The Practice Of Patience

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You know, welcome everybody. So let me get in the gallery. So I don't have to be looking at myself. So about a year ago I noticed how dark it was on my pathway. And so I decided I better get some lights in case anyone stumbles on the pathway to my house. So I ordered some really inexpensive lights and I thought, oh, they're not even going to work. I hardly paid anything for them. But okay, let's just give it a go. Better than complete dark. So I put them in and I didn't think anything


of it. But one night I was going out to get my mail and I was struck at seeing these bright, shiny lights. And they had this warm glow and they were all lined up like little soldiers. They were like greeting me. This is the experience I had. I just felt so open and just connected to them. And I just began laughing. It was just this really wonderful moment. And I just, all I could do was bow to them and thank them. And you know, that feeling has really, really stayed with me. When I see them at night, I just kind of give them a little nod. And that's reminding me of the practice of not treating anything like an object, including ourselves. And it's made me more aware of, we hear this all the time, but maybe it's finally,


I'm getting it embodied, is our interconnection with both inanimate objects as well as animate objects. You know, the insect world, the plant world, the animal world, just feeling more, more connected with them. And really they say we have the same composition as the stars. We come from the stars. And everything and everyone consists of the four primary elements. We have the earth in us. We're made from the earth. Fire, you know, we get warm, hot. Water, I don't know what percentage, but we are mostly water. And air, you know, our breath coming in and out. And so with practice, I mean, getting to see how composed exactly we are with everything and everyone. We are the same in so many ways.


And another teaching I was made aware of with this was, Sojin often reminded us of this, was don't treat anything or anyone like an object, including ourselves. So we are showing respect that way. And my first teaching of this was with Darlene Cohen, who was my root teacher. And one day she asked, I was with her and she accidentally bumped into a chair and she apologized to it. Well, I was so surprised and impressed by that. I just, I had, that was just not in my consciousness. And we saw Sojin often demonstrate that through the way he held a teacup and him reminding us, don't move this avatar, which is the black mat that we put our cushion on. Don't move it with your foot. Step down,


pay respect, move it with your hands. So he said, is we treat everything and everyone like ourselves. So, all of these inanimate objects, incenting beings, everything is doing their job to support us. When you think about that, certainly all of the natural world, the earth that we stand on, grass, as Dogen talks about, the grass, the walls, the tiles, the pebbles, and our electronic devices in this modern age, they're here to support us and help us do our work that we want to do on this planet earth. You know, all, everything around us, our household appliances, they're all in some way expressing and teaching us the Dharma. And Suzuki Roshi said, we should respect everything and we can practice respecting things


on the way we relate to them. So how we take care of things and objects is really how we are learning to take care of ourselves and others. And vice versa, the way we take care of ourselves and others teaches us how to treat objects because of all that interconnection, we are one with all of that. So remembering that, not just remembering that. You know, right now I have rats in my home again, and this is about the third time now. So it's really having me look at how am I relating to them? How am I feeling about them? So that's my practice with the rats. So how do we remember our interdependence, our connection with each other?


And there's so many Dharmagates that this practice offers us. How to experience and break down these walls of separation, which is just, that's our whole practice, really breaking down these walls of our separation or one of our practices so that we feel at one with everything and everyone. It's finding that common humanity within the harmony of equality of our sameness and our differences. So besides our physical composition of these four elements, there's a lot of things we have in common that we can connect with. First of all, our basic needs, the hierarchy of needs that Maslow described. You know, we all want and need food and shelter and peace. We want peace.


Bottom line, we want to be loved and be loved. So that's that sense of connection and belonging. And due to our own personal karma, our upbringing, our experiences, these causes and conditions, you know, all of those things can, may cause us feelings of separation. But recognizing we're each a unique person, perhaps a complicated person with a complicated life. Yet at the very core of our being is that place of wholeness, just at the very, just like a, less than a dot, what we call it our Buddha nature. And it's always there, though it may be covered up through causes and conditions, karma that we have.


Now, as we have all these samenesses, we also have differences. And this is, I think, what causes us our separations. First of all, we each look differently. Each are unique. That's actually really great. We really want everybody looking the same. But we have other things that may cause division, our cultural differences, political differences, religious differences. So how can we relate to each other in spite of these differences, and see them really as part of us, part of ourselves, that sameness, in spite and within our differences? Because although we're different, we are one. So the question is, how can we get along with all of this, with each other? Excuse me, seem to be having some allergies today.


So where, where can we meet each other? Where can we let go of our preferences, step out of ourselves, let go of wanting to be the right one, having the last word? It's letting go of our self-centeredness, so that we can feel this oneness. I read that a Tibetan teacher said the essence of Dharma is not to harm anybody. That's our practice. How do we practice not harming anybody? It's that warm hand to warm hand practice. And there's so many ways, we have so many Dharma gates to do this, to practice in. We have the precepts, all about relationship, and specifically there's four of them that are about relationship, and how we bridge that gap of separation.


There's the four immeasurable, or the Brahma Viharas, these are ones to pick up as well. Loving kindness, all these we need to get along with each other. Compassion, or sympathetic joy, equanimity, and the list goes on. So currently I'm looking at one, well not just currently, really all the time, from the beginning of time as my mother reminded me, is one of the Paramitas. The Paramitas, which means the crossing over to the other side. And we're practicing these to cross over to liberation. We want to be free of our fetters. And the one I'm working with is patience. Sometimes we call it endurance, and the Pali word is Kshanti. Thich Nhat Hanh, he calls it inclusiveness. We didn't understand that at first, but


if you think of when you might feel pain has been inflicted upon you, or even by an enemy, or even one that loves you, the inclusiveness is that you receive that, embrace it, take it in, and then transform that, seeing the truth about that. You know, after Prince Philip died, I heard this little clip on television that he said, I don't know, he was celebrating one of those anniversaries, 50, 60, 70, one of those big numbers. And he said the secret to his marriage was tolerance. Tolerance, that's really another word for endurance, patience. And that most certainly anyone in a long-term relationship knows that, but not even long-term. A good friend


requires patience, because sooner or later you're going to run into differences. Of course, the other side of patience is impatience. And they can be small. In a day we can have many. A small little annoyance just a exasperation or frustration, or we can even, impatience can be expressed by even turning away from it, like an apathy or indifference. That's impatience, very small, but taking us into our separation. And I'm talking about with people. This is with our relationships. And some of the times this impatience can come out as resentment. This is kind of the other


spectrum, where it's the big impatience, bitterness, aggression, come out like, it's like, rage or fury. Rihanna on Monday expressed, she was talking about a koan, and in this koan of Mu, this phrase really caught me. It's like swallowing a red hot iron ball. And sometimes when we're so enraged, it can feel like that. So I want to talk about three different elements of patience. And this is in the framework of relationships. The first one is perseverance. And so this is really the continuity of practice with patience over and over. Perseverance. And when you have that impatience, we need to be fully in the moment, whatever comes at us,


as that impatience arises. And I think one of the best things is just stopping, taking a breath, so you can experience whatever emotion it is, pain or rage. And then just gently persevering through those difficulties, those moments. I think one of the most effective ways to develop this is through our zazen. It takes great patience to sit through our pain and our discomfort, strong emotions, and just to be with them, to take them in. So it can be physical pain or emotional pain. But when we do that over and over and over again,


sitting with that, taking that in, it is really developing patience. And when we get off the cushion or from our chair, that development carries on into our life. So we can feel the results of patience. And when we're on, when we're doing that zazen, we're also just aware of our breath and feeling kindly towards that, being so familiar with the breath. We're learning to not turn away from that. Suzuki Roshi, he didn't think this was the correct translation for patience, perseverance. He thought a better word was constancy. Constancy.


That certainly describes perseverance. Perseverance. Because there's no, when constancy goes, there's kind of no particular effort involved. Rather, it's the ability to just accept, persevere, and accept things as they are. And the second element of patience is patience under insult, or even what we take in as an insult. It's how we interpret it. And so patience is learning how to not give in to that anger or hostility. Or even an insult that we might, that we feel maybe someone has hurt us, hurt our feelings or something. Learn how to not give in to that.


So, of course, it requires, you know, stepping back, taking that breath and looking at it. Where does that root of anger or hurt come from? It's really, what is it in us that's interpreting that way and seeing it that way? Why is this such a strong reaction in me? You know, this can even happen with our electronic devices. You know, something doesn't work, the phone, the cell phone or the computer. They stop working. They're too slow. They can't get to the website. Oh, you know, a hundred things. Can't get to this spreadsheet or whatever. All the settings are wrong. We blame, we blame the device. It's so funny, right? It's their fault. Or it's the company's fault. It's just, let's just, and they start, you know, you see those comic strips of people are yelling


at their devices and throwing them in the air and they've had them. And so it's over the device's fault. No, things do stop working. It's a practice of patience and, hmm, what can I do about this? How can I fix this? So that third element is acceptance of the truth. We have our reactions and then we step back and then we have to examine the situation to recognize, well, what is really true here? What is true? How am I seeing this? What, what is my side of this? Because that's the, my side, I can, I can change. I can see it differently. You know, patience really has, it has a lot to do with getting smart.


You see, at the, at that point and just waiting, waiting it out, right? Not speaking or doing anything. And that's hard because of course, sometimes we want to lash out. But on the other hand, it also means being completely and totally honest with ourself about the fact, if we're furious or hurt, not, not pushing that away, but taking that in. So I think the essence of patience is resiliency. We're able to recover, find some benefit in the situation. And of course it requires great compassion for ourselves and others. You know, sometimes, sometimes we hurt ourselves more than others.


I have an example of, of my call to the IRS. This was a few years ago and I hadn't gotten my refund and I needed to pay some bills. And so I called them, fine, told them what I needed. First call went fine. But I didn't hear from them, nothing, you know, so I mean, it was like over, well over a month. Called them again. And of course you get a new rep every time. So they're starting from ground zero. And even though they're reading the notes, they're going to try it different. Or, okay, we're going to try this again. Okay, fine. Third call, same thing, different rep, reads the notes. Well, no, that was wrong. They didn't do it right. We're going to do it this way. Okay, when can I expect an answer? So I call back, same thing, new rep, new way to do it. So I'm starting to get impatient.


So I think, well, I'm going to have to take this in hand and I'm going to have to be a lot more firm. So I think I practice, you know, what I'm going to say in my stern voice, what I want, when I want it by, what can I expect? So, okay, I called them back. Don't even really let them say anything. Not very skillful communication. But I started fine, you know, being very firm. But I noticed I got swept away. I was escalating higher and higher and higher to the point where I was really upset. And my whole body was just on fire, really. And it took me several hours, several hours, to get all that negative emotion out of me, just to kind of calm down. You know, when you get so upset, you're almost like shaking.


And of course, I had to face that and like, that was definitely not skillful and not worth it to me. It was a big lesson. And of course, you know, feeling not very well at all about what I had done to that representative. So sometimes practicing with your enemies, I'll call them my enemy, it's more like the IRS is the enemy, not the person. Or people we don't even like. That really can be considered a gift, because it helped me practice with patience. You might have heard of Shantideva, who had his own demons, I imagine. I was inspired by his writings on acceptance or patience. But he was just briefly an 8th century


monk, born in southern India. And his father was a king. And of course, his father dies, and he was expected to be now the king. But he had a very powerful dream. And he wanted to take the spiritual path. And he had always been spiritual as a child, even really loved the Dharma, studied the Dharma, very learned. So he did, he went to a monastery, he became a monk. And he wasn't very popular, though. Because it didn't look like he studied at all. Or did any and he didn't participate in the work activities of a monastery. In fact, the monks just saw him as sitting around eating, sleeping, and strolling about, as though he knew nothing. And of course, they were starting to get quite impatient with him. And they wanted to test him, make a fool of him, really.


And so they invited him to speak, thinking, oh, this will do it. He doesn't know a thing, he's going to be embarrassed, etc. So he did accept it, he arose to the throne. And he gave this long, incredible talk, which was translated as the Way of the Bodhisattva. But I was impressed, there's not a lot of chapters, but one is this chapter on patience, and he goes on for quite a long time. And I'm thinking, well, he had his own practice with patience, he must have had to take all that ridicule from the monks. Couldn't, he couldn't have avoided that, not have seen that, it must have been, you know, maybe painful. And then he may have felt impatience towards them, how they treated him. So he knew a lot about patience, and also must have really thought about how the spiritual path


requires such a key element for our practice, patience. So one of his verses in patience, he talks about accepting and enduring our own suffering. And that suffering is our problems, they have their good qualities too. For example, when we suffer, it lowers our, you know, the same patient, it lowers our arrogance. So we really, we learn humility. You know, I learned humility with the IRS guy, that brought me to my knees. He also suggests, this kind of made me laugh, but, you know, view people as crazy, because today a lot of people are crazy. Or, but view them as crazy, or like a cranky baby. And when you view them that way, well, how could you possibly get angry at them?


So that's kind of adding maybe a little humor, in helping us with patience. So, and instead of trying to overcome all these external enemies, it's really about looking within our own internal enemy, which is anger or some sort of impatience. So all of these practices really require us to give up our self-centeredness and selfishness, and help us to bridge that gap of separation. That Buddha said that the root, he even said that selfishness is the root of our problems. Let's say, you know, I often remember Sojin talking about our self-centeredness getting in the way. Because when we do, let go of that self-centeredness, we, it helps us step out of our suffering.


We're in suffering when we're so self-centered and selfish. And one way that helps me is the practice of bowing. This kind of goes along with respecting all things and not taking anything as an object. Suzuki Roshi, he took that as a very serious practice, bowing. He said that this is a very serious practice. In fact, he said, you should be prepared to bow, even in your very last moment. And even though it is impossible to get rid of our self-centered nature desires, we have to do it, because our true nature wants us to do it. And so Sojin described it as when we bow to someone, we're really bowing to ourselves. We're meeting ourselves in that bow. And he goes on to say, when we bow to Buddha,


we are bowing to our true or fundamental nature of Buddha nature or Buddha nature. So in big mind, everything has the same value. Everything is Buddha himself. So anything we bow to, me bowing to my lights, me bowing to, I have a little Buddha in my kitchen before I start to serve a meal. We bow to our animals, our plants, go out, just thank them with gratitude. And it's a really nice practice. Maybe we don't, when a neighbor comes by, maybe I don't do the full bow, but you kind of do a little nod. That's that's the equivalent of a bow to someone who might think you're crazy. So it's a, I hope when we get back to the center, we can, we can start bowing to each other.


So all of these actions that I've talked about, not treating anything or anyone like an object, including ourselves, showing respect for all things and all people, bowing to inanimate objects, to others, and to ourselves, remembering our oneness through the practice of patience. All of these things can help us cultivate a kind environment for ourselves, for all things, and for all beings. Let me end by saying, if I have been impatient with you, and I know that some of you I have, please forgive me. I will try harder. Thank you. I think we have time for questions or comments.


Yes, thank you, Carol. We have lots of time for comments and questions. Everyone, please feel free to raise your digital hand or to send a text to the chat, and we will see what Carol has to say. Carol, no one has raised their hand. I would do so myself. Okay, well, let's let Joe speak first. Joe, please go right ahead. Let me unmute you, and let me put you on the screen, please. Okay, and all right. Oh, I muted you. Sorry. Good to see you. I think I'm okay. Can you hear me? Yes. Hi, Carol. So I was wondering if you were able to say anything about


discerning between patience and hesitation, maybe. Sometimes it feels like we need to take that step back, and sometimes maybe we're hesitating. So I didn't know if you had anything to say about that sort of relationship. Well, I guess you'd have to look at what that hesitancy is about. Maybe it's fear, the fear of talking. I'm not sure. I'd like to think about that. Yeah, how do you describe hesitancy for yourself? I suppose I'm thinking of not acting, maybe, you know, not waiting for


information. I guess I can maybe think that I'm waiting for information. I'm waiting for information to act upon, but I suppose that's an important question of what is the hesitancy? What is it? But it sounds like it could be a workable function for you if you're stopping. Just the way you described it a little bit, it almost sounded like you went into your head, thinking about it, rather. Maybe just kind of go down a little bit in hesitancy, like feel if there's anything in the body, like an emotion that's kind of maybe blocked or stuck there. I also have a fun fact that Suzuki Roshi really hated bowing when he was young.


He found it really, really difficult, and so maybe that explains why he emphasized it so much later. But I know it changed for him, so thanks. Thanks for sharing that. Thanks, Joe. Okay, we have a question now from Peter Overton. Let me bring him on. Hi, Peter. Hi, Carol. Carol, thank you for your talk. It was very meaningful for me in my life right now, and I've been thinking a little bit about an aspect of it, which you may have been talking about all along, but clue me in here. When you were talking about the rats, I started wondering, are rats a physical phenomenon, or are they mental objects? Is it our response to the idea of rats that we're most interested in, or what? And I thought maybe my initial thought was something


like, how do we relate to our thoughts and feelings in such a way that we're not treating them as objects, and then getting further ensnared in reactions, and so on and so forth. That's a very good question. I mean, I'm practicing with my patience with them. Well, I was thinking today about how, well, what good are they? Well, they do provide food for other animals, for birds, etc. They're very smart, too. You can learn a lot from a little cagey, but do not give up. Do not give up. This is their turn of time in the round. They're just like, they woke me up this morning, just that scratching, like, why are you trying to get in here? There's nothing in here. So, I think it's our mental feeling about them. You know, they have a bad


reputation, very bad. Maybe the three blind bats, the three blind mice were okay. Mice are cute, but it wasn't about the three blind rats, was it? But physically, you know, Sojin did tell me when I did have that first incident, he said, oh, get rid of them, get rid of them. That liberated me, because I was feeling bad about it. But, but, you know, we're driving all of those animals and things out of the hills, and they're coming down over because they don't have water, they don't have things to eat. So, I'm thinking, oh, that too. It's a conundrum. Is there a way that you can take action to, you know, protect your space without getting drawn into sort of like, I don't know, territorial protectiveness, or,


or, you know, disliking the rats, you know, something, something where you can accept them, but also accept your need at the same time? Well, I'm accepting knowing they're here. However, we are taking action. In fact, my guy's coming at 1130 again. He's trying to seal up holes. So, you know, letting them know there's nothing here for you. Maybe go on up in the hills again. Thank you. Thank you, Peter. We have a question now from Leslie Bartolak. Leslie, let me bring you up. And hang on. Please go ahead.


Hi, Leslie. Hi, Jake. Hi. Hi, Caroline. I have to, where are you? Oh, there you are. I enjoyed your talk. The idea of not treating anything as an object really resonates with me. And one thing you said about, I think, not always having to have the last word with someone. And that's something I have a tendency toward, be it a conversation about the warriors or philosophy or politics. And that struck me that whenever I had dokusan with Sojin Roshi, he never had the last word. Who didn't? He never had the last word with me in dokusan. But he'd smile and bow, and that was it. And I'm wondering, how do you work with that, particularly not having the last word?


Something I work with. Well, I don't know how you're describing Sojin. What happened? Well, in any dokusan, you know, he would never take the last word with me. He would just, at some points, usually smile and bow. Give a little, like that. So that will be my dokusan. Yeah. Well, when I'm talking about the last word is, you know, being right. Yeah. The person said, you know, topping that. Well, no, but, but, you know, that kind of thing. Not a friendly, yeah, then that's what you're talking about. Not like, great to be with you. That's not the last word. No, it's an ego thing. Yeah. Ego thing. Self-centered. Yeah. Yeah. How do you work with that? Well, I try to shut my mouth, but it's without. And, you know, sometimes it requires an apology.


And maybe not just at that moment. Sometimes it takes me to integrate something, and then I have to think about it like, oh, that wasn't right, right speech. So then I might have to call or email a person to apologize. Because sometimes things just come out of our mouth. That's a big practice to, to learn to step back and just, you know, hesitate, as Joe said, just stop. But it's really hard to do sometimes. We want to be right. Part of being human. So it's a good practice. Thank you, Jake. We now have a question from Rondi. Let me bring her up. Go ahead, please, Rondi, or Charlie.


Hi, Charlie. Can't hear you. No, can't hear him. Can't hear you, Charlie. You're apparently not muted. No, so I will. Maybe you could send a text, please, if that's possible, Charlie. Or re-enter the Zendo. You could put it in the chat. Okay, so excuse me, Charlie and Rondi, we'll come back to you. And we will go to the next questioner, which is Sue Osher. Sue, please. Thank you. Can you hear me? Yes, very well. Thank you.


Carol, thank you very much for your talk. I really got a lot out of it. I've had some really strong reactions yesterday with birding friends. And you said a lot of things about patience and perhaps the need for apology. And it sort of goes the range from, well, I don't know if I want to be friends anymore. You know, it's like crazy, and I'm not even sure what happened. And the thing you said about our practice of sitting, you know, it gives us a chance to look at that and maybe apologize or maybe see what's actually underneath that. And sometimes having the last word when things feel political is really, it's like a key danger sign to shut up. So, I really thank you.


Thank you, Sue. Yeah. Thanks to Arise quickly and us. Thank you, Sue. We have now a question from Ed. Please give me one moment, and we will add Ed. Hi, Carol. Hi, Ed. Good to see you. You too. One of the things I liked about your talk where you spoke about the quality of just listening. And I know that is something that I've had to learn. And one of the things that has helped me is to cultivate a sense of curiosity. And I find that that helps me let go of my judgments, my need to be right. And it just creates space so that I can connect with whoever I'm


talking with or in conflict with, perhaps, or any other way. So, I just wanted to say that. Thank you for your talk. Oh, thank you, Ed, for that. That is such a great practice, being curious. Yeah. Right. Right. Thank you for sharing that. Thank you, Ed. We have now got a question from Bob McKinnon. Bob, please ask your question. You should be spotlighted. Yes. Oh, can you hear me? Yes, there we are. Yes. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you for your share. And, you know, what came up for me that I got out that when you said that having relationships with these objects like a chair and then,


you know, you move up the so-called hierarchy of rats and so forth. But really, I never quite looked at it that way before. And I think it would be good practice for me to look into that. And one of the things that one of the push button things with me as far as objects is computers. And, you know, I'm older, 65. So I have a I'm not as fast as the younger people. And I tend to get frustrated a lot more easier. And I guess it's based upon, you know, partly my conditioning and and then something new. And and I think what I got out of your talk was, you know, how you


change your relationship with objects by seeing them differently. And I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about how you work with that. Well, I think it's really about seeing that the object is not doing something to me. The object doesn't have this kind of evil intention to hurt me or to make me angry. It's an object and I need to respect it for for what it does do well, and they break down. But it's really not the object, you know, paying me back or something, all the things that we think. I mean, that's I think why we get so angry at the object. Oh, and it has nothing really to do with the object. It just broke. It didn't work. And then just being responsible,


going back to the company and explaining, you know, this is not working. And even they, you know, don't take it out on them because they're always trying to get it to work and they're working and so on and so forth. So nobody nobody really to blame. Not really. We want to blame. We want to find someone to blame. But it's just a practice of patience. And as I say, then what are you going to do about it? Take care of it. Maybe bow to it. I can lighten it up for you. Thanks for the service you did and did not do. Anyway, thank you. Thank you, Bob. Thank you, Bob. We have a question. Now we're going to go back to Randy and Charlie, please ask your question. I can't hear you. No. I still can't hear you.


Did you go out and come back, Charlie? This is unusual. Very sorry. Sometimes the microphone gets hooked up. If you had a different device or anything, something happens with the microphone. If you messed around with your settings or you hooked up a headset or something. Well, let's go on for now and maybe we can again try the chat. Kabir has a question holding. Kabir, give me a moment. Here you are. Please let me get Carol back. Hi, Kabir. Hi, Carol. Thank you so much for the great talk and thank you for mentioning Shantideva. He's like one of my heroes. I mean, I learned a lot about him when I'm practicing Tibetan Buddhism. So, Mike, I have a question. I have a comment about your ask. The question is, how do we practice patience for someone that is harming our loved ones?


So, how do we practice patience towards that perpetrator or that person that is doing the harm and we're seeing it? You know, so how do we? That's because they're like, okay, fine, you can harm me. But why are you harming my wife or my daughter or my son? Then, you know, so that's when it's sort of justified to go with anger and to tolerate, to retaliate and everything else. So, how do we practice patience then? Well, the thought that comes to me is you bring in some other practices like, of course, stepping back and looking at it and then planning without, you know, once you've diffused your own upset, a communication to a right speech without blaming. So, I think practicing it beforehand is very effective.


Because what happens is that that action of that person, it also triggers your own hurt and your own past experiences that similar things has happened to you. So, I think that also adds to the fire, you know. Yeah, so you have to work with that first so you can. Right. And then you can have some clarity, but you know how it feels. So, that's right. That's that's still in a way, you know, it's painful because you've taken that in yourself. But it really requires a lot of skill, skillful communication so that they can really see, oh, maybe I am doing this without them getting defensive. If they get defensive, then we're back to ground zero. Right, right. Thank you. And for the rest,


our daughter, her friend in Georgia, believe it or not, he has three rat pets that they're in a cage and he loves them. He thinks that they're like the best pet to have. That's a little bit too extreme in your. So, there's always the extreme, right? Yeah, but Peter was saying like you got to find. So, that's probably the middle ground that, you know, needs to be accomplished here is, you know, anyway. So, when you spoke about my daughter walking, she's like, oh, my friend has three rats in Georgia. And I'm like, okay. So, I don't know. Anyways, thank you for a great talk. It's always great to see you. Thank you. Maybe I'll have to get a cage. By the way, they love peanut butter. They love peanut butter. They only eat payday candy bars. Oh, wow. That's true. I did not go out and get payday candy bars. I do want to add a story that's very famous in Afghanistan. So, there was a group of rats in a store and they're all being slaughtered


by this really mean cat. So, what happened was one of the rats decided that, okay, we need to go find a bell, okay, and then we're going to put that bell around the cat's neck. And as soon as we hear the bell, then we're going to hide. So, we're going to be safe. So, they went ahead and they found a bell. It was a really heavy one. So, they brought it in the middle of their room. And they all sat around the bell. And they all looked at it. And they said, who is the brave rat that is willing to put that bell around the cat's neck? So, anyways. Thank you. Oh, you're welcome. Thank you. Thank you, Kabir. We have now a question. We're going to try Rondy one more time. Rondy, please go ahead. Charlie. Hello. Can you hear me now? Yes. Loud and clear. Amazing. All right. Carol, I want to thank you very much for your talk. It was a marvelous tapestry between your personal experience and the dharma. But rather than, you know, repeat what other people


have said, I want to ask you how you prepare, how you take the kernel of an idea for a talk and expand it. Well, I have my own personal experience. So, I'm putting that down. And then I'm just reading more about it. What it says about it in the dharma. You know, what is into respect all things. Because that actually deepens my own understanding. I consider my understanding a little bit at this level. But as I read more, I can say, oh, okay. Getting more perspective on it. And maybe too many quotes I'm giving. But I can't take the credit for these things, I don't feel. Because I didn't say them. So, that's a tricky thing. I know you don't want to do too many quotes, too many so and so. But at the same time, it's what I learned from them. Does that help? Yes, very much. Thank you. Thank you, Charlie.


Thank you, Carol. We are now out of time, though we have one more question. It looks like from Leslie. Is that still a hand you have? Yes, yes. Okay, go ahead. Let me spotlight you. Okay. Hi, Carol. Thank you for your talk. Early on, you talked about not treating things as objects, including ourself. But you didn't say much more about that during all your little examples. So, I wonder, how do you practice with that? I'm just trying to be more kind to myself, forgive myself. You know, just little things I might tell myself. I'm doing okay. I just stop sometimes when I'm going so fast and offering myself in kindness. I do a lot of it on


the cushion during Zazen. You know, because you're still and still and quiet. I can have a little more compassion for myself. Especially if there is pain or anger, just stop and be compassionate with myself. I was thinking, too, about aging and things change and we're not, you know, and that sometimes seems like that can be objectified with, oh, you know, I'm not whatever the issue is, you know, things change. And, you know, I'm not as quick as I used to be, or I don't remember things. So, those are sometimes things that can be treated. I find, you know, it's like we have to be gentle with ourselves, as you said, and


just see, because that's just part of life, right, that we're going to. Well, accepting it. Accepting it, accepting that, oh, this is different now. And, you know, we're, and you see all the younger people who, and it's just different. I think it's a very big practice, accepting older age, that thing, we're in the golden, these are the golden years. I'm not exactly sure what's gold about it. You have a lot of friends that are in the same boat. That's right. That helps a lot. Oh, listen to this one. Oh, you know, with humor, doing it with humor, because it's a big practice, accepting, because our culture doesn't really support it either. I really don't think this particular culture, I think in other cultures, they do.


But in this culture, I don't think we've really gained, elders have gained the respect of, you know, some wisdom, some learned experience. I noticed just walking down the street, people don't even look at you. It's like you're invisible. So that's just the way, you know, accepting all of those things. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you, Leslie.