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Aspects of Practice


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you all know who i am
if you don't this is site you should andrea fetch she finds the secret secretive students and a priests here are
andrea is one of the people also be reading are aspects of practice period which is concluded today we've been studied mostly studied the golden age of said ah
which means staying with chinese ancestors and study to date so the for gere what can you shares with us
thank you good morning everyone is their feedback is this okay visitors could be a little louder could be a little bit louder how's that now pretty good in the back yes good
it's a beautiful cold fall morning and then sitting this morning to begin our one day says shane was really internet there was a small group of us most of us who've practiced together a really long time and there's a lovely family feel of the war
arm fabric of our practice together that i was really appreciate as i was sitting
the title of this talk is something like family ties and somehow it felt very appropriate or seem to fit with what i've been thinking about for this talk that ah on thursday couple of days ago i ended my work of sixteen plus
years out of the community clinic arrived in a physician
and at by request there was a small gathering for my patients there on there were about forty or fifty people came all elderly mentally capable of color
i walked in the room and one of them had brought his a really wonderful keyboard and for two hours he played the most are intimate and cozy music and as we all hung out together and something inevitable something ineffable was exchanged between us
what had happened over those years together inside the room monster that inside the exam rooms master that but it was really evident between all of us and between each of us
i think that's what we've been studying about this practice period
that's what it seems to me
so we've been making our own pilgrimage equipment are ah tang dynasty chinese ancestors so that's about seven hundred to nine fifty m that's a long time ago
we have been climbing the walking blue mountains they've been carrying us a long as we go
we've been walking on the bottom of the ocean floor
supported by our saw some practice and carried by that deep reality that we all share
walking the blue mountains the blue mountains walking us walking the bottom of the ancestral ocean floor tracing our roots
were your ancestors
when you look in the mirror to see the old other face of a chinese man
do you see your mother's furrows and wavy hair
your teenage eagerness and embarrassment
what do you see when you look in the mirror
there's something even more fundamental than that
in this crowd of others that may be behind us when we look in the mirror the both hidden and revealed ancestors benefactors of our lives
who's not there is there anyone who's missing really
when i did my du puy here and nineteen ninety nine it was my own ceremony i did with my own teacher not the usual beauty way and one thing that i did was bound to my ah i won't call them blood but to my
regular ancestors and my zen priest friend thought that that was really quite unusual and choose to do that
but don't they and swarm me to in this path that i've taken to arrive here
so when we vowed to our ancestors to whom are we bowing
who are they really
and what is our feel when we bow what is it that were doing when you do that
what is it that you do you do that
there is a red line between us all it goes like this and it goes like news
and it goes like this and this and this and this and this and this listen this
between all of us can you see it to feel it for yourself
that red line was on their kids you may poor papers
those of you who receive way ordination have a copy of them there is that red line that connects all of us together it is our ancestral line back through these old chinese mailing men we've been studying
it is our preset line it's the precept name is the ground on which we stand in our practice that's what we've been studying how that becomes manifest it is the relationship between us
that red wine is always the circle have you noticed it's never a straight line as neither neither up directly up or down it's in all directions between us
the red line is encircles it's not hierarchical
though one may build on the other
we've seen teachers across community and on and on
the mandola of our practice is a circle it is a symbol of the universe that symbol is of our search for unity within and outside of ourselves
that's what this practices we said last week the guan schon head why sean had ninety seven circles that were his teaching devices
they're all different they show us something about our relationship
and even though it may seem oftentimes particular lunch and people when they start their songs and practice that it's a solitary practice we spend our time widely looking at walls this is a practices intimate life completely about nothing but about relation
this is the practice of intimacy
a basic teaching of zen is the only a buddha together with a buddha realizes the way
so fast cool and dogan you were so young serve only a buddha together realizes and buddha that means none of us stand up on the ground by ourselves all of us realize our awakening through every one else and everything else
the buddha said i together awaken with all beings when he said i alone in the world honored one he meant i'm not alone actually
everything's waking up with me and if it didn't i couldn't wake up either
we may think it's master and student in the stories that we've been listening to we may think we come here and our keeper teacher and disciple of teacher and student
you may think it's my patients than me
it's you and me
it's why non and you it's joe shoe and jake is and pong and last place
all of us are in relationship awakening one another
the longest fascicle and dogan chabot gonzo
why do i talk about that duggan's the founder of the school and he was informed by both the rinzai and that ah the show schools is sort of schools
he's the founder of this temple
in the longest fascicle of his masterpiece the sheboygan songs called yogini geology means continuous practice and when you read this fascicle on its surface it seems like the stories of a lot of old indian and chinese and a few future
japanese men who practice really hard austere practices and did heroic feats of off
diligence and commitment what kinds of things that we don't do in our ordinary life
it actually these are stories about dead meme they're alive people they're alive sitting here in this room today
they're alive and their inspiration in the way in which their activity has turned the dharma wheel the sam boga higher the sambo gaia is what is our everyday activity that we do with ourselves that's the story of these men that's the activity of
their practice the continues forward to this very day it's what informs you when you come to the santo it is the winds of which which propel our sales today
so these stories of self effacing
perseverance and dedication to the practice of many of our dharma relatives is really us it's an inspiration for us it's made to their written to tell us not that that's something made him but that that practice continues on today that that practices what will you do today
in the opening paragraphs of goog dogan says from the ceaseless practice of all the buddhas and pet patriarchs our own sluice ceaseless practice emerges and we can obtain the great way
from our own ceaseless practice the ceaseless practice of all the buddhas emergence and the buddhist attained the great way but buddha's obtain the great way out of our own practice from our own ceaseless practice the sun moon and stars move and the great earth vast be
body and mind and the for great elements and the five standards exist they all exist out of our ancestor of ceaseless practice
ceaseless practices not in the places worldly people seeing yet they all must return to it it's the role in which we live what we want to be there or not
through the ceaseless practice of all the buddhas of the past present and future all the buddhas of the past present and future emerge
so in the sendo we feel great ancestors dolly and rebecca
and maybe we
and friend and doug greiner and karen dakotas and richard hey flake and myriad other people who come and go who've been gone for years and return it feels as if they've always been here practicing with us does it
not feel like in some way if the great ancestors and the tang dynasty always been here practicing defense
does to me

so we read these stories on and they the pilgrimage that we've been on seems like it's rather a strange and far away land ancient china it's hard to imagine what that was like
the stories are important to place to a certain extent so that we we understand where they came from i actually as i've been thinking about this more i think it's less relevant than what i thought originally you know i have not studied this well enough to have a scholarly
the interpretation or even a very a very learned interpretation but now much as made or much could be said about how ah china in this era was fairly liver literary there were well educated people there was a strong foundation of confusion as loan
there was a lot of dealing with ideas and hierarchy and rebellion against that and so zen was in in part a reaction to words and wanting to dismantle our ideas and concepts that's the part that's relevant maybe to under
or stand the reason that we say the golden age of sail was golden there's not that it was long time ago for that there was a kind of garment of vitality of her reaction to the status quo and china a kind of freedom that
was coming forth out of the all the wars that were going on there and the discord that allowed a certain kind of freedom and revolt that was going on and a new way a challenging way to get outside the usual concepts
you might say that there was a golden age of sad in san francisco in the nineteen sixties to and that there were very similar i won't say similar but you can see that the foundational forces were not unlike
for other forces that would allow a kind of creativity or thinking outside the box a willingness to do it differently to not be bound by the status quo and saw the stories that we have offices in erosion and of the great of on code
in chino and canada gearing roshi of that time and the vibrancy of that time is borne out the same openness a same kind of openness that may be were struggling to find again in our culture right now but that was the aliveness of the tang dynasty and that list
the openness that the stories that we are reading came out of
nine also don't know enough to do this justice but let's explode the myth a little bit about who these people were we read their stories and we think that they were great actualized masters who have horns and students falling them because they were like the pied piper of the dharma or something
and maybe there's a little bit of that that was true but just know that everything is myth right we don't know exactly what happened way back then and the stories that come to us to the stories that on that we have in the most detail are proud
lee the most embellished just like when we read the pali canon the original word of the buddha we know that those story how do we know what the details of those stories were someone who had a profound affinity for their practice and understood and an inkling of what those people were actually
like what those teachers were actually like what the flavor of those f teachers is actually right brought us the stories and have taken the stories out of their own lives and presented them to us and if you read carefully you'll see that generation after generation of
teachers have done that when you read dogan you'll see that he takes the same story and he'll present what seven or eight different teachers have said about it and then we'll hit him his own twist on given his own interpretation
michael weinberg who's a current teacher has a book called forty nine fingers which is his own current american cons so you see this great teaching goes on
these stories are alive to come out of our lives they manifest out of our lives so we studied the five houses and
which ah we've said is a kind of family style
more so than it is five separate streams i think of diamonds as screams that parallel an inner cross and exchange waters and silt and stones and truly there are not different sources they all began with way now
and ah they have different places they lead but they're fed out of the same waters just different flavorings along the way
sin is not about making full proof statements are standing on doctrine as well we know but it's about coming to grips with reality beyond our conceptual experience
coming to grips with things as it is right
so even if you're sitting with yourself in soon can't sit with yourself to try to make a buddha if you do that kills a buddha
right so what is the sin
we divide the five how houses
ah by different names but really
all great teachers had women students and lane people who knows how many great women teachers there were that came out of each of these houses perhaps we will some day but i think there's every reason to believe that there were many of them and many great lay practitioners just like there are here
in this xander
many had indeed belief an emphasis on that spark or flame that we attribute equation that's the buddha nature and each person and lots of foundation actually of mahayana buddhism is not unique to one particular school
some spoke to him directly and some work the soil to nurture it and deconstruction them by barriers to its full expression
we may say that the lindsay school or rinzai there were shouts and hits the frankly a sharp word or harsh tones from a teacher can land with great force and inflict pay more pain than has offered by any piece of wood
they're offer though with true compassion and love all things are turning turning words turning efforts meant to transcend
sure she lived spoke with simple words in his example ordinary mind as the way but isn't that the basic foundation of our practice can just live our lives completely
we say the dow mood and not try to explain anything but can you see an explanation and the poetry of hong shame i don't think so
dongsheng talked about his five ranks them how the real and apparent interact spin isn't that the most basic of emphasises but what is reality how we bring together the world's of the absolute and relative in our in our daily life
still there is a feeling of gentleness severity directness urgency or great practice among the different teachers and perhaps that's more of what sets them apart
but i'd say again and understand i'm emphasizing one point of view here it's not before yet but i think and you can find those different flavors right here in the zendo among the senior students we care you can see them across the seven zen teachers all with
these very similar different flavors or emphasises
so ah who a teacher is is not to plan to fly style or doctrine but really is through one's whole commitment to the students finding herself
in the tang dynasty students were shared freely they were sent from teachers and tincture across stream stream
there was no holding on to students are marrying oneself to ones doctrine dog and himself had the teachers and both major lineages and when he wrote his transmission papers he included blood lines from both of them
the no closed doors
there may have been criticism criticisms between teachers but really i think those were more pointing
joining criticisms trying to aluminate the places where people can get caught by this point of view or that point of view for example live who criticized a who who taught cause and the same time of hong sure criticized silent illuminations and knievel
roseanne he said
but really it's because he saw the caveats of focusing on the fly of to and generating peaceful states of mind as an outcome that one can become complacent and pastures
hung she trusted him so much that when he died he asked him to sell the affairs of his temple and you seem teachers saw teachers they saw they saw law
true root of what was being taught
dogan right and left criticized the prayers and chance of the shame gone you know as not real practice real practices sitting zazen but he hailed the founder of that school was having a practices profound and deep with his own
so you see what we're pointing to the do
each new the dharma manifested out of his own understanding and how to offer that in a way that brought training for her students and that was really what was important we have seen examples of teachers doing that over and over
her again in her own way and i don't know about new would after hearing these stories over many years i hear the echo in my own mind in different ways as ordinary speech
i wanted to our wine down not quite as the end but wind down by reading something
ah by hung sure who was a few didn't catch the earlier part of the course he was a song dynasty a little later he was one of the teachers who i took the co-owners and wrote goossens to help illuminate them and his style
while of practice was awesome and poetry she's teaching was poetic so he says the ancestral masters nostrils and patch robed monks life pulse consists of holding firmly and releasing an active
getting so that we all discover our own freedom
so it is said that false thinking and stopped and stillness necessarily arises stillness arises and wisdom appears wisdom arises and stillness necessarily disappears into active functioning
clear and distinct this is the only authentic few and i would pause it whether it's a turning word
with sweeping quietly of the monks hall revealing their masters ashes
was twisted nose or a hut cat that they've all arise and same wine by the stillness of conceptual thinking that allows us to find our freedom of and propels us to activity
so these stories all these stories are not reality
there are skillful means
a kind of medicine cabinet
although it's a little bit more than that actually
like in the practice of medicine it's not just prescribing a drug
looking back in that mirror
don't you see an old chinese man
or an old new england woman one maybe you didn't think was so smart when you met her but now you realize you put on her pants one leg at a time
just like she did
when i see a patient sometimes i do say don't be fooled to bed

some when i am see the old habits horizon don't believe that story
stop right now
tell me what matters the most to you
where's the fire
and i'm speaking in the voices of the ancient masters
i know i'm healing because i'm using their old stories and i'm seeing the patience with the same eyes that non songs from saw joe shoe sappho saw your lawn silico saw download in sometimes
maybe often we see each other through these stories
you see each other with the ancients eyes and even when our mind as ordinary somewhere at the bottom of the ocean floor there is the extraordinarily ordinary ordinary mind
that is interesting that is love that is the way the ancestors and that is my practice
so that's what i have to say the last wilderness of aspects should practice before i can you see if any water has something they wanna ask
any of the senior sir anyone else i wanted to ask us on sensory if he wanted her
now getting comments or editions

just what occurs to me is that
simultaneously years
the stillness
reach it touched considerably

it's always active
drag the stores
you know a secret promoted the strongest as always
it never sit still never static
so we lived with that
you ever get reality which is less
why pressure
anyone else joe mckee read
i'm a hard put you in on top of what your spirit
so often i find myself so few for three short
and i was thinking about you the short we're speaking about the ways in which will reflect each other
that this is a george
nothing on top and certainly the side
in many ways and still as has to move an action or else nothing's happened something happens next
the thing that i find most compelling is that as i kind of walk through my life and all of the co-wash that we're resolving each moment and all the wisdom that exists right here right now it's the faces of people like you muslim chick search and all
the people who i know critical reviews for me and internet is all the things i understand
the words i sometimes get and i sometimes don't but the stories of how we practice together these are really alive when i first came here and i was going through chemo announced brand new and i just that the soldiers that i want to come in during my cancer cells and he said we don't do that i didn't know
no i didn't know it was the was watching other people and seeing with my years and hearing with my hives that was the most educational i can't wait to continue to listen to you i can't wait to find out how you continue to unfold inside of me off
all of your gifts the ones that i see and that i don't see are compelling accurate
he started the first thing that she said jeff thank you and the first time that you said as i don't know how to put anything on top of one but really it's about what about you what about your manifestation of that are force
this is not here this is here it's this is there it's between us it's an edge manifest out of each of our lives and it's truly inspiring chapel
we seen reality out of recognize and that are a little piece isn't all of that and that helps us know ourselves them
g r james will james in june
i'm i'm sure that the only way
and it was hard by
very rare to have it and france yesterday

am lie to travel
caring at the time dens
i'm wondering if you would say have you word

how we can
get a great is
with firecrackers
i hear you

all i know isn't there something
all i know
is that if i have any modicum of we find any modicum of stability and i lived out of this practice it's what allows us to turn towards what's happening in the world
to not turn away from it
to be willing to bear it and to find our way to respond to it
what is an appropriate
i don't know for any other person
but the first part i think is to take it all and completely

flowing from that stream on what what really moves me in your top particularly on
and that's when various parts is it's still flowing found our passed last night and they lived the day before and baghdad
and ah strings that are also fly right now so this what kept coming as you are speaking can use that we're were your inclination his word between us and it reminded me of when since a girl she used the door
independency then something happened for me when i heard you said between us for a group of people your patient and my you know my grammar school
mine went to ah that's an error it's supposed to be among us
and then you did the one to one between us and i can hear the grammar school rock songs all yeah right on that's correct
used the word so on she made in a way out what i'm very much with i don't want it's on
you know how do i take care of what's happening
thousands of miles way that's here now and how that is no different than how do i take care of what happened then
that's happening here now and and i wonder how how do you do that how do you take care of that space time flow
it's a work in progress for me really
as you were talking to what came to my mind was a title of the books about or suzuki roshi quotes
to polish one quarter of the world
i think from mean the work is continually not being overwhelmed by the vastness of of suffering and team confusion and delusion there is in the world
and turn towards what's the what can i do what's here before me how can i respond right here to watch before me
oh and a not in a way that fixes it that way that really seems what's happening and offers myself to it
is it time it's time thank you all very