Entering and Embodying Truth 

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Are you sisters? I think someone commented last week that some discussion was abstract and we talked about finding a way to, you know, ground our conversation. At the same time, I kind of wanted to say some things that are possible to be seen as or experienced as abstract, if I may.


And I already did while you were sitting, and one of the suggestions of a lot of people who think about justice is that justice is basically about, one of the basic things about justice has something to do with equality. And that equality is, I think, some people call it a regulative principle of justice or a critical criterion of justice. It's a criterion you can use to critique whether justice is being realized. And so I mentioned that there is the expression that the sitting in the Zen tradition that I'm part of and that you're part of, suggests that there's a practice of sitting.


And that that practice is the same practice of all beings and the same enlightenment as all beings. Very much it's about equality and sameness. And we do a ritual, like in this room, we do a ritual where we all kind of ritually do the same practice. We have a formal ceremonial ritual of all sitting still in basically the same way. You could say there's some differences among us, but at the same time there's something the same in the ritual form that we practice here. That ritual that we're doing, that's not the way that everybody's the same, because not everybody's sitting all over the world right now. It's a ceremony where we recognize and open to what is the same among all beings.


We allow, in this way, through this ritual, we allow the realization of what it is that we're all doing the same. And we can then test, we're welcome to test whether this sameness, this equality, is starting to take root in our life. Whether doing the ritual, formal ceremony of sameness, makes our life more the realization of the equality of all beings. And in the so-called Buddhist tradition, there is this kind of thing about that there was a Buddha, a historical Buddha,


and that he was more enlightened than anybody around. Something like that. That not everybody was as much a Buddha as he was a Buddha. And there's kind of an inequality in that. And you could even say, well then, there's kind of an injustice in that, that there was only one Buddha at the time of the historical Buddha. And if you see that inequality, is that an inequality which benefits everybody? That there was somebody who really understood reality very, very well. And that that's an encouragement for us then to realize the equality of all beings,


because somebody was unequal in a way that encouraged us to discover equality. So his successors, some of his successors, are making the point that the Buddha, the historical Buddha who plays the kind of special role of the great teacher, is actually there to help us open to the real Buddha. The all-inclusive Buddha, which is actually the practice of all beings. It's the way all beings are practicing together in the same way. And several weeks ago, I brought up the thing about mushrooms.


I said mushrooms, but I really meant fungi. The mushrooms are the flower of the fungi. That fungi, in a way, part of their function is like the function of what we often call a bodhisattva. But in another way, you could say that the fungi, the way that they function in the living world, of benefiting themselves and others, is an example of equality. Even though the fungi don't function the same way as non-fungi, they actually are participating in the practice of equality, in the sense that they are working for equality among inequality,


by distributing nutrients which have developed in excess one place to a place where they're deficient. So there seems to be inequality, but their function is to equal inequality, but they seem to be working for equality. And the beings who are interacting with them are also part of that process, although we don't necessarily give the ones who have excess credit for distributing their excess to the ones who are deficient. In fact, if they let the fungi perform that function, they are part of the same process of equalizing. So it's not just the fungi, but somehow the fungi signal us to look at this way of equalizing


and, what's another word, tranquilizing, another word, calming, harmonizing. They draw our attention to the process, but everybody in the system is participating in it, and basically we're looking at the way they're all working for equality, and they're all doing the same practice of equality, but each one also in a different way. So we're all doing things in different ways, but there's something which we're doing which is the same practice, and that's the practice which is the central practice. The main practice, that's the practice which is the practice


by which we establish and realize justice, but also by which we so-called establish enlightenment or wisdom and compassion. And then Charlie wrote a letter about questioning whether the fungi have intention and whether their activity could be seen as compassionate if they don't have intention. And so I've been thinking about this, and I used this example in response to him of the scare deer and the scare crow, and also of Suzuki Roshi getting bumped from the back, and his elbow kind of mechanically bumping into the student behind him. I don't know if I emphasized in telling that story. You don't know that story? Elizabeth?


Because I didn't understand when you first told the story of the scare deer, how it related to that certain song. Well, the scare deer is a bamboo tube. And it just fills up with water, and when it's filled up with water, it tips and pours out its water, and then when it pours out its water, it's empty again, and then it goes back to its original position. But when it goes back to its original position, the bamboo hits a rock and goes pop, and that scares the deer away. You could say that in a way that's a kind of... It's used as an example sometimes as a way of Bodhisattva functions. The whole mechanism is how Bodhisattvas function. Yeah, that they perform a function, but they don't really deliberate or think about it. They're there, and they fill up with water,


and when they're full with water, they dump their water out, and when they dump their water out, then they go back to their original position and make a pop. But they're not thinking, oh, I'm scaring the deer, or I'm helping the deer. And you could say, well, the scare deer is kind of a nonviolent way of keeping the deer out of the garden, which is one reason why a person puts it there. But for some people, the point of the scare deer is not really to scare the deer out. It's actually kind of an entertainment that you experience when you go to visit Asian gardens. You hear this pop, and it represents the bamboo, gravity, water, sound. It's not scaring any deer away necessarily when you experience it in the daytime, although it's called a scare deer. It's relating to you, but it's not relating to you in a conscious way. So Charlie was thinking, well, that doesn't sound like compassion to me,


because there's no intention there. It is said, and I think it's very helpful to mention, that the Buddha sometimes says that among all sentient beings, the bodhisattva is the most excellent. In other words, bodhisattvas are living beings. But it may be the case that although bodhisattvas are living beings, that doesn't mean that bodhisattvas are only living beings. That living beings is one of the things bodhisattvas can be. I just propose that to you. When you look at living beings, one of the most excellent types of living beings is the bodhisattva. But bodhisattvas may not be just limited to living beings. Buddhas are not, strictly speaking, living beings,


because living beings is a technical term, actually, meaning unenlightened. Not completely enlightened living beings are called living beings. Buddhas, being completely enlightened, are not living beings anymore. Bodhisattvas are those who become Buddhas. But I guess I'm suggesting the possibility, and this is a debate, you know, this is a debate in the Asian tradition that's been transmitted to the West now, called Buddhism. There's a debate about whether bodhisattvas can be something more than living beings and whether Buddhas actually are, you know, not just living beings who are completely enlightened. And there is the suggestion, even at the time the historical Buddha suggested, that there is a true body of Buddha


and that there is a transformation body of Buddha. The true body of Buddha is formless. It's like emptiness filled with compassion. It's like a vastness filled with love. But also Buddha can take the form of a human being, but Buddhas could also take other forms besides human beings. And then even later, after the historical Buddha passed away, they developed the idea of another type of Buddha, which is a third body of Buddha, which is called, so the first one is called the true body, the other one is called the transformation body, and then a third body called the body of bliss, is another kind of Buddha,


which is, in some sense, it is the joyful social life of bodhisattvas. It is the joyful appreciation that the formless true Buddha can be transformed into forms in this world. And to appreciate that relationship is a joyful reward of faithfully studying the forms that Buddha can take and the formless true body of Buddha. So, when Charlie was suggesting that he couldn't quite see the mushroom justice or mushroom compassion because it didn't have intention, I thought of this case, this story, the Zen story, where one Zen teacher is talking to another Zen teacher


and he says, what Zen teacher number one says to the other one, the true essential body of Buddha is like vast space. It manifests in response to beings. I don't think it said living beings, I think it said beings, but it could have said living beings, but anyway, it manifests in response to beings, like the moon reflected in the water. And Zen master number one says to Zen master number two, how would you describe this process of manifestation? Or this process of transformation? And Zen master number two said, it's like a donkey looking at or into a well. And you could picture that well as looking into a dark hole.


Or you could picture it looking into a dark hole and there's some water down at the bottom. Which could conceivably reflect the donkey's face. Either way, anyway, he says it's like a donkey looking into a well. And Zen master one says, that's pretty good, you got 80%. And Zen master number two says, well, how about you? And Zen master number one says, it's like the well looking at the donkey. And then there's a poem which kind of reflects this, which is, that says, the flowers consciously fall into the flowing water. And the flowing water unconsciously


carries the fallen flowers. So part of the process is, of a living being like us, in our normal way of thinking and so on, and with intentions, we can look at something which doesn't really have intentions, which is like vast space. But when we look at this thing, it responds to us. For example, it can reflect our face. And we can see our face reflected in it. Or, even if we can't see our face, the fact that we can look at it, are looking at it, is actually its response to us. But its response to us isn't really like it's thinking to respond to us,


it's just, when we look at it, our looking at it is its response. It doesn't think to have, it doesn't think to do what we're, it doesn't think to do our response to it, it just, that's what it is. So there is a relationship between what doesn't have intention and what does have intention. And we, karmic beings, do have intentions. But there's something about us that's the same. And the thing we're all doing which is the same is not our intentions. And I also mentioned the other, last weekend or the weekend before,


at No Abode, I talked about the practice of No Abode, of non-abiding. And I mentioned a Zen expression which is, in Zen practice, first you clean the temple and then you sit. And that relates to a story, which is a Zen monk was sweeping the ground, was sweeping the temple grounds, cleaning the temple grounds, and his Dharma brother came to him and said, you're too busy. And the one who was cleaning the temple said, you should know, the one who was busy cleaning the temple said, you should know that there's somebody who's not busy. And the one who accused him of being busy said, then are there two moons? And the one with the broom raised his broom and said, which moon is this? And the first guy walked off.


So in a way, Zen practice is, first of all you clean the temple, first of all you're busy cleaning the temple, first of all you're busy calming down maybe, sitting still together with other people, cleaning the temple, ordering your mind. Getting ready for justice, for the practice of equality. Kind of busily clean, busily get ready for the same practice and the same enlightenment as all beings, which of course I can't do that. There's somebody who's not busy, not busy like getting things all arranged. The one who's not busy is the same practice and the same enlightenment as all beings. That's not busy. That's not doing something.


That's the non-abiding, ungraspable reality of our life together. And from there we have a great resource which can enter our lives and imbue our lives with this equality, with this resource for justice. Yes, Linda, did you have a question? Why did the monk ask if there were two moons then? Well, moon is sometimes an image for truth. Are there two truths? One truth is that we're busy. We all have our intentions and our vows to be compassionate.


We all have our intentions to clean the temple and calm our mind and be good human beings and practice justice. We're busy with that stuff sometimes. Some people are busy forgetting about the practice. But then they sometimes remember and say, oh, I should practice. It would be good if I practiced. It would be good if I cleaned my mind and cleaned the temple and straightened out my relationships with everybody. That's one reality. The other reality is there's somebody who's not busy. There's somebody who's not into cleaning the temple or dirtying the temple or calming the mind or practicing justice. There's somebody who is just the way we're all the same. There's somebody who is just the way we're working together. And the way we're working together is the same.


We're all doing the same practice of working together. There's not two practices of us all working together. There's just one. And we're all equally involved in it. We're making different contributions. Men make one contribution. Women make another contribution. Old people, young people, trees, mountains, fungi. Everybody's contributing to this and some beings, like fungi, some people are saying, wow, they're really into equality. I mean, their nature is equalizing and harmonizing. But actually the Buddha looks at us and sees the same thing. But that's not busyness. That's the way all the busyness is working together as one practice. So the guy said, are there two moons? One that's not busy and one that is busy. Are those two moons? And the guy doesn't say, yes, there are, no, they're not. He just raises his broom and says,


which one is this? Is this the busy one? Is this the cleaning the temple one? I'm not cleaning the temple. I'm holding my broom in the air. Is this busyness or is this not busyness? They're really not two because the not busyness, the one practice, is not separate from all the different practices. It's the way all the different practices are the same practice. And tuning into that and giving ourselves to that and also giving our busyness to ceremonies which celebrate this source of righteousness. I also maybe mentioned to you already that on the cover of the book Being Upright there's this Chinese character which means ceremony or ritual. And on the left side it has the character for person


and on the right side it has the character for righteousness or justice. So ceremony is the union of the person and justice. It's a way to formally practice to realize justice. And it's open to being tested about whether the ceremonial life is actually realizing justice, realizing equality, realizing the same practice and the same enlightenment as all beings. So now in this practice here where we're all sitting you can clearly see that this ceremony is indicating, pointing to the same practice. Some other ceremonies you have like a leader and sort of like a chorus or a leader at the head of a procession. So you have sometimes in the ceremony some difference. That's also another way to have difference in the ceremony to see if we can find the sameness when there seems to be difference.


And so on. Anyway, I like that he says, which moon is this? And the other guy doesn't say it's this moon or that moon. He just walks off. Charlie? So I think I understand now how a rock or a deer scare can have compassion. And maybe I can try this out and you tell me if that makes sense. My objection before was that compassion is something that needed intention. And so if a deer scare had compassion it must be because somebody intentionally built it and that's what was coming through it. And that could be the person who built the deer scare could have done it for compassionate reasons. So that would be the compassion of that person.


But it sounds like even that compassion is not the compassion of Buddha. That that's more based in the person that's busy. And the compassion that the deer scare has is also a compassion that I have and that you have. But that's the one that's not busy. And my confusion stems from sort of trying to have these words continue to have meaning. Because if we just say everybody has compassion and everything is compassion then I'm sort of like, well can't we just get another word for that stuff? And then keep calling what I normally think of as compassion, like one thing. Because I see a difference between me walking an old lady across the street and a deer scare operating.


I see a distinction between... Okay, can you stop just there for a second? You helping someone across the street you can see that actually, you could see that the deer scare is in that action too. It's not only like you, the human being, want to help this person across the street, that you have the intention of protecting their well-being. There's that. But you don't have to separate that from the deer scare. Because causes and conditions come together to fill you with that intention when you see this person. So there's an element by which you help them where you're not busy. And that is operating at the same time. There's one who's not busy accompanying the one who's busy. And there's a difference between the one who's busy helping the person across the street


and the one who's not busy. Who's there accompanying him every step of the way. So they're different, but they're not separate. Is the one who's busy the one who thinks he has free will to make that decision to do it? And the one who's not busy? You could have two different guys on the street. One who's helping the lady across the street because he wants to help her. The other one who's thinking he has free will and wants to help the lady across the street. You could have a third one who thinks he has free will and doesn't want to help her. Those are three different busy guys. Is it a different kind of compassion? I wouldn't say it's a different kind, but a different quality of those three types. But all three are accompanied by the one who's not busy. If you help people, it's good to remember when you're helping them


that there's somebody who's not busy. That's what the story's about. It doesn't say you shouldn't clean the temple. It just says when you're cleaning the temple, I can say you're busy to you. I can even say you're too busy. But too busy maybe means you're so busy you forget the one who's not busy. But then you tell me, I haven't forgotten that. As a matter of fact, I'll tell you. You should remember that when I'm sweeping like mad, there's one who's not busy who's with me. So the one who's not busy is the antidote or the purification of the one who is busy. The one who's not busy is the one who reminds the one who is busy being kind not to abide in that kindness, not to grasp that kindness. Now if you just practice non-abiding, that's not enough.


You have to then practice non-abiding in the realm of being compassionate, in the way of having the intention to be compassionate. That's the transformation of this non-abiding into a compassionate being, responding to people. And sometimes the way the person responds, people think, oh, he's so kind. But in the case of Suzuki Roshi, the person who told me the story of him thought Suzuki Roshi was being a little mean to the guy. He thought Suzuki Roshi's elbow was like poking the guy to say, you know, pay attention, don't come running into the room. He saw that as a volitional act. I saw it as a mechanical act, just due to the interaction of the bodies. And I could also imagine Suzuki Roshi letting it go as a mechanical act. In other words, not thinking, oh, I just poked him and that was really cool. And not thinking, oh, I poked him and that will teach him a lesson.


But just, you know, and maybe not even thinking, oh, my body served this purpose. But just serving the purpose, serving the function, with no idea that you served it. And yet teaching the student maybe to be careful when he comes into the room so he doesn't run into the teacher and get elbowed in the stomach. So there's different views of what happened there, and I think it's okay to have Suzuki Roshi thinking that he's poking the guy, along with somebody who's not busy, who just mechanically did it. But sometimes we lose track of the mechanical side of things. In other words, we think we're in control. We don't see the causes and conditions that give rise to our intentions. There are some other people with their hands raised.


Fred and John. I'm searching for a way to, let's say, study or practice non-abiding. Study and practice non-abiding? Yes. I wish to enter the way of non-abiding. Yes. But I can't see the parallel between non-abiding and justice in the following way. When I consider justice, it's about allocating goods, positions of people, services, righting wrongs, and so forth. Okay.


Nothing that I see there accords with non-abiding. Yes, what you just gave an example of didn't ring out non-abiding particularly, but it did ring out kind of inequality. I thought you were sort of describing situations of inequality. Well, justice may be concerned with introducing equality where there has been inequality. That is true, but not quite in the way in which our practice is concerned with equality. We talk about some kind of universal equality. Yes, right. And that universal equality, I think, is part of what stimulates us to be concerned with equality in the realm of busyness.


We want to keep testing in the realm of where there seems to be difference or where there seems to be inequality. We want to test this universal equality. We want to realize this universal equality. Yes. And as far as the one who is not busy, could that one be in the realm of stillness and perhaps even the unborn? Yes, I also said that another way to talk about this is that the source of justice is the unconstructed stillness. Of each moment of our life. But that takes it out of the pragmatic realm altogether. You could say it takes it out of it, or you could say that that accompanies the pragmatic realm.


That's the realm in which we actually live, and it's a question of waking up to the realm where we're actually living, where things are unconstructed. How can we reconcile these two? One basic way I'm talking about reconciling them is by practicing rituals where what you're doing is devoted to realizing that which is formless and ungraspable. To see if you can do the rituals with not trying to gain anything or grasp anything. Because what you're trying to realize is something which is not something you're going to gain, but the way you already really are. And that's something you're going to grasp because the way you are is ungraspable. Now, certain things we do in our life, the reason for doing them is because you want to grasp something.


It's hard to use that as an example. That's why we have special practices, like coming and sitting here, where we can actually consider that we would come here and sit in the yoga room for half an hour without trying to get anything. As a matter of fact, just to be together and discover without trying to gain anything the same practice as all beings. I totally agree with you. And what I'm saying is that in the practice realm we're not trying to gain anything. But in the justice realm it's all about gain and loss. No, I would disagree there. I'm just saying that there's realms where you don't dare make what you're doing a ritual. And then you think what you're doing is to get something and to gain something. And in that realm I would say you will have injustice. That's the realm of injustice, is where we're trying to get something.


And where we fleetingly feel there's some justice, but basically it's mostly inequality and difference in that realm. So once you realize the truth, then everything you do is a ritual. The more you can realize that what you're doing is a ritual, the more you realize that everything you do is ungraspable. And you can't abide in anything. And when you're open to that, you find the same practice as all beings. And then that becomes your resource for demonstrating justice in the world where people are into gain and loss. David? I guess kind of along these lines I was thinking about this too, about the relationship between non-abiding and justice. To work for justice often requires a great deal of dedication and... Busyness. Busyness and often in very contentious circumstances.


Yeah, contentious circumstances. And that's particularly true of what we call distributive justice. Often involves contention or confrontation. That's part of the work. Yeah, and I would add it can also take a long time, can be very slow, can be very frustrating. I guess the question I'm asking is about the distinction between dedication and even what I might call a faith in the righteousness of a particular course of action, but non-abiding in that work. Yeah, so you bring up several things. One is, I'll work backwards, faith in the righteousness of something. Faith that something is righteous or just. So that's a kind of busyness. Now, can you practice non-abiding with that busyness?


Can you practice non-abiding with that sense of righteousness? And then go right ahead perhaps, in many cases, to work more for that righteousness. Sometimes to just sort of shelve the whole project. Sometimes to see you're totally... Sometimes to see or to think, this is not righteous after all. And you can totally, what do you call it, turn around on your view. And non-abiding will help you be able to turn around. And then sometimes turn right back to where you were before and be just dedicated through the whole process. And you also said it may take a long time. Yes, but this is a process which is more than a long time. This is an ongoing process. There's no end to it. If you wish to accomplish certain things, that's fine, but that's just more busyness. But I don't mean to demean busyness because we do need to clean the temple. But the temple never stops being cleaned.


It never stops weeding it. You never stop calming your mind. There's no end to it and no beginning to it. But you still keep trying to clean the temple. You still try to calm your mind. You still try to accomplish certain projects. You still try to set up situations where people will actually struggle with certain confrontations of distribution of goods. All that stuff could be good. Now, can you remember that somebody's not busy all the time while you're doing that? Somebody's not abiding in this. In other words, somebody's practicing wisdom at the same time as this project, which I think is a good project. But I'm not abiding in my view that this is a good project. I'm not stuck in it. I don't want to be stuck in it. Or if I am stuck in it, I want to admit I am stuck. So if you can't be enthusiastic about what you're doing,


if you can't enthusiastically clean, then unenthusiastically clean. But whether you're unenthusiastically cleaning or working for some purpose or enthusiastically, still there's somebody who's not busy. No matter what you're doing, there's somebody who's not busy. And remembering that is what makes the activity the activity of the bodhisattva, of the enlightened process. And justice is one of the areas to work on to develop enlightenment. This is one of the very important issues to work on. It brings up all kinds of temptations, I would say, to forget about the one who's not busy. Because this is so important. Justice is so important that forget about the one who's not busy and let's just get the busy one who establishes justice


to work harder. Well, yeah, that's fine, but don't forget about the one who's not busy. So make your hard work for righteousness, make it a ceremony, like you're sitting. It's a ceremony. You're not doing it to get something, you're doing it to do that. You're not doing this work to accomplish something, you're doing it to do the thing you're doing. That's all. Because you understand that where justice really is is in the way that nothing can be grasped. The point of justice is to make people happy, and at peace. But people are never going to be happy if they're grasping things. John? Whatever world you're in now. Yeah. I think I have a question along those lines about


how conscious intention gets, how you grasp consciousness, how ceremony gets in the way of the non-abiding side. Did you say how ceremony gets in the way of the non-abiding? Right. How dogmatic pursuit of ceremony, dogmatic ritual. Dogmatic ritual would get in the way of non-abiding. However, when you do dogmatic ritual, you're a sitting Zen duck. Because you set yourself up. Or in a yoga class, if you're dogmatic about the yoga postures, you're a sitting duck for the teacher who says, yeah, you got the posture, but you're holding the posture rigidly. That's not the posture. And you kind of might listen to the teacher for a little while. But maybe not. Maybe you just reject the teacher and get another teacher who doesn't talk that way.


But in a way, in Zen, we have these rituals, and then we'll see, does the student actually get dogmatic about them? Or is the teacher dogmatic about them? But if the student's dogmatic about it, it's like that's one of the main purposes of this ceremony, to see if they'll make this into another busyness. Because they're not supposed to be busy with these ceremonies. They're supposed to be just doing them to do them, with no gaining idea, and no attachment. And the teacher's supposed to say, we're going to do the ceremony upside down today. And the student says, great. I heard that's what Zen was about, doing things backwards and forwards. Finally, we're not going to do it the same old way. It's wonderful. Yes, we are. I changed my mind. So, yeah, that can happen. But in other areas where you get dogmatic, like dogmatic about your kids having decent education, then people don't say, who's going to tell you, well, forget that.


Let go of that. Stop clinging to that. Who's going to say that to you? Who are you going to let say that to you? You're not going to let the kids say that to you. Dad, cool it. Don't worry about my education. No problem. It's cool. No. The teacher can't say, forget it, John. Listen up. Stop abiding. You're abiding in your good education. Who's going to tell you that, unless you bring a Zen master to school with you? And who says to you, John, you're getting a little busy here, and you're forgetting about the one who's not busy in this educational reform you're trying to establish here. So we find some area where you will sort of, what do you call it, plight yourself. Put yourself in plight. Put your truth in plight. I plight thee, my troth. Plight your truth about righteousness or whatever. In some situation, that means where somebody can call you on abiding in that. And then by training in that realm


and learning what it's like to be totally dedicated to some ritual without any attachment, then it can extend in other areas where you're working wholeheartedly to establish something. Wholeheartedly working to do good legal work, good medical work, good yoga teaching, good whatever. Righteous. Equality. All that you're working for, all that stuff in the busy realm, but you're open to people busting you for being busy and checking to see, do you remember there's somebody who's not busy? But what realms do people say that to you in? And if you expand beyond those realms, you maybe have to tell other people, I just want you to know I'm here to do good, but I also want you to know that I'd like you to give me feedback on whether I get worked up into a froth about this. I give you permission to bust me on that. You have to tell people, otherwise they think,


oh well, he's come to do good and he's on a trip, but that's normal. He's not trying to get in touch with reality. He's just trying to do what he thinks is right. He's just a busy guy. He doesn't want to hear about the unbusy one. He's not a Zen student. Yes, Vera? I was remembering something that happened some years ago that seems like a concrete, pragmatic example. I was doing some volunteer work with quite a number of other people and we were trained for a little while to do this work. And after a while I noticed that people became very competitive. We were actually helping people with Alzheimer's illness. We were pouring juice and playing games with them and taking them on walks and trying to make the day productive. It got unpleasant for me.


Competitive. You mean people were trying to be the best helper of the patients? They were very busy. Yeah. My feeling was that I was being told what to do by other people. So I mentioned something to the director who was getting paid. I said, you know, this is really a puzzle. Nobody's getting paid here except you. What's this all about? She said, well, don't you know? It's just because people are not getting paid so there's no monetary compensation so everybody wants to shine a little bit. And so my reaction was, well, I don't need this. I don't know if I want to come back here. And she said, well, that's up to you. You can not come back or you can learn to live with this. And then I thought it was more important to learn to live with it and just to go ahead and do what I needed to do. Yeah. Go there and be with the busy people and remember the one who's not busy.


And be better at showing the other people the one who's not busy than they are. Showing you who's the one not busy. So some people practice, you know, remembering the one who's not busy so long that they go into situations where they're getting paid or not getting paid and where everybody's being competitive and they actually show people how to remember the one who's not busy without even saying anything. And people don't even know who it is that's teaching them to remember the one who's not busy. The one who's teaching them to remember the one who's not busy might be the one who seems to be the most competitive. He's being so competitive that he makes all the other people realize how stupid they are for being competitive. And they're all being competitive


and they see this one guy who's being so competitive and they all go, oh yeah, we didn't come here, that wasn't the reason we came here after all, was it? We came here actually just to be not busy with these people. And actually Alzheimer's people, they can also learn this if somebody in the room is not being busy. They can learn about the unbusy one because their busyness is their problem. They're busy in a way that's a problem for them and other people. They've got a special kind of busyness. But they could be taught the unbusy one too if there was somebody in the room who knew how to remember that. It's not somebody who knows how to be the unbusy one because that's not the unbusy one. The unbusy one is the one that's with all of us. So you can go back there and be more competitive than they are coming from your remembering the unbusy one. Be more busy. Be so busy that everybody remembers the unbusy one.


You could also be a fun guy and not have an intention and very busy and still teaching. Yeah. Yeah. And you could also be a fun guy in the sense of taking the excess competitiveness away from others and taking it over into the areas where there's not much competitiveness. Redistribute the competitiveness to the low intensity and competitive areas. Without thinking about it. Just naturally do it. Without even knowing that you did it. And yet the whole situation sometimes becomes more just as a reflection, as an expression that we're all doing the same practice together. Norbert? Something went out of your system?


Yeah, I think so. You exuded it? You extruded it? You could say that. But it was about when you said like you're in this atmosphere where some people are very busy in the case of being competitive, right? That's how they're being busy. And you're in that atmosphere and then you're absorbing, you're acting out of the place where you're not busy and you're absorbing that. I mean that's kind of what, that's how I interpreted what you just said. And the other way that you just said, I mean correct me if I'm wrong, is that or you could like maybe be really, really busy in this competitive way but coming from the place where coming from staying in touch with the one who's not busy or not abiding in that busyness as you do that.


Yeah, right. And there's some situations where I think many of you know like in some of the kind of nice schools we send our kids to, really nice schools where they pay the teachers less but the school's better, like what's called private schools. And they teach the kids not to be so competitive. But some of those teachers are really caught up in the great work of teaching these kids not to be so competitive. And they are teaching them to be not competitive but they're also teaching them to abide in not being competitive. And the other schools, they're teaching them to be competitive and they're teaching them how to abide in being competitive. So, either way. It can go either way. The middle way there's,


yeah, the middle way, the middle way is actually, that's the equality, is the middle way. And there's room, it's all inclusive. And it has room for everybody that's on a trip. It has room for everybody who's abiding in their activity. Everybody's allowed to be there and everybody can learn the middle way. But you don't have to do anything to learn it. You're already doing enough. Steven? I get confused with the busy and the non-busy. They all seem, it seems one thing, one place. And yet you separate them in a way. To me, it seems that one has to live from the non-busy even in the busy world.


To be busy, you're going to disconnect from the part of you that is that non-busy. And so one has to work and live from a place of that non-busy. So I don't see, at least that's the way I see it, I don't see the separation. It's part of, we live in a busy life. Yes, that's where we live all day long. Yeah. But to really be just, be compassionate, all those things, one, I see it as when I come from that place, then I am. If I'm not from that place, even though I may be in a busy world and remember the non-busy, that doesn't work for me. It helps, but it doesn't. I see it as the non-busy is caught in the busy all the time. I agree with you. And you said somehow to remember doesn't help, but then you changed it to it does help. It helps, but I'm still caught in the non-busy, or in the busy world. I don't feel like I'm coming


from a compassionate place. I hate to use these terms because I'm going, but the non-busy is automatically just compassionate, and it is, if you say all of us have it. Yeah, well, I'm saying I agree with you, but the part that I think maybe we don't agree on, maybe you do agree, but I don't know if you do, is I'm saying that if you want to realize that source, that compassionate source of the not-busy one, I'm saying that you have to do a practice of remembering, or something like remembering or ceremonially enacting the one who's not busy. Otherwise, you will get out of touch with it. You're not separate from it, but you can get distracted from it. So I'm proposing to you that you have to do some practice, otherwise you get out of touch with it. Yeah.


So remembering is one practice that you can do, and doing anything you do could be a practice of remembering not doing things or not abiding. Anything could be, but you have to pick something that you think is reasonable for you. Sitting here is one example. We're sitting here all doing the same thing as a ceremony related to all doing the same thing. All doing the same thing is another way to say not being busy. Kind of the same thing. Not abiding is something that we're all doing. We're all doing that all the time. If we were abiding, we would be dead. We wouldn't be able to exist. It's because we're not abiding that we can be alive. That's the way we are. But if we don't do a ceremony celebrating not abiding or celebrating this compassion,


which is not just grasping our idea of compassion, but the actual way of supporting each other, if we don't do a ceremony, I say, we miss it. And one ceremony is called, remember, there's somebody who's not busy, always with you all day long. There's somebody who's not abiding. And that can be called your true nature. But it's not true. Better than your busy nature is just the nature from which your busyness can become justice. And without that one, even the most just thing can turn sour if you grasp it and cling to it and start beating people over the head with it. Any value you have,


if handled with non-attachment and with non-abiding, any value can be an instrument of healing and justice. And the opposite of it can be too. But any example of justice that you hold on to becomes undermined as justice. But it's hard to remember to do the ceremony of non-abiding. It's hard to remember to do the ceremony of being mindful that there's somebody who's not busy. Hard to remember that there is somebody who is this somebody is the same practice as you and all beings. That's somebody. We call that somebody Buddha. And that somebody is totally


with all the busynesses and adores them all, loves them all. And because it loves them all, without abiding in them, it saves them. That's the other principle. If you want to save beings, you have to remember that there's no beings to save. And while you're saving beings, you have to remember there wasn't one being saved. And one of the beings you want to save is the concept of justice. It's a being that we want to save. So we want to take good care of this justice concept. We want to talk about justice. And see if we can do it and be busy about it.


So we're being somewhat busy about the concept of justice in this series of classes. At the same time, keep in touch with the source of justice, equality, which we can't get a hold of, which we can't own, which I can't possess. Equality is not a busy thing. So how do I bring that equality, which is not busy, into the busyness of talking about equality and justice? Any feedback? Gabrielle?


Jean? Keith? Sally? Sally? You did give me some feedback. You nodded. I got your name right. Renat? I've been thinking a little bit about the word ambitious and ambition in this conversation. Sometimes I wonder when I'm pursuing my yoga practice or sitting practice whether I'm not being ambitious enough and working hard enough on my other practice. On the flip side, I think one can be ambitious in approaching their sitting practice and one can be ambitious in yoga. I'm wondering, is ambition a bad word? No, it's a good word.


All words are good words. Evil is a good word too. So ambition and cleaning are similar words. When you clean, you might have the ambition to do cleaning. Now you might also have the ambition to get the place clean. That might be going too far on the cleaning thing. It's like I'm cleaning and then some people come in and start dirtying while I'm cleaning and I might want to kill them. So that would be like abiding in the cleaning. Or I might be ambitious to sit really well or to practice yoga really well. That's kind of like I wish to do the thing called practicing yoga well. I wish to do that. That's what I want to do. But I don't abide in that, so if you come and tell me to stop it, I can consider stopping what I would like to do.


Because although I'd like to do that, what I'd really like to do is have justice in this world and not get hung up on the things I want to do like blah blah, good this, good that, righteous this, righteous that. So I want to do these things, but I just want to do these things. I don't want to do these things to get something. I want to give myself to these things. There's many things and I wish to give myself to these things. This is where I want to give my life. These are opportunities for me to give my life, period. That's like the scare deer. Or I'd just be that completely and then hopefully do it with some people who are watching to see if you're getting hung, if you're abiding in it. Invite some people


to interact with you and give you feedback and see if you get hung up on the good things you want to do. Or if you ever want to do anything bad, see if you get hung up on that too. You might find out that you get less hung up on the bad things you're doing than the good things you're doing. People say, You were really cruel when you said that, but I really felt like you were not abiding in it. That was great. It was really bad what you did, but the way you did it, I really felt like you really weren't holding on there. You might say, Yeah, that's right, I was really good that way. I have more trouble not abiding when I'm doing good. I would like someday to expand into doing good too, but I kind of stay away from it because I get so attached to it when I do it, so I'm staying over more in the evil areas. Yes, Elena?


When I'm doing things, sometimes even having the cause of justice in my mind, I very, very often fall into a kind of agitation. Right. Because it's a tremendous momentum. It's almost, agitation is almost like violence. Yes, right. And so, when you ask, is there anybody who is not busy, the individual has to say, Shut up. Don't talk to me about that now. Right, right. Do you have any suggestions to bring a ceremony that could be brought in under such circumstances? I just, excuse me for saying it again, but when you're trying


to do something good and you start to, not even when you start to notice that you want to act that way, you're just demonstrating towards people who are interfering with you doing this good thing, but even before it gets that bad, when you start to do something good, say, I want to remember the one who's not busy when I start this project of being busy at doing this good thing of taking care of my cats. I'd really like to be a good caregiver to my cats. I'd like to do the most excellent cat caregiving. I really would. But I also want to remember that there's somebody who's not busy doing this at the same time. Then if Fred starts to interfere with my project, I can possibly not abide in Fred interfering too. And then we'll have justice between me, Fred, and the cat. But if I start getting agitated, then I say, oh, I think I forgot something here.


Oh, yeah. I forgot the one who's not busy because I'm totally busy doing this great thing and I'm super wonderful. And if anybody interferes with me, too bad for them. What? I was going to say that the one that feels like it's interfering is the voice that says, is there any way to have some sanity here? That's the one that sounds like it's interfering. It's another voice that the momentum of the agitation very often is making false calls. By the way, do you remember the one who's not busy right now while you're telling this story? It's easy to, at this moment, have nothing against it. Well, that's close.


That's close. So when you tell your stories of great successes and you tell your stories of woe, remember there's somebody who's not telling any stories who's right there with you, who's always there with you. Got to remember that one too. Dash, do not abide in the story you're telling of your life with the people. Tell the stories with vigor and vim and enthusiasm. Tell them, or tell them anyway, whatever way you tell them. Don't forget the one who's not telling any stories. Then you can tell your stories even more enthusiastically and more joyfully, or you can stop telling stories and feel you're just as much help. You can go any way. You're free at that point,


and then don't abide in that, and then you're free, free from freedom. This is an interesting time for me because I can really get involved in political junkiehood and just getting involved in all the dramas, and I find myself telling these stories, but I see kind of an arc. It's kind of almost like I have this compulsion, and I get involved, and I go, and I go, and then at some point it kind of falls away a little bit, but it's almost I have to. I don't have to, but I find myself getting so caught up sometimes that a lot of times I feel a lot of guilt about being caught up in the drama, about judging, taking really strong views, but then on the other hand, sometimes it gets to a point where it kind of falls away, and I kind of feel like, well, I really overdone it. It was really incredibly overdone. I was really out of a whim,


and sometimes when I'm interacting with someone on that level, I just feel much closer to them, and I realize how on the brink I was, how caught up, and I'm really experiencing that a lot in this last few months, and it's kind of a function of this kind of just whatever, my involvement, and just listening to the political news, but that really keys into this justice thing, and to me this whole idea of justice, like you talk about forms, kind of a ritual form of sitting is in some sense kind of a benign form, not a benign form, but it's less emotionally charged. You can make it emotionally charged, but it's a safer form, but the justice form is so volatile that it's a real weird one to work with because most of us have these incredibly strong reactions. Yeah, I'm offering this class to extend our practice into a new and difficult arena,


which we haven't done much before, and I'm doing that partly because I think it's really essential at this time in history, but also I think because Buddhism has not articulated how to do this very well, so this is a new area of extending and applying the basic principles of Bodhisattva activity to a new and challenging arena. I appreciate you doing this with me. Thank you. For some reason, something that I heard you say in class several years ago just popped into my head and feels helpful to me, so I thought I'd bring it up, and that is that you talked about not caring in a situation in life which is emotional, learning to not care too much or too little, and how you can be a lot more effective


if you don't care too much. Yeah. Care a lot, care tremendously, but not too much. Even though some people who you really love want you to care too much. Even though some people who you really love want you to care less than you do. So now you have a baby who will soon be telling you, Cool it, Mom. Cool it, Mom. Chill, Mom. Yes. I want to say I'm going to be here next week. I'm going to be in Michigan, and I want to thank everyone for being so valuable to me. Oh, great. Thank you.


Norbert. Thank you. Thank you. I want to thank her because I just realized that I'll be in New York next week. Okay. Just thank you very much, and thank you all very much. Nice to see you all. Anybody else not going to be here who wants to say goodbye? We have more questions than just next week, don't we? Is there a last one? In a sense, yes. The classes are being recorded, and they're all on Rev's website. I'm sorry. I actually could have had one more class, but I bought a ticket to London. That leaves the Tuesday after next. I could have left a day later. I gave myself too much more time


than necessary to recover from jet lag, I realized, now that the ticket's bought. So is this the last class? No. Next week. We have another class next week. But I could have had another one after that, I realized. I was giving myself more time than I needed to acclimate from the trip. Sorry. You care tremendously, but not too much. Any other feedback on this? So, Stephen, I'm suggesting to you that you have to have a practice to let this thing that's always with you take over your life


and permeate your busyness. You have to have a practice to keep inviting this thing into the busyness so that the busyness is more and more informed by the non-busy. And I think if you keep inviting, gradually the busyness will become perfumed with un-busyness if you keep doing it for many years. And then you can really care about things, but not too much. Just the right amount. And be nice and confident, like, I really care and I don't abide in that. I'm totally here for you and there's somebody who's not busy about that. And it lets you be more involved in the busy world, actually. More wholeheartedly busy because you're not stuck in it.


Because that's what we sometimes do, we think, well, maybe if I'm just a little bit less involved, then I wouldn't get stuck. So I'll just gradually try to get less and less involved and then I won't care too much. Thank you. Okay, well, we have one more class and please, if you have problems, koans about this, please bring them next week to contribute. Thank you very much.