Going Deeper into our Bodhisattva Samadhi

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A talk given to the No Abode Community on October 7th, 2023


AI Summary: 

The discusion elaborates on the practice of "Bodhisattva Samadhi" through regular sitting meditation, exploring its transformative potential by both daily routine and profound spiritual engagement. The practice integrates both simplicity and vastness, with meditation acting as a symbolic offering to the Bodhisattva Samadhi. Several key references include:

- **"Flower Adornment Scripture"** highlighting the Samadhi’s depth and connection to universal goodness.
- Contributions by **Thomas Cleary** in translating the Scripture, particularly questions raised about the translation specifics which are believed to influence the understanding of Samadhi’s proximity to Buddha’s presence.
- **"Samadhi of Universal Goodness"** from the scripture as a core concept, aiming to merge individual meditation with universal bodhisattva awareness.
- Reference to **Dharmamitra's translation** emphasizing support from Buddha’s power, pivotal for entering Samadhi.

The talk articulates that one's meditation is not an isolated practice but an interactive token within an expansive, interconnected spiritual ecosystem. Through such pursuits, mediators contribute to a vast transaction of spiritual insight, which includes but transcends individual effort, framing meditation as a profound gift encompassing and transcending personal boundaries.

AI Suggested Title: "Transformative Bodhisattva Samadhi: Integrating Meditation and Universal Goodness"


We have been exploring the teaching of the flower adornment scripture for the last few months on these occasions at Noahabod. And I've also been exploring the scripture in other venues with other groups. And I think the last time we spoke here I started to bring up the third book which is titled the Samantabhadra Samadhi, the great Bodhisattva Samantabhadra Samadhi. And it's actually just one of the


shortest books, but it's also really worthy of extensive and profound study. And I was wishing today to look more at the teaching in the scripture, the flower splendor scripture, about this Samadhi of the Bodhisattva. And I also thought it'd be good to just orient our regular practice, our traditional daily practice of just sitting, to orient that towards or with this Bodhisattva Samadhi. So I would say that our sitting is a


Bodhisattva Samadhi is this Bodhisattva Samadhi. So our sitting is also a simple human act which we perform, some of us on a daily basis. But the Bodhisattva Samadhi, but our practice is not just something that I perform on a daily basis. It's not limited to what I'm performing on a daily basis. The just sitting is more than what I'm doing. So the just sitting is a simple, limited human act, and it is a vast, all-inclusive awareness. So when we use the term just sitting


in our family, we mean both of those things. The teaching is that the vastness includes the limited aspect, but the teaching is also that the limited includes the vast. So our simple human activity, which is this way, and then it's another way, my simple human activity of sitting is like a token, a token of that which includes it and that which it includes. So it is a token, my sitting


is a token, and I offer this token to the vast Bodhisattva Samadhi, which all Buddhas have this Bodhisattva Samadhi. Moment by moment, my sitting is token after token, it's a token of this Samadhi, and it's offered, this token is offered to the Samadhi. So some tokens are like about the size of a silver dollar or a quarter, kind of like easy to get a hold of, and sometimes some tokens are then used to ride on the bus or ride on the subway. And when we give the token, this is our offering to this whole transportation system, which we can now participate in. And in


order to participate in the transportation system, part of the precepts of the system is that we would make an offering of a token, and then we can participate in this great system, and it can support us. So my practice is a token, but I need to use it and offer it, I need to give it away. And I give it to the awareness which already includes it before I give it, but I need to give


it in order to enter that which I offer it to. I need to give my limited human activity to the unlimited activity of awakening in order for me to enter, in order for my sitting and me to enter into this vast Samadhi of the Buddhas. I'm already in it, but not, because I have not yet offered myself my practice. So these comments are partly to orient, because I'm now on the verge of entering into describing this vast all-inclusive awareness, and I'd like you to remember to hold on to your


seat, and not just hold on to it, but give it away, and then give it away. Each moment, give your presence to this Samadhi you're hearing about. Yes? You keep calling it a Bodhisattva Samadhi, and is it the offering of it that makes it a Bodhisattva? The activity of a Bodhisattva Samadhi, that we give it? I want to say yes, at the same time I want to say that's not the full extent of it, but I would


say it's required for us to enter the Bodhisattva Samadhi, it's required that we practice generosity with what we're doing, or make what we're doing a gift, and in particular it could be a gift to everything, but giving a gift to everything is appropriate to giving a gift to this Samadhi. So again, I said it, that my limited daily sitting practice is a token of this Samadhi, of this Bodhisattva Buddha ancestor Samadhi, it's a token of it, but it's also a token of everything. So my sitting is a token of everything, and I offer my token to everything, it's a token of everything to


everything. If there isn't this giving and receiving, then in a sense my lack of generosity exiles me from the Samadhi, even though of course I cannot exile myself from everything, I feel exiled when I refuse, when I do not offer my sitting to everything as my offering of everything in this form. I offer everything in this form, and this form, and this form. That's required for the process to work, but the process is not just my offering, even though my offering includes the whole process. So the situation is, as you've started to get a feeling, there's no way to get a foothold in this process, and still we proceed to make these offerings. Now if you're


ready, we could take a peek, or more, or two peeks, or maybe three peeks at the scripture, which has a book called book number three. Ready to take a peek? And the name of the chapter is, oh there it is, what a coincidence, I just open it, and there it was, book three, The Samadhi of the Bodhisattva of Universal Goodness. And homage to the great translator Thomas Cleary, and I say that because I really, I'm in awe of him, of his powers to translate, but I would like to point out something that I feel he overlooked mentioning, right at the beginning of this chapter. So what he says is,


that the enlightening being, universally good, the great being, sat on a lion throne made of a bank of lotus flowers, so think of bank like a dais, so he's sitting on this lion throne on top of a dais of lotuses, like we have in these statues there, they're sitting on lotuses. Okay, and then it says, imbued with the psychic power of the Buddhas, he entered concentration. Now what he didn't translate in that first sentence is, he didn't say that Samantabhadra sat in the presence of Buddha, Samantabhadra sat in front of the Buddha, that's a really important oversight.


I looked at the Chinese, Chinese, and also later in this chapter his translation says, the Bodhisattva sat in the presence of the Buddha, and the character that he translated as presence, is the same character in this first sentence. He doesn't just, he's not just sitting there, and then imbued with the power of Buddha enters, he's sitting there facing the Buddha right in front of him, and the Buddha, he's offering his face to the Buddha's face. That's a, I wish he had translated it, just all you had to do is say, in the presence of the Buddha, sat in the presence of the Buddha. So there we go, here we go, when you sit on your cushion,


you're offering your sitting to the Buddhas, and also you might just see, are you ready to make this offering in the presence of Buddhas? So I sit on the seat, I'm going to make an offering of my sitting in the presence of the Buddhas. So part of entering the samadhi is just sitting, which we do, but another part is to do that sitting in the presence of Buddhas. So one might think, well, Samantabhadra had to do it in the presence of Buddha, but I don't have to. That's true, you don't have to. However, if you wish to


enter this samadhi and realize that your sitting is occurring in this samadhi, maybe you, like the great Bodhisattva, need to do this in the presence of the Buddhas. Now it turns out, by the way, there's no place that you're not in the presence of Buddha, so you don't have to go anyplace. So wherever you sit down, you're offering this sitting posture in the presence of Buddha, and that's the teaching here. Now the next thing is, after sitting down on your seat, which you can call a lion's seat if you want to, on your seat, in the presence of Buddhas, then the next part is imbued with the psychic powers of Buddhas. When we sit down in the presence of Buddhas, we get imbued


with their power. Or I should say, there is the opportunity to be imbued with their power, and then imbued with their power, we enter this samadhi. We don't do this by our own power. You might think, well, I can do concentration practices and enter samadhis. Yes, you can, and you can think that you're doing them, not by being imbued with Buddha's power, but by your own personal mindfulness, and carefulness, and presence. So that's a samadhi. But this samadhi is not something that you do by your own power. Your own power to sit, for example, is an offering to this samadhi in the presence of Buddhas.


That's what I get from the first sentence. Now there's another thing I want to bring up, which I brought up in the yoga room class the other night, was that I checked out the character in Chinese that is being translated as imbued. There's another translation by Dharmamitra, which is also very good. Amish to Dharmamitra, thank you so much. And he translates this character as aided. Aided, you say, with the aid of the Buddha or aided by the Buddha's awesome spiritual power. So here we are sitting, offering our sitting in the presence of Buddha. Right now, sitting here offering our presence in the presence of Buddha. And in that situation, imbued and aided, and now


offering our sitting to the Buddha's presence and being imbued with Buddha's awesome power, receiving Buddha's awesome power, inheriting Buddha's awesome power, carrying out Buddha's awesome spiritual power, complying with Buddha's awesome spiritual power, holding Buddha's awesome spiritual power, sustaining Buddha's awesome spiritual power, being granted the favor of Buddha's awesome spiritual power. So the translators can usually, for one character, they don't use a whole bunch of words, but I'm telling you that this character, this character, which I can't blow up for you,


but this is the character. This character is also the character in one of Dogen Zenji's posthumous honorifics. So he's called Jōyō Daishi sometimes, and Jō is this character, and Yō is sunlight. So his honorific name is receiving or imbued or aided by light. It's a wonderful character. Maybe I'll draw a big picture of it sometime. Just one second, please. So that's sort of the beginning of this process of entering the samadhi. Now then, once we enter it, we're going to find out a little bit about what we've entered and what we're taking care of once we enter, all right? But I have a


question, yes? Same thing. I mean, in other words, you're in the presence of the Buddha and use your face. So they usually mention, you know, the character actually there is in front of, so we usually call this the front of our body. So our face is in the front, so in that sense, in the presence of, in front of, in the face of, my face in the face of. All that's in the ambiance of this character, which means in front of, before, in the presence of. So when you say presence in the face of, because when facing Buddha, it's facing no thing, it's facing no power.


I wouldn't say no power, I would say it's not a thing, it's not, you know, it's ungraspable, but it has great power. The Buddha has awesome power, this ungraspable thing, the power is also ungraspable, but the power can lift us up into this samadhi. And then you're going to hear about, once we're in the samadhi, what that samadhi makes possible. Basically, I'll tell you a little bit, that samadhi makes possible all the Buddhas. So, Bodhisattvas sit and offer their sitting to the Buddhas, in the presence of the Buddhas, and then they receive a power to enter the samadhi where Buddhas are living and being born. You know, and I don't know, if you're ready for me to tell you, I think there's, yeah, I wrote down nine


kind of descriptions of this samadhi. There's, I think, ten in the book, but I skipped one of them because I thought it was just too hard to hear, too complex, but I wrote down these different qualities of this samadhi for your enjoyment when you're ready. Okay, so before I tell you these qualities of this samadhi, so in the book, after it tells you the name of the samadhi, which I haven't told you yet, it says, it, [...] it ten times. So, it means the samadhi. So, the next thing that happens after entering the samadhi, we're told the name of it. And the name of the samadhi, according to Cleary's translation, the name of the samadhi is the samadhi of the immanent, immanent, immanent body of the illuminator of suchness which all Buddhas have.


So, it's sort of the inner body, immanent, the present body of the illuminator of thusness which all Buddhas have. So, what this samadhi does is it illuminates thusness, according to that translation. Another translation is this samadhi which is called the thus-come-ones, the Tathagata, the thus-come-ones, I should say, the thus-come-one, the one who comes from thusness, body, the thus-come-ones body, the thus-come-ones seed body, the thus-come-ones womb body. This samadhi is the womb body of the illuminator of suchness, the illuminator of suchness is born in this samadhi.


Yes? Immanent, immanent, which means always present or always so, or inward. This samadhi is with the always present body of the Tathagata. So, immanent is Cleary's translation, a more literal translation is seed or womb body. So, the immanent body, the seed, the womb body of what? Of the Tathagata, who is Vairocana, and Vairocana is the great illuminator. So, the Tathagata, the thus-come-one, which is one of the names of the Buddha, Tathagata, thus-come-one, which is Vairocana, and all Buddhas have this samadhi, this samadhi which is called the womb body of the Tathagata, which is Vairocana.


That's a big long name for this samadhi. Short name, Samantabhadra's another short name is, this is a Bodhisattva samadhi. And the shorter name is, this is what we mean by just sitting in our tradition. Yes, Linda and Jeff? I have a comment on the way you're talking about translation. So, you're pronouncing this word immanent, which I usually pronounce immanent, but you try to emphasize it as immanent, right? So, I noticed from what you said that the second translation, the other one, has a very literal, has a very concrete, therefore, seed or womb, which clearly has changed into a kind of moral abstraction. But it means, immanent means present in form. Yeah, present in form. Thank you.


Contrast, in fact. Yeah, thank you. And Jeff? Is this the Tathagata Garbha? Tathagata Garbha. Another translation would be, this samadhi is called the Tathagata Garbha body, which is Vairocana, which all Buddhas have. All Buddhas have this Vairocana Tathagata Garbha body. That's the name of this samadhi. So, this samadhi is telling you, the name of it is telling you what's going on here, that we have here the body of the Buddhas, and in particular, the Vairocana body, which is the illuminator of the suchness. That's the title. So now, if you're ready, I can tell you some of the characteristics. So, the first characteristic is that this samadhi, which we can enter, it enters everywhere, in all situations,


it enters everywhere into the equal essence of all Buddhas. Another translation would be, it enters uniformly the equal nature of all Buddhas. And it's capable of manifesting the myriad images of the dharma realm. And vastly, immensely, without obstruction, equal to space. So, it enters into this equal nature of all Buddhas, but also it is capable of manifesting images. The samadhi can manifest images, while it's entering the essence, where there's no image.


It enters an imageless essence, but it's still capable of manifesting images to relate to beings. And then number two is, in all the whirling oceans of universes, or all the whirling oceans of dharma realms, they all flow along into it. All the swirling worlds of the dharma realm flow into this samadhi. This samadhi produces all samadhi states. So, all the other samadhis, some of which are samadhis which people enter by their own personal effort, all those samadhis, and all the other kinds of samadhis of bodhisattvas, they're all produced in this samadhi. And also, those other bodhisattva samadhis produce this samadhi.


I added that. Number three, or number four, the oceans of radiant knowledge of all Buddhas come from here. The ocean of radiant knowledge of all Buddhas come from this samadhi. We have the opportunity, by the power of Buddha and by us being willing to be in the presence of Buddha, for our sitting to be the place where the radiant knowledge, or the lights of knowledge, of all Buddhas come from here. Number six, it contains within it all the powers and liberations of the Buddha and the knowledge of the bodhisattvas. It's all-inclusive of all the knowledge and powers of the Buddhas, the liberations of the Buddhas, and the knowledge of the bodhisattvas.


It can cause all particles in all lands to be universally able to contain boundless universes. Skipping one, I think. It develops, or brings to completion, the ocean of virtuous qualities of all Buddhas. So we're entering, we have the opportunity to enter a bodhisattva samadhi that actually develops the Buddha qualities. We're in the space, what came to my mind is like a beehive where everybody's working to help the Queen. We're trying to help to develop the virtuous qualities of the Buddha Queen. And that's what happens in this samadhi. That's where we do this amazing work of assisting Buddhas, and assisting Buddhas develops Buddhas.


Oh, I didn't finish. So it develops the ocean of virtuous qualities of all Buddhas, and it reveals the ocean of the great vows of the bodhisattvas. I think you've heard about some vows of bodhisattvas. In this samadhi, there are more vows that will be available for your enjoyment. And then, this one, yeah, this one I've been sort of particularly being mindful of when I'm sitting. So I'm sitting here, and also over the hill. I'm sitting, and while I'm sitting, I am mindful that all the Dharma wheels, all the Dharma wheels, all the cycles of teaching of the Buddhas flow through this samadhi, and this is the part I really am mindful of,


and are guarded and maintained by it, and kept without interruption or end. Here's another one, another translation. It reveals the Tathagata's ocean of great vows, and ensures that the dissemination and preservation of all Dharma wheels, of all Buddhas, will never be cut off. So this last one is kind of like pointing out that this samadhi is like the security forces of the Buddha Dharma. We sit, you know, we sit, and we're sitting here, and we want to have this sitting be donated to the samadhi which cares for the Dharma.


And this samadhi is to care for the Dharma so it doesn't get interrupted or lost, to maintain and protect the Dharma. The Buddhas maintain and protect the Dharma, but this is saying this samadhi is how the Dharma is protected and maintained. So when you're sitting, you have the opportunity to be in the presence of the samadhi which protects and maintains the teaching. I haven't seen this lately, but there used to be this sign which says, Smoky the Bear says, Only you can prevent forest fires. It's that spirit of only you can protect and maintain the Buddha Dharma. Of course other people can do it too, but really it's good to remember that you can protect and maintain. You have the chance to take care of this Buddha Dharma and maintain it by sitting.


So that's the amazing description which could go on further, but it's describing this samadhi which we can enter by the awesome spiritual power of Buddha. And it might help by receiving, we can receive the awesome spiritual power by offering ourselves in the presence of Buddha. Kurt? Comment from Kurt. As you were speaking, I was reflecting on how much I appreciate when you were speaking about what you focus on, the elements of your sutra, the elements that you focus on while you're sitting.


What I find that I appreciate deeply in your teaching is the integrity with which you take those teachings and bring them forward to us. So, it's more of an integrity that I wanted you to comment on, but it's a recognition. Yes. So, when you're sitting, you might wish that your sitting was devoted to protecting the integrity of the Dharma, and you hope that your sitting has enough integrity that you can offer it quite clearly to this great activity of the samadhi, to protect the integrity, and the integrity that it doesn't get cut off, that it's not interrupted. Somebody's got to do this, and you're the one to do it, unless you don't want to, because it's just too big a job for me.


Yes. Yes. It strikes me, in my own sitting, that samadhi is, whether I recognize it or not, it's always there. It's there because somebody's taking care of it. And it's just a question of, you know, my being open to it. It's a question of you being open to it. That is the question. And can you be open to it? And you might say, I don't know, but I want to be. Can I offer myself to this samadhi? I don't know, but I want to. I want this to be an offering. I want to be in the presence of Buddha, and I want to meet the Buddha face-to-face. And I want to receive the gifts of the Buddha, which are for people like me and you. That's what they're for. They're not for some other bodhisattvas.


They're for all bodhisattvas. I want to. I don't know if I am, though. It's hard to know whether you're receiving something which is ungraspable. But your wanting to is graspable. I mean, you can perceive it, you can feel it. You want to. Now, really, it includes ungraspable universes, but right now you've got something, you've got a token to offer. And we haven't been going on so long. I see your hand. Anybody have a question besides her? Yes and yes. Yes, Chanying. Could you speak a little louder?


Okay. I'll start over again. So, I was thinking about facing Buddha, whether it's active or passive-active. So, like, the first going through the scripture, when you were facing the Buddha, and the Buddha is there, you happen to be there. Buddha happens to be everywhere. So, it seems like passive, but as you're elaborating it more, it seems that you also need to want that, also need to do the sitting, do the whatever, to be active, to be facing the Buddha. You need to give. You need to give in order to receive. I need to give my body and face to the Buddha in order to receive the Buddha's face. Of course, the Buddha is facing me anyway, but I'm not going to be able to enjoy this unless I offer my face, my body to the Buddha.


So, it is active, it is receptive. I receive the Buddha's awesome power, but also I offer my practice to the Buddha. I offer my face to receive the Buddha face. And from here, can you also say a bit about the non-separation between me and Buddha? Can I say something about that? Yes. Well, you just said non-separation. I would say yes. So, we have this verse which we say, you know, my body, the other body, the Buddha's body, my body and the Buddha's body are not two. Person offering and person offered to, or the one offering and the one offered to,


have the same nature. No nature. So, the one offering has the same ungraspable nature as the one offered to. And then we plunge into this offering process. But these kind of meditations are to help us get over a sense of separation, even a small sense of separation, between my little tiny human practice and this boundless Bodhisattva practice, between my own sentient life and the inconceivable mind of Buddha. We need to think about these things in order to challenge our sense of separation and let go of it. You know, I often have quoted in this room that I pray that the Great Assembly will receive silence and stillness.


So, you give your own body silently and immovably, and I pray that you receive also that silence and stillness. So, it's both giving and receiving. We need to integrate them. And just remember to keep an eye peeled, because as we say, a hair's breadth difference fails to accord with the proper attunement. So, if we want to attune to this samadhi, we need to watch out for any sense of me and the samadhi, or me and the great Bodhisattvas. But that sense of slight discrepancy, that's another sentient being which is not separate. So, we need to care for the sense of separation too, because it might come up. It's a being that's calling for attention and compassion.


Yes? Pass, okay. That reminds me of a story, but I'm going to go over here and say, yes, Oma? The mind and body is a graspable entity. And being realized that it is ungraspable. So, graspable is ungraspable. And be aware of that thought. Be aware of ungraspable nature of things? Be aware of, yes, the ungraspable nature of things, which my mind thinks it as graspable, and all the time realizing that and being aware that, no,


this is my mind doing it, but in actuality it's not graspable. And be aware of that. Sounds good. Good luck. Yes? I don't know if I can get this out as a whole. You can help me. I'm thinking that the, I'm going to say, privilege of being able to sit in a samadhi and in front of or receive Buddhas is, I'm going to say, the merit or the inheritance also of all things past, known, and unknown that have brought me to this opportunity. And that, being up on the word integrity, is that as I integrate that, I cannot actually know who or when this samadhi or this practice is being witnessed and vibed on.


And that in itself is part of the transmission of the light that is, I'm going to say, moving forward. But anyway, it's the generosity of giving as we integrate and make. And that passing on is no separation between me, so to say, and my actions, and then other, or either demoralized or inspired to say, what's going on there? That's how I feel about the non-separation. Because we don't know whose eyes, whose sensibilities are on the practice we've inherited. Yeah, that's good. And in the sutra, after telling us


the characteristics of the samadhi, it doesn't say that the samadhi is ungraspable. Maybe it's already apparent that we're talking about nobody could grasp it. But this whole samadhi is ungraspable. When you use the word apparent, it sounds like that seed, then apparently. This samadhi is an awareness that is ungraspable. But it's capable of producing graspable images. A lot of them, unlimited ones. Linda and Karen. You just mentioned silence and stillness.


We were just talking in the other room about that word that you emphasized, thus. And if thus is the arising of exactly anything and everything that may be arising, just thus, then is that... I mean, silence and stillness, I'm trying to think of something other than that. Say there's turmoil. You mean silence and stillness are a big other to turbulence? Silence and stillness is other to turbulence? Yeah. I'm saying that maybe that's a mistake, right? It's a mistake. However, it's also not separate. It's also thus.


The mistake is thus. So here's silence and stillness. That's thus. Here's the idea of turbulence. That's thus. Here's the idea that stillness is separate from the turbulence. That's also thus. All dharmas are thus. The teaching is always thus. So the central teaching in the sutra is very simple. It's the teaching of thus. That's the teaching. And now see if you can stay on that ball. In the turbulence that's going to be given to you, in the swirling oceans of worlds that we're going to be invited to contemplate, to remember thus, [...] thus. That's the teaching about everything. That's the teaching about everything. That's the teaching of thusness. It applies to everything. And this is particularly being offered in this turbulent, swirling presentation of all life,


which people are going to have trouble. Some of the groups I'm meeting with, resistance is starting to come. But that's not a distraction. It's another opportunity to practice thus and to respect it as, here it is, here's the teaching of Buddha. It's kind of like this right now. This may never come again, that's okay. But right now, it's like this. I'm curious about how you're using the word samadhi. Yeah. Are you talking about that there are different levels of awareness? Or are you talking about different aspects of a single samadhi? You know, are there multiples? Or is it all one samadhi? It's just we can look at different aspects of it. Well, some people do what you might call


conscious cultivation. And they practice in ways so that their consciousness has a kind of collected, undistracted quality, which they understand as came from doing these exercises. And they did the practice. And they were not doing the practice with all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. They didn't think that way. But still, they got a really nice concentrated state of mind and the afflictions are calming down, etc. That's a samadhi. And a lot of people practice samadhi that way. And this samadhi includes that samadhi. But this samadhi is not something done by my own power. It's done by my power and your power and everybody's power and all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas


are cooperating in this samadhi. This samadhi is all-inclusive. Other samadhis are not. For example, my consciousness is calm, collected and cool. Great. And it does not include that person's consciousness, which looks to me to be not calm, not collected and hot. It doesn't include that. That's not my consciousness. That's not my samadhi. My samadhi, I'm cool about that, but actually my cool is getting ... what's the word? ... tested. I'm on the verge of losing my cool over this other consciousness. And if they're in samadhi, well, I don't go for that kind of samadhi. That kind of ... and then not taking care of that distinction, one would probably lose one's limited samadhi.


But if you take care of the distinction, if you take care of it, you get calm again, which is good. And all those techniques which individual practitioners are doing, they're all included in this samadhi. But they don't ... they're not intending or practicing to include all the other samadhis. They're not taking on that point of view. And they don't necessarily feel that they are practicing in the presence of Buddha, that they want to, that that's what they're really doing, and they want to join that view of what's happening. And they also don't feel like they're able to gather their mind and let go of their distractions, imbued and assisted and receiving the awesome, inconceivable spiritual power of Buddhas. They don't see it that way. They do not have the bodhisattva vow, maybe, either. But some people have bodhisattva vow and also some understanding of reality, but they're still in their meditation,


they're still doing it from the point of, I'm doing it, and I'm actually trying to get rid of some distractions. I'm trying to get rid of some disturbances. I'm trying to get rid of some seething passions. Rather than, if there's any seething passions, I'm here for them. I vow to be here for them, and I want to enter a samadhi that fully embraces all turbulence. That's more the bodhisattva vow, and the bodhisattva vow is realized by this samadhi. But it doesn't exclude anybody else's limited-view individual practice samadhis, which are trying to exclude some defilements and afflictions. That's why I often point out, when we say, afflictions are inexhaustible,


I vow to end them. I don't go for that translation very well. The Chinese character is a character which means cut, and you can understand cut as end, but I feel like cut through attachment, cut through into freedom. And, again, Dogen points out in the chapter called Entwining Vines that a lot of sages use, a lot of sages cut the root of the afflictions of the entwining vines. They cut the root of them, and that's their sagehood. But they don't know about using entwining vines to cut through entwining vines. That's the way he uses the passions to cut through the passions, and that's the more Mahayana approach to being free of affliction.


What you just said is very helpful. I'm still a little confused. We have names, and this book has names for a lot of different samadhis, and I'm wondering, are they really different, or are they the same samadhi? They're different. They have different names. That's enough for me. But the Bodhisattva samadhis include each other. So we have this samadhi here in this sutra, and this sutra was translated during the life of our ancestor, Kosan Ryokai Daiyosho Dungshan. So he received the teaching of this sutra, but then he wrote a text called The Precious Mirror Samadhi. So he makes a new samadhi, which has never been seen before, because he thought this would be helpful to people,


and a lot of people do find it helpful, this poem he wrote about a samadhi. But he already knew about these samadhis. Now he's going to make his own poetic offering to us in the presence of Buddha, and starts out with the teaching of suchness, the teaching of thusness. He starts just right out of the sutra, now he's going to do an updated, refreshed version of it, which takes the teaching another step. So there's innumerable names of samadhis, and the Bodhisattva samadhis include each other. And the samadhis which don't wish to include really do, but even if they don't want to include other people's low-quality samadhis, they are included. The ones who do not want to include everybody, they're included in this samadhi. The exclusive individual samadhis, which are not shared with all beings,


they're included in this samadhi. And this samadhi does not say, you're lower quality than that one, it includes them all. Yes and yes, maybe Patty first. Cutting. Cutting. I don't know, actually the character for cutting off looks kind of like a hatchet. I would say, what I think of, you cut through the emptiness, you cut through the space. In order to cut, you have to take care. You know, if you don't take care, your cutting is not going to work very well. Be careful with the cutting, watch where you cut.


Sometimes cutting is medicinal. And also, if you cut through the emptiness of things, you don't have to keep sharpening your knife. So be careful how you cut, but also you can turn it around. If you're really careful, that will cut. Carefulness cuts. And you can also say, cuts both ways. These are bodhisattva vows, so if we're going to cut, it's going to be an act of compassion. So cut is emphasizing. Care will lead you to cutting. But cutting is emphasizing the release, you know, the liberation. But I hesitate to call that an end. Because, again, the Buddha body fills the Dharma realm without end.


There's no end. It's just an endless process of cutting through all afflictions, but using affliction to cut through affliction. What do you call it? Valuing affliction as a way to show the freedom from affliction. Valuing it for its opportunity to be liberated and to help people by the process of liberation. So I see you, Kika, but let me ... Yes, Jeff. I was just going to say or ask, I heard you say, I really appreciated the way you talked about it, is it an ocean, the ocean mind samadhi seal? Yeah, that's another one. The ocean, it's the ocean seal samadhi. You talk about how it's sealed. The sealing is how it's sealed. How it's sealed with the other aspect,


or sealed with ... Yeah. I think you just explained it right there, how it's cut through, it can be sealed with ... that description you just gave. Yeah, cut through by intimacy. Cut through delusions by intimacy with them. Intimacy cuts through. But also, in that fascicle, Dogen says, in this samadhi, it's called the ocean seal samadhi, in that samadhi, you swim on the surface at the same time you walk on the bottom. So the seal is sealing our superficial practice, our individual effort, with the bottom of the ocean of the samadhi. It isn't that we just go down in the ocean, we keep swimming on the surface, and those two are not separate. The bottom is the non-separation of the surface and the bottom. Kika?


You know, just as a long-time gardener responding to Patty's inquiry, cutting is taking care, is being intimate, pruning stimulates growth. And that's what ... There's that side of it too, yeah. It's not an exact analogy, but ... That cutting is a way to encourage growth? Yeah, and cutting to encourage growth, the cutting is coming because of your devotion to what's being cut. The people who are cutting just to get rid of, that's a different type of practice. We cut to help, to promote growth. So the devoted ones should be the pruners. The people who are not devoted should not be the pruners. We want compassionate pruners.


Okay, well, thank you so much. Maybe that's enough. I'm getting really hot. It's before you just end. Yes? I have this sort of eagerness to mention a song that I thought you might like. Yes. It expresses the token idea. Okay, let's hear it. Does anybody know that Reynolds' Love Is Something You Can't Get Away With? Yeah. Would you like to join in? Okay. It's the token idea. Yeah. Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away. Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more. It's just like a magic penny. Hold it tight and you won't have any. Lend it, spend it, oh so many.


Roll it all over the floor. Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more. Now, I realize that desiring to have more might be a flaw. But basically the coin, I thought. Yeah, I agree. Thank you so much.