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And he said, I tell my students, put yourself in the time before Buddha appeared in the world. Very few get my meaning. I'd like to suggest just a very simple understanding here. If it's before Buddha's appeared in the world, who is going to give you the instructions? If we're trying to be Buddhists. So for tonight anyway, you could set aside trying to be Buddhist and study about being yourself. Study what it's like for you to be you and how to sit with this person that you find yourself to be moment after moment. It will probably be somebody else and if you think about it, the person you're sitting


with has not yet appeared in the world but will be appearing throughout the evening. Since we're headed into the future and we're not quite sure who's going to show up next or who you might be in the next moment. So this is an important study. Do you want to make sure you know what you're like the next moment and how you're going to be and tell yourself ahead of time how you should be in the next moment? Or do you just want to meet somebody? How are you doing? Nice to see you. Gosh, I'm not sure I've met you before. Are you somebody I know? So there's a possibility that you could meet somebody that you have never met before, you yourself, in this practice before Buddha appeared in the world.


And there's a few things that help with this. So I'm going to go ahead and mention those just kind of tentative possible guidelines for sitting. One is, of course, to take a few moments to bring your awareness into your body and find your seat, find your stability and your sense of ground or support. The Buddha was asked him, Master, what is the way? And Nan Chuan said, everyday mind is the way. Zazho asked, how do I attain that? And Nan Chuan said, when you try to attain it, you lose it.


When you try to attain it, you lose it. So I just want to suggest some of the things that you may notice with this everyday mind. And everyday mind is likely to be associated with sensation, thoughts, judgments, planning, remembering, emotions. All of these things are likely to appear along with everyday mind. So let's study. Okay.


Okay. So it's often, you know, usually if you do, you know, whatever you're doing, you notice, how was that? I find after I do qigong, you know, it feels easier for me to be in my body, to feel at home in my body.


That's called ease. And some days I find it really challenging to do even just what we did. But if I do, sure makes it easier. So sometimes I call that qigong out of self-defense. And it's kind of amazing to me, you know, I mean that, you know, it's something so simple that you can do for, you know, self, self-remedy. You don't have to pay anybody. You know, it's free. It's a little bit of time, but it's free. And light from above can wash through. I can see you're really impressed. Let's go on with the talk. So I'm going to talk a little bit more about everyday mind is the way, and then on to some


other things. See how it goes. And then I'm hoping to leave a little time if you have any questions or comments, and then we're going to see if we have time, we'll do some questions and comments, and then we'll sit for a few minutes at the end, quietly, so you can wash out your ears after all is said and done. Okay. So, I'm going to bring up various stories for you that occur to me when I think about


everyday mind is the way. This, of course, is one of those, you know, slightly enigmatic, perhaps, Zen stories or expressions, which, you know, is a kind of expression like, what is that about, or why would anybody say it? First of all, I'd like to, well, excuse me for doing this, but confuse you maybe just a little bit by bringing up a short discourse that Suzuki Rishi, my Zen teacher, once gave. This is actually changing the language, which is why it might be a little bit confusing for you, and then we'll see if we can change it back. Okay? So, in this case, Suzuki Rishi said, what is ordinary is that you look for some extraordinary or special experience to have that will make all the difference in your life. This is an ordinary thing to, this is a very ordinary thing for you to be doing.


What's truly extraordinary or special would be that you settle down in the ordinary and make yourself at home there. So this, what Suzuki Rishi called extraordinary, is what Nanchuan called everyday mind. Am I, did you follow that? Okay. So everyday mind is where you settle down in the everyday world and make yourself at home. And if you've tried, you know, to the extent you've tried meditating, you know how challenging this is to just be at home with everyday experience, which is what else are you going to be having while you're sitting there? And somehow this is extremely challenging to have ordinary experience. And I want to suggest some of the reasons for this, and I'll use some stories to do this.


As many of you know, I sometimes do cooking classes. So sometimes in cooking classes, I say, let's taste this. Sometimes what we're tasting is canned tomatoes, because we're going to add things to the canned tomatoes, you know, like chili powders of various kinds and other ingredients. And so before we start adding things, we want to taste, well, what's it like before we add anything? And almost invariably, one or more people will say, what should we be tasting? Because rather than just having, apparently rather than just having your experience, some people, your own experience, some people would like to have the right experience. Perhaps some of you, when you go to meditate, would like to have the right experience to


be sure that you're actually meditating. And you know, this comes up a lot. People say, I can't meditate. Oh, really? I can't quiet my mind. I can't calm my mind. I can't stop thinking. I feel agitated. So people apparently have, you know, apparently it's fairly easy to have standards about the right way to meditate and try to do it right, rather than have your experience and taste the tomatoes. They're kind of ordinary. They're just canned tomatoes. Okay? What's it like, you know, to just taste some canned tomatoes? And, you know, it's not real interesting, probably, when you're meditating, just to


sit there and be tasting canned tomatoes, otherwise known as you, you know, your breath, some sensation, some thoughts, some feeling, some memory, some judgment. This is working. This isn't working. I like this. I don't like this. I don't know why this can't be better than this. I wish it was different than this. I, you know, and so forth. And why can't I have a more extraordinary experience than this? Like all the books that I've read, it's amazing how much people believe the books they read. And like, that must be what meditation is. So, anyway, that's one example, right? Have the right experience. And probably some of you have heard me talk about trying to make biscuits, but, you know, when I started cooking in the 60s, I tried making biscuits and they didn't come out right. And I tried making biscuits four or five times, they didn't come out right.


And I tried them with milk and with water and with eggs and without eggs and with butter and with Crisco and, you know, different things, and they never came out right. And then finally one day I thought, right, according to, compared to what? And I started thinking about it and I realized when I grew up we made Bisquick biscuits and Pillsbury biscuits, canned Pillsbury biscuits, and that I was trying to make my biscuits taste like Pillsbury canned biscuits. You hit the can on the counter, twist it open, pull out the biscuits, put them on the pan, bake them. Those are biscuits. And my biscuits didn't taste like that. Isn't that what, you know, your life should look like? Some canned biscuits? If you start thinking about this, this is amazing, the kind of things we're trying to do with our lives


and make them look like, but I finally decided, like, why don't I taste the biscuits that I made today and see what they taste like? And I tasted my biscuits and they were, they kind of melted in your mouth. They were weedy and flaky and buttery. And they just melt in your mouth quality like ethereal. They were earthy, sunny, you know, they were so good. And they had whole wheat flour so they actually tasted like wheat, like the earth. And I thought these biscuits are just amazing. And I'd spent all that time trying to turn my biscuits into, so they would compare favorably with the kind of memory I had of what biscuits taste like.


So what should a human being be like? What should you be like? And is there any way to let go of that and see what, who you are? When you stop trying to make yourself into a canned biscuit. I may be, I mean, excuse me if I'm exaggerating here, but I only mention this because I've spent a good deal of my lifetime trying to turn myself into a canned biscuit. I just noticed that I could bring this back out now that I've finished with Qigong. And it's very curious to me, for instance, that being a student of meditation people say, how did you live at the Zen Center for 20 years?


Wasn't that, didn't that take a lot of discipline? No, I was just being the kind of person you're supposed to be. Aren't you supposed to be peaceful and quiet and compassionate and not get argumentative and do what you're told and fit in and, you know, help out and be like a good little boy or girl and make everything work for everybody? And isn't that what you learned when you were growing up? And it's what I learned when I was growing up and then I just kept doing it. Isn't that spiritual? Or, you know, I was born premature and spent the first month of my life. My mom went home after a few days. I was there, and I think in 1948 they weren't hugging babies a lot. So I spent the first, you know, month of my life doing a meditation retreat. I was in my own little cubicle.


And you don't talk to anybody or interact with anybody. Nobody touches you. You don't touch them. So it's spiritual to do that. That's no problem. That's spiritual life. You don't talk to anybody. You don't relate to anybody. You don't connect. You take care of your own little space. You're sitting with yourself. That's what you do in this life. Right? So I don't know if I was 20 years. That's 20 years of post-traumatic reenactment. Or I just spent the first month of my life getting ready for my future destiny as a Zen teacher. Starting early. We don't know. But this is interesting, you know, how we can get, to me, you know, diverted from everyday to how I should be, the kind of person I should be. And we start out with, you know, there's sort of useful ideas, you know,


and directives and standards for ourselves. And the kind of person that would, you know, on one hand, you know, be basically, you know, somebody that the big people in our life would approve of. Good boy. Good girl. And you could get, how do you need to behave to get approval? And then, can you get yourself to behave in that way, moment after moment, while you're meditating? And to be the good little boy or girl that you should be. And would you like to just follow the meditation instructions and get it right and get approval? Or do you want to, or is it possible to taste the biscuits of today, taste the canned tomatoes, taste the biscuits of today, and see who you actually are? And then, you know, it might get, you know, like, it might be like you're out in the fields, you know. What about if you go out in the fields, and instead of getting the tomato from the grocery store,


if you pick a tomato off the vine, and then you're suddenly with a lot of, you know, bugs and creatures, and there's bees buzzing around, and there's sunlight, and there's rain, and there's, you know, dirt. And this is all happening in your consciousness, yes? And it's not just about a beautiful big tomato that wins the prize, but we're people with a lot of fecundity, and, you know, all kinds of things going on. And can we somehow make ourselves at home with, you know, the wildness that we are, with the creature that we find ourselves to be, and in the world that we find ourselves? And this is a little more, you know, in a certain sense, daring or adventuresome, rather than, and you could actually taste and experience something for what it is, rather than wondering, why aren't I the biscuit, you know, the Pillsbury canned biscuit?


What am I supposed to be tasting when I experience it? How am I supposed to be? And can I make myself like that? And can I make sure that I'm like that? Are you understanding this? Okay. So I want to bring up another story. I just forgot what it was. But it'll come back. Excuse me. Okay. Oh. So what I want to mention is something that Zen Master Dogen says about enlightenment,


or what he calls complete supreme realization. He says, what is that like? And he says, one thing he says is, it's like being unstained. Do you know unstained? Unstained is like something happens, and it doesn't stain your consciousness. Something unpleasant happens, and it doesn't stain your consciousness. It's a moment of unpleasant, and then you can go on to another moment. Or does the unpleasant stain your consciousness, and you say, what's wrong with me? Did I experience something unpleasant? Why can't I meditate better? This is so challenging for me. I still haven't gotten this down. I don't know what I'm doing here. And I should have mastered this by now. I've been meditating for 40 years, or whatever, 10 years, 5 years, 3 months. But it gets harder after you've been meditating for 30 years, 35 years.


Anyway, you could get stained by something that happens. Or something's disappointing. Something's, you know, somebody's upset with you. Or, you know, something happens. Things happen, and we, you know. So then, is your consciousness stained? Or does it remain unstained? And Dogen says, Supreme Perfect Enlightenment is like being unstained. Okay, got that? And then he says, what is it like to be unstained? And then he says, being unstained is like meeting someone for the first time, and not thinking about whether you like them or not. Meeting someone for the first time, not thinking about whether you like them or not. And this is also, then, meeting yourself. Each moment in meditation, is it somebody you like, somebody you don't like?


Are they doing okay, are they not doing okay? Are you wanting to assess them? Or could you just meet the person you are this moment, and let that person be who they are, and not think about whether you like them or you don't like them, or how well or poorly they're doing, and just, Hey! Hi there! Unstained. Are you with me here? How about just being unstained and meeting yourself for the first time, and not assessing, not judging, not fixing, not changing, not criticizing, not evaluating. And there's happiness, there's joy, there's sorrow, there's disappointment, there's anger, there's frustration, there's, you know, thoughts, there's feelings, there's physical sensations. And, hey! You know, a human being. This is also in Zen, sometimes, called a person of no rank. Do you understand the no rank?


In order to have rank, you have to evaluate yourself, and check out how far you've gotten. So this person of no rank, everyday mind is the way. Okay? Everyday mind is the way. Okay. So another Zen teacher said something very similar to this, and I just want to add it in to say that, you know, in a way, this one Zen teacher isn't the only one saying things like this. You know, partly I mention this because I was just at a conference of Soto Zen Buddhist Teachers of America, and I'm now one of them. Which is a little hard for me to believe, you know,


that little Eddie from San Francisco, California, in San Anselmo, you know, Sunny Hills Orphanage, you know, Sleepy Hollow, what's that school out there in Sleepy Hollow, grammar school? Brookside. Brookside. And a friend of mine, it turns out, I was over visiting her, a woman who works for my next door neighbor. We were at her house, and she lives at her mom's. And her mom and I figured out that we were in the same fifth grade class at Brookside, and she said, I think I can have the photo. She went to look for it and couldn't find it. We were going to see if we could find herself in the same fifth grade photo at Brookside School. So it's a little surprising to me that little Eddie would be one of the Zen Teachers of America, you know. Officially recognized as, you know. And before I went to this event, I thought, do I want to be one of them? And my neighbor said, I said, you know,


I'm not sure I want to be one of them. And she said, Ed, you know, I go to dental conventions. You're lucky you're going to a convention. Zen Teachers, and my guess is that they will be very earnest and very sweet. And that was about right. That was so good. She just got it without, you know, having met all these, you know, 50s, 60s Zen Teachers. Earnest and sweet. And one of the concerns, you know, of being a Zen Teacher is, and we had this wonderful keynote speech by a professor from Berkeley, Robert Scharf, who's also a practicing Buddhist. And Robert said, you know, you people really set yourselves up. If I may say so. And he was a little anxious about telling us these things. But he said, you people, you really set yourselves up. You know, if you're a Jewish rabbi or a Catholic priest and you mess up, who cares? You know, the institution is okay,


and people don't expect their priests and their rabbis, you know, to be paragons of virtue. But you Zen people, aren't you enlightened? Don't you have complete supreme realization? And then look at your lives. That looks to me like you might stand the risk of being kind of inauthentic. So, and then he told us these long stories about various things, which I'm not going to try to go on with you, but the fact is that, you know, on the one hand, we do have visions or pictures of how we ought to be, and partly, you know, to gain approval, but partly because, you know, we're all inspired from above or from someplace, you know, of a picture or a sense of, you know, who is the person I'd like to be? And then how do I get myself to do that? And the fact is that we're working on that


and we're studying how to translate our vision or picture into everyday life. You know, this is a big thing with people who meditate, right? Because you have a sense of your picture or your image or your, you know, your ideal, and then can you actually manifest that in everyday sense? And sometimes you can and sometimes you can't. You know, sometimes you successfully interact with somebody that seems to work, and other times you interact with somebody and you go like, damn, I'm not the, it's not who I thought I was or who I want to be. In the Zen sense, you know, we understand this as Suzuka, she said, you know, we're trying to live, you know, live our, express and manifest our true nature, not our confused nature or, you know, just being a, getting it right nature


and, you know, looking for approval nature, but our true nature that is compassionate, is kind, is loving and how do you actually, can you actually just do that in some way? And it turns out, that's not so simple, is it? So we're all sort of bundles of, so again, so I got up in front of these people and I told them, you know, because nobody does this, I don't understand, like, why are so few people willing to reveal anything? Here's a whole group of Zen teachers and they're all talking about, well, Professor Scharf, when you mentioned this, you know, I don't know, I don't know that it's your place to talk about koans, you know, and I think we are the ones who ought to be talking about koans and you are a professor, you know, we are the Zen teachers, whatever. So I finally get up after about 20 minutes of this and I say, I'd just like to mention, you know, that, you know, I know there are these standards and, you know, like there's this, there's this picture, you know, and there's these precepts


and how, you know, we ought to be and we ought to be perfectly enlightened and frankly, you know, I've never been able to do that, you know, I could never sit still regularly in meditation, I had a lot of involuntary movements, I've never been able to be emotionally calm and stable, you know, I've been, most of my life I've been a drama queen and emotionally intense and moody and, you know, people worry about what's happening with little Eddie and how do we stay out of his way or placate him or pacify him or mollify him and handle him and so I never could do any of this, so I finally decided that that was being authentic, you know, being who I was was authentic and then they all laughed, the whole room laughed and then I said, and then eventually, you know, I called that Zen and they got that, you know,


and then the whole mood in the room changed although nobody got self-revealing, there was a little more emotional body in the things that they were saying, very curious to me, so this is in line with, you know, and every so often I read Zen stories like, oh, I'm in the right school, okay, so this is a Zen story that says, yes, Zen Edward, you're in the right school, here's the story for you, so this is another Zen teacher named Deshawn and Deshawn said, I don't know if I can tell you this, but, you know, these Zen people are sometimes kind of, what do you call that, you know, when you tear things down or you, you know, iconoclastic, some of these Zen teachers are iconoclastic and he said, you know, those 12, the 12, you know, Buddhist canon, it's nothing but tissue paper for wiping infected skin boils. He said a lot of other, you know, derogatory things about Buddha


and Buddhism and meditation practice and then he says, realizing the mystery is nothing but breaking through to grasp an ordinary person's life. Realizing the mystery is nothing but breaking through to grasp an ordinary person's life. This takes some grasping, you know, to have your ordinary life, because otherwise you're going to end up trying to make, you know, the biscuits come out the way they should, wonder, like, what the canned tomatoes should taste like, how you can have the right experience rather than just having your experience. Can you have your experience? This is breaking through to have an ordinary person's life. Okay? Sometimes it doesn't look so pretty.


I can already hear you in the room saying, like, but if I just did that and I had an ordinary person's life, you know, uh-oh. Will people like me? Will I be okay? Will I be accepted? I just got into the Zen teachers of America. So this is, isn't this a little reassuring for you? Or maybe you could, like, ooh, the Zen teachers, I'm staying with Vipassana in that case. I don't know. So I have one last story for you. And this is now coming back, you know, what you try to do in talks, you start someplace and then you go somewhere and then you come back to the, huh? But it's coming back to the beginning with a little shift.


We started out with, Zhao Zhou asked Nan Chuan, what is the way, Nan Chuan says, everyday mind is the way. And Zhao Zhou says, how can I attain that? Zhao Zhou says, if you try to attain it, you'll lose it, you've lost it. Trying to attain something special is losing your everyday mind. Rather than having your experience, you know, and finding out what that experience is, you try to have a different experience. Okay? So you lose your everyday mind when you try to get it right, be good, seek approval, you know, get accepted. All right. So sometime later, after Zhao Zhou had become a Zen teacher himself, one day a student came to Zhao Zhou and said, Master, how can I get to the summit of the Mystic Peak? Doesn't that sound like a good thing to do?


How can I get to the summit of the Mystic Peak? And Zhao Zhou said, I won't tell you. The student said, why won't you tell me? And Zhao Zhou said, if I said anything about this, you would go right on thinking that now you were on level ground. As soon as you tried to attain it, where did you think you are? You thought you were on some level ground that, you know, was missing what? What were you looking for that wasn't already here? Why were you thinking? What were you thinking about where we are? And what were you noticing that it was lacking?


Why did you think that? Are you with me here? If I told you how to get to the summit, you would think you were now on level ground. Where are you? Where are any of us? So it's easy, in other words, to, you know, in with your everyday mind and being caught up or perhaps stained by everyday experiences, it's easy to think that there's something missing here. And why can't I have that? And how do I get there from here? So the suggestion here is that rather than thinking that those things are someplace else


to see if there's some way to find them here. And a lot of this has to do with our habits of perception. So some, you know, one of our habits of perception, if I can, you know, perhaps overgeneralize, is to notice like, what's wrong? What's wrong in my experience? And then sometimes we say to other people, what's wrong? Because we have the idea that you get through life by noticing what's wrong and fixing it and making it better. And then you find the next thing that's wrong and what are you going to do about that one? And the next thing that's wrong and how do you fix that one? Is this working? So when do you...


Is that all you're going to notice is just what's wrong? How about noticing what's right? Or what's sweet or precious? Or sacred or blessed? Or what there is to be grateful for? Or what you appreciate? What you value? Why not look for it? Why not find it? Is it somewhere else? Or is it in, you know, being an everyday ordinary person, grasping, breaking through to grasp an ordinary person? And ordinary people are, you know, we're each like this. We're really, you know, at some level, you know, very sweet people. Just like the Zen people, you know, earnest and sweet. And we forget sometimes.


We get so caught up in I haven't taken care of this and that, and, you know, and it's still, and... And... So part of, you know, what we... So part of this is our habit of perception. What do we notice? What do we perceive? What do we look for? So for instance, you know, and Buddhists aren't the only one who get involved with this, but... I really enjoyed a book by a woman named Becky Bailey that's called Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline. It's about how to raise kids. And being one, you know, I thought I could study this book and find out something about raising myself. Because I seem to have missed out


on a fair amount of parenting along the way. And Becky Bailey says, what you look for, you will get more of it. What you look for, if you look for it, you're going to see it. So if you look at your kids and you look for misbehavior, you will see misbehavior. You will find it. What are you doing? Don't do that. And then she says, if you look for good intention, instead of looking for misbehavior, if you look for good intention, you will see good intention. You have to look for it. It doesn't mean you overlook misbehavior. It means you also are looking for good intention. So one of her simplest examples is, before you do any correcting, she says,


always acknowledge, as much as you can, acknowledge good intention before you start correcting. So one of her simple examples. And one of the great things about this book is she's so simple and clear about the times, sometimes in her life, when she wasn't able to do this and the kind of problem it was, without being judgmental and critical and happy about it. Oh, I'm such a bad mom or whatever. She's just able to say, I'm not always able to do this. But one of her simple examples is, if your son hits his little sister, you might have noticed, Johnny, it seems to me you hit your little sister because you wanted to let her know you were unhappy about her taking your toy. You want to let somebody know something. This is a positive intention. That's not the way to do it.


Rather than don't hit your sister and then you hit Johnny. Johnny, don't hit your little sister. So she's saying, you know, what you look for, you'll get more of. So if you look for and acknowledge good intention, you really appreciate it. And then you want to work with somebody on how to manifest a good intention. That's not the way to express your intention of letting your sister know you're unhappy. And, you know, I'd like you to try out just telling her, you know, I'm unhappy about your taking my toy. May I have it back? And she says, kids do not purposely, you know, kids do not behave well because they don't have the tools. They don't purposely misbehave in order to press your, push your buttons. That's not what they're doing. They only have certain skills


and if you want to, you can teach those skills and part of the way you teach the skills is by noticing the good intention and how to act on your good intention in a more skillful way and teach that. This is not so complicated, but sometimes to change, you know, how we do things, you know, it takes some focus and some reminders and we have to work on it for a while. But you can also start with, you know, in your own meditation, can you see your own good intention? Your own positive, good intention for yourself and for others in your life. And even though you can't meditate as well, so called as well or perfectly as you like, do you see your good intention? And how can you better act on your, you know, more clearly, carefully act on your good intention? So,


where are we, you know? And, you know, just to say everyday mind is the way, sometimes we don't realize how extraordinary everyday mind can be and how much a good intention is there and good heartedness and, you know, wishing to benefit and wishing to be of service, wishing to connect, wishing to be intimate. And we don't always notice and appreciate all that, we just find fault and criticize ourselves and other people with their heads trying to get to the summit. And they also say at the summit of the mystic peak, weeds grow in profusion. Some of them, you might not have gotten this, but at the summit, the weeds, some of them are six foot tall, some of them are twelve. And at the summit of the mystic peak,


so you could get lost in the weeds at the summit of the mystic peak. Where did you think you are? Where have we been relegated to? Is this, you know, what world do we live in? How do you know that? Is it possible to open up your perception and see a bit more widely and acknowledge your and others' good intention for yourself and for others? Okay, then. So, I have about ten to eight. Thank you. So, I'm going to suggest we just sit for a few minutes. The monastics leading the retreat, they'll often have you take the monastic, all eight. And sometimes on a lay retreat,


we encourage people to choose to follow eight, but we don't, there's no demand, but just that that's something you can do. It's actually not that strenuous a thing in the end. So, but the five that we take on every retreat is not taking life, only taking that which is freely offered, refraining from sexuality, right speech, which on a basonic retreat is noble silence, and then not clouding the mind. So, as a precept that you can take in your work life, if you were going to apply sexuality, so how would you apply the sexuality precept as a leader or simply as a person in your work environment? So, the first one would be, well, I won't abuse my sexuality at work. Because the living,


when you're not on retreat, as lay people, and you're going to live the precepts, you take the precept of not abusing sexuality. So, you don't use your sexuality to cause suffering for yourself or another. But if you wanted to, if you wanted to apply this more broadly in the workplace, you could say, oh, well, what is, what would be abusing sexuality? It would be abusing power. And so, the question would be, how then to live in the workplace without abusing power of any kind? So, it could be power around sexuality, power around getting to choose who gets what, power around status, just any particular thing, so that you, in fact, live a life in your work life where you not abuse power, any kind of power. Likewise, you could take this precept


in your home life this way. I will not abuse power. I will not abuse my power as a parent. I will not abuse my power with my aging parents. I won't abuse my power in relation to my significant other. So, lots of different ways to apply that to see that you take a responsibility as your own practice. So, it's not about the other person. You're not doing this in terms of the other person. You're doing this to free your own heart, to have your own heart not be possessed by power, to not abuse to gain power in any way to get what you want. That would be in a way that would feel as though taken advantage. So, in the workplace, you can withhold information to get what you want because you make the other person


look bad and therefore you do better because of withholding information. You wouldn't do that if this is your precept. Even though you'd like to get, you're competing for something, you'd like to get it. You wouldn't abuse your power in order to get what you want, even though you're in competition and there's nothing wrong with the competition, but there's a kind of morality to your competition regardless of whether the other person is practicing it or maybe not. Maybe you say, oh, Mully, if they're so far out of line, then it's a whole other ballgame. I'm not telling you what to do. I'm telling you about the possibility. So, yeah, I think I'll stop with that one with that. So, do you see how to take a precept? Any feeling for this about the precept? When we're living our lives, our daily lives, whether it's our work lives


or our home lives or trying to cut across all of our lives and we're living, when we're about something other than the gain and loss, the pain and pleasure of it, that gives us agency because we are not controlled by conditions. Conditions are sometimes going to go against us. At times in our lives, conditions are going to be very much as we would rather they not be and they may stay for a long period of time that way. So, as we shift from being about that, we gain some co-creative ability in our lives and this includes around the dying process itself. The more we are willing to make ourselves about how we're going about something rather than trying to control


what happens, the more agency we have, the more choice, the more co-creativity, the more participation we have in our own lives. It all kind of comes back to this in a certain way. How do we do that? Through mindfulness, through compassion, through right intention, being about what we're about. I can't control that this is happening to me. I would prefer not to have to continue working but I'm going to have to continue working. I'm going to work manifesting right intention while I work. That I can choose. That makes my life, my work life about something other than just earning the money that I have to have to survive. Without it, the life is more narrow, it's more limited. But with this bringing the Dharma into it, it's bigger, it feels richer, it's more interesting, it's more interesting. Any question or comment


about this? Good. Because I'd like us to stand up and...