking along and it fell off their head and fell down on the ground and they just kept walking
they don't turn back now you might say well why they'd clean it up you know who's gonna clean it up but i think that a point was
it's broken there's nothing to be done about it know why waste time say oh you're so stupid you should have been there you just you keep moving you keep
when i say keep moving i mean you don't move you don't move from your life you don't move with oh how terrible it will look at me and such a
whenever you just continue your practice
so this is very hard you know ah when the bread doesn't rise when we burn the cookies when we
break a lamp when we ah you know hurt ourselves or somebody it's very hard
to receive that as buddha dharma
we just keep going we don't move we keep going we don't move

the young
you know the workshop is ending tomorrow and their see
something that happens and workshops all the workshops where people come together and then i go through something together and then separate never to come together again like that ever again
even if the same group showed up next year it would be you know and our life is like this all the time it's
each moment is its own
they're say i'm in sometimes we feel very like attached and cleaning we don't want it to end we don't want to go back do we have do i don't want to leave to us out for whole year you know and and guests who are here who aren't in the workshop may feel that way and students feel that way
there's a a story in the lotus sutra called dumb it's a parable of the magical city where those of you studied the lotus sutra and
in in the parable people are are heading off for their destination and they get very weary and very tired and and grumpy and burned out and they say we want to go back this is a mistake and they stopped trusting who's ever leaving them and the leader to says i you better do something because there
they're on their way to
a wonderful place so the leader in the parable conjures up a magical city and he says i'll look you know right in the next hill there's this beautiful city we can rest their and everyone is revived and they go to the city and it's a magical it's been conjured up but they go there and they
rest and the
enjoy themselves and they bathe and they clean up and they have good meals and they take baths and they will look at the moon and
and and then at a certain point the leader says well folks now a trawl rested and have spent some time ah
reviving and restoring yourself just want you to know that this this ah a real are real place that we're going we still have to get to and this was just a kind of
momentary conjured up city conjured city and there at that point they're ready to go they've restored they've rested their encouraged again and off they go to the next see
so this is some we have these times that are like magical cities you might say and we can't stay there i think that's one of the teachings of this is nobody can stay in a magical city but we we ah causes and conditions come together where we can
receive and get the support that we need
and then when we're ready and strong
we go off we go forward and help other people along the way
so i was reminded of this thinking about the workshop coming to an end that it's time
especially this workshop which had afternoons of restorative time ah
daily restorative ah
giving giving ourselves time to i do nothing
to relax
and just receive our life in a new way
so we can't stay here forever
it's time to go

so i just wanted to 'em are we doing
so i wanted to end with thumbs this thing i opened up to a suzuki roshi
he was talking in this little chapter on direct experience of reality
and he he basically starts out saying that there is intellectual understanding and which is fine and which helps support direct understanding but intellectual understanding isn't
won't satisfy it really if it's just intellectual we want direct experience of her life not just
yeah no aram intellect engaging but our full fullness of her life
and jack

direct experience will come when you are completely one with your activity when you have no idea of self
this could be when you're sitting but it can also be whenever your way seeking mind is strong enough to forget your selfish desires
when you believe you have some problem
and this is a very strict and strong practice oh at be ready to allow it in when you believe you have some problem it means your practice is not good enough
that's a really strict thing to say don't you think
when your practice is good enough whatever you are whatever you do that is the direct experience of reality
so rather than calling something a problem or an obstacle
to understand that whatever you do whatever comes to you is just your own direct experience of reality calling it a problem is something
extra which sets up a whole
psycho physical posture around it when it's a problem you know
so when you believe you have some problem it means your practice is not good enough almost like when whatever happens if we can save this is the director experience of reality this is my life and i am of the nature to die and i can't escape from that this is my life there is no other
life somewhere around the corner

be remembered usually
without knowing this point we are involved in judgments so we say this is right and that is wrong this is perfect and that is not perfect
that seems ridiculous when we are doing real practice
to even call something perfect are not perfect or judging a rare it's it's already so extra
an and then later on out
about this determination like come the minister of magic the ministry of magic ah
when you do something have a strong determination to do it
without any idea of skilled or not dangerous or not you just do it if to be careful about this
when you do something with that kind of conviction that is true practice that is true enlightenment
so when you do something with strong determination you just do it
and that just do it may mean asking for help you know just do it does not mean been foolhardy you know
or hurting yourself her
just do it is and wide mind present moment for hard
so i'm
i think that's all for tonight i was gonna ask for questions but i might be a little bit late
chambre wanted to okay pam
i about one or two
have i read the and yet no i haven't don't tell me
but i do know that the the teaching of harry potter is the teaching of love actually
just like the lotus sutra
other question yes tat
we talked a lot about
carry on the side of the spring
you're attractive
regina and i'm just wondering if you park with workflow a little bit about go eric msrp

ha that's
both of those are equally you know equally miss the mark you know and some people have a tendency to be too loose and others have a tendency to be to take you know to tighten their both their guitar strings or whatever too tight and other to lose so
and sometimes ah
you here's an instruction like
you know wide mind or relax or and
and we take it to mean a lot of g i can do anything i want you know so we follow up are kind of propensities i haven't my mac goes that way what what did the may ask a question
do you where where do you feel you're you're working with right now
to tape
i'm interested how come you asked about to lose
cause or i like you have to pay paid by myself being frustrated
during the summer
he gave her that i consider a procedure paid to
hey that imbalance in the atmosphere that's created sometimes feels ah so for you you feel you function better when when things are a little more
ah not to loose
and it might be interesting to ask the loose loose see ones
how they're you know what their experiences do they feel you know that they really loose or are they really working hard at their edge you know they're really you may put you might ask because sometimes what what's your loose is someone else's they are really working you know to make it to work on time to
to not smoke or whatever it is that they're working with but we from our own experience we we judge it from our own shoes right we so you might ask him
judith says about people's you know ability to stretch and be flexible this is one thing i love that she says some
if you think you're you're flexible i'll show you somebody who's much more flexible you think your tate i'll show you somebody many who way more tight so you know that
what is that you know it's it's just
who you are and what what's helpful for you and where your edges and but this isn't to say that
we don't make effort to help each other and encourage each other too well especially sometimes your trees in the forest may not know some of the real basic practices you know this or what i'm finding out at gringotts some of the basic things like
silent work you know or taking a pasture you know a stable pasture or
you know things like that so how do you help a new or student maybe or an older student
without praising self at the expense of other etc etc judging you know how do you help a tree in the forest
i thank you for a question
and your trees up the your trees like remember what family is like
everybody helps everybody else the older trees the abbey the newer trees around them
allows them to shelter and protect somebody you know
and and a younger trees
i don't know enough about force but i'm sure that those little routes that are doing everything you know not so deep down are helping the soil and you know so yeah everybody helps everybody it enter
inter am totally one fabric
totally living together appreciating together encouraging together dying together
kay thank you very much