On the Body 

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to listen to and learn about the body, to listen to and learn the teachings-meditations on the body. And this care for the body, this compassionate care of the body will tend to create a body-mind situation where we will be willing to listen to the teachings. We'll be willing to listen to, basically, we'll be more willing to basically listen to everything. We'll be willing to listen to the cries of the being who believes the dream of his body. We'll be able to listen to the cries of other beings who believe their dream of their bodies. We'll be able to listen, like for example, I listen now to the cries of my little granddaughter,


who has not perhaps developed fully the concept of her body that she will later. I don't know what stage she's at, but I imagine that she's evolving. I see her developing different attitudes towards her body. If I take care of myself, I am better able to listen to her cries and her laughs and everything. But also, if you can listen to cries, you might also be able to listen to teachings. When you hear cries, you may feel somewhat uncomfortable. When you hear teachings, you may feel somewhat uncomfortable. Because the teachings, a lot of the teachings are telling us that what we think is real is actually just an idea. The teachings are


telling us that everything we know is just a conscious construction. It's not saying everything is just a conscious construction, it's just saying that everything we know is a conscious construction. And that can be as uncomfortable to hear as the cry of a baby. Yeah, conscious construction are the things that you know. According to this teaching, the unconscious isn't really constructing things. The unconscious supports the conscious construction. The unconscious is the result of our conscious constructing. So because we have done a lot of conscious constructing, we are supported to continue. We have a vast


storehouse of the effects of innumerable acts of conscious construction, and that supports our ongoing conscious construction. As a matter of fact, the results of past conscious construction is kind of, I don't know, it's kind of like, it's a proclivity towards continuing the process. And so then consciously we construct things like we construct other people and rooms and ourselves and basically images all day long, stories all day long. And then those have consequence and the consequence of them is the unconscious, right now, which supports the process to go on. That's a story, I just told you a little story of the dependent co-arising of imagination. But I'm actually focusing on the dependent co-arising of the body, which is not separate


from this, but I'm focusing, I'm giving more attention to the details of the dependent co-arising of the body. And that body, the way it dependently co-arises, is part of what sponsors also our ability to imagine things. So once again, care for what we conceive of as our body, what we've learned to conceive of as our body, caring for that according to what we are learning is compassion towards the body that sets the stage for listening to the teachings about how the body arises. And that's what I've been talking to you about. And again, this meditation on how the body arises and how it is once it's arisen, that meditation, describing that meditation, understanding that meditation process is also


the meditation process of developing wisdom. I think this might be a good time to bring this up. This is a painting, or what is this? This is an illustration, which Fran did, and this is based on something I mentioned in an earlier class, something like, originally, or basically, life is like a river. See, there's a river down there. But then the river became a road. This is a road, I guess. But because the road was originally a river, the road is always hungry. I would interpret this today


as the road is our idea of our body, and other things, but let's just say our body. The river is our body before we make it into a road. The road is our conception of our body, and our body as we imagine it once conception has arisen from our body. The road, however, is sometimes confused with the river, which creates various kinds of problems. Plus, the road also, although it performs various things, like you can do operations up here and drive cars and go up and down stairs on the road, it's not that you can't drive down here, it's just that you don't know how down here. You don't know it down


here. Up here you know, down here you don't. Down here you experience, up here you know. Up here is perception, down here is consciousness, but not consciousness that has objects. And then there's this lotus, it's a poppy growing up here, and I don't know how Fran understands it, but I would say that this flower here is understanding the relationship between the uncanny body and the canny body. A lot of people think in the West that they have a body, that they have a canny body, that they have a road body, a body road, and they have that, and that they're one thing


and their body's another. I hear people talk like that. I tell my body what to do. That's the way people talk on the road. That's the way when they think, when they have a road like version of themselves, a canny conceivable version of themselves, which has a canny conceivable relationship with their canny body. And canny has various meanings, but the pun is that we make our body into a can, we make our mind into a can, and then the cans have this relationship. But they're hungry for the uncanny relationship, which is actually supporting the canny relationship. The uncanny supports the canny. The inconceivable, pre-conceptual body supports ... there's not really a conceptual body, there's just a body which is conceived of that way.


By studying the relationship between the constructed world and the unconstructed, or maybe unconstructed is going a bit far, but rather the pre-conceptual world, your pre-conceptual body, studying that relationship makes this flower, this California poppy wisdom flower. That's my interpretation of it. And if you can ask Fran what she meant by it, if you want to. I say you can, but actually I should ask Fran. Can they come and ask you what you mean by it? And she'll give you a copy too, if you want. So I would say that the flower, the lotus flower and the California poppy flower of wisdom grow from taking care of the road, being compassionate with the road. And being compassionate with the road, you can listen


to the teachings about the relationship between the river and the road, and you can listen to teachings about what's going on in the river. Now these teachings about what's going on to the river are coming to you, and when you hear them you will turn them into stories, which is okay. That's how you will learn them. And as you continue to learn the stories about what's going on in the river body, in the pre-conceptual body, as you work with that, you will come to the place of eventually understanding that what you've been working with is just an idea, and become free of your ideas of the body, and realize the actual body. So, would you invert the poppy then, that the roots are planted in the road and actually


bloom in the river, like a lotus? According to what you said in your teachings, the teachings for the roots? Yeah, you could modify this and have roots going into the road, and those would be the good roots, roots, and then you can have roots going into the water, which are the wisdom roots. The good roots set up realizing the deeper roots, the roots of wisdom, which are roaming around in the realm of the uncanny, inconceivable realm, that are cozying up to what can't be grasped, and getting used to living in an ungraspable body, and being able to do that, we first have to put down roots into the conceivable, because that's where the pain is. So it's compassion work, maybe, to put down roots into the tarmac, and it's


wisdom to put down roots into the inconceivable. And telling stories, which will be conceivable, when you hear them, probably. You may notice that maybe at first you'll have some trouble conceiving of them, except in the form of, I don't understand what he's saying. Yes, Vera? When you talk about the river of the body, or the uncanny body, are you thinking more about the cellular level of the body, or the wisdom of the body at some level, less than a conscious level? I think, I'll just say right now, I think maybe I am talking about the wisdom of the body, and I will now, I've told you before, but I'll tell you again what it's like. Okay, here it comes. Ready? Here's what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a body,


which is basically a body which is a power. A what? A power, a physical power. It's a power, it's a capacity, it's a faculty, which is physical, and it's in the physical world. So like, there's something, and it's located. So there's a body located, I'm pointing at a body, I'm pointing this way, for starters I'm pointing this way, and I'm saying there's a body here that's inserted among all the other bodies in this room. And also, it's inserted among the electromagnetic radiation in the room, the tactile phenomena in the room, the sounds, the smells, and the tastes


of the room. And it can respond to them, it has the power to respond to, for example, electromagnetic radiation. And it's located, but it's kind of a receptive, responsive physicality, and it responds to another kind of physicality. And I said before that this body is not really a body when it's not responding. So I would say a dead body isn't a body. I'm talking about the body of a living being. And if somebody's dead, I would say that their actual body is not there, because the body I'm talking about, the body in the water is the body of a living


being. And bodies of living beings are interacting with sense data. The body of a living being is a sensory body, is a sensuous body, but a sensuous body, when it's alive, is functioning. And it's being touched and dancing with sense data. And I'm saying that when they are in that dance, the body's alive, but the body is not alive except by the dance. So really, that's the uncanny part of the body, is the body's not separate from the thing it's dancing with, because they're not. So the uncanniness is that the body is actually the interchange, it's the actual dance of the two, but then that also makes the physical world uncanny


also, because the physical world is not sense data unless it's sensed. So in this story I'm telling, electromagnetic radiation is not sensed, it's not sense data. It's potential sense data, but I would say it's not part of the living system. And a body that sense capacities are not functioning are not the sense capacities of a living being. It's when they're interacting that the body is alive, but then at that time the sense data are alive too. So I would say, and I'm okay with saying that the body, the body power could be called the subject and the sense data could be called the object. And you don't have subjects without objects. The experiencing being, the experiencing living being is a unity and the structure


of that unity is a duality, but the duality is not a separation, it's just a subject-object that aren't separated. The body power is the ability to respond to sense data, like and so on. While I was sitting, I was watching my dream of the sense power of touch. And I was watching it respond to the sense data of touchable or a tactile phenomena. So in the neighborhood of this body here, that's sponsoring this talk right now, there was


a sense of being touched by tangibles. Some of the tangibles I was touched by were the lights in the room, the sounds in the room, okay? When I say I, I mean I'm speaking now for this sensory body, but the part that I was particularly focusing on was how the sense of touch was dancing with the tangible part of the world, and there's two parts of the tangible part of the world I saw it interacting with. One part was the cushion here and the table. I was watching the response to the touch of what was supporting the sitting body, but I was mostly watching the body as it responded to the touch of the tangible


part of the world, which you could say is some kind of like bones and stuff. Bones, what I imagine as bones, but without imagining as bones, I just felt like something was responding, something in this body was responding to something which we usually think as in the body, but I'm saying it's not in the body. So I'm saying a lot of what's usually seen as in the body is actually sense data and not sense organs, which the sense organs are responding to. I'm talking about now the river body, and this involves, I'm not conscious of how there might be a sensitivity at the cellular level tactically, but there are cells in the


body. Doesn't the retina have like a million cells in it? So that's an example of cells that electromagnetic radiation touches, and those cells have a very dynamic dance with that kind of energy. And the cells of the body, the tactile sense in some sense is the most basic, and it sort of covers, it doesn't completely cover, but it pretty much covers all the skin around the body, but it's also inside. But in some sense I'm suggesting to imagine that the part of what we usually imagine as the body which the sense of touch can feel, that part that we are feeling is not the sense organ of touch. So the sense


organ of touch, which has a lot to do with our skin, is not usually sensing the skin. It's usually sensing other parts of other kinds of tissue which are not sense organs, and other physical things which are like the tissue it's touching, or it's being touched by, that are so-called outside the body, or not the tissue of the body, but it's not actually the body, that's what I'm saying to you. We typically imagine that parts of the body which are not the sensory body, we often imagine them as part of the body. But for the origination of the body, it happens to a great extent by the body being touched from the outside by light, and from the outside and inside by sound, and by the


outside and inside by smell, and by the outside and inside by taste, but to a great extent from what was usually considered inside, which is not the sensory body, but some tissue which happens to be right nearby, and which we use and are very intimately working with when we're sitting in meditation. As you're adjusting your posture, if you try to sit in a yogic posture, you get lots of information about how your tactile sense is working with some touch material, which was usually considered your body. If you sit in a position where you're not aware of how your tactile sense is working with flesh and bones, I would say the posture is not so yogic, because you're not as in touch with the dependent core arising


of your body. And that body is different from what we think. Usually we think the sense organs are in the body, and I'm saying the sense organs are the actual sensory body, and I'm saying that the body in a way isn't even just that, because you cannot get a hold of that sense organ body, because it has no life other than when it's interacting with the sense data. So it's an ungraspable, uncanny mystery body. And then the other parts of the physical neighborhood, I would say that they're not part of the body which gives rise to consciousness. But they are part of the world that the body lives in. So in the neighborhood


of this body, in the neighborhood of these sense organs, is lots of tissue which is connected to the consciousness which arises from this body interacting with that tissue. But the body. And again, when you're sitting in meditation and you're trying to find the dance of the arising of consciousness through the dance of the body interacting with the world, that's a big part of the yogic process of the dependent co-arising of experience. And again, I start


with my imagination of this, with my imagination of my sense of touch working with the material that this sense of touch lives in. This sense of touch is ensconced in the physical world, and it isn't the physical world outside, the physical world is outside and inside of the sense organ. It's all around it. It completely envelops it. It isn't really inside and outside. So that's a meditation that I offer you on the body. Yes? Q. There is a lot of sensation having to do with breathing. K. Yes.


Q. Stability or alignment, or... Q. There is a need in the physical, like, breathe well. Q. Like a body saying, breathe well so I can be something like that. K. So what I'm saying is that the breathing process is something which the sense capacity of touch can work with, like breath, moving air into contact with this ability to sense. The breath can be tactile, and we can feel it tactilely. We can also hear it, and we can sometimes see it, and we can sometimes smell it, and we can sometimes taste it. But mostly


I think, for me anyway, it's tactile and auditory. And so watching the breath interact with the sense of touch and watching the breath interact with the sense of hearing is a very helpful way to get in touch with the preconceptual body. You start with the conceptual body, your idea of the body, like it's got arms, legs, nose, tongue, abdomen. You breathe in through your nose or through your mouth, air goes someplace, you have these stories about it, and you watch that process. But as you feel, as you get more and more attuned to the actual sense of the breath and auditory sense of the breath, as you get more and more into that, along with these teachings, you start to open up to the preconceptual body, which


is also dancing with the breath. Apparently, it seems like I've got this story that the preconceptual, uncanny, inconceivable body, one of the main things that it dances with is gas, a mixture of gas which we call air, which has got oxygen and nitrogen and so on in it. One of the main things it touches is air, and the air touches it, and that touch is a big part of supporting the living system. That touch seems to be very nourishing to the body and go along with the co-arising


of the body. And to get into that, and to be aware of that, is one of the best ways to get in touch with the actual process that underlies our dream of breathing. Like most people think that certain things are breath and others aren't. So you start with what you think is breath, and as you get more and more into what you think is breath, you start to notice that breath is not your idea of breath, and the body which is sensing it is not your idea of the body which is sensing it. So, from the point of, we do need, we have a story that we do need to breathe, but also I would say that we need more than just our idea of breathing. All of us, I guess most


of us, have the idea that we are breathing, and I'm saying that's the road version of our breathing process. And by being kind to the road version of our breathing process, which means that you think you're paying attention to your breathing, you're kindly donating your time to pay attention to your breathing at the conceptual level, that sets the stage for you to hear the teaching about what's actually going on with your breath beyond your ideas about it. And we have a need to breathe, but most people do not think that they have a need to take care of the breathing process. By being kind to the breathing process, you open to the reality of the breathing process. And we do need to open to the reality of the breathing process, otherwise our breathing is mixed with the stress of believing that


our idea of breathing is breathing, which it isn't, and that the breathing body that we imagine is the real breathing body, which it isn't. So not everybody thinks they have to be kind to their breathing process. Mostly it's yogis that think that. By being kind to the yogic process of attention to the breathing, you enter into the reality of breathing, which is the deeper yoga. And we do need that, because until we find that, we are not wise enough to be wise. We are not wise. We're confined by our dream of our body and our dream of our breathing and the dream of our body breathing with the breathing. And that there's somebody doing it and all that, rather than there's a person who is created by this breathing


body who can imagine what the breathing body is and believe that that's what it is. Yes? To what extent is the practice of breathing a function of your current conscious construction of your unconscious construction of what breathing is? Or is it at all? Say it again? I got it all in. I'll put it one more time. So to what extent is this process of opening your awareness to your breathing a function of your current constructed consciousness?


Okay, stop there. The first phase of it is usually in the realm of imagination. You hear instructions about paying attention to the breathing. You hear that it's a form of kindness. It's conducive to tranquility and ease and flexibility of body and mind, of openness and focus. It has those qualities. And you hear that teaching at the conceptual level. You also hear teachings of how to care for your posture and be patient with yourself when you're not able to pay attention to your breathing and you get distracted. So you also practice compassion towards yourself when you're not able to do the practice, which helps you do it. And this is all at the conceptual level. And you get more concentrated. All along, hopefully, you're hearing teachings which are telling you about where you're operating. And you're hearing them all along, but as you get more concentrated by taking care of


your breathing, you hear them more clearly. You hear them in a more concentrated space. But I heard earlier, too, that there are unconscious constructions in the storehouse about what breathing is. There aren't exactly unconscious constructions. There is the consequence of constructions. But they're at an unconscious level. The consequences of our karma are unconscious. We do not see the consequences of our karma. We do not see the consequences of an English lesson. If you say some words over and over, you cannot see what effect that has. But it does have an effect, and that effect supports you to be able to speak English. But we can't see how our past study of language is supporting our present speech. I can't see that. I don't think anybody else in this room can either.


But isn't there a point of resistance if I'm hearing the teaching of what breathing and kindness, what breathing in the body is? There's this other resistance that's saying that's not my conception of that. Isn't that coming out of the unconscious? It's not coming out of the unconscious, but the unconscious supports the belief that what you think is not a conscious construction. But that means that as a result of believing what I think for many eons, I now think that what I think is true too. The consequence of imagining that things are a certain way and that that's true, the consequence of that is that supports us to do that again. So we are addicted to imagining because that's the way we know things. And not only do we know them, but we think then also they're


real, they're not just conscious constructions. That has the effect, and the effect is unconscious to support us to continue the process of imagining and believing the images that we're imagining. That's the dependent co-arising of imagining and believing in the images as something other than images. So I think what I'm trying to ask is the teaching, the imagined teaching, sets a cognitive dissonance with what's been imagined before. Yeah, right. That's what I'm saying. That's why you have to develop good roots because without good roots, most people will not be able to stand the cognitive dissonance of what they've been thinking of their whole life, and the teaching which is saying, what you've been thinking is just ideas. And when people hear that, either they don't want to hear it anymore, or they say, well, if that's the case, there's no point in practicing compassion anymore because it's just an idea.


You have to have good roots so that when you hear that the practice you're trying to do is just your idea of the practice, that you won't quit. Because practicing compassion according to your idea of a compassion is what sets up the ability to practice compassion at deeper levels. Like I was saying at Noah Bode, the first level of compassion is you think this is real compassion for real people who have real suffering, and I'm going to give them real liberation. In other words, according to my idea of compassion and my idea of people, people are what I think they are, and I am what I think I am, and my kindness is the kindness I think it is, and their suffering is what I think it is, rather than I have images of people and I have images of their suffering, I don't know who the people are or what their suffering is, and I have images that I would like to help them. But you have to have good roots to be able to say that to yourself as a result of hearing


the teaching, because we don't want people to stop being kind once they hear the teaching of conscious construction only. We don't want people to stop taking care of their body when we hear that the body you're dealing with is an imaginary body, and you have to be kind to that imaginary body in order to open up to the inconceivable, unimaginary actual living life. Your actual bodily experience, which is not a perception, which you don't know, but what you're yearning for all day long. You're yearning for that and you're trapped in this knowable version of your life and your body. The actual body is actually not suffering. It's at peace and it's free. All the suffering occurs in our story of the


body. That's why I say even if your body is not screaming out in pain, still, the body we imagine in that realm there is suffering. And so if you hear this teaching and it undermines your kindness towards your ideas of your body, we have to put more energy into being kind to your idea and maybe not listen to this teaching. So I'm taking the risk here in this class to tell you these teachings about the body, these meditations on the body. Yes? I'm going to struggle on how to ask this, but when you're kind of suggesting that you might do the teachings without good roots and it might lead to nihilism or not taking


care or... It might lead to you giving up your practice of developing good roots. Right. I guess what I want to ask about that is, is that, does that just result from hearing the teachings on a conceptual level or is that, could you have a deeper level of hearing the teachings that's kind of like beginning to see through, see that it's conscious construction only, and still not have good roots and still give up the practice? I don't know if that... In other words, is there something about realizing wisdom that will promote compassion? Or can you have kind of wisdom... You have to have compassion in order to develop wisdom, but in the process of compassion,


which is trying to develop wisdom by listening to the wisdom teachings, there is the possibility that as the wisdom teachings start to touch the living being, that the mode in which they're trying to practice good roots gets shaken and they think maybe, oh, I don't have to practice good roots. That can happen in the wisdom practice. If you practice good roots, if you try to practice good roots but you don't hear these wisdom teachings about the body, then you just quit because you're ignorant, not because you heard wisdom teachings. Like if you're ignorant and you're trying to be kind, sometimes you say, well, it's too hard, I don't want to do it anymore. You don't have to have wisdom teachings to think that, do you? Or like, I'm trying to practice compassion but this person is being mean to me so I'm not going to do it. You don't have to have wisdom teachings to not want to be kind to someone. But the wisdom teachings come in and somebody tells you that the person you're


trying to be kind to, you're trying to be kind to your idea of the person. The person isn't actually your idea. That teaching might you say, well, then I'm not going to take care of the person. So that's why it's important to have a teacher who maybe says, wait a minute, that's not what I mean. And if you have that attitude, just forget what I just said. This is too advanced for you. Let's just now try to take care of this person. In fact, this is the scary part. This is the kind of like, you've got to do this. If we do not understand reality, we will give up practicing good roots sometimes. Because it's so tiring to be struggling trying to live and make the world according to GARP. It's such a struggle that, you know, you'll get burned out if you try to be compassionate. So there is an aspect which is coming out


here that as you hear the teachings about what the body really is, then you might not take care of your dream of the body. But you should take care of your dream of the body. And when you have wisdom, you will take care of your dream of the body much better than you used to. It's just that you know that it's a dream of the body. That's why you can take care of it better. And the reason why you know it's a dream of the body rather than hearing about it, is because you took care of the dream body to such an extent that you're quite relaxed, and now you're wise, and now you can do these compassionate practices better than before. Because you're not stressed by the misconception of what you're caring for. But there's a possibility. People who have not heard wisdom teachings often take a break from practicing compassion, which you may have noticed. And some people who have not heard wisdom teachings and have not understood them, they don't take a break from practicing


compassion, they just go right ahead and do it, even though people tell them that what they're doing is not compassion. Do you know what I'm saying? Somebody thinks they're practicing compassion, everybody else says, that's not compassion, please stop. And they don't listen to them. Have you ever heard of that? No? You don't know what I'm talking about? I heard a story about the Russians came into Hungary in 1956, and they told the Hungarian people that they were there to liberate them. And the Hungarian people said, actually, no thanks, we don't need to be liberated, we're fine. And the Russians said, but you don't understand, we came to liberate you, you're in bondage and we're going to liberate you. They said, no, no, really, you can go back, we don't need you. And the Russians said, but we love you, we're going to do it anyway. So they came in and they took over Hungary, even though the Hungarian people asked them to go back. That was their compassionate thing to do. And they thought they knew what compassion was and what bondage was, and they didn't


listen to the people who had said, would you please reconsider your kindness? So a lot of people are trying to be kind, but actually other people think it's cruelty. And then when other people think it's cruelty, and they tell them so, they don't listen to them because they think, oh, they're just misguided, they don't understand what compassion is. And if they keep that up long enough, they'll quit, because they'll eventually see that that doesn't work. But in the meantime, lots of unfortunate things might happen. And sometimes the people don't tell you to stop, they let you keep doing it, but then you start to feel like, I'm killing myself taking care of these people. I'm losing my life. They're not telling me to go away, they're sucking my blood. I've got to get out of here. But when you understand,


you keep doing the practices which took you to understanding, but now they're unhindered by your ideas of your life. So I imagine that, actually I asked you if you knew what I was talking about, and many of you said no, shook your head like no, so I'm just imagining that there's a certain level of I don't know what going on. Yes? The whole body thing. I feel like for a number of years I've been practicing, and then something happened, and I realized that it was a body thing. And I thought, well, this is really


interesting. In a way, I didn't really say that. Now I can kind of say that. But the whole thing about subconscious, and karma, and then pain, physical pain, that perhaps that sometimes these things happen to maybe allow the, how do I say that, the practice to reveal itself more? I don't know. Because when pain comes up, perhaps you've never dealt with it in your body, and you thought you were kind of in your, I don't know, I don't think I ever thought I was in the dream body, but you know, I was coasting along, and my body couldn't be comfortable. So then when something like pain comes up, I kind of found that, or is it, does it sometimes happen that karma can sometimes reveal itself? In the sense that something deep in the subconscious that now allows you to perhaps, if you're


open to it, to working with a whole other layer of the conscious, I don't think I make very much sense of that. Well, you kind of are. Karma has the consequence that... I don't mean it's a bad thing either, I'm just saying, but karma is basically, what do you call it, karma is our problem. What we do is our problem, because karma reinforces the realm in which we do karma. So karma reinforces the sense that the world we're living in is real, and that birth and death is real. And at a certain point, somebody says, there's a teaching which can liberate you from this world you live in where there's birth and death. There's a teaching which can liberate you, and the first thing you


do with the world of birth and death according to this teaching is practice compassion towards it. But not just to practice compassion with it, but practice compassion leading to enlightenment and freedom, and then practice compassion from enlightenment and freedom. So it isn't like practice compassion and then you become free and then no more compassion. It's like practice compassion as well as you can before you have perfect wisdom. So if you got suffering, if you feel stressed, if you have pain and you're not happy about it, it's possible to have certain kinds of pain and be very happy. Like the pain you have from feeling other people's suffering is happiness. The pain you have because you love someone is compassion and it's happiness. Compassion is happiness. And the compassion functions more and more fully


as we become more and more wise. So we practice compassion towards this world that we live in and everything we see here. And karma is also a part of what makes it possible for us to hear the teaching of being kind. So we have a karmic version of the teaching, be kind to all karmic consciousness. Be kind to everything that appears here. And then there's the teachings of what kindness entails. But it's also a teaching that for this compassion to be fully functional, we also need wisdom. And the wisdom doesn't make the compassion unnecessary, it just makes it more effective, more enjoyable, more energetic. So I was thinking about you when I was talking about a situation where the body's not in a lot of pain


but you still notice that you feel scared. In your case, your body is in pain, so maybe in that situation you can also feel scared. So when you have a lot of pain, you can feel scared. And when you don't have much pain, you can feel scared. But it's also possible to have a lot of pain and not be afraid. The Buddhas can have a lot of pain and not be scared and be happy because they're helping people, even though they're in pain. And actually then you don't really notice your own pain as much. Well, you don't notice as much. You notice it just the right amount. To, for example, go sit down. So the Buddha, when the Buddha got sick, the Buddha went and sat down. And the Buddha laid down. So the way of taking care of your body, you can still take care of your body


even though you're happy. Being wise doesn't mean you can't take care of your body anymore. Matter of fact, the point is you can take care of your body better because you've been enlightened as to what the body is. And you're not going to get enlightened about your body unless you're kind to the body that you're unenlightened about. We have, now that we're ignorant about our body, we can still practice kindness the best we can and practicing the best we can counts and sets up and develops good roots in the road. And then with the good roots in the road, we can put down roots into the water. Of wisdom. And then we can continue to put down roots in the road and continue to put down roots in the wisdom. And this wonderful thing grows up called wisdom, which makes all the different levels


of compassion work better. But of course, for me to develop wisdom in regard to my body means to some extent to give up, to let go of my ideas of my body as being my body. Doesn't mean destroy them, just let go of them. Just let go of believing that that's what my body is. For example, if I think my body is not your body, okay? Wisdom would let go of that idea. And it wouldn't be that I'd get a new idea called my body is your body and I would hold on to that. In wisdom, I won't hold on to the idea your body is my body and my body is your, I wouldn't hold on to it either, but I'd be totally open to it. And it would stand on a par with the idea my body isn't your body. And the idea that my welfare isn't your welfare


or your welfare isn't my welfare, that I do too, wisdom lets go of. And it's open to the idea your welfare is my welfare. It opens to the idea that the whole universe and how it's interacting with itself is actually my body. But it doesn't hold on to that, just opens to it and understands it. And it also understands my body's only my body and I only care about myself, it understands that too. Wisdom understands that kind of talk. That's the way living beings talk sometimes. And it's compassionate towards it. But it knows it's just a child crying in the night. So it practices compassion towards it, doesn't get upset about it, it's not afraid of it. It's not afraid of such thoughts because it lets go of them. And it lets go of them because it's kind to them. It's putting down roots into the road. And it's fostered by the real body,


which is the way our bodies are dancing together right now. That's the real body, but that's inconceivable. We don't know that body, but we can realize it. And the way to realize it is first of all, be compassionate to the one that we do know about that's conceivable. Okay, I'm tempted to call on people who look like they're having a hard time understanding me, but I won't. Yes? So even when we feel the need to act in a compassionate way towards somebody because we think they need it, the problem arises because we believe their story. It's just a story. We believe it's just a story. We believe that what we think would be helpful, our idea of what's helpful would be helpful. If we believe that, we've got a problem. If we believe our idea of the person is who they are, we've got a problem. People are, you are not my idea of you.


And that's where attachment arises because we believe that story. Yeah, right. I mean, believing the story is being attached to the story as true. And that's our basic problem. We believe the appearances that are happening in karmic consciousness. And now we're focusing. We believe our idea of our body. And I'm not saying don't believe it, I'm saying be kind to it and listen to the teachings which are saying there's a body that's, the actual body is supporting the imagination of this dream body. They're connected. The real body is like sponsoring a mind that can dream up a body that doesn't exist. So they're connected. So we don't want to be mean to the baby of the real body. The real body, which is everybody interacting together to make all these deluded beings. But there's also a teaching saying be kind to these deluded beings


and we'll realize the real body. Yes, Claire? So how can we be compassionate towards others before we see the image of what is our mind being? Be compassionate to the image. And like for example, right now, you could look at me, you're looking at your image of me, your idea of me. Do your idea of compassion to your idea of me. And if you think, for example, that's my idea of him and actually he is that. And if somebody says he isn't that, I'm gonna have a little problem there because I think he is. Like I think he's a really nice guy and somebody says he's not. And actually it's not that easy for me to actually accept them saying that. Because I actually do believe he's, not only he's a nice guy, but he's the type of nice guy I think he is. Somebody else says he's a different kind of nice guy. No, no, no. So notice that you have an idea of me. Notice you have idea of kindness and do your idea of kindness towards your idea of me.


That puts on root into the road that's trapping us and separating us from the real me, that's separating me from the real you and separating me from the real me. The real is separated by our ideas. Aside from our ideas, we're not separated from reality. It's only our ideas that are separated from. It's just a thin layer of ideas separating us from the blissful body of Buddha right now, which is our actual body. But that thin layer is very strongly supported by lots of past thin layers. So we have to be very careful and gentle with it. Otherwise you just make it thicker. If you're mean to it, it just gets thicker. Not thicker exactly, but more difficult to let go of. It's not really to break through it, it's to let go of it. It always will be an enclosure.


But if you abandon it, it can still sit there and you're not holding onto it anymore. It's not hurting anybody. And then you can talk to people who live in similar worlds and tell them how to deal with their ideas. So please be kind to your ideas of people, because that's what you've got. And notice that there's some stress around that because there's also some attachment to your ideas of what's helpful and also what they could be doing that would be helpful. Yes, Bill? Yeah, please, be careful. Thank you. At what point could it be useful to be afraid? Yeah, it could be useful because the fear indicates to you that you don't understand. And if you lost your fear prematurely, it could lead you to be careless and not compassionate.


It's possible that if you lost your fear, well, not prematurely, but what do you call it? I would say that there's a certain type of fear which makes you be careful. And there's another kind of fear which you don't need that doesn't really make you feel careful. It just makes you miserable. Well, that's the kind of fear I'm talking about. Huh? The kind that makes you miserable. But is that the kind that makes you be careful? Well, what it is is, I'm just wondering, see, for example, if a person has a fear and they, you know, and this is the miserable kind of fear, not the wise, caution kind of fear. And they lost their fear before they acquired the kind of- Before they acquired wisdom? Yeah. Yeah, so- It might not be good. Right, so the fear of harming people


is helpful, helps us to be careful. And that's, in some sense, kind of a good fear. But some people have that fear of harming people, but they're not afraid of anything else. And then, yeah, like Buddhas are afraid to hurt people, but they're not afraid of anything else. Or certainly great Bodhisattvas. They're afraid of hurting people, afraid of hurting anybody, but they have no fear, for example, of themselves being hurt. They have no, for example, they have no- If somebody is being hurt and they need their help, they're not afraid to go into a situation where they might get hurt helping somebody. But if I was afraid of myself being hurt, would that be something that could hurt other people? No, that might be helpful, too. Being afraid that you'll be hurt


and being afraid of hurting others. Those two kinds of fear could be helpful. I'm just telling you that some people, some beings, are afraid to hurt others, but they're not afraid to be hurt themselves. So basically, they're not afraid, they're only afraid of other people's suffering. That's the only thing that frightens them, is that other people are suffering. No, that's enlightenment. That's wisdom, yeah. But until you have wisdom, then being afraid of hurting others and being afraid of being hurt yourself, those will help you be compassionate. And before wisdom, those are helpful mental factors. Yes? They're not miserable in themselves, no. They're actually, if you don't, if you don't, those are like good roots, those two. If you don't have those, you're really going to be miserable, and you're going to have to take a lot of drugs to not notice it.


But those two are actually wholesome dharmas, those two. When you don't have those two, when you don't care about hurting each other, others, and you don't care about being hurt yourself, when deluded people don't have those, then they really get in big trouble, and they cause lots of trouble, and it's just terrible what happens when you don't have those two. So those are good fears, in a way. Those are wholesome factors for deluded people. They're not so, for example, being afraid to hurt people is not as miserable as hurting people. Because when you hurt people, yeah, it's worse to hurt people than be afraid of hurting people. Say you're in organic terror, that kind of fear. Organic terror, like standing at the edge of a cliff? Yeah, that kind. Yeah, that's not a really big problem. It's okay, don't worry about that one. And I don't know of too many people that are really in anguish about fear, the fear they feel at the edge of a cliff.


All you got to do is back away. It's not a big deal. It's a good one. Babies have it, you know, at the edge of a cliff. It's not a big deal. But the fear of hurting people, the fear of being hurt, those are pretty helpful. And you asked that question pretty carefully, thank you. And I didn't feel hurt, and I hope you weren't. Pardon? I'm not hurt. Great. Well, thank you for, you look a little shocked, so I'm sorry if that was just, I'm sorry if tonight was shocking, but I appreciate you staying awake, and that you have enough good roots to listen to this. Thank you so much.