Buddha Activity

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The work of buddhas — buddha activity — is realizing intimacy and liberation in conversation together with all beings. In this series of meetings we will contemplate what it is to fully engage with such an activity. Everyone is welcome to come, study, and realize this work together with all beings.

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We repeatedly have meetings here, over and over. And we repeatedly sit here, and walk here, and talk here. There's quite a bit of repetition in our life together, our practiced life. And I also repeat, always different ways, I say the same thing over and over tonight. While we were sitting, I said something like, Buddha activity is living in stillness and silence. Living in stillness and silence is Buddha activity. That's offered as conversation pieces.


It's also like setting the table for a conversation. And you're welcome to put more things on the table too, which you do. Now, in addition to that, I would offer some more conversation pieces, which again, I've said before, that for me, Zen is Buddha activity. And Zen is not a thing. It's a practice. And it's not a practice, which is a thing by itself, existing independent of the rest of the universe. The Buddha activity, the Zen activity,


is supported by all things. Buddha activity is supported by everything. And Buddha activity supports everything. And everything is Buddha activity. Everything's engaged in supporting everything and being supported by everything. Realizing this activity is a process. It's a process. It's a relationship, which liberates all beings. And it liberates them from everything.


And for example, it liberates beings from the idea that they can do things by themselves and that other people can too. Many people think that. And some people think that, but don't believe it. Many people think that and believe it. And that is what Buddha activity liberates, the belief that we are living independent of each other. And we don't support each other. And we're not supporting each other. To not believe that and to believe in not believing that is what Buddha activity frees us. Buddha activity is our essence and our function.


It's both what we are and what we're doing. So our essence is that we are nothing more than the support of everything that's not us. And we are nothing more than supporting everything that's not us. That's our essence. But that's also our activity. I think it's kind of funny that our activity is actually an activity of receiving. We are in the process all the time of receiving the support of all beings to be all beings' support, like this. And each of us is a unique example


of being supported by all things. And it's a unique example of supporting all things. So our activity is we're receiving support. And our activity is we're giving support. And that's simultaneously what we are. We are an activity. And once again, that activity liberates everybody, liberates us, and everybody who supports us. When we're liberated, all our supporters are liberated. When we're liberated, when our supporters are liberated, we're liberated. We're liberated together. And we live together. And we act together. And so in these meetings here, again,


on kind of a literal level, it may be possible to see, to perceive, that when we come here, we come here with the support of the other people in the group. I won't come here if you're not coming here. But because you're coming here, I come here. I come here because I'm supported by you. And I come here to support you. And you come here to support me and to receive my support. Now, is that kind of obvious? Can you perceive that? Can you perceive that you're coming here to support me and that I come here to support you? It's like you have a perception of that. And that's OK.


What's hard to perceive is that you're doing that with not just the people in this room on Tuesday night and in the fall, maybe on Thursday night. But that's what you are all day long. And I said also something like, Buddha activity is living in stillness and silence right now. That's true. But what I didn't say, just not to talk too much, which I'll say now, it's living in stillness and silence right now and also throughout all time. It's now and throughout the entire past and the entire future. So we're coming here.


And we're supporting each other to sit. And we're supporting each other to converse. And that's some conversation pieces. Yes, darling? I would like to know more about what you mean when you say support, because I feel like you're using it in a broad sense, maybe including and sustaining and also kind of accomplished, like support.


I'm here now supported by everything and everyone that is also here now in the universe. So is that what you mean by support? It's present? I'm not sure. I'd like to hear more about the words. But before you hear more from me, you had something to say, didn't you? And you said some stuff, right? So say again that last part about what support might mean. It might mean sustaining, and it might mean a kind of agreement, like a presence with. Yeah. So it's not support, but in the sense of either hooking something up, holding it, although that goes with it.


But it's a broader understanding. What I want to clarify is when it has a broad idea of accepting being here now as a part of everything that's here now, here and everywhere. You can imagine. Accepting what you, you accepting in a way that you can perceive accepting of what you can perceive as being presented to you, that is an opportunity for you to express in the realm you can perceive what's going on in the realm you can perceive, but also beyond it, too. And that is what support is, is accepting.


Well, support is kind of like partly what you can perceive. Like I said, I gave the example that maybe you can perceive that you come here to support me. You have the thought, I'd like to support him. You have the thought, I'd like to support Jeff and Christian. You would have those thoughts. You can perceive those thoughts. And you can say, yes, I want to support them. I want to support them. Particularly, I want to support them in being free and at peace. I'm here to do that, and I perceive that that's what I want to do. And also, they're supporting me, and they're sustaining me. Help, help, we're helping each other. We're giving each other life.


We're guiding each other. We're supporting each other in all the ways that make the world the way it really is, and the way it really is is like supporting each other. Yes? Well, I have sort of the same question. I can see it as it translates into this class. Yes. Consciously, I can see that. The idea of two people coming together, and each of them giving each other support. But when you expand it beyond the class, you can talk about other beings, but in that universe, I don't see that support in the sense of consciously choosing to help each other achieve whatever it is, the new nature of peace or freedom or whatever.


There's a lot of different things. If you mean everything's interrelated in the sense of all of those past, present, future, all human activities interrelated, I can see that it seems like interrelatedness is different than supporting each other. There's this usual meaning of helping either consciously or unconsciously, but it's actually helping. I don't see that Donald Trump or some terrorist is supporting the group here. I mean, just to take the most extreme example. So I'm still having a hard time getting to where I think more of us have a different understanding of what support means. Well, I'd like to deal with the word interdependence in two parts. One part is that you have perceptions of interdependence,


but there's other kinds of interdependence which I think you can perhaps... You could be open to other kinds of interdependence that you can't see. Is that right? Yeah. So anyway, I'm just pointing out that you brought up... I think you said something like, I can see interdependence. Interrelatedness. Interrelated. You can kind of see that. And what I'm saying... Now I'm saying what you can see is part of interdependence. But interdependence isn't just what you can see. It's much more extensive than what we can see. Well, you might not... You might be able to perceive it


by perceiving a conversation with me. So you can maybe see... In the middle of a conversation with me, you might be able to see, like I'm having a conversation, and then in the midst of the conversation, you might see, but not with your eyes, you might see that, of course, I cannot see the totality of interdependence. So I can see how Rev comes here, and I have a perception of how he supports me, and I come here to support him. I have a perception of that. That's the interrelationship, right? That we have. And then we're talking along, and suddenly, in the middle of the conversation, you see some other aspect of the interrelationship which you didn't see before. No, but... Well, like, for example, you might see that I did some things to support you.


Like, you know, like maybe I reminded... I saw Barbara Jo someplace in Berkeley, and I reminded her of the class, and then she reminded you, and you had forgotten. And that's a way that we're interrelated that you didn't know. That you didn't know about. And then you come to know it. And some other people maybe helped you get here in ways that you don't understand, and then you do. Like, sometimes we find out that people are helping us in ways that we don't know about, and then, you know, we wake up to that. Oh, I thought I saw all the forces that were helping me get here. Now I see that there were other things that I didn't know about that were also helping. So your understanding of what's going into supporting you


grows, but not just grows, but you can tell by inference, by inference, that that might be the case almost all the time, that things are going on that are supporting you that you cannot perceive at the moment. That's one thing. The other thing is that I'm actually shift... not shifting, I'm also... I'm having a conversation with you, and you're having a conversation with me to help me and everybody else get new perspectives on what's going on. So, for example, interrelationship for you doesn't necessarily mean supporting. And support doesn't mean that the support always makes you... what do you call it...


makes you into somebody who's got no problems. So if I have problems like... like I do, if I have problems, I'm saying that my problematic situation is thanks to you. Now you might say, well, that's interrelationship, but that's not support. But I'm saying, I'm calling it support. That you're supporting me to be a person who has the opportunity to partake of and practice Buddha activity. Buddha activity isn't the way you all support me and I support you, and you support each other such that we have no problems. It's so that whatever problems we have,


we are free. Because everybody supports us to have our problems. So it doesn't mean I won't get cancer or, I don't know, have other challenging, difficult things in my life, or that people won't, yeah, make it difficult for me or make me not sure how to proceed. But I'm saying that all my problems are also me having problems, me being a person who's having problems, that person is supporting all of you. So again, it's kind of easy for you to say, oh, he comes here to support us. But you don't necessarily think he comes with his problems to support us. And his problems are part of him which support us. And I come here to support him


and I have problems and my problems are part of my support of him. And the way we with our problems are supporting each other liberates us without getting rid of our problems. But support doesn't mean helping us to have no problems. It means when we see the support or the interrelationship, which you could use both words, interrelationship and support to realize liberating activity, liberating activity which frees us so that we can be at peace and live in justice. So it isn't just interrelationship. Interrelationship is one of the key factors that will support us in becoming free. And everybody's helping us with that


and we're training to sort of like converse with that teaching. Yes? I'm interested in Jeff's question how do you know? You know, how do you know what you said is true? The more we talk, the more we find out. All you do is say stuff that we don't necessarily have or I don't have the self-experience of. So I'm just in the space right now where I think there's a lot of faith around here. A lot of faith? Could we just set a lot of faith over here for a second or down here? Okay. So were you talking about something before we talked about the faith? What were you talking about? I was saying that you say a lot of things. Yes. That... and you don't understand them. Is that what you said? Did you say that?


Yeah. I say a lot of things and you don't understand them. Okay? And occasionally I might say something that you do understand. Maybe. That might happen, right? Might say, oh, I understand. That might happen. But Buddha activity will not be understood by me. And by the way, guess who else won't understand? Yeah. So it's not... My talking actually is Buddha activity and so is yours. And if you're talking and I think I understand you, fine. But that's... I'm not understanding Buddha activity. But I'm understanding... I might think I understand you and I might understand your... some limited perceptible version of Buddha activity that you're giving to me.


Buddha activity is understood by our conversation, by our relationship. That's what understands it. The way you know this is by acting it out, which is what we're doing here. But doesn't... You can't... You can't get a hold of the conversation and neither can I. Well, when I say understand you question it and you're questioning it, okay, the questioning is not you. The questioning... Well, even if you keep it to yourself and don't tell me you're questioning, the questioning is in relationship to me and to this. The questioning is a key ingredient in the conversation. A conversation with no questioning is an unfulfilled...


The conversation has not yet become mature and genuine. Genuine conversation asks questions, it's open to question, it's being questioned. That process of questioning realizes Buddha activity. The word realize means both actualize and understand. So, for example, I often use understanding tango. Do you understand tango? Yeah. But... How do you understand it? Well, tell me how you understand tango. No, not so much how you're able to, that's... Let's put that aside for a second. What is your understanding of tango? Yeah, so that's an understanding that you have, okay?


Is that the realization of tango? Yeah. So... I'm not saying you don't understand tango. I don't say you don't understand tango by what you just said. And you have a certain understanding of it, right? So I use the word realization, which includes understanding. The people who are dancing may not realize tango. But when they realize tango, they also understand it. So when you realize Buddha activity, you also understand it. So, again, the understanding and the activity are oftentimes split. But there's the realization of the dance and the understanding of the dance. They can be united, or there can be an understanding which doesn't have realization. That's not... That's why the word realization... You can say, you can say you don't understand me,


but you could also say, which you haven't said yet, you talk... you say all this stuff and I don't realize you. You could say that. And I could say, okay. But... and I would say, you don't realize me. You don't. No person realizes me, including me. What realizes me is my relationship with you. That's what realizes me. I don't get to realize me, and I don't get to realize you. I don't get to realize Buddha activity. No person realizes Buddha activity. But all of us, in relationship to others, in that wholehearted conversation with lots of questions, and problems, and not trying to get away from them, but plunging into the conversation with them all, that realizes,


that understands, and actualizes. And that's where the faith comes in, as you might... you might believe that there's such an understanding, such a thing as Buddha activity, which is not something that somebody does by himself. And even the Buddhas don't do it by themselves. They do it together with other Buddhas. And what are Buddhas? Buddhas aren't something by themselves. Again, they're supported by everybody, and they support. So the way we really are is that we're supported by everything, and supporting everything, and also that the understanding of that comes through conversation with other people who are just like us, and also uniquely different, preciously different. Do you realize what you're saying? Do I? Yeah. No, I do not.


When you say you, do you mean a person? Yeah. No. I'm a mouthpiece. I'm a mouthpiece for a conversation. I'm a servant of a conversation. And the conversation I'm a servant of, I'm a servant of Buddha activity. I work for Buddha activity. That's my job, and that's what I'm doing. But I don't do the conversation by myself. So I don't realize what I'm talking about. Did you have your hand raised, Ellen? Yeah. Do you want to say something? What's not Buddha activity? What's not? There's nothing that's not Buddha activity. However, there is this thing which is Buddha activity,


which is, you know, rejecting it. Rejecting it. Yeah, it is. It's Buddha activity in the form of rejecting it, which is Buddha activity in the form of misery, fear, and then maybe even taking it on other people. That's Buddha activity too. But if you realize that that's Buddha activity, beings are liberated from that, from that disbelief and that harm and that fear, without getting rid of it. Buddhists do not get rid of the people who are resisting Buddha. They don't get rid of the people who do not believe that they're supported by other people.


Buddha activity does not get rid of all the frightened people. Buddha activity does not annihilate or even dent violent people. It liberates them from fear and violence without doing anything to them. And then freedom is realized and then there's no more harm or violence. And that's sort of... You know, it's not so much I believe that, but that's what I'm betting on in this life. And I don't see... My faith is getting stronger. Yes, Linda? Yes. And I think he agrees with that.


One famous place that that's said is in the story of... In the Mahayana story of Buddha waking up, Buddha says, Oh, now I see. Oh, excuse me. Now I am awakened together with all beings. And that means not just humans. The whole earth. That's a statement in the Zen tradition. Buddha supposedly had that realization. And then also another story is that at the time of that realization, ... At the time of that realization, Buddha also saw that all sentient beings have this... the wisdom of the Buddhas and the virtues of the Buddhas. In other words, the virtues of the Buddhas all beings are involved in this Buddha activity. Also they saw that. But they also saw that although they're involved in the Buddha activity, because they have attachments, they don't realize it.


Yeah. Yes. One of my... One of the second operations that I had about three years ago or something like that. And I actually kind of said, Oh, yeah. I see why that is there in the teaching. Now, right now, maybe you have got a moment of being in the midst of living in stillness and silence. Then I was just thinking of some people in Mozambique, you know, who are just suffering floods and starvation and dying and stuff. They don't think they are liberated while you are liberated. They don't think that at all. And yet, are they?


Yeah. They are liberated. And they don't think that. They think they're attached to what they think is going on. And if they are attached to what they're going on, they don't see that they... If you're attached to what you're going on, what you're thinking, then you do not realize that you have Buddhist wisdom. And if the people in Mozambique are attached to what they think, they don't realize that they have Buddhist wisdom. But they do and you do. You both do. And if either... If people who are in the middle of catastrophes and disasters, if they hold on to their ideas, they will not realize their Buddha virtues. But if people are sitting in a pleasant situation and they're holding on, it's the same for them. That's quite a thing to grasp.


That they have... They are in Buddha activity... They have Buddha's wisdom and virtues. And you're saying they don't think they have Buddha's wisdom and virtues. And I'm saying... They're dying, starving, watching the children... Well, if I think I'm dying and I'm in Berkeley... If I think I'm dying and I'm in Berkeley... If I think I... If I think I'm miserable and I'm in Berkeley... If I think I'm mal... If I think I'm mistreated and I'm in Berkeley... Or if I think I'm healthy and I'm in Berkeley... And if I think I'm happy and I'm in Berkeley... If I hold on to any of that stuff... I do not understand that I fully possess the wisdom of the Buddhas in Berkeley. If I'm happy or if I'm miserable... Either case, if I hold on to my idea of what's going on, I cannot... I close the door to what's so.


Which is that I... I fully possess the virtues of the Buddhas. And if I'm... Yeah. And if you move me to some other part of the world and I'm happy there and I attach to it... That attachment closes the door on this teaching. And if I'm miserable in some other part of the world and I attach to that... That attachment closes the door. It may be that some people in the middle of some catastrophes do not attach to what they think is going on. They don't. It happens sometimes. And then the door of liberation opens for them in the middle of a catastrophe. And as some people say, you don't have to be in a catastrophe to stop holding on to what you think is going on. It's not necessary. You can, in a pleasant situation,


stop that. Let go of that. But again, if in a pleasant situation like this class... Is this a pleasant situation? It's a pleasant situation. If we hold on to what we think is going on, then we don't realize what the Buddha told us, is that we fully possess the virtues of the Buddha. And the virtues of the Buddha is that they're doing this work. Buddha is telling us everybody is doing this work. Water is doing this work. Floods are doing this work. Trees are doing this work. The earth is doing... Everything is doing this work, this Buddha work. But if we cling to our ideas, we don't get it. So Buddha sees us being this way, and Buddha sees they don't get it because they're holding on to what they think is going on.


However, that's not the end of the story because Buddha then teaches us what to do with these clingings. Buddha teaches us to have a conversation about them. Let people question you about them. Be open to like... Better open up a little bit to the possibility that what you think going on might not be so. Yes, Patrick? We were talking... I mean, it's a little bit of a different cat, but we've been talking about liberation, I think, last week you were saying something like we practice to liberate our consciousness. Something like that. And that reminded me, again, if you'll hold on, I could give the whole paragraph, but maybe I'll just abbreviate it. Go ahead, give the whole paragraph. Oh, the paragraph. It's a famous paragraph. It's probably heard about. To study the Buddha ways,


to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by the myriad things. And to be actualized by the myriad things is to drop off body and mind of self and others. Yes, and that's... When Dogen was talking about that, was he talking that liberation of consciousness that you're talking about. And a couple of sentences later, Dogen says, he says, if you correctly transmit the Buddhadharma, then you are immediately your original self. So the idea of when body and mind drop away, is this the freedom of consciousness or the liberation of consciousness? Is that also a similar thing or the same thing as


original self? And I'm kind of really interested, because I haven't been able to find an answer to this, I'm just looking around. Original self, when we were talking about compounded phenomena a few weeks ago, and how compounded phenomena did currently change you can't rely on. And I'm wondering if our original nature, our original self, changes. It seems like it certainly might change, but I don't know. Well, those are wonderful questions, as Roger Marks says. And basically, you know, I could say yes to everything you said. And I also say, the original self, I would say, doesn't change. But then I would say, right in the middle of not changing, there's change. I think Barry,


so I'm going to do, Barry, a long time ago, Barry. I mean Barry. This is, this thing, this stands for liberation, would you remind me about that word later? I think you would say. And it's actually the same question. So when you're liberating all beings, how far does that extend? Has it made to other planets in the universe where there are beings of some kind? Is that still good activity or is it just a thing here in New York? I don't know. There's no, there's no limit.


There's no limit to our relationships. You know, for example, have you heard of the sun? Have you heard of the sun? It's an English word applying to a star that is kind of, keeps us warm. We don't exclude the sun from this process. The sun is supporting us. Do we support the sun? Yes, we do. There's no limit to this relationship. We're talking about everything and there's no need for Buddha activity to, to... There's no limit to this and part of the reason for this scale being encouraged or brought up is because it's to help us not think


that this egoistic consciousness is going to do the job. It's like we're talking about something that obviously this little consciousness is not going to be able to pull off. This isn't going to be able to save all beings throughout time and space. We're talking about opening this little consciousness where we're tend to be stuck and afraid and not getting rid of it, but opening it up to a conversation that will liberate it. Now, I said the word liberation, but the liberation isn't the whole point. The activity which liberates is the whole point. It's not just liberation, it's liberating. Liberation's pretty good, but liberating is, you could say, much better than liberated. Because liberating is there when there's not liberating.


When people are saying, I don't want to be liberated, leave me alone. Liberating says, okay, I won't liberate you. But that's also when a person says, your willingness to not liberate me, that was all, darn you, you liberated me. There's no limits except that the mind constructs them. But we don't disrespect these mentally constructed limits. We respect them. We practice kindness to them. We honor them. We don't believe them. We don't have to believe them, but we're going to believe them unless we're kind to them. So the Buddha teaches us how to deal with the limits, which we grasp, and how to deal with the grasping, which we grasp, how to relate to this in such a way that not only are beings liberated, but we get to do this wonderful work of liberating.


The being liberated is great, but there's also this activity of liberating, which is greater. And it's there even when beings aren't liberated. Because some people are kind of like putting their foot down and saying, no, [...] no. But the liberating goes on, even though they resist it. Yes? Is there something after liberation? Or is liberation just a global process? Is there something after liberation? Yes. Well, you could say yes, after. Or you could say that the process of liberation has no end. So you could say there isn't really an after, because there's no end to it. So, in some sense there's no after liberation, or before liberation. But people construct before and after. Like before... Sort of before liberation


is what we call the looted people, right? But also after liberation is what we call the looted people too. There's no before or after this process. But again, if we think there's a before, we can work with that, we can talk with that, we can have a conversation with... This is definitely... This whole room is like before liberation. This whole room is like before great enlightenment. Okay, fine, we can talk about that. And the conversation with... This situation here is before enlightenment. The conversation with that is Buddha activity, which is much greater than enlightenment and not enlightenment. So that was Buddha activity before Buddha. Buddha activity before Buddha, yeah. And also Buddha activity after Buddha. Oh yeah. There's no...


Again, this... The son does not know anything about, as far as I know, before and after. That's why we keep it around. Because it's like, you know, reminds us that before and after is a construction made by humans. Now maybe dogs are picking it up too, I don't know. Maybe some other primates got this before and after. Maybe they do. And maybe we'll let them do that. But a lot of other beings who got this idea of before and after, the human beings got rid of those people quite, you know, thousands of years ago, because we didn't want them around anymore. So we're like hogging the delusion. Some delusions we're hogging because we've gotten rid of the other people, other beings who had those delusions. So we're like, we're the before and after people. But there's not really


before and after, it's a thought construction. But again, and we're harassed by that, before and after. We're tormented by before and after. It's a big problem for us. But again, I'm not saying get rid of it. I'm saying let's be very respectful of before and after. If somebody says, I want to talk to you about something that happened before. Okay, let's talk about it. Yeah? So, I'm thinking about the limitations of how I'm thinking about stillness and silence. Because when I think about when you were saying Buddha activity lives in stillness and silence. So, I have a few thoughts about that. One is, is there a conversation between Buddha activity and stillness and silence? I would say that Buddha activity is occurring,


is living, I said it. Buddha activity is living in stillness and silence. Are they two separate things? Are they two separate things? No, it's just that stillness tells you something about Buddha activity. And Buddha activity tells you something about stillness. In other words, stillness has activity in it. Because they're the opposite of each other? What's the opposite of each other? Stillness and activity. No, the opposite of stillness I think is movement. And the opposite of silence is, you know, sound or talk. No, conversation is not the opposite of silence. Conversation lives. The conversation I'm talking about lives in silence. And also, so the conversation lives in silence and living in silence is the conversation. The mature conversation is living in silence. So,


right now, in this conversation, remembering silence helps the conversation be full and genuine. Because the conversation is occurring in silence and stillness. You're not getting it? Trying to get it, it's okay, is not remembering stillness. The conversation is not trying to get the conversation. It's an activity that's not trying to get an activity. This Buddha activity conversation is occurring in stillness. It's not going someplace or trying to get anything. Letting sound


be sound is generosity, is stillness, is silence. Silence lets sound be sound. The conversation is bringing light. Bringing light, but also light is life too. So, the conversation of the Buddhas is occurring in silence. The Buddha is called Shakya Muni. The Muni means silent one. The Buddha is silent and the Buddha talks all the time in that silence. And the Buddha making gestures in stillness. But these gestures aren't like


going someplace. They're not like the Buddha is doing this. The Buddha is demonstrating how all beings are animating the Buddha and vice versa. He's demonstrating this activity. I think... Was it... Did you have your hand up before? Did it not get called on? Yes, but now the question is yours. Do you want to ask an old one or a new one? No. Okay, go ahead. The idea that I'm not personally responsible to make things better in the world makes me feel a lot more relaxed. Like a lot more open. Like opening to the idea that I don't know how I got here and what supports are behind this. Excuse me. Could I say something?


I heard you say the idea that I'm not personally responsible for making things better. Do you mean that you're not personally responsible all by yourself? Is that what you mean? Because you are personally responsible. You're personally responsible for making not so much the world better but to make the world... to realize peace in this world. You are personally responsible for that. I'm asking you to do that. Okay? You have a responsibility to make the world a peaceful, harmonious place. But not by yourself. No, you can't do anything by yourself. I'm not asking you to make the world more hostile and disturbed either. I'm not asking you to do that. I am asking you, I'm requesting that you work for peace and I'm saying to you that is your responsibility and that part's clear.


But also you're not making the world worse all by yourself either. But I'm not asking you to do that part. But if you ever did anything which seemed to make things less harmonious I'm saying you did not do that by yourself. I helped you. And I share the... If you ever do anything that seems to bother Barry, Barry can say, and Reb's responsible for that. And I will say, yes, I share the responsibility of you talking to him in a way that he didn't think was cool. But you're responsible too. But if you ever, if you do anything that contributes to Barry's peace and freedom you didn't do that by yourself. Amanda and I helped you. But you're still responsible for everything


with everybody. Is the guy down the street also responsible? Yeah. The guy down the street's responsible too. However, I do not walk up to him and say that. I only say it to you because you're here and you're supporting me to say this to you. I couldn't say this to you if you weren't supporting me. And the guy down the street's supporting me too. But if I see him, you won't support me to say anything to him about the situation. I'm going to keep quiet to him. But if he asks me, what are you doing in this neighborhood? I might say, well, I... Have you heard of the yoga room? And he says, no, what is it? And then I tell him about it. And then, as the conversation goes on, I might mention to him that he's responsible for everything. But it'll, you know, might take a while.


This is kind of like, if you excuse the expression, this is teachings for big kids. It's... It's not teaching for children. I don't tell my granddaughter this. I don't tell her that she's responsible for everything because her mother would... Her mother would not be happy because if I told her, she might pass out if I actually told her how responsible she was. I told you the story about getting my grandson the bike, right? Yeah. So if you tell children where it's at sometimes, they don't get it. But sometimes it's okay because they just write it off and think you're a silly old person. But some stuff, you know, I wouldn't tell them. But I'm telling you. I'm telling you some teachings for people who are growing up, which is teachings like


compounded phenomena are unstable. And Buddha activity is the process of liberating beings from suffering. And suffering comes from adhering to our... what we think is so as truth, and so on. I'm telling you that kind of stuff. And you seem to be doing quite well. And your questions don't mean you're not doing well. It means you are doing well. So please keep asking questions. And I see Tyler and Jeff. Yes, but Haley had her hand raised a long time ago. So now, Haley, do you remember your question? Or your comment? Yes. Your expression, and I've heard it a little bit before, of silence and stillness. Yes. What is it? I want to say


that a different way. If I speak, I know what you're talking about. But in any case, what are you talking about? What are you talking about silence and stillness? What does it mean to you? Somebody said something to me quite interesting. More than interesting. In Houston, about a month ago, I was talking about remembering stillness and silence. And a person came to talk to me and she said, I grew up in a home where I was told to sit still and shut up. And I said, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm not saying be still or don't move. I'm not telling you to not move. Which I used to do. I'm telling you to remember stillness. It's already the case


that in every moment you are what you are and you're not anything else but that. You never are the slightest bit different from the way you are. Which is that the whole universe is making you the way you are and nothing can move that. And then the whole universe changes, the whole universe changes and you change with it into the next thing which is not moving and nothing can move it. But when anything changes, you change with it and it changes with you and then we have another immovable being. So it's not that you make yourself still. It's that we sit here and practice remembering stillness and one of the ways we remember stillness is to sit here for a half an hour. We sit here for a half an hour. We're constantly changing for the whole half an hour. Each moment we're different


and each moment we're still and we get a chance to remember that. Not to make ourselves. I can't make me still. But all of you can make me still. All of you and your friends. The sun and the moon. All of that makes me be what I am and I can remember that and I can receive that and I can practice that and I can transmit that and so can you. And in that remembrance there's a great activity which is already there but if you forget the stillness you're off, as in football, you're off sides. You're someplace else. You're not where you're supposed to be. Like somebody gave me that song, you know. It's a gift to be simple. It's a gift to be free. It's a gift to come down where you ought to be. You ought to be here. That's where you're free. But it's a training challenge to be here. To remember that you are here.


Remembering that you are here is like remembering stillness. And if you remember that you get to discover what's going on there which is the whole universe is coming to meet you and you're meeting the whole universe right where you are right now. In stillness. But you don't make yourself who you are and you don't make yourself still. But we practice sitting quietly and kind of still as a ceremony to wake up to this. To open to this. And that's a faith thing. You believe that it's good to sit here for a while and you do and then after you do you think well that was good. Like I come over here I sit down and think this is good. I sit down after about two seconds like this is really good. I'm so happy to be here. I'm so happy to be here. Which can be called Berkeley or the yoga room. But really I'm happy to be here. And when I'm over in Green Gulch and I sit down, yeah it's nice to be here.


And thanks for coming and being here with me. It's great. It's worth the trip. Which is kind of hard to like remember stillness sometimes on the trip over. Not impossible but I don't and sometimes on the trip over I go oh yeah it's great to be here. But when I get here almost every time I come I say so I believe that I believe in remembering stillness and when I remember it I think yeah. But I don't know what it is. However our relationship knows what it is. Our relationship realizes it. And again we can partly perceive how our relationship realizes it. Because we're here, we're here. And if we weren't here we wouldn't be here.


None of you come over here and sit in this room all by yourself. Well maybe some of you do. Do you come over here and sit by yourself Margie? No. You could but you don't. But if you came in this room and some of us came in and said okay let's sit we would. But anyway you don't even come into the old room by yourself. We don't do anything by ourselves. Thinking that I can do something by myself is the definition of delusion. That's one of Dogen's definitions of delusion. To think that you can raise your hand and smile that's delusion. Yes? I think I realize as I'm speaking that I've been thinking about remembering or I'm not sure how to put it when I think about I use the word myself but I think


about it more as you're describing it that I'm in this dance with the whole universe and I'm just realizing I'm hallucinating about this hard kind of set thing but what I'm feeling is that I can't make myself remember it. No you can't. It has to come up and I notice it when it happens. Yeah. Yeah you can't. Last week at Green Gorge a lot of people were asking me how can I remember this? I tell them about this thing this Buddha thing how can I remember it? And I told them that actually at the Welcome Center at Green Gorge they sell these little devices which you can clip onto your hip and then you'll be able to remember. But I've never been able to find them. We cannot make ourselves remember the great teachings. However


when you say them when you think them when you tell other people about them when you listen to them and you think yes! Your whole body and mind changes. And becomes more likely to remember. So we're in a process that we cannot make happen but we're in the process that's making it happen. I cannot make this conversation happen you cannot make this conversation happen but we are doing the conversation together and the conversation is changing us. And if we had a different conversation which we're not having but if we were going to have a conversation where we're like blaming other people for the problems in the world that we're not responsible for if we had conversations like that that would make us


remember that the other people are the problem you know, not us. Or that we're responsible for some things but not responsible for everybody. I'm just responsible for some people. When you think like that that makes you remember that that's the truth. When you think about the Dharma and you think yes, and what a joy and thank you very much that transforms your body and mind and makes you a person who remembers more. So I have this great job where I'm telling people this stuff over and over so every time I tell them I remember at that moment right? And remembering at that moment and being happy to share this teaching transforms me into a remembering organism. So the more you speak English the more you speak English. And even though your brain is changing constantly and as you get older you have a different brain


so the way you speak English changes but still if you keep speaking it it transforms you. And if you keep saying the Dharma and keep having conversations you stay in the flow as your body changes. And if you talk about other things like it's your fault not mine and you believe it, it's not a joke like I just said that that was a joke and the joke of it transformed me into somebody who remembers that that's a joke that you're responsible and I'm not. That's a joke and I'll say it again it's a joke and therefore if I ever think that I can go oh funny boy I almost believed that like I said one time it was so beautiful I almost forgot to change silly boy but again when we're silly if we're compassionate to our silliness


we can get the joke if we're mean to the silliness it makes it harder to see how silly we are like I did that all by myself and everybody goes oh yeah you did and oh I see how silly I am or you did that and I'm not responsible and if you're all like oh yeah Rev you're so sweet then I wait oh how silly I am to say that I'm sorry but if you're mean to me then I get defensive and close the door on seeing how silly I am but you're not mean to me so I get to see how silly I am but it's not a terrible thing it's funny that I'm silly because I'm not really silly I'm just being silly and I see it so it's not really so silly when you see you're silly but to be silly and think that you're being like Mr. Truth


that's even more silly but you don't get it and it's so sad and then everybody feels sorry for you and you wake up because all that compassion is making you wake up to how rigid you are believing that you know what's going on okay I saw you looking at your watch and I don't mind because it is time to stop and again what can I say I'm so grateful for this conversation this conversation is Buddha activity I'm not in control, you're not in control we're not even in control but it's happening and the more we do it the more we remember the more we remember to surrender to this Buddha way