Zen StoriesĀ 

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when you are sitting i
i asked i made a statement and asked the question
the statement in this question have then
as stated in and asked for more than a thousand years
east asia
and now in the west this question is asked is this question in a statement

ah a monk asked
fung srei

fung shui i'm sure

speech in silence
involve alien nation
and vagueness
how can we avoid transgressing into either

the chinese characters referred to her one character means
departing or
the alienation
for offer could mean i think far away
and the other character means one of the meetings is is edible herbs
but it also has the meaning of minute insignificant and vague
speech involves
a separation
discrimination difference
and also a speech and language go with
patterns of thinking
karmic consciousness for us is language consciousness
his storytelling consciousness
so speech in the where we use language
involves uses our comic consciousness to make discriminations and creates alienation
and also we are common consciousness is usually in some habitual rots
the consequence
what speech
speech language is to create worlds
which we live in which encloses

i proposed you that we actually live in a big world of buddha a big world of great enlightenment
that's what we live but actually i take away world we live within a a vast enlightenment and it's not a world
it's not an enclosure it's not a world sometimes called the is put round but with today actually don't usually don't use the word world from enlightenment
the border around the buddhist state we sometimes they borderlands two
and within within the broader world that we live in
her comic consciousness create worlds little houses little enclosures
which to us seem like the size of the universe
but it's an enclosing
yeah it's an enclosed universe
and within that universe there's discrimination and alienation within that world
so that's one side the law side of speech
and within that realm of discrimination and alienation are mine is often quite
can be quite precise
in the words of tsla it can be precise without being protect pedantic
we can be quite precise about the way we think about the way we speak about the way were alienated
we can discriminate all the different types of alienation
and we can discriminate different kinds of union but when we do it is
there's a nation in the union
the other side is silence
and silence in silence however ah
they usually involve some vagueness
when you don't say anything
and i like if you just reach out to somebody and grabbed their nose they may not know what you mean
so silence has
vagueness and at off the science can also be somewhat damn
you can be kind of spaced out might say or you can dissociate in silence
how can we become free of our habitual ways of thinking without compromising precise
clear precise awareness
this is the question come on gas the zen master fung shui
how can we avoid
transgressing and either side and transcend both
another translation which is stretching it a bit but i think it's okay is
speech in silence involved in involve
difference and equality
so those the view her who have practiced as zen center are familiar with a chat which called the merging of equality and difference
or the harmony of equality indifference that the current translation
the harmony of equality indifference one of our when the poems of one of our ancestors
how can we harmonize it
difference inequality
the teacher says
the teacher speaks
and says
i always think of hunan
in the third month
the partridges
the myriad
flowers are fragrant
hunan is a
province in china it means literally south of the lake as who not there's a lake big lake south of the lake is called the lake is called
so who knows south of the lake and then there's who bay north of lake
two provinces with a lot of zen people in the old days living north and south of the lake
in this case the teacher says i always think
hunan in march
i always think of
green gulch in march
the hundred flowers fragrant
the partridges
in hundred fragrant flowers
this is the zen teachers demonstration
of how to transcend speech and silence
using both
this is the first call on
have the springtime okay
so now we have a chance to practice
practice away
which doesn't transgressed into
vagueness of imprecise awareness or our habitual patterns we have a chance to express ourselves with speech with speech and or silence with silence and our speech
express yourself silently with precision
it's possible
express yourself verbally
with no
express yourself with both silence and stillness
without either of these transgressions
so this is her
this is a while we can practice now starting now
one two three
someone suggested that she write a poem
on each case
after class
ha i don't really know chinese well enough to say whether the teachers speech would have been considered a poem
i have a feeling that his speech was colloquial speech not not speech in terms of classical ah
requirements of chinese poetry
but although it may not have accorded with the classical criteria for poetry and may have been expressed in colloquial speech
i'm i'm deeply touched by it's poetry it's very poetic
ah for me
for many years this statement has been poetically touching me
so i always think of trayvon always thinking of hunan in march
i think about that all year long
and so it's kind of like an eternal spring time for me
this way of practice
we don't have partridges at gringotts rehab
holly pipelines
the state bird of california
isn't that the state bird of california
nobody knows what's the state bird of california
yeah quail we have a lot of quail a green gulch
they chirp pretty well
call a pipeline means is and latin word for quail
and we have flowers
so if you like you could write a upon during the class or after the class or not
huh i don't know if
he thought
transcendence are both will always be a poem or not
but i think he will have the the energy
how upon
i think i'll have the intensity of poetic speech
now you're invited to give me feedback
dash express yourself
i actually would like to have your ex have you tried to express yourself
without transgressing into either
now you're silent expressing yourself silently i'm not saying that your transgressing in vagueness by being silent
i'm not accusing you of that i'm not accusing of spacing out
i leave that to you to look and see in your heart have you found the middle between these two
does your present posture and breathing and thinking and silence express this transcendent response to speech
and silence
is that clear
the ball's in your court
i did
did you wander off or something

i it
seems some power
discuss the matter with his broad
it seems to it
for me appreciate this story
is communication
which i feel is a
a layer
the gutters
runs through our actions

hey if i speak
in response to you
you know where that just my habit than maybe i'm missing a chance to communicate
i could be silent with you and that could be communication maybe it was before i started speaking did you see it
his various ways to for you to convey your palms you
can do it right now
at or you can do them afterwards you can write them on paper and make paper airplanes out of them and thrown towards me
even though they probably wouldn't get all the way to green gulch
it still counts if you make a nice paper airplane with your bomb on it and send it my direction
even if it lands just a few feet away
i appreciate
could also inundate me with emails
practice i should say inundate my assistant
who will pass them to me
do you know my address my it's my assistants addresses rep assistant
at sfcc dot org
you have my
for support

where does this get where does speech come from

the wondering

could you hear her
the impulse to speak came from her body she said


speech is difficult for you
it's alienation difficult for you
his separation difficult for you
silence is easier
right side is easier because it could be easier
i think it's particularly easier
it's particularly easier when it's when it gives us a kind of vagueness or numbness
again like spacing out
a buffer yeah
and you know i i i think
we shouldn't be in a habit
where we originally a hold to know buffers
buffers could be helpful
we could
we could use silence to make a buffer
to open
to not having a buffer
but what many the buffer
in order to say okay
i'm ready to give away the buffer

we may need to we often may need to
be silent in order to feel our fear
silence make give us some sense that ah
ha meant that we can we can dare to feel our fear
silence and stillness
if we practice them with may notice that we're afraid and other things that are difficult to see
and then continue to practice silence and stillness and continue to dare to feel fear
and so on
and then have a silence
where there's
precise awareness of for example
and also
silence and stillness can help us tolerate the sharp
precision of a particular moment of fear
it can reveal it to us and and also be the way of being intimate with it
do you say sometimes holding it yeah
it holds you the silence hold you know the signs are stones hold you
and then you can hold
the fear
and then you may be can speak as you just did
speak before during and after you become aware of your fear
but again it may help
to be quiet until you find the fear before you speak
hassan yeah

if you speak to try to get something

if you speak to try to get something done that's an example of alienation
that's an example
would you say
as the setup i set up i set up as an alienation
here and it's also possible to speak without trying to get something
maybe you just did
to be

where's that a haiku



there can be jabbering
with silence
and my fact
whenever the jabbering their silence
if you don't lean into the jabbering while there's jabbering going on
and not lean into the silence while jabber is going on
not lean into either
then it's possible to not
yeah then it's possible to not lean into either and the silence support to jabbering but there's no transgression into the jabbering
and the jabbering and the silence doesn't have watered down the jabbering and make the jabbering vague
the silence does not make the jabbering vague
the silence is a silence where you don't lean into it and blur the jabbering
the jabbering continues to have it
buddha given precision

it is that to what does that imply did you say
before you before you say anything about what i just said jabbering always implies silence there's no jabber i'm saying no jabbering without silence
you cannot have a sound with our silence
aren't that's the we are nervous system works you can't have a sound unless the sense organ was silent before it the silent sense organ has to be resting
before it can hear something
so there's it's it's quiet and then it here's something and then it has to wait until that's done before it's quiet again you can't hear something else until his quiet there needs to be rest between the sounds same with vision
but precision and precision implies vagueness
but you to lean into the precision
of speech which is discriminating and separating you don't have to lean into it

yes the relative
so one way to say it is speech and silence involved
alien nation and vagueness and then you think you know the speech goes with the alienation and the silence goes with the vagueness but actually speech involves the other one but both of them in but while the relativity of the to

and there's a and there's a path that passes between these ah
these one side and versions of
a a non-duality
there's a way of it there's a way of expression as a way of life
that the teacher
i always think fondly
of hunan in march
how the partridges chirping
in the fragrant grasses

he didn't explain
he demonstrated
how do not ask the you to explain i'm inviting you to demonstrate however i don't prohibit explanations
i invite demonstrations of the vital way of
march in berkeley
given a
this time
did you hear
he said i'm used to coming here and saving a rich soup and this time we have to bring our own ingredients
there's a children's book called stone soup and seen it
this is stone soup
stone soup was a soup that was may i was made by some buddhist monks
how came to a town a town where everybody was a
from each other
when among start making the stone soup the people came out and put ingredients into the soup
how many people have read this children's book
please help me did they have a pot
and they put water in it and up put stones in it now
and and some other ingredients game right
but when the ingredients came they were brought by people
he said
this was was sealed

how come your name again


and can you want something without trying to get something

what why


what's that a haiku
you're welcome to ask people to speak with greater volume

and in particular cases to reiterate that request
can you hear me okay no

he also welcome to bring your chair appear she like
yes abbey

how are you asking me to give you advice

okay my advice is
learn to ask me
for the things you want
without trying to get them
even though i just gave you some advice
i would like you to it
asked me for advice without trying to get it
if you want it

yeah so how does now when you said how can you do that
look and see if you when you ask me that if you're trying to get something
who or it's possible that yours that you said how do you do that
and you just gave that to me
and didn't expect me to say anything but i did
and i didn't die
in this case i did not remain silent when you ask me that
but i could have and if i had remained silent you might have got in touch with that you weren't trying to get me to speak or that you were
when you ask someone to learn learn learn this this is a thing to learn how someone to stop doing something without trying to get them to stop
for example you know he's example this i'm going to ask you to stop being a woman
we just to please stop being a woman
but obviously i'm not trying to get you to stop being a woman but there i managed to ask you to do something that i wasn't trying to get
not try it with some more difficult example
asked me to give you something without trying to get me to give it to you
it's possible to do this
for yourself without trying to get anything from you're offering give a gift without trying to get something in return you will get something in return
but if you give it with trying to get something in return
you distract yourself from the giving
again asking for advice as a gift
i think i would like to make this person into a teacher i'm gonna ask him to teach me
please teach me i just made a teacher not sufficient for me
they may give me some teaching they may not i'm done with my practice of giving at the moment
the same with speech and silence silence as a gift speech as a gift
have you been giving me the gift of silence during this class when you've been silent
you could have been i have no problem with you every moment that you were silent making that a gift to me
showering me and the rest of the group with your silence as a gift to us
it is it is really possible i'm not saying easy or hard but totally possible that whenever you're silent you enjoy that you're giving that
that you never silent without making a gift of silence
it's fine with me if you never missed that that you enjoy that every time you're silent that you're just bestowing the gift of your silence
is your new sharing

in speech and silence you listen without listening you transgress
i hear you
thank you
could you hear that nancy
what did you hear

no she said in speech and silence i'm listening
if i don't listen i transgress
how's your sprog sharon

what is the
point of asking you

did you say if i want something what is the point of asking me
expecting to me to me if i if i want something what is the point of asking you to give it to me
asking you to not expecting
but and you could you could you could want her mike to love you and and and you could
you could want that and you could ask me
you could ask me what what could you ask me if you wanted him to love you what could you ask me
i'm not
or if you want something from me yes if you want something from me than what
i'm not expecting you can give me what i know yeah you wouldn't ask yeah yeah
what the one thing is you don't want to take a risk
you don't want take a risk of asking me for something that you want from me knowing that i might not give it to you as one situation
there's another situation where you want something from me and you think i very well might give it to you
and then you feel like the risk is not so great
then you might ask because less risk yeah
so i'm talking about something else besides ah
trying to get something i'm talking about that you want something from me and you tell me that you want something from me and you with
and you do not tell me that to get it from me
and that's something which your i hear you saying you don't do very often maybe never
so far
you didn't say that no i didn't say you said that
i said
what i'm saying is that you can ask me for something that you want me to give you and you can ask me to give it to you
without trying to get me to give it to you
i'm saying you can learn that you can do that
and you may never have done it yet but you can do that
why do you think i'm encourage you to do that
and when i just asked that question by the way i was not trying to get you to answer it
my question to answer that question
are you saying that use the are you saying that that you think i'd hire i'm trying to get you
to think that i'm trying to not enter you it's artistic i'm trying to get you to do
you are avoiding the answer my question to ask me
yeah you you're so what did you wash your question
what was your question directly you think i'm avoiding

you it's okay with me if you lose the train of thought is it okay with you if you lose a train of thought

are you looking for the train of thought

and then i asked you
why you think and you said i was avoiding your question but i did not feel like i was avoiding your question at all i felt like i received your question and i wanted to do i wanted to see if you knew why i would encourage that
i okay you don't know yeah
you do need my help
i agree you need my help and guess what
yeah that wasn't a question right you said i need my help he said i need your help that wasn't a question right and i agree with you are you do need my help okay now i'm asking your question guess what
guess what
it's a question guess what
so i was like
you said you need my help i said that's right and then i said guess what goes with that i didn't say the second part but guess what means and guess what goes with you needing me

what yeah i know so if you say if you notice that you need my help and i agree with you that you need my help then i ask you what would what would go with you needing my help and me a greeting that you need my help what will go with that what would be
ah come along with that you think
okay i just want to know if you could see it shall i tell you i need your help
now when you told me that you need my help i said that right now i'm telling you that you need my help i'm there i need your help and you didn't say anything
like that right
you don't you don't have to i wanted to point out that
you said you needed my help i said that's right and i told you i need your help but you didn't say that's right
yeah right
just a minute please
so back to the main point which is can you want something from me
and can you ask me for something that you want from me to help me
like just now i want something from you and i asked you first to something i wanted from you but i did not expect you to give it to me and you did not and that's fine with me
i do want things from you and i do ask you for things and i do not expect you to give them to me but i give you the gift i'll tell you what i want from you and just now i'm telling you what i want from you if i want you to learn to ask me for things you want from me
without trying to get me to given to i want you to learn that and then you said what's the point
and that's
you asking me what's the point and i guess i could say to you what you think the point would be
why could just tell you the point
i prefer to actually ask you what the point is and have you tell me the point
but if you don't want to do it that way i'll just tell you the point
you can choose you can tell me the point or i'll tell you the point

okay did you hear that did you hear that nancy she said how bot she tells me the point and then i tell her the point okay ready one you want the first
the the point is how to ways to say it one way to say it is enlightenment
the enlightenment and the other one is helping beings
that's the reason why i want to learn that because it's enlightenment and also because it helps beings it helps picks on what did you think it was what was your guess what did you think was a point

try and establish intimacy
that's it so the three ways to say it
enlightenment helping others intimacy
so i don't mind ah if someone wants something from me
and asked me for it and tries to get it but i do feel that
if when the person does it that way they're distracted from our intimacy
but when someone wants something from me and asked me for it without trying to get it then i feel like this is really intimate
but in i don't expect my grandson to be able to do that
even though it sometimes happens
sometimes you don't notice you want something from somebody you ask him for it but you don't even notice that you weren't trying to get it
what can just you know i can accidentally do it in other words you can accidentally be enlightened
so i would like you to learn when you want something from me i would like you to learn and you'd like to ask for it
even if is risky i would like you to learn to do that as a gift to me
the to offer that to to give me the gift of letting me know you want me to give you something i would like you to make that a gift to me
that will protect you from the risk of not getting it
because you will be happy because you're giving me gifts without trying to get anything that's enlightenment
that's what i want and i'm not trying to get it
because trying to get it interferes with what i want
i want all of us to be enlightened i want all of us to be helpful
i'm telling you that and i'm asking for it i'm asking for you to be enlightened i do not i'm not trying to get it
and i do not expect it
and there's some risk in this there's some risks
but they're not stopping me from asking for that
thank you for it thank you for your gifts
pardon the expect an answer
would it be good strategy to
if you want something for asked for them

does it help to stick to tell him that it could it could end myself sometimes
you know i just wonder is it you know it's a theory is uncertain you know whether your other
yeah well i think it's sometimes it's helpful to to ask them to ask somebody for something and just to tell them that you don't expect it so that they can hear what you asked for
cause some people
are so i don't know what afraid of you
a so much care about what you think of them that as soon as you asked
the can't even believe that is totally disoriented so if you do this amazing thing he was a huge person in their life
asking them for something
if you do that this is like a big deal
so you may have to soften it with the information that you don't expect it to say i'm just telling you where i'm at
and i and i'm actually pretty authentically that way this will soften it and making them they can hear it they compared how my he is asking me for something i can accept that somewhat
and it helped that he told me he wasn't expecting anything now the person will not try to find out that's true
and that will help you find out if you are authentic when you said
why the ball yeah right yeah right
yeah so it does sometimes help to say
so i say it i've said it took many of you
i do want you to practice the body for precepts but i don't expect it and the reason and i i work at not at i work at wanting it and i work at not expecting it because i find that makes me want it more
and continue to want it and i noticed when i slip into expectation that i'm vulnerable to sort of not wanting it anymore
i want you to practice the precepts
i expect you to and when you don't then i don't want you to know i'm not going to walk that anymore because it's too risky
but i'm not afraid to expect us to want this i mean i'm not afraid to want it
because i'm protected by not expecting it
i'm not disappointed
when i don't expect and when i'm not disappointed i can just keep wanting it wanting wanting wanting wanting wanting buddha's want they don't expect they want they want they want there's no expectation and want
and you can feel that and it encourages you you know what they want their straight with you i want this
and i'm gonna keep wanting it
and you can watch and see if that's true
and you can also know that i'll be able to because i don't expect it
and if i slip into expectation you can watch me trip and my my desire for this good thing for you won't get weaker you can see it for yourself
i'm not saying i'm never slip
i'm cultivating not expecting i'm told cultivating not trying to get things when i asked for them
i'm not saying it's perfect
and so i might not be able to ask for much
because when i asked for something i wanna ask
as a gift so that might reduce my asking
because not it's hard to ask as a gift ammunition is and hard is just it's it's a rare thing for a human being to be able to do
the feel compassion without for the way the person is now without expecting them to
to get better
the focus
i find that distracted
you know it's like or something
as i like a lot of activities
because i
experience at this comment about is that it is at the speech he becomes alienating
you transgress into the precision of the request you forget about the silence
if you remember the silences when the other person comes you don't then they're not they're not alienate you're not alienated from them
you're in your chirping in the summer in the springtime fragrant flowers you're not pushing anybody away even though you're concentrating on this trip
it's not about you it's about springtime it's about it's about march it's that kind of stuff and you're and you're clear about and you an your question is just like another fragrance
there's no crowd in things aren't crowded
in march in berkeley
as a question



so again wanting something
wanting something without trying to get it is wanting something that you understand is not outside
and if you want
without trying to get by your expression so you want but you don't do something to get it

i'm saying i'm saying that's that's usually the way it is and there's a new trick to learn called expressing the want not to increase the likelihood of getting but to see if you can not only feel the one but express it without that expression trying to being trying to get it
to see if you can
feel the want express the want and not feel that the thing you want as outside yourself
or the person you're talking to his outside yourself
giving your expression of desire to somebody as a gift is a way to get over them being separate from you
a point of it as yuki said is intimacy this way of talking this way of expressing desires and asked me for things as gifts is in order to get over the separation of that language creates
the to realize intimacy by speaking
and one of the ways to speak as say i want something
from you
and i don't hope i don't and i know soft pedal that
i wanna say it just like that and see if i can say just like that
however if i think you can't hear me and can hear my gift i might say something else but not for myself
i actually want this without expectation and i'm just sharing with you also they don't have expectation but i'm not saying without expectation to undermine my wanting
to lessen my wanting
i really wanted a lot but i'm not sharing that with you didn't make it more like that you'll give it to me
can i see something about the word hope
i look the word hope i'm not too long ago for many years that had a problem with it
but i looked it up and when i looked it up i said ah ha that's why the english word hope in the dictionary i looked in said a desire with an expectation of
receiving it so hope has his element of expectation in the denoted of meaning
mattson would wish instead it yeah we're not much wish instead of hope just wish without the expectation and then by definition is not really the way there were hopes used hope has this expectation connected to the wish so buddha's wish bodhisattvas wish
who does wish they wish for the welfare of being they wish beings will be free of suffering
but there's no expectation in their wished along with their wish
that's normal that we got that we we've got that down you know how to do that we know how to do that and there's something good about that the good part is the wishing part
i'd rather have a person wish with expectation that not wish at all so when people despair means no hope right
they had the person wish with expectation because we can deal with that
called tell me how you feel while i'm suffering
and i'm suffering because i want something from your and i expect to get it
so a lot of people when they want something from me and they expect to get it rather than stop expecting they start try to stop wanting
stop want a year closing your heart down
expectation is the part to drop to wean ourselves from but not ahead of schedule just what is the right time until then
you know i want you to have expectations as long as you've got her
but i'd like you to learn to really want with no expectation

life is full of expectations and disappointments come with expectations right we got we got tons of that stuff
let's welcome it let's welcome the hope the expectation and the disappointment
okay shall we welcome it
welcome hope in our i welcome hope even though i know it's a trap
and then i welcome the i welcome the disappointment that comes with it i watched hope and and i watched disappointment i walk both i mean i vowed to welcome both and i do actually sometimes

maybe there might be some space there
what would that be that space
yeah it might be silence in the silence might be a gift
and i would like you to find the gift that the silent gift between hope and despair and practice there
develop that space of generosity between hope and despair and make that part grow more and more vital and then the hope and despair kind of binding in the suburbs
you know which we're not going to level just let him be there you know they can be there
not a problem
they can enrich the the great space of generosity and silence which is not spacing out in between them and then speech can come up there too which says i want a lot here i have a gift for you all
yes it was a hand
and rica

oh my god

intimacy is never ever been crowded out there's plenty of space for it there's nothing you can do
do not make space for intimacy
you can only get distracted
so when you do that you could it's possible that you're not distracted by that from intimacy
but also possible you will be distracted by you have to look in your heart to see if you just got distracted
if you go either way and i'm just totally amazed at nine twenty five
is that right
i just don't i'm just amazed
here i thought we'd never make it to nine

thank you for tolerating the silence
thank you for tolerating stone soup