Conscious and Unconscious Obstructions of the Buddha Way 

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We just recited a statement like, we vow from this life on, to hear the true Dharma, that upon hearing it, no doubt will arise in us, nor will we lack in faith. In other words, when we hear the true Dharma, we'll have no doubt that we want to live for the welfare of all beings. right now, we'll lack no faith in practicing compassion in this moment. And in meeting this true Dharma, we will renounce worldly affairs, we'll renounce being


distracted from the way of peace, we'll renounce clinging to ourself, we'll renounce trying to get something out of this life, and by renouncing these distractions, we will be able to maintain the Buddha's Dharma, and in doing so, the great earth and all living beings together will attain the Buddha way. The great earth and all living beings will attain peace and ease within this giving up of our distractions which come through maintaining the Buddha Dharma.


And then we recited, although our past evil karma has greatly accumulated, or you could say, however, we have accumulated a lot of past karma, greatly accumulated past karma, so this accumulation of past action has become an obstacle to this wonderful practice. So we want to practice the way of peace and ease for all beings, but because of the accumulation of past karma, there's some obstacle to it. And then there's the request that compassionate Buddhas and ancestors free us from karmic effects, allowing us to practice the way without these obstacles, and how do they free us from these obstacles?


Well, number one, they free us from the obstacles by telling us that the obstacles come from past action. In other words, they're saying, we understand that you want to live your life for the peace and happiness of all beings. We hear you want to do that, and we're hearing that you feel some distraction from that occasionally, or some difficulty and obstacles in actually staying focused on what's best for everybody right now. So, we've heard that you want to do this, and that you feel some distraction, and the Buddhas are being compassionate to tell us that the reason why we have difficulty with that is because of past action. So, it doesn't nullify your good intentions to live for the welfare of all beings, to


be wise and kind to all beings, it just acknowledges the source of the obstacles, and this is mentioned here, but also is mentioned in the early teachings of the Buddha. And then, about a thousand years after the Buddha, his successors, by practicing his teachings, and contemplating them, and analyzing them, and questioning them, they came up with a somewhat different way of describing the problem, or the obstacles, in the practice. So, the past karma was now said to be an actual present, an actual consciousness in


the present, and this consciousness is actually the accumulation of past action. So we have our ordinary conscious mind, and that accumulated, that mind which is the accumulation of the past action, which carries all the past action, that mind is unconscious. So we have this great unconscious mind which embodies this past karma, and is the source of obstacles to practicing the way, right now. Each of us have our own, you might say, in-house, we have our own in-house storehouse of past


karma, and it's unconscious. And from this unconscious storehouse of past karma, that's where the obstacles to practicing the way come. When people are cruel to us, and people tell us not to practice, those are opportunities for practice, of course. But when we feel like passing up on the opportunity of being kind to somebody when they're being cruel to us, when someone's insulting me, and I think, well maybe later I'll practice, the thinking to postpone the practice, that's the hindrance, not the insult. The insult's not the hindrance, the insult's the opportunity to be kind. And I want to be kind when I'm insulted. But because of past karma, I have this present mind which supports the thought of, well maybe


I don't want to be kind and compassionate to this person. So then the Buddha way is hindered, and it's hindered by an actual living consciousness that is unconscious. So I have, there's different kinds of pasts, there's two basic kinds of pasts that I would talk about. One kind of past, well maybe three, one kind of past is the past just a moment ago, and one kind of a past is a basically beginningless past, from two moments ago, sort of on endlessly. That's the vast past, and that vast past is this great unconscious mind. Things that are gone, you could call them the past, but things that are gone, are gone.


But we have another past, which is a present, it's not gone, it's here, and it's vast. It's not just one moment of past karma, it's basically incalculable moments of karma. Some wholesome, some unwholesome, and it's unconscious. However, our conscious mind is supported by them, by this past, and in our conscious mind we can also have a story of our past, and all of us do in our conscious mind. It's a conceptual version of our past, and this version we have of our past is based on the actual past. This huge, vast, storehouse mind is the basis upon which we construct our current history.


But our current conscious history does not remember all the skillful and unskillful things we've ever done. But every one of them is registered in this cognition, this unconscious cognition. They're all registered there. They're all influencing us. Consciously, we may want to forget some of them, and we're always successful. We cannot remember them, so we're successful at forgetting the majority of our past karma. So, from the beginning of the teaching, where the Buddha just sort of said that there's hindrances to the practice because of past karma, to the later understanding, the later


articulation of things the Buddha just hinted at, which is that there's this mind right now, which is the basis upon which we're constructing our reality. And the teaching comes from the Buddha to say, in this constructed world you're living in, if you practice virtue, in a moment, that will be your current contribution to your past. And that virtue will transform your past. There will be a seed of virtue planted in this ocean of virtue and non-virtue, or I should say, in the ocean of the results of virtue and non-virtue. And this way, the basis upon which we construct our conscious life will be eventually completely


transformed. And many of us would think, well, if this storehouse is so vast, it would probably take quite a bit of contributions to it to transform it completely. And, yeah, that seems like that would probably be the case. So part of the practice, one of the virtues we need to practice is somehow to contemplate this situation, this teaching, in such a way that as we contemplate this teaching we feel great joy and great aspiration to do the practice which will transform this mind into the basically what we call the true body of Buddha. The true body of Buddha is taught in the Mahayana teachings about mind, it's taught to be this


past mind, this mind which is the past, it's not past mind, it's the mind which is the past, this storehouse consciousness, the complete transformation of this storehouse consciousness is the true body of Buddha. The complete transformation of this basis, this supporting consciousness of all of our conscious life, this unconscious basis of our conscious life, the complete transformation of that is the Dharma body of the Buddha. And so this teaching comes for us to now contemplate how unskillful action contributes to create


the support of the next moment of consciousness, which already has lots of unskillful contributions to it, and unskillful action then will generally speaking be conducive to make another contribution to supporting more unskillful action. But even if we do skillful action, there's still lots of past unskillful action also supporting the next moment. And how can we contemplate the situation so that we actually feel a deep joyful aspiration to practice virtue as best we can until we realize the Buddha body. And so this teaching is an example of the compassion of the Buddhas and ancestors to free us from karmic effects so we can practice the way without hindrance.


So this mind which is present right now, which is unconscious, is sometimes called the support of the knowable. It's the support of the knowable. So our knowledge is supported by a great unconscious storehouse cognition. And there's quite a bit of additional teachings coming from the compassionate bodhisattvas, and those compassionate bodhisattvas are also in this, the effects of their life are also in this great storehouse consciousness.


So I hope for us to join hands and plunge into this unconscious mind in such a way that we can realize how it actually works. To plunge into the creative process by which our conscious mind arises in dependence on the unconscious mind. And to plunge into the process by which skillful conscious thoughts, conscious intentions arise from the vast unconscious storehouse consciousness. And to understand how to deal with difficulties and obstructions in this process of creation, of the body of the Buddha. Yes?


A question about Jesus? Am I up for it? Let me check here now. This is something that's coming up to me based on my deluded mind. And now I want to meet this, whatever this is, with virtue. So I say welcome to this question about Jesus. Thank you. You're welcome. I've been thinking about the Stations of the Cross. I guess this is kind of the season. When is Easter celebrated this year? 24th. 24th. We're coming close to Easter and they have the Stations of the Cross. I've been thinking about Jesus as a historical person who seems to be giving himself to torture


and seems to be committed to loving all the beings that interact with him throughout the process. And I'm thinking about the moment, I want to ask about the moment, that seems to be an important part of the story, which is, I think it's after he's crucified when he says, My God, why have you abandoned me? And this came to mind when we first brought up the part about confessing our lack of faith and practice before the Buddha. I'm just wondering how, regarding what you just talked about, about storehouse consciousness, do you see that as a lack of faith in his practice that moment? Or did it also have a function? I feel a lot of curiosity.


I've been thinking about it. I've been thinking about Jesus because it's the season, I suppose, but then also, as you were talking, it's coming up again. Could you hear her question? She's questioning about the point on the cross when Jesus says, Why have you forsaken me? And so Steph's asking, is that a moment of lack of faith in practice? Well, it looks like a moment of lack of faith in practice, except that he said it. Because he said it, if he said it, that gives us a chance to look at it. And by giving us a chance to look at it, really, it's a moment of practice, because now we can look at it. And we can wonder, how are we included in the practice of patience with pain and insult?


So, one way a teacher can teach is by showing, for example, showing patience and showing faith. That's one way. The teacher should understand that when she shows faith and patience, she's not separated from the students who don't seem to know about their patience. They seem to be impatient. They might be impatient with the teacher who's showing patience. They might be doubtful about the teacher who shows faith. That sometimes happens. But the teacher doesn't feel separate from the students. The teacher who has great faith, because the teacher has great faith, or as a fruit of the teacher's great faith, the teacher understands that the students who have little faith are not separate from her.


And that in their doubt, the teacher's faith is completely included in their doubt. The teacher understands that. The teacher understands that. Sometimes the teacher will then appear to be doubtful. To help the student get in touch with their faith or with their patience. The teacher may appear to be impatient to help the students wake up to their impatience. And wake up to their patience by waking up to their impatience. So this could be a story where the teacher, the teacher who's on the cross, is trying to wake up the people who are not sharing, fully sharing the responsibility for the practice of patience. So the teacher's on the cross practicing generosity, ethics, and patience,


and tranquility, and wisdom, and enthusiasm. And so the teacher could say, Whoa, look at this, man, I'm like patient. Which is cool. So you want to see some patience? Look at this one. Watch me when they put these nails in me. Watch me how I handle it. And I, I'm not separate from the nailers, and I'm not separate from the students watching me get nailed. You, you nailers and you students might think that you're separate from me, but I understand you're not, and I'm here to show you, I'm here to help you wake up that we're not separate. But some need me to look like I'm losing my faith in order to wake up. So right now, without trying to be that way, because, you know, it's like, what is it, sometimes women who are breastfeeding,


as soon as they see the baby, the milk comes out of the breast, before the baby's even nearby, or they see other people's babies, and they wet their blouse with their milk. So it isn't exactly like, OK, now I'm going to squirt some milk. The Buddha doesn't necessarily think, or the teacher doesn't necessarily think, OK, now I'm going to look like doubtful. This, the doubt, manifests at the right time, when somebody, if they see the teacher doubting, or when they see the teacher feeling separate from them, they go, wow, we're not separate. Do you understand? That's what the teacher does. So sometimes a teacher says, someone's attacking a teacher, the teacher says, I'm your friend. You want to kill me? I'm your friend. That's what the Buddha did. It seems like that's the way Jesus taught too. You want to kill me? I'm your friend. You want to kill me? I'm your friend. You want to kill me? I don't like that you're trying to kill me.


I love you though. And I'm here for you. So that's kind of like common for the teacher. But sometimes the teacher says, I'm scared, I doubt. Because some of the people don't go for the, well, I'm here for you, I'm your friend. They doubt, but they don't understand that they're doubting, or what they're doubting. So then the teacher goes, I'm scared, I feel abandoned, I don't have faith. And then it wakes them up. So it could be that that's, still the teacher's still there, when the teacher says, I doubt, I lack faith, I don't feel supported by my teacher. What do you think he meant when he made his address to God? You mean when he spoke to God?


Yes. He said, why have you forsaken me? Yeah, my God, why have you forsaken me? Well again, the teacher does that because all the students feel, the teacher's not separate from all the students who feel, well, how come God doesn't do anything about this? So the teacher's saying that the true body of Buddha is not trying to change the situation here. But you might wonder about that, so I'm going to invoke the presence of the true body, the true body of reality, I'm going to invoke that here, and include that in the discourse, so that you all can realize what we're doing here. This is what we're doing, we're doing this practice. And rather than give a lecture, I'll speak for all of you


who have big doubts about what's going on here. How can this be happening? This is so horrible. And then so the teacher says, okay, isn't this horrible? How come this is so horrible? Why doesn't somebody fix this? Why doesn't somebody fix this? And then maybe some of the people then say, oh, I see the way to fix this. The way to fix this is for me to be peaceful with this horror. But that's what this is all about. It's about me learning how to be peaceful. This teacher's here to help me and my friends learn how to be peaceful with horror. It's not about getting somebody to fix the horror.


It's about being, because the thing is that the reality body comes into the realm of horror in order to wake people up to being, how to be peaceful with it. So I could see this as the teacher functioning, you know, sometimes, and sometimes Zen teachers do, you see them sometimes, they talk to the Buddha. They sometimes say, good morning, Buddha. Or they sometimes say, Buddha and Bodhisattvas, please come here. They sometimes say, homage, Buddha. They sometimes say, I offer praise to Buddha. They sometimes say, I make an offering of my practice to the Buddha. They talk like that. As though the Buddhas were separate from them, but they don't mean it that way. And the people watch them and they say, how come you're making an offering to some other Buddha?


And then they explain, well, I'm not. It's not some other Buddha. I'm offering to Buddha, which is not other than us. But people think that Buddha is other than us, so we give him a way to get in touch with that feeling, and then we say, okay, let's be kind to that feeling that Buddha is separate from us and get over it by kindness. Yes. That kind of leads into the question I had. We say may all Buddhas and ancestors be compassionate to us and free us. Yeah. And as you were describing, sort of that, I was thinking, well, I really want them to be a little more active on my behalf. Say again? I'd like them to be more active on my behalf. Oh, I thought you were going to say that sounds like getting them to be too active on your behalf. If you want them to be more active on your behalf, then the way you do that is by practicing more wholeheartedly.


Then they're getting more active. So how does that help work? Pardon? What's the mechanism for that? For what? For wholehearted practice? For help. What's the mechanism? Oh, the mechanism is that the beings who have realized they're not separate from you, that they don't really help you until you ask them to help. So the mechanism is that they can't respond to you unless you offer them something to respond to. But as soon as you, at the moment you ask for help, they've just helped you. You've just recognized, when you ask for help, you've recognized to some extent that you have some relationship. If you had no relationship, you wouldn't, it would be kind of inconceivable how you would request help from someone you have no relationship with. You may think,


I have no relationship with you, and that's what I have to say to you. But then, that kind of disrespectful expression of the relationship is not totally useless. It's just that you miss that at the moment you said that, it's the moment you expressed that, that was their response. And they were actively working for you. But, you know, most people don't get it that way. And they don't, Buddhists don't say, please disrespect us. And they don't even say, please respect us. But if you ask them and say, I do offer myself to be respected, because it would be good for people to respect anything, not to mention the great wise and compassionate beings. And if you pay your respects, that's the Buddha's being active. Before you pay your respect, it's hard to see much action. But the way they free us is by us practicing.


That's the way they free us. And what do they free us from? They free us from feeling separate from them by us doing the practice. And they tell us to practice. But they don't tell us to practice unless we ask for it. You're missing that actually in asking, that's already the activity of Buddha. So it is an opening, yes, it's true. But the opening is the activity of Buddha. Because Buddha is trying to open you. That's their job. They want to come to open you. So when you open, that's their job. When you open, that's their work. That's the Buddha working when you open. And then when you see the Buddha demonstrating, then that's the Buddha demonstrating. That's their function. Their function is totally included in you


and me. But if we don't see our function as the Buddha's function, then we're rejecting it. Which we usually, that's what we usually do because we're distracted. We're distracted from it. Dash. You know, not that it's very important to remember it. Yes. I believe there is really no storehouse. Well, that's right. There really is no storehouse. Yeah, but it's so funny. All I see is like we somehow keep building more faster than, you know, faster and faster. And I don't see any reason why we're doing it other than just being stupid. You know, or just doing, doing for the sake of doing like we don't need to,


we don't have anything to do, so we do something. And rather than just stop. Yeah, rather than just stop, we do something. And the reason why we do something is because this storehouse consciousness is supporting us to feel like we need to do something. I think we want to believe there is a storehouse consciousness, and therefore it exists. It's in our belief. It's because we believe that. We create that in our... Yeah, that's right. How? You don't know where, how, but I'm telling you where, how. You create it because of the storehouse consciousness. Because of something that doesn't really exist, you create a belief in something that doesn't really exist. But you've got to have the thing that doesn't really exist in order to create this idea of this thing that doesn't really exist. Yeah, it's so funny, but I don't know how do we do it? Because,


because you've done it in the past. Quite a few times. And there's consequences of the things you've already done. And the consequences of the things you've done is you have a mind which is this vast resource for continuing to imagine things that don't exist. And you're not going to stop imagining things that don't exist for a while. This is an explanation of why you're doing this silly thing. But the explanation of why you're doing this silly thing is also doesn't really exist. We're talking about an explanation of how we imagine things that don't exist to exist. But I'm not saying, but the explanation really exists, or that the basis of this process of imagination, it really exists. No, we're not saying that. It's funny. Yeah, very funny.


Yes? You say that this storehouse is unconscious, but I wonder, don't we have the opportunity to see it? And if we can see into the storehouse, then is it not unconscious? Can we bring some consciousness to this unconscious space? Can we bring consciousness to it? I would say you can bring consciousness to it. You do constantly bring consciousness to it. Every moment you bring consciousness to it. Every moment of consciousness is brought to it. So you're constantly bringing consciousness to it. I want it to go the other way. I want it to go the other way, I guess. So that I want to become conscious of this. The unconscious, yeah, but it doesn't work that way because when it becomes


conscious, it's a separate consciousness from it. It's a different type of consciousness. part of the thing is that this active consciousness can be clear, but the unconscious is never really clear. However, all the active clear consciousnesses, the result becomes part of this unconscious, but the conscious never becomes conscious. But it's transformed by every single moment of active consciousness. And active consciousnesses cannot arise without a past. And active consciousnesses have two kinds of past. One is the previous moment of active consciousness, that's one past, and also all the past, and then all the consequences of all the past active


consciousnesses are also the basis of this present consciousness. And this present consciousness, as soon as it ceases, will be number one, it will be a condition for the next consciousness, and number two, it will be a seed in the vast unconscious. But as soon as you look at the unconscious, which you do, you look at it, but when you look at it, you see an active consciousness, you don't see it, you don't see the unconscious, you see a consciousness which depends on it. It's not separate, it's simultaneous, but distinct. And they're never mixed. But the unconscious is in the conscious, the unconscious is in the conscious as a cause, which is unconscious. But you do consciously know that it's there as a cause. And the conscious is in the unconscious as a seed by which the


unconscious will become a cause. So the unconscious is both cause and fruit. And consciousness is also cause and fruit, or fruit and cause. And they're not mixed. However, the conscious activity can completely transform the basis, its own basis. And of course when its basis is transformed, it will be transformed too. Can you talk about that? Yes, I can. So practicing virtue, consciously practicing virtue, without knowing what supported that, you've heard what it is. You understand that it's being supported by all past action, this present moment of virtue. And this present moment of virtue,


as soon as it ceases, will become a virtuous contribution to the next moment of the past, which supports the next consciousness. And this way, this entire ocean storehouse will be completely transformed into a mind which is no longer supporting delusion. No longer supporting a mind which is grasping things in terms of duality. A mind that realizes the non-duality of all beings. The true body of the Buddha. And we have this opportunity now to joyfully make our little contributions moment after moment after moment with, you know, with great joy and patience. And including noticing if we get tired and


resting and all that. In other words, everything is an opportunity for compassion. And when we practice that way, we're doing the very thing which makes a Buddha. Yes. A couple of days ago, I was interacting with someone, and the idea that I was being insulted. And Wonderful. And for some reason, probably not for some reason, but what happened was he appeared fairly skillful in response. A skillful response came to this thought that you're being insulted? Yeah. And I don't know where that came from. So, in the


presentation that you're putting forward today, does skillfulness come from the storehouse as well as unskillfulness? Skillfulness comes from the storehouse. The storehouse is the basic support of all skillfulness and unskillfulness. Skillfulness also comes from the Buddha's teaching. And skillfulness comes from the person who was standing in front of you doing whatever they were doing. Those are some places that it's coming from. Which is part of the reason why there really isn't any skillfulness and there also really isn't any storehouse consciousness. And the more you practice skillfulness, the more you realize that there, you know, that there really isn't any storehouse consciousness, there really isn't any active consciousness, there really isn't any birth, and there really isn't any death, and there really isn't even


any Buddha. The Buddhas don't really think they're Buddha. Buddhas just realize that the delusion of Buddha is a delusion. And that's Buddha. So, we could talk more about the various causes and conditions that contribute to a skillful response, but basically a skillful response is exactly, well, there's skillful response and then there's also an enlightening response. So the Buddha is just to make an enlightening response to whatever is given to her. And it's possible to have an enlightening response to whatever is given when the storehouse consciousness is completely transformed. To allow you to see everyone as your true self. And then when you see it that way, then they would call it the milk squirts at the right


moment. To the right person. With the right chemical composition. You're not hindering the flow of reality because the storehouse consciousness has been transformed into this totally serviceable reality body. Yes. So it seems to me that one of the functions of Zazen is to I don't know if function is the right word. One of the things that happens is that things in the storehouse are surfaced. And then into active consciousness for reconsideration and sometimes developing a different story about


what services. Zazen is I would say the Zazen is the Zazen of the Buddhas. The Zazen of this tradition here is the essential art of enlightenment when met with the maturing of the storehouse consciousness. So the storehouse consciousness matures and gives you a story. A story you're conscious of. So you get a story. Zazen is the art of enlightenment in regard to that story. It's not another story yet. Another story will be another active consciousness. It's to respond to this story in the essentially enlightened way. And then


that will immediately be a contribution to the storehouse for the next story. Active consciousnesses are basically story after story after story. But the way the stories are met is not a story even though you can have stories about it. Like you can have stories about being kind but being kind to a story isn't really a story. When you're kind you're not necessarily thinking, Oh, I'm being kind. If you're thinking I'm being kind that's another story. But to actually just like, you know, to squirt milk isn't really a story. But some people when they see a certain story they squirt milk. It's that sort of mindless response to the story. That's an enlightened response to the story. That's Zazen. So when we're sitting, each moment a story comes up, goes down.


Comes up, goes down. And then if we respond to that story with compassion and wisdom and concentration and enthusiasm if that's the way we respond to this story that does contribute to us responding to another story that way. Isn't there some I find it helpful that there's some active engagement somehow sometimes with wet surfaces. Some need to retell the story or exercise. Actually I think I could have a different response to this story. I could be kind to this story as opposed to feeling. So I'm just saying isn't there some


work we can do caught with our thinking about it. The enlightened response to the story that arises is Zazen. And that enlightened response is called by the Buddha and by Dogen Zenji and if you'll excuse me for saying so, some other people in this room. That enlightened response to the story is called right thinking. So the essential art of Zazen is the essential art of enlightenment and the essential art of enlightenment is called right thinking. And right thinking is the right way to engage with the story that's being presented.


And right thinking means to think about something in the right way means that you're non-violent with it, that you're generous, that you're careful. It's not right thinking to not be careful the way you're thinking. To be patient, to be concentrated, to be wise and to be enthusiastic about these practices. That's the right way to think about whatever the story is. That's Zazen. It's total engagement. So a story comes up. Hello! Now is this a deluded story? Probably. Because a lot of basically sentient beings, non-Buddhas, all their stories are delusion. So a story comes up, it's basically a delusion. Engage that story. Meet it and engage it intimately, thoroughly, and then enlightenment is realized.


That's what I thought. Yes? I have a story that a lot of times I try to manipulate my life consciously, but over and over again I have realized that something greater than my conscious mind is an alteration. You get a glimmering of that now and then? Yes. And I also realize sometimes when I look back that it completely supported my life. That all the pain and the trials and the tribulations I may have felt at that moment were


exactly what I needed. Even when I consciously ask myself sometimes, why am I here? I really start, I think about having faith in what's happening at this moment. And that sort of helps me in dissipating my fear of the future as well. Okay. Because there is a part, now I don't know if it's that storehouse consciousness that you're talking about, but I feel like that's what's carrying my life forward. It's not my conscious thought so much. It's both. Both are carrying your life forward. Both of these types


of consciousness, they're both carrying your life forward. One, they're supporting each other. One is the cause for the other, and the other is the cause of the other. They're both cause and effect of each other, and they're both going together. They're both carrying your life forward. Your conscious life and your unconscious life. Your conscious mind and your unconscious mind. They're both minds. Your life is, you cannot have one without the, well you can actually, you can have, you could have the storehouse consciousness without the conscious one. But you usually have two, and they're both carrying you forward. But just a second, may I say something? Or do you want to keep talking? No, I just wanted to, like, interject real quickly. The current of the unconscious, I feel, is stronger. Well, in a way, you could say it's stronger, but in a sense that


if the conscious mind took a break, the unconscious wouldn't if you kept living. So it's deeper, you could say. It's deeper. But the conscious mind, the unconscious mind is not going to transform your life in the direction that you want it to go. It's going to support the transformation, but the transformation occurs in the conscious part. So, it's not, to say that one's stronger than the other, it's more like one's deeper and more basic. Not wiser? The unconscious one is definitely not wiser. All the deluded possible, all the possible delusions that you could ever come up with are down there. How about all the wisdom accumulated over the lifetimes? Why does it have to be delusion? It's not... Only? It's neither one of them are delusion. According to this teaching, both are deluded. That's all you've got is delusion.


But by working on this delusion properly, the delusion will be transformed into wisdom. So, there's a place where you were talking earlier, where you articulated the practice. And the practice is your conscious attitude towards your life. That you appreciated it. There was generosity in the way you were speaking about your life. The generosity is the practice, which you're doing with your conscious stories about what's going on. And that practice will transform this great mind, which you're right, has been supporting you all along. And appreciating and being compassionate and grateful for the storehouse of all deluded thoughts. This mind is the storehouse of deluded thoughts. It's not the storehouse of enlightenment. It's not the storehouse of wisdom. It's the storehouse


of delusion. Both skillful and unskillful conscious thoughts are deluded. But when you have a deluded thought, like you may have had a few, like for example, I'm going to try to fix this or control this, such a deluded thought, or I'm not going to try to control anything such a deluded thought is that, either way you go, they're both delusion and both of them you can be generous towards. And you can be generous towards them, plus you can also be generous towards this unconscious mind, and that's the beginning, that's the seed of practice. And that gets planted in this unconscious mind. And it promotes skillful behavior, but it also promotes another moment of practice. Practice in a sense is not really skillful or unskillful. It's being kind to both skillful and unskillful. And you demonstrated at various points when you were talking little flashes of light of practice in the midst of this


this ongoing support of your life. And so your life has been supported through all its difficulties and now there's a thought of appreciation for this whole process, and the Buddha basically appreciates the whole process and wants to open beings to the whole process and demonstrate then once people are open, demonstrate the truth and awaken them to the truth. Totally engaged with the same thing you're engaged with, but with real, you know, with real loving kindness and compassion towards whatever it is. And there's glimmers of that in what you said. Of kindness towards whatever it is. I have one issue with the way you explained it. When you talk about storehouse, your reference to it is that it's just delusion.


It's what? Delusion. It's not exactly delusion, it's actually because it's unconscious. It doesn't really count as delusion until it becomes conscious. A lot of times your unconscious, when it becomes conscious, is not necessarily delusion. There could be wisdom within that unconscious that becomes conscious. But... There could be, but there is a teaching which I offer to you and that is that all you have and all I have, all sentient beings have is deluded consciousness. We don't have any other kind. That's all we've got. Is deluded consciousness. We don't have an enlightened consciousness. If we have enlightened consciousness we don't get to be sentient beings anymore. Sorry. Where does the wisdom come from? Where does it come from? It comes from studying delusion. Everything is delusion.


Everything about our mind is delusion. No, it's not that everything is delusion. It's that all I've got is delusion. It's not that everything is delusion. It's just that all I've got is deluded. But delusion isn't just delusion. Delusion is deluded consciousness. All I've got to work with is deluded karmic consciousness. That's all I've got. That's the teaching. Okay? Now... You got that? Yes. Now, there's a practice that you can apply to the situation. And if you practice the bodhisattva way with your deluded consciousness ... wisdom is realized. Now, where did the wisdom come from? It came from studying delusion. That's where it came from. It came from studying these teachings about delusion. And it was always right there, too. It's just that because we weren't studying delusion, we were caught up in it. And we were caught in... we were entrapped. As long as you're a sentient being, you're entrapped


in this alaya-vijnana. And you cannot get to wisdom when you're entrapped in it. But if you're somehow allowed to study the consequences or the fruits of alaya, wisdom dawns. It was always there. It was never separate. But you were trapped in a little box, so you couldn't see it. So, it's always there. It's always non-dual with this deluded consciousness. But unless you study the deluded consciousness, the wisdom will seem like it's someplace else. As a matter of fact, the worst situation is you'll think that the delusion is wisdom, which a lot of deluded people think. That the deluded consciousness actually is perfect wisdom. Or, anyway, very high quality wisdom. But it's not. It's just a little constructed fantasy. But some people are studying it and some people are not.


And the ones who study it are planting the seeds and doing the practice of those who have already realized wisdom. Those who realize wisdom do the same practice. They keep studying delusion too. It's just that they're studying other people's delusion. But the other people whose delusion they're studying, they understand are totally them. They just don't identify with anything. And all the beings they don't identify with, that they don't feel separate from, are identifying with themselves and suffering. So they're teaching them how to study their delusions so that they can be Buddha. And when you feel like, OK, I'm going to study this delusion rather than, OK, I'm going to study my... Where's my little bit of enlightenment here? I'm going to study that. Now forget that part. Forget the enlightenment. The enlightenment is to study delusion. It's not to sort of find, you know, where is the goal in this polluted situation?


Where's my little bit of where I'm right? That's supreme ignorance right there. That's supreme delusion. The place where you feel like, oh, there's a little wisdom. OK? But that's not the end of the story. Be kind to that, and you're really cooking. I finally found the place where I really think I'm right. I was feeling a little deluded, but now I actually found a place where I'm not deluded at all. That's supreme delusion. And now, OK, now we've got the supreme jewel of delusion. The delusion of delusion. The delusion that puts all of their delusion into the light, actually. The darkest delusion is, I understand the truth. This is it. OK, now, be kind to that. Be kind to yourself in your intense, highly intensified delusion. Be kind to yourself. Be welcoming and say, this has been going on my whole life,


and it's given my whole life, and it's brought me to where I'm at, and I'm, yeah, I'm so grateful to this opportunity, but I'm also careful of, this is a very dangerous delusion. My ordinary one's like, well, I could be wrong, I could be right. That's delusion too. But I couldn't be wrong, and I have to be right. That's delusion also. But it's a little bit, they're both dangerous. One's kind of wishy-washy, and the other has, you know, wishy-washy is dangerous, but also intense gripping is dangerous too, so being careful of this delusion is called ethics. And be patient with it, because it's really nauseating- extremely painful. So you've got to be patient with it. But first of all, you have to welcome it and say, thank you, [...] thank you for this opportunity to practice the Buddha way with this deluded karmic consciousness. And there's nothing wrong with me, I'm just a sentient being. Everybody else got the same situation. I'm not being


put down below anybody or above anybody. It's all we've got. The question is, are we practicing? And the way you talked about the way you related to the situation at various points sounds like practice. That's the thing. Yeah. You can go next and then Karen. Who else was there? Will? Okay. He was first. Okay. Go ahead. So your discussion of that was reminiscent of me, of scientific knowledge and scientific studies and scientists attempting to grasp reality and get a handle on it and potentially come up with a theory of everything or some way of really pinning down reality to something that we know.


Some scientists. Yeah. But some are not trying to do that. Right. Last fall I was reading a book by Henri Poincaré. He really understands that numbers are imaginary and things like that. Including imaginary numbers. Those two. And but I don't see an elegant or at least I've seen glimpses occasionally of an elegant relationship between scientific knowledge and Buddhist wisdom. And I'm wondering if you can maybe help me glimpse that a little more of how to pursue and support scientific what scientists would call wisdom. Their scientific, I guess I don't know if it's all knowledge because there's something deep in there. How does that kind of consciousness relate to wisdom we're talking about?


I feel like that question I'd like you to ask later in the afternoon for the end of the next talk. It's a little bit too big at this point for me to talk about. Because people are getting hungry. Their unconscious is telling them that there's something important to take care of. So if you can bring that up later and maybe just sit in the next talk. Or in your next life. But I'm very interested in your question but I think it's a little bit large at this point. Will? He said... Yours is too big too. He said all I've got is deluded consciousness. I didn't mean to say all you've got but all sentient beings got. You might be a Buddha. But all sentient beings have is deluded karmic consciousness. You can also drop off delusion and just say


karmic consciousness or just say sentient being. So is there other than what we've got? Is there other than what we've got? Yeah. Yeah, there is. There is a... There is a consciousness which is you know free of elaboration. Like it's not... It's completely free of like birth and death, existence and non-existence. It's like, you know, it's totally ungraspable but can be realized and the realization of it is like more or less unhindered ability to be kind. You know, no matter what you do to this consciousness, it just comes back with kindness. And it can do that because it's not involved in like self and other existence and non-existence. But karmic consciousness


has to, you know, can't stand to deal with something that's totally unelaborated. So that consciousness is inconceivable to it. That Buddha mind is inconceivable to it. But by being kind, by practicing what the Buddhas have realized, namely kindness, to this karmic consciousness, the karmic consciousness is transformed into this mind which can stand not having no elaboration, being free of, completely free of elaboration, being totally pure so that it can respond, you know, kindly and skillfully to whatever is given to it. That's not separate from the karmic consciousness. It's the actual reality of the karmic consciousness is that, you know, you can't find the karmic consciousness. But karmic consciousness thinks it can find things. That's the kind of consciousness it is. By studying it, you realize it can't be found, and it's not hindering anything, and actually we're not separate


even though we think we are, without even changing it or getting rid of it. But we have to be kind to this karmic consciousness in order to cultivate this simultaneous Buddha mind. I thought, I'm not sure if this is correct, I thought what Jackie was asking about was related to intuition, and that sometimes inside of karmic consciousness we have these intuitions, and it seems like they're a gift from the unconscious that comes up to the surface. Well, that's, yeah, and I think intuition is a type of active consciousness, which is somewhat aware that it doesn't know where this consciousness came from. So intuition, but intuition is not the thing that supports the intuition. Intuition is conscious. Like I, what do you call it? One of the two founders


of the Jung Institute in San Francisco, one's name is Joe Henderson, who died not too long ago at 104, and the other one is Joe Wheelwright, the brother of the sort of, of Gringotts Wheelwright. One brother was a physicist and a farmer, and the other brother was co-founder of the Jung Institute in San Francisco. And during the Second World War he was a doctor in his America, but he was serving in England as a doctor, and I think he was an intern, and he was doing rounds with one of the great teachers, with one of the great internists in this hospital in London, and so they were walking around and asking the interns to diagnose people's illness. So Mr. Wheelwright, Joe Wheelwright, said, this person has blah-de-blah, blah-de-blah, and you know, he diagnosed the person correctly, and the teacher says, very good, now where did you get that? Now usually,


scientists, you know, they're supposed to get that from, you know, sense data. So he asked him where he got it, so he looked inwardly to see where he got it, and he said, I saw myself standing in a large sort of amphitheater on the stage. That's where he, that's all he could get about where it came from. But even that image was, you know, a conscious image. But this knowledge just came up. It didn't come from nowhere, it did come from Malaya, but your sense active consciousness, and your reasoned active consciousness, and your intuitive active consciousness, they're all active consciousnesses. But when you realize you don't know where it comes from, you're right, it is coming from Malaya, but in that case you feel like you don't know where it came from. Whereas the other one you feel, well, I kind of, I was reasoning and that's where it came from. Yes, you were.


But the stuff you were reasoning with came from the same place. So all the different types of knowledge, if you take these four types, they all are based on Malaya, but the intuition is the one where you say, I can't tell you where it came from. It's just here. But now you can say where it comes from. I think you can say intuition is based on this storehouse consciousness. And there's some relevance about which active consciousness arises in a particular situation. One time I actually, I was over at Green Gulch and a friend of mine came to visit me and we were talking and all of a sudden I said to her, How's your father? And she says, What do you mean, how's your father? And I said, Well, isn't he in the hospital? And she said,


What? I said, I just had the image of him being in the hospital. And this friend in some ways had the high opinion of me so she thought he could see stuff like that. So she said, Can I use your phone? I said, Sure. So she picks up the phone and dials her home in Minneapolis. She dials her mother and says, Where's dad? And she says, Shit. Never mind how I know. How is he? Oh, shit. I can't tell you. I'll tell you later. Her mother said, Well, how did you know? And she hangs up the phone and leaves. And she just thinks, Here's my guru, right? And then later, I remembered the Alaya Vijnana. I somehow got a feeling for the


Alaya Vijnana. I remembered that a few days just a couple days before or maybe even just a day before, somebody from Minneapolis called me and told me that they were in the hospital. This person was talking to me. And she said, And I saw this woman's husband being admitted. And I just thought, Okay, he's admitted to the hospital. I didn't feel like I had to call his daughter to tell her that her father was in the hospital. I just said, You're in the hospital. He's in the hospital. Thanks for the information. Bye-bye. Then she comes to visit me and this thing flies up. So I had this thought of him. When she said he's in the hospital, I pictured him in the hospital. I pictured her there too. And I just had this, because my mind thought that that became a seed in my mind, so then when she comes in the door, I think, Oh. But I can't actually be conscious of the way it was stored. The way it's


stored is Alaya. But it pops up and becomes a support for me. She walks in the door and I say, How's your father? And I couldn't remember the karmic consciousness which planted the seed, the karmic consciousness of me talking to another friend on the telephone, which planted the seed. Sometimes you can see, but you can't see where it's stored. You can just see when it pops up and then you can say bye-bye to it, but it's going to be down there and available for further mystical demonstrations. So it's all, it's all, what do you call it? It all makes sense. It's just that part of it is most of what's going on, most of what the mind's doing, most of the time is unconscious. And so we got a big job here because the unconscious is what's sometimes


the unconscious is supporting us to practice, but when we're not being supported, it's the unconscious that's mostly interfering with us. But if we're kind to the way our conscious mind is manifesting, the obstacles will be removed to the wonderful practice of great compassion and wisdom. That's the proposal. And so these teachings are to encourage us and assist us in caring for our karmic consciousnesses with the understanding of how this is going to actually work things out for the world in the end. But of course the scale is very large and so people sometimes would like a faster practice on this. But again, the faster practice is just another karmic consciousness which is supported by the seed of fast and slow, which we're trying to get beyond. So try not to fall into the pit


of trying to get a faster practice or a slower practice. But be kind when you notice you're trying to get that. Be kind to the person who's trying to get a little bit faster practice because, you know, they're busy and they would like to just get things settled soon. And no problem getting things settled soon. No problem of getting things settled soon. Just don't try to get things settled soon. You know what I mean? Don't try to get that. Because that's where sentient beings are trapped. They're trying to get things settled. They're trying to get control. They're trying to change the way things are going. This is normal. We have to be kind to such manipulative consciousnesses. I should say, if we wish to realize perfect wisdom, we have to be kind to perfect delusion. Our own. And if we see anybody else


that seems to be deluded, be kind to them too. But don't just do it totally towards other people. Primarily with yourself. And then you'll be able to do it with others. But some people are, you know, they really do want to be kind to deluded people but they don't think they're deluded which is a problem. Because they can't understand why these people are not, you know, saying thank you for their latest deluded comment. Yes? I think I need to think more about this. And I'm feeling like I want to argue with you or like I don't really feel comfortable with the way that this is formulated. Well, can you stay to the route? Can you come this afternoon? No. You're leaving? You have to leave today? Early? Oh, how tragic. I'll get to work on it longer. Yeah. It feels


very, anyway. A concrete, like there's this Yeah. And I don't mean to insult anybody but after the Buddha introduced this teaching in Chapter 5 of the Samadhi Nirmachana Sutra after he introduced this teaching he said I hesitate to offer this teaching because children will take it as something substantial. So the child side of us wants to make this into something substantial. It's not. So this teaching is for the wise people. So if you're resisting it maybe it's not good for you. Maybe you should go find some teaching that you don't think is substantial. Can you find one like that? I think it's this one. And yet when I'm hearing you I'm thinking the way


this is being presented sounds different. But I'm open to it. Yeah, and the Buddha hesitated to give it because it sounds like he actually said, he didn't say substantial, he said that they'll take this alaya as a self. So this teaching, this alaya is not a self but as you describe it, it can look like a self to some people. So in that sense the Buddha is kind of hesitant or ambivalent about offering it. But I can't stop it. It's happening. But thank you for your gift of your feelings about this. At this moment. And I understand. And I've been trying not to teach it for a long time but I can't stop. It's happening. I'm sorry.


Thank you. I love you. Thank you. May our intention equally extend to every being and place with the true merit of Buddha's way. Beings are numberless. I vow to save them. Delusions are inexhaustible. I vow to end them. Dharma gates are boundless. I vow to enter them. Buddha's way is unsurpassable. I vow to become it. Thank you.