From the First Time You Meet a Teacher

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Would you like to sit where I can see you or would you rather be sort of over there behind? There's a space here in the front here. Right here, you can bring your cushion with you right there. Thank you. Well, here we are, sort of. During sitting this morning, I said, I don't know if you heard me. Did you hear me say something during sitting? What did you hear? When you meet a teacher Just wholeheartedly sit, and thus realize the Buddha way.


So, many of you have heard about just sitting, right? 有些人從來沒有聽過這個第一部分。從第一次你遇到一位老師,或更多的詞彙是師父,或是師父。從第一次你遇到一位好朋友。所以有一個教訓,你遇到一位好朋友, And then you practice just sitting. The practice of just sitting, which you've heard about, is something that's given to you in a meeting.


Many people ask me, I don't know why, Do you need a teacher to practice Zen? Or do you need a teacher to practice the Buddha way? And I have various responses to it, but today I just want to mention that the practice of the Buddha way is given to us by a good friend, called Buddha or teacher or We don't take the practice of the Buddha away. We don't find it by ourselves. We find it as it's being given to us. That's how we find it. After it's given to us, then we can practice it. It's possible. We also have this expression, bodhisattva precepts, which many of you have heard about.


And people understand, I think generally, that we have actual formal process in this family of asking to receive the bodhisattva precepts, and then asking a teacher, and then the teacher saying okay, and the teacher giving us the precepts. 但這些菩提納佛的基督徒實際上基督徒的基督徒就是我們稱之為坐著的基督徒基督徒被賜予了我們他們被賜予了我們 Just sitting is wholeheartedly given to us. And it's given to us in a meeting with a good friend.


That's a proposal. That's a, what do you call it, a sincere, earnest assertion that I'm making. It's also a thought experiment. From the first time you meet a good friend, just realize unsurpassed, complete, perfect enlightenment. Just sitting means unsurpassed, complete, perfect enlightenment.


Just unsurpassed, complete, perfect enlightenment. This is given to us. We receive it. And in receiving it, we begin practicing it. Practicing enlightenment. Practicing the meditation practice of the Buddhas. So another expression which many of you have heard is, from the first time you meet a teacher, from the first time you meet a good friend, just wholeheartedly sit and thus drop away body and mind.


Or, and thus body and mind drop away. When the first time you meet a master, and then also from the second time you meet a master, and the third time you meet a master, every time you receive the practice, you're meeting a good friend. And just do the practice which the Buddhas give, and this is how your body and mind drops off. All of us today have been here together practicing sitting, and walking, and standing, right? So I propose to you that the point of this sitting, or a point of this sitting, or an essential point, it's not the whole point in a way,


是一種必須的坐姿,必須的坐姿,或是一種必須的坐姿,就是要成為坐姿的自由。 and talking and standing is to become free. The point of this is to become free of the very form we are using as the thing we are going to become free of. But we cannot, this is another earnest assertion, thought experiment for you, we cannot become free of sitting without sitting. You may think so, and if you think so, if you think you can become free of sitting without sitting, if you think so, then sit and prove it.


And sitting means just sitting. It means the sitting you do which is a gift to you. It means wholeheartedly sitting. And we cannot wholeheartedly sit without it being given to us and receiving it and asking for it. We just finished a January intensive at Green Gulch, and during that intensive, I asked the assembly, Do you wish to receive the Bodhisattva precepts? Do you wish to receive the just sitting of the Buddhas? And nobody said anything.


But I think people felt something. And someone told me what they felt when I asked the question, Do you wish to receive unsurpassed, complete, perfect enlightenment? Which is the Bodhisattva precepts, which is the Bodhisattva sitting meditation. And then I said, Are you ready to receive it?" And no one said anything, but they had feelings. Are you ready to ask to receive the Buddha, the Bodhisattva meditation practice? But I'm not ready to ask you those questions yet. I'm going to ask you those questions later. But I did say them, didn't I? I just wasn't talking to you.


I was talking to the people over the hill at Green Gulch. Another turn of this is I was asked at some point to name this temple, and I suggested naming it No Abode, or No Abiding Temple. The Temple of No Abiding, dedicated to the mind of the great enlightening beings which does not abide in anything. And just the other day I was up there and I looked over at the library and I saw a book. Can you read that, Mary?


I saw this book. I thought, hmm, how appropriate that this book is in the library here. I thought maybe it was a joke. Somebody made this up for me. This place is dedicated to the mind that doesn't dwell or abide in anything. And how wonderful it is that the way to realize the mind that doesn't dwell in anything is to wholeheartedly dwell in something. Like wholeheartedly dwell in sitting is the way to realize the mind which doesn't dwell in sitting.


In order to wholeheartedly dwell in sitting, in other words, to just sit, we have to meet a good friend. We cannot wholeheartedly do anything without good friends. And we do have good friends, we just need to meet them. And in the meeting, we find wholeheartedness. I cannot do this practice by myself, and nobody else can do it for me. I can't practice just sitting by myself, and you can't do it for me.


Practicing just sitting is the way we're practicing together. That's the practice of just sitting. It's the way we're practicing together right now. That's just sitting. It's the way we're being good friends now. It's the way we're giving each other Just sitting. It's the way you're giving me just sitting and I'm receiving it from you. It's the way I'm giving you just sitting right now. And the way you're receiving it. It's not me giving it to you and you're not receiving it. That's not giving it. I'm giving it to you in a way that you are receiving. Right now. I'm not doing it for you. You're not doing it by yourself. We are doing it together by me giving it to you and you receiving it and you giving it back to me and me receiving it.


That's wholehearted practice. I'm not in control of it and neither are you and all of us together are not in control of it. I don't make my attitudes, I don't make my anxiety drop away. And you don't do it for me.


I don't non-abide here by my own power and you don't make me non-abide. but we actually are non-abiding here. Actually. That's talking about actuality, not my opinions. I'm talking about actuality. How does that happen? I don't know. And you're sitting there letting me talk about actuality, which I don't know. Could you express this in terms of the acrobat and his apprentice? The acrobat and his apprentice? Well, could you? I don't know that I could, but I was asking you if you might be able to. Okay. So there's a story that they say the Buddha told,


菩薩所做的其中一些事情是講故事,有些就像是...這可能是一個祈禱。菩薩曾經說過,有一個時期,有些阿伯伯人,有一個阿伯伯人和一個阿伯伯人教師,教師的名字是... Frying pan. A frying pan was a female apprentice to apparently a male acrobat. She probably was his daughter. And they were called bamboo acrobats. which I guess means that one of them had a bamboo pole, which he placed on his chin.


I think the chin's a good place, but he might have placed it on top of his head. I think the chin's better. And you can watch the pole and watch your apprentice. And I think he probably put it on his chin, or on his head, or on his shoulder, and she would climb up on his shoulders and climb up the bamboo and up at the top, she would attain liberation. So he says to the master, the good friend, says to his apprentice, now you take care of me, and I'll take care of you, and we will perform this acrobatic feat, and people will make donations, and we can have lunch safely. And she says, excuse me, teacher, excuse me, master, but I think you have it turned around. You take care of yourself, I'll take care of myself, and then we can perform this feat.


Or another way to say it, you take care of yourself, so that you can take care of me, and I'll take care of myself, so I can take care of you. So in this case, maybe to relate to what I'm talking about, my job is to take care of me, and you're not doing it for me, but it's still my job, is to take care of me. And by taking care of me, then I can take care of you. Your job is to take care of yourself and then you can take care of me. Like if you're the bottom acrobat, your job is to be aware of your feet and your posture so you can balance the pole and let me climb up on you. No, let you climb up on me.


I have to be aware of my body. My feelings. Do I need to go to the toilet? Maybe I should do that before we do this thing, rather than during. Or be distracted from the job because I feel like, oh, I gotta go to the bathroom. My job is to get in a good posture so I can hold this pole and balance it. This is my body, I have to be aware of it. It's my job. which I do not do by myself, and you don't do for me. But it's still my job, which you don't do for me, and I don't do by myself. But it's my assignment, and I'm willing to pay attention to this posture. Also, I look at this body and I say, does this body want to perform this feat? Do I wish to perform the feat of balancing a bamboo


which I'm not going to do by myself. I don't go walk around with a bamboo on my chin. I do it with my apprentice and with an audience. Without the audience and the apprentice, I don't do this. I need a partner. But now I look. Part of my job is to look. Do you want to work on this now? Do you want to? Do you want to receive the bamboo pole? Do you want to receive the apprentice? Do you want to receive the exercise? I do want to. I do want to do the practice. I do want to receive the practice. And the next question is, are you ready to receive the practice? This is my work to check and see. which I don't do by myself, because Buddha is talking to me and asking me, Do you want to practice the Buddha way?


Are you ready to receive it? Because it's going to be given to you if you want it. And are you ready now to receive it? And sometimes you might say, Yes, I do want to receive it. But I'm not ready. Just a second. Let me get ready. I often advertise that I welcome feedback, but still I also give further information, which is, if you have feedback for me, it's good to ask me before you give it if I'm ready. I've heard you want feedback. Yes. Do you want some now? Actually, not now. You can give me feedback. I'll be right with you. In ten minutes, I'll receive your feedback. So, I do want your feedback.


Please give it to me. But when you give it to me, check with me if I'm ready or if I want it now. And sometimes I'll say, I do want it now and I'm ready. But most of them might say, which is part of the deal, Part of the deal is that I have a headache right now. Could you give it to me later? Or I'm really hungry right now. Could you give it to me after lunch? Is there any other aspects of the apprenticeship that you'd like me to bring out? I beg your pardon? Any other aspects of the apprentice relationship that you want me to bring out? Maybe I could just say what was going on for me. I often thought of that story when it's discussed in terms of something being given and the receiving and the necessity of the other.


In my mind, I haven't been able to really So there's a strong feeling of the independent side, of the independency in that story. So it's kind of trying to match it up with the story. The story of receiving, sitting. So the acrobat is the good friend to the apprenticed. So the acrobat is giving the precepts of acrobatics to the apprenticed. who hopefully wanted to receive those precepts of acrobatic behavior. And then in the process of the teacher giving the precepts of acrobatics to the student, the student then gives precepts back to the teacher.


And this teacher, this acrobat, really cannot be the teacher of acrobatics without an apprentice. And the apprentice cannot be a good apprentice without receiving from the teacher. But as she receives, she also can give back now, because she's been given the practice. And also the Buddha said, how do you take care of yourself so that you can take care of others? And then how do you take care of others to take care of yourself? So the way you take care of yourself is by being aware of your body, your feelings, your attitudes, your general consciousness, your mental factors. That's how you take care of yourself so that you will be able to take care of others and be patient with them, generous with them, and so on.


That's how you take care of others. But if you don't take care of yourself, if I don't take care of myself this way, that will undermine my taking care of others. But when I take care of others that way, by being patient and non-violent and so on with them, that takes care of me. Taking care of others that way takes care of me that way. But I can't take care of them that way unless I take care of myself this way. Plus, they help me. They give the teaching back to me. So thank you for that. It sounds at first like it wasn't quite as... We can draw the intimacy out of that story. Thank you. One of the aspects of this tradition is to go find an old story like this one. Before there was a Zen school, there was the Buddha teaching this way.


So now today, we look at the story And we use our hermeneutic ingenuity, our interpretive imagination in relationship to this old story, to squeeze the old story into our present story of just sitting. This also can be called myth-making. The Buddha kind of made a myth out of that story of the acrobats. But now I can make another myth about how the story of the acrobats is a story of just sitting. And some people don't like that.


But that's where life is. So this song has not been sung in my memory. It goes like this. The teaching of non-abiding is intimately transmitted by Buddhas and ancestors. Now you have it. So please take care of it.


Take care of the teaching of non-abiding. The teaching of non-abiding which you've heard about before, now I'm mentioning that that teaching is intimately transmitted by Buddhas, and it has been transmitted to you now. So you're supported to receive this teaching and take care of it. It's yours to take care of, the teaching of non-abiding. that taking care of the teaching of non-abiding which was given to you is an ongoing relationship with the one who gave it to you. So when I first hear about non-abiding, I think, oh, I'm going to non-abide in everything, because that's the way to perfect wisdom. Now I'm putting this new dimension into it, that this non-abiding was given to me.


It was a gift to me, and it has been given. Even though I didn't realize it was a gift, now I do. So now I understand better what was given to me, which at first I thought I didn't notice that it was a gift. And that my friendship, or the friendship in which I received the gift of the teaching of not abiding in anything, that friendship must go on. I must continue to practice with good friends, and I must continue to aspire to be a good friend who has received the practice of just sitting. who has received the practice which is enlightenment. And I must also give it. I must continue to receive it, practice it, and give it.


As I said recently here, not today, but recently, Remember stillness. Practice stillness and transmit stillness in all the activities of your daily life. Stillness is a Bodhisattva precept. Remember it. Now today I elaborate it. Remember it. 接受它,练习它,并传达它。灵光是在静默中生活的。记住静默是记住灵光。接受静默是接受灵光。这种灵光已经被传达给我们,


I said it a few seconds ago, I said, it's intimately transmitted and now you have it. Let me also say, it was intimately transmitted through your whole life, and you had it every moment of your life. I'm just mentioning it again now, that the teaching, the practice of enlightenment is what Buddhists intimately transmit, And now you have it, and now you have it, and now you can take care of it. Kind of like however, but it could also be and. It's a lot of work to receive this gift and practice it and transmit it. It's already been given to you and now it's a job. And part of the job is the job of, okay, receiving it, receiving it.


And that's a moment by moment thing. From the first moment, and it's always the first moment that you receive this practice, from the beginning of the moment. And now that you've received it, you have this job to take care of it, to practice it. And not only that, but to transmit it, when? In every action. If people ask me, did you say you wanted feedback? Now here's the opportunity to transmit stillness. Yes, I did. Yes, I did. I asked for it.


And I received the teaching of stillness, in which enlightenment is living, and now somebody is talking to me, and I'm listening. I'm practicing stillness while I'm listening, and then I say, yes, I did. And I'm practicing stillness while I say, yes, I did. And then I say, but now is not a good time. And when I say, now is not a good time, this is my daily life. This is my action. These are my words. These are the words that I'm speaking now And right now, I'm transmitting stillness, as I say, now is not a good time. The Buddha was asked, I heard, please give me the teaching.


The Buddha said, now is not a good time. The great master Matsu was approached by a sincere monk who said, Beyond the one hundred negations and the four propositions, what is the essential meaning of the Buddha way?" And Matsu said, I have a headache today. Go ask brother Hai. Was Matsu on an enlightenment break? He was transmitting perfect enlightenment by saying, No, I can't answer that, I have a headache. Go see my student, Hai. He could also say, well, four negations, as you know, are these four.


Do you see the essential meaning of the Buddha dharma right now? Beyond the four propositions and the hundred negations, what is the essential meaning of the Buddha dharma? Well, according to what you just said, you don't want me to talk about the four negations, I mean the hundred negations and the four propositions, is that correct? The teaching is transmitted right then, not later, in those words. But he could have said not that, he could have just gone, When the master hits himself in the forehead three times, each strike is transmitting complete perfect enlightenment.


Each strike is transmitting just sitting. Just sitting, just sitting, just sitting. Buddha's job is to transmit just sitting. So the Buddha does her job. Not later, not in the past, now. That's when they work. Because that's where people live, and that's where they suffer, is in now land. And the Buddha shows now, now, now. And if the Buddha does that a lot, the Buddha develops a callus on the forehead, which is a delightful thing to have, if that's what makes it. And the Buddha does not do this by herself.


And she knows it. She cannot be a good friend to nobody. And she's not a good friend to nobody. She's a good friend to everybody. Which means all the time. Right? Because everybody is always here. We're always talking to everybody as, you know, somebody. Or as... Or as, hello. Or as, yes I do, but now is not a good time for me. The main message is not, now is not a good time for me.


The main message is, now is a good time to transmit just sitting. And the way I transmit just sitting is by saying, now is not a good time. And I'm not kidding, now is not a good time. It really is not a good time to be doing anything other than transmitting the Buddha mind seal. Do you wish to receive just sitting?


Yes. I'm not sure. Are you ready to receive just sitting? Yes. That's not a good time. So I got one not a good time and one I'm not sure. Yes, Robin? Does suffering happen now? Does suffering happen now? Suffering is, I think, almost always accompanied by the thought now. For example, if you think of suffering you had last Tuesday, usually you think that the thought of last Tuesday is happening now. You might think, last Tuesday I was thinking of last Tuesday, but that's a different Tuesday than the one you're thinking right now.


So a characteristic of consciousness is now-ness. Now is not real, it's just that our consciousness is into now. I guess it seems to me that suffering happens, maybe it's just more, Yeah. Well, suffering happens in consciousness, when in consciousness, now. Not just that you think of the future. Thinking of the future is not suffering. Thinking of controlling what happens in the future is suffering. For example, thinking of some pleasure to be repeated in the future. Like even right now I'm having a pleasure, and if I think halfway through feeling the pleasure, I think, when can I do this again?


Then I have suffering right now while I'm eroding my present pleasure while thinking of repeating it. Pleasure is not the same as desire. Desire is basically desire to repeat the pleasure. It's suffering because it is the sense that we can control what's happening, that we are a powerful creator. and that we can make this pleasure happen again, just the way we like it. That's suffering, because we're desiring the impossible. But just to think of the future and be open to it being whatever, that's not suffering. If you're open to it and then you say, but what if it's that? and then you close down on that and try to get into controlling that, then you're not open anymore.


Opening to the future, opening to the past and opening to the present. If you can open to the present and the past and the future, then you have a chance of opening to the transmission of just sitting. Just sitting is this big thing, right? It's this dropped out body and mind. In its fineness it fits into spacelessness, in its greatness it is utterly beyond location. It's a lot to accept that. If we can't accept and be gracious now, then it's going to hinder us being open and present with something so wonderful. And we have our present pains. and we can try to be open to them. That's part of our job, is to be aware of what they are and to open to them, to be generous with them, ethical with them and patient with them.


This allows us then to actually say, okay, now that I'm patient with all my pain and careful with all my pain and generous with all my pain, now I'm ready to receive, I'm ready to receive just sitting. So I've done what I need to do. I've accepted what I can accept now. Now I'm ready for the bodhisattva precepts of enlightenment. But if I'm not patient with my pain, if I'm not open to my pain, if I'm not generous with my pain, that will hinder my really being ready to receive what is being offered all the time. The perfect teaching, which brings perfect peace, and freedom and joy for all beings. But we have to do this hard job of being here, of, you know, showing up for my, doing the job of taking care of myself.


That's a hard job. If we don't do that, we won't be here to receive the gift which is being offered constantly. There's no gaps in the offering. Then they say, what about the example of the Buddha, who is in the Lotus Sutra, chapter 16, he says, well, I'm in this nice place where I'm practicing together with everybody in peace and harmony, but a lot of people are living in a, you know, like a forest fire, or they're living in a terrible fire of pain. I'm right next to them in this peaceful land, practicing with them peacefully and in harmony, and they think they're in a terrible furnace of pain. I don't show them this land.


But if they practice all virtues and that they're upright and honest and harmonious and relaxed with all that pain, they will see that I'm with them transmitting this teaching to them right now. They will see me right now. And practicing all virtues means practice those virtues with everything. with all our pains and with the pains of all beings to find a place when beings are screaming at us from the outside and the inside to find a way somehow to practice with each one being relaxed, harmonious, honest, there's a fire going on, and upright in the middle of the fire. up right in the middle of the fire and relaxed, and in harmony with the fire. Being that way with the fire, we see, oh, oh my god, oh my god, that's right, oh my god, Buddha is teaching right now.


But if I don't do that work, the work of practicing the virtues with every situation, All virtues means all the opportunities, every moment. If I don't practice that way, if I make exceptions, then there's going to be exception to the revelation. Which again, the Buddha is standing right next to us, conveying this to us all the time, but not forcing it to pop our bubble of torment. Buddha sends a message in. Buddha doesn't say, you know, this is just an illusion, Buddha says. There's a practice you can do in there. Learn to be upright in the flames. Learn to relax in the flames. I know it's hard. Be patient with how hard it is to be relaxed in the flames.


It's hard, yes. I didn't say it was easy. But it's required to be upright and relaxed and harmonious. And again, honest, not saying, well, there's no flames. I have no problems. I'm not afraid. No. If I'm afraid, I'm afraid. And I'm relaxed, and I'm upright, and I'm harmonizing with the fear. Okay, where's the Buddha? Oh, there you are. And then another insult. Yes? Well, I think you may have answered my question, but I'd like for you to reiterate, I guess. I couldn't fall asleep last night, so I feel like I'm in the fire, because I'm agitated. Because you're feeling agitated right now? Yeah, yeah. Okay, that's a good fire to start with. Exactly, but I also heard you say,


I need to take care of myself to take care of others and vice versa. Yeah. So this happens to me often where I get, my mind gets in a quandary. I'm thinking, wow, it'd be so nice this afternoon to go home and take a nap and take care of myself. And then I think, but I'm in the fire. I should sit here and be with you. And I can go on like this. Not coming. I... What would you suggest I do with my afternoon? And I know the answer to that. I'm going to drink some tea now, okay? I would suggest you drink some water. It's already afternoon, by the way.


I would suggest you drink some water soon. And I think you've got a perfectly good fire. And part of the fire is the thought that rest might be helpful. Is there such a thought in your mind? There was. I sometimes think that too. Rest would be a good thing to do. And when the thought... You're asking me for my suggestions, right? When the thought of rest would be helpful, or I'd like to rest, when that thought arises, I would like to, at that moment, receive, not later, but before I take a nap, when the thought of the nap arises, I would like to, at that moment, receive the practice of enlightenment.


I may never live to take a nap, but before I don't get a nap, I wish to receive the Buddha's precepts while I'm thinking of taking a nap. That's what I would want to do. So I would ask you, while you're in the fire of feeling agitated and thinking about taking a nap, do you wish in that situation to receive the Buddha's precepts of enlightenment? And are you ready to receive it? And are you receiving it? And then keep receiving those precepts, and the precepts, the enlightenment will guide you to stay here, or it will guide you to go down those stairs and go someplace else to take a nap. But it might also guide you to take a nap upstairs.


We allow people to take naps. And you might think, I think I'll go take a nap. You might even say, I think I'll ask Rev if it's okay with me if you take a nap. And then if you ask him, we'll see what happens. And probably what will happen, there's a good chance that what will happen is I would say, are you asking me if you can take a nap in that room up there? And you might say, yes. And I said, are you receiving the practice right now? And you might say, yeah. And I would probably say, wonderful. And you might say, I don't need any naps forever again. I'm just going to be on one huge celebration of enlightenment from now on. I might look like I'm napping, but really. There's a film of Suzuki Roshi, which some of you have seen probably.


It's a picture of him sitting in meditation. And then there's a voiceover of his own voice talking about how it's really important not to sleep when you're sitting in meditation. And he's going like this. So in his sleep, is he awake? I don't know. Do you want to be awake when you're asleep? You don't?" So she said, yeah. Well, it's a free country. I want to be awake when I'm sleeping. And occasionally when I'm sleeping, I have dreams of being awake. And I think, I say, what a wonderful dream this is. I'm asleep, but I'm having a dream of being awake.


And everybody's like coming to help me be awake, and the Buddhas are cheering, and this is a great dream. I don't know how much longer I can stay asleep with a dream like this. I better stop doing this because I want to sleep more. Oh, but I woke up. But it's a free country. But if I have the good ones, I like to be awake. But let's put it this way. When I have a nightmare, I say, I hope this is going to be a dream. I hope this is not real. I hope I wake up from it. Then I wake up. There's that story too. And then there's the story of, this seems to be a nightmare. I hope it is a nightmare, and I hope I wake up soon. But before I wake up, I think there's an opportunity here. And when I'm awake, I'm not ready for the opportunity usually.


If Rev asks me, are you ready to receive the transmission of the Buddha's enlightenment? I say, I don't know. Now I'm asleep. Do I have a better chance of saying yes when I'm asleep? I dreamt that I said I was ready. Then I woke up and realized that was just a nightmare. Or I woke up and found out it's not that easy. I'm of the school that dreams occur in consciousness. That's where dreams occur. They're a type of consciousness. My understanding is dreams do not occur in the unconscious. They occur in consciousness.


And we can learn in dreams when we're asleep. And we can learn in dreams when we're awake. In both situations we can learn. In both situations we can say, I'm not ready to receive enlightenment. And in both dreams we can also say, I am ready. And sometimes we say, I'm not ready, but I'd like to be. And now I am. Many people say that to me, actually. I'm not ready to receive the Bodhisattva precepts, but I wish to be someday ready. And then they come back later and say, I'm ready now. And then I say, oh, you're ready now to receive? Okay. Well, if you want to receive, then I would suggest you ask. to receive. And then they often say, well, I'd like to receive the precepts. I say, well, I hear you'd like to receive them and that you're ready.


So if you're ready and you'd like to, then ask. And they say, well, I'd like to receive them. I say, well, that's not actually asking. When you're ready, if you want, if you want and you're ready, Ask when you're ready. I'm not telling you. Just when you're ready to ask and you want to ask, then ask. And then finally they say, will you give me this gift? And I say yes. And then that's another world. From I'd like to. There is I'd like to. That's part of it. There is I'm ready. That's another part of it. And then there is please give it. And that's another part of it. And that can all happen in a dream when you're awake, or when you're asleep, or some in each. I had a dream last night that I was ready, and now I woke up and I'm not ready. Or I had a dream that I wasn't ready, and I woke up and I am ready.


Readiness is where it's at, but it's also It's good to be ready to say you're not ready. That's totally welcome. Someone told me recently that they feel like they don't belong. I said, what does that mean? She said, I feel like I'm not worthy. And I said, there are some situations where we're not worthy. For example, most of us are not worthy to be on the playing field down in Santa Clara this weekend. We're not worthy to be on that field with the other players. It would not... We're not... It's not... No. It's not for us. And they would tell us, you're not worthy to be here. Get off. Go away. We don't belong there. We're worthless.


And, you know, we could get hurt. But this is a place where everybody is worthy, including people who think they're not worthy. If anybody thinks they're worthy, they're welcome here. Anybody who thinks they're not worthy is welcome here. No matter what you think. If you think you're ready, you're welcome. If you think you're not ready, you're welcome. If you don't know, you're welcome. And if you're an NFL player, you're welcome. But I understand that you have other things to do, maybe. Yes? So, what is the stillness that you talk about? What is stillness? Well, in actuality, it's where enlightenment lives.


And then you can ask, well, what's enlightenment? Yes? I thought enlightenment didn't abide. It doesn't. It lives. Enlightenment lives without abiding. Enlightenment lives in stillness. That's a helpful distinction. Thank you. You're welcome. And I don't know what enlightenment is, by the way. And I don't know what stillness is. But I talk about it. I talk about things which my words do not reach. And the only way to reach these things which words do not reach, excuse me, the only way to realize what my words don't reach is by words.


What about just sitting? To the extent that sitting is something more than a word, it's not sitting. sitting is nothing more than the word sitting. And that sitting, which is nothing more or less than the word sitting, is being transmitted to you right now. And my words don't reach it, but my words are the only way, and your words are the only way to realize it. If we think there's some other way other than our human karmic chatting, That's just a mistake. And even if that were the case, that would just be another example of words. The words don't reach it. The words are the only way to realize it. Our consciousness doesn't reach the realm of this transmission.


There's no trace of anybody's consciousness. Some people have really high-quality consciousness, I know. It's just awesome. Some people's consciousness is awesome. Right? You probably know some of these people. They're on YouTube. And now you people are on YouTube because of this. But not right now. Someday it'll happen. I'm not done yet. I just want to mention that my consciousness and your consciousness do not reach the just sitting, which is being transmitted right now. But the only way to realize just sitting is with our consciousness, our words. Our consciousness is wordland. So I don't know what it is, My knowing does not reach it, but my knowing is the only way to realize it.


And my knowing is totally, totally intimate with your knowing. And none of our knowings, plus all of our knowings, do not reach just sitting. But it's our knowing that needs the realization. and we realize it by welcoming it, by saying, I want it, I request it, I'm ready, I'm receiving it, I'm practicing it, and now I want to transmit it, and everything I'm saying isn't reaching it, and everything I'm saying is realizing it. Okay? Freedom.


It means freedom of body and mind. So in just sitting, you're free of your body and mind. It's the body and mind that are sitting, and they're sitting so wholeheartedly There's freedom. Like I said, the point of just sitting is to become free of sitting. The point of just sitting is to become free of the sitting body and mind. That's the essential point. Now, once there's freedom, then there's all kinds of wonderful things that can happen. Further transmission to people, getting people open to it, all that can happen too, which is a function of the freedom. But the essential ingredient is that we become free of our abiding by wholeheartedly abiding.


You got the abiding already, right? You look like you're transmitting abiding to me. Thank you. Now let's do that wholeheartedly. Ready? Are you ready to do it wholeheartedly? No, you didn't say yes. I don't know. Yeah, so she's not ready to say yes. So we'll get her later. But she was abiding there. She gave me this message, I'm over here abiding. So I was ready to ask her, are you ready to wholeheartedly do it? And she didn't say yes. But later I'll ask her again. She's ready to wholeheartedly abide. Because you got the abiding thing, you got it going. With the help of your good friends, you can do that wholeheartedly. When you're wholeheartedly abiding, there will be dropping off of abiding. Can I say yes if I don't understand what it means? Yes. I didn't know what she meant, but I said yes.


I mean, I sort of thought I knew what she meant, but really I didn't. My thoughts did not reach her question. But I still said yes. So, are you going to give me something now? Yeah, sure, yes. She's always giving me something. But I don't know if she knows it every moment she gives. She misses a few opportunities even though she's constantly transmitting to me. I pray you continue to transmit the true Dharma to me even though you might not believe you are. May our intention equally extend to every being and place with the true merit of Buddha's way.


Beings are numberless. I vow to save them. Delusions are inexhaustible. I vow to end them. Dharma gates are boundless. I vow to enter them. Buddha's way is unsurpassable. I vow to become it. Now, we're going to have lunch.