Entry into the nature of the knowable 

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There's a typo in the chat, I'm going to correct it. Our foundling teachers, rather than our foundling teachers, at least to my knowledge. Our foundling teachers. Our foundling. Our foundling. Our foundling teachers. Wow. So we have found a typo. There are some new people here. For example, Echo, hey, first time here? Welcome. And some other new people.


Gabriela, first time. And what's your name again? Goli. Goli, is that close? So welcome. I'm concerned for your welfare. Are you first time for you too? Yes, Basil. Basil. So I'm concerned for your welfare because I'm talking about something that you haven't heard about before, I think. And I would like you to be included in what I'm talking about. But I'm more concerned that you may feel like you don't understand what I'm saying. Now, what I said so far, you might understand. Do you understand what I said so far? But I'm talking about a teaching that is very deep and very subtle.


Not so easy to understand. But that's what I've been talking about here for some time. And I'm committed to continue to talk about it. So please listen to me. I thought of something just now as a way to help all of us. And that is a story I told the last time we met here. And it's a story about a Chinese monk who went to visit a teacher and asked the teacher to teach him, you know, the truth. And the teacher, and this person who asked was a very highly educated, brilliant person.


And the teacher said, I don't want to talk to you about all the things you've been studying. I just want you to tell me, what is yourself before your parents were born? And he tried to answer that question based on his self after his parents were born. And the teacher said, no, no, no. Over and over he tried to answer it. He tried to tell the teacher about his self before his parents were born and from the person who existed after his parents were born. And that was not what the teacher was asking. And he got very discouraged and left the teacher. And then he went to the memorial site of one of the great ancestors of his teacher.


And he made a little hermitage at this memorial site for this ancient teacher. And he lived there and meditated there. And basically he just cleaned around his hut and cleaned around the ancestor's memorial site. And one day when he was cleaning, when he was sweeping the ground, a pebble that he swept flew over and hit some bamboo and made a sound. And when he heard the sound, he realized his self or the self before his parents were born. And then he turned in the direction of his teacher and did many bows to express his gratitude for this instruction to look for this self


before his parents were born, which he finally discovered this self. In a way he became free of his conscious mind. His brilliant conscious mind. So the teachings which I have been working on are inspired by the Buddhas. And they're transmitted by an ancestor, an Indian ancestor named Asanga. And he wrote a text which is called Mahayana Samgraha,


which means to embrace or to summarize the great vehicle. And the great vehicle is the path of the Bodhisattvas, the path of those who are vowing to attain enlightenment in order to benefit all beings. And in this summary of this great vehicle, Asanga starts by teaching about what he calls the support of the knowable, the support of what we know. Where he's teaching how the mind arises. After our parents are born, they get together, and then the baby is born, and the baby has a mind.


And this is the mind which is being discussed, how this mind arises is being discussed, and also how one can become liberated from this mind is being discussed. How one can find the mind, the self, before the parents were born. And so he says that the basis, the ground, the support, of all defiled, all impure minds, and the basis for all enlightened minds, is what he calls the container consciousness. And the container consciousness is, again,


it's the support of everything we know, or it is the seeds of all of our conscious states of mind. But this container consciousness, the seeds for all of our conscious life, is unconscious. So he's proposing that there's an unconscious which is inconceivably vast, and upon this unconscious, every moment, this unconscious supports our conscious life. Also, this unconscious can be completely transformed into Buddha's perfect wisdom.


So this is what's being proposed here, is the support or basis for everything that can be known. And so what can be known? What can be known is all kinds of defiled states, and also Buddha's wisdom can be known. It's the support for all knowables, both the enlightenment and the delusion. Our conscious mind can never know. It's support. However, our conscious mind is constantly touching its support. And its support, of course, is constantly touching it. Every moment of conscious life touches its support.


Every moment of conscious life transforms its support. The support is constantly transforming, being transformed, and the support supports the transformer. Our conscious mind is the transforming part of our mind, is the evolving part of our mind, which is touching the unconscious every moment. This intimate relationship has been going on for an inconceivably long time, and it will go on for an inconceivable, not necessarily inconceivably long, but an inconceivable amount of time longer. . Once the support consciousness,


or I should say when the support consciousness is completely transformed, it is the completely transformed container consciousness, is Buddha's wisdom. And Buddha's wisdom is not enclosed in the mind, which is born after your parents are born. The ordinary conscious mind is limited, and the basis of it is also limited and limiting. It supports limited states, and limited states support it, to continue to support limited states. But once this container consciousness has been completely transformed into Buddha's wisdom,


such a thing, such a wisdom is not limited, and does not live within the containment of this consciousness. And this wisdom can and does relate to beings who are in states of consciousness, which are supported by this unconscious storehouse consciousness. And the messages they send, the messages that wisdom sends to living beings, whose conscious minds are supported by this storehouse consciousness, the message they send is called the teaching or the Dharma. So they send messages about how to, they send messages to active consciousnesses,


about practices that active consciousnesses can receive and engage in. And they also send messages to active consciousnesses about the way things are. They send messages, Dharma messages to active consciousnesses, so that the active consciousnesses can receive the teachings, and let the teachings into an interaction with the storehouse consciousness. And in that interaction, the storehouse consciousness becomes eventually transformed into wisdom. And then, now, any active states of consciousness that arise when the storehouse consciousness has been turned into wisdom, they are no longer supported by the storehouse consciousness. They are supported by perfect wisdom.


The storehouse consciousness, another way to say what the storehouse consciousness is, is that it is the assembly of the results of all past karma, of all beings. And it has a general characteristic and an individual characteristic. The general characteristic is the physical world in which living beings live, and the specific characteristic relates to the sense organs of individual sentient beings. So each of us, through our sense organs and our sense consciousnesses, are supported by all of our past karma, by all of our individual past karma, and all of the karma of all beings. And our individual past karma particularly relates to our own sense consciousnesses, and the results of our karma together is the world we live in.


Now, while I'm talking to you, I have a sense, you know, I can hear my voice, I can feel this cup in my hands, I can feel my chest vibrating with the sound of my voice. These feelings, these sensations, these experiences are examples of conscious life. These are examples of active consciousness. And in this active consciousness, there is karma going on. There is action. I am thinking and I am speaking and I am gesturing. And everything I think and speak and gesture transforms the storehouse consciousness. Also, I am speaking, and what I am speaking is the best the Dharma can do,


is the best of messages from the completely transformed storehouse consciousness of the ancestors. It's now coming to you through my voice. And your active consciousness is being, is engaging with this story about the way your active consciousness works. And your unconscious, your storehouse consciousness is simultaneously being permeated by this story about how your conscious and unconscious mind work. Your conscious and unconscious mind, and particularly your unconscious mind, since your conscious mind is allowing you to listen to this, your unconscious mind is being permeated by this Dharma teaching,


by this great vehicle, Dharma teaching. Your unconscious mind, your storehouse consciousness, is being transformed. And it's being transformed along with these Dharma permeations. And these Dharma permeations then support the arising of active consciousnesses, which have a chance to remember these teachings, and contemplate these teachings, and be encouraged perhaps, I hope, be encouraged to listen to more of these teachings, so that more transformation can occur, and more remembering of the teaching can occur. This process leads to realizing the self before your parents were born.


So, in the first chapter of this transmission from the great ancestor Asanga, this container consciousness is being taught, and again, what's being taught now is what supports all of our knowing. And again, what's being taught is how the support of our knowing is transformed by our knowing. So, if you know wholesome states, that transforms the storehouse consciousness in one way. If you know unwholesome states, it transforms it in another way. If you have states which are studying the teachings, it transforms it in another way. If you have states which don't study the teachings, it transforms it in another way.


And what is said here, right at the beginning of this teaching, is that this process can lead to the total transformation of the storehouse consciousness into wisdom, so that there is no more support for deluded states of consciousness. What is being taught here is that by totally transforming this unconscious reservoir of the results of all past karma, by completely transforming that, we have a wisdom, and that wisdom no longer supports any states of delusion. It only supports active states of consciousness. Besides being wisdom itself, it only supports active states of consciousness, which are undeluded, wholesome and undeluded,


which then are available to serve living beings by, again, basically transmitting to them the teaching by which their storehouse consciousness can be completely transformed. This teaching is saying that the storehouse consciousness, being the support of the active consciousnesses, the active consciousness and storehouse consciousness are constantly transforming each other, but they can never be completely transformed by themselves. The unconscious interaction will never stop being deluded. It will just evolve positively and negatively. There is no way for it to end. Death doesn't end it. Birth doesn't end it. As a matter of fact, the storehouse consciousness really is birth and death.


That's what birth and death is, is a type of consciousness. But in wisdom consciousness, there is no birth and death. There is life in both cases, but in one case there is birth and death life, in the other case there is not birth and death. Life is not exactly immortal, it's just infinite and beyond all coming and going. And this transformation does not occur sort of within this process of evolution that's been described. It occurs in relationship to Dharma teachings which come from liberated consciousnesses. In other words, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. That's where the teaching comes from. And this teaching comes from a place which is not inside or outside of the storehouse consciousness.


It's not inside or outside of active consciousnesses. It comes from a place that's free of the karmic thought inside, and the karmic thought outside, and the karmic thought in between. The active consciousnesses which think in terms of inside, outside, and in between, those consciousnesses are being offered teachings, which if they engage, then the storehouse consciousness will be perfumed or permeated by the Dharma. And the wisdom permeation or the Dharma permeation is actually transforming the storehouse consciousness, but it's not actually in it. It's not outside it either. It perfumes without being part of it. As I said, the antidote is not the antidoted.


So the medicine is not mixed with the disease. The disease is relieved and transformed. That's all this and much more is taught in the first chapter of this teaching of the Mahayana summary. In the second chapter, what's taught is the characteristics of the things that are known. So the first chapter is showing how the things we know are supported. In other words, how our conscious deluded life is supported, and also how enlightenment is supported by the support of delusion being transformed. The second chapter goes into describing the characteristics of what we know.


So that would be the characteristics of deluded states and the characteristics of enlightened states. This teaching of the characteristics of everything we know, everything that we know in an enlightened way, and everything we know in a deluded way, that teaching of these characteristics we have studied before in the Saṃdhinirmocana-sūtra, chapter 6. And so this Mahayana teaching is a later version of this teaching, which I today would like to not deal with, but just tell you it's there, and we'll come back to it later. Some of you have been studying these three characteristics of all phenomena,


or you can say three characteristics of the knowable. Some of you have already studied this quite a bit. So some of you can tell me what the three characteristics are, can't you? What are they? Don't be afraid to look like the smartest student. What are the three characteristics? Pardon? The imputational character. The other dependent character. And the thoroughly established character. Those are the three character of all phenomena. All phenomena have a character of purely mental fabrication or conceptual construction. All phenomena have the character that they're other dependent, that they depend on things other than themselves to exist. And all phenomena have a thoroughly established character, an ultimate character, which is that the way they are is free of any kind of mental construction. That things are beyond any kind of mental construction about the way they are.


That our life is not, this is our self before our parents were born. It's a dependent co-arising, and its freedom from any kind of conceptual projection is its thoroughly established character. Things are actually thoroughly established as free of mental construction. However, that freedom exists in the presence of mental construction. So, the second chapter goes into these three characteristics, and again we'll come back to that, but I feel moved to go on to the third chapter, because I think it's possible that by going to the third chapter, beings will be greatly benefited and inspired to study the second chapter.


So, the third chapter, these chapters again have interesting structure. The first chapter is called the support of the knowable. The second chapter is called the characteristics of the knowable, or the characteristics or the nature of all the different patterns of consciousness. So, the foundation of the knowable, the character of the knowable, or the nature of the knowable, and the third chapter is called entry into the character of the knowable. So, the second chapter teaches you the character of the knowable. The third chapter talks about actually entering it, entering into the way things are. And, I don't know about you, but for me,


it's a different way of looking at the life of wisdom, to hear that wisdom is entering into the characteristics of what you know. Now, when I'm saying it, it seems to make sense, but that's the description here, is that it doesn't say wisdom is this, it just says entry into the characteristics of the knowable. But this, I'm telling you, that it becomes clear as you go into the teaching, that that's what wisdom is. Wisdom is to actually enter into the nature of what you know. The nature of what we know, she said, what if the nature of what we know is not free? Well, actually, this teaching, which I just said we skipped over,


I gave you just a brief account of it, but there's three characteristics, and there's not a fourth one called not free. Matter of fact, there is three, and one of the three is, for example, an example of one of the three is, what, anybody? Huh? Yeah, not being free is an example of one of them. Not being free is a conscious construction only. So she said, what if the knowable is not free? I say, well, you just gave an example of one of the characteristics of knowable, namely that you have an idea that it wasn't free. But that's actually just an idea that you have about the knowable. And this teaching is saying, see, I wanted to skip chapter two, but she's not letting me. Another teaching of chapter two is that


the way the knowable ultimately is, is that the knowable is free of all conscious constructions, including not free, and also it's free of the conscious construction, free. And because it is, if you learn this, if you enter into this ultimate character of phenomena, you will become free of conscious construction, and you will realize this other dependent character of things, the interdependent character of things, you will realize it. In freedom, you will realize the freedom from the conscious construction, not free, and from the conscious construction, free. You will realize freedom which is free of the conscious construction of freedom. So, back to chapter three.


Entry into, and I don't know if you can deal with this. I'm going to try it and see if you can. But the Sanskrit is we don't have the Sanskrit text, but some people have reconstructed the Sanskrit and said that the Sanskrit for this chapter could be which literally, you know, could be translated as knowable characteristics entry. But some people translate it as entry into the characteristics of the knowable, and some people also translate it as the characteristics of entry into the knowable. It's both, because the way of entry has certain characteristics, which you'll hear about. You're going to hear about how you enter. In other words, you're going to hear about the characteristics of wisdom. But also wisdom enters the characteristics of phenomena.


So it actually goes both ways that we're going to be entering, we're going to hear about the entry into the characteristics of things, we're going to also hear about the characteristics of entering into things. And if you look at the Sanskrit, it seems like in some sense you could go either way. Knowable characteristics entry. It's the kind of entry which is the entry into the knowable. But it's also the entry into the characteristics of the knowable. There's other possibilities here, but I'm just going to let it go at that, and go to the beginning of chapter three. And so, Asanga says, having explained the distinguishing characteristics of the knowable in chapter two, how are we to understand the distinguishing characteristics of entry into the knowable?


And then he says, that entry is supported by permeation of much learning of the knowable. Of the doctrine of the great vehicle. So this is saying that the wisdom, which is the entering into the characteristics of things, which includes entering into the ultimate characteristic of things, which liberates us from the fabricated characteristic of things, but that depends on permeation of much learning, much hearing, much learning of the great vehicle. Now when I say that, it pops up in my mind that the Zen school is sometimes typified as a special transmission outside the teaching. Which makes people think,


well in the Zen school you don't get a lot of permeation, you don't get permeation from lots of listening to the teaching. So this text I think is saying, the transmission of what is outside the scriptures comes through permeation of much learning of the scriptures. By listening to the teachings of the great vehicle a lot, your storehouse consciousness is permeated and transformed, so that the special transmission outside these teachings, the direct transmission from the completely transformed storehouse consciousness of the Buddhas, that that transmission of that consciousness is actually completed. In other words, your storehouse consciousness is completely transformed.


And when that happens, that's the special transmission. It's a transmission of one completely transformed unconscious to another completely transformed unconscious. That's the special transmission of Buddha to Buddha. But that transformation occurs by the storehouse consciousness being transformed by the active consciousness listening to these Mahayana teachings a lot. So the warning of a special transmission outside the teaching could also be understood as saying, we have to find the right way to listen to the teaching. And so I think a good help in the right way to listen to the teaching is to remember the instruction, what is yourself before your parents were born? And then with that question, listen to the teaching. So we're not trying to grasp these teachings,


we're just letting them rain on us. And moisten us, and soak in us. And a mind that allows itself to spend its energy and its devotion on receiving these teachings is a mind which is allowing its storehouse consciousness to be transformed. It's a mind which is allowing the results of all past karma to be converted into complete perfect wisdom. So, the entry is supported, the entry into the characteristic things is supported by the permeations or perfumings of hearing the doctrine. So again, how does the perfuming happen? How does the perfuming happen?


It happens by active consciousnesses. Active consciousnesses are constantly perfuming the unconscious. If I think of Homa, if I think of her and wish her well, that thought perfumes the unconscious. If I think of Elenia and don't think her well, that thought perfumes and pervades and permeates and transforms the unconscious storehouse which supports further defiled states. But if I listen to the teachings, in other words, if my active consciousness engages the teachings, that transforms the alaya into not being the alaya. Wholesome and unwholesome states of consciousness transform alaya and wholesome transforms alaya to generally support the arising of wholesome states. Unwholesome transforms the alaya,


the storehouse consciousness into supporting unwholesome states. But receiving the Dharma transforms the nature of alaya from that which supports defiled states to that which is wisdom. And then the next thing that's said in the first sentence here is and is not comprised within the container consciousness. You probably didn't follow that, so I'll read the whole sentence. The entry into the characteristics of phenomena is supported by permeation of much learning, much hearing of the Mahayana teachings and is not comprised within the container consciousness. The entry is not in the container consciousness. So the container consciousness has to be permeated by these teachings,


has to have this wisdom permeation. It permeates it, and yet the permeation is not part of the alaya, but the alaya is transformed by the permeation. And when the alaya is transformed by the permeation which is not comprised in itself, there is entry into, there is wisdom, and there's entry into the way things are. So somehow, it's a little tricky because somehow there's an intimacy here and yet there's no confusion. And the example that's often used is water and milk. I don't know if modern science would agree with this analogy, but that's the metaphor, water and milk. That you can actually get the water out of the milk, or you can get the milk out of the water. You can also get milk out of water.


Milk is the Minnesota pronunciation of milk. So this alaya has to, the storehouse consciousness has to be permeated, and the permeation is not comprised within it. The permeation is comprised from the Dharma, from the wisdom of the Buddhas. And then, the tricky part is, then it goes on to say rather, and now it's going to use the container consciousness as an example of not the container consciousness. Rather, just as occurs with the container consciousness, so the permeation, so this permeation is the seed that develops within consciousness. So the same way that the alaya develops,


the wisdom develops, the same thing, it's just that the way alaya is permeated is that alaya is transformed into not being alaya. The way the storehouse consciousness is transformed is like it's transformed from being the results of karma into wisdom. It is comprised, what is it? The entry. The entry into the characteristics of the knowable is comprised of correct reflection. And again, this correct reflection is not just, it's calm, but it's not non-conceptual. It actually deals with concepts and images of the teachings and reflects on them.


And this reflection on the teaching creates this permeation which creates the entry into the nature of things. Such correct reflection in turn arises from images that appear as doctrine and as meaning. So right now, it may be the case that all of you are practicing correct reflection that's arising from you from the images that are appearing in your active consciousness of these teachings. So I watch that happen to me as I'm studying these Mahayana teachings. I watch my mind reflect on the images through which the teaching is appearing to me.


The teaching is not just images, but the teaching is offered in such a way that we can make images of it and contemplate the images of this teaching and in this way the teaching permeates our unconscious support of all consciousness. These images are discriminated in mental words and are accompanied by insight and that appear as if connected to the apprehended realities. So now we're getting instruction about more about the characteristics of the entry. So these images of what? The images of what? Hmm?


Yeah, the images of the doctrine, the images of the teaching which our mind discriminates are mental words that are accompanied by insight. So as we hear these words, these mental words, these images of the teachings that reflection, that contemplation is accompanied by insight. Insight comes, in other words, entry comes with that. And then the insight appears as if connected to the images. The insight appears as if connected to the apprehended realities. So there seems to be the insight and what we understand


that we're being told it's going to go like that. Now does this sound familiar? To me it does because usually the things we know we think that our knowing is connected to these things we know. So that's also going to be characteristic of this insight. And this is a warm-up to the fact that the whole process by which this entry in wisdom occurs, occurs in the context of another teaching which goes with these three characteristics, which is the teaching called conscious construction only. Namely, no matter what happens, we have a conscious construction of it. And we have to understand that. We have to understand that the conscious construction, what's happening is not free. That's an example.


And any other thing you know, you have the same conscious construction going on. And when the teaching comes, we have a conscious construction of the teaching, but now we're being told that we're going to have that and we can still have insight simultaneous with things appearing as though they were connected to our knowing. So, again, forecasting, the understanding of conscious construction only is the same as entry into the characteristics of phenomena. So a lot of these things, there's different names for this entry. One name for this entry is entry. Another name for this entry is


understanding the characteristics of what we know. Another name for this entry is insight or understanding of everything is just conscious construction. Everything is just conscious construction, which is the same as penetrating into the reality, into the realm of reality. And it's the same as attaining birth in the lineage of the Buddhas in ten directions. And it's the same as the ability to impartially think about all living beings, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. These are different words for this entry. And entry into the characteristics of phenomena includes respect


for the teaching that one of the characteristics of phenomena is mere conceptual construction, that we live with that. And when we understand that, at a certain level of understanding, we even think that the understanding that what's out there is nothing but mind, that that's out there, separate from mind. Okay, I don't know what time it is. I know I do. Okay. I'll just do one more paragraph and stop. I might have to do two. Next paragraph is who enters the characteristics of the knowable? All Bodhisattvas


who have permeated their continuities, excuse me, who have permeated the continuities of their consciousness with much learning and hearing of the great vehicle. That's who enters, which I mentioned before. Who enters? These kinds of Bodhisattvas who have permeated their continuities. What are their continuities? Their active consciousness and their storehouse unconscious. They permeated it with learning and hearing these teachings. Also, they have already rendered service to innumerable Buddhas who appear in the world. Okay, I'll stop there for a second. I thought I was going to do more than one paragraph, but this is a big deal.


Who gets to hear this? Who gets to enter this teaching? Bodhisattvas who have already rendered service to all innumerable Buddhas who appear in the world. So one might stop and say, have I already rendered service to innumerable Buddhas who have appeared in the world? Because if I haven't already done that, I'm not going to be able to enter this teaching. And I guess I would say, that's what it seems to say. So one might say, well, why should I study any further? Because I'm not going to be able to enter the characteristics of phenomena because I haven't already done that. Someone might say that, and I might say that myself. But then I might say,


well, I think actually, either I'm going to say that I've already done that, and will continue, or I'm going to start doing it. Just in case, just in case, I haven't rendered service to all the innumerable Buddhas who have appeared in the world, just in case I haven't already done that, I'm going to start. If I'm going to follow this teaching, I'm going to start, I'm going to start, start what? I'm going to start rendering service to innumerable Buddhas, because that's a requirement for entry. So, requirement one, lots of listening to the teaching, lots of hearing the teaching, lots of learning the teaching, that's one. You might say, oh, that's a lot. Yep. Now, on top of that, or alongside that, rendering service to innumerable Buddhas. What kind of service might one render


to innumerable Buddhas? Well, one of the things would be to listen to these teachings and learn them. Okay. And learning these teachings does, actually is service to all Buddhas, because they all teach this. Remember I told you the story about this Chinese monk who went to see the teacher and said, you know, please teach me the Dharma, and the guy said, watch yourself before your parents are born. Remember that story? And then he tried to, he tried to enter into that teaching, but was unable to do so. So what did he do? He went to a place and he rendered service to the innumerable Buddhas. Later today, we're going to have a work period here at this little temple. This is an opportunity to render service to innumerable Buddhas. This temple is a memorial


to this Buddha here. See that Buddha up there, that statue? That's Shakyamuni Buddha. This place is a memorial site to Shakyamuni Buddha. See those pennants hanging down? It says Shakyamuni Buddha. This place is a memorial place. And taking care of this place, you could see this as rendering service to all Buddhas. If I want to understand this, and I do, if I want to understand these teachings and enter the characteristics phenomena, I understand it looks to me pretty straight line teaching here. I have to render service to all the innumerable Buddhas. Shakyamuni is one, but I'm not just doing it for Shakyamuni Buddha. I want to render service to all Buddhas, not just him. I want to render service to all the Buddhas that he served. Shakyamuni Buddha appeared in this world, on this planet,


in India, and he said, I served innumerable Buddhas. That's what the historical Buddha said. And since that time, Bodhisattvas have been serving innumerable Buddhas. And now here's a teaching for Bodhisattvas. And do I wish to serve innumerable Buddhas? And I would say, yes, I do. I wish to do it even, forget about that it's going to give me entry into the characteristics of phenomena. I want to do it anyway. When I met Suzuki Rishi, I actually did not, I was not so concerned with getting enlightened or entering into the characteristics of phenomena. I actually enjoyed serving him. That was good enough for me. If you ever have a chance to serve a Buddha, I recommend it. And by the way, those who do,


who have served innumerable Buddhas, they are the ones who enter into Buddha's wisdom. Some people actually, unlike me, some people came to Zen Center and wanted Buddha's wisdom. I did not come to get Buddha's wisdom. But now I find out that being of service to the Buddhas is necessary in order to do it. Now I kind of do want to. I've changed. Is there anything more we have to do here? Oh, let's see. Oh yeah. And also, who have already entered into a true state of definitive commitment of single faith. In what? Well, how about the teachings of the Mahayana? How about the faith that the completely transformed storehouse consciousness, that completely transforming the results of our past karma, completely transforming the results


of our past karma is Buddha's wisdom. So there's a teaching that our past karma, the results of our past karma is the support of all of our defiled states of suffering, that the results of our past karma is the basis of birth and death. That's one teaching. The next part of it is that all the Buddhas are the transformation of that consciousness. And that consciousness gets transformed by entering into the characteristics of all the things we know. And entering into that is to believe this teaching enough to practice it. So one is, listen to the teaching. Two is, serve the Buddhas. Three is, trust that this teaching is worth your total devotion. Oh, and there's one more point. The Bodhisattvas who have increased their good roots


and thus fully accumulated the stores of merit and wisdom. So, along with this, we have to keep doing good karma, which also transforms the alaya. So we have, in that way, even if we do enter into the characteristics of phenomena, we have to continue to do wholesome karma. So then we're developing the results from wholesome karma together with the results of entering into the characteristics of phenomena and developing wisdom. So that's the second paragraph of chapter three. And I kind of wanted to go on to the next section. And actually, it's kind of big, this next one. So I think I'll wait for this afternoon to do the third section of chapter three of the


engagement in the Mahayana written by the great ancestor, the Sangha. And just see if, before we go to lunch, if there's anything you'd like to bring up. Yes? Is there a point in this evolutionary process where we can no longer turn away from it? Yeah, there is. There's a stage called no longer turning away. No way. It's rather advanced, it's rather advanced though. But even before that, there's not really any turning away, it's just that you can keep slipping, you know, like you slip and fall, you get distracted, but you don't really change your vow, you just get distracted. There's a stage at which you just keep going forward, you never slip backwards or off to the side. There's that stage. But I think when you attain the first stage here, when you get this first stage


of entry into the characteristic phenomena, you're not going to turn back anymore. But even though you don't turn back, you do sort of fall down and get distracted for quite a long time. But then this teaching is here to tell you that that happens and what to do about it. And that it's a normal part of the path that at this stage you make these kinds of mistakes, at this stage... And there is a stage at which you don't make any more mistakes. You're still evolving, but there's no more mistakes. You can't. The equipment for mistake-making has been abandoned. But that's what we call virtually celestial bodhisattvas, like Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri. Those guys, or those girls, are at that stage.


And I'm glad that they are. Yes, was there... Yes? As you were speaking, I was... To hear the Dharma, and as the way you were describing it, all I see there must be this absolute purity. So is there... That's how it is to me. Otherwise you don't hear it. I cannot hear it. Well, in that story I told at the beginning, this wonderful monk who became this wonderful teacher, he heard the teaching from his teacher, you know, but he didn't... It hadn't permeated him enough, but he heard it. He did hear it,


and he attempted to respond to what he was given, and he did hear that his response was not appropriate, was not meeting the request. He didn't find this self before his parents were born, but he did hear it, and he was attempting to give it to his teacher, and his teacher said, no, that's not it. And they went around like that for quite a while, and then he took a break. He kind of felt discouraged. But his discouragement was part of the process of hearing the Dharma. Somebody else might have said, tried it once and said, see you later, you know. Not even been discouraged, just said, that's just stupid. Self before parents are born, are you crazy? But he didn't. He tried, and then he got discouraged, and his teacher let him go. But I think his teacher knew that he wasn't just going to go and forget about this. If he thought that, he'd probably say, stay, stay and suffer some more with me.


But I think he could sense this guy wasn't going to give up. So he let him go. And he was right, if that's what he thought. He didn't give up. He kept working on this. He kept permeating himself with this simple instruction to find this mind, this person, this self, before there's a self. And by this process of permeating with this teaching, he did become pure. And he did let it in. And he did find this. And then, that wasn't the end of the story, but this is the beginning of where, from that point on, he wouldn't turn back. He was flying from then on. He just developed it more and more. Until Buddhahood. Any other offerings? Yes? You've heard me say that?


Pardon? He said he heard me say, it's impossible not to serve all Buddhas. And I would say, how good of me to say so. So, now that you've heard me say that, do you believe that? And if you believe that, do you believe you have already served innumerable Buddhas? Do you believe that? That you've been doing this from the beginningless time you've been serving all Buddhas? If you feel that, well, good. Good. I have no problem with you feeling that way. And, but that doesn't mean you're going to stop now, right? No. Because it's impossible not to. So, I have been, and I'm going to continue, that's my understanding. Everything I do from now on is going to be rendering service to all Buddhas. This is the medium


in which I've been doing this from beginningless time, and I will continue to do it. This is the context in which I will enter into the teachings of the Buddha about the character of the knowable. This is the warm, devoted, you know, wholehearted devotion to the teachers of this teaching. So, I'm not just devoted to the teaching, I'm devoted to the givers of the teaching. Right? And I have been, and I will continue, and I have no choice, and I feel really good about that. and then if I seem to have forgotten, whoops, I seem to have forgotten, now I'm into, like, I'm into, like, I'm into resentment now. I'm taking a little break. Okay? What am I here for again? Am I here for resentment? Oh, no. I'm here for entering into the characteristics of all phenomena in order to attain enlightenment, in order to benefit all beings,


and this is part of my ongoing service to Buddhas, and I'm very happy about this. Right? Was that to serve all Buddhas, that comment? Yeah, okay, good. Well, what do you mean, maybe? No, for sure, for sure, if you have any resentment, you're going to make that resentment service of all Buddhas, right? What? When you notice the resentment, you say, oh, here's an opportunity to serve all Buddhas. It's not like, it's not, then you're not wallowing in the resentment. You're saying, okay, well now, it's time to serve all Buddhas. Thank you for reminding me. But most people, forget about most, anyway, some people, when resentment comes,


they forget that this is an opportunity to serve all Buddhas. It distracts them. But it's not a distraction. The Buddhas are not distracted, so if we're serving the undistracted ones, we serve them by, this is the way, the way to requite the kindness of the Buddhas is by practicing service to the Buddhas. Which means study these teachings, which means listen to them and understand them and learn them. This is, and so when resentment comes, practice the teachings on the resentment. Make the resentment an opportunity. Resentment isn't service of the Buddhas, but the way you use the resentment, the way you take care of it, is that you're going to use it for that purpose. You're going to use defiled states, which are normal states, are normal states of defilement, we're going to use them to serve Buddhas. Well, how do I use my defiled states to serve Buddhas?


By listening to the teachings. My defiled states are not service of the Buddha. Using them to receive, to serve the Buddha are serving the Buddhas. Was there another comment? Yes. In the defiled states, when you said, with the procuring, it can come to the wisdom. Yes. Does that wisdom mean it's just like when you see, you see it, it's in the mind, just the mind? Is the wisdom expressed that way, or is it expressed, whether or not, if not, it becomes a concept. It just stays before the concept, before the conscious mind, the alive mind. As part of answering your question, I just want to point out that the perfuming or the permeation


of the teaching, the thing that gets permeated is the unconscious. The unconscious, the unconscious is not a defiled state. The unconscious is not defiled. It's not defiled. And it's not karmically wholesome or unwholesome. The undefiled gets perfumed by the teaching. The defiled states are supported by the undefiled state. Our results of our karma support defiled states, but the results are not defiled. Therefore, they can support, not defiled can support defiled, and not defiled can support wisdom. And karmically neutral, neither wholesome or unwholesome can support wholesome and unwholesome. So all the unwholesome and all the wholesome defiled states come up from this


unconscious support. But the unconscious support is undefiled. However, it supports defiled. It is birth and death. Birth and death is undefiled, but it's suffering. Suffering is undefiled. And it comes from deluded, defiled states of consciousness. And it supports the arising of them. Okay, now, go back to your question about the perfuming and what that makes possible. You said it comes together, wisdom can come together with the alaya and the consciousness. Yeah, this alaya... I'm wondering where the wisdom, how the wisdom comes. The wisdom comes from, the wisdom comes from receiving these teachings a lot, learning them, listening to them a lot. Okay? And then it comes from


serving Buddhas. And it comes from believing that listening to these teachings will have this effect. And it comes from our usual taking care of our karma. But taking care of karma by itself isn't enough. We have to receive these teachings because the teachings are actually what transforms the basis of unwholesome, of defiled states, of deluded states. That this unconscious storehouse of the results of all past karma can be completely transformed into wisdom by receiving the wisdom teachings. But in order to receive wisdom teachings, we have to receive the compassion teachings too and practice compassion. Because if we don't practice compassion, we won't be devoted to all Buddhas and we won't be open to this teaching and won't be kind. We won't use resentment as an opportunity to apply the teachings. We'll just be mean to the resentment and so, of course, we receive teachings of compassion


and we receive these. These teachings here so far are mostly wisdom teachings. Later in the text there's more compassion teachings. But part of compassion is to generously, diligently, carefully, patiently serve all Buddhas. If we serve all Buddhas, we will learn to think impartially about all Buddhas, all Bodhisattvas and all sentient beings. Some people say, why shouldn't you serve sentient beings? And, of course, you should serve sentient beings, but here it says start by serving the Buddhas. Because in this tradition there's no argument about serving Buddhas, but some people who are okay on serving Buddhas do have some reservations about serving some people. Right?


Like I, you know, I was willing to serve Suzuki Rishi, but there were some other people I wasn't so sure about serving. But if you serve the Buddhas, you will come to a state where you will think about Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and all sentient beings. Impartially. You'll serve them equally. But you sort of have to start with the Buddhas in order to have wisdom. Serving sentient beings isn't sufficient. It's fine to start with, but as you move into wisdom, you have to start serving Buddhas. And then this permeation of the Dharma will transform the results of past karma into wisdom. The results of past karma are very nicely supporting many states of defiled active consciousness. That seems to be going on quite nicely. Have you noticed? Got plenty of that. Now,


the same storehouse of the results of past karma can be converted into perfect wisdom. If we permeate it with the teachings, including the teachings of how to permeate it with the teachings. Yes? I heard the expression entry into the inconceivable. Yes. And, you know, because it has the term entry, and then entry into the characteristics of the knowable. I'm wondering if those two are related or how they're related. They're both terms of art. Yeah. So, entry into conceivable. We have three characteristics of things that we can know. Well, the first one, the imputational character is the conceivable. The second one of the dependent is actually inconceivable. However, we take the other dependent character of things to be the conceivable characteristic of things. So, we defile it that way. But, it actually is inconceivable.


And, of course, the absence of the conceivable in the inconceivable is also inconceivable. However, you can conceive of it. But, actually, the way it really is is inconceivable. But, these three characteristics apply to each other, too. So, the... Yes. Entry into the inconceivable is something that can happen when you enter into the... Actually, we start by entering into the conceivable version of these three characteristics. Like I said, you enter into... you start listening to it by hearing mental words which represent these teachings. The teachings themselves are not... Even the... imputational character, the conceptual version


of things itself is actually... has... it actually has a thoroughly established character, too. It really... It really doesn't have the conceivable in it. So, as you get into studying these three, you realize the inconceivable nature of things. Not just hear about it. Realize it. Enter it. Okay. Well, I hope that wasn't too horrible for the people who just came for the first time, or for the people who have been here many times. It is really difficult, and... I really feel encouraged to encourage you, to encourage yourself to study it.