Causation and Non-Self 

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i thought has crossed my mind
but there is sometimes a description of the buddhist path from beginning from the beginner to the
kind of to the
person who had beyond has gone beyond training
the fully trained
practitioner why is broken up into five parts
the first path is called to be path of equipment second path is the path of concerted effort the third path is called the path of vision the fourth pat is called the path of sometimes they called path of meditation but
it literally is the path of becoming what you have seen in the third path and the fourth path is the path beyond training no more training you just enjoying what you've learned and i was just thinking that we're studying now this
central kitchen i would say of the up the borders
teaching of causation and i think a word we're kind of it getting equipped
and when we have enough equipment you'll be able to i think make a concerted effort but may be hard for most of you to figure out how to make an effort because you haven't really got the equipment yet

so i just said you know that
the buddhist teaching is
is basically the teaching of causation the teaching of the or arising
and selflessness
that's the purpose of this teaching is so that will be selfless and be able to live for the web who live for the welfare of others and help others if we can if we can receive this teaching of dependent core rising and understand selflessness we
will be able to help others
ha e in heavier anybody not heard of the eightfold path raise your hands
so the buddha is one of the buddha's basic teachings as is the teaching of the if anybody not heard the four noble truths
so four noble truths are first the first truth is the truth of suffering
second truth is the truth of the origin or or origination of suffering
the third truth is the truth of the ah
sometimes translated the cessation of suffering
but you can also say being at peace was suffering
and the fourth truth is the truth of the path which oftentimes we saved with a path which leads to peace
but i think it's an also some nice to say the path which is peace
so i wouldn't have say that suffering is eliminated
but the translation of the cessation of suffering i'm not opposed to that but i i think it might be some ways useful to speak of being at peace was suffering because nirvana means peace your man is peace nirvana doesn't get rid of all the suffering it just is a way of
being at peace if there is any suffering and as you know there is lots of suffering so how can be at peace with it or peace was suffering is the eightfold path
and the truth of suffering in some sense of truth of suffering is the second truth namely that there's an origin of suffering saw the first to the first two truth are the truth of suffering which is not that easy to understand what the truth is
and often times people translate expressed the truth of suffering as that the buddha taught there is suffering or that life is suffering
he didn't i don't think he said life is suffering he did defined suffering suffering is one of the definitions of suffering is
basically suffering is whatever you're experiencing if you have any attachment
so our colors are suffering smells or touch of suffering tastes are suffering ha
tangibles are suffering ideas are suffering perceptions are suffering feelings are suffering ideas are suffering consciousness is suffering everything is suffering
if you're clinging
that's kind of the truth of suffering not that there is suffering because
part of what causes suffering is clinging to some category of existence like there is a person or there isn't a person
so the next part is that there's a cox are suffering arises arises it has an origination it's something that verizon diseases arises and thesis so the novel the first two truce or a truth about
the first one is suffering is due to this as his definition but its or its origination it it'll it originates in grasping clinging and craving and the next one also is the finding pete there's peace
and peace arises through practice and the practices usually mentioned first is the eightfold path eight full practice
and the first practice or the first aspect of practice is called right view
and right view is expressed in words
i would say essentially right views expressed by the words action has consequence
karma has consequence karma has effects that's the basic element of right view
so there's a practice there was a practice the practices
pay attention
do the teaching that action has consequence
the practice which is peace is the practice of being mindful
of actions have consequence
so in a sense there is a if you can't if you don't understand that yet
there there there is this instruction for you
that you can pay attention to and remember
that every action has consequence when you remember that you remembering
right view
you're doing the first basic practice
which is peace
you're remembering to pay attention to cause an effect
i would say you had in that sense if you would hear this teaching and and then remember it and pay attention to it that in some sense i would say you have faith in the buddhist teaching
and you're practicing faith in causation
faith in the teaching that causation
ah that the view and attention to causation is basic to the practice
so here's a belief
it's it can be stated as like up like a law
but you can also say it's a belief
the belief is that
life cannot be understood correctly
and correctly means in the sense coffee in such a way as to find peace
in this life
life cannot be understood in a way which brent which is peace in the midst of suffering
without understanding the or arising
if you want there to be peace in the world
not just for you
but for all beings it is necessary that dependent core arising be understood
ah we can call the class asked now don't you got this but there's there's another part of it is that right view is actually a little bit more than just hearing those words and remembering them
because right now any of you have heard this and are remembering what i said
you have some understanding of that
most of you probably have a conventional understanding of what i just said i do you probably do too
but the understanding that's necessary for to realize peace is an understanding which goes beyond the one you have right now
unless you have to
the who asked
the kind of the the correct understanding the kind of understanding that is the realization of peace the actual right view is more than just hearing these teachings that like you have just heard and you you all have some kind of like common sense understanding of what i just said
but the understand that necessary to actually realize peace is an understanding which goes beyond the conventional understanding that you have right now
and if some of you feel like you don't have a conventional understanding it also goes beyond that conventional understand
and the basic way it goes beyond it
is that the correct understanding includes that each of us when we hear this language and this encouragement to pay attention to causation each of us has a mind which makes some mental construction about causation
or about that causation is being taught
i think in i would say it in conventional truth
can causation is is it is is there's an attempt to teach causation right now and all of you have some understanding of causation right now
and in a conventional understand you have is a mental construction of the that your mind is his a is is creating
and that mental construction of causation which you mind is creating
is being in are projected upon
so we in order to have the the full understanding of this of cause of causation of the pinnacle rising we need to also be aware
that our mind is projecting an image or ideas or car projecting ah some stuff onto the causation and in particular we are mine will tend to project some kind of the self nature under causation
and self nature on to the elements of causation
so we don't to stop doing that but we do need to be aware that we're doing that in order to understand causation which is not
i'm some projection we have what which is which is not the causation which were projecting
and this is pretty yeah this is you know a big deal to learn how to do this
it's really hard it's even hard just remember
your conventional idea of causation all the time that's hard
but then also to be self reflective and watch what you'd that you're actually
projecting some some idea on this teaching that's all that even more difficult because
that's the clasp for is to help you learn how to do that
and help you teach others how to do
ha i i i brought some calligraphy for you tonight this this is a
this is a chinese and says deep faith and cause and effect reading from the top deep faith cause and effect
the second character which means faith is a person standing next to words
person word the part of what faith as a bot is actually that you're actually are paying attention to your you'd the person you the person is
getting intimate with the word causation
because this is deep faith in cause and effect
this is in this is in some sense this is this could be applied them to
right view
at some people if you have faith in the buddhist teaching that the eightfold path is the path
all piece or two piece the first part of the path
is about causation so if you'd trust that teaching the full path than you would trust hopefully deeply
the teaching of right view which is action has consequence
the the next
yeah the next four elements in the eightfold path or also basically about action
after right view comes right intention
an intention is the definition of karma
so the second element in the eightfold path is also requiring us to pay attention to our intention
an intention is the definition of karma but also deaf it intention is the mental colonel
mental action
intention is the definition of all kinds of karma but intention all by itself is mental karma then comes vocal karma and physical karma
and right livelihood
so vocal karma
he is
which is coming from an intention or with an intention
and physical karma is physical postures gestures which also expressing ah
so we sometimes say that mental karma
is the source karma
volkow karma is kind of like the self
the self identity or the self character of karma and physical karma bodily karma is the substance of karma
and we also say right view right
intention so we're trying to develop right intention and we can talk about what right intention is but the key element that i want to emphasize now is that right intention means that you're paying attention
to action
right act right intention would require paying attention to your intentions because that makes sense
in tell you every moment our mind as intentions
in other words every moment we have mental karma mental action
that's what i proposed to you i think that's what the buddha's teach also
every moment of conscious life
basically there's an intention there is action and all those actions have consequence
for for the intention to be right intention requires mindfulness and awareness and
attention to the intention if the intention is not closely cared for it becomes
bad intention
right view
is saying intention is really important to pay attention to
because it has consequence in the consequence that has is the world of suffering
all suffering is in know basically comes from our karma from our intentions
we want to have right intention
so it requires attention to write a favourite intention
this is the source
and then come speech
speech speech speech words talk talk talk every time we speak
where there's intention that as consequence
and i
i remember that hearing you know and this is something this is the thought that difficult for me to sort of i keep slipping from my mind over the years but that speech is kind of like gets especially gets a special kind of like an honor that speech is kind of like the quintessential ca
the noises and i think what's quintessential about one thing quintessential about speech is that it's very difficult to pay attention to your intention while you're speaking
it's also difficult to pay attention to your intention why you're thinking
but again thinking is another word for intention
it's hard to think and pay attention to your thinking why you're thinking
it's hard to have intentions and be aware of your intention right as the intention is happening
but in a way it's even more difficult to be aware of your intention while you're speaking while you're speaking at the beginning of speaking it's a little easier i feel to be aware of your intention than as after you get into a little bit
also at the end of the speaking when it's done it's it it's kind of easier to be aware of the think of the speaking
hoops what did i say but guy you're while you're saying it to say this is really stupid even though i'm not saying stupid i'm saying i'm right i'm right you're wrong
it's hard to simultaneously say
oh i'm saying that i'm right and i'm intending to win this argument and show this person's wrong it's hard in that sense speech is like is like the the quintessential example of the other kinds of karma physical karma also it is difficult to be aware of your intent
one why you move your arms and stuff but it's sometimes it's easier than speaking
so all three kinds of karma mental vocal and physical involve a cognitive element if they don't they're not karma
once purely mental the other two are physical but they have this cognitive element of intention in them that's what makes them
karma in the sense of the kind of karma the kind of action that is moral or has the creates worlds
now again
faith and cause and effect would be
that upon which you would start paying attention to your intentions
our mental vocal and physical that you would
that would deep faith would be that you would actually practice that
and understand that this is not easy it is not easy to be aware of your intentions while there arising but that's actually what's being encourage your
and telling you it's hard to be patient with yourself and others
when they're not able to do that
what was that again
to be aware of intention was the reason for being aware of tension because intentions that consequence what to wear and what to do the deal about that by paying attention to these things that have consequence there is a possibility that you will real a rot arrive at peace but you will fully understand life
that is being said that we must understand this in order to understand life
when we understand life will be at peace before we understand it we will not yet really be at peace and actually before everybody understands it we will not yet be at peace so we gotta get everybody to practices
ha i also made some copies of the calligraphy
and you can have a copy of this curiously law and you can ah
you would take it home with you and and you can use it to remember
the class and remember the buddhist teaching this is basically buddha's teaching
i'd like to say something about bullies
before i give you more stuff to believe in
i'd like to say some things about beliefs
yeah so at the beginning
at the beginning of the teaching
there's this teaching that
action has consequence
and i just want to mention that a i have i've heard over the years especially i used to hear more but i heard various people tell me that zen does not have any beliefs anybody else heard that
how many people have heard that
it used to be more commonly
said suzanne has no beliefs
nah it's not so commonly said that buddha dharma has no beliefs
but i'm not saying that then does have beliefs
or the buddha dharma has beliefs
but i guess i do kind of think that
ah whether whether zen has beliefs or whether buddha dharma has beliefs i think that people have beliefs
and when i first started practicing and i do i was not so strongly impressed
as i am now
by the i'd by the belief
first of all i guess the idea and then the belief i now have a belief while ago i had an idea that ideas become a belief i believe now
human beings need police
so it isn't executive buddha dharma has beliefs or zen has belief but the people who practice then they have beliefs so the zen practitioners
it isn't that zen telling you to have beliefs it said you have beliefs and zan is saying
it would be good idea if you would become aware of your beliefs
since you haven't just like then doesn't doesn't doesn't have feet
or eyeballs but i think and i believe that then thinks you should be aware that you have feet if you have them
yes i agree with the belief that people need beliefs
and i also believe he said said me
oh i believe that people have need them and i believe that people have them


ah i would say i know i would say he said aren't aren't believes the same of suffering i would say no they're not
gay so i've been out so i wrote down here zen ah
actually i wrote zen does not equal know beliefs
i wrote then equals the emptiness of beliefs
then equals the the selflessness of beliefs
if you have beliefs
for example the belief can not causation if you believe that it was if you believe that was causation if you believe to was good to pay attention to causation if you had their beliefs then you'd have a belief jan didn't tell you to have their belief
the buddha did say those things but would it and tell you to believe it
what you do believe it or you don't and if you don't believe it you have belief of not believing
a buddhist saying you you probably should become aware of your beliefs and then realized the emptiness of your beliefs
so when you hear about causation you do have beliefs about causation you have ideas about causation and you believe them and if you don't realize the emptiness of them
if you think there's substantial that's the cause of suffering because if you don't realize the selflessness of your beliefs the insubstantial insubstantial the on grasp ability to emptiness of your belief then you grasp them and when you grasp them that's suffering

ah would i call know
that the ways the ways and the way the tools are the ways that you remember the teachings in a knock so that you can exercise them
so now for example you just got a little bit more equipment there you got this is equipment
people need beliefs and they happen
it's and in and in order to tab than the best way to take your beliefs is to take him so well that you realize that they're empty
k so i'm just going to rhapsodize on this little bit so zen is understanding the emptiness of beliefs which you have including your beliefs and cause and effect
emptiness equals freedom from beliefs
but it's not like there's no breed beliefs and your free have no beliefs your free have beliefs that you've got
our that that are in your life
then is a non dwelling in your beliefs
and it's also not dwelling in in anything
but was now we're talking about believe so
gotta believe non dwelling it for for example if you have a belief and the teaching of causation
when we would like to learn how to not dwell in your belief in the teaching of causation
there's a big punch line coming up
then is non attachment to your beliefs

zan is understanding that beliefs are totally dependent and totally condensed contingent totally a relative
totally conventional beliefs or conventional you can have a
well you can have a non-conventional belief but a non-conventional belief is still conventional
the happiness of beliefs is not conventional that's that's the ultimate truth of them
of the beliefs is their selflessness is there non-self beliefs do not have a self just like people don't have a self nothing has a self in a sense of being independent
only kind of selves we have our dependent self
contingent cells the only kind of beliefs we have our contingent dependent bullies
including your our beliefs independent co arising and the pinnacle rising is a teaching which we can believe in which is especially set up to help us not dwell in that belief
k the teaching of causation is something as especially set up so that when we believe in the teaching will be entering the process by which we won't dwell in our belief of it and not will help us not dwell on our belief in anything and that will help us not believe dwell on anything and that's the end of suffering
or that's piece was suffering
and this is not the punchline yet the punch line is in order to realize
for example non attachment to anything or non attachment to the teaching of causation we have to take really good care of the teaching of causation
we have to study it
deeply and deeply means deeply and constantly
we have to get consistent and deeper into the teaching caring for these teachings
with our whole heart and in that care of our conventional views of the teaching we realize
the way the teachers are such that we don't grasp them we don't dwell on them we don't attach them
and this is peace
so in one and one thing i think i can also add that you might be able to follow at this point of i'll say it over and over is that
in caring for your beliefs
you're carrying
for your conventional understanding
because beliefs are conventional things you're caring for your projections on whatever so if you have a buddhist teaching on causation
what you're caring for his your mental construction of it
and you can attach to your mental construction of these wonderful teachings these excellent central teachings of buddha
we project something onto and you can attach to that so that's what we've got now be really kind to them and study that and you will not be able to attach to it anymore
and and this whole teaching is set up to help us be devoted to something which will eventually
you know be a non dwelling place for us to live
so i'm i'm both trying to encourage you to listen to these teachings take care of these teachings
and i'm trying to encourage myself to listen to these tissues to remember these teachings to remember these teachings to remember these teachings and i'm very fortunate
in teaching this class because the clutch helps me remember this teaching throughout the week because i know i'm going to come back here next week and talk to you about these so i think about these teachings a lot which is really nice for me and it would be nice if you did the same you don't have to because you're not the teacher
but if you did it you'd be it would be good if you did it and actually i would like it to even though i'm not going to make you come up here and
play the role i'm playing yet
but i would like some day for you all to be able to teach this
so we could have forty classes on on causation in california
happening on thursday nights all over the state in your teaching
but and you'll teach him better if you're thinking about are all week just like if i think about our week
i teach it better because i'm prove i'm sure you actually i enjoy thinking about this all week i do
i'm i'm into it
and i remember what i told you i remember that i'm i'm dealing with my mental brick and projection of it all week
and i know that's not it
all week and i'm kind to myself and my mental projections and that means i don't i i less and less dwell in them so not only do i remember them but i kind of don't loan and i feel even better when i don't really feel good when i don't dwell on them but i don't feel good that dwelling and things that i'm not taking care of
that doesn't feel good
gotta really like be devoted to it and then don't dwell on that's that's what's wonderful
i'm being devoted to it is hard because got other things to do read rather than pay attention to what you're thinking
like just think with are paying attention and the words that's the most people are doing
they're doing carmel day but they're not paying attention because they are not convinced that it's really important that they do and then if they do pay attention then on top of paying attention nya to pay attention in a very kind way
a very loving way a gentle way a patient way even if you're thinking a nasty thought to be kind to the thought and yourself
and with this kite remembering and then being kind with what you remember then you get ready to not dwell on it and then we're talking about
what's the point of the teachings
so i had this idea i'm sharing with you i believe in this actually and i'm telling i do and but i could believe in it more now
like i could get more and i could believe it more that would be okay for me to believe it even more than i do i can see there's room for deepening the belief
and with a deepening belief is a deepening non dwelling
and that's what i think it's about it's about
not dwelling but we have to really love
things before we cannot dwell on them
not dwellings not the same as ignorance and denial
it would not dwelling requires great love and compassion
and i'm giving you a candidate
for great love and compassion which is everything you experience because everything you experience is the pinnacle rising there's nothing you experience is not dependent arising just remembered that everything is experience is a dependent quarter arising
the panic or arising
just remember that
and then also remembered that when you remember your remembering your mental can proceed projection of it being in a mental clinic or arising
and then be really kind to this met dependent arising
people are when you see a person or are or arising we see a doctor different currency when you see a teaching about dependent arising as a dependent arising
when you see a pain a pleasure of fear and anger those are all dependent horizons they're they're all opportunities
to pay attention to this dharma of the pinnacle rising and then when you're paying attention now
be really kind to what you're paying attention to now that you know that now that it's got your attention or you could say now that the teachers got your attention because when you remember this the teachings got your attention you're looking at a person and you're remembering the teaching okay now
learn to really completely be there with this
and then you'll notice perhaps you'll notice in if you don't
we can help you
if you're paying attention and you're being kind and you think here
can you think you're not attached you probably overlooking that you are
but if you're paying attention and you're being devoted to a dependent or arising in other words to whatever's happening because everything that alex all phenomena the pinnacle ryzen if you're paying attention to that teaching and taking care of this meeting
you probably without any assistance will notice that your dwelling
because you probably are
because of
because you're projecting something on it which is sort of saying hey grab a of me and dwelling me
so that's you probably will notice this and again if if you can't it's easy to help you with it because there's there's lots of wasted to find out if somebody's dwelling
but you you can probably catch yourself quite a bit because you're at this point you're quite a bit you're on the job see you're paying attention you're being really devoted and you notice the i can have some expectations here
i'm expecting something here and i can tell because
you know i'm feeling frustrated
i believe that beliefs are necessary
and dangerous
so i wanted to learn how to to live uprightly with our beliefs
then then we can not fall into the dangers
and we can realize the dharma
and and then i have a in addition to this i have some kind of like laws
ha ha and have several laws and again i told mentioned last week that i liked the idea that these laws i'm presenting you are like gum
ah they're not they're not fix things they're like pass for you to enquire upon which you can inquire
so here's a law
it's you know kind of a basic law
but dependent arising from our causation
wholesome actions
are beneficial
for wholesome actions have beneficial consequences
an example of that who were in you know would be ah yoga yoga postures
yogic postures and breathing
you can say those are examples of wholesome karma know only only if they're done skillfully or wholesome lee so a yoga postures that done skillfully is one that has
beneficial results some people do yoga postures and get hurt
so we call that unwholesome yoga posture or unskillful yoga posture
but let's say you do a skillful yoga posture and
it's and any you feel like it has beneficial results but even if you don't feel like if it has beneficial results it's defined as an action that does have beneficial results
that's what we mean by wholesome
he's that
makes it awesome

the a physical posture
is made by an intention if you want up in a physical posture without there being an intention on it it wouldn't be skillful
if i used three across the room and and you land and you and you won't end up to certain posture when you hit the ground that wouldn't be because of your attention probably unless you're really scotland and while you're flying through the air you decided to land a certain way but just being in a posture is not
a wholesome action a physical action so intention is what makes it wholesome what makes it skillful and what brings benefit
have you a house and intention to do great year the faster you deprive yourself
if you had the intention to do a great yoga posture and you hit and and you hurt yourself and and you could end someone could understand that the be getting hurt was the result of a yoga postures and that yoga postures that it was the result of would be unskillful would be unwholesome
ah what i didn't particular want to bring this up now button
this product i did to okay about believing the teaching that wholesome actions
are beneficial or believe in the teaching that what we mean by wholesome action are those that are beneficial that's also like belief in right view
because implied in that belief is that actions have consequences and we're defining wholesome actions as those that have
beneficial helpful consequence
but what's in the shadow kind of of this little conversation right now is that you cannot his first of all that the action because it is is wholesomeness depends on
whether it's beneficial or not the action does not have in itself
in essence of wholesomeness because it depends on his consequence
and you cannot tell by watching an action and seeing something else happened after it that the thing had happened after it was caused by that action
but we project we mentally project that onto actions so i started this last week
you can see this body and you can see the next body
you can see this posture and you can see the next posture you can see all this posture feels and how the next posture feels at this posture feels this way and you and youth and you're trying to be skillful and the next posture feels bad you could say what the first posture caused a second posture and the intention of of or
pastor cause the feeling of the second posture but you cannot see causation
are you can see is your mental projection that that was the causation
and your example was you you intend to do a good yoga posture
but if the result of that yoga posture is harm than your intention was not skillful
however when do you find out that it was harmful

the next moment
two minutes later a week later
if you you know there's there's there's no you never can actually get a hold of
whether it was wholesome or unwholesome you can't get ahold of it but that doesn't mean that it wasn't wholesome or unwholesome
and again one of the main things that's beneficial about wholesome action
is that it leads to interest in paying attention to your action
so on all some actions generally speaking not always but generally speaking do not have much attention given to them
and then they have the consequence of making you not very interested in paying attention wholesome actions do have ten attention paid towards them and they have used they tend to have the result of making you more interested in paying attention
but again paying attention doesn't mean paying attention and being able to see causation it's paying attention and by paying attention you're your the here's the law here's one of the laws by paying attention
your intentions your karma your action evolves positively
you cannot see with the way you're performing these actions that the wooden in that realm of the way you're seeing yourself perform these actions and the way you're intending to do them and the way you're paying attention all that god that realm of vision you cannot see causation


uses definition
what can you use it because

no you can't see it but you can use it in that way you to said in the way you just the way just said you call that not being able to use it
the way the way you usually would use it would be that you would be of the way people usually think about using something is that you would do something that you thought was a skillful that are that you want to be skillful and then you can see that it was or wasn't that be the usual way of using something but you can't use it that way
that's right but you can use it another way


this particular
now you can use the way operational way of using it he said you can use it to find out that you that you won't be able to verify the wholesomeness by the process by which you usually get ahold of things it won't be that way that's where you can use it
that's why it's faith that's why to believe partly
and the
so again now we have a right view cops if nine o'clock
so one kind of right view is the right view or that you know you believe in cause and effect
and but there's another kind of right view is when you understand the emptiness of cause and effect
and that's the you might say the for causing the full right view is when you understand the emptiness of causal effect or that the and grasp ability of cause and effect and when you understand that then you continue to do
to act with the intention of being skillful he continued to do that and it encourages you to continue to do that
but without dwelling on it
we got dwelling in that this action which i intend to be wholesome is actually really wholesome
independent of its results know that not true by definition is not independent
it's really it's really actually i'm certain that it's really beneficial but how could i be
how could i be
because i haven't seen all the results and inaction has different cut it has it has immediate result it has short long term your has delayed result in a long term result i can't see it
so i'm totally devoted to this
paying attention to action and i'm not dwelling in the devotion in the action or in its wholesomeness and i'm also devoted to do good action
they have good intentions
even and i'm not dwelling in the that intention and i think this will be beneficial also maybe but i'm not dwelling in the thought that i think they should be beneficial
so this is a getting quite advanced quite early in his class
and thank you very much for letting this happen
so if you liked it to have one of these pieces of trigger calligraphy to encourage your practice there for you and your friends

i'm trying to learn nine o'clock nine o'clock news

this is your signature

over there once revealed
i went to my niece of
and charlie i i brought your questions and that i didn't get to them