I always think of Hunan in Spring

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. [...] I feel moved to say many things. One thing I wish to say to you, it's a proposal that bodhisattvas, what are bodhisattvas again? Enlightening beings. What are enlightening beings again? Pardon? All of us?


Congratulations. Congratulations. We had a bodhisattva vow ceremony here on the 19th of March and people made these vows. They vowed to attain unsurpassed, complete, perfect enlightenment in order to benefit all beings. They said, in a world without friends, I will be a friend. In a world without protection, I will be a protection. In a world without refuge, I will be a refuge. In a world without a home, I will be a home. They made vows like that. Those are bodhisattva vows. Bodhisattvas are vowing beings, beings of vow.


They vow, they make these great vows. Okay? So, I propose to you that bodhisattvas are devoted wholeheartedly for caring for all living beings. And that may not be a surprise to many of you. Right? For me to make proposals like that. Bodhisattvas vow to care for everything. All living beings, of course. But they vow to take care of everything. Because bodhisattvas do not dwell in discrimination between things. So, if something appeared to be not a living being, they wouldn't really dwell in the appearance of that thing


not being a living being. And they would take care of that too. So, in particular, I suggest a bodhisattva is devoted to words. So, I imagine if I say a bodhisattva is devoted to all, to welfare of all beings, you might not be surprised. But maybe you're surprised if I say a bodhisattva is devoted to words. Might as well say all words. A bodhisattva is devoted to her breathing. She's devoted to her inhalations and exhalations. Perhaps, is that not surprising to you? That bodhisattvas are devoted to their breathing?


Are you not surprised? Not surprised. I'm reminded. You're reminded, yeah. I got a message that somebody's mother had fallen and broken her hip, so I called the person to check in to see how he was. And after he told me about how he was taking care of his mother, he said, I want to thank you for saying the same thing over and over to us without ever getting bored. It's just so wonderful that you you always seem to enjoy saying the same thing over and over. Bodhisattvas are devoted to all beings. Bodhisattvas are devoted to all words. However, or in addition to that,


they do not dwell in the beings that they are devoted to. They are wholeheartedly devoted to all beings, and they do not dwell in anything, even the beings that they are devoted to. So, maybe it's simple to understand that their devotion to the welfare of all beings, their willingness to do anything to help people, that sounds like compassion. But they also practice wisdom. They practice the perfection of wisdom, so that their compassion is unhindered. And the perfection of wisdom is not dwelling, the perfection of wisdom is not dwelling in anything. The perfection of wisdom is not dwelling in anything. And if we're not dwelling in anything, that's the perfection of wisdom. Bodhisattvas are committed to that practice too.


So, they take care of words, they take care of words wholeheartedly, unstintingly, thoroughly, carefully, compassionately, and they don't dwell in them. Bodhisattvas use words without dwelling in them. Or, Bodhisattvas aspire to use words without dwelling in them. And if they find themselves dwelling, then they confess and repent, and go back to try to use words without dwelling in them. This is a proposal from me to you, which you might not be able to find in a scripture. But what you can find in a scripture is, a Bodhisattva who courses in perfect wisdom


does not review any reality behind words. And, in consequence, does not dwell in them. That's from the Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines. Yes, Laurie? I just wanted you to say that again. I will, yeah. I'll say it again, I'll say a compact version of it, and then I'll expand it. The compact version of it is, a Bodhisattva... I'll do compacted, and then unpack it, and expand it twice. A Bodhisattva does not dwell in words. A Bodhisattva who courses in the Perfection of Wisdom


does not dwell in words. A Bodhisattva who courses in the Perfection of Wisdom does not review any reality behind the words. And, in consequence, does not dwell in them. So, basically, Bodhisattvas do not dwell in words. They don't dwell in anything, and also they don't dwell in words. Bodhisattvas who course in Perfect Wisdom do not dwell in words. Not dwelling in words is coursing in Perfection of Wisdom. But, it adds this thing, the Bodhisattvas who are coursing in Perfect Wisdom do not review a reality behind the words, and, in consequence of that, they don't dwell in them. So, there's a little instruction in there,


in addition to the instruction of Bodhisattvas don't dwell in anything, in addition to the instruction that there's no abode in words, it says they don't review a reality behind them. And that way of looking at words is conducive to not dwelling in them. And it's quite difficult to learn how to do that. But you said, I don't see a reality behind it, so I need to foresee there is a reality behind it. Yes, so here's an example. I don't remember exactly when it happened. I think it might have happened on Thursday. There's a class in Berkeley, at the Yoga Room, on the Mother of all Buddhas,


which is what? The Perfection of Wisdom. And I think it was after the class, I'm not sure, and I sort of had my eyes closed, and this thought arose in my mind. I don't remember if the thought was, I'm tired, or if it was, I'm hungry. Maybe. But it really seemed like, I was there being tired. It really seemed like, that there was somebody who was me, who was there, who was tired. It really seemed real. But I remember the teaching which is, the Bodhisattva doesn't review a reality behind the words. What are the words?


I'm tired. But it seemed like there was actually something in addition to the words, I'm tired. It did, it's like, I'm tired, like there's I'm tired, and there's somebody there in addition to I'm tired. Rather than I'm tired, is actually the picture of me. That the me is I'm tired. If you take away the I'm tired, there would be no me there. But when you bring in the word I'm tired, it's like there's somebody there. And it seems like there's somebody more than those words I'm tired. Bodhisattvas do not review that there's somebody in addition, or behind, or underneath, or next door to I'm tired. But I'm tired seems, it seems so real.


I was shocked. I thought, wow. That really seems sincerely, like there's somebody there that's more than just the words. And I thought, wow. But the teaching says, that these words are pictorial, that the sense of me that was there is a pictorial representation of how words work. Words can actually conjure up a sense of somebody's there. And there is that, there are the words, and there is the conjuring. But there's nothing behind the conjuring. That's the teaching from this perfect wisdom. I hope you got some good exercise there. The phrase does not review, it doesn't make sense to me. Does not see. Does not imagine.


You could say view, maybe that's easy for you. But the translation that I have here, it says review. In other words, they don't view and they don't view again. What don't they view? A reality behind the words. So, if we look into ourselves, we may see a picture of somebody there. It seems like there's somebody there who's talking or listening or sitting. And that picture is a representation of the way our words, our grammar operates. The picture that appears in the mind of the self is a picture


of a turn of the words. But, most people think there's somebody in addition to the... that the picture of the person is something in addition to the words. Bodhisattvas train at the teaching of there isn't something behind the words. There isn't something behind the picture of the person and the picture of the person. When I said I'm hungry or I'm tired or whatever it was, there was not a picture of a guy with blonde hair, blonde wavy hair, which I used to have. There wasn't a picture of a bald old man. There wasn't a picture of a lovely young woman or an old lady. There wasn't a picture of a muscle man or an emaciated, demented old man.


There was no pictures of man. There was just all there was at that moment in the consciousness. The salient thing was I'm tired and that seemed really sincere and it seemed like there was somebody there. And I really kind of felt like it's something more than just I'm tired. But again, if you take away the I'm tired, there would be nobody there. There is somebody there, but all it was was I'm tired. The identity of that person was those words, I'm tired. And generally people think there's something more to the person than words. So that's part of what I wanted to start by talking to you about. I have a little practice for you,


which is count the number of times you raised your hand. In the future. Probably you didn't count earlier, right? Three. No, it was about six or ten. How many times did you raise your hand? Three. I think she was only three. But just for your information, I was counting. Just counting, I was not adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing, which I could get into. There's no set thing. There's no set thing. But I want you to know, I am sometimes aware of some things. But if you think that I'm not aware, you can scream. Or if you think I'm not aware, you can tell me that somebody is raising their hand. Because sometimes I miss it. Like if Eileen was raising her hand, I might have missed it. Did you raise your hand? No. But I saw Karen and Barbara.


Yes, Barbara? I'm not telling you to reduce the number of times. I'm just suggesting you be aware. Observe. See if in your consciousness, you see yourself raising your hand. And notice how many times. Yes? When you say, I'm hungry. The I'm hungry is real. I'm not saying... Just a second, just a second. I want to point out, she said, when you say. So they're the words, I'm hungry. The words, I'm hungry. The reality is you go feed yourself, you've got a body, your body's hungry. That's the reality, yeah. So words aren't an illusion. In that moment, I'm hungry is real. Words are conventional truth. And the statement, I'm hungry, is really those words. But it's not really hunger. It's not really hunger.


There's no like reality of hunger. You know. And there's not a reality of the I am hungry in addition to the words, I'm hungry. And when that statement, I'm hungry, arose in the mind, in the consciousness, I did not think at that time, I said that. That I didn't do. I could have. I could have thought, oh, I'm saying. No, I could have said, I say. I say I'm hungry. I could have said that. Or somebody else could have said. I didn't say it out loud, but somebody who could read my mind could say, you said, I'm hungry. But in this particular example, there was just, I'm hungry. Or I'm tired. And it was really sincere. Whatever it was. But I was struck


because I had just done this class on perfect wisdom. And there was exactly what the, I saw what Bodhisattvas do not view. I was not looking with Bodhisattva eyes, but the teaching showed me that. The eyes I was looking were, here's this sincere statement, I'm tired. So sincere. But there was no sincere person in addition to those words. But it seemed like there was. And I thought, it's so real. And that is part of our life, is that it seems so real that there's something in addition to our action. The self, in consciousness, is an actor. And the actor often thinks that their actions are something


in addition to them. But of course, you can't have an actor without their actions. If you take away the action, you lose the actor. They're not two different things. But, an action is often words. Like, I'm practicing Zen. But in Zen, in Zen, we say that I'm practicing Zen, there's no self in addition to that. That is the self. And the self is just words. It's not that we don't have a self, it's just that the self is not in addition to what the self seems to be saying. Also, what just popped in the mind was, and I could have said what just popped in my mind, but I edited it for your sake.


I said what popped into consciousness was one time in Japan, and again I could say, one time when I was in Japan, I experienced a thought. And the thought was nodokawaita. Anybody speak Japanese here? Nodokawaita. This thought arose in the mind. And I thought, or there was the thought, see, there was the thought, but in consciousness, when there is a thought, it's like I thought, or I think. I thought, what does that mean? That Japanese word, I didn't know what it meant. Did your husband speak Japanese? No. Her name is Umazawa, but she doesn't speak Japanese. Don't be confused. Nodokawaita,


I knew it was Japanese, but I didn't know what it meant. And this, this thing arose in my mind, and I didn't think, at that time, I thought that, or I said that. I didn't think that. It was like a visitor. But that was who I was at that time. I was thinking the thought, and I didn't know what the thought, what the words meant. And then I remembered what the words meant. It literally means throat is dry. Nodokawaita is throat. Kawaita, no, kawaita means has become dry. The throat has become dry. It's a Japanese expression for I'm thirsty. The throat is thirsty. And then, when I found out what it meant, I realized I was thirsty.


My study of Japanese had produced the right words for me at that time, for my body. I didn't know what the words meant. When I found out what they meant, I thought, oh yeah. And then I did it in English. I'm thirsty. But in all these cases, in nodokawaita, in seeing what it meant, and then to say it in English, in all these cases, the Bodhisattva does not review a reality to the thirstiness or to the person who is thirsty that's behind the words. And that's what it takes. That training is what it takes to not abide in I'm thirsty, I'm tired. So, good luck. See you in nirvana. John?


You said that. Sese? Yes. So you said that the self was an actor. The takeaway of action is the actor. And I was wondering then if you could say that the self is acting. The self is a verb. The self is not a noun. So... No, I won't say that. I'll say the self is a process. But I won't even say it's not a noun because nouns can be in the process. I hit the ball. You can also say I hit. But the noun is somewhat implied. You hit something. So, you can put the noun in or not, but there's often nouns even if you don't say them. So, the process can include verbs, nouns, subjects, objects.


A noun can be the object of the subject. The full function of language and grammar can occur and the bodhisattva does not reveal a self behind it. And the self is in that process of language. It's in it. It's not behind it. And also, there's not a reality of the action behind the action of the words of the action. I practice Zen. There's not a practice of Zen behind those words. There's not a self practice of Zen behind those words. The practice of Zen is sometimes involved saying I practice Zen. Or I would like to practice Zen. I aspire to practice Zen. In other words, I aspire to say, I aspire to Zen without thinking that there's something in addition to what's just been said.


That's practicing Zen. And to say that's practicing Zen, there's not a Zen in addition to that statement. Zen is realizing that there's no Zen in addition to the word Zen. There's no Zen center in addition to the word Zen center. And yet the word Zen center or the word Nobode temple in the mind makes a picture and there it is. Now can you see that that picture is a representation of the word? It's a picture that's evoked by the word Nobode monastery, Nobode hermitage, Nobode sangha. Can you see the pictures? Nobode sangha. Can you see the picture? I can see the Nobode sangha.


And I can also say that there's a temptation and certainly a strong habit to think that there's some sangha in addition to the word Nobode sangha. But there is a recognition of the activity that's occurring that these pictures are forming. There's a consciousness of when we say Nobode it brings this picture of this sangha together. There's a picture coming forth that's forming and there's some recognition of that activity even though there's no basis behind it. Yes. And that's just talk. The Buddha is saying and that picture is just talk. That's what Buddha said. That picture, all these things, all the phenomena that are appearing in consciousness are just talk. He doesn't say reality is just talk. He's saying that the appearance


of things in consciousness are just talk. And if you can accept that and understand that you're open to reality which is not just talk. But the word reality is just a word. And there's no reality behind the word reality. The word Buddha is just a word and there's no Buddha, there's no reality of Buddha behind the word Buddha. Understanding that is what we generally call Buddha. Yes, Breck. You know what that is, right? It's a word. It's a word. And we're devoted to that word. And I'm not behind it. How does how does


how does this relate to a resulting action? So, hunger. The thought arises there's hunger. Yeah. And then an action pursuant to that action that thought could be eaten. Yeah. So, if there's nothing behind the words hunger does that relate in any way to... There's no reality behind the word hunger. In a sense there's no reality to the word hunger in addition to the word hunger. But there there are it's not that there's nothing behind it because there's causes and conditions which give rise to I'm hungry. There's causes and conditions in this case that gave rise to Nodokawaita which gave rise to I'm thirsty. but that's that causal process is not behind the words.


It's how the words are made. But the words themselves there's the reality of those words does not come from that there's something behind it. So again, the meaning of the process of my body the meaning of it was Nodokawaita I'm thirsty. The meaning that's meaningful to you. But there's not a thing behind at your life at that moment of making sense of your body by the words I'm hungry. There's nothing behind those words hungry. I'm hungry. There's nothing behind that word I'm hungry. But there is a causal process that gives rise to it. There's nothing behind yourself but there's a causal process which makes it. So myself was right there when I said I'm tired. It was right there. And there's a causal process which led to that linguistic statement.


And there's also a causal process which leads to a feeling that there's somebody more than the that's got the words I heard the words I didn't say it out loud I heard the words in my mind. I'm tired. A very sincere event in my life. Very real. And those words were a causal process. And the self that I was who I was was the I'm hungry. That's who I was. And there's a causal process which made me be that way. What I'm pointing to is there's also the feeling that there was somebody in addition to the person who was feeling who was having that experience who was having that idea. And there isn't. There's nobody behind I'm hungry. Can you take away the I'm hungry? There's no person. The person has action.


The actor has action. But it's a process and you can't get a hold of the person aside from the action. But if you think that there's a person in addition to the action I'm hungry is an action. If you think there's a person in addition to it that's the mistake. If you think there's a person in addition to the action. The self has actions but the self is not in addition to the actions. If the self has no actions it doesn't exist. But as you may able to look inside and notice that you do have the action of thinking that you do things. You can see oh I think I do things. I think. I think. Therefore I am. Yes.


Excuse me. I think therefore I I think therefore I am but I now we say now but I am nothing but the I is nothing in addition to the thinking. That's the Buddhist part. Yes. Thinking is arising. Thoughts that were that gave rise to this person who was tired at that moment. That became a Zen. You know there was somebody who was something that was interested in Zen. So how does how does so I'm thinking about how those two things fit together in this very moment. Some things are arising. Someone is arising saying hunger. I'm hungry. And then there's


all the previous cause and effect that brings that certain form to it at that time. Yes. So you wouldn't you wouldn't call that a person in the way that we're so anyway I'm thinking about how those two things are together. I wouldn't at this point anyway in responding to your question I wouldn't say that the causal process that led to the thought I'm I'm tired or I'm hungry I wouldn't say that that causal process is a person. I wouldn't say that. But maybe later I will say it. But right now I'm not going to say it. So the causal process that leads to the thought in my mind or yours I'm tired I'm hungry I'm sad the causal process


which leads to that is the Buddha has taught it's inconceivable. The causal process the karmic causal process that leads to the arising of I'm thirsty is inconceivable. Just like you know Nodokawaita How did that happen? Well, I studied Japanese for a little while and also I went to Japan and so in Japan I thought Nodokawaita. But the causal process by which how I got on the airplane how I studied Japanese in the United States in America all that stuff how it all works together so that you can speak Japanese or speak English and how you do or do not have lunch and how you do or do not go to the yoga room and give a class and you know energetically talk to people and then go get in your car


where the thought arises I'm tired or whatever it was you could have been tired or hungry or thirsty all those could have arose I don't remember which one it was but they would all be not too surprising thoughts what was surprising about it was number one the wholehearted sincerity of I'm tired it was just it was vividly sincere and then boom the noticing that I thought there was somebody in addition to it what led to that is inconceivable however talking about what I talked about in the class was a condition for it but not every time that you go to a class and talk about this very thing do you then get in your car and it pops up a perfect example of it actually a perfect counter example so now I say a bodhisattva does not view a reality behind her words


you hear that teaching I said it several times today but then later during lunch or during work period the thought might arise in your mind I'm touching the earth with my hands and it might be really sincere and you might say and I think there's something behind this I think there's somebody more than the statement I'm touching the earth so you can say the conditions for that insight have something to do with hearing this teaching but how does that work I don't know how does it work that we have words for our bodily state well the basic theory is you got a body and the body has evolved to have cognitive processes which serve the body which make images of the body and then that cognitive process has developed to a point where it created consciousness and then in consciousness


we have this wonderful idea of an actor and an action but in the body there's not an idea of an actor and an action in an unconscious process there really isn't any appearance there's a concept maybe but there isn't the appearance of an actor and an action and they certainly don't appear to be separate when the body is moving it's not like there's somebody in addition to this movement but in the mind you can say oh yeah I'm moving it looks like that but what I'm saying here is the appearance of the movement is linguistic it's the way grammar works and it's a reality it's conventional truth it is true that it does seem like there's somebody who's hungry but that somebody who's hungry is a picture of I'm hungry


a beautiful vivid picture I'm hungry and the teaching says now watch do you think that that I'm is in addition to that picture and yeah and do you think the picture is in addition to the words yeah well this is saying it's not in addition I want to tell a story before lunch so I see some people raising their hands did you count them? the times you raised did you count thank you so here's the story which also I told I have a memory there's a memory here there's a memory in the mind I have the memory that's myself