Threading the Eye of the Needle

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i think we're rolling
shake it hill signal me as ten and five two thousand two really helpful
welcome everyone to frame practice courage
those of you who were able to be your on saturday

so traditionally the first talk fishy soldiers is the way seeking meinhof and think a little well as a waiter
make myself very seen by law i e like practice period as a time for us to reveal ourselves to our hell from each other and help each other along through that process so hundred to my best to reveal myself in ways that maybe i haven't been always thinking learning how to be
or at least a little breath
ha and always keeping mind hot traditionally as a talk about how you came to practice so it seems particularly appropriate to me that i'm giving this talk on the day after the eighth anniversary of mainly scott's death
mainly scott was my first picture of surgeons time and ears and she's really the reason i came to replace and center i had been practicing with her for a few years through the buddhist peace fellowship space program a kind of practice per in the world for people who are involved in social engage
my dharma practice as a terrible the practitioner and at some point she told me she thought it would be a good idea for he received the precepts and after some discussion we decided into it here and so i came here in the fall of nineteen ninety nine and was ordained following spring like her and i think
she and surgeon shows my germany
so last few months i've been thinking about my practice last several months i've been thinking about my practice is something i called threading the eye of the needle
yeah i think it's kind of like would soon
ah a case thirty eight a long con about the buffalo that passes through the window everything passes through the window except the tail and the needle in my little analogy is something like that
that characteristic with which we lead our lives that least have been feeling that a lot about my life these days and the threads are all the different kinds of kind of experiences that really shaped how i'm able to sell with it and i like the analogy because i used to sell all my
own clothes and in high school after those of you who might remember remember the in high school and
and college they with the most outrageous
patterns and fabrics that you can imagine it was my way of being relegated and now i just joined my thoughts he had her clothes on
he was kind of thing
so ah
i don't think of these talks they often hear people say a lot about the very early part of their lives but that's a lot of what i want to talk about because it's shit has shaved so much of what i'm worth worth the face and deep root issues that come up for me have their foundation you know with what i came into the world
with but also the early workings with it and as i hit have been looking at these stories again as i feel fine and like whole lot of thrilling been a part of the work to do that i feel like the rather like old home movies you know the black and white ones
without any sound i they just show up on the screen the images just passed by and i'm not them and the people in them are are my parents but they're not i have an enormous amount of tenderness and compassion are an interest to the hills
quiet on separate from the ways in which i used to relate to these stories or even work from over one i was in therapy in my twenties affairs
the things that harm
a foundational part about who i am really happened in the months before i was born and a few months after i was conceived in columbus ohio and i was born in denver colorado
and ah in between that time my birth mother struggling enormously with the decision about whether to keep her has turned down only child and she is something that was extremely unusual in that time for and she didn't sign over the adoption papers right away and it
the enormous pressure to do that i don't know all of her story that i do know that she had enormous ambivalence and grapeseed or of suffering that went into her decision making
my adoptive parents track and helen
have their own difficulties early in their married life they lost three pregnancies the third one at six months the shoulders and my mother was sterilized at that point and are told that she should talked only one child because her blood pressure was so that she never lived to
think that child's fifteenth birthday you can imagine the amount of least i imagine the amount of
says as long as they carried into their growing lot lives together
my parents by forget to say this is the tacos on my parents were both wonderful people there are both deeply good and honest hard working more all people who are
ah had a difficult child to parent and not a lot of parenting skills with which to do it
their most important value was that i would be raised to be independent my mom was the youngest of four kids she was the only girl and as soon as she couldn't get her way out of brooklyn manhattan she us get down download down to taxes leaving her brother's the duties of taking care of their aging
parents and dying parents she didn't even go home on to return them for their deaths my father was the oldest he was one of two who finished high school he's the only one who went to college although he does completed and he too wanted to get away from the controlling what he thought was the controlling
a parochial nature of the dallas fort worth area and took his new bride to denver where he had a job with american express and became quite successful salesman is a wonderful salesman
businessman leave phone he wound up to chicago economy
running the branches american express their until he lost his job and i was ten
well aren't they wanted me to be independent they didn't want me to fall to have the difficulties they did and they did it with abandoned and they did it job so completely that having much of a way of physical contact with them or emotional support from valley was something they
that's the one side of alvin parenthood
no the other side of how the parenthood was central their adopted child as i was so special that they could never had a child as special as i was and you could imagine that was meant as complete encouragement and ah
and had the paradoxical effect of had of you feel like i was not a part of them but separate in some way and also that i had to always be very good very good very imperfect in order to continue to maintain the standards that was expected
so i would have thought
stay in school i have their own their levin's the poor
you know repaired after that is that of we both loved me enormously and it took me a really really long time to get that from the
i just as resilient as far as the my dance to favorite poems were both on about ulysses and one of them as tennis's that ends with the line
realize it from that something i the center on one of them he deals with the line to secret for escola to seek to strive and not to yield
and the only one is half of philosophies in the have which if you know that home i don't know by heart the one that was read at jackie onassis kennedy's funeral is this wonderful story about how the process of life is less important and that has been best the
the enormous tension and me my whole life because my life has been out doing thriving seeking but he's had forgot to put up front here was this
relates to this is the needle in few will as the quality of life that i think stands out most about this particular person sitting up here so surgeon describe the a strong and saturday know dogan says in his festival on life cameo he says that know
home conejos not about life being red or yellow or blue or white is developed the brightness is an issue for us it's own met our own manifestation of buddha nature but we all have our particular way of feelings that is that brightness and that one for
me is
is a certain passion and intensity and drive and exuberance if the kind of a quality that led me to run the sixty two and a quarter miles and twenty four hours to make it through medical
school to ah take a risk to be a human rights a company here in guatemala
as on got me through a profound childhood depression and somehow survive
and it's a double edged sword
this quality
there was not serendipitously demonstrated kentucky derby was a week ago and i was reminded in it's running of the runner is running last year i don't know if you remember about the philly a fouls hoo ah haven't been put down
at the end of that race i was very moved by that and the day
after the hat phone
there was a wonderful essay the jane smiley feel know that author wrote in a in new york times fourth session that i read and when i read it i saw
the family is that here now here i read i cried every time i read it for several times and can looked at it for quite some time i knew i was gonna read it to his car from it had the same of captain
services her on
her eulogy if you win over her comments about infills i have a friend who trained and chauffeur who is a relative of a spells his son and for grand shire unbridled when my friend got the horse a woman he knows the stewardess and i told him to watch out because unbridled tend to be both unsound and
fearless and my friends was founders to give the case
where most horses have at least some caution my friends course will try anything his mental toughness and competitiveness always takes over no matter what the circumstances
this is what we saw and felt she was more resolute and competitive that was good it was good for her and it literally in her case with a fifty guests
fortunately i ran into the sand her

so when i was ten my dad lost his job and for the next twenty years from month to month we weren't sure how the mortgage would be paid and there was enormous
strain in our home life my mom worth the nine job my dad worked incredibly hard for so long story for basically ah he was out of the house for sixteen hours a day and there is no overlap in my parents presence our house becomes violence
ha and it was very lonely alone existence
not long thereafter i stopped speaking to my dad over some something's that
but things so hard to say if one of you all her listening so it and tentatively but over some things that my by today's standards be considered abusive and my way of taking control of to shut down and remove myself now i want to stay in case i forget i love my dad enormously and he and i
berlin through our things and five with time i was in my mid thirties we were the best of friends after saying that way the best of friends and we had a remarkably thief an intimate relationship
he ah
really came along of himself but these were difficult times and i are withdrew into being the perfect little child require perfect invisible little child
the fuel stories from this time to stand out that i think or some other examples of cesar way seeking line or what my life he he was about thirteen i called my mother into my room my for mother from her run out of time he scuffed himself
i call her and her my room and i said my mom i don't know why after to just one person why can't i be in a house with all my friends
only thing that turns out to be true
and the other was on laying awake at night looking at the stars crime because i'm rather than touch her knowing that i was separate and really yearning more than anything to know what it meant to be connected with every fence
so fast jumping and had a little bit here ah so i can get the hell i got here the next five minutes in vivo fuel filter minutes for a dialogue i went after medical school not because they always want to be a doctor but because i knew i had to be able to take care of myself because no one else
who's gonna do that for me and also because i desperately needed to think you to some glue i have my life v of some use
well i didn't really understand to later how much joy and how important it is to be for me to be of service
i knew i really was lucky to have stumbled into being a doctor because i really really liked it and how i was good at it
when i think about being good at it is kind of puzzling to you that people said i was there because when i look back and think the real reason i came to practice was not so much out of my personal suffering which you can see was quite significant and final up anger
for need for professionalism was huge but really what got me here was the amount of sulfur now was causing other people and i could feel at most in my interactions with my patients not in big ways you might not have noticed it i should it from time to time
the places where i missed people the places where i didn't hear from the places where i was so focused on getting to the and point to doing the right plan to gain good that i didn't hear what was really important to them
and i could tell you many stories about fathers' stand down in my mind from twenty five years ago that i think was really the fuel that something needed to change because you know
as they say it wasn't they weren't big they were small but i really fell from
i'm not sure how much it helped i was on
at least get helped me have a little bit more balanced with the stories that i had a little bit more insight for a investments tall with psychologists here but for on for me i nineteen eighty six i had my first meditation instruction the pumped for pass membership was barriers
into mischief my therapist new some have meditation i learned mecca and i took a bunch of farm in a blanket to me and did it constantly as a way of covering myself and then a nineteen ninety four my best friend from medical school was killed and
that was the opening for me i decided that i would do something that i've wanted to do since i was nine years old go to a place that had called me since then and that was for her moyes i want to know paul on a small organized trapping got to those mountains and something from l happened don't know i don't know when it was
else but i came back and i started sitting alone little room for
thirty or forty minutes twice a day for five years i didn't listen pete i immediately started looking for meditation retreats i have no idea what what was involved i signed up to the longest one i can get into was ten days that of yucca valley a few months after i came back and it was like an ocean
swimming fish being let out of a cage and to the into the ocean i come home i knew it i started looking immediately for a teacher and prayed on it i've looked fiddler is loved
i am by total serendipity was invited to go to this talk that was being given hour
ah ha and a group and diana winston who is the founder of the base group happened to be there and be announcing the face and system i had no idea whether i would get in or exactly what it was but i went home that expand wrote my resignation letter to my good paying
charles i know was time
don't ask me what i know it was time for his friends
yeah off
two months later after making the most difficult decision of my life which was a different decision i ah showing face and i met mainly and i thought oh well this is too bad the spoof the person had thought it was could have been not my teacher at wasn't for
really impressed
since the fence when she got me pretty offensive
and the first time i came in to the sender
i was getting i've had to see probably about return though he is and i bow to my seat and the two people on either side bar through cushions sky down to me as i get out and i burst into tears
i knew that i was where i was meant to be
and it's really
practice of being together with each other in this way of speaking with ah rough rock and begun to polish it down
i'm so grateful his enjoy my life was so funny with joy and ease anxiety is all but disappeared and enjoy a nice that i feel as a certain way are impersonal it doesn't feel like it's so personal to me it feels like as than she
lion piece of all of life and unjust and will flow and i feel so very fortunate
so i think i managed to get through at least some of when i wanted to say and visit humanist if anyone has anything that come off with value that things like to talk about and thinking very much i i looked very much for her of spending this time
revealing and being revealed each of us to the other during this practice period of may we have a lot of fun
kramer from five afraid
yeah thanks it was actually my dad's mother might only grandparent or really knew was methodist my my grandparents were methodists and represents the conditioner is raised and my mom was greek orthodox she highly have high feeling of away from the greeks as fast as she couldn't spare time and high school of the from so she was quite really
infant to whatever and i said the lord's prayer every night of still a certain way in which the some the goodness of the gospel is in my life the goodness of my grandmother in that way very much for my life
think com
fisher zero something broke the search for a fence oh say something a little about it my gun
ah when i was about thirty i finally found him as both he rarely
there was a good journey i was really important for me to make it i was i needed to wait until i was ready to have whatever i got he would i not i was very fortunate my birth father although he's never really admitted that i have
child clearly knows that i his child and i have had some wonderful conversations with him and very much like him same cloth cut out of the same cloth my birth mother and i've had he won two phone conversations and she is one of the one third of all birth mothers who could have no
contact she's too painful for her but i'm still very complete i think her both the plenty editor has been an ohio state for fifty two years as a professor of radiology

certain he will carry your top his own
if you're really interested in what you said about your patience and your relationships with her and i kind of feel like i want to hear more fast that part of your life and how you practice practices after a way that of person respect for further privacy and confidentiality of the people
work so i just want to if you can sort of trinket encourage you to
specifics about that like as a part of an adult quite
are you interested in the the early things that happen the iraqi the whole thing i think a half of his interactions and stuff how us informed
can't find it has any time i think would be interested in the early lines or what you experienced during the day when i come here purchase
thank you ever i realized limitations in terms of financial respect privacy and confidentiality choices it's easy to do actually telling one story that i was remembering about a long time ago
alfred bell i know he's long gone ah i was a resident and at the boise va and and i made an amazing geysers is about a condition that he had and packed him off to ah tertiary care hospital little seattle
where he got the care he needed took him awhile to come back and i didn't know why until he arrived is turned out he has a special diagnosis that i was unaware of of alice lung cancer and how it had was wasn't evident at the time that he was of your life here but he has served
and he said to me he made a point of saying very clearly you didn't listen to the if you didn't listen to me there is something else that he was trying to tell me that i didn't hear and that really stood out because i thought i had done something i have one of things about feeding a doctors
as as that i didn't say as i got to touch people i got to care of people i got to open my heart and loved pupil and ways that i didn't really get to do that in my family
fact that i failed him some way was really powerful for me
the other thing i would say is that the way i work as is just so different now from than what it used to be well i'm a primary care and furnaces a lot to do and take care for a patient and fifteen minutes reserve and
producers wanna do everything from importantly very sure that i had taken care of things now i let the personally leave the ten thousand dollars on a person's experience or was from for to leave me and i received them and i hear what's going on in my work is really to try
take him there whatever suffering whatever their conditions are they have the strength to the tools was support the development of place where he can do that
the way in which i practice was enormously different than it was twenty twenty five years ago and even no different than it was seven or eight years ago thank you for asking a spirit important to me
that's it
and thank you all very much more get to do a lot of