Everyone Has a Light

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so good morning and welcome to the says shame that will be closing our aspects of practice practice period on this gorgeous slightly overcast and of appropriately so november day
ah so this practice period some of us have been digging deep to our founding teacher suzuki roshi his early lectures his unpublished talks on cohen's those unanswerable questions that
or in the blue cliff record
so ah just for those who may not be as familiar with of the blue cliff record is a compilation of stories primarily from the great chinese teachers and zen masters of the early song dynasty that was compiled by a teacher names
cell phone you can use relaxers that we're human mainly and nineteen sixty five for nineteen sixty six by suzuki roshi
and in this month-long practice period we've studied son faced mood of food or moonphase buddha
hockey joe and the fox nonsense ordinary mine and joe shoes seven lb robe stories which ask us to seen our wholeness in the midst of our circumstances
we've also watched videos of suzuki roshi and i i may be a bit of an outlier here but i don't think i began to understand what his teaching was about until i actually saw images of him and saw how he held and manifest of the practice with a
whiteness a sense of humor
groundedness a certain seriousness and an enormous compassion and watched him transform into a blue jay in the midst of his talk as he's heard a sound and became became the bird at the same time so we've had
his teachings in many different ways and i really out of his great compassion that we're here and out of that compassion that i want to talk about one of my favorite cons which he covered in this series of lectured one that points to a competence in our
life it's blue cross record number eighty six one man's everyone has their own light
so and of my sub title for this a few well as shoes as who gives inmost most request it must request is a phrase that he used a lot in a certain time period when he was teaching
ah coincidentally or not around the same time that he was giving these particular talks on the blue cliff records so sixty five to sixty six
sit here how'd you wind up at berkeley and center how'd you wind up on a spiritual path in your life i understand we had about him people here for saas and instructions so some of you may be brand-new to the idea of sittings us and welcome if you are you are are here
with the same internal engine and motivation if you will as those of us who've been around some people here in this room for forty years that in most request ah that inner light is what brings us here now that may come as a surprise to some of you to say
some of us because usually we think we wind up here because we're suffering in some way and we need to do something about that suffering and believe it or not those two things aren't at all different
general wonder how suzuki roshi came to america
he was by all reports ah by all reports even in retrospect kind of an ordinary monk in japan he had a not an easy life growing up
he had a very difficult time and his early life even as a temple priest he made an error in judgment and invited a an errant monk to stay at the temple and that man wound up killing his first wife murdering his first wife you can imagine the guilt and remorse that
he carried about that and about his own ah maybe not listening and the way he should have to his circumstances he grew up and came of age in japan during the war
ah a time it was very conflicted among the religious community there
and when he decided to come to america probably came for a variety of reasons
we don't know all of them of course but one of them that he is not known to have said is that and
in ah
japan sent a lot of ah
wasted metal products that were left over to the war back to america to make it a tin cans and he wanted to bring something better
theme so you can see he was listening to all kinds of inmost requests different manifestations of it when he decided to come here to bring some practice to america
but usually we think we come out of our suffering kitchen i'm married to called us in this way second hand people people who normally judge and assess ourselves in comparison to others we don't know who we are we lose track of what that inner
or ah energy that in her life force that in her ah
place that we come from and it takes us a long time to come back to trust and fine confidence in our life and so that's a lot of what brings us here as we know that something's missing from our lives that were somehow out of touch
with that which is most vital and we're looking for
and our practice helps us find it in a variety of ways
we learned to to take comfort and actually joy and not knowing how we measure up against other people and other things those usual standards that we live our life trying to evaluate ourselves by isn't it wonderful to be thrown into a practice position that you've never done before and be asked to be her
ad server for the first time for us machine or to be a a cook in the kitchen when you haven't done that before how do you measure up you don't know you just do it
that's how we do our practice
suzuki roshi as i said
for a number of talks in fact it's so interesting i actually didn't notice until ron pointed it out the other night that this phrase in most request is one that he used a lot of for a very finite period of time and then he didn't so much i think i got replaced by
pointing and other kinds of ways to something that maybe his misconstrued and a hedonistic generation like he was teaching the sixties i don't know
but in one of his other early lectures he ah he described in most request he said what's your basic intention
sooner or later you will reach in mosque request or enlightenment or a buddha nature
you will find out all that you do is based on your in most request that's pretty startling when you think about all that you do with based on your in most request
he says then you'll find ah excuse me then he says before you know that you're just wandering about
but after that you will know the oneness of wandering about an enlightened life
after you know that you'll know the oneness of wandering about in our last bumping into things making mistakes and enlightened wife
once you know what that is you'll find out the meaning of practice
so we all kind of know what that is don't we
bumping around in our lives trying this thing out thinking we wanna be with that person thinking maybe this career maybe that high hairstyle maybe this dress magnify be this kind of person it'll all turn out okay for me and none of that
this right
but we also have an early experience of what it means to be right if you will you know what it means to be ourselves and i think often of the example the early example of buddha being a child under the rose apple tree
yeah so he's just a is the little child as father's afd on know going over some of the fields and grounds plantations or whatever they were called an ancient in the of that that he owned and and
baby prince is there in under the tree under the rose apple tree and it's a perfect day rather like today a perfect day that's just warm enough and the trees are in full blossom
and the birds are singing and he feels just totally comfort to ball totally at ease and convenience
remember those feelings as a child where you didn't have a worry because everything was just right no questions about your security no questions about where you stood in the world you are just really needed to be we all have that feeling in ourselves and we all know where it is
we have those moments to moments of creative flow maybe as a common way that we think about it now maybe it's athletics ah when you're swimming or running and in a particular rhythm when you're skiing downhill and you've hit it just right and you're going down full
a blast along the terms and not missing a beat you might know it and dance you might know it the music that you play especially improv
i knew it and plant and solving biochemistry problems in college when something hard just broke open and i was totally with all those molecules as they snapped and the feelings
you don't even know that you you you just know that somehow you're caught up in some jet stream of energy that's just where you are meant to be
and then boom like being sent down from the vortex of a tornado you'll land on your button the ground the ago while what's my life
huh what happened there and you feel lost lost again
this lecture the super suki roshi gave was in july of nineteen sixty five and the no trials we have her based on student notes
the call on his young man's kitchen pantry and main gate i'm gonna read it now
the pointer witches a little opening i'm going to read to from thomas cleary mainly because and suzuki roshi his notes he focuses on one word and his translation on this i want to read the point from them the case and then i'll go to suzuki roshi russians a rendering of it in a few minutes
the pointer he holds the world fast without the slightest link he cuts off the myriad flows without keeping a drop
he hesitated thought and you miss
tell me what is the bearer barrier penetrating eye to test i cite this case
one man imparted some words the students were gathered with him and his up in his quarters late one evening and he said to them every one has a light but when you look at it you don't see it it's dark and dim what's everybody
the light
they hesitate and he says on their behalf the kitchen pantry and the main gate
they're puzzled
and so he says a good thing isn't as good as a good nothing
so on man from the ninth century of the tang dynasty had his first awakening with joe shoe joe shoe who with her a lot of during this practice period is quality was direct and the power of them as
and i thought it was interesting that he's the dharma great great great great grandson of set to cohesin whose son duo chi we down and we recite regularly and his zondo chi's a poem merging harmony indifference or lightness and darkness
us so there are echoes of those teachings many generations forward
the pointer
to read it again and suzuki roshi his words now
to control the world
to control the world without admitting omitting a single feather to stop all the streams of passion without losing a single drop this is the great teachers activity if you open your mouth in a dualistic sense in his presence you will fall into error
hesitate and you will be lost who has eyes to generate bearers of this kind
so on this last thursday night class we talked about joe shoes seven lb cloth
and ah in a suzuki roshi said in his commentary he said our life as the unfolding of our inmost desire
our inmost desire knows intuitively where we should go so our life is both created and controlled by some rules
pretty provocative ha
our life is controlled by these inmost request and so our life is both created and controlled by rules
you know roles we usually think of them as something that constricts us
and even in the most wholesome sense we might think about them as precepts as the guidelines about had a liver are wholesome life if you will and those precepts ah can be seen as proscriptive but they also can be seen as a setting some wine guy
i'd post some touchstones for knowing how to direct your life
but it's even more subtle than that it's even ah less directive less clear than that these kinds of rules that i think suzuki roshi is talking about when he talks about how we know and listen to our inmost rico
usual we think about finding the rules and our life is reading a book i should try to do a lot of that when i was younger and you know what color as my parachute please tell me what to do with myself or making when you can make a major decision making a list of pros and cons for this choice or
that choice and seeing how they balance out where a medical decision making we look at the risks and benefits before you decide on a particular risky kind of treatment
but even freud said this was limited you said makes the important decisions based on your intuition not on anything like this
so what are the rules that guide us
what is the guiding light of our inmost request
i would say it's like the birds migrating
the sooty shearwater you know this this oceanic bird flies forty thousand miles a year out over the ocean you have any idea how that's possible
i don't maybe a ornithologist does but it's kind of beside the point somehow this bird knows which way to go
the plants know how to turned
ah to the motion of the sun
a lost dog and find its way home over hundreds of miles
it's kind of like that how do we know which way to go
the show con it says you find yourself right where you are know that it feeling his life when you find yourself right we are you know you're on your own life when you wake up and you know you're exactly where you're supposed to be in what it is that you're doing
how can you say where that is how that is how do you arrive there
it's not easy of course it's not easy to to an into panda that because we have all the vicissitudes of our human life all of our passions and our desires all of the mine all the pressures that say we have to pay the bills we have a certain place that we have to
be people who in our lives that were responsible to or for and so all of those competing voices having a body that has its own mind and doesn't necessarily cooperate with what it is that you wanna be doing what you feel like your impulses
all of those different forces are going on and yet somewhere inside there's something that guides of the force of your life in the direction in which it goes
in suzuki's roche's talk he puts an emphasis on the bird control to control the world without an omitting a single feather to stop all the streams of passion without losing a single draw
control he says he talks about the balance between the materialistic if you will reform sign of our life the materialistic side of our life which he describes as positive positive maybe in the sense that it's building up a certain kind of self the certain kind of life
ah it's the way in which we create ourselves and procreative in our life that's not a bad thing it's a necessary thing we need to have a life we need to know who are and it's a naive think it's not even away because it's self centered because it puts us in the center of the
the the universe and that's just one side of the reality isn't it
and then he says there's the spiritual side which he described as being negative negative might be seen as subtracting taken away minimalistic pure
and these two sides seem to be in competition within ourselves
he says the material side of vs doomed to be either internally or externally critical it's based on comparing its that first part of ourselves that oftentimes brings us to practice in a certain way where we we know we're suffering and that suffer
thing has to do with being out of sync with our real lives looking for something that's outside of ourselves trying to create something that isn't inherently here that's unnecessary that's just additive
so he says that side is is doomed always to fall short in some way either by internal or external evaluation
the spiritual side he says may be resistant is also limited because it's missing a whole part of itself
he said a can feel divided from itself helpless helpless in the face of material pat power and knowing how to make its own life and i think he was looking around and sing a lot of young people who are searching in that way and finding that lack of balance
we have in order to be ourselves we often half half to on
let me try again
and too often we have to accommodate when we accommodate successfully that often results in a kind of depravity of one side of the other for a kind of deadness for were not successful it can be a destructive kind of force in her life you of body or of both
this is our search for the true dragon
the true dragon how do we see the two aspects not as mutually exclusive but as they are both arising from our inmost request both sides arising from our inmost most request neither is wrong both are vital both are necessary
when we don't view them to realistically as one of the other but as part of our whole being part of the human form and life and energy vitality that nourishes of then there's reconciliation and wholeness so the control the online is talking about and manifests in in
stopping the streams of passion he doesn't mean to stop being a sexual loving procreative human being he means don't be pushed around by it don't be willy nilly don't be abusive to yourself or others in how you use it
don't lose a single drop being yourself entirely being yourself entirely but know who it is that you are integrate those two sides
so that were not caught and the wind ago of judgment and recrimination and causing harm and that our karma and karmic tendencies are teflon they're like teflon they arise and they slide off of us and they slide off with everyone else
there's nothing sticky oh that's just andrew being irritable again
drop move on
the on
the on
when one says attention
although everyone has a light within himself it cannot be to be seen in one's utter darkness now what do you think i mean for the light of every one
there's no one could answer he said a temple store house in the main gate and then after a while he said you may be better not to say anything even if it isn't good remark
we go out looking for our light in the way that we do in a storehouse of our family legacy our earnings our possessions or dharmic teachings or a look inside the gate of marriage of a career where berkeley zen center to the answer for
alight but what the light is is not a state or possession that we obtain
not something to be acquired even through our hard work were maintained in the usual way like a car we discovered in the other darkness not ordinary darkness but the utter darkness
it's not the ordinary darkness of a light going out where you can go and flip a switch or fix it like some behavior you would wish would go away or by sitting bores awesome
delusion is often what we think about us being that darkness but actually that delusion our anger folly or greed is actually part of the like that we're sinking
part of the inmost request to borrow a title from sherry uber's books that i was a great deal that which we are searching sinking is causing us to see are very suffering the transformation of that very suffering as that which is causing us to sink
the darkness is that which is so dark that our usual ways of seeing have gone blind
it's the kind of blindness like justice you know the image of justice from his blindfolds on and she's holding the scales and she's able to see because she's not looking what the eyes of discrimination she's not looking with eyes of preconception
or eyes of self concern that is the dark than stim and darv utterly dark and the darker the better
we learned to trust our vision in the dark you know how does when the lights first go out the lights first go out your like
tripping over things and you're not able to see it all and rashly somehow you acclimate and new get over the comm shock and this orientation that the lights are out and you have a sense of where things are in the room and instead of walking furniture touching furniture walking
you're settled back into your body in yourself and a kind gonna make your way through the dark
it's like that
there is a story of on i'm pretty sure it's on mon when he met his second teacher dow will use on pilgrimage and he ah
he's asked by his teacher why are you on pilgrimage nice says i don't know
and his teacher approved and says not knowing his most intimate
not knowing exactly where we're going in the darf not having an idea of what it is that we're looking for going after but trusting ourself in the journey that's intimate that's
knowing that's being in touch with our with our light salvia may have remembered a few pract few practice spirits ago surgeon talked up on the subject of why and he referenced a book called and then those light which includes our which is the autobiography biog
murphy of a french resistance worker ah
amanda went blind when he was eight years old and his job and the french underground was to be the recruiter so he was responsible for recruiting in every member of the french underground and the resistance against them off since can you imagine he had no visual accuse about these people whose
who's acceptance into the organization was a matter of life or death to everyone and he was superb at it
how did he do that
what was that light that he was seeing with
the darkness the darkness is when the five scandals receives sensory information with the in passiveness of incentive beings
what the impacts of ness of that which has no discrimination with no story line with no past present or future but is just like vast open space receiving one were like vast open space are we not intimate with
our lives that is actually the other line or that store and between a modern dow will not knowing his most intimate the students still befuddled can you please tell me please tell me when i'm supposed to do how am i supposed to find my way i'm pilgrim
image and one man or a wu says to him
it's like the clouds floating in the vast open sky the sky does not hinder them
it's like that
so in the sand of chi we know about light and darkness like front and back foot and walking both are required for a stable balanced life when we were doing can him this morning i was reminded that one foot in front and the others behind
and then one foot in front and the other foot behind right
what's ford what's back what stark what slide everything's all they're both are needed walking along
so the light is not a thing it's not something we possess or go after it's really more like a function or an activity every person has her own radiant light manifest with and in concert
with every one else our lights totally dependent on everyone else and it's completely arisen out of our own life it's not an object it's not outside of ourselves it's nothing we need to acquire it's something that way
you just need
to become aware of
always inherent always functioning and like our bodies if we eat well rest exercise we thrive if we pay attention slow down stay close to our intentions in our life our vow if you will
it comes alive like emperors would blow dry kindling applied
in his commentary suzuki roshi points out that dogan says this light does not red yellow white blue it's not something specific or concrete if you will but it's based on original vitality
he says suzuki roshi says that although we have a profound question the way we know it's answer is not throw a hawk and of reasoning mind but by living out the completeness of our lives
so i have a story when i was a kid i was an odd kid and my best friend and i will shoot as the other nigerian girl we were the to with dark hair and are high school be only two who had black hair of our high school on so we found each other and we were
are always asking each other what the purpose of life was it's embarrassing we found letters were written each other from that time and that was really pretty pretty embarrassing
and i'm sure that we read books and we've really tried to figure it out hard because we wanted so much
figure out where we belong if you are
and somehow over time she turned out to be an amazing mother of two really special young people and the best friend to an ever widening circle of people ah who need and are i need that
she considers entirely her friends entirely even
she is a gracious and generous and rounded person who is ah as whole as anyone i know with up and has not set foot one any suck any kind of spiritual community in her life
and her friend has somehow over the years figured out that her in mosque request had to do about serving and all the other concerns and worries and pains and suffering about what didn't happen and what clip might have been and why didn't he
happen have all dropped away
and so that light
has been revealed
suzuki roshi said in his commentary and the words are so beautiful that i can't do any better so these i really am going to read
he says the mystery of why we preserve truth in the spiritual world or physical pleasure in the material world should be understood as the vital request of our true nature
the vile request by mine also in the bible activity of our true nature
our spiritual and physical pursuit of life is always carried on the realm of duality and that is the ultimate cause of are suffering in this world such the four noble truths
the cause of suffering appears to be dualistic only in the empirical world
i might say that we live inside our own individual distant existence and so we must live out our own personal life and even though it's not separate we feel as if it's separate that's the source of are suffering
but suzuki roshi goes on to say in reality in zen practice beyond intellectual formation there is no duality this freedom does not come from outside nor as if the result of practice
no guarantees that become inside this gate you can have complete enlightenment if you're like my friend had never come on in
the freedom does not come from outside noise of the result of practice and fact practices meaningful and joyful because of this freedom
and i might add that we are alive is part of the network of interdependent origination that is our lives are intimately connected to everything else were supported by the whole universe and we support the whole universe
and we inherently experience like we do and of perfect rundown the ski slope or perfect basketball pass more in the zone of our lives we know that to be the truth
he goes on and says practice vitalize bar in most request is self joyous practice this practice covers every day dualistic life duality should be realized as oneness and wonder should be manifested as duality obviously you can't not
it hits a given the joyous continuous effort to realize the oneness of duality is the way to obtain vital religious freedom
and so i say we sit saw zen practice together bow and eight and make our lives together
one man says at first the temple storehouse in the gate but actually use misleading
it's not about any of those things
it's just do it
show up live your life and trusted you actually can completely trust your life
we're doing it right now
so that's what i have to say think there may be time for a question or two
thank you very much
jeff a bird
which means you susie bush's words again the last set yeah i'd have been directly
i'll do it without my comments
so he says ah to the co on the mystery of why we pursue truth and the spiritual world where physical pleasure and the material world should be understood as the vital request of our true nature our spiritual and physical pursuit of life is always carried on and the rei
realm of duality and this is the ultimate cause of are suffering in this world this causes suffering appears to be dualistic only in the empirical world but in reality in zen practice beyond intellectual formulation there is no doubt
quality this freedom does not come from outside nor is it the result of practice in fact practices meaningful and joyous because of this freedom
practice vitalize by our inmost request to self joyous practice this practice covers every day dualistic life
duality should be realized as oneness at oneness should be manifested as duality the joyous continuous effort to realize the oneness of duality is the way to obtain vital religious freedom

didn't you connect do you know you're line every one is quiet
denise pleased they have questions such as some context which is i was really touched by the heart of this in most requests and how it tries to guide us in the direction an ageless
wait a year tentative it's like time it's so during while you playing and talking about pounds
all was so fasten yeah part of what i find so encouraging about this is just imagine
no matter how big a goof up
no matter how out of sorts you feel there's something alive and that that's related to the vital force in your life can you trust that there's something alive and whatever you do actually that's trying to guide you that's trying that it sounds like it's outside of
yourself and i don't mean it that way at all but that force of life is always active within us and it's a matter of staying touch in touch and imbalance with it and we do that by sitting we do that by following our priests
ceps by listening to our vows but it's bigger than that it's beyond that
and it's alive all the time
linda you said that we all had some time in our childhood that we could remember as being wrong
simple flowing yeah i did a quick scan of my memory and remember any such time
of shape and would it have my from week
well it's hard to look back and know what we remember
but i wonder if you don't have it somewhere in your body
well i do but i'm located in childhood
this of
okay i'll admit that next time i give the struggle
who tell a story about new instead the them
yeah please use one of the a programmer my garden been mostly confused and very long but during college the moody blues song that i miss her and it's i took you to be what you met to be you will be in the end
and i've heard it differently but i ever got in it answered a faith that i was being called to that i was willing to give at eighteen but if referred to that throughout my entire life and i realized that i work in a heck oh what you meant to be
and so i had that before suzuki or maybe at the same time when guerre i asked what the real their exploits what you want to be and you will be in the yet and i was disappointed to find that translation because it didn't answer the same at the end within backpack thank you maybe there
not so different
we'll see
do you think

go there just thinking about flow of a believer in slow but thought
you know and that's a machine gunner
can be in before somebody you know phones good
yeah it's a challenging question

i think
flow like karma doesn't have a morality to it
it doesn't have a good or bad to it just is
he was a we were no
i'm using flow as a marker of
the flow is an expression as an activity
ah of being in touch with here in the last request which were in mind but you know i don't know that ah
a gunner
from on a plane and american plane over japan has its we might put a different value on that
it's an activity and formed hold on going to just a second hits it's an activity this informed by a lot of different forces in that moment and who is that person showing up to the those forces in that moment it's very hard to evaluate know exactly what time so that the collection
discrimination is that should prove difficult to make and requires a slow
i think that's right yeah i think that's wrong think it's hard to think about it in a simple way on them
linda place while this point is a very early point went to the am glad that that code mentioned it and i think it's really important to keep it keep clarifying it on so whatever we're calling flow this is just my way of clarifying whenever a colleague flow in
could is not
the equivalent with what some people talk about his enlightenment on
it may be that side that the
that to the guy who turned into a fox
got confused when he only saw emptiness and he didn't he said that we are that enlightened person is not
affected by cause and effect business is immune to cause and effect then you could be a nazi gunner and the joy flow or a samurai who cuts through the enemy and says the enemy is a thing of emptiness and rubbery can she wrote beautifully about that when he said if that
kind of flow use of zen in that way to describe the summarize ability to concentrate and see the enemy as emptiness ah
is really enlightened then what happened to all the screams of the widows and children and what happened to all the blood flowing so that's my answer to his question thank you
to mar walter linda nice if we have well maybe tomorrow then should we start and time okay tomorrow then we'll have to stop and that our people roof not much more about this and hi do but most of the accounts written by
oh people who would have been you know yet military situations where they had to kill civilians and google actions that you know most who was find reprehensible is that are not in the law that actually one of the biggest predictors of ptsd is whether
the person does something that is not compliant with our in requests and so is actually a really interesting issue requiring light unlike was military which i refer people to because i think it speaks to listen or really
a pointed way thank you very much