Facing Change and Realizing Peace 

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And then the river becomes covered by a road, which is known. But because the road is basically a river, the road is always hungry. The phenomenal world that we know is the world of the road. And the hunger we feel on the road, we know, we can know. The river is our life or our experience itself.


And again, I say, we don't know it. But living beings feel somewhat uncomfortable not knowing. And they are given this situation of experience, which they don't know, and they're given the discomfort with the not knowing, and they're given the construction of the road, which they know. And on the road there is this hunger and there's also other things they know, like beginnings and endings, birth and death, and the stress of this hunger, of this desire. I've talked here and I've talked many places,


and now there's a little book out called The Third Turning of the Wheel, which is about a teaching which is related to this image of the road and the river. And the teaching is from a sutra called the Samdhinirvachana Sutra. And it teaches that all phenomena have three characteristics. One is this basic characteristic of the river, which is called the other-dependent characteristic, or the other-dependent nature, the river, which we don't know. And then there's another character called the imagined or imputational character, the imaginary character or the imaginary nature, which we know,


where the things have some solidity or essence, and then characteristics. Like there's this part of the road and that part of the road, this part's high, this part's low, this is the beginning of the road, this is the end of the road, this is the painful part of the road, this is the pleasurable part of the road. That's the realm of images. And those images, like the road, are on top of, they're based on actual experience, which we don't know. Those are the first two characteristics of phenomenal life, phenomenal perception. There's a third character, which is the road is absent in the river. The river, actually somebody thought, when they first heard this image,


they thought the road, they imagined the road kind of getting muddy and melting into the river. But this is a road that never melts. It's either the road or the river, and there's an absence of the road in the river. And that's really the way the river is, and that's really the way the road is. Our images of things never actually reach the things that they're based on. Our perceptions that we know never reach our experience, which we don't know. But because we have these perceptions and confuse them with our experience, even though the perception doesn't actually reach the experience, the experience is nonetheless supporting the perception,


and the perception, particularly the belief that the perception is our experience, it has an effect on the experience. And one of its main effects that it has is to make us uncomfortable with experience. When the mind creates something graspable and puts it on top of something ungraspable, because of that, we're uncomfortable with the ungraspable, and that discomfort, again, sponsors more construction of graspable. So the graspable never reaches the ungraspable, but being involved with it and confusing it with the ungraspable affects the ungraspable. And then in the ungraspable experience, there is a habit to generate more roads.


In the ungraspable, the ungraspable sponsors imaginations about itself which are not really applicable to itself. The river sponsors the road building, and the road building has an effect on the river. It makes the life experience of the river uncomfortable with the unknown aspect of it, as a result of past constructions to make it known. So there's an addiction to the road, even though the road keeps being hungry and craving. The consequence, not so much of the craving, but of the construction makes the craving, and then the construction and the craving and the confusion of the construction with our actual life. Like somebody might say, I got a bad life, or I got a good life.


The confusion of that vision or that idea with our life creates hunger and pain and birth and death. When living beings are in the river and look at the river through this imagination of the river, then that's what's called birth and death, or the realm of suffering. The world of suffering is when you look at experience through your perceptions, and the experience looks graspable. When you're in the river and you look at the river and see the absence of the image in the river, that's called nirvana, or peace. And in that realm there's not graspable sameness or difference. There's the support of imagining sameness and difference, but you can't really find any sameness or difference.


And it's peaceful. So in a sense, it's not changing. And it's freedom. Our direct experience, which we don't know, cannot be grasped, grasped cannot be imprisoned, cannot be strangled. But because of our addiction to knowing things, we don't want to have something that can't be strangled. We want to get something that can strangle. So we make a road and then we have traffic jams, which are uncomfortable about, but we're addicted to. Not so much to traffic jams, but a situation where there is constriction. And actually we hunger for an unconstricted situation, because the constricted situation is based on the unconstricted. But, once again, the way it always is,


is that the constriction never reaches the unconstriction. The bondage never reaches the freedom. And the freedom supports the bondage. The freedom doesn't say, no bondage allowed here. So I've been talking about how to work with the road. How to work with appearances. There are appearances, but the appearances don't actually exist, except as fantasies. And in the fantasies there is solid walls, and big and little pains, and big and little pleasures, and graspable people and selves,


and graspable separation between people, all that wonderful stuff is in there. And there's a way of working with this situation called appearances, which we know, and which we're addicted to the knowing of them. The addiction is thriving. And it's being supported by freedom. Freedom allows bondage. Freedom from addiction allows addiction. Addiction allows these habits. And there's somehow, not so much from the river, but from some place, which has realized that the river never reaches the road, and the road never reaches the river, even though they support each other. From some place of understanding the situation,


a message has come about how to relate to the road in such a way that you can understand the river, even though you can't know it. And one of the ways to speak of these messages which have come to us, which are teaching us how to relate to the road in such a way as to realize that the road is free of the river, and the river is free of the road. And actually we're in the river and we're just imagining that we're on the road. The understanding of that comes from the way you relate with the road. The way of relating to the road is the practice, or art. It's being creative with the road. If you're creative with the road, you'll understand that the road is just a fantasy.


And then you can enjoy this thing which you don't know. How do you enjoy it? By experiencing it. And be free, in freedom. You can experience its freedom. Not that you know it, you actually dive into it and live it. So arts like painting, and dancing, and music, and literature, theater, these arts, in the enclosed world of the road, these arts, and of course the art of practice, are ways of being creative with the road to become free of the confusion of the road with the river. So, for example, music,


we listen to music on the road and we listen to it, and somehow if we get with the music, if we become intimate with the music that we know, we understand that the music we know is not the music. And then we watch a play, and somebody worked with language or something, and the actors worked with their bodies and voices, and they put on this, they create this world, and we join the world, and we realize that this world, the world of the play is not the actual experience of the play. We get to taste the experience of the play by looking at the appearance of the play. We taste the experience, we realize the experience of the music by listening to the appearance of the music.


Like I said last week and the week before, we create alternative worlds, not to go to the alternative worlds, but to engage the alternative worlds so that we experience, so that we realize the experience, which is the basis of worlds. So we experience, we join the experience, and we experience the experience which we don't know, which is the basis of the worlds we do know. And that experience is peace. Experience is the other dependent quality of our life, the other dependent nature of our appearances, which we don't know, but which is really the center of gravity of life. One time I had really good seats.


It's a long time ago. I don't know if I could ever get seats that good again to watch Yo-Yo Ma. I was sitting right sort of like 12 feet away from him, and I was listening to him, and I had this distinct feeling after a while that I couldn't tell that he was good. I mean, I knew he was, sort of, because that's how he appears. He appears to be good, doesn't he? Most people think. A lot of people just say, he is good. He's very skillful. He's a wonderful musician. A lot of people think that. In other words, he appears to be a wonderful musician, and they think that that appearance is Yo-Yo Ma. But it's not. It's just the appearance of Yo-Yo Ma. And the appearance of his skill is just the appearance of his skill. I'm not saying he's not skillful. I'm saying we don't know what he is.


But we can never avoid experiencing what he is, because you can't get away from the experience of anybody, because that's where we live, in the river, where everybody is the experience of everybody. People don't know that, so they go someplace they know about, like Zellerbach. One of the great things about Zellerbach is that it's not that big. So you can actually get pretty close to people, because you can't get too far from the people. So I'm looking at him, and I see the appearance of him, but I actually open up to, I don't know if he's a good musician or not. I don't know what music is. That's what a great teacher his music is, is that he can initiate people into


not knowing whether he's worth the money, whether he's good, whether this is beautiful cello music or not. I was free of the appearance of music. I was free of good and bad, thanks to the gift of the appearance of this music, which in itself taught me how to listen to it in such a way that I didn't know what it was. I was free of the appearance of music. And I never knew what it was, but if somebody said would you like to have some tickets and go see something that you won't know what it is, I'd say, I can do that right here, I don't have to go anyplace to do that. But really, I do have to go someplace. I need


some help to give up my habit of knowing what's going on. I need help. I need teachings to help me get over my addiction to knowing and confusing. I'm not addicted to confusing what I know with what is. I'm addicted to knowing, and that addiction leads to me being confused. But this nice person is this appearance of this nice person. But this nice person is not the appearance, not really the appearance of a nice person, although nice people do have appearances, they do, but their appearance never reaches the nice person that they really


are, that they basically are. And I told you how to relate to appearances, how to relate to the things you know in such a way that you can be creative with the road and become free of the road without destroying the road. As a matter of fact, I also said that real freedom does not cut off relationships with the road when it realizes freedom. It realizes freedom from the road without getting rid of the road. And if it got rid of the road, then the freedom wouldn't be able to help other people learn how to relate to the road in such a way as to be free of the road. And again, my basic suggestion is that you trust


compassion, you trust relaxation, you trust playfulness, you trust being creative, and then you get understanding and freedom. That's basically it. And compassion has many dimensions which we can talk about. That's basically how to relate to this road, how to relate to the superficial, substantial appearance of our life, of ourself, of others, of our pain and pleasure and walls and mountains and rivers. I just want to say one more thing, one more image, and that is that in this practice, the present, as Shakespeare would say, has a good report. I've had good


report of the present. The present is all we have to work with, and the present appears to us. We have an appearance of the present. We have a present mountain that's been given to us, and in order to realize freedom, we have to walk either from the bottom to the top, but I recommend walking from the top all the way to the bottom of the river. Each moment we have to walk from the top of the mountain of the moment to the foot of the mountain of the moment. We have to fully exercise the appearance, and the way you fully exercise it is being compassionate towards it, relaxing with it, and playfully slide down


and creatively tumble while you slide or ski or ride on your elbow. Anyway, you go down all the way to the bottom of the mountain, and at the bottom of the mountain, the mountain meets the water, and where the mountain meets the water, there's a splashing of the mountain in the water. So you've got the road, but this is the road turned into a mountain. Now you ride the road mountain down to the foot of the mountain, and there you meet the river, and the river splashes up and sets you free of believing that the mountain is the water. That's where Buddhas are born, where the mountain meets the water. But it isn't just that you keep taking care of the mountain. You fully exert the mountain, and that's the art of meditation. That's the art of freedom.


So I think you understand pretty well, but now exercise it, if you'd like. Yes, Dan? You're just raising your hand? He was gesticulating. I see you exercising. I see you exercising. Yes? I don't have any experience of reflecting images in a different way. So I'm wondering, because of what I want to say, the stuff that I'm working with,


it seems like often I see so many appearances that are the road, and not the river. Am I making any sense? To me? Yes. Maybe to nobody else, though. Are you making sense to yourself? I have a comment. When you think about how you're affecting everyone, that's the road construction of how you're affecting everyone. And go right ahead and do it. But remember, that is the appearance or your imagination of how you affect everyone. Actually, you do affect everyone, but how you do that, you do not know. But it still might be helpful to you to take care of the road in the form of the type of karma,


which thinks about how your karma, how the road building that you're involved with, how that affects everybody, because it does. It affects your individual part of living in the river, and it affects the shared river. And there's different types of imagination that we do that are quite similar. Human beings, for example, do a type of imagination called language. So because of that, our imagination, our karma, is quite similar. And because of that, we live in similar imagined worlds. And also, we develop similar rivers, because there's an effect of this imagination on the river. And the river supports further imagination, supported by and enacted by language. So we want to use language in such a way as to be aware of what we have and how we're relating to this imagination, this story.


Again, the theory would be that we receive teachings from a wisdom which has understood the relationship between this storytelling, imagination aspect of our life, and all the consequences of it. The river is actually the consequences of infinite imaginings. Our actual life experience is the results of infinite imaginings of all of us. But the life result, which supports infinite imagining and is the result of infinite imagining, is not imagined. Or rather, it is not known. And if we can actually live there, if we are living there, if we can understand that the results of all of our imagining are not our current imagining,


we become free of that confusion, and we find peace. With what? With the results of infinite imaginings of living beings. And we become free of the imagination process. We receive teachings from those who have become free of the wisdom which understands this process, has told us how to relate to the process of imagination, its support, and its effects. But we do not understand how it works, I mean, how the river works. But we can understand that the river is free of how we think about things that are working. Yes? How do you listen to a teaching?


When you look... Yeah, that's normal. Did you say... I missed a part there. I've heard you say the part about you hear the teaching and then the road part of your mind turns the teaching into a recipe. There's a lot of recipes on the road. That's the road version, that's the imaginary version of the teaching. The teaching is not an image. The teaching is not an appearance. But the teaching is coming to us, and our mind, and it's coming to us through the river. And our mind makes an appearance of the teaching, which looks like recipes. Okay, now what's the next part of your statement? Did you say infinite acquaintance?


Oh, intimate acquaintance with what? No, you're not intimate with the river. You're intimate, but you don't know the intimacy. You are intimate with the river. You are intimate with the teachings, but you don't know it. Which is normal. But we're uncomfortable not knowing our intimacy. We want to know our intimacy, but we're uncomfortable not knowing it. We have to get used to not knowing the intimacy. And the way to get used to it is to practice compassion towards the results of not accepting that the intimacy is not knowable, which is the road. Accept that I make an un-intimate version of the intimacy. So the teaching actually is intimacy. It's coming to us through the river. But even the great bodhisattvas turn this thing into something that is an appearance.


If you relate to the appearance properly, you can realize the intimacy and accept that realizing it, you still don't get to know it. So our basic situation is our experience is intimacy. We can't stand it because we're addicted to knowing it. Once we know it, we have teachings from the intimacy, or in the intimacy, we have teachings which are now recipes or appearances about how to relate to the appearances. So we apply these recipes, these appearances, to the other appearances and we will then realize the intimacy and be able to stand it without knowing it. Even though the intimacy still allows conjuring up appearances of it. So the conjuring of appearances even happens for Buddhas.


But they're totally not fooled by them. And they only use them to help people who are still dealing with them. So the way you receive the teaching is through the appearance of recipes. Linguistic images of the teachings, and the teachings are not appearances. The teachings are the result of understanding the process and the relationship between experience and appearances of experiences. Those who study this for a long time actually develop a wisdom which then sends messages to those who haven't studied long enough about how to continue to study appearances. And the way you study appearances, which helps you become free of the confusion of them with experience, will also help you be able to stand experience that you don't know.


All the beneficent and malevolent appearances that occur on the road, basically it's the same technique as applied to both of them, namely compassion. And then I say relaxation and playfulness for concentration, and then be creative for wisdom, and then understanding. That's how to relate to the horrible things and the wonderful things that are appearing in this world. That's being created by our addiction to making a knowable world out of an unknowable life experience, which isn't a world. Even though it actually is the same world as the world we make, it's just that it's not a confining, graspable world.


So in that sense it's not much of a world. It's just our life. Gesturing again? No, I realized why I was gesturing. Oh, good. I took your discussion of playfulness as a way of loosening the bonds of the road. Loosening the bonds of confusion in the road. Loosening the addiction to the road. Loosening the addiction to the road is gaining concentration on something else, shifting one's mind. No, it's more like being concentrated on the appearances. It could be any appearance, like the appearance of a body. You've got a body, you could concentrate on that body. Concentrate on the appearance of your body. You have two bodies in a way. You have your actual body, which you don't know, which is like a river.


It's peaceful and ungraspable. And then you have a body which is an appearance, which you can get a hold of and you can lose. It can die and be born. You can get a hold of it, you can lose it. You've got that body too. That's the appearance of your body, and we're addicted to appearances of our body. But if we do these practices with the appearance of the body, we can become free of the addiction to the appearance. And then we won't be hungry so much for the actual experience of the body if we can give up that addiction. But we use the addiction to cut through the addiction. Relaxation and playfulness is a way of loosening the addiction and then being creative with it finishes the job. Could you talk more about that creativity, the role of creativity in finishing the job


without listening to the artistic roles, to the themes of a whole experience and concept? What would you like me to say? Talk about the relationship. Playfulness has a way of loosening the addiction and finding clarity. Did you see me just do it? I said, what would you like me to do? That was my way of being playful with you. And did you see the creativity that happened? You did? Did that help you become free of being able to grasp the creativity? You go to see the artist because you want to see the artist's creation. But actually you want to go see the artist's creation or creating


to initiate you into creation. So let's do it right now. But you don't get to grasp the creation. And be playful with our feeling that we need to grasp it too. So again, the need to grasp, the addiction to grasping, working with that is the way to become free of it. So we actually can't become free of our addiction to grasping to, for example, existence and non-existence. We can't be free of that addiction except by the way we relate to the addiction. And the teachings are about how to relate to addictions. I was just thinking about those lines though.


It seems like, using this metaphor of the artist, there's an aspect of disappointment that comes first. That if you think about Yo-Yo Ma or a poet, they adopt a specific form. Form? Appearance. Appearance. Appearance and form. And they discipline themselves to work with just that specific form. And limit themselves to it. We come to see Yo-Yo Ma perform a classical piece which is well known. And we become intimate with that form. We're studying that. We have expectations. And then in experiencing him playing the form, he transcends himself. And that's what we experience. So there's a little loosening there that occurs. And that's what we sort of... I expect that of good art. Well, not just a loosening,


not just a loosening, but the form. It has a form. The person has committed to a form. The question is, what form are you committed to? What form are you working with? What form are you disciplined? How are you working with some form? What is the form? And how are you working in a disciplined way with some form or forms? What's your form? That you're working with to find out, to test, and exercise being compassionate, being relaxed, being playful and creative. So I'm saying, if you have chosen a form and you can be creative with it, this is the door to wisdom and freedom from confusion about the form


and your life. So what forms are you working on? And are you doing these practices with those forms? Are you being generous with the form? Are you being ethical with the form? Ethical in the sense of careful. And for example, not being possessive of the form. Because you chose this form. This is your disciplined baby. This is the thing you're using. This is the work you have somehow not exactly chosen. Many types of work are given to you. Given lots of work opportunities and some you say, OK, I commit to this one. I'm going to practice discipline with this one. And which one you choose is also given to you. But anyway, at some point you say, OK, I'm working with this form. This marriage,


this parental relationship, this teaching relationship, this artistic project relationship, this therapeutic relationship, and so on. This type of construction work, this type of music, this type of literature, this type of sitting meditation. All these things have been given to me and I have been given now the choice and I've been given the opportunity to commit and there has been commitment. And now that this commitment, this is what I'm working with, and now is there generosity with this form? Is there honesty, non-possessiveness, etc.? Are these ethical precepts working on this form? Am I patient with this form? Am I practicing with this form? And again, now we move into,


now am I ready to work at relaxing and being open and playful and calm with this form? And now, where is the creativity? Is it here? Where is it? But we do need a form and fortunately we have forms all day long. But we have not necessarily said, I commit to it. So my life is simple. I did go to Zen Center to use a form. I saw something. I saw a picture. I saw an appearance of the type of freedom which I was interested in. I saw somebody who, when you insult him or praise him, she comes back with basically a demonstration of freedom.


I wasn't looking for pain and I wasn't looking for pleasure. I was looking for freedom from pain and pleasure. I thought that was the coolest thing. And not just freedom so that whether people are insulting me or kind to me, I am cruel to them, but rather whether people are insulting me or kind to them, I'm kind to them. I wanted to learn that and I saw that person practiced a form. They were given a form and they committed to a form and their friends who could also do this committed to a form so I committed to that form. But now, 45 years later, I'm saying to you and to me, there's infinite varieties of form. You don't have to do the one, the sitting meditation one, or you can do that plus every other form that comes to you during the day. So maybe some musicians practice sitting meditation and also practice the piano.


Some artists practice sitting meditation and practice composition of musical works. Some don't do sitting meditation and they practice musical works. I say, great. They're committed to that form so then they can realize freedom with that form. But I'm also concerned, what about the rest of the day when they're sitting? When they're sitting in a chair, do they miss that chance? It's too bad. I would like people to use every form but if you can't use every form, pick some. So in this class I've said it many times, what form are you committed to that you're actually now going to work at to realize creativity with or what forms? I would like you to use every form in your life which means every moment, every moment and every moment is a form. Every moment is a mountain. I would like you to practice that with every moment


because rather than just, I just finished my artwork, now I'm taking a break. I just made this thing which was wonderful and I really like, yeah, I was free. I mean I did the practice with that, I'm free and now that's enough of that. Now I'm going to go and talk to my wife but I'm not going to do the same practice with her. This is break time. No. I would like to be with everything but start with something. Start with something that you say, okay, I am committed to be compassionate with this appearance and practice playfulness, relaxation playfulness and creativity with this and use this to realize peace and freedom with this. And I would like to extend it to everything eventually


but I'm working on this right now because this happens to be what I'm working on right now. It always should be what you're working on right now. So right now it's what I'm working on right now as I'm talking to you in this room and you're here. What are you working on? Are you working on this? Are you committed to this? To some extent you are because you come to this class. And I also come to this class. Once I agree to come, it's given to me that I have the obligation to come to this class. And once I finally am totally into coming, I'm very happy. I may not get here because of the traffic but that's not my problem. My problem is that I had this opportunity to come here and I'm taking care of it. And when I'm taking care of it, I'm free and at peace. And I take care of it not just when I'm in this room,


all week long I'm taking care of it because the commitment is there all week long. Is it there all week long for you? It could be. I mean, if you're committed to it, it does not really, you know, it can be every moment. It's one of your commitments. It could be one of your forms. But every moment's a form, every moment's a mountain for you to do this practice with. Kim? Kim? Is he still alive? Northrop Frye. No, I just, I'm done, thank you. Northrop Frye. Yeah. It's exactly.


Say it again. Freedom is when? Yeah. Freedom is when what you're committed to or what you feel obliged to do is what you want to do. And also, what you want to do, what you feel obligated to do, I'm suggesting to you, is given to you. You don't get to choose what you feel obligated to do. But the way you respond, the way you act upon that, the way you, he says what you want to. Another way I would say is that you respect that sense and you respect that obligation, you respect your ability to respond. That's freedom. Again, you may never respond, you may never get there, but you respect it. You may think you don't, other people may think you do,


you may think you do, other people may think you don't, but you always respect this. There's your freedom. And Northrop Frye also said that religious expression, verbal expression is like poetry. Even though it doesn't look like poetry, it shares with poetry that intensity. Like some religious speakers have no, they don't have the, what do you call it, they don't have the training to be recognized as a poet. They don't know the context around the language from lots of study. But the way they use words, they so thoroughly exert the words that it's like it has the intensity of poetry. Kim.


Kim number two. Another Kim. Okay, I hear you. There's two things I want to respond to. First is something you said something about when what you want to do


is lined up with what you feel that you must do. I'd like to make a little nuance there. The lining up is a little bit, it brings in an element of judgment that I think is a little confining. So again, I propose what you feel that you must do at a given time is given. But how, in other words, what you are to live, what you are to live is given. But how you live it is not determined. So be careful to line up with how you live in response to this, of lining it up. So the freedom is more like honoring and respecting this thing and taking care of it.


But how you're going to do it is not determined, so be careful not to determine it as this lines up with this. Watch out for that. Rather, this is my response to that. This is my responsibility to this sense of obligation. And I honor this responsibility, I respect it. But my judgments about whether I'm lined up or not, that could be another responsibility, but that's not the same as me respecting it. The respecting of it is the freedom. So like you could have ethical principles, ethical precepts. Because I just said, you know, ethical precepts are part of the teaching of how to relate to forms. So you say, I want to relate to forms in a way that will be freedom, so I'm committed to these ethical precepts. I feel I should follow these ethical precepts because they will promote creativity and freedom.


So I'm committed to those too in everything I do. I feel I should, I want to. But what I'm going to do, no one knows really what I'm going to do. Nobody knows how that freedom is going to unfold. We cannot know what that freedom is, and the freedom is the thing that you do in response to it. Now the next thing she's bringing up is related to, you feel this obligation. You aspire to respond to it with respect. You aspire to live according to this form that you feel obligated to practice with. Am I with you now? And then there's a voice which says something like, this is a waste of time.


Or another one is, you're not doing what you really should be doing. That's another appearance. What do you feel that you really are obliged to do in regard to the statement, you're not doing what you really should be doing? What should you be doing with that statement? You respect the feeling, but I'm talking about... So in this case, you could say the thing you feel obligated to do is to respect the feeling. Obligation is not that feeling, or that comment. The obligation might be to respect that. And that also could be respecting the obligation.


You're not doing what you're supposed to do. How are you going to respond to that? I don't know. How do you want to respond to it? How should you respond to it? It's an appearance. She said... I said, here's a statement that's been given to you. You're not doing what you should really be doing. Something like that. And I said, how do you feel obliged to relate to that? And you said something about not seeing it as real. Recognize it as appearance. Recognize it as appearance. That's okay. You recognize it as appearance.


She recognizes it as appearance. Then the question still stands. How are you going to relate to that appearance? Yes, right. Generosity. Care. Relaxation. Relaxation first. Relax with this statement. You're not doing what you're supposed to be doing. You're not doing what you're supposed to be doing. That's an appearance. You know that. You hear that. Everything you hear and everything you know is an appearance. It's a fantasy about your situation. Your situation is now being fantasized as you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing or something. So how do you practice with that? So that whatever appearance comes, whatever judgment flies at you from inside or outside, you have a practice for it.


And you said it. So this statement, you're wasting your time, you're not doing what you should be doing, perfectly good opportunity, a perfectly good form for you to practice with. And for you to be creative with. And if you can be creative with, you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing, or you are doing what you're supposed to be doing, you are a good Zen student, you're a below average Zen student, these kind of comments, are these forms which you're committed to work with? I hope so. Do you want to pick some other form that's given to you that, you know, also you're going to work with? It'd be good. Like walking, for example. It's a good thing to actually do the same practice with. But you brought that thing up a little bit like it was different from walking. You're not doing what you're supposed to be doing,


that's different from walking. Walking doesn't make comments on me. Walking doesn't judge my life. Yeah, it doesn't really. But that linguistic expression kind of was a little bit of judgmental. But the way you relate to that could be the same way you relate to walking. And the way you don't practice with that could be also the way you don't practice with walking. If you practice this way with walking, you have a chance of practicing this way with all your positive and negative judgments of yourself and others. And if you practice this way with all your positive judgments of yourself and others, you have a chance of practicing this way when you walk. Like you're walking. I'm committed to work with the form of my body walking. The mountain of walking, I want to walk to the bottom of the mountain of walking and reach the place


where the appearance of the walking meets the water. And that's where the Buddha is born. That's where freedom is and peace lives, is where the bottom of the mountain meets the water, of where the bottom of the judgment meets the water, of where the bottom of the walking meets the water. But some comments, like you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing, you think, oh, wait a minute. Rather than, well, of course I should practice with that. Even though the statement is telling me I shouldn't be doing anything but be confused. You understand now, right? Yeah, great. And so I'm proposing that we find the freedom when we fully exert the body walking and then the body sitting, the body cooking, the body sculpting,


the body singing, the body dancing, the body in pain, the body in pleasure, the body commenting, the body being commented upon. Everything, ultimately. But maybe you choose, okay, I can't do it all day long, so I'm just going to sit still and do it. So when you come back here to sit, sit down, and you, excuse me for saying this, please consider a possibility that next week when you come here to sit, you're going to come here already committed to use the form of your body sitting for this purpose. That you're going to practice with that body form, with that appearance of your body, which is not your body but just a fantasy about it, but you do have a fantasy of your body, for example. I imagine that many of you think that your body is different from my body. That's fine. Please take care of both of them


in this way. Commit to take care of my body and your body. I don't know which one you want to start with, but do the same practice with both of our bodies. Be kind to my body. Be generous with my body. Be careful of my body. Be patient with my body. Be relaxed and playful with my body. Be creative with my body and you'll understand that the image of my body is not me. And do the same with yourself. Come and practice that way here if you wish. You're invited to feel obligated to do that next week. But in between now and then, do it with everything you do. Do it with your walking. And if you can't, be patient. Be kind to yourself if you forget. Be creative with your moment by moment mountains that are appearing to you


in the present. Mountain, mountain, mountain. But to be creative with it, you have to you have to be generous, careful, patient, relaxed and open and playful. Then you can be creative and then you can all these situations, all day long are opportunities for waking up from the confusion that this form is your life. And your life is never separate from the form, the appearances, your actual life experience, which is the basis which supports these dreams of our life. They're not separate. They're just a matter of confusion that we can overcome by fully engaging and be creative with the confusing factor of fantasy. And part of what makes it complicated


is the teachings are coming in the realm of appearances. Bodhisattvas don't, the Bodhisattvas also, when they get instruction coming through the river, just like you, they don't know what the instruction is. They have to also conjure up this image of the instruction and say, oh yeah, I'm being told to be kind. So it is really, it's very simple. You got it now, but it's difficult to do it. Like I was just talking to someone recently who thinks inwardly and hears outwardly that people are telling him he's unworthy. And when he hears that, when he hears somebody saying something, they're actually talking to him, right? And he hears, he has this appearance, what appears to him that they're telling him he's unworthy. That's what he sees. And then he also sees that when he sees them, when he sees this appearance


of them saying he's unworthy, he remembers all the other times in his life when he heard the same thing. And then he freaks out. And so I said, well, okay, so you need to learn to be open to the apparition, to the appearance of you're not worthy. You need to work on that. And also you need to be open to the apparition, you are worthy. Let in you are worthy, let in you aren't worthy. Let in and welcome everything. And if you can't, then welcome that you can't. And if you can't do that, welcome that you can't do that. And keep going until you finally start practicing generosity. And then, you're okay. Now you're on the path.


That was my comment on creativity. That was my explanation of it. Was that yours? Was this your explanation of creativity too? Did you join the creative process? I don't know. Because when we join it, we really don't know it. And yet, we can be happy somehow. Why am I happy? I don't know why I love you like I do, I don't know why, I just do. And, you're going to remind me of something, right? When did you do it? You should do it at the end. Because now is when I'm going to do it. Yeah, would you? I'd like to ask you about this book


called The Third Turning of the Wheel. Would anybody like me to bring signed copies of it for you to make a donation next week? You would? Okay. I'll bring some copies next week, maybe. I hope so. Thank you very much.