Gracious Attention to StoriesĀ 

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can you hear me i worked like putlocker desk you've been back so i've got this device
which i can clip on you
and speak to you about
a bond
and between all of us
between of all between are humans and between are humans and non-humans a bond
a bond between all beings enlightened beings and unenlightened bags
a silent bond between all beings
and the silent bond is home
what we call enlightenment
enlightenment is
the silent bond among our beings
and that's it
and i'm so the the enlightenment is has a form of it again
and the way it is the way it comes into being is through all of us being related
however arms were not necessarily awakened to this enlightenment to this bond
so there's a practice
of awakening to this to this bond among all of us

ah and again that the the way we're all related
is very very intense so intense that it gives off a great light
so the english word enlightenment is arm
a nicer and a translation of this age and concept this asian discovery
something about the way we're related which can enlighten us
when we see this light
we've become free
of delusion
we become free of delusions which is the cause of are suffering
we become free of the delusion that were not working closely together

we even become free of don't have the delusion that we have about working closely together
so sometimes we feel like we're working closely together
sometimes we have an idea about how we're working closely the other which is
a pleasant idea maybe ah but sometimes it's not pleasant i guess some people feel like they're working closely together with people that they'd rather not be working closely together with
so then they yeah they feel like maybe they'd like to get those people
to go someplace else
because they don't want to work closely together with them i think there's an option so ah
yeah so any idea we have about our relationship doesn't reach our relationship
and if we grasp the ideas we have of our relationship
ah that is the cause of suffering
if we grasp but we think our relationship is and we do usually think our relationship is this or that if he grasped that this is the cause of suffering
if we think we're together and dressed that
we suffer if we think we're separate and grasp that we suffer
and the there
there is a practice or simply on
graciously observing
the stories we have
about our relationships
mike if you think your separate from anybody if you think anybody's life is separate from your life he had that story if that's how things look to you
they might look that way
if there if if you can graciously graciously observed that's very graciously and thoroughly observed this story that somebody is not
the a close friend
if you can graciously observe the story as someone separate from you are a lot of people that are separate from your whatever the story is

through such a contemplation there will be opening in the story
the actual light of your relationship will come through
and set you free from believing your story about who you are
i bought a rather people are about what a tree is about what a mountain is
about what a republican is about what a democrat is
about what a buddhist is
about what enlightenment is you'll become free of all your stories
you'll become free of suffering
so is basic practice
ah aimlessly loving
ah all your stories have moment stories arising your mind
love them generously love them without trying to get anything from them or
you know give given a big field as we say
they will evolve positively under this aimless love
the stories will be condition who will then be allowed to evolve more and more positively but also your vision will get more and more ready to see the light in all your stories
there's a light in all your stories about every being in every being has light
but because we
have a mind which gives rise to a story about people the stories we have about people somewhat obscure their light
an obscure own
even now is being communicated back and forth moved by moment

this kind of practice is a practice on
in a sense it's a it's a it's a means
all right so it's a practice of initiation an initiatory practice to initiate ourselves into the actual enlightenment which is our actual relationship with beings
and it's their relationship with us
the actual relationship is the actual practice that we wish to enter
so the practice
of the buddha
is the way were all practicing together now
there is a pay up
scripture called the lotus of the true law the wonderful wonderful lotus of the true watch law and it teaches
one path of enlightenment or one vehicle
it teaches a vehicle of the buddha's
meditation or the buddhist practice
in the buddhist practice is the practice of all beings supporting each other and being supported by each other that's the buddhist practice
and in the in the school of zen that ah
closely associated with this temple
we have a practice which we call in japanese zazen where you can say sitting meditation
but it meet him and we teach this city meditation in different ways but today i would like to mention the speaking of the actual sitting meditation of the buddha
and in this sitting meditation
this practice we saw we say sometimes that in each moment of this sitting
each moment of this setting is equally whole as and practice and equally wholeness of enlightenment
but another way of saying it
is that each moment of sitting
his equally the same practice and the same enlightenment
for both the person sitting
and all beings
so the one vehicle or in some sense the one practice
which is equally the same practice for each of you and all beings
that's equally the same practice for all of us and the same enlightenment for all of us
that's the
practice of buddhist meditation

and we go on to say that on
this such a sitting meditation such a practice
such a practice which is the same practice equally the same practice for you and all beings that that practices not limited to city
it's like a hammer striking emptiness before and after
it pervades past and future is not limited to this moment
so if he could take me don't you don't have to understand it as sitting
but just that in each moment of practice
the actual buddhist practice
is the practice of the same for you and all beings

and that's the same enlightenment for you and all beings

when i say this i my mind i wasn't hearing what i do said it's a saddam
i kind of says for
how can i get a hold of such a practice which is how can i get a hold of the practice
how can i get a hold of the way i'm this i'm practicing the same as you
and i i don't think i can get a hold of it i can't get a hold of the way
i'm practicing the same way as all of you
and all trees and bears
and mountains i can't get ahold of that

if i open to it
if i open to what i can't get ahold of
i can be free
from the story
i'm me practicing in a way that's different from you
i do have a story that i practiced differently from somebody
so i can have a story that i practiced differently from my grandson
or from a muslim or from an atheist or from
a terrorist i have a story that i practice a different way than them
and if i believe that story i suffer
and i hear other people tell me stories and sounds to me like they have a story that they also practiced differently
from other beings
i hear them say that there is suffering because of the story which they have about the way they're practicing about the way they're living
the suffering big their suffering and i'd see them suffering because you're holding onto their story
that there's that they're practicing better than some people are not as good at something but not as well as some people
but basically
different basically there's some discrimination in their story which they're caught by
for that the grasping and their suffering
because of that
so basically what i'm trying to practice can encourage is an aimless loving of this story that were caught him moment by moment are aimless loving of our story
graciously observe your story right now
if you have a terrible story graciously observe it if you have a lovely pleasant story glaze gracefully observe it
if you have a terrible story don't tense up around it
if you're tensing up around it
be gracious towards tensing up around it
aimlessly love yourself as you tense up or and your story
if you have a lovely storage to a story of how skillful you're being how kind of it was being to you have support of everyone's been to you
and you feel feel happy and
graciously observe that situation that story
love that without trying to make it continue or end
aimlessly love it
and my proposal is that are picking consistently treat the story making function of our mind
fucking consistently treated in this open gracious way all of our stories will turn into light
and we will open to the actuality of our relationship with all beings
we'll open to this to the light
in this light
which is the light emerging from our relationship is the face
of the buddha it's the face of the buddhist practice
and can relax with are horrible stories
a relaxed with are magnificent
gorgeous stories that ability to be that way with our stories will prepare to be that way with the light
we will not be grasping our stories we will be taking close we will be giving close care to all of our stories without grasping we will develop a relationship with our stories
where we will give up being able to get in grasp
our stories
in that mode we can open to another reality which we can't get or grasp
but we can be realized
by this actual relationship

so in a sense i'm offering the possibility of the practice of the buddha not the possibility i'm i'm offering the proposal that the practice of the buddha is were already in it
we're already in the relationship with all beings the practice of vertical is surrounds us
but because we have
my which creates a limited version of our relationship which i'm calling stories
were blinded to it
so in order to open to them
infinite practice that we live in we have to take good care of the limited practice a finite practice their mind is up is creating the the finite world their mind is creating

but in a sense really there is only one practice it is the practice
there were doing together and we have dreams of other kinds of practices
but caring for a dream practice opens us to this unlimited
for our dreams are caring for them in a tight way in an ungracious way
attaching to are limited version is suffering
someone just recently
came and talked to me about a story that
i bet she had a story that she was a failure in her work
that was your story
if someone would come to me and told me that they have a story that their success in their work
that would be equally good example but this person's story was that they were a failure in their work
and different people would have different definitions of what would constitute failure in their work
and what would constitute success
so this person had her story of being a failure in her work and she asked me
what is right effort
and down
i started by saying you know right told you i'd say will ride ever it would be to graciously contemplate the story that you're a failure
if you have a story that your success than right ever would be to graciously
thoroughly contemplate the story
does your success
and then in both cases you would become relieved
of the story of failure in the story of success
once again if i have a story of failure it maybe it's easy to understand that if you have a story of failure and you tense up around it he suffered but it's also i proposed if you have a story of success and stiffen around it you suffer
and in both cases and in all cases of any story that you stiffen around
not only do you suffer
but you bind yourself
to your life with beings to your own story and life with all beings
story attached to it a blinds us to our undistorted
untold unspoken silent
bond with all bags and blinds us to enlightenment
once again
being gracious with your stories the terrible and wonderful you will open to the slight
you will see you will meet buddha face to face
and this face will not look like a man or woman
it will look like light
and the light will not look like light
it will be late you won't look like anything
it was look like freedom and freedom won't look like anything

but then i went on further to say to her but technically speaking right effort is one of it elements of the eightfold path that the buddha taught
right view
right intention
right action right speech written livelihood right mindfulness right effort right concentration right effort is the seventh of the eight fold path
say and it has kind of a technical i was still kind of uncomfortable because kind of technically presented by the buddha
as for parts
first part is ah
mudra i must say the slightly different than sometimes said i'll just say i usually set and try to saying another way the first one is to prevent the arising of unreason
unwholesome states lot of ons there
so i'd like to say
i would say
to a to encourage them not arising
of unwholesome stories
that have not arisen
and the next one is to encourage the dropping are letting go of unhurt
awesome stories that have arisen
and the other is to encourage the arising of wholesome stories of skillful stories that have not arisen and to encourage
the development of wholesome stories that have arisen
once again the first one is
kind of prevent the arising of unwholesome stores the other is to drop the unwholesome stories that haven't risen have arisen
to promote the arising impulsive stories and to promote the flourishing
a wholesome stories that have arisen

the way of
preventing the arising of unwholesome stories that have not arisen
is to deal with whatever story you've got in a gracious way
so for example we want to the next one if you've got an unwholesome story like a story on a wholesome story might we can't be sure you know but
you might think an unwholesome story would be
to do something
ah that would hurt you and heard beings that you really love
you might think that there was an unwholesome story unskillful story like get drunk and pile all your loved ones in the car and then drive off a road
you might think that the story among skillfulness
or you know be cruel to someone who is being nice has been kind to you
you might think that unskillful it probably is up but we can't be sure but it probably is
let's see you've got a story like that let's say or ya story i'm a failure
at being a good helper and i want to be a good helper a failure at it
that doesn't destroy of unskillful okay now if you practice generosity towards this story you really let this story be the story
you loved this story without trying to get an even the story i trying to get rid of it
he trying to give it away you're not trying to get rid of it you wanna give it away you want em you want to treat it such a way that it turns into a gift
that turns into a light
if you treat this unwholesome story that way that will all that will turn that eventually would turn the unwholesome story and delight on the spot and it also will prevent the arising over time he will gradually encouraged the nano arising of further unwholesome
not if and then again whether you're dealing with the whole story or unwholesome story if you practice is the way this encourages the arising of wholesome stories as before third one
gotta unwholesome story he treated graciously and lovingly without trying to get anything just give yourself wholly do it that promotes the arising of an of a wholesome the skillful that hasn't arisen
and then if a skillful state has arisen and you treated in this way it tends to
to reproduce or not reproduce but it tends to be a condition for another wholesome story even a more wholesome story
so the
unskillful treated graciously are abandoned skillful treated graciously
graciously lovingly
our abandoned and ten towards it
being a condition for wholesome
that's a description of right effort that working with the different types of of stories that we have
and this kind of practice is a practice of initiating ourselves into
the light of buddhist wisdom initiating ourselves into it
practice of our actual relationship with each other
my rom use a wean ourselves
from living
in our stories and holding to our stories wean ourselves from practicing in a way
matter when i met luckless a weed exactly but
to learn how to not hold on to our story of the way we practice by herself
and to open to the way we practice with all beings in the same way
which is the definition of buddha to open ourselves to buddha
which is not mean not you
it's the way you and i are practicing together in the same way that's border
that's enlightenment
i heard a story about it
ah a french boy
and might think when he was what eight years old or something like that
he might have been little older
i'm over appeared on over a fairly short period of time his eyes became starting to become dim and damn and dem and think like an a week or something he went blind so he had been able to see
you know normal way of seeing light he could see until he was but that age so when he went by and he did he had some incense experience of seeing
and then
not too long after he went blind
i remember exactly maybe it does anybody know not too long after he went blind
he's he realized he could see
and so here he wrote a book a dictated a book called and then there was light
so what am i don't know how this happened to him but somehow he ah open to this light so i could tell the story that what happened to him was that he had a story that he was a little boy living in france and that he could see
see and then he had a story that he was going blind and then he had a story and he was blind
and then that he graciously observed the story that he was blind
that he couldn't see and that he was french
and that he was a boy
he observed his stories somehow he was able to do this
by the grace of his relationship with all beings
he was able to be gracious with his story of losing his a being blind
and in that graciousness
he opened to the light
which blind people can open to and pip sighted people can open to
and he said that once he saw the light he always knew what to do
he could just see what to do and he could also actually move around to some extent in the physical world

pretty well
without using one was all keys
he knew what to do all the time because he saw this light which he hadn't seen when he could see
then he had some troublesome and before i saw this light he had some difficulty knowing what was what was appropriate to do
but when he saw this light when he saw that light he he always knew what to do
that when he became frightened
or angry
the light went away
and then he didn't know what to do
but then i would guess our
i know he would say i would guess that when the anger came in the fear came in the light went away that he was gracious with the story of the light going away of there being no light and him being afraid
afraid in the dark
afraid in the dark
afraid and angry in the dark
that he was gracious with that in in that graciousness the light came back in the fear
five actually i think it's more like this in the graciousness the fear goes away
an angle goes away
not been been gracious with your story rather than hating years to read and like a your story rather like a your bad stories are liking your good stories are liking your good stories are hating your good stores
in the graciousness towards your stories the light comes back
but if we flinch can go back in a loser graciousness the light was away again
in the light refried but doesn't mean we are habit to be ungracious is totally dropped so you can flip back into being brash ungracious
in gripping our stories about each other in ourselves and then the like goes out and we become afraid forever
we've come afraid and angry in the light goes out
along with the grasping
he he then joined the french resistance and was taken to he was he and he got caught by the not season was taken their prison on concentration camp and in the concentration
gap he was ah
you know this is
he tells a story about him being as great helper to all the other people in the camp because he could see what to do in they he he had he brought
division of light among the other inmates and he helped
he helped them deal with this terrible not this terrible to all those horrible stories
he helped them be gracious with them so that even in the midst of the most horrible stories
they can see the light and help each other
and so he did this through the war and actually there was one of at one time after the war was over and the nazis won via wanna dm
that the allies were coming in they didn't want them to see these people in these camps so they released the people
and the way that they're going to release him he could see was deaf to them so he advises inmates to not read not go the way that there'll be told to go he saw another way to go and the same you know
because of his vision because he could see he said thousands i think was thousands of inmates
from what they would have done it big
follow the instructions of their captors who are trying to hide
the situation can also
and his people will die
what if you come to zen center and gives up his instruction and sitting meditation we have a introductory sitting meditations to here at eight thirty and i think in the city center also at eight thirty and at tulsa harrods for in the afternoon
so we give this introductory instructions to people
but they we don't usually say in the introductory instruction the practice practice of sitting meditation
each moment of it
is equally the same practice and the same enlightenment of you and all beings we don't use you say that in the introductory instruction
what we usually say is when you come in the room we usually put our palms together and bow and then we held our hands like in what position cause like out this where the answer or folded the chest and we walked quietly dorsey who when we get to a seat we can join
our palms and bow tours are seated with turn clockwise and bow away from our seat and we sit down and turn clockwise to sit and then we have very seven points or posture to check on why we're city
and then we also while being aware of our pasture we notice our breathing and so on this is a kind of instruction we give and sitting meditation to beginners
it sounds a different than

please you may come in here in practice the same practice and the same enlightenment as all beings
so the private teaching i'm giving his complementing the other teaching and the other teaching is a way to tune in to a story
a story of you
coming into a room and sitting in certain posture and you paying attention to your posture and you notice in the story
and the stories that arise while you sit
and meditate in a room with some other people
and you may notice them the story of that you doing a different practice from the other people
and then as you practice you notice that you're suffering
because you have the story in your more or less holding onto it or you might notice that you have a story that you're sitting in practicing
and you're not holding onto it for some reason and your opening to the light and you know what to do
but most people don't actually open to it right away they actually have they get somewhat caught in their story and then they go to see a teacher and they tell the teacher that they're caught
and then the teacher might help them on my try to help them be gracious with the story that they're clot in the story of being as instrument
are being meditator are being good meditator or a bad manager like some people have the story that they're good meditators and that people named next to them aren't
and then a calmness that if you i feel so terrible i i think i'm a good meditator in my neighbors are lousy motives i feel so bad to think of them that way i mean i know they're not bad meditators i know they're not worthless ten students and i know i'm not better than them but i keep thinking that over and over i think what is why why did they let
these people in here
they should have a policy against people other there aren't as good as may be here
now i know that stupid but i keep thinking that way the story keeps rising and then when it's so horrible that i tense up
and i can feel totally stuck in this story that i'm the best and student in my row
or least in these receipts
and i have a nice story that there's somebody else sitting down way down to end of the world has been around long time and they're better than me i that story to that they're really good meditator they're even better than me and i can around that when to and i can i suffer with that one more fact i'm afraid to go talk to that guy
who's i am a story that he's better than me

and you're encouraged to go talk to the one that you think is better than you that you're afraid of
in a jew in that you're tense around them being better than you
you were not necessarily encouraged to go talk to the one that you think is worthless and your cancer on that
what talk to the when than you think you know it's really great immature stiffer stiff with that story and don't want to talk to them or haven't see you because if they saw you they would know
how inferior you are etc
or you could have the story actually there's a there's one other person in the room who says was who is as enlightened as me and that's the master that person's actually is in like me i think i will go see the master and let them know that they've made it to my level
but actually if you're feeling like that and you're kind of relaxed about it
and feel okay about going to say that you might also notice
but that's not true that everybody's equal to you
everybody is doing the same practice issue
you might notice that
so i'm partly telling you that when you come to his and center you'll get your two kinds of instruction one kind of destruction is instruction in becoming aware of stories and knows a good instructions
and i'm in i'm in addition same tried to be lovingly graciously aware all your stories that everybody's helping you become aware of so you can become free of them and enter into what isn't a story
a silent place
and unconstructive miss in silence and stillness of were working in perfect peace and harmony with our buildings
hate that song goes i see i see friends shaking hands saying how do you do they really
saying i love you and i think to myself what a wonderful world like that
you are more i don't know

so please
be gracious
be attentive and graces to the workings of your mind as he creates more by moment a story of your relationship with the world please take care of that
and there will be late sunday
and you will be set free
of all your good and bad stories