Practice Buddha Does the Dishes

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that some for cancer good morning everyone
the struck him how remarkably quiet this morning has been here joyous outrageously sunny and warm day how remarkably quiet we all were in creating the space that's really the subject of lot a minute
talk about today i
first before i really launching let me invite everyone this this time next week we will be beginning our twenty fifth spring practice periods which promises to be as warm and joyous since this summer day is so i really want to encourage everyone who's considering doing the pro
practice period that hasn't yet signed up to join the party
and in part because we're gonna be doing practice for we have this idea that that means that we're going to be a practicing more than what we normally do were signing up to come to the zendo more often and committing to various activities
trill ah pushed part of the time will be here more but ashley will be more aware of the way in which we craft a snow lies all the time
ah and ah
i'm aware that this talk is gonna be it's own thing i
it's gonna have it some life here
so ah when we come here we have a lot of ceremonies and a lot of rituals that happened during practice period
and so i wanted to talk about
kevin's you can't hear me very well kept can you all here in the back okay gotten good side and check in with you up for us of of herself
as a merger plants will hire from
good distinctions was killer
always gets bruh how says that does that work feverishly
right of the jiffy not on the an educator you're feeding back and we all right now
someone to talk about what which that which we don't talk about can i can i reposition the microphone will that help you there can you make them like for a little lower to restrict the volume up or that's probably for laura to that i can do i can
shift some bit more
laura is you can lock down here
alright still talking still talking checking and rechecking in there and yeah you have to okay you've arrived good
so i'm going to talk about which more
talk about that which we we create together all the time we have some idea about what what ritual is
we'll think about it as a particular way of being in the forms the other definitions include practice and function
tradition the traditions that we have here it's also a way of life and that's why you'll put our attention today so way of life and industry
the title was talked to something like practice buddha does the dishes
so i think we often talk about how people come to practice out of a sense of suffering something that is difficult for them and so they come we come here to find some relief i that's partially true but i actually think we could you come here
here we wouldn't have the patience the perseverance are to be able to come in practice if we didn't actually really come looking for transformation so i think that's really what this practice is about and a lot of how that happens if
through how we are here together in the sand with each other
when you first come here when they first come here we learn different ways of moving and being with each other in ritualistic forms they take some learning and some adjusting
in this way there and exercise if you will in mindfulness that is pure paying attention where do i put my feet when do like bow like direction to watch her
please realize that they're also way of relating to each other that harmonizes with the children of connecting with each other
with time we also find that they reflect something of how we care for things they might seem like rules like built with the kitchen knives knife down in the knife holder put them in knife up play up in the holder because that keeps the knife sharp
but actually with time we realize we're just relating the things with their essence with what they are with author being and taking care of them and doing that were actually taking care of our practice
the kitchen is particularly a hotbed of having to pay attention is a favorite practice place of mine because if you're to caught in anything in particular the cereals burned in the coffee's overflowing with order
the forms and the way in which we conduct ourselves are also a way of knowing ourselves yeah there's a famous quote of suzuki roshi is that goes something like when you're when i see you outside of of on
street i can't tell you is hard but when you're here all dressed with same sitting zazen i know exactly who you are
and anytime we realize we can tell each other we can see each other exactly also the first time i sat up here ashamed her after in everyone was facing the wall and i was looking at every one i was amazed at how will i knew people
are some of you have an experience
so you think of our rituals as off
ah what we do at the beginning of a lecture or what we do when we have breakfast together this and of the primary of the prime ritual that we practice of zazen here we've gotten that systems a ritual
we usually think about at first as a particular set of instructions that are outlined by dogan and local concerts and gay in a very early writing of the founder of this lineage and a particular way that we sit and cross our lives and hold our body and put our tongue and all of that is
the particular practice of zazen yeah and saw and is a paksas of a certain kind of wales of being of our kind of i won't say to all because that's true radicals that i think he been first from to asli understandings of is a kind of a or meth
oh that helps us settle and and connect that actually saw and is so much more than that
in fact none of those things is really loves us and innocence and description lady of of how you do zazen and some experience of it
suzanne is really a ritual enactment
it's a recognition that we are buddha
buddha sits down on the cushion
and when you sit salt and when body and mind open up and drop away you recognize that food is right there with question
what has always been there he just hasn't been aware of it
so when we sit says then we set food as first he said shutting any buddha's first sauce we are just like he is waking up on the push cushions and that is our embodiment our ritual enactments of being do it ourselves

when buddha when buddhism
was first written down and discussed by philosophers and scholars in india the early schools but a lot of emphasis on the function of mine and understanding practice than what we do a lot of our minds
but dogan actually turn the inside out instead of being a minute practice he said it's a body mind practice not even as mind body practice but a body mind practice that's an experience i think those of us who've sat for any period of time on
also have hell
we said as we set the body settles as the body settles the mine also sells
so buddhahood would have a year of widowhood is a physical transformation as much as it is a mental transformation and you can see it in people you can see it ah and how they carry themselves you can see it in the likeness
is that how they are in the openness i think it's slightly the reasons but as described as having thirty two march see know the the perfect skin and the long ears in the perfect teeth really what that points to is not a not good dental records but what it points to as this
certain kind of appearance of certain kinds of on carriage that a person hands sojourns fond of saying that one his students have reached a certain level of well a certain kind of understanding that he sees it in their walk or here is it in his voice
ice and that's when he knows what's happened in their practice on the cushion
that ah
kogan takes understand and on a tour
in a more expansive way in one of his teachings in his primary text to the true or treasury of the dharma the shovel gonzo in a festival called year would soothe ageing thus commonly translated as a the key
conduct of dignified buddha said hot death conduct and practice of dignified buddha but another other translation is the dignified conduct of practice food us
practice looted by this of this translation or this understanding is what ah is the fourth body of buddha with fourth manifestation of land usually talk about three of them if i wish
which i won't mention here but the fourth manifestation of buddha or practice via
is that unified activity the practice the can't fail to file that non separation between what we do on the question and oral are awakening the awakening this present whenever ah throughout our practice throughout our awareness and practice
that unified activity and which you can't separate practice for what else is happening
in one of joke other writings and the ginger on there's a phrase he says and and i don't have the exact was so you those of you who know it will philander basically we commonly are common way of being as to rush for into all things to interact with
with things around us all as objects and everybody he says actually when you allow things to arrives and manifest themselves that's true practice that's the game joe cole on practice happens feel those who he practice boot buddha is that a completely
is at nother level
when i think when i think about this line of the gigi and i think about okay if i just allow things to come forward and be what they are the the i'm actually really able to meet them but what practice put of points to is that we come forward we manifest in the moment
we can know who we are what's happening what's created in less ah we open and allow everything else to come forward and we manifest with everything else
we create this talk together i may be sitting up here with the words but your energy your presence what's happening in the room all of that's what comes together and something happens and that
something that happens is is practice buddha is that it the ritual enactment of buddhist activity
so what about this dignified conduct a dignified as a word if you look it up i was trying to find book but what warrants what words can i find a poop the source that actually say what i was sick in this talk and it took a little bit of digging because usually dignified means
something like stately or aristocratic some kind of baron baron sits ah above the rest of the the rest of the plane we walk ons
but it also means worthy venerable or unknowable
you not when you see it don't you
yeah you can see our
dignified calmed after that nobility and the homeless of people in the simplest of circumstances that has something to do with how they carry themselves the line that came to my mind ah well i stumbled on that word is let one do nothing that the wise would we prove
doing nothing that the wise will be improved his noble activity
one translation of the three precepts the three pure precepts the main precepts we'd taken this practice to not an evil to do all this good until it to be live for the benefit of all beings to not too evil to not an evil is to embrace and sustain all forms
and ceremonies
to embody ritual to show up totally to what's happening to receive everything to be a part of everything that you that you do without
not just without separation but she actually are made of the same cells you're actually part of the same fabric and how you can go there and i don't think i really
may take that back for second and say one way in which you can see that dignified conduct remember someone mentioning watching surgeon take out is already a england home
and seeing in the way that he handled his oreo cookie his lungs teacher
and i don't think i ever really understood what our practice was i may even have been ordained at that point
until i was at another temple and i saw the teacher their pick up ah a bench and move it so that we could all sit down around it and have a meal together and i saw him that what we do with our forms there
dignified conduct that not separation from that total
selfless yourself simplicity is a difficult word in our culture right because the other side of selfless is selfish and we should certainly don't want to be selfish but if you can open to the worm selfish just just selfless just means your ego isn't enough
solved with it your mind isn't engaged trying to get something or do something it's just a pure activity that's happening there and there's no i'm doing it well that's tricky to because of course you're the one i asked to pick it up and move it to someplace else but the know
is not someone who is trying to be anyone create anything do anything special just taking care of what there is to be taping here
that's the dignified conduct of practice buddha
and when ah when that kind of activity takes place it's like looking down into crater lake he ever done the crater lakes know how many almost a thousand and eighteen you said the shore you look all the way down and there's no obstruction
there's no improves why we say in ourselves and
his unobstructed were on a strict unobstructed and ah this kind of practice to activity is completely unobstructed
a quality of ritual that i want to talk about the quality of this activity is the qualities transform
rituals and active communion
can you buy that
communion is a and after an instance of sharing his thoughts and feelings we certainly do that here and now altogether whatever you're thinking
we do it when we sit size and we know how of packed and we are by each other
the root of communion is in common equally for by off for corn harmony of feeling of identity or mutuality it sat mutuality that we feel here and i know my very first time coming to this
under i've been sitting doing sitting somewhere else so i was coming here because my teacher practiced here and it was time to see what her practice was like and the first time i came in and i vowed to my cushions and people on either side bow back and i had this
deep visceral feeling of some existential yearning really that had been met and it was that very active communion that happened in the physical space so there's something else about how we practice and ritual we practice in our bodies we transform in our
bonds it's not in our head
the mistake of talking about this talk is that i'm using words to talk about something that's really a physical transformation and physical expression that there are no words for me just you know it when you feel it you sense it in the way someone leaves and how we are the space together
ritual has it everything it has spontaneity fluidity inflexibility there's a standard joke among those of us who are dylan's and co-ceo as the bell ringers and the chanters the the major ceremonies care that you never know what soldier who's gonna do and we
we kind of job well you know the gallery numbered as he forget
i won't say the best not a part of it but i think it's really that he feels the ceremony he feels what's happened in the room and he responds to it and he creates the possibility for us to do that with him
ritual also has in a the ability to take disparate elements and bring them all into a transformative states and make something else completely different happen and i i was thinking about moving many of you seem called departures many of you
no departures is about to really beautiful film that basically focuses on how the death can be transformed the experience of how someone prepares the body in a way of this witness ritualistically witnessed by
the family and how that totally creates the experience of totally transforms the experience of a loss and and death to an inclusion a kind of life again
so we take all of our senses in the physical transformation we experienced it with our ears and our eyes and touch we experienced that with our nose
there's a very beautiful a book by a woman named paula awry who did as her ph d and subsequent were an investigation of japanese women's rituals and i want to borrow just a little bit from laugh and ah just because it moved me so much
much when i ran across it and it i want to share with you some of the elements of the experience of what we do here and a or over a plane
she calls with ritual you don't which means the way of healing
go he knows the japanese word for an art or practice of a particular way of life and you is a word for healing so it's the way of healing
and it has different elements some of which of i'll touch on are not all than the just a few of them here
so there is that which we've been saying a lot about that feeling of connection that we have with each other
that visceral somatic feeling of inner being we have when we sit together saw them day after day or when we're quietly connected in this space of going on right now
there's a phrase or by the famous psychologist winnicott that says there is no baby
you know of that means there is no baby meaning baby doesn't exist separate from mommy
there's that intimacy there's a kind of intimacy in which there's no one or no other than together there's mother and baby
but you can't see baby without mother and there's just no way
this inner being has to do also the intimacy of having respond and take care of things
my ritual these mornings has been quite different i'm not here quite so much in the morning these days and a good piece of that is that i have a different ritual i could take in i have a dog who's almost twenty now and in the morning time when the alarm goes off
and i've situated my body i lumber and listen and i listened to care if she's still breathing
i listened to hear how she sounds
and i moved to her and i feel her i feel where she is if she's in pain if she's asleep and because i need to get up and get my day going in some way some mornings i need to come here i'll gently feel where i can touch their wake her
does she need to be massaged on her shoulders stiff is her legs fascinating
and so we have this connection with each other this ritual we do every morning and she tells me when it's time to help her up
and when i when it's time to feed her often she doesn't want tea in the morning and so i see it as she walked a stone sometimes she'll take the food on the stone and sometimes i scoop it up in my hands and hold it for her
but you see i'm not doing this really for were doing this together and there's justice kind of
dance this kind of responsiveness this kind of its time notes that time of day the sun comes up the birds start singing it's time to do this and we created together
someone watching me feel her one of these warnings comment she said that's the fact that such an intimate thing you're doing here and i really appreciated that someone songs glob of don't have
oh my what a get to help they can pay and could appreciate it
that's also a part of healing
when we are intimate with with things with other this with our life in this way there's naturally a beauty that arises out of it even in a handful of blocking dog food
nurturing also changes the energy that we experienced than otherwise when we're at a hurry and were acting on things whether we're acting on traffic weather were acting on top that they were trying to fix actually doing the dishes there's often a kind of pain
pressure or anxiety notice it in your heart rate notice of intention in your body there is a kind of low level stress or pressure that goes on and so much and what we do in our lives yeah but when you com and connect we harmonize with what's happening
around you both the activity that's happening around you and also those that your with and the an inanimate you
use settle into a proper place you settle into a kind of ease of the naturalness not trying to force and there's a there's a harmony
she calls is paula arrives ah
out in the word she uses to the people's the women she interviewed they call this nurturing the self nurture herself to be in the space of of columnists is a nurturing way to be
and gratitude arise normal natural england
a joy
with what's around it actually a gratitude for whatever it is that comes your way the federal open to accepting it and responding with the not resisting it is outside of yourself
it said that when you attend to the are forms your far outside the way so i think maybe i've already said something of how that is when you attend to the outer form should far outside the way now we have all an idea that there's a certain way to do things here and we have to do in
precisely correctly to being kind of party for how things arthur to really belong to really be participated
but it said when you return just to the outer farms are far outside the way i'm thinking of the way the shoe so ceremony has done in japan now here we have account the shoe so sits up here and he doesn't know what kinds of questions he was gonna get sir it's the rituals
about a kind of relating that's quite spontaneous and wonderful in japan all the questions are known ahead of time and all the answers are known and head of
so what the shoe so has to do was come forward and meet that person with no outer forms it's just
purely him in this case and the person in front of him
one of the most beautiful
view of memorable examples of the practice of the forms that i saw here that i've seen here was one i think it was a real hospital although i'm not sure might have been five days fishing multi this fishing or all require the sender's pack there are people lined up and all the way out and were serving from outside of
are doing their vows outside and they're all walking in five or six of them would think pass in this case of polenta first thing in the morning when see smiles some of you remember this and
now it's it's actually kind of pressure to to make this happen to get everyone fit and coming in officer out of the porch and the zendo was filled with there's a time of events time sequenced in one of the first people in the door trips and one of the of polenta goes all over the floor in the back
so no one can walk and easily without getting in and around the pot and what happens as totally outside of any other way before aoki is done in the morning some people stop whatever doing got mops got a cows and scooped up the polenta the other people went ahead
and and served every one things got divided up as they needed to and the whole
so beautiful we so beautiful wistful unscripted so much of what we do we want to get it right and it's scripted but it was so much a response and taking care of it's like nothing went wrong at all
it just was what happened in that moment that's how we practice rituals
and i'll say so
these rituals this way of being is what we do in our everyday life yes you have your own ananda the twenty year old dog that you take care of your own way in your life
you do a little ways maybe you're not even aware of it i know a practice that i have
if the clinic where i work i find myself often as a room with people and i'll reach out don't help us
but often reach after blood pressure i have no need to do just i'll take their pulse or listen to their heart and no need to do that on this visit but i'm making the physical connection i'm making the ritual enactment of dealing with them as kind of an overt way
it's a very example and a certain it's so from the heart was so was not conscious of this is what was that what i was doing i wasn't doing it because it as a student i was preparing this saw it's just a natural human kind of response to i'm in the room hair and this is where needed
and this is one me
so finish with of the story of practice buddha does the dishes if you've ever eaten at my house you'll know that i'm infinite and infamous for being a terrible dishwasher
i really hate doing the dishes and i don't have much time or patience for it you know
i was fast in and out of getting the dishes done as i possibly can on and even when i think i'm i'm doing a pretty good job of making sure i get both the front and backside of the stolen float along the handle i often find the next day that i really haven't
so i
i was caught one of those embarrassing moments when so of noticing this about my silverware one day and i decided okay now i'm really going to do the dishes
and so one evening
who's kind of da scale that was one evening and i had my dishes and i got a nice big bowl of hot water and put lots of soap were just the right amount of something and actually i took my time of human tissues me go back and say
a many years ago was no in practice and i was away at thirty gave silent retreat in england kind of scary to go for complete silence for thirty days that far away we've only been practicing for a year or two and i had just made circumstances of my life
for such that i just made a huge decision that would mean that i would not have children do not have family and it was really a very tender time
so on i did the dishes there i did them with my whole heart and care like i was taking care of family that i wasn't going to hell
real mindfulness and with a real intention of devotion was quite up here
when i was doing the dishes and my kitchen not long ago and just had a pot of water i just have hot water and soap and i was just doing the dishes i wasn't thinking about it i wasn't being devotional i wasn't even really trying to get clean dishes to no one will notice hunter
rubble i'm it with this i was just really doing the dishes
the evening was dark there's a beautiful garden outside my kitchen window and that was there the room was there was still and the dishes were just being dumb
and i had a moment of understanding
that sounds like every other
chinese poem you ever read but i had a moment of understanding that it was spring the hummingbird rooms her eggs
and an automobile and leaves fall
theme suggestion okay
he sure thinks we just do their own place
that's kind of what i wanted to say today
before i see what you want to say today hospitalization sustained when you join ability to death
where's crap
official industry
so what do you have to add or subtract
and police are you you really have your you were transformation
the polish jacqui what is or which transform
you make we transform our lives and think our lives transformed
to set have the residents tooth does that mean anything to you our lives
have your life my life my life has transformed from what to work
from from i can say for myself from one as a lot of fear and anxiety and ah
pray unappreciative of the experience of others
two one that is much more open and i think more healing
how much you you've been practicing so many years
nothing transforms what happened
why do you come back

not thank you for coming
today please
thank you for a beautiful talk just noticing here
bowl of water
caring for you and with you
i'm wondering
are you thirsty and focus on the talk and this connectedness
i'm not thirsty
focus time
i'm wondering what's your relationship with that water array ah
you got it exactly right

please he says avails the for usual which that it was a mistake
seeking refuge to your best memory and said and that everyone knows how i wash the dishes there's an infinite
the some of or not drink and love so
pacific the manufacturer's resilient six of the about zen master always
if if if that's embedded was synthesis
cares and confusion
noted when he describes as which will your volume ritual with an ambush
question is
and it's not committed the chat
the difference between activities and rituals to jenkins not ritual
i think so
one is
rich one shouldn't every batch
ritual was long way we really open when we're really porous and we're including everything
does it does a conscious willingness and author of to connection which i don't know about you that a wilder time i e there
come to understanding of ritual is not that is it's more people say
ritual is
it is mechanical repetition of behavior and it's a way to not be present just wonder if you just think what wait wait to do with that way of looking yeah i think ritual has a lot of different definitions and if it can be akin to happen
or just customs kind of mindless customs as oil and we always got a mother's for for christmas and we always have the same keys in hand and whatever you know just the same thing that we always do not necessarily ritual button that might get some people might call out there and christmas which will also there are
our kind of automatic have habitual activities that you sometimes call our rituals but the way i'm talking about it two days in this largess held this larger spaces is a kind of
the words were mystery or communion
peter ah
have you heard about shows movies a good creative with
and i'm back on this topic of transportation's and i'm wondering if which refer to see urges are you see rituals
twitter's here or our suppliers but presented by can communism is why is it
there we have to have self and other
it's a beautiful question
he repeated against the peters question is why do you have to have why do we have to have self and other in order to have intimacy

and the paradox really is that
clinging to or too much but we using our buddhist words clean their attachment but you have too much of a set idea what you're about what you need you can have intimacy
i don't know that i write in this moment have a good answer for that what what were your thoughts about it
dialogue with me from them something about around
does he said
nothing too fixated on transportation or
a willingness to
to let whatever's happening to use off another
the verge free from nothing they go free to keep away
that's very helpful yeah i think
a it said that it's impossible to practice in the diva realms right there too nice or to using there's no challenge many part of why we have to have a self than another is that it asks us really to look at ourselves to face are you
and difficulties and be willing to
be in the midst of them but not attached to them in order to really deeply connect with another person
yeah and i wanna thank you because my and kind of amusing about ritual gates way back to a time in which you said something about you for others her day who said something about what do we do when we do service we ask everyone to show up every one
shows up and i've always remembered that and five about sudan