Going for Refuge, Practicing with FearĀ 

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hey i mentioned that the day is in some people's calendar his father's day
it's a good day
to tell your father
that you love him
even if your father is not alive
and it's a good day for fathers
to feel ashamed
at their shortcomings
ha but even an unashamed father and and ashamed grandfather still might want to
talk with you about something
last time i spoke here on sunday
i think i talked about a very basic buddhist
very basic
in the boot away
going for refuge in buddha
basic practice the basic ritual of returning to buddha
and then during that talk i
but i mentioned that it
if one wishes to practice going for refuge in buddha
and maybe you'd be good to consider what buddha is
and i talked
about what buddha is indeed
in the tradition of the great vehicle of the body sat for
the universal vehicle of the being
who is devoted to the welfare of all beings
and i just mentioned briefly again that in the mahayana
the buddha is
a being
which is always not thinking
and being which is always thinking simultaneously
a being which is always
completely free
of thinking of thought construction and in the world of suffering that arises from thought construction completely free completely
giving up all
world constructing thought
simultaneously the buddha is always thinking always involved in world constructing thinking
what is always thinking about how to make a world
where all beings can enter the put away and quickly attain
buddhahood and freedom
what is always not thinking and always thinking
but it doesn't abide and either
and embraces both this is the buddha
limitless me free and limitless they involved to help beings and it's this buddha that in mahayana we return to
by the practice
a refuge
today i'd like to talk about
the practice of refuge and also just to say that dumb
i would use the word practice synonymously in this situation with ritual or ceremony
and i also couldn't just offer you the statement that
one who performs rituals
understands ultimate truth
but i would say that people who understand or a person or a being that understands ultimate truth
that for such a being all of her actions are rituals
once again
to perform a ritual does not necessarily mean you understand ultimate truth but when you understand the ultimate truth you also understand that every action of your body speech and mind is a ritual
your whole life becomes ritual your whole life becomes a ceremony
everything you do everything is everything you think
which is a basic action everything you say everybody posture you make
is a ceremony
which puts the ultimate truth
as a form
every form you understand is the ultimate truth
an ultimate truth is every form
if we don't understand that we may think some forms are truth and others are not
also if we don't understand ultimate truth we think of truth is something
if we don't understand ultimate truth we might think ultimate truth is something
we might think that the ultimate truth of all things is another thing

so the basic definition of rituals sunlight and is that it's synonymous with the ceremony
it can be a religious ceremony that can be religious rituals are just solemn rituals dignified
dignified forms
a behavior
within religion or not
coming back to this to the ritual
the ceremony i'm going for refuge
in buddha
hi i go for refuge in buddha
a i say that with my voice
i'm i can sit here with you try to sit upright and still and make my upright stillness in posture
i make this sitting a physical ritual is sitting is returning to buddha i returned to buddha's posture
i give my posture to buddha
and thereby i returned to buddha by this posture
i think
then i'm returning to buddha i meet my thinking
returning to buddha
hi so i spoke about this
in sacramento last week and and the woman came up to me and said why ritual why do we had to do a ritual
she said ritual that you can also say why do we have to practice the buddha
it's totally pervading
our lives
never separate from us so why do we have to do the practice wider you have to do the ritual of returning
to buddha
returning to the buddha's were always with us why why she said and i simply would suggest that
although this true that blues are with us always unless we do the ritual
unless we perform the ceremony
i'm making on actions of thought speech and posture
actions of returning to buddha we will not realize
all buddhas will realize buddhahood have done the ritual of returning to buddha
none who do not return to buddha realize buddha even though
we're already there with buddha
we're already surrounded by the understanding of the dharma
which buddhas are
what is are they understanding of the truth we live in the same truth
but unless we practice the ritual the ceremony of returning to the truth of returning to the buddha we did not realize the buddha or the truth which buddha realizes
we're always living in the midst
of the greatest assembly
a practitioners of the ceremony are returning to buddha but unless we returned to buddha we do not realize that we live in this community
my thoughts my speech and my posture does not reach
what the buddha is
but it real they realize what the buddha is
my thoughts your thoughts my actions your axes are not separate from buddha therefore we can't reach what we're not separate from
but we can confuse
what we're not separate from we can think we are separate from it and try to reach it
this is a distraction
which is fine
just give that distraction
to the buddha
while i was talking to his woman i
stumbled upon
humbled upon her being herself
that she is who she is that you are you you are yourself
but if you don't practice
returning to yourself you will not realize yourself
buddha's our your home but if we don't do the ritual
of returning
the buddha we do not realize buddha we do not realize our true home
we exile ourselves by not practicing returning to our home
it seems kind of unfair in a way that we get that we exile ourselves by not practicing being home
but actually i think that's necessary that you can't just be an innocent bystander and not practice
and then be left at home
to forgo celebrating your home to forgo celebrating your intimate relationship with the buddha's
is to inject yourself from your home
by neglecting
the performance
have your relationship
the performance of your relationship
way like a father
needs to perform his relationship with his daughter and his son
without performing it
it's not realized and it's
i love you yes i love you dearly years
but without practicing that
somebody doesn't realize it
for me ritual also is what is my action in the context of relationship
so i brush my teeth
i one meeting of ritual is something you do on a regular basis invariably like you always brush your teeth that could be a ritual but for me it's not just that i always brush my teeth because in fact i don't always brushed my teeth
but it's when i brush my teeth in relationship to all beings
i brushed my teeth together with all buddhas and all living beings then my tooth brushing his original
it's also going for refuge in buddha when i brush my teeth in relationship to all beings
and it is possible to learn
the brush your teeth
in relationship with all beings every time your brush
this is to realize buddha's way
while brushing the teeth
if you skin for saying so i thought about this in the process of urinating
and i remembered as in teacher whose teacher told him when you urinate always sit down
most people sit down when they do number two
not all people but most do
and not all women sit down when they do number one and number two
but most women
what am i do sit down
i think i don't know i haven't really watched
but i've i've i get that impression that mostly they sit down whereas men sometimes stand
it's convenient and some women are jealous of men being able to stand
smash your little girl sometimes they how come he gets to stand there like that
but i thought if it's a ritual
if if bodily functions like that our rituals of going for refuge in buddha then i felt seems more
letter to sit down
see more solemn
like rather okay i'll just do it easy way
i'm not saying you can't take refuge standing but
if you're if you really meant this as a ritual if you're meant this bodily function as a ritual
what did you take a dignified posture
when you sit down and say okay here we go
and the other thing about ritual while mention this later
so i i suggest to this woman you know you are you you are who you are right now before me but if you don't practice the ritual of being who you are you missed that your big who you are and i say that to myself when i say that to you if you don't
practice being who you are you will miss out on something called being you and that will be something that will be a great sorrow to the whole world because that's your job
well by moment to be who you are and you're only the way you are i'm only the way i am right now once
and now is the time for me to be this person but if i don't practice being me i miss it
and if i don't practice being me i also don't practice
going for refuge in buddha
so i stumbled upon
the something that being herself
and returning to buddha are synonymous
if you really
returned to yourself you will return to buddha annual you will realize that if you really you turned to buddha you will realize that you're returning to yourself
i'm returning to yourself i think maybe some people feel okay about that it's non-sectarian i like that
it's man with a buddhist
but i propose to you to consider that if you really return to yourself
you will realize you're returning to buddha
and vice versa
but if you don't yet want to return to buddhist star with yourself
if you return to the place where you are right now
if you come back here and find the place you are right now
if you practice that ritual the ritual the ceremony
a being where you are right now in this place
the practice of the buddha will occur
and it will realize the truth
and again realizing the truth
we'll help you continue the practice of returning to where you are in finding your place moment by moment
and while i was talking to this woman a story came to my mind which i wanted to tell but
i just didn't think there was gonna be an opportunity to tell it but when she brought this question to me i realize what the story was about in a new way
and all we all owe it wasn't when i was talking to her it was someone somebody else came up to him talk to me and this person said that he he came up to
talk to him and he said he felt dread
being there with me
he came up and he was like really a tall man but seventy tall and he said
that i dread seeing with me
he said when he kept she came up there and felt himself with me he felt afraid
a very difficult for him to actually be there with me
and then i thought of this story which connects these things
and this name of the story is fear and dread
it's a name of a scripture
and and this scripture which is called fear and dread the buddha is approached by a brahmin the booted indian buddha buddha who lived in india is for approached by an a brahmin
and the brahmin says the brahmas name is a
john was solely
the brahmans
paid his respects to the border and they had some amiable talk and then he said he addressed the board or nice he said
ah are you the the leader and the teacher in the guide for all these people here
did they follow your example
and the buddha said yes i am to teach their teacher i am their guide
and they do follow my example
and then know the brahmin said but don't you go out into the
jungle thickets of the forest
in practice meditation out there
don't you go into solitude
in the dense jungle
and when you get there it doesn't doesn't that place give rise to fear and dread and disturb your mind and make it difficult to enjoy solitude and be at peace and be concentrated
and if you do that if you got into the forest like that and have in the past grown older than the forest don't these people follow you and isn't that a bad example
which if they follow they will be able to enjoy solitude in their minds will not come down and they'll be just terribly scared
so how can we set that example basically is what he asked
the buddhist said well you're right
when people go out into the forest like into this forest areas i'm talking about they they do become frightened usually and it's hard for them to enjoy solitude
but that's because
their minds are not yet settled and purified
before my mind was settled and purified when i went out into the forest
my mind what i was actually
full of dread and fear and i couldn't enjoy solitude in the forest retreats
but my mind is no longer like that
my mind is purified
and therefore for me the jungle tickets are place
of joyful
resort and peace
before i
realized the purified mind when i went into the jungle and i became frightened
i discovered a practice
if i was walking and fear and dread arose in me
i would continue to walk
until the fear and dread passed away
if i was sitting in the forest and fear and dread arose in me
i would just continue to sit
if i were standing in the forest and fear and dread arose in me i would continue to stand until they passed away
if i was reclining in the forest and philly it fear and dread arose in me i would continue to recline until they passed away
and i would speak and differently than the buddha spoke
in this way i found my place in the forest
i returned to where i was and found my place and the practice occurred
and fear and dread were relieved
and i also found something else there
i found the buddha
the buddha before being buddha
returned to buddha and realized buddha
the buddha took refuge in buddha
and realized buddha
the buddha return to where he was in the jungle
in the dreadful situation a situation well worthy to be frightened poisonous snakes and insects wild
carnivorous giants
inhabitant those indian jungles and he was out there with them
not to mention demons and all kinds of disturbed spirits
untamed by
their oppression of civilization
he went into that place and he found where he was and he found buddha and he became buddha he realized buddha by going for refuge in buddha
the buddha goes for refuge and boot all buddhas have drawn for refuge over and over until until and thereby realized buddhahood
they did the ritual
which is the same
as returning to where you are
and whatever comes up do not move if you're walking do not move which means keep walking
as a ritual to find your place right where you are every moment is an opportunity to find your place right where you are to return to wear a buddha is realized which is here
we must practice
being with who we are where we are now
in order to realize who we are where we are not
at the end of this discourse on fear and dread and how to become free of them
the boy
well actually janice always says both thank you so much lord buddha may i take refuge in you may i become your disciple
and the buddhist says you may come
come home
and john a solid becomes the buddhist disciple
and then the buddha says you may think we're one may think
but since i still do the practice of going into the forest that i'm kind of dependent on it are attached to it
then i'm not free of the rituals
that i performed to realize buddhahood
but they wouldn't be true buddhahood if i was attached to the forms
but i am buddha and i'm not attached to the forms that i used to realize buddhahood
i continue to do these forums for two reasons one because i like to
and to
to set an example for the future generations
we do need to return to boot in order to realize bootable and when we realized buddha we don't have to return to put anymore
we we we realized where we are no longer needed and need the ceremony need the ritual the ritual has served his purpose
however once we don't need it anymore now in practice it just for fun
and to show other people and example a form that they can use to find themselves
where to show them the form of finding themselves so they can find buddha
also recently an older person came to me
and said that she was feeling some aversion to aging
some version
ah she didn't say it but you can elaborate on that like dislike
some people even hate getting old
some people do all kinds of
anti aging type of activity there's various anti aging top products and one can buy anti aging
skin cream vitamins exercise programs anti-ageing anyway she said she was feeling some aversion to aging and she said ah kind of like a dread a kind of i guess i kind of feel like a dreads the dreads more basic
i'd say dread of aging and then you can try to them once you have to dread that you can try to like find some way to avoid it or slow it down or go to some
go to a smile
and she mentioned it to me in the context of
our community where lots of people are sick
aging dying injured so many sick people in our community so many people were aging
and she admitted she's not really that i'm healthy right and not notions says should not really challenged but she still felt some dread and i thought again of this sutra
and i thought well you know i spent talking to her i said you know this i mentioned the suture to and i said
it's like we don't have to go in the jungle
we don't have to go in the jungle thicket where there's tigers and huge venomous snakes and elephants and lions poisonous insects and malaria we don't have to go
our body
is good enough
our bodies good enough place
to have fear and dread come up
but in this story and honestly didn't come up to the mood and say
are you the example of these people are you their teacher yes well how come you inhabit a human body isn't that difficult to be at peace in human body
you're setting a bad example
but he could have
nowadays wound the teachers don't go into the jungle anymore you can just say well how come you're in a human body isn't that like a dangerous place isn't it hard to be
ah and joyful and a human body
in the buddha would say yeah he'd actually use it's like dreadful and frightening to be in human body
and it was for me to before my mind was purified
but now my mind isn't be as purified
so now human body is a place of joy
a human body that's always in danger of being ripped to shreds and becoming sick
it's a place of joyful
because i found my place in the human body
and i stay in a human body i don't need to the put it doesn't need to can check out anytime she wants easy where'd you find your place you can check out
but ice i keep coming back to the human body because i liked to i liked the practice in a human body i like to practice with my illness with my aging with my sickness with my injuries with my brokenness i love to practice here and so
oh i do and also want to show other people
a form
where they can practice the boot away a human body with all its problems
all is impermanence
and again
when fear and dread arise in this body
don't move
if you're walking keep walking
don't move from the place you are
and you will find yourself you will find buddha
you will
the practicing going for refuge which all buddhists have done by going for refuge not just in a human body
whatever body you have
huh i don't want to sell
i don't like selling buddhism but i'm happy to give buddhism i'm happy to give you the tradition i don't want to sell it but sometimes when i give it it sounds like a sales pitch because some of the things that are given are so neat so wonderful so i caution you now
what is called
is a caveat emptor enter
that it caveat emptor buyer beware
but this isn't buying this is just being given or maybe receiver how had been attacked in latin receiver beware you are being given the the buddhist buddha's gifts the buddha's gifts now the gifts and i'm going to give to tell you about are the gifts that you receive when you go for refuge
going for refuge is super simple basic practice a be where you are right but it has extraordinary benefits and blessings
and i could think of eight of em
some people like numbers than people don't
here's eight purchase eight merits of going for refuge in buddha
one he did you become a disciple of buddha
when you return to buddha you become a disciple of buddha to
you have a foundation
in the precepts because the first precept
large addition he is going for refuge in buddha
it's number one precept when you go for refuge you set your foundation in the number one precept
karmic obstructions are reduced
an ocean a blessing and merit is assembled
five you do not fall into terrible destinies anymore
you're happily visit those who are in terrible destinies without fear you you can enter
any destiny fearlessly
you will not be disturbed by human beings anymore
also you will not be disturbed by nonhuman beings
you accomplish good deeds easily eight you will receive the ability to become buddha
if we if i can always be mindful of these extraordinary merits
of going for refuge and
practice the ritual of going for refuge
we will easily enter the buddha away and delivered
so simple
so basic
going for refuge in the boiler
during the ritual of being who you are right now
a finding your place now
and again
i think is a garage you might recommend
finding it on your exile
on each exhale come back to where you are now he might also say you can find your place where you are an inhale and exhale do
but inhaling and exhaling find your place right where you are
come back to where you are comeback the buddha
and if i forget
to come back here to come back to buddha i confess and repent
i'm ashamed i have not been present
that's one of the main things that
i think i'm ashamed of as a father of not been present i loved my children but i sometimes neglected to be present
and the same as a disciple of buddha
as a buddhist child
and as a disciple of buddha was a father i sometimes forget to be here and that i confess and repent i do not like missing the opportunity
to be here and to
practice going for refuge in britain
and the thing which i postponed earlier was
that the ritual
then doing practicing the ritual of returning here to buddha the merit of it is is fully realized
when you realize you're always you're going for refuge in buddha but you're doing it with buddha you're not going for refuge by yourself you're doing it with the buddha
together with the blue
have few days ago
i guess it was like on
the i think was like on
before last we were some of us were up with michael scheuer
we just have died last thursday
no not this thursday the thursday before last he died were with him and i asked if i could sing a song
and on people's people said okay
on i got it wrong
it wrong it was after he died got around
there's on friday
not just not this weekend but friday
sixth friday the sixth he had died on thursday the fifth so on friday the sixth we were sitting with him and i asked if if i could sing a song
and people that are that the living people said okay
so the song i sang was old man river
and after singing it
his brother said that that was their father's favorite song
and so they grew up with that song your father used to sing that turn him and play the people play the organ to at same time
and putting their father loved her robson who made the song famous
so shall we sing it it's so it seems like kind of a father's day songs

this song as you may know has very high notes and very low notes paul paul robeson and a producing really really deep down when in way down there do
so i started to take a place to start by let's just gonna just start high because you've gotta go wrong

so i won the original lyrics maybe was tired of living and feared of dying and he changed it to
but i'll keep living and time dime we can try that if can do it
oh maan river that old monterey the he don't say not then he must know some to he jaws
keeps rolling he keeps on rolling login
don't plan to the don't plan cardin and the lawsuit
garden bottle maan river he just a role no the
you and me way sweat and toil body all league and then racked with pain tote that barge live that male good little drunk and you like
and in you ah the we see go try and keep on the why
we bought old maan the he just keeps rolling on long ruling no long
keep those doggies room
keep the dog is roland
i want my thing i want to mention was that dumb in going for refuge in budo sometimes the way we say it is you know i take refuge in buddha as the most honored one in the world of bipeds
the most honored to footed one that's one way of the boot is described
but i just learned that that's another way to translate it is i take it i go for refuge in buddha the most honored of those of to perfections
the the words the to perfections the perfections can also be called feet
the feet or the the foot the foundation and the to perfections of the buddha are perfections of merit
imperfections of wisdom
so it
we take refuge in buddha the most honored the world honored one of the two footed but also the world honored one of the two of the of the merit and wisdom
and buddha's wisdom is
never thinking always and i should say always not thinking and the buddhist merit is always thinking always thinking of the welfare of beings
and generating a world of merit and always not thinking and generating the world of wisdom these two feet of the border
the most honored and we return to these two feet to these two
so keep those doggie rolling
he believes