The Bodhisattva's Creativity and FreedomĀ 

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.

AI Suggested Keywords:

AI Summary: 



I see here that this is a class in Zen meditation, and it looks like the topic of the meditation is the bodhisattva's creativity and freedom. It says, the buddhas and bodhisattvas teach that the greatest comfort, benefit, and freedom for sentient beings flows forth from the understanding of the dependent co-arising of our life experience. Flows forth from the understanding of the creation of our life experience. This course is offered to instruct, inspire, and encourage


practices for entering the creative process of our daily life for the welfare, happiness, and liberation of all beings. Sounds great to me. Glad you came. I said while you were sitting that something like, the creative mind loves its objects. And that creative, creative, all minds create, according to our tradition, all minds create objects. Or rather, minds are created in such a way that they have objects. All minds of living beings are created with their objects.


Minds arise interdependently with their objects. Objects arise interdependently with their minds. It isn't like objects arise and then minds. Minds and objects, objects and minds arise together. A creative mind, what I mean by a creative mind is a mind that's sort of like aware of the process of its own origination. That understands and is participating consciously or wisely in the process. So I propose to you and me that a mind which is awake to the process of creation is a creative mind and a creative mind loves what it knows. It loves its objects. And then, further, it plays with the


objects it loves. It enacts and performs the creative process. It fully participates in it. And in fully participating in the creative process, it understands the creative process. And in understanding the creative process, the mind and what it knows are liberated from suffering. And liberated from the suffering which comes from the mind misunderstanding what it knows. Suffering arises in embodied minds that misunderstand what they know, that don't understand what they know. There are many ways to not understand, but there is a fundamental way that minds tend not to understand what they're knowing, and that is that they think that what they know is separate from the knowing.


And when the mind is fooled by the appearance of its objects of knowledge being separate, it craves to grasp them. Minds which see things and know things and think the things they know are separate, they crave, they thirst to get a hold of these things which are out there separately. And then they actually reach for them and try to attach to them, and this is the cause of suffering. Attachment to things which aren't really attachable, which aren't out there to grasp, but they look like they are, and if we play along with that and believe that, this is the cause of suffering. And most people naturally flow along this course, and so if we can love the things, even while we still see things out there separate from the knowing of them,


and we can also say separate from us because we sometimes associate ourselves with the subject, like there's a subject here and there's an object here. For example, there's a subject here and its objects are, for example, all of you. But the subject is not separate from the objects. The subject here is not separate from the things it knows, but the subject tends often to misunderstand. The subject is a misunderstanding subject that thinks what it knows are separate. If the subject, in cultivating loving the objects, and the subject can play with the objects, the subject will understand eventually that the objects are not separate from the subject, and this is the end of suffering. And the end of suffering is not the end of the process.


It goes far beyond that, cultivating wonderful things beyond understanding and the end of suffering. The title of the course is the Bodhisattva's Creativity and Freedom. Bodhisattva literally means enlightening being, or a being of enlightenment. And we could say, one way to say it is, enlightening being aspires to supreme awakening for the welfare of all beings. I like that way. Another way to say it which is more dualistic is, those who are enlightening beings aspire to enlightenment for the welfare of all beings.


Enlightening beings are those who aspire to supreme awakening for the welfare of all. But another way to say it is that a bodhisattva is really an enlightened being, or being enlightened and aspiring to being enlightened for the welfare of all beings. And so we're talking about the creativity of such beings, and I have, actually, excuse me for saying so, I will be trying right here right now to love, I can say, I will be trying to love the things I know right in front of you. Or you could also say that there will be,


that there is an attempt of a mind to love its objects right now, and to play with the objects it loves. For example, there was just the attempt to love the word bodhisattva and play with it. Now there's some other objects, and now there's an attempt to play with them. And this object is a bunch of objects, and it's also one object, it's like a six or seven part object. It's an object made of like six or seven words, which I brought up to you on past occasions. And those of you who have not heard it before, will hear it now, maybe, if I keep talking. This is a process of entering into creation, and thereby understanding and becoming free.


So one way to say the process is, trust, relax, play, create, understand, or realize, liberate. Or trusting, relaxing, playing, creating, realizing, and liberating. Now the trusting part, tonight I would like to say, the trusting part is the beginning of love. Or it's love, but not the whole story. Matter of fact, love is something which story is never completed.


But the first part of the story is trust. I'm summarizing it as trust, but I could also change this and say, love, relax, and play. So I'm talking about trusting, I'm talking about trusting the objects which will be played with. Trusting the objects which will be relaxed with. And once relaxed with, played with. The creative mind plays with the objects that it loves and relaxes with. So there's a trusting of the objects, or there's a trusting of the subject. Trusting that the subject is going to love the objects. Not trusting that the subject is going to love the object perfectly and not make any mistakes in the loving process. Part of loving and part of learning to love


is to be generous enough to acknowledge that there may be slip-ups in the loving process. Part of loving, part of the mind, part of the creative mind's loving of objects is to be careful. Because it's possible to make a mistake in the loving process. And part of the loving process is to notice the mistakes and examine them. Part of loving and protecting beings is to notice that we're making mistakes in the loving. We're making mistakes in understanding what we're loving. So it's not exactly trusting that you're going to love perfectly,


but trusting love. And trusting that what you're working with is worthy of love. Which is similar to worshipping the objects that you're aware of. Worshipping in the sense of acknowledging the worth of whatever you're looking at. Which then would include horrible things. If you see horrible things, this practice of the creative mind loves horrible things. It doesn't like them or dislike them. It loves them. It trusts that horrible things have worth. Because horrible things can be loved. And if they're loved, we can relax with them, and play with them, and create with them, and understand them, and liberate beings from horrible things.


Lovely things, it's the same. If we love lovely things, if we trust loving lovely things, if we think they're worthy of love, and we practice love towards them, not necessarily perfectly, but we do as well as we can, then based on that love, we dare then maybe to love them. Maybe to relax. And the relaxation enhances the loving process. And then we can start to play, which unfolds and further unfolds and enacts the love. And then we're ready to enter into the creative relationship where the mind and its objects are intimately working together to create each other,


which they always were, but because we weren't loving them enough and playing with them enough, we fell for the sense of separation, which naturally appears falsely. The false appearance of separation is innate in living beings. And once we understand that the objects, once there is an understanding that the objects of the mind are not separate from the mind, there is liberation from the suffering that comes from craving to grasp the things that are separate, which includes craving to get away from some things that are separate, craving to grasp some distance from some, craving to grasp the annihilation of some, craving to grasp the eternalness of some, and the suffering that comes from actually trying to grasp,


based on that craving. That suffering then is relieved. And from there, we can enter into the great process of inviting others into this process, which is even more of a joy than just plain old release. As a matter of fact, the bodhisattvas do not get into the release too much. They can, but as they are relieved, they immediately plunge back in to the situation of duality to show other people how to love the objects in duality, and so on. Here's an example, not from my life, but hopefully I'll give you an example from my life someday. Actually, I'm giving you an example from my life. This is it right now. This is my attempt to love... You could say you.


I could say you. Or it could be said you. This is my attempt to love you. I'm not saying it's perfect, but this is the way I'm doing it now. I'm trying to be careful of you, be generous with you, be patient with you and me, and I'm also trying to be courageous. Courage is part of love. It's the courage, for example, to stand, to lovingly stand and withstand the tension of the apparent separation between mind and objects, or between self and other. To stand in that tension is part of love, and there's an attempt to practice that right now with you. And in that process, I tell you a story.


I give you a present now of a story about somebody else, about a person, I think they call him the Prophet of Plymouth. I think that was one of his nicknames. Plymouth, England. His name is Winnicott. Donald Winnicott. He's also called one of the mystical psychoanalysts. So he worked in a hospital, he was a doctor, along with being a prophet. And there was a girl brought to him, a little girl, who I think was maybe about one year old, and she'd been having seizures since she was about six months or nine months old. She's been having seizures, fits, sometimes several a day.


And her mother brought her to Mr. Winnicott, Dr. Winnicott. The child was in the hospital because she was having seizures so much and so unhappy between the seizures. She was crying all the time between the seizures. And so the child was brought to him, and one way I can tell this story is, at a certain point she got up on his, sat on his knee, and she was playing with his tie, sort of carelessly or aimlessly, pulling on it and crying. And then she tried to bite his knuckle. And then on another occasion, a few days later, she came to see him, and she was crying,


sitting on his knee crying, and she tried to bite his knuckle again, and she did bite his knuckle, and she bit it three times, and pretty hard. And then another time, a few days later, she came back and bit his knuckle some more, and she also, he had these tongue depressors, or spatulas, in his pocket, and so she took the spatulas out of his pocket and bit them and threw them around the room. Bite, throw. Then on another occasion, she came and she was, again, taking the spatulas out and biting them and throwing them, and he said it seemed like she had learned how to, she seemed to be,


she seemed to be learning to play by repeatedly sitting on his knee and biting him and him loving her. She somehow started to be able to play with the situation of his knuckle and his tongue depressors. And then she started to play with her feet. She seemed to be wanting to play with her feet, to tug at her toes in her shoes. So he had her shoes and socks taken off, and then she started playing with her toes without the shoes and socks on, and then he said she seemed to be surprised to discover that unlike the spatulas,


which you could pull out and throw around the room, unlike the spatulas, which you could put in your mouth and bite and then throw, the toes you could put in your mouth, but you couldn't pull them off, and she was quite surprised to discover that, he felt. She looked surprised, and she seemed to want to prove it over and over that actually the toes didn't come off like the tongue depressors did. And then he heard a few days later that the seizure stopped completely. I think he heard four days later that right after that last session where she really seemed to be playing and discovering a new reality in the play.


Four days, right away the seizure stopped and they had stopped for four days with no recurrence. And then he heard from the mother that 11 days after that, 14 days after the last session, there had been no seizures the whole 14 days and the mother asked to be discharged. And he saw the girl again a year later and she seemed like a happy, healthy little girl, about two years old. Of course she had more work to do to be a creative bodhisattva, but she did enough of it to become cured of this unusually afflictive state. And also they did studies of her and they could find no physical basis for these seizures. There were no electrical problems or anything. So, that is my introductory comments


about the mind of creation and the process of entering it. I proposed to you and asked you how you feel about it, that the human condition is one where we are, where we experience, you could say where we are subject to paradox, where we are subject to experiencing opposites and the tension between them and the stress of opposites, like self and other, like gain and loss, good and bad, life and death. Where we live in the tension of these opposites


and where it is difficult for us to not lean towards one side or the other. It's difficult for us to have the courage to stand in the tension of the opposites of the dualities that our mind, that our experience offers us. Again, it offers us experiences, but it also seems to be that they're opposite, like self is opposite of other, or good is opposite of bad. So part of what the bodhisattva needs to do is to love both sides, but particularly love the objects, so that the bodhisattva, so that the enlightening being can stand and withstand this tension,


stand and withstand the impulse to grasp one side or the other. In the first teaching the Buddha gave, according to history, the first teaching the Buddha gave, the Buddha said, I think he said, in the world, but he could also have said, living beings in general tend towards extremes, or tend towards addiction to extremes. They tend towards addiction to sense pleasure, or addiction towards self-mortification. Most people tend towards addiction to sense pleasure. He didn't say most beings tend towards sense pleasure,


he said they tend towards addiction to it. Another translation, which is maybe more common, is living beings generally tend towards devotion to sense pleasure, or devotion to self-mortification. A lot of people who are addicted to or devoted to sense pleasure, sense that in their addiction to sense pleasure, they sense a lot of frustration. So then they think, well, maybe if I tried self-mortification things would work out better. So then they actually get devoted to self-mortification, which is less common because most people don't notice, most people don't notice that addiction to sense pleasure


is very painful, especially addiction to sense pleasure in a neighborhood where you think it might really be pleasureful. Someone told me once, after knowing me for a long time, she said, I realize my problem with you. I'm trying to get something from you. Or, I think that's what she said, I'm trying to get something from you. And she didn't say it, but I think she was trying to get something pleasant from me. She was trying to get pleasure from me. And I think her idea of pleasure would be that I would do something that she would be able to see was definitely love, like love for her. But she didn't say that, but she did say she was trying to get something from me.


And that caused her great pain, she said. And she said, so what I think I'm going to do is I'm going to just care less about you. Or, dash, love me less. Then, if I love you less, then if I don't get what I want from you, it won't be so painful. And I don't know if I said anything or she said, but it would kind of be painful to not care about you. But in a way, it may be a little bit less painful just to go around not caring about the person than caring about them a lot and caring about that they would make clear that they cared about you as much, which you might imagine would feel really good. Because you think, if she liked me or loved me as much as I loved her, I would really love that.


I would like that anyway. That would really be pleasant in my mind, if she loved me as much as I loved her. But I wasn't doing whatever made her feel like definitely he loves me. She just didn't give that. And I didn't feel like, I'm going to prove this to you that I love you. I didn't feel like that was my job, to prove to her that I loved her. But I also kind of, I don't know exactly how it went, but I actually didn't support her to stop caring about me as a technique to try to not feel pain in relationship to me. I said, I don't think that's so good for you, but go ahead and try it. That's self-mortification. When a sentient being stops loving, that mortifies the sentient being.


Sentient beings, that's miserable. That's starving. Maybe if you starve the self enough, they won't have enough energy to have any problems. In some sense it turns it down, in a sense, because you have no energy, because you're strangling yourself into not caring. So in a kind of way it works. But it's less common than the other side. But Buddha said people go in both directions. They have these two types of addictions generally. Very few people, forget about how many, but anyway, he said, I found a way in the middle. I found a middle way between addiction to these extremes. And this middle way is peaceful, and joyful, and freedom. So this middle way, I would say, is loving the objects,


and giving up the addictions, and the root of the word addiction is very close to devotion. It's to give yourself over to. To devote yourself. To give yourself over to something, other than, well, being present and loving what's happening. So that's what I wanted to start off by saying. And I welcome your feedback. If you'd like to offer it. Any questions or comments about this discussion of creativity? Yes, Ellen. I wanted to ask if you would talk about


the relaxing part of it a little bit more. You want me to talk about relaxing? Yeah, that part of it, between trusting. Yeah. Well, again, you know, a lot of people don't dare to relax with, for example, other people because they think if they relax that they might not be careful. You know? What comes to mind is an example of an eye surgeon I knew who his daughter actually, it wasn't really like in a regular hospital situation, but his daughter had an emergency need for some eye surgery. It was kind of an emergency. And he was there, but he didn't feel like


he could operate because he couldn't relax with her. He had no doubt that he cared for her and that he wanted to be careful. But he cared so much that he didn't think he could be careful. In other words, he might try to be careful, but his hand would be so shaky that he couldn't perform the procedure. In other words, he couldn't relax, not because he didn't care, but because he didn't feel like he could be careful. And being afraid of that, he had trouble being upright in that fear, being balanced in that fear and relaxing with it. If you have confidence that you're committed to the welfare of the situation and you have confidence that you're committed to be careful and vigilant and be open to feedback on the process by which you're interacting with the situation,


then maybe you can see, well, it's not like I'm going to relax and stop being careful. I'm really committed to being careful. I'm going to relax for the purpose of making my care unhindered by tension and shakiness. That's why I'm trying to relax. I'm not relaxing to make it easy on myself. I'm relaxing to be able to be more kind. So, in the usual course of bodhisattvas, we start by being generous to the situation and then careful with it, and then patient with it, and then again being heroic with it and having the vigor and courage to be in the situation without leaning towards existence or non-existence or right or wrong. And then in that situation, we can practice being calm. And also we can have the aspiration


and joyful wish to be relaxed. Again, not just for the pleasure of relaxation, but for the effectiveness of being calm and relaxed, knowing that our wish to be beneficial will be supported by being calm in the situation. That our most effective exploration of right action will come with calm. But some people again feel like, I don't deserve to be calm or if I'm calm I might not be vigilant. So, a calm that you really feel that you dare to actually be calm in a critical situation. And again, the creative situation is a critical situation. Critical means turning point. In a creative situation, things are turning all the time. So in a critical situation,


in order to be there and serve it best, it's really good to be relaxed and calm. Just look at a great musician. They're totally there and they're relaxed. Or a great dancer, totally there and relaxed in the greatest performance. In this pivotal creative situation, in this crisis situation, they're relaxed. And they've trained a long time being careful of all the different aspects of the movement, of the activity, so that they don't feel like they're being irresponsible to be calm. They've done their homework, so now they can relax with the Forum. But if we try to relax before we've loved, before we've been generous and careful and patient and courageous to be upright in the middle of the tensions


of the opposites, then in some sense we're right to sort of suspect that tranquility or calm wouldn't be authentic. For example, we might not be careful to not grasp the relaxation or grasp the calm for ourselves. But if we're committed to the welfare of the whole situation and we've been practicing being careful of that, then we might dare to relax and be calm, still open all along to feedback that we might be getting off. In fact, people who are going through this process bring this relaxed body for feedback to the teacher of the calm practice. And the teacher might notice some ethical shortcoming and see if that can be pointed out and the person still be relaxed. And if they can, it enhances the relaxation. If they can't, it shows that it wasn't real. And they really shouldn't.


The relaxation really would be more authentic if they would go back and take care of this practical, ethical detail which they kind of overlooked or misunderstood. And also that they noticed that they were tense about when it was pointed out. Does that help you? Yes? Could you tell me your name again? Lisa. Where would indifference? I think she thought if I was indifferent to him and he didn't give me this thing I was trying to get, then I wouldn't be so uncomfortable. So I think in her case, indifference would be caring less about me. No, I wouldn't aspire to it


and she wouldn't really aspire to it too. It was just a technique she thought of to relieve her suffering in relationship to me. It's dangerous because it kind of crushes your heart, closes your heart maybe. We recommend actually equanimity. Equanimity is very closely related to being relaxed. But equanimity doesn't mean you don't care. Actually, equanimity should follow from caring. And real equanimity is grounded on lots of care. But not too much. Just the right amount. And people confuse equanimity with disinterest. It's not disinterest. Equanimity is not disinterest. It's being balanced between pain and pleasure. Between life and death. It's being balanced there and not preferring pain over pleasure.


Even though pleasure is pleasure and pain is pain, you don't prefer them. And this way of being with them sets up the possibility of a wisdom which understands that they're not separate. Which then makes it possible for if somebody needs you to come someplace that's painful, you can go there. Like this doctor. It wasn't that painful, but he didn't prefer for this girl to be happy over being miserable. He wanted her to learn to play in her misery. And she did. While she was crying, she learned to play. He wasn't indifferent to her, but if she was crying, he would be pretty much the same as when she wasn't crying. If she was biting him, he would be pretty much the same as when she wasn't biting him. What he wanted her to do


was to learn to play and be creative because he wanted her to be free of suffering. But in his process of wanting her to be free from suffering, he didn't really prefer anything. And he showed her how to be playful and relaxed with her suffering. How to care about it and be careful of it and learn to play with it. So not indifferent, but relaxed. Or really caring and relaxed. So in a way, it's possible that someone would relax before they cared and I might even say, would you please tense up a little bit and start caring about something? Again, that's sort of what the strategy was. If I would not care, then I could relax with not getting from him what I would like.


I could get relief if I just didn't care. But how about caring? Caring, being devoted to the welfare and then relax. Which is why I say trust. Trust that you can relax because you're confident of your commitment. Not your perfection of virtue, but your commitment to it. The perfection of virtue will come after noticing your non-virtue a lot. And after noticing your non-virtue a lot, you will be able to calm down a lot. If you haven't noticed any non-virtue, if I haven't noticed any non-virtue, it's going to be hard for me to really be calm. But if I've noticed it, and be aware that I do notice my non-virtue, and I do welcome people giving me feedback on my non-virtue, well, since I'm vigilant and everybody else is watching me carefully,


I guess I could relax now. Everything's set up. And if I'm non-virtuous, I'll probably get feedback. Like, maybe you'll give me some feedback right now about my non-virtue before it's too late. I welcome it. I welcome feedback, even if it's feedback that I'm not being skillful. I welcome it. But I'm telling you I welcome it. Some people have not said that they welcome it. So those people you shouldn't necessarily give it to because they didn't ask for it. I told that to someone recently. I said, I welcome people's feedback, even if it's negative, but I don't give negative feedback unless it's begged for. And she was really surprised. I said, yeah, I don't. Because it can really hurt people. It can harm them. It can discourage them if you give negative feedback before they say, I really want it.


And then you carefully check. Really? Yes. Well, how much do you want? Just a little bit. Let's start with a little bit. Like, how about this much? That's about right. Thank you. That'll be enough for now. I don't want any more for a few days. That was fine. Yes, Maria? Just before you said the feedback, the meditation, the thought crossed my mind. By now I kind of know how these classes go and when I come to Morocco, I know how it will go. I thank you for indulging this evening. I know how it's going to go. And the people who come to these events seem to all subscribe to that too. We kind of know what's going to happen, which is the opposite of it.


I think what you're talking about is kind of like what we aspire to have, a dynamic, creative, authentic life. Yeah. And the thought that crossed my mind was that that time when I spent registering to do things a bit different and for me that was that was as close as what I wanted what I wanted my life to look like and my practice to feel and look like. That's it. And I look for that kind of you know, it's fairly high intensity but as close as rewarding. And since then I look for that elsewhere outside of my Zen practice or outside of Zen centers outside of practice and that makes me sad.


What makes you sad? That you haven't found something that you're looking for? That I don't find that kind of a reward I don't find that kind of a reward in Zen centers. I have found it a little bit in another Zen center. Where is that Zen center? Where is it? What's the address? Los Gatos. It meets once every few years but those are good meetings, huh? Well, I appreciate the feedback. Are you suggesting that you're not surprised very often when you come to be with me? That's true


but what's also more important to me is that my intention is not sharpened. Your intention is not sharpened. Yes, I come and I'm eager and after a while I have to work for it and then after a while I look around and everybody's there. It's kind of like a classic connection. For me, that's my Zen experience. That's my experience. Are you saying that you kind of want to sharpen something? Is that what you're saying? I want something to be sharpened too. I would particularly like our courage to get sharpened but in order to sharpen the courage I think we also have to be careful that we don't just sharpen our courage


without being careful and gentle. So I think we need to be really gentle and kind with ourselves and others and then we need to stimulate and rouse the sharpness of our courage to stimulate our courage so we have the courage to be surprised, the courage to relax and then the courage to play. What you did just now your feedback I felt was a gesture to invite play. And in that play if we can play here but again play with gentleness not just play with responsibility you might say. Play carefully with each other and I felt that you were fairly careful with the way you were trying to initiate


play with me. I think with relaxation similar things happen but care and relaxation and everything else they happen at the same time. Realizing creativity here in this class and elsewhere. What I felt


was the creative mind loves creating objects and that felt more dynamic to me. I felt that as more creative. You felt it as more creative? And did you love that? I loved that. I thought about it in my own actual creative work with objects in a broader sense as well. With your feedback just now what you were talking about making the class creative one of the classes we stood out to me was when we worked with poetry and there was some communication happening in the poetry class and that was so fun.


I loved it. How did we work with poetry? How did we work with poetry? I think you invited us to communicate as opposed to just normal Do you remember how I invited to communicate poetically? You brought some poems that you read and I don't remember exactly how you asked us to respond but some of us did and I remember I did some through email. I loved that and the dynamic of the action of creating the object


is more what I love rather than just the poem. I love creating the poem Do you want some feedback on that? So I'm suggesting that you said you love the creating and I'm suggesting that if you prefer the creating over the things you're looking at I'm suggesting that it would be good to not prefer the creating over the material you're using to create with. So, yeah, I'm suggesting that. The point of loving the punchline of loving things


is actually the point of loving things to the point of being able to create with them is so that the love will be unhindered by suffering and duality. So you may prefer the later part of the process but I'm suggesting that preferring the later part of the process hinders the later part of the process even though you're honestly admitting that but I'm saying to you thank you for admitting that and I'm saying preferring the beginning rather than the middle or the end rather than the middle any preference in this process I would say is not being playful. So you may say I like this part best and I hear you but I would suggest loving that you love that part best


but not attaching to that part you love best. If you love that part you'll be able to relax with the part you love best but really that you like best. If you love you don't love best in this process you love every part of it you love the beginning, the middle and the end you love the whole process but in fact when you first start loving your love you've probably got some preference in it and so we have to love the preferences so I'm saying love those preferences don't grasp them and at the same time even though you maybe have some preference for poetry I still think that would be appropriate that in this class all expressions are invited to be poetry and I'm not saying my expressions


have been poetry but now I am saying my expressions have been poetry and your expressions have been poetry too how can we wake up to the poetry of our expression trying to be poetic could be part of it I'm suggesting that the way for me to speak poetically is to love my words and love your words and let's try to be poets let's try to speak poetically in this class let's support each other to speak poetically and let's love people's expressions so that we can realize the poetry of it because actually there is poetry there there is creativity there which we will discover and be surprised by so just something ordinary


that's just an object just a mat on the floor that's an ordinary mat that's an object so when I use the word when I think of the creative mind loves the object but even this plain mat on the floor if you think of the creative mind loves I'm thinking the creative mind loves creating the object I guess to me it's just bringing up the concept of dependent arising but the creative mind doesn't create the object the creative mind arises with the object we usually think this mind creates the objects but really the objects create the mind too


they co-create each other but objects don't usually have love in them but subjects can objects don't usually hate other objects nor do objects hate or prefer subjects except when the object is a person who is a subject so if we are willing to love whatever the object is poetic or not poetic that is conducive to poetry if we're willing to but again it's love and then play the creative mind doesn't just love its objects it isn't just compassionate to everything it knows it then plays with it it doesn't stop at just being careful and gentle and ethical and patient and generous it then has the courage to start dancing with it and entering into the creative process


which is already there but before we're kind our attempt to be creative could be one-sided like I'm going to create you or I'm going to be creative with you and you might say, don't be creative with me I didn't invite you to be creative with me be uncreative with me and just leave me alone don't make me be poetic and don't be poetic with me how's that for a surprise? Nancy? I couldn't quite hear you when you said love the objects of your mind I said the creative mind loves the objects and then plays with them but what I thought you said was the creative mind loves the occupants it's the same thing the occupants of our mind are the objects


it created kind of a dancing it's sort of like that image of them being occupants was a little different than objects so they kind of started dancing like a more fluid I don't know great so not being able to hear sometimes is very helpful so a lot of us have a lot of helpfulness to look forward to any other feedback? so yes no feedback I thought you said give yourself over to something I said that the root of the word addiction is to give yourself over to so for example


addiction to sense pleasure is to give yourself over to it to be devoted to it rather than just thank you very much I don't give myself over to you I take care of you I'm careful of you I love you but I don't give myself over to you I have a job to do here I have a job to be your friend I'm not giving myself over to you I'm not leaning towards you I don't prefer you or if I prefer you then I'm a friend of yours and I admit I must admit I have preference for you but that's a problem I have which I admit rather than I'm going to go with that giving myself over to you but if you're devoted to something you give yourself over to it right? you do so do you want to be devoted to sense pleasure do you want to be devoted to extremes


and most people are devoted to extremes for example again, existence and non-existence most people are devoted to one or the other they lean in those directions and we're not saying to be unkind to that tendency but rather be kind to the situation and we have a chance to come upright and be upright in the middle of our tendency to addiction to passion for things rather than just accepting them with kindness so pleasure comes, thank you very much and then be careful with it don't take more than is really given and if pain comes we don't usually take more than is given but we sometimes do, that's called self-mortification to take a little bit more than is really given because you're devoted to self-mortification rather than just how much self-mortification is given I accept that amount so yeah


if somebody has negative feedback from me I'll try to accept it just as it is without giving myself over to it and be kind to it so the root of the word I think the root of the word addiction is similar to the word devotion and devotion is part of the practice but something also to be careful of like I often quote that poem by Yeats once there was a mermaid who found herself a sailor boy and took him for her own she pressed her body to his body and in her cruel joy took him down she forgot that even love can be drowned


something like that so she gave herself over to him she was devoted to him but she wasn't careful of him she didn't say can you go deep down in the water with me he didn't have a chance to say no, I'm not a mer-boy oh, so we can't do this deep diving thing together no, sorry we have to stay sort of up near the surface and find our play up here okay so she was devoted to him but she got off balance and she wasn't careful yes well I think some feedback that's coming from me here is that I'd like to hear in future classes more about this state of play and one thing I'm feeling right now is it's a state of tension


as you described stepping into a state of tension and in a sense what comes up to me is that's a challenging position once you're challenged by the tension but also have the courage to step into that tension you're challenging the situation and so even though we describe it as a play something about tension comes to me something about challenge comes to me and that comes with a certain risk as well there's a risk of being in that gap of tension there's a risk of being in the gap of tension and also the tension is challenging and if you go in there you're challenging the tension which seems fair to me but that's a dynamic that even though you've entered it from a loving and calm state it's a dynamic that looks unpredictable right, it's unpredictable


and if you're entering into it to make it predictable then you're not really being very loving I'm going to enter in here and I'm going to eliminate the risk of being with you Mr. Tension no, I'm entering and I realize there's a risk and realizing the risk can I relax knowing there's a risk and if I can relax knowing there's a risk and also know that there's not just a risk that I'm going to be challenging to the challenging tension not just that risk but the risk that I'm going to not be playful and there's also a risk that even if I'm playful the playfulness will be lost the playfulness isn't going to be established and it's going to stay there so I risk going into the tension I risk being tense


I risk being unethical when I get in there I risk being unkind I risk that I might become afraid of the tension of the challenge of the tension all this I'm risking so am I ready to go in there and if not well just be kind to myself until I'm ready to enter this intense space of the tension and the challenge and then also accept that if I ever do enter in a balanced way and if the playfulness does start there's a risk of losing that always and then accept that too and then when it's lost there was a time before when you didn't have it so you do the same thing you did before in order to enter the space where you discovered it so it isn't just to find playfulness when there's no challenge it's to find playfulness in this meeting


between not exactly opposites but there's going to be partners but a big part of this is the meeting of play spaces that the other person is bringing their play space or the other situation is bringing its playfulness and you're bringing its playfulness and you can't play by yourself it's when they start to overlap and that's very risky and it has a lot of surprises in it and also resilience to be ready and be forewarned that we may lose the resilience and lose the play space we should be forewarned that that might happen so it's kind of scary maybe it's not exactly terrible that you lose the playfulness but it probably will be lost but it can be found


so part of this class is that we can have a lost and found department so yeah, let's find let's go more into contemplating playfulness and see what we need in order to play together thank you very much and would you like to end with a little chant a bodhisattva chant so some of you don't know this bodhisattva chant you can listen along and learn you can listen to the poetry beings are numberless I vow to save them delusions are inexhaustible I vow to end them


dharma gates are boundless I vow to enter them buddha's way is unsurpassable I vow to become it thank you for your feedback please keep being generous to me