Given on Tuesday, May 11, 2010
About this talk
Impossible to keep everybody happy with style of teaching; story of coming to Tassajara in 1966; fundraising for the monastery; not hiding negative parts of personality; the stories our hands reveal.
Good evening. I'm endeavoring to night to speak to you. So among other things if you can't hear me. Would you you know then you know and here I can talk more loudly or we can turn to. OK. So when I say I'm endeavoring to speak to you road it turns out that may I this May is the forty fifth anniversary of since I've been practicing Zahn. We would think of course that I would have gotten somewhere by now I mean. But you know that's the way it goes. Anyway over those forty five years I have been to a lot of talks so I have my own sense ability about the kind of talks I like and the kind of talks I don't like so I write to give you the kind of talk that I would like. And it may not be the kind of talk that you would like. That's the way it goes. But my aim is you know a lot of talks and if you go to school you understand a lot of talks are I'm going to tell you what's in my head so it can be in your head. I'm going to talk from my heart to your heart. To the degree I can and from my body you know to your body from your face to my face so I may not be giving you you know much information. Reich you get out of a book. Right is in looks like right breeze and looks like what to do and what not to do. And this is largely the way we approach things you know what to do what not to do and if and then you. You create your idea what to do and what not to do and then. You know the right way to bait so that right so that you gain approval and recognition and need to avoid criticism and punishment how will you do that which is called you know saying if you can put on a good performance for your public. If you're a Zen Center and you know part of that would be it would want to be spiritual we would want to be seen as being spiritual went to spiritual look like. I walked around town so. You can see what it looks like on the whole it's pretty serious. That's what spiritual looks like because that's people anyway get that idea to be spiritual I can't be and then I hear this week you know. By the way you can think what you want of me. You know and and you will but. You know and some people say Ed Brown is brilliant and other people say he's full of it. Some people say oh yes he's a good teacher for beginners. And other people say he's a useless for beginners he's flippant You know he said cows think he's thin they go he's bitter he's negative out and occasionally maybe that a funny but you know his humor doesn't always go over. And he seems to have his own private joke and and I don't know what it's so funny that he's right I think that. You know people say all kinds of things about me and what does anybody know I'm not sure I would either you know but you know it's you suppose we think to come up with. Observations and judgments so is this person do I want to be like him or not. What does he have to offer and not you know I was in a movie people say Ed Brown has nothing in my name to offer in this movie OK Other people say. Right life changed. So when I say I'm going to endeavor to speak to you I you know I might I might not right my aim is to talk to speak with you I came to here to test her and first this summer of one nine hundred sixty six. My friend Alan wintery gone on his ends in a ski trip I think it was the last and center ski trip in the spring of one thousand nine hundred sixty six and met someone named Richard Baker and Richard Baker told him that since and I was thinking about maybe buying some land down here Zen Center had one thousand dollars approximately in the bank. And there was this place called turns to her and he said to my friend why don't you get a job there so my friend got a job here is a handyman and he told me I could probably get a job here in the kitchen which I did. But kitchen was where the pit is now it was a very nice kitchen with the tower open air tower and the top So basically it came through. And where the student eating area was the bar. Was raised for many years a destination drinking spot to drive the fourteen mile dirt road get a drink go to the hot tubs. Oh well those were the days. So and then they were the kitchen is now that was the toaster dining room where the dining room is now and that's where the bags lived. And it was divided up into rooms. And so when we worked in the kitchen if it was hot in the summer you could order it from the bar or a card to Blanco or does that case or some of the cooks would have gin and tonic with this with the blind. Through. You know because if you're a cook you know you want to cool off and keep cool and in good humor. Maybe would help to take the edge off. So I got a job here washing the dishes and washing the pots. And then they were making beautiful bread. So I asked them really you teach me and they said you bet so then I was the dishwasher the pot washer and the baker. And then about halfway through this summer one of the cooks quit and. The owner sometimes I said why don't you be the cook and so then I started cooking so that was the summer of one thousand sixty six so I had two and a half months experience cooking and since then he said that then that for all you know it was arranged presents and it to buy ties to her three hundred thousand dollars and you know we had to raise twenty five hundred twenty five thousand dollars down payment. So we had garage sales and car washes and also there was a Zen a fit you know. There were posters in San Francisco Zen a fit and you know that silhouette run of the mountains here the Quicksilver Messenger Service the Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother and the holding company for a benefit for the same says goes and so here. It was that the Avalon Ballroom there were hundreds of people there I think that tickets were four dollars or five days before the tickets for rock concerts went way up you know. And I says if you actually gave a talk at one point at the. Benefit to these hundreds of stoned hippies. And we raised from that Senate eight hundred dollars. That winter there was for I think caretakers here for this and so you and I have not to this day heard you know what happened but they decided they had heard somehow that to send the we needed to have a new kitchen before the next guests season. This is not accurate information but they thought they had heard this they were not in close communication with the city there was at that point a phone through the woods on a single wire and if there was a storm and a branch fell on it it was down to you walk the ride so in their. Whatever state they were in from whatever they were consuming. They decided we need to have a new kitchen before we open next year so we better tear down the old one. So it's some point we got down here and what was that the kitchen was the platform. And there were three walk in refrigerators at the far side of the platform that they had that they're opening during the day close to midnight I mean open them at night closed them during the day so you open them at night to get the cold air in close them during the day to keep the cold air there. So we had refrigeration in the summertime down to about eighty degrees. And the first kitchen then after that was where the dish act is now but it was a kitchen it was had been the crew's dining room that was our kitchen and there was enough space to walk around a central table if two people could pass if you turned sideways. There was a counter at the end. To it disturbs that are now in our new kitchen and one other smaller stove three stows I guess we figure eight or one that was saying and a whole other set out and then there was a storage room outside. Which is since gone to. And then we did dishes out on the porch in the you know outside. And brother David Stern to rest and some of you know Benedictine monk was the first issue I was there for the first practice period which was in this time of nine hundred sixty seven so I attended the first seven practice periods here at times to her that's in the old Zendo which was then the bar was converted into this end of. The dining room was torn down and we started working on building a new kitchen and you know we did everything ourselves the first septic tank here we dug by hand. It took weeks and now we know get a backhoe. So people as I mentioned I was visiting here in February. I was at the first seven practice periods I was at eleven of the first thirteen practice periods I was there for the first seven summers or three of those summers I work in the kitchen and worked in the office I one summer I did stone work. And I can't remember the others and went to. I was shaken when somebody. Anyway and the teachers I practiced with aren't here they're gone. Three of the seven shoes so those were the first seven practice periods are gone with a center that I said in isn't here the kitchen I worked in isn't here. We're only here you know for a few more moments maybe not even a few more maybe this is our last moment. Security was there. One morning when we were sitting down to move which is just one guy nothing will help you now. Because this is your last moment. Not even in light and for help you because you have no more moments. So to. Be true to yourself. And so it. So this is interesting you know to be what is said to be true to yourself. And it's so easy to go off from this as I mentioned mentioning you know we think the way to go through life is to dream up a picture create a picture of how I should be. And mostly this is a picture that we have we didn't consciously created but we have it we know how to be. You know according to what we went through what we experienced and how should I be so that I get approval and avoid criticism and punishment why do I need to do and then if I got enough prevail and avoided enough criticism and Punishment Anyway it never works then as it. Has been working lately. You go to your life when something doesn't work people are unhappy with you they have a problem you have a problem you're not the way you're supposed to be you're not spiritual and if you're not in Iten and because if you were spirit and you wouldn't have the problems you're having what you. And if you were spiritual and In Lightened then you know it would get a lot easier right right do you suppose it's good for this spiritual this in the right moment this realization you know. I just think I will get it I will have it and I will do what I need to do in order to get it and then we have an idea how do I manifest myself how do I perform so I look good so I look spiritually. So that everybody begins to improve and recognize me. For them as the postcodes a person being that I am. There are various problems with this one is it doesn't work. It you know your hard audience. You know you're doing the best you can hear you know trying to be. Happy a point cheerful calm peaceful don't get angry wait don't you know watch out for Desire don't have any preferences you know save you can regulate your mind and hold it you know and keep it the way it's supposed to be so that then at last you could go I did it I got my mind just the way it's supposed to be and I've kept it that way now for eighteen years you've got a grip on yourself by that point. But of course you can't do this you know you can't keep the right mind when you're supposed to have or you think you're supposed to have and you keep having experiences that you told you so I'm not going to do that anymore and it's like New Year's resolutions right. Here by being hit by resolve that I will and I won't and you know and then the other problem with this is if you've got all that approval what would it be good for. Who cares and what I came to this was after years you know several years and you know I'm this is ongoing you know how do you get out of this. Worrying about audience you know approval you know it's right counselling going to his dad and say Dad are you know your approval ratings are down. And his dad says I'm not Calvin but I'm not aiming for a hybrid or readings I mean to raise you to be a good person or something like this you know develop your character or something but haven't since your your approval ratings are not going to go up with that attitude. So anyway the other problem here is you know what we would long for what is that you long for deeply what is that you long for most deeply. What do you human beings long for. It's your heart that something comes into your heart and touches you and that your heart extends out to meet others in the world and that you begin to have to make the connection with your heart to your south to others to the world and the world in others and you come into your heart. And you think well I could love myself if I got enough approval and when would that be so it's some point you might decide you know. Maybe I could just go ahead and love somebody who doesn't quite measure up. This person I am who doesn't quite measure out maybe I could just go ahead and have a kind of feeling of tender hearted feeling for this poor miserable person who still doesn't measure up because there hasn't got anywhere you know he's still not calm patient tolerant place for a boy and a cheerful kind you know and he still is getting angry irritated annoyed frustrated tired bored for you know worried anxious stressed you know. Oh well so. At some point you know and over and over again for me I shift shifted how do I have a tender feeling for myself Could I just go ahead and awkward ways that might be begin to appreciate since received myself received there is so this is a shift from you know what I usually consciousness is I'm going to come up with the judgments this is right this is wrong I'm going to do what's right this is spiritual This is an I'll do this spiritual and it's important what's in my heart. What's in your heart what is your deep brace Royce's or conversion code it going most important point. What is the most important point and you know you can answer the most important point not once and for all but you know right now if you feel. What he said. And you might have a feeling a sensation and you might get a little hint and when you keep asking. More and more your heart reveals itself what is most important. And you begin to be present being yourself then to a person with all the issues and problems you have and not trying to shift into performance to hide you know what you might get criticized or punished for and you give yourself to that one thing after another so again this is an important shift from giving out judgments. And directives without directives do this don't do that. This is good this is bad you. I don't write that. Right to instead of giving out with your consciousness with your mind give me no directives write about receiving your experience and then it come into your heart this is if you're a she's teaching that things come home to your heart. This is Dobyns and she's teaching bases there and they need to go going says let things come. And abide in your heart and let your heart return and imbibe in things. He says and you're not worrying then like how would you know how well or poorly you are doing that. This is outside different then approve or oh when you disapprove Oh. Praise blame it's not subject to the same kind of. Some people out there and you might be unknown again judging your performance but. OK. If you're going to be busy judging your performance you know another problem is you're only as good as your last performance. So your self-esteem is going to be pretty fragile if you're. Checking yourself out how am I doing and. Residents aren't you know thirteenth century he said people nowadays. Thirteen cents a day but people nowadays and we could say the same today you know people nowadays who study the way don't understand where the way the aids are ends so they strongly desired to the to gain visible results rather these fears about results of your performance has improved. And now I'm calm now I'm buoyant now in spiritual cancer to know and of course other people think I have a hard time getting convinced of any of this so if I had to perform even better. But. So will also send Mr Duggan said so it's worth noticing that what you think one way or another is not a help for realisation then you're cautious not to be small minded if realization depended upon your prior thoughts it would not be trustworthy realization does not depend upon your thoughts it comes right comes forth far beyond them. Realization is how but only by the power of realization itself no then that there know that then there is no the relation and no realization it's easy to have ideas this is in the right minute a realisation this is the vision I'm going to get the realization I'm going to not have the division if you know what happens then then you start trying to not notice victimization and you start trying to produce the experience that you think you should have. And then when that's not working out and getting you the compliments and appreciation then what's wrong with those people get mad at them for hip set. Because they didn't like your act. Anyway. You know I also said when you would tame realization you don't think aha realization has the Zags that did. Even if you think so he says realization is not like your expectation of realization does not take place according to your conception home life life doesn't happen because you know this is like people in a like when you fall in love with somebody. You actually fall in love with somebody they start with you fall in my with your projection made you put on somebody and it fits close and at the stake there for a bit a while. And you know if you're fortunate or unfortunate enough to get married. Works about fifty fifty maybe. And then you know and young and other papers said you need to re on your projections and actually find out who my living with. And once you're not busy with your own trying to measure up who are you. What are you feeling when you stop trying to look right here and right and and not make it into the blue did. It Right and then what are you feeling ready you sensing ready thinking. Ready you seeing ready use knowing ready you tasting ready and taking what is it. Receiving what's coming to your heart can you be touched by the world by your experience so. If you're aiming for approval then it's called Sim So it's some sorry because it doesn't work. And you matter how much prove you get you're only as good as your last performance and even if you get all that approval nobody knows you because you were just performing. It With no you people just know your performance. Nobody knows you so this is a big problem for us how are you going to ever have anybody meet you have you. Meet anybody how are you going to do that that little person inside it so. Scratch of vulnerable part of us you know to actually meet means being vulnerable and this vulnerable. Person body is inside. And you know you wouldn't want to show anybody the vulnerable from ability it's scary because whereas it's scary you might get attacked it might be blamed so it's better to just have that be your performance. I want anybody actually meet you face to face look deeply into you how will you meet something and that's the vulnerable you know to really meet your vulnerable. You're not masterful when you're masterful you're. Impervious. How do you meet somebody who's that masterful So if you're a she was not masterful. Except occasionally when he needed to be. That it might help us occasionally. She has died. Out but you know a couple yesterday or today earlier I saw was talking with Alan block on the bridge you know and was standing there and remembering. When that bridge was there without the benches without the railing there was just a little wooden railing and Suzuki Roshi was standing there when he came with a group of friends from the Narrows you know back in the sixty's early seventy's and says OK she turned around and looked at them and it's my aunt and Alan said I think out there he thought received. The net so he. And so many of us had this experience was it curiosity beyond your performance. Or you know and you know were a tender bonobo good hearted sweet person and we were also down this and when I asked. I want to say just a little bit about Hans I spent you know twenty years at the Zen Center. As I mentioned you know my seven years here ties to her roster seven years. And usually I spent a number of years at the city center and I moved to the city center across the street from the city center for ten years I was on this insane are fast track. You know you drop out of college to go to the mountains and attain true realization and the next thing buyer your student manager he no Tonto present is insane or chairman of the board I had all three jobs at one point. So then I you know after two or three years of that I dropped out I became a busboy greens. And then there while after that I was the manager in the wine by air. Jim you know how that works. You see things and you act on them. It's not following the rules it's not from the directions you say what needs to get done and you do it or you talk with about it with other people how to get that done and you make it happen. And I I know how to do that it's a gift. And but it's also something you can study and something I've studied. But when I left here after twenty years. For instance I went to an A Cato class and a negative press they say put out or put out your hand and somebody is going to attack me and they say OK put out your hand I put out my hand and you know I'm thirty eight or forty years old whatever it is and this person across me some young kid says well puts an energy in your hand. And excuse me. How do I do that. How do you get in or change your hand that your consciousness can you get to your consciousness and your hand. And here's this young kid who can tell. Me You don't have any consciousness in your hand. So I got out in the world and I found out you know essentially that I had been. You know been institutionalized person. I've been committed. Running that myself out trying to see if I can you know live in the real world people say where is the energy in your hand. So I spent years trying to find my hands. You know I I went to I was taking a hands on healing classes and then I asked the teacher about hands and they said you know a lot of the time I can't find my hands you know I I since I stand and you know it seems like my When it comes down to my wrist where the hands and he said. You spiritual people are like aren't you. Some people are these kind of really brilliant brash you know it all kind of people you know it's so he'll explain it to you maybe thank isn't it's obvious you spiritual people are like I said when you mean like he said well you know you spiritual people are all old souls you've been through so many previously you don't want to make the same mistakes over again. So just to be sure you don't do the wrong thing don't have hands. You're going to be like you know for me and I met him when he was growing up and his friend and his family that had this thing of the son that all hands watch what you do that of the rights where you stand and so forth you know and you had to keep an eye on them because he is going to do some bad stuff. So. You get fed their keep your hands to keep your hands up and then we learn a step where your hands. And then finally one day and I was doing these hands on healing stations with the barber gene and Barbara chink who incidentally was against two new green gods for three weeks. And after three weeks him and said a barbiturate Now have you talked to one of the practiced leaders about you know and he said well you know you really ought to. That's part of our practice to go and talk to about this leader So Barbara Jane said she signed up to talk with the front Rand so you know another time we can talk about a bond but she went to see Brian and Barbara Jane said Well I'm I'm practicing here in Gringotts and I'm a guest in and you know what should I. You know what should i watch out for. And anyone said Don't get stuck on your question. So Barbara Jane left. And she found this school and started studying hands on healing and she's been doing that ever since it's called Integrated awareness and I used to see Bing change once a month and so this one time I was sitting there or lying there and it's a Barbie gene you know sometimes I look at my hands and they're just not my hands. They don't look like my hands and you know twenty years of Zen practice. Serious and practice serious. You know fifty or sixty cents Sheens you know whatever. And I say these hands and my hands and garbage seeing people respond differently that's going to Stanford Barbara chambers her and she said well who's Are they. And I said some big persons you know how big you are I went your hands are seven big persons. And she then she said and where are yours. And I felt around and the brother in the elbows out how big are you when your hands are in your elbows you know three. Four maybe. Sam reversed have hands that you know probably aren't even down to those you know. Left behind when your baby maybe some people leave their hands behind in the room had to be careful. And not get into trouble. And we all have you know various tendencies so Barbara Jane said You know we're born here we are we have certain give certain limitations we're working on staff we're working through things we have a lifetime journey Robin Jane said to me a favor. I'd like you to work on extending your little hands into your big hands and shrinking your big hands down into your little hands so this is one specific example you know with your directives and your judgments you tell your hands went to do do this. And then you tell them how to do that rather then can you find your hands and feel what they are doing feel what they are sensing. And share that so over. Sensory awareness for years and she'd say you know pick up this stone What is that black. People say What should I be feeling. What would be the right experience to have I want to get the right experience I don't want to just have any early experience I want the right ones that tell me what the right when is and I'll be able to check and see if I'm having the right experience and then maybe you would approve of me and you wouldn't tell me I was wrong so let's make sure could you just have your experience and see what your hands tetch say what it feels like when you pick up at night for movement shareholder Prater tissues you know walk around times and wear your hands you have hands and these hands are one third of the connection between your consciousness and about a one third of the murdered neurons go to your hands one third of the sensory neurons come from your hands he is the connection between mind and body. And one other thing about this and it's time for me to start. Right when you say that middle finger and middle finger right to the edge of your palm. When I goes or in top of the knuckles the other fingers come short of the prime. Rate of thinkers right to the edge. And youth them tips to age. And. So after about forty years I thought I would study this. But you could start a little sooner if you wanted to but. I was busy being a spiritual person you know and if you're spirit you have to be serious and not smile too much and not joke around I'm sorry if. I'm a bad example for you being over the flippant now and again. Right if you hold your when you hold your hands here and if you put your finger middle finger. On where your hands need to be so your fingers can line up and your middle finger is exactly that here. In my hands you see it my hands are down in my lap like when to be hard to hold them out. And if they're down in the lab then my hands are like this you know like this right if you're interested then you can study how do I have my hands how do I connect my hands or my height and this middle finger is the height finger that's where you flip people off with it. And you're also saying that to yourself and to your own heart and you're cutting off your heart when you through it people. Say you know I say. So. But if finger is so if you have when you have this think you're here and you sense this is very subtle You see you can sense where it is that connect in my body and you can thank those up the arm and up to show there's and then it's across the front and it comes right over to your heart and your hands easily stay here because you're not holding them. You are connecting them with your heart and they rest here in your heart thank you for being here and. My warm wishes and the.