Aspiration, Vow and Giving Up the Impulse to Control

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AI Suggested Keywords:


What is most important? Aspirations and vows.  Karmic habits distract us from what is most important, from hearing the true dharma. Fundamentally we are the intimacy of all things. Intimacy is not trying to get anything.  Wanting to be noticed.  Confessing, repenting and being compassionate when we notice our inattentiveness or try to get something. "One bright pearl", the whole universe in each moment. Karma has a momentum.  Feeling in charge or feeling not in charge is a karmic formation; how we respond to that it is karma. Karmic formations (e.g. thoughts) are opportunities for compassion. Surrender and great compassion. 

A Dharma talk for the sangha gathered at No Abode Hermitage


AI Summary: 

The talk, titled "Aspiration, Vow and Giving Up the Impulse to Control," delivered at No Abode Hermitage, explores the relationship between karmic tendencies, the yearning to control, and spiritual aspirations. The focus is on the inherent distractions that karmic habits present, impeding the intent to absorb and maintain the true Dharma. It's emphasized that these habits, which often manifest as desires to gain or avoid certain experiences, are deeply rooted in evolutionary and spiritual backgrounds that encourage the survival and replication of such karmas.

A significant portion of the discussion centers on the notion of being intimate with these distractions by acknowledging and addressing them compassionately without trying to gain or remove them from one's system. This compassionate attention effectively counters the impulse to control or modify the experiences dictated by karmic dispositions, thereby aligning more closely with innate spiritual truths and communal reality.

Key concepts touched upon include:
- The inherent struggle with karmic formations and their impact on spiritual attentiveness.
- The significance of listening to, and being intimate with, one’s inner distractions as a means of realizing deeper spiritual truths.
- The transformation of aspirational vows into lived experiences by integrating compassion and mindfulness into daily practices, effectively transforming karmic tendencies.

The suggested approach advocates for a continuous, mindful acknowledgment and compassion toward karmic habits as integral elements of one’s spiritual journey, viewing them as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles to be eliminated.

AI Suggested Title: "Embracing Karma: Mindfulness and Compassion in Spiritual Growth"


#suggested-title Aspirations, Vows and Karma

#suggested-title Aspirations, Vows and Trying to Get Something/Trying to Be in Control


As usual, at the beginning of the year, you know, the calendar year, and now the solar calendar year and the lunar calendar year, which I've just gone through them, have you? I've gone through those year beginnings. And at the beginning of years, I put some emphasis in my thinking, in my awareness, on what is most important in life for me. And I invite others to look at that question. And responses to that question come up in my own mind,


and responses to that question come up in other people's conscious minds. And if what comes up is the kind of aspiration which we just recited, which is an aspiration of one of our ancestors, it's aspiration and vow of one of our ancestors. For example, he said, I vow, I aspire, what I want is to hear the true Dharma. And then he also says what he thinks the benefits of hearing the true Dharma are. Once we hear it, he says, then we will be able to give up orally affairs,


which I would suggest to you means if we do hear this truth, Dharma, we will be able to give up distractions from our aspiration to hear the true Dharma. So if one did want to hear the true Dharma, and if one, after hearing it, wished to maintain it, in order that the whole phenomenal world and all living beings would realize peace and ease in this world, and serve all beings to do the same. If one had such a wish, then that would be something to take care of. And then the next thing that the ancestor says, he says, although,


but it seems like it could also be, instead of saying although, we could say however. Okay, so the ancestor has this great vow to hear the Dharma, and take care of it, so that all living beings together will attain the Buddha way. I have that vow, I have that aspiration. However, karmic accumulations have become kind of, he says, I think, obstacle to practicing what I just vowed to practice. I vowed to practice listening to the Dharma, taking care of the Dharma which I hear, and by doing that, all beings will attain the Buddha way. That's my aspiration, the ancestor says. And there's a lot of other ways to put that, basically the same aspiration,


like in some other traditions they say, I vowed to be in accord with God. However, so we human animals, we inherited, we've been given a body, a body has been given to the world in the form of us, and the body has evolved to ignore the truth. We have a body and a mind which has evolved, which evolution has favored us to ignore reality for the sake of survival and reproduction. Some scientists would say.


In Buddhism we say, we have done karma from beginningless time, and this karma has made us act in a way which will cause our karma to survive and reproduce. So our karma is like, you could say, the DNA of more karma. And karma is not concerned with hearing the true Dharma. It wants to get stuff and avoid stuff. It wants to avoid the truth so that the DNA of this process of delusion can reproduce and survive, survive and reproduce. That's part of what we are. But that also is great suffering


for us and others. But the process of karmic accumulation is not concerned with suffering. It just wants more karmic accumulation and more karma. It doesn't care about the people who are karma devotees or karma slaves. It doesn't care if they're happy. It just concerns that the karma keeps going. And as far as I can tell, it's going to keep going. I don't see any end in sight. But there's this other strange thing that's happened in the last, actually, short period of time. And by the way, I would say that this karma thing, this ignoring reality for humans, it hasn't been going on very long. It's been a temporary thing. And if I say it's going to continue,


I mean it's going to continue as long as humans continue to be like they are. But it's kind of temporary, even though it's 70,000, 200,000 years. Then there's another side, which is, what is the other side? It's like, oh yeah, it's reality. So part of us is reality and part of us is ignoring it. There is a reality of what we are. Somehow we've got some messages about the reality that we are, which we've evolved to ignore. So we're both, we are a reality, we are fundamentally and utterly communion.


We are fundamentally and completely communion with all beings. That's what we actually are. That's our reality. Each one of us is that intimacy, inseparable from all other living beings. That's the reality of our life. We are fundamentally and utterly at peace in this communion with all beings. And we are temporarily and superficially enslaved to ignoring the reality of our life. And there is lots of attempts by humans


to remember the reality, which is what's most important to us and is peace. And there's a long tradition of trying to concentrate on that. But I wouldn't say it's a long tradition. So the people are trying to concentrate on peace and compassion are assailed by the forces that want us to be trying to get something out of life, to avoid things and to not look at the reality. I wouldn't exactly say it's like evil versus good.


I would say maybe it's like these karmic habits, not even versus reality, because the karmic habits are totally part, are totally intimate. The karmic habits which distract us, not distract us, which ignore the reality, are actually as intimate as the attempt to pay attention to reality, to remember it. So this verse we chanted basically saying what I just said, I think. Some people actually do want


a realization of the Buddha way of peace and freedom and great compassion. They want that for all beings in the Great Earth. Some beings have that thought and they really feel that's what they want in life. However, we have this other side, not other side, we have this other, not other, however, we are also gifted or recipients of ignoring the very thing which we wish to stay in touch with. And then he basically tells you how to deal with it. By confessing and repenting it. I want to remember a way of life which brings peace and freedom to all beings and I am frequently distracted from it,


I frequently forget it, I even frequently say I don't want it, I want something else. And by acknowledging that and regretting that we are on the path of realizing reality. So, I don't know if I would say this, so maybe if I don't know how I would say it, maybe I shouldn't say it. But what I'm about to say, I'm wondering about. I don't know if everybody in this room, I don't know if everybody really wants the great earth and all living beings to attain the Buddha way. I don't know.


It does seem like most conscious beings or many conscious beings do not know that that's what's most important to them. But another part of me thinks that really is what everybody wants. That everybody does want to be at peace and happy and they want everybody else the same for everybody else. And if that's so, that everybody wants this, then I just thought I might mention that all the people who want this also are assailed with stimulation. They are stimulated by everything around them and a lot of what stimulates them is these beings, what beings? These beings who wish to attain Buddhahood


for the welfare of the world, they are assailed by all kinds of phenomena, each one of which is utterly at peace but sounds like screams and cries and greed, hate and delusion come to the beings who want to realize the Buddha way. They're given this which is none other than the Buddha way, this relationship between the aspiration to realize it and the Buddha way itself and receiving all this stimulation with great compassion. And part of great compassion is to confess resistance to the stimulation, is to confess trying to get something in this world of stimulation


and avoid something in this world of stimulation which again is our karmic habit. It's going to continue I think for the time being even though temporary. So I would suggest that right now everybody here is being stimulated and everybody here is responding to the stimulation. Our being, our life is being stimulated by thoughts in our conscious mind. It's been stimulated by other people and the stimulation of other people


part of the response to that is some appearance of what they're stimulating how they're stimulating us in our mind. So we are stimulated and we are responding. And this stimulation and response is what we are. It's how we are. We are never separate from this stimulus and response. However, if we don't pay attention to it somehow we magically can miss it.


And when we miss it then we suffer and we can do unskillful things based on that ignoring of this intimacy this communion. Thank you.


Someone told me recently that they wish to do good things to offer goodness to people like humans to human people they wish for that. And they also noticed that right there in this wish to do something good for people there was also trying to get something in the process like they're trying to get appreciation. It's a good thing but they noticed they're trying to get some appreciation or it was a good thing but they noticed they're trying to feel good about doing a good thing. So the


wish to do something really good like hear the true Dharma could be there and you could wish to feel good along with it and you could try to get good feelings about it or you could try to get appreciation for hearing the true Dharma. So the wish to hear the true Dharma again, all that's required when that wish arises is to listen to it but also if there's an attempt to get anything along with that, listen to that too. However, after I listen to trying to get something like a feeling or an appreciation from somebody when I listen to that and acknowledge that I very well might feel regret


I might feel embarrassment I might feel pain. Here's this really good thing and then I add to it trying to get something alongside of it or from it. But then there can be again acknowledging it and feeling sorry about it and that is an act of the pure and simple color of true practice. Dealing with our attempt to get something from the practice dealing with that stimulation with great compassion isn't trying to get rid of it it's trying to not even trying to get anything that great compassion towards the trying to get something from doing good things that great compassion is not trying to get anything


by paying attention to the trying to get something that great compassion is not trying to get anything or get rid of this attempt to get something from doing good okay think of doing good try to get something like group approval there it is normal human situation great compassion is not trying to get us to stop that it's not even trying to get intimacy with that it is intimacy with it it's not trying to get anything from being intimate with trying to get something it's not even trying to get intimacy with trying to get rid of something it is being intimate with it be intimate without trying to get intimacy that is the Buddha way


which we will realize when we hear the true Dharma and we will hear the true Dharma when we are intimate with all the attempts to gain and avoid to get rid of and get when we are intimate with those we will realize the intimacy somebody else had a wonderful experience an experience which was gave her the greatest feeling of her lifetime it was something and it had a feeling with it and it was the best feeling she ever had and since that happened that time when this wonderful experience happened this person has been trying to get that experience back


trying to get for years and years trying to get a perfectly good wonderful thing happened and she tried to get it again or back this wonderful experience was a gift, she didn't try to get it it was given to her then this other thing came which was also given to her the first thing which was so wonderful was given to her but she hadn't been educated to know that when you get things like that when they are given to you that's something to give away as soon as possible in intimacy when you get a great gift you immediately give it away intimacy is that everything that we are given we immediately let go of that's the way we really are we are given so much


in intimacy we are given so much and in intimacy we let go of we give away everything we are given this person was given this amazing wonderful thing in intimacy but then she veered off now she didn't veer off then this impulse arose from her human evolution to get this thing which was a gift in the first place she didn't try to hold on to it because it was already gone actually in intimacy it's already gone she didn't accept the intimacy which was given to her since she tried to get it back now she understands that that wish to get it back has been calling for intimacy the wish to get intimacy came up right after the intimacy went away and it's been coming up again and again for years


the wish to regain intimacy which is antithetical the wish to regain it is antithetical to it the wish to realize it is not and the wish to realize it would be wishing to realize it without trying to get it but she didn't have that all these years what she had was the wish to get back what cannot be gotten back it's not that kind of thing wishing for the gift, that's fine wishing to try to get it is suffering however, that trying to get it back is calling for intimacy is calling for compassion and the first part of compassion is in a way to say, okay, I see you


I see this wish to get that intimacy which has nothing to do with getting anything or getting rid of anything I see you and I'm embarrassed by you and this is painful and that wish to get it is just going to keep calling until it receives enough intimacy that's what it wants it wants to be given intimacy which is not trying to get rid of it improve it or get anything from it and there will be pain until it is fully embraced by this intimacy so again


in many traditions people are trying to be concentrated on what's most important to them in the case of this ancestor Ehe Dogen in that tradition there is a wish to be concentrated and remember the vow to hear the true Dharma and take care of it after hearing it and help the great earth and all living beings attain the Buddha way try to remember that, try to concentrate on that try to be focused on that but the problem is that there is this background karma


which keeps slipping in there and tries to make concentrating on it something you get and then again along with that trying to get concentration on what's most important you can even have all kinds of techniques of how to help you get it rather than remembering intimacy with distraction from what you want to remember so various sciences and Buddhist philosophies explain why it is that we are constantly distracted from what's most important to us


I would say because of evolution or because of theories of karma that's why we're constantly distracted from what's most important that's why it's hard to remember and be mindful all the time but we can notice that we're distracted and we can be intimate with the distraction by acknowledging it and saying how we feel about it there are more to say about this how to be intimate with distraction from what's most important more can be said about that but we start by acknowledging and revealing that we are experiencing distraction from what is most important to us


and also we can remember I personally do not find it so difficult to remember that acknowledging distraction is a practice of compassion acknowledging distraction from intimacy is an intimacy practice acknowledging distraction from reality is a reality practice and acknowledging ignoring reality is not trying to get anything It's just calling a hammer a hammer without trying to get something. Just the facts. Man, I am distracted. I forgot. I acted selfishly. I tried to get something.


And I'm embarrassed. Or whatever. I regret. And this, not so much I, this is the practice of the Bodhisattva under these circumstances. They wish to attain Buddhahood and they are frequently, almost constantly, distracted. So what I'm proposing is rather than try to get yourself to not be distracted, which is not a practice, once again, excuse me for saying this, trying to get yourself to not be distracted is not an intimacy practice. It's a karma practice. Trying to get yourself to not be distracted. It's not great compassion.


Great compassion is intimacy with distraction from intimacy. Great compassion is intimacy with distraction from reality. So if we wish to be intimate with reality, then we need to be intimate with distraction from reality. And being intimate with distraction from reality means to be loving, tender, open, careful, respectful with not being respectful. Trying to get anything from anything is not respectful. Intimacy and being kind to trying to get something,


being kind to not being respectful is an intimacy practice. And the Buddha way is intimacy, is a communal event, which includes people who have personal events, some of which they really want to have again. And they're going to keep wanting to have some experiences again, and they're going to keep wanting to have some experiences they've never had, and feelings they've never had, but they really want to get them. Wanting to get them is intimacy itself. Trying to get them is not an intimacy practice. Who we are, what we want is who we are, and that is intimacy that wants everything. Intimacy wants everything, and intimacy doesn't


try to get anything. Intimacy wants everything because it is everything, and it's not trying to get anything. And since intimacy is everything, it includes all the attempts to get something. It embraces them all. But it also acknowledges them when they appear, and also it acknowledges that they're harmful. And that is the intimacy practice. So when these things happen, remembering that they're intimacy is like remembering what's really going on, and that also goes with remembering that we have been acting in a way that's not going along, that doesn't


agree with that. So part of this pure practice is to acknowledge that we're trying to get something in a situation where there's nothing to get. Intimacy has nothing to get. Intimacy is not trying to get anything. That's our basic situation. That's how everything really is, and that is utterly peaceful. And it includes all these attempts to get something, and it's not pushing them away or holding on to them. It embraces them completely, and it just keeps doing that until all beings wake up to intimacy. So that's something I thought I would suggest to you this morning. And, yeah. Yes, Gloria and Homa. Hi. I want to thank you especially for two words that just rang like all over me, and


that's karmic habit. When you said karmic habit, I suddenly saw a magical habit that was my own robe of blood, this karmic habit that I wore. And in turn, it's kind of a great robe of liberation in and of itself, because I understand everything. I'm a receptor. It's what I do. But what I do with what I receive is a whole other story, and it's what I'm made to do. That said, I have been living through the past few months, if not longer, situations that were by turns dangerous, anxiety-producing, all kinds of things that the receptors were receiving. At the same time, I'm a receptor among an infinite number of receptors, opportunities for learning. What it did was, it didn't force me, but


I chose to do things that took me far outside of my comfort zone, far outside. I didn't want to do them. I didn't do them because I felt brave, but I understood that doing some things, you know, might change the sense of anxiety and danger and fear. And what I found was that there were people and things that I never understood were there who actually wanted to help. They wanted to help, free of charge. You know, it's just like what they do, and what happened then was, I started feeling a bit calmer in the world at large, and things started happening that increased safety. Can I ask a question before I forget? Yes. Just before you saw that there were some people who wanted to help you, which you didn't notice before, what was the practice just before you saw that these people wanted to help you? Reaching out.


You reached out? I reached out. How did you reach out? I picked up the phone. I had some ideas about things that I saw going well, and I wanted to understand how they went well. So I called property management sorts of things. I called all kinds of different places. But there were people there who said, oh yeah, you know, we should talk to so-and-so. I didn't want to talk to so-and-so. Anyway, things happened that got better and better to the point that I felt kind of comfortable things were going in the right direction, and then I got a call, because other people saw that things were going in a good direction. And this one person, what I understood was that they wanted to get what I wanted to get, which was a place of feeling better. She wanted to get from


me something that I couldn't give her, but I could listen. And I listened, and part of what it was was, you know, I need you not to feel good so that you will give me what I want so that I can feel better. And I listened, and I listened, and finally she said, you're just not hearing me. I don't feel heard. And I said, you know... And did you listen to her when she said she doesn't feel heard? Yeah, I listened, and I did a couple of things. I admitted, you know, that I heard her say she didn't feel heard. I said everything I remembered her saying. I knew she didn't And I let go of wanting her to tell me she felt heard. And what she said was, oh, okay then, well, you have a good night. And what I understood at that point is that this is


always going to go, this is part of the tumble, the back and forth of communication, and I don't need to feel any particular way, but that this kind of habit will invite me into me, so that it interrogates me. Yeah, great. Yeah, thank you. Omar. Yes, I have a question, Greg. You quite mentioned about remembering. Yeah, remembering. And I read here that to hear the true Dharma, hearing the true Dharma is not remembering, is it? No, but before you hear it, you might have heard an instruction to remember to listen.


Like in Gloria's example, she was listening. If you listen, if you want to hear, then it would be good to listen. It would be appropriate to listen. Say it again, if you want to... If you want to hear, then it's appropriate to listen. Yeah, which to me, hearing is listening. No, not now. No? Like right now, I could be listening for the true Dharma, but not yet hear it. Like I could hear... Then I would say you're not really listening. You could say, yeah, you're not a really good listener, and hopefully I would remember to listen to you telling me that I'm not a good listener. Yeah, and I think that... And if I keep listening, that's appropriate to me hearing. Okay, so they meet. The listening and the hearing meet. They eventually will meet, but they don't meet at the beginning. Yeah.


You could be talking and I'm listening, and you say I don't hear you, and then I could listen to that. Yes. And then you say you still don't hear me, and I could listen to that. And then finally you might say, oh my God, you hear me. And I might say, oh yeah, I do. And I didn't hear you before I was listening, but I didn't hear you. But when you told me I heard you, then I heard you. Anyway, the Dharma is coming all the time. Everybody's talking the Dharma to you. Everybody is the Dharma talking to you. Everything's coming is the Dharma. But if we try to control what's coming, we'll probably miss it. Now, where my mind goes is not in the control or any other words. It only goes in attentiveness and unattentiveness. When I am fully attentive, it's whole and complete. There's no if, but, so. That's it is. When I'm not fully unattentive, then I call it karma.


If you're not fully attentive, what? If I'm not fully attentive, I go to this. I call that a karma. Yeah, that's right. In and out, in and out. When you're not fully attentive, you do karma, right? Yeah. So my karma is this and that, in and out, in and out. That's my karma. It's like I'm not fully present. What is it? And when you notice that, the intimacy practice is to notice it and... I guess, do you regret it? Do you regret that karma? Thank you for asking that. I'm not sure. I'm not clear. If I regret it, I'm clear that I can see myself. There I am again. Doing the same old stuff again. That I can see. But I don't know if I regret it. Because if I...


Are you... Let's talk a little bit more about what is it exactly... How do you feel about it? When you notice I'm doing the same old thing again. How do you feel about that? I feel there I am again. But how do you feel about there I am again? Stupid, silly, crazy. Silly? Yeah. Stupid. Not a good student. How do you feel about silly and stupid? How do I feel about it? Hmm... I can't say how I feel about it. I cannot put a... Put a... Put anything on this. I cannot put anything on. I don't know. I don't know how I... Well, I'm not asking you to put anything on it.


I'm just asking you how you feel about it. If you can't tell me your feeling, I accept that. But I think there is some feeling about silly and stupid. For example, when I say silly, I feel a little tiny bit embarrassed to be silly. If I think I'm stupid, I feel embarrassed that I talk that way about myself. I feel... I actually kind of regret calling myself stupid. I kind of regret it. I think that's not so disrespectful of me to call myself stupid. I think silly is... I feel kind of embarrassed that I'm being silly. But I feel kind of good about that. That's how I feel. Yeah. Anyway, I'm just saying that part of the practice of intimacy is to acknowledge and see how you feel about these karmic habits which you acknowledge. The same old thing. And then to do that practice without trying to get anything


will help you realize who you are. So, the word silliness and stupidness, I always use that because in my language it's all... it's silly. I don't... I don't... I didn't mean stupid. I can... I can... Yeah. But I'm saying that's more of a comment than a feeling. Yeah. So, there's acknowledgement and then there's feeling. And part of the process is feeling the acknowledgement. And the feeling may not be clear, but that's part of the intimacy. Intimacy includes feelings, but it's not trying to get any feelings. Okay. It just embraces them. Yes. Thank you, yes. So, it brings me to the getting part. The what-ing part? The getting. Uh-huh, okay. The getting part. So, here in the true dharma, in the hearing, there's this wholeness and completion in the hearing.


And then... I'm not talking... In the hearing, wholeness comes. In unattentiveness... So, the next move of unattentiveness, going this, to the unattentiveness, then comes the desire and then... Yeah, okay. So, then comes the desire and some other... Unattentiveness and desire. So, what he's saying is that he wants to hear the true dharma and when you hear the true dharma, then you won't be desiring anything. Yes, yes, exactly. In other words, you'll renounce trying to get something from hearing the true dharma. When you hear true dharma, you're free at the moment from trying to get anything and you're also not trying to get away from trying to get something. I don't think you can even get anything from true dharma.


That's right. You don't get anything from it and it frees you from trying to get anything from anything. And it frees you from not being attentive. But it doesn't try to get rid of not being attentive. However, if you don't notice the not-attentiveness, then you can't realize intimacy with not-attentiveness. And you have a feeling. And part of being intimate with that process is to know what's going on, to acknowledge it. The thought that comes to me is being still. Stillness with un-stillness. That's what I hear. Okay, great.


Yes? Where is one bright pearl? That phrase is coming up. I don't even know the context, but please tell me what it is. What came in her mind was the expression, one bright pearl. It's a statement made by one of the ancestors where I think he said the entire universe is one bright pearl. And then there's a fascicle about that. Does that reveal what you're saying to us about intimacy? I think it's saying that the whole universe is intimacy. Intimacy is one bright pearl. And one bright pearl is not trying to get more light or less. It's not trying to get anything. It's just light. And it's bright. And the whole universe is included in this one bright pearl.


And a lot of stuff's in that universe. And if we, you know, completely remember this teaching, then we can remember, oh, this distraction, this attempt to get something for me or for you. That's one bright pearl. And so, I'm not trying to get rid of trying to get something, I just realize the one bright pearl at that moment, which is already here, and that teaching helps me remember. You're welcome. Thank you. And, Karen? You were talking about the karmic process of remembering and forgetting. And it seems to me that that has a momentum. Yeah. And when I face that momentum, I feel like I'm not really in charge. And I don't know if that's good or bad.


Not feeling like I'm not in charge, or not feeling like I am in charge, those are karmic formations. So they're neither good nor bad, they just are. They're neither good nor bad, they're just another formation. That thought is not karma. The way I want to respond to it will be karma. Like, if I want to get rid of... For example, based on the thought I'm not in control, if I then don't listen to it with compassion, I might try to get in control. Or I might... I don't know what... Yeah, I might try various things in response to the thought I'm not in control. You know, try to get something, or avoid something. What if I just say I give up? You can say that, but that's another... That isn't necessarily... And that's a kind of karma, but it sounds more wholesome


than trying to get in control, to me. But it's also karma. I give up. It's another karmic act. The practice of intimacy, the practice that is in accord with intimacy, is to practice compassion towards the first thought. I'm not in control, or I want to be in control, or I surrender. These are all karmic opportunities. They're not karma in themselves, they're just thoughts. So they're formed by karma, that's part of the momentum, is, I'm not in control, there it is. That's calling for compassion, but giving this thing, instead of giving this thing compassion, instead of giving it one bright pearl, if I try to do something about it, or say something about it, that's just more karma, if I do say it. But that's not the end of the story, then we can practice intimacy with that too.


The thought and the response, the responding thought, the sequence of thoughts, those are all the karma. And all those could be called distractions, but really they're not distractions, they're the customers of great compassion. They're saying, give me great compassion, give me great compassion, but they don't say it that way, they say, I'm not in control, I am in control, I want to be in control, I'm going to surrender. These are thoughts that are calling for the one bright pearl. They want help to realize the intimacy. And so, if you listen to those, if we listen to those things without trying to get anything from them, or get rid of anything, in other words, wholeheartedly listen, we'll hear that they're not only calling for compassion, but they're speaking the true Dharma at the same time. So the beings that are calling for compassion are speaking the true Dharma,


and great compassion understands that and meets them and realizes it. And you said something about I surrender is a little more wholesome than... I surrender sounds more wholesome than I'm going to kill this lack of control. Or, you know, this lack of control is worthless and doesn't deserve any respect. The thought, the lack of control, plus which is reality, and the thought that I'm not in control, that thought is calling for compassion. I'm going to surrender. It's closer to compassion, I think, because compassion is like listening to it. So when we listen, to some extent we're a little bit surrendering to what we're listening to. When we're good listeners, we don't just listen and hold on to our position. So it's more an acceptance. I think surrender is more in the line with opening and embracing.


But you presented it as a thought, which is a thought that's related to compassion. Because compassion does kind of surrender to everything. Great compassion surrenders to the world of suffering. And in that surrender, in that intimacy, beings are liberated. You know, we always think we have to do something to liberate beings, right? We often think that, and that thought is calling for compassion. I have to do something to practice compassion. That thought is calling for compassion. And we can listen to it. We can listen to it so wholeheartedly, we have nothing to add or subtract. Just like... And even if we might be... We might almost feel like saying, Wow! Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! Dhamma, dhamma, dhamma, dhamma! We might feel like that. But before we say that, we kind of feel like this is just...


this is the life I want. I want to completely listen to all the cries, including the cry, I think I have to do something to help people. I think I have to do something to practice. That's another thought. Perfectly good customer for compassion. Okay? Yeah. Jacob? The practice of intimacy with the destruction of reality, it sounds like it's a way of not being separate from it. It's not a way of not being separate, it's a way of realizing that we're not. So the intimacy practices or compassion practices are not to get intimacy, they're to wake up to it. They're to wake up to reality, not to get reality. And is that interdependency,


awareness, to realize that that needs the compassion? What you said, I don't know if you meant it, was, is that interdependency awareness? And I would say, awareness is interdependency. And how do we realize that awareness is interdependency? By listening to it and not trying to get anything or avoid anything with it. Not trying to get rid of what we're listening to or get anything from what we're listening to. That practice helps us realize that we're intimate with whatever we're aware of. It doesn't make us intimate, it wakes us up to it. It wakes us up to the one bright pearl. It doesn't make the one bright pearl. The one bright pearl is not made by how I react to the thing. The thing is the one bright pearl, according to that teacher.


Whatever it is, it's the one bright pearl. Whoever you're looking at is intimacy. Because whoever you're looking at is you, them and your awareness and their awareness. It's all that, that's already there. But trying to control the situation, just distracts us from realizing what's already there. And always is there. Yes? Thank you. The notion that it's temporary fascinates me. So, there's a DNA that gives us the relationship, that puts us in a relationship through intimacy, through love. And then, when you presented the word... It's temporary. I presented the word what?


Temporary. Yes, temporary. This human karmic thing has been going on for a little while and it's a pretty long time, but in a sense it's temporary. In the sense that we can become free of it. And that will have evolutionary effects. My question is the connection to the word DNA. Is there a promise in using those two concepts in that sentence where the DNA maybe at some point eclipses to something else? Instantly or gradually? It could, it could, but in the meantime we have this sort of like biological DNA and I think during the intensive I brought up... First I said DNA, but later I said the genetic code of awakening.


So, what's the genetic code of awakening? What do I think it is? Any guesses of what I think the genetic code of awakening is? Do you remember what I said? I wasn't there, but... You weren't there at the intensive? No, didn't you miss me? You were there for the practice period. So I thought you were there the whole intensive. I'm glad I was there. You get credit for it. Do you remember, Kika, what I said? Do you remember, Amanda, what I said the genetic code of awakening is? I do not remember using the genetic code, frankly. I don't remember the genetic code. You don't remember genetic code. Do you remember, Amanda? Do you remember, Linda? Do you remember, Catherine? Well, is it great compassion? What is the genetic code of awakening? I think great compassion is...


I think what I said it was that, you know, communion, which is great compassion, is the genetic code... is the genetic code of awakening. And then there's a biological genetic code which keeps us... promotes us to ignore this other genetic code. But even so, the body and mind has heard about this other genetic code and has also heard that there's a DNA genetic code which is built to distract us from this other genetic code. Our DNA is promoting a body and mind which wants to reproduce itself. And one of the things they need to do, not need to do, but has been useful to reproduce, now it isn't necessary. We can reproduce even if we're Buddhas now.


But for a long time, evolution depended on this ignoring of reality, like ignoring intimacy. Ignoring intimacy with those creatures that are coming over the ridge. They look kind of like humans, but they look unfamiliar, so we're going to kill them. That's part of the genetic code. Selfishness. The new genetic code is saying, we're not trying to get rid of that, we're trying to practice compassion with that monster. That monster human genetic code which is selfishness, greed, hate and delusion, etc. Separateness, not intimacy. Or intimacy maybe with your kids, and maybe with some of your family, but then at a certain point, it's like enemy, it's like kill them. And even in ancient days, there were some people who knew about intimacy and weren't ignoring it, but they didn't button line


to get the food and reproductive opportunities. The ones, our ancestors, were the selfish ones who pushed the unselfish ones away. However, the unselfish ones were trying to give them a good message, but they... Now we can still reproduce. We can keep the human thing going longer, but we can do it with compassion. We've temporarily, for about 3,000 years, we've had this teaching of compassion, of intimacy, of dependent co-arising, of one bright pearl. We have these teachings now to help us be compassionate towards the habit of ignorance, of ignoring reality and the behaviors that follow from ignoring. We can deal with that. Intimacy is not trying to get rid of all this delusion. It's not.


It's trying to realize itself and liberate beings without getting rid of all these beings who have the genetic code of selfishness, of ignorance. Well, ignorance, therefore, selfishness. Ignoring that there's nothing separate leads us to be selfish. But we have a practice for dealing with such creatures as we are, which is all this stuff coming up from this selfish being and our calling for compassion. We can remember that and we can respond with compassion to all that. And then we're on the path of realizing and not ignoring anymore reality, this awesome reality of holy communion. Yes?


I think that's an important statement that you just made that really hit me. Communion, the genetic code of awakening. Yeah. I'm sorry if you said it and I missed it, but thank you. You're welcome. Did you hear it, Karen? Do you remember it? I do. Yeah. So, someone might think, well, Karen heard better than Linda. But now they both heard it. No, I heard you talk about it. I heard you talk about it enough that I remember it. So anyway, that's my thing. We have this Dharma genetic code to deal with our animal genetic code. We're not trying to get rid of the animal genetic code because without the animal genetic code we wouldn't be able to receive the Dharma one. Like someone said, you know, reproduction or having sex is not a bad thing because you need to do that


to make Buddhas. Buddhas in the world. So, we can continue to have sex and have babies, but what we need now is more emphasis on remembering the practices which realize intimacy. They don't make intimacy. Practices which realize reality. And in the meantime, the other upwelling of all this ignorance and all the delusion that comes with it and all the greed, hate that come with it, those are the customers of intimacy. Okay? So, now perhaps we could have a repast. Can you have a repast at lunchtime? Let's have a repast. And today there will be no work meeting, so we can have another talk early this afternoon.


Yeah, I gave you extra credit. May our intention equally extend to every being and place with the true merit of Buddha's way. Beings are numberless. I vow to save them. Delusions are impossible. I vow to remove them. Dharma beings are countless. I vow to enter them. Buddha's way is unsurpassable. I vow to become it. So, I'm okay with beings are numberless.


I vow to realize intimacy with them. Afflictions are inexhaustible. I vow to realize intimacy with them. Dharma gates are boundless. I vow to realize intimacy with them. Buddha way is unsurpassable. I vow to realize intimacy. So, I feel better about that than this thing about trying to, what do you call it? Me save them. More like intimacy will save us. Me cut through or me end the afflictions. Intimacy with them is peace. And that's already the case. It's a big job to stay with that project. So, that's why we vow to make this wonderful vow. Thank you. Yes? No, I'm just proposing that that's how


I feel really comfortable with that. But I don't know about changing the form yet. You've heard me. You can hear me when you say those things. Another one is, afflictions are inexhaustible. I vow to liberate them. You know? About love them. Love them, yeah. In order to liberate the world, we have to love it first. First love it. Then it will be liberated. But to try to liberate it when we hate it, it's not going to work. Which has been demonstrated quite well. Thank you so much.