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It's the first Sunday of the month, so there's with the kids talk for 10 or 12 minutes or something. We'll see how long it takes, but so for the kids talk, I brought along a sutra to share with the kids. It's the apple sutra. It's the apple eating sutra. So I'm going to start these around here and you take one and don't eat it yet, okay? You're going to start with just having the slice of apple. I'll take a little slice myself. I want to find a little one, let's see here, because I would like to save the bigger ones for you, but I'm going to save a little slice of apple and I'll start these around. So I mean, if you get really hungry and impatient, you could go ahead and eat your slice of apple, but I want to talk to you a little bit about eating before you actually eat it, okay?


Some of you have to wait anyway because you don't have your apple slice to worry about it one way or another. Oh, and by the way, last month I brought a little squeaky bunny. Do some of you remember my squeaky bunny, Binky? Binky couldn't make it today. He went to Germany to visit a friend. He's halfway around the world this month, so he's not going to be here for ... he wanted me to let you know he's sorry he couldn't be here today. I'm hoping there's enough apple slices. I didn't expect quite so many of you to come today. But eating is very interesting and eating is an example of attention and giving your awareness to something, how you pay attention to something and you listen to somebody or you look at something or you think about something. One of the things that we work on in Buddhism to practice and to live a full and gratifying


and happy life is to actually give our attention to something. So it feels really nice when your mom or dad says, hi, how are you? Nice to see you. That's giving their attention to you and if they actually look at you and listen to what you're saying, it makes a big difference to you and it will make a big difference for you when you eat a piece of apple, if you actually give your attention to it. So you know attention is like one thing and then the apple is like another and you want to take your attention, your awareness, to understand your attention and you put it on the apple. So you notice like what's happening in your mouth while you taste. So one poet said, instead of words, discoveries flow out of the flesh of the fruit, astonished to be free. So we're going to taste this very carefully and give it your attention. Often when we're eating something, we're also watching television or talking to somebody


or we're reading or playing and so we don't give the fruit or whatever it is we're eating our full attention. So we're going to have a special practice this morning of when you eat the apple, see what you can taste. Notice what you're tasting and what does it taste like and after we taste this, I'm going to ask you, so what did you notice? What did it taste like? And some of the things you might notice are like sunlight, see if you can taste the sunlight in the apple and by the way, these apples come from my yard. So I want you also to see if you can taste all the work I did to make sure these apples got to you today because I pruned the trees and I thinned out the apples and I've watered them. So you also can see if you can taste water and sunlight and earth and we'll see what you can taste. And so chew it slowly and notice, savor, you can savor and then see what you notice when


you taste your apple and give it your full attention and then we'll be silent for a little bit while you're eating and then we'll see what you notice. Okay? Ready? All right. Go ahead. And we're going to eat our apple slices now. Oh my goodness. I'm sorry I didn't bring enough apples for all of you, but Green Gulch has, you know, apples. These, by the way, are Fuji's. Oh my goodness. Excuse me. And chew it for a while because often, you know, it starts out with one flavor and then as you savor it and chew it in your mouth, you'll notice many other flavors. And, you know, sliced fruit often has more flavor than, you know, whole fruit.


If it's cut, then all those cut surfaces have all the flavor that comes out of them. So, when your mom and dad are feeling really good, they might cut you some fruit and not just give you an apple to bite into. Have you had a chance to eat your apple? Some of you, I can see, are still chewing so you can notice what it's tasting like. So, tell me now, what do you, anybody who were willing to share, what did you notice? Was it sweet? Yes? Just like apple juice when you chew it. Apple juice when you chew it. Uh-huh. So, was it sweet? Uh-huh. Yeah? Well, I noticed when you chew a part by the skin, it's a little more sour.


It's a little sour chewing the part by the skin. Uh-huh. Wonderful. Yeah? Apple juice, then, at the crust, at the end of the crust, it's a little more tastier. Away from the skin, it's tastier? Or what did you say? Like, the apple skin, like, it's kind of good. It's kind of good? You like the apple skin? Uh-huh. Yes? Um, well, it tasted like, um, dirt. Like dirt. Uh-huh. Yeah. There was a poet who, who, um, you know, tasted apples very carefully, and he said, this darkness, this sweetness that feels thick, dark, dense at first. So, he noticed that kind of earthiness, too, or that dirt quality. Yeah, something else?


The skin is more chewier than the... The skin was more chewy. Yeah. Yeah. Yes? Uh, it's like a necklace. What's that? Like necklace. I still didn't understand. Like, like ne... Necklaces. Necklaces. Tastes like necklaces. I thought maybe that's what he said, but that's poetic for you. Something else? Yes? It tastes sort of earthy, like... But when you chew the skin... Yeah, that's more earthy. Uh-huh. You can tell that it's from the ground. From the ground. You can go... Uh-huh. Yes? Um, it tastes like an apple. Yes? It kind of does taste like it has a bit of the sun in it. Like the sun.


You sense a sort of light and bright taste to it. Uh-huh. Did anybody notice, you know, some... You know, apples are in the rose family. So sometimes when you taste a rose carefully, you go like... And maybe the taste still in your mouth is like roses. It reminds you a little bit of the smell of roses. Anybody notice that? Yes. Yeah, it's kind of... That's interesting, isn't it? You know, like cider. Like apple cider? Uh-huh. So, um, one of the things also we study in, you know, is to notice how everything is connected. And so when you taste something carefully, especially if it's actually a fruit or a grain or, you know, not manufactured food, but actual food, you know, you'll be able to taste some earth or dirt and some sunlight, some water. Yes? It smells like clay. Like clay. Uh-huh.


What else? And were you enjoying this? Was that... Yes? I also noticed some moon. Some... Some moon. Some moon. Uh-huh. Energy. Energy of the moon. Yes. Yes. Are you raising your hand? Something to share? I was... I... I was... It tastes like juice. Like the juice? Uh-huh. Yeah, it's juicy, isn't it? Yeah. And sometimes if you taste something carefully, you know, the flavors will change as it goes along. Sometimes, you know, with actual food, you need to chew it for a while, and then more and more flavor comes out.


When you eat a potato chip, it has a lot of flavor at first, and then less and less and less flavor. And you wonder, like, what is this? But the apple, the more you chew it, the more it tastes like more and more like apple. So did you taste all the work I did to make that apple? So I want to encourage you to, you know, when you go to eat, to taste things carefully and see if you can taste sunlight and earth and water and, you know, roses and other people's effort. And, you know, also sometimes people say when you taste an apple that's sweet like this, you're tasting your own sweetness. So if you taste something good, it will remind you what a wonderful person you are. How about that? But if you just put it in your mouth, oh, it's another apple, then you'll miss having your sweetness too.


So you taste it carefully, and then you'll notice what a wonderful, sweet person you are. Isn't that great that you can find that out for yourself by chewing on an apple? All right. Thank you. Have a wonderful day, and I hope you have more apples coming your way. Bye, Elizabeth. Bye, Elizabeth. Bye, Elizabeth.


Bye, Elizabeth. Oh, yeah. It shouldn't sit in the abbot seat, right? Not the abbot seat, but the other seats. That's a good thought. Mom, Mom, Mom. Holly, Holly. I'm going in. Should I go ahead?


Good morning once again. Good morning. So again, I'm sorry about not sharing apples with all of you, but adults are much better at delayed gratification on the whole. I did find out recently that when they've tested four-year-olds, and they give a four-year-old, they have a plate with a marshmallow on it. And then they say, Do you like marshmallows? And the child says, Oh, yeah. I really like marshmallows. And then they say, and they've been playing with the child for a while, and they bring out a plate with one marshmallow. And they say, Oh, you know what? I need to go and do something now, and if you can wait until I get back, I'll bring you two marshmallows. If you can't wait, you go ahead and eat this one. And it turns out that the length of time that a child can wait


correlates to how well they do in school and their success later in life and everything. And the kids who can actually wait for the two marshmallows, they just do much better in life. So I'm not sure how this works for those of us who are adults and like practicing meditation and waiting. And we don't know, of course, what for. Sometimes it's for the bell to ring. But people who are good at just sitting and waiting, then they do really well in their lives. Study show. Well, informal ones. So I hope that when you do have an appetite or perhaps a muffin after the lecture,


you will taste carefully what's in your mouth and savor it and see what you can taste. If you taste sunlight and earth and water, and all the creatures and the work that's gone into it. The poet Rilke has a sonnet that I love. One of the sonnets to Orpheus is about eating and about apple. So I want to share that with you. He says, round, apple, smooth, banana, melon, gooseberry, peach. How all this affluence speaks, death and life in your mouth. Everything is, the poet David White says, everything is waiting for you. And when he introduced that poem, he said, at first you hear everything is waiting for you.


You think, oh, great. But everything. So when you taste something carefully, actually also, you know, both life and death are there. Excuse me, I interrupted the poem. Round apple, smooth banana, melon, gooseberry, peach. How all this affluence speaks, death and life in your mouth. I sense, observe it in a child's transparent features while she tastes. This comes from far away. What miracle is happening in your mouth while you eat? Instead of words, discoveries flow out of the flesh of the fruit. Astonished to be free. Dare to say what apple truly is. This sweetness that feels thick, dark, dense at first. Then, exquisitely lifted in your tasting, grows clarified, awake, luminous,


sunny, earthy, real, double-meaning. Oh, joy, knowledge, pleasure, immense. This comes from far away. You can also, in other words, taste. What Brother David Stendelrost, you know, our Benedictine friend, you know, says, the beyond, there's something beyond. So we don't, you know, usually name it in Zen so much. You know, sometimes the absolute or Buddha or something, you know, but there's something from beyond. So you also taste when you give your attention to something carefully, directly, and allow something to touch you and to come home to you. And it grows in your taste and in your awareness. Life and death, earth, sun, air, work, effort, and something beyond.


This comes, Rilke says, from far away. We don't know how it comes. You know, it comes to us. So also then we can be, you know, grateful and appreciative and have what, again, what the poet Rilke calls praise. And Rilke says, to praise is everything. One who can praise comes to us like ore out of the silences of rock. Everything turns to vineyards. Everything turns to grapes. This is our awareness and the capacity of our awareness to give life to what we're aware of and to see deeply into what we're aware of and to experience how, you know, full and rich our life is any moment, even though it's nothing special. Sometimes in Zen we emphasize nothing special.


But, you know, Suzuki Roshi said, what's ordinary is that you look for something special. And you keep rejecting what's in front of you because it's not special enough, and so you don't give it your attention. And what's actually special is the ordinary when you give it your full attention and you let it speak to you. You let it grow in your awareness. And, of course, the same is true with, you know, today it's a beautiful sunny day and this autumn, a sunny autumn, late Indian summer here in California. And you can let the air flow through you.


Come to you and your breath. And all of this has this capacity to nourish you and sustain you and to be full of life and death and love and gratitude and thankfulness, praise. And experiencing, you know, with your attention and giving your attention to what's happening, you are reminded, you know, what a wonderful person you are, what a blessed creature each of us is. And, of course, in our tradition, you know, the fact that you're a blessed person, you know, sometimes we say you are Buddha. And Suzuki Roshi said you are Buddha and you are an ordinary being and you are an ordinary person. So we don't want you to think when you think, I am Buddha, that means that I can do whatever I want. Not quite. You know, or that we don't want you to think I'm just an ordinary person.


And because if you're just an ordinary person, you might think you have to do something special in order to get attention and in order to be recognized and acknowledged by others. You might think that your well-being is based on your performance rather than on your own capacity to be aware of each moment and what's happening in each moment and what is coming to you from beyond. Of course, you know, we have other words for this in Buddhism, you know, like what's coming to you because of your karma. I don't know much about karma. I don't know how that works. But, you know, we have, you know, things come to us from beyond. I'll let it go at that. So this is, but another way to say this, you know, is that the moments,


the things that are arising in our life at any particular moment, at any particular time, you know, we're not in charge of that. We can't control what's going to come into our life at any particular moment. That's beyond our control. And, you know, this is one of the mistakes that we make, of course, is to think that I can control what comes into my life. And if I was better at controlling things, I would have beautiful things come into my life and I wouldn't have unpleasant things coming into my life. And I could have pleasant thoughts and not the unpleasant thoughts. And I could have pleasant feelings and not the unpleasant feelings. And I could control all of this. And, of course, this is an inaccurate kind of thought because things can't be controlled. You know, what comes into our life is beyond our control. Whether you'd say it comes from beyond or something Buddha gives you or something from God or its teaching, you know, some people,


the colloquial California expression, you know, is it's a gift. And that's why we call it the present. And, of course, for it to be a gift, you know, with your awareness, with your attention that you give to, whether it's your thinking, your feeling, your sensation, the people you're with, the fresh air, the walking, the sitting, the circumstances. And, you know, we also call this, of course, in Zen, the ingredients of your life. And what will you do with the ingredients of your life that are appearing, these ingredients that appear each moment? What will you make of it? And, of course, Zen Master Dogen says,


don't complain about the quality or quantity of the ingredients you receive. Just handle them carefully and sincerely and do what you can with them. And a good cook, he says, will make a delicious soup out of wild grasses, which other people need, you know, cream to make. So sometimes we have, you know, it seems like at first glance, we have kind of poor ingredients in our life. And sometimes you have to study how to use the ingredients you have. Sometimes years of study. You know, but people have figured these things out, like olives. A friend of mine went to, you know, olive-making school, and so now she can pick the olives on her street. And then Brian and herself, you know, she gives up her bathtub for however long it takes, a month or something, when you put the olives in with the lye or whatever it is.


And then, you know, her tub is full of olives for a month. And then she, you know, bobbles them up at the end of the month. So, you know, you have to do something to olives to make them edible. And so, you know, not everything is edible. And we're studying, you know, how to use various things and what to take in and what to let go of, you know, both before we eat and while we eat. And of course, the Ziggurat, she mentioned that, you know, meditation is your chance to digest. And he said, you know, all the experiences you've taken in, you now have a chance to digest your experience in meditation. And digestion, sometimes, you know, it's really, some things are much harder to digest than others. But he also then said, you know, meditation is like going to the bathroom. So, this is, meditation is like a bathroom for your mind. Physically, we all know how to go to the bathroom.


But mentally, we don't always know how to let go of, you know, what's coming into our life and to digest something until we have a chance to let go. So, meditation, we let go of things actually by having them come into awareness and letting go. Not holding on to those things as they come up. So, again, one of my, you know, interest lately is, and I think last month I spoke about listening to your inner voice or your heart. And also, you know, meditation is a chance for us to listen to our inner voice or our heart. And some people call this, you know, your true heart's desire. Suzuki Roshi called it your inmost request. What is your inmost request? And, you know, it's not like listening and then you kind of, you know,


tune the channel, the station, and then, oh, there it is. Out of all those other channels, stations, oh, there's my inner voice. So, it's actually a fair amount of study, you know, how you know what is your inner voice and what and which are all the other voices. And to be able to listen and hear your inner voice. So, there's a kind of quality, a little bit like the apples, you know, of unearthing and allowing things to come up from the root and giving it the sunlight of your awareness or attention and letting things sort themselves out and sifting through things and sorting through things and finding what finally is valuable and what is your inmost request. And this is also various things, you know. I mean, in a basic way, Buddhism suggests that our inmost request is our wish to be happy and our wish to benefit other beings.


May I be happy, may all beings be happy just as I wish to be happy and may I use my gifts to benefit others. But sometimes it's, you know, mysterious how we're going to do that. But it's helpful, you know, of course, to have this intention and to be clear, this is my intention. Because if you're intending to benefit others, then that's different than, you know, intending to get what you can get out of the situation and move on. Wendell Berry, you know, distinguishes between the mind of exploitation and the mind of nurturing. The mind of exploitation says, what can I get out of this? And once I've gotten what I want to get out of it, I can move on and I can leave the trash behind. Go west, young man, and leave the garbage, you know, where you were and then you can go to some new place and create more garbage there. So this is in his book, you know, The Unsettling of America.


And the mind of nurturing is more like this mind of giving your attention to things and actually caring for what you observe and studying how to be with it and benefit what you receive into your life. So lately I heard a couple of stories, you know, which I wanted to share with you and I actually meant to share one of these with the kids. But I think we, you know, next time. We're not going to call them back now. I was in Phoenix recently and I met a woman, Jennifer, who has a tea house there and I think it's actually in Tempe, called the Mandala Tea House. And she serves organic teas, wines, and elixirs. Vegetarian food. And then she has special occasions. She's very good at creating events and bringing people together.


So she has movie night, you know, spiritual movies, An Inconvenient Truth, Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama, you know. And then people come and watch the movie and then they have dinner, watch the movie, visit with each other. So she's always creating events. And next door she has her spa and beauty treatment, you know, store. Including, you know, things like, there's a new chocolate now there, which I just discovered there, the way of chocolate. W-E-I. That kind of way. As in Wu-Way. And if you're interested, you can go to the wayofchocolate.com. And if you like their chocolates, you can also email them at bliss at wayofchocolate.com or passion at wayofchocolate.com. Anyway, way of chocolate. But I found it, you know, so I got to visiting with Jennifer and she's obviously not a cook.


You know, she likes creating spaces and getting people together. And she's really good at that. But how does she discover that that's who she is? And how does she discover that that's her way to benefit people? So eventually, you know, we have lunch and we're talking and then she starts showing me around the beauty supply place and the spa. And she says it, and then somehow it comes up. Her son now, Diego, is 13. And I said, so you don't have a background in restaurant? Oh, no, no, I have an advanced degree in international business. Oh, really? Yeah, and I used to work in that field, you know, and I had a job where I traveled, you know, to different parts of the world. And, you know, I was, you know, executive. So I had a big house, all kinds of stuff, and a full-time nanny. And her son, she said one evening, her son, when he was six or seven, said to her,


Mom, why are we living like this? We don't need all this stuff. Why don't we go home? Let's go home. Let's have a home. And she's saying, Diego, be quiet. I've got work to do. I've got typing. I've got to get to Brazil in the morning. Don't bother me. I have more important things to do than, you know, listen to you. But little by little, you know, he kept after her. And not necessarily that same evening, but, Mom, why are we living like this? What are we doing? Why are we living like this? Why don't we, you know, go home? Why don't we have a home? And, you know, it grew on her. She kept listening to him, finally. So she quit her job in international business.


She sold her house. She got rid of all her things. And she and her son moved back in with her mom in Phoenix, Arizona. Great international hub. That it is. But then she brings all of, you know, a certain amount of all these things into her tea house. And so now she has a fairly simple life. And she has a home with her son. So this, you know, in this case, you know, her innermost request was actually speaking, you know, in the voice of her son. And she finally listened. But we cannot, you know, whether it comes from, you know, our partners or our spouses or, you know, out of our own life, why are we living like this? How do I really want to live? And, you know, we're all doing the best we can,


but sometimes we don't think about this. Because we're so busy, you know, keeping up with our responsibilities and our affairs and making it all work, making ends meet. You know, so another woman I met in Phoenix, Amy, a number of years ago decided to teach mothers to cook. This has gotten to be a really unusual concept now. In 1985, about 25% of American families ate together. I think now it's less than 10%. Families not eating together. So she started doing cooking classes for mothers. And it turned out that even though women came to her classes,


they didn't actually cook. So then she started doing, she decided, if I'm going to teach mothers to cook, I not only have to teach them how to cook, I have to be a life coach. And how you think about what you want in your life and how you make that happen and how you can make plans and how you can have, you know, shopping lists and how you can have menus and how you can decide things for yourself and you can actually do this. So she's very familiar with, and, you know, she's got now, now, excuse me, but, you know, this is now university studies. I mean, this is like a no-brainer to me. We don't realize, you know, how important it is, but university studies now show that when families eat together, that children grow up healthier physically,


mentally more stable, they do better in school, it's less likely that they'll be involved in alcohol and drugs. This is not complicated. This is called family and food and somebody taking responsibility and, you know, seeing that it happens. And it comes out of, finally, your inmost request. It comes out of your heart. It comes out of your decision. Because people say, well, I don't have time to cook. And that means you've made a lot of other decisions that don't leave you time to cook. And you made all those other decisions without including the possibility that you might choose to cook. Like, kind of higher up on the list. Because it's not, you know, I don't have time to cook makes it sound like it's not my fault. I don't have time. Really, so you don't have time because,


well, because I'm busy with all these other things that I've chosen to do. And all the other things that I need to do to compensate for all the other choices that I've made. Anyway. So, dear Amy is very passionate about this. You could actually choose to cook. You could actually offer food to yourself and your family and your friends. And, you know, it could be as simple as, you know, sliced fruit. It turns out, you know, most people, most of us, most of the time are not worth sliced fruit. If you're, you know, I've been to a number of Vipassana retreats and at a Vipassana retreat there's often a bowl of fruit out with breakfast. And there's a cutting board and some knives. And then there's a trash barrel or something for the trash.


And you see a lot of banana peels. Because it's just too challenging to eat an apple or an orange. It's just too much. It's too much work. And I'm not worth it. And neither are you. And that's why we didn't cut it up for you in the first place. And that's why you're not going to cut it up for yourself. And I thought about this at one point. And, you know, and I talked about it from time to time. I actually met a woman once who said that her mom, when she was little, and she'd be really happy and full of herself, her mom would say, well, look who thinks she's worth sliced fruit today. So I'm not the only one who's had this idea, you know, that sliced fruit has something to do with your worth in life, you know, and are you worth it? But this is, again, an example that when you're willing to cook, then your willingness to give your attention to food


is your willingness to give your attention to yourself and to others and to offer something to yourself, offer something to others. And you do this because you notice that you're not worth it. You notice that you yourself and the other people are also from beyond, you know, that you're worth it. And this worth transcends, you know, performance or accomplishment or attainment or, you know, anything that you have to show or demonstrate. Look, I'm worth it. So pretty sweet, pretty interesting. So our gifts come to us, you know, partly they happen to us, and partly it's because we take the time in our lives to study. I saw another, I saw a movie recently about spiritual teachers and there was a woman named Debbie Ford on there, and she, first of all, in one segment of the movie,


talks about how she had a lot of addictive, you know, problems with addiction with drugs and alcohol. And one day she was in her 10th rehab program. And it was the 10th day in her 10th rehab program and she had this sense that if she left, like she always had, she would never survive. So she was in the bathroom and she got down on the floor of her bathroom at the rehab center and started praying, and something came over her, and she stayed for the rehab program and, you know, got herself straightened out. Many people have mentioned, you know, how addiction problems have to do with, you know, it's really part of our spiritual quest. You know, looking for something from beyond, and for love and for well-being,


for praise, which we could be offering. We could make a practice of offering, giving ourself attention. You know, meditation is just to give yourself some attention, you know, give attention to what's arising in your being. It's a very sweet thing to be doing, although it's also sometimes distasteful. There's a saying in Vipassana, why is self-awareness always bad news? So sometimes, you know, what you're discovering is kind of distasteful, but it's a sweet thing to be doing, to finally give yourself the attention that you always wanted, and thinking that, why doesn't the world give it to me? So later, Debbie Ford went to see Amma, you know, the Indian woman who's hugging people. A good day for her, you know, is to sit down for 12 or 16 hours,


and without going to the bathroom, without drinking or eating, and hug 30 or 40,000 people. I don't know. I don't know how she does it. Just physiologically, you know, but somehow she does. So Debbie Ford went to the Amma event, and she was kind of depressed, and it was kind of a big deal, and there was all these people, so she was sitting outside, feeling sorry for herself, and Amma actually came up to her. It must be really rare that Amma singles out somebody who's sitting someplace and goes up to them, because mostly she's, you know, headed up to the altar, and, you know, people are coming up one by one to be hugged. I thought I'd like to go sometime, but it turns out you have to chant for a couple, three hours, and then a lot of these things start about 10 o'clock at night, you get home at 4 in the morning. I can't do it. I'm sorry.


Maybe it is great to be hugged by the Divine Mother, but, you know, all right. So Debbie's sitting there feeling sorry for herself, and Amma comes up to her and says, you look pretty discouraged, and she says, yes, I am, and Amma says to her, well, you know you have the internal flame, the eternal flame inside of you. It's kind of small right now, but it's there. Eternal flame inside of you. You know, we say Buddha nature. Also, it's your, you know, inmost request, it's your heart. It's there. But what Amma told her, she said, you have the eternal flame inside of you, and I want you to know that every choice you make is either going to increase that flame or diminish it. So I want you to work on and think carefully


about the choices you make in your life. What's going to increase your eternal flame and what's going to diminish it? What's really going to bring you well-being and satisfaction and happiness, joy into your life, and what is going to diminish it? And sometimes, you know, it's difficult to admit it. I'm at times, you know, rather a centralist in spite of all these years of Zen practice, or maybe because of all these years of Zen practice. So, you know, I enjoy the proverbial glass of wine at dinner, and I'm sort of fortunate in some ways that I can't really have more than two of these one glass... two of these glass of wine at dinners. Because I just, you know, I can't do it. I don't know how people do it, you know, with their livers or something. They have better livers than me, or whatever it takes, you know.


So it's not like I drink a lot, but it actually turns out, you know, as I've gotten older, that even one glass of wine at dinner, I don't sleep as well. This is really hard to admit. Perhaps the enjoyment I have in a glass of wine is not worth not sleeping at. It's, you know, like, and I'm not going to sleep at night. It's like, figure it out. What's going to increase the eternal flame or your well-being? And what's going to decrease it? And in Buddhism, you know, we're studying how to make wise choices. Wise choices are not the choices somebody else tells you about how to be or what to do, but choices that come out of your careful attention to what your experience is, not just apples, but your feelings, your sensations, your thoughts.


And you notice what's what. What works and what doesn't work. And when you give your attention to things, then you make more wise choices. If you taste what you put in your mouth pretty soon, you can't eat, you know, you don't eat things that aren't so good for you. And it's not because you say, well, that's not good for you. And then you shouldn't eat that. And you're like, well, okay, but I'm so deprived. No, you're just sort of like, I don't need that. It's not, there's nothing there, there. I want something that I actually can taste. And when I give it my attention, I taste the sunlight and the earth and the water and the work that people have done and the roses that are in apples. And also, that's, you know,


Rumi, the poet Rumi, he says, what was said to the rose that made it bloom is being spoken here in your heart now. In each of our hearts, what was said to the rose that made it bloom is being spoken here in my heart now. Okay. Thank you. Blessings.