Just Sitting

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.


A Dharma talk by Tenshin Roshi for a gathering of the No Abode community

AI Summary: 

In a lecture within the No Abode community, the core practice of 'just sitting' is expounded, drawing from teachings by Suzuki Roshi. 'Just sitting' is presented not only as a physical act but as an all-pervading state of practice embodying peace, freedom, and intimate communion among sentient beings and Buddha. Emphasis is given to the continuous dialogue—calling and responding—between individual experiences and all beings, including Buddhas. Major challenges discussed involve accepting personal experiences and the continuous engagement with our karmic realities, which are intrinsic to awakening and freedom. The lecture stresses the dynamic yet perplexing interchange between sentient beings and enlightenment, highlighting the perpetual journey toward understanding and participating in this deep interconnectedness.

- Mentioned texts or figures:
- Suzuki Roshi
- Siddhartha
- Reference to Dostoevsky's views on richness and spiritual isolation

AI Suggested Title: "Just Sitting: Interconnectedness and Awakening in Zen Practice"


I wanted to say something about the interviews. I'm having trouble getting to chance to talk to all the people to sign up. I'm sorry for the times I haven't been able to see some of you, so I'm trying to have the meetings be more brief, so you may not be used to that, but I'm trying to see everybody today and you know, so that's, I'm sorry. Christiane or Homa, could you move that way about six inches? Christiane, which might mean Homa moves a little bit. Yeah. Yes. Pardon? I don't have a microphone, but I can talk louder. How's this? Is this better? And if you have trouble hearing, raise your hand and I'll speak louder.


Okay. Okay, so something that the dear teacher Suzuki Roshi said to us back during the time when he was alive was that our practice is just to sit, and he said other things beside that, of course, but then he also said, but that may be rather difficult to understand. So we say just to sit, and a child might


know it. Oh yeah, I know what just to sit means, but it's not so easy to understand what just sitting means, Suzuki Roshi said, and I agree. I mean, it's easy to understand what you think just sitting is. That's pretty easy. It comes naturally. Most of us have some idea about what just sitting means. Again, like a child, you say, just sit, and they go, okay, I know what that is, and I don't want to do it. I want to move, but just sitting does not have any separation from a moving child or a jumping adult. Our practice is something that's perfect


and all-pervading, and one of the nicknames that we have for this practice, which is perfect and all-pervading, one of the nicknames is just sitting. So I thought I would say some things about possible understandings of the practice, which is called just sitting. But again, just sitting is a family name for something that's all-pervasive and perfect and reaches everywhere, which is also called the Buddha way or the way of perfect peace and freedom and understanding.


So today I say to you, and thank you for coming to meet me so I can say this to you, and I wouldn't be saying this if you weren't here. Our practice, which we call just sitting, is an intimate communion between we sentient beings and other sentient beings, and we sentient beings in communion with Buddha, in communion with perfect all-pervading awakening and freedom and peace. Just sitting is an intimate transmission of sentient beings


and Buddhas. Just sitting involves our experience and it includes our experience completely and it includes that our experience is addressing other beings. Our experience is our experience and our experience is calling out to other beings, all of them. Just sitting is our experience calling out to all other experiencers. Just sitting is, again, is that two words? Referring


to the fact that all day long, from beginningless time, our experience has been an intimate communion with all beings and our experience has been calling to all other beings every moment and other beings have been responding to us. For example, our experience when we were little babies was sometimes being uncomfortable and going, ah, that was our discomfort, even before we cried, was calling. And then when we called, we were calling and somebody was listening to us and responding to us. But still, we didn't understand that when we were babies and we're now having trouble understanding it still. What does it mean that our experience


right now is being offered to all beings, is that our experience right now is addressing the Buddhas? And just sitting includes that they're responding to our right now offering to all Buddhas. Right now we are offering our experience to all great awakenings and they are responding to us. We are calling and they are listening. Also, they are calling us, the Buddhas are calling us, and we're listening. Right now, Buddhas are calling to us and we're listening. This calling and responding is called just sitting. Today, it's called just sitting, and it has been called just sitting in the past, and it's difficult to


understand that. That's why I'm saying it again, and that's why Suzuki Rishi said it again and again, because it's referring to reality and it's hard for us to understand it. Now, a big part of how it's hard is that it's hard to accept our experience. So, if we don't accept our experience, it makes it really hard to understand how our experience is calling to all beings and how all beings are calling to us. We kind of need


to take our seat in the middle of our experience in order to understand what our experience is doing. What is our experience doing? It is completely still and it is also offered to all beings. It is completely still and it's listening to all beings. There is tremendous activity right now in this experience of intimate transmission, and sometimes I talk to people about taking their seat in their experience, taking their Dharma seat where they are right now, which is also the site of awakening. I talk to people about that


when they are showing me, when they are giving me their experience, and then sometimes they say, it's so hard. What's hard? Just being here completely with this experience, it's hard. And then I usually say, yeah, nothing's harder. Nothing's harder than being the deluded, confused, narrow-minded, karmic consciousness that I am. That's my experience, and it's hard to completely embrace that. Even though, of course, I already am completely embracing that and it's completely embracing me, and the me that it's embracing could be somebody


who says, I want to be someplace else. I don't want to be here for this. I have some resistance to this experience, and when I think I have some resistance to this experience, I think right now that I can wholeheartedly embrace the resistance, and the resistance is calling for wholehearted embrace. The resistance wants to be listened to and observed and welcomed and embraced totally. That's what it wants from everybody, and it's offering itself for this embrace. But it's hard, because part of our experience, again, is, get me out of


here. I don't want this. I don't want this. I don't want this experience. I don't want this pain. I don't want to be a deluded person. I'm not a deluded person. Don't tell me I'm a deluded person. I don't like being a deluded person. I'm done with being a deluded person. This, of course, is just the same thing over and over and over and over. Karmic entanglement, karmic prison. We are in karmic prison, and in karmic prison, a lot of the prisoners do not like being there. The food's not good. The body's hurting. Nobody likes me. Not only am I in prison, but I'm a below-average prisoner. Or not only am I in prison, but I'm so much


better than the other prisoners. It's so sickening that I have to hang out with these people who are not as good at being in prison as I am. Such things go on in prison. Have you noticed? It's hard to be here. And Buddha, it's not exactly that Buddha wants us to be here. Buddha sees that we are here. And Buddha sees that we are here in the state of being deluded sentient beings. Buddha sees that we are there. And Buddha looks at us, and Buddha says, I'm just like you. You are my children. You are my offspring. Just as you


are. I see you are Buddha. You're just like me. That doesn't mean that when you hear that, it suddenly is easy to be the sentient being that we are. Sometimes it might be easier. I told you sometimes, I did have this experience in the summer of 1970. I had an experience of, it's not hard. There was a moment there when like, oh, it's not hard being here. Wow. It had been hard up to that point from beginningless time. And then it wasn't hard. That happened. But then I thought, maybe I'm becoming psychotic. So I went to Siddhartha and said, it seems like it's not hard. Am I missing something? Am I spacing? I don't think I said am I spacing out, but am I in denial about


the suffering of the universe? And you remember what he said? I told this story before, some of you've heard it. Do you remember what he said? Do you remember what he said? Yeah, right. So he said, maybe for you now, maybe now for you, it's not hard. He didn't say, yeah, you're in denial. He said, yeah, maybe, maybe, maybe it's not hard. Let's be open to that possibility. It could happen. However, it also is hard. Doesn't mean like it's hard when it disappeared, when it's not hard. And again, do you know what he said? Do you know what he said after, maybe that's the way it is for you? Do you know what he did next? Yeah, he just told me about origami. He didn't, I don't


know if he took a piece of paper, but he says, when we do origami, we make the folds, which can be quite difficult, but then after we make the fold, we just press on the fold, and pressing on the fold is not difficult. Some of the most difficult folds a child maybe can't do, but a child can press on a fold. And so, yeah, so I think he was just saying that it's time for you just to sort of press on this fold. It's not hard, that's great. Not hard means you're just pressing, you're just settling down, and you actually have settled, and you're just sitting on all the folds. And I don't know if he said it, but I thought, I wonder when the next fold's going to be, which


will be hard. And the next fold came the next day. The leaders of Zen Center asked me to leave Tassajara and go to the City Center to be the director of the City Center, and I went to Siddhigarishan and I said, the next fold has come. So, once we actually are willing to take our seat, which involves, often or usually, it involves confessing that we are uncomfortable and that we have done lots of things to distract ourselves from being here. From beginningless time, I've been doing stuff which is basically trying to get away from here. In other


words, karma. The karma of trying to get away from our life. I've done that a lot, and I've noticed some other people have done that and are still doing it right in my face. How can I get out of here? I don't want this, I don't want this, I don't want that, I don't want that. Well, that not wanting, that's more distraction, but that I don't want this is calling to us and the Buddhas to be embraced fully and transformed. So, we have this practice which we have referred to earlier this morning, the practice of revealing


and disclosing our lack of practice and faith. Practice of what? Of not running away from our experience, the practice of sitting in our experience, moment after moment after moment, trying to be present. That's the practice, and we have passed on that. We have not been loyal to that practice quite a few times. So, there's a practice to reveal that we're trying to not do the practice, or not even trying, yes trying, but also just forgetting to do the practice or avoiding doing the practice. So, we confess that and then if we feel sorry we say,


I'm sorry, I've been trying to get away from this life, I'm trying to get away from this life which is my experience, which is my relationship with all beings, I've been trying to get away from my relationship with all beings, I've been trying to get away from some beings who are my experience, my experience is other beings and I've been trying to get away from it because it's hard. Other beings are challenging us, they're calling to us, they're asking us and telling us so much. And I confess I have sometimes, and maybe even now, tried to get away from my experience, trying to get away from these people, or that person, or that dog, or that rat,


or that confusion, or that fear. I have tried to get away from my experience and I'm sorry. I've heard that that's not my job, to try to get away from what I am. My job is to be present with it so I can help all beings in this great intimate transmission. I want to participate in this for the welfare of all beings, to help everybody participate in it, but the price of admission is so hard. I've got to be me now and now and now and now, in order to partake of this intimate communion,


in order to partake of Buddha being with us all the time, looking at us and telling us, you're just like me. You having difficulty being present, I'm just like you, I'm not the least bit different. I don't have any difficulty, I have no resistance to anything or anybody, I'm completely free and at peace and full of joy, the Buddha says, and you're just like me, even though you say I'm not free, I'm having a hard time. You're just like me, Buddha sees and Buddha says, but we have to stop resisting for a moment to receive and to hear that Buddha's telling us that right now. Right now Buddha is telling us that we're just like Buddha.


And if you're here, you're being here completely, that is hearing the Buddha. I think it was before I went to my first practice period at Tassajara, Suzuki Resshi was giving a talk at the temple called Sokoji on Bush Street and sometimes he gave the talks in the main chapel of the ... it was a synagogue actually and it had a chapel with pews and he was giving a talk down where the pews were. So some people were sitting in the pews and he was standing and then another people like me were sitting on the floor in front of him. And yeah, I wouldn't say he was talkative, but sometimes his Dharma talks went on for a long time.


I think the one I was thinking of, it had been going on about an hour and a half, 45 minutes. And he was listening to the people he was talking to and he was inviting them to express themselves so he could hear us. And so after an hour and 45 minutes, this rather new Zen student who had been sitting in full lotus during that hour and 45 minutes that young person was experiencing some pain and he raised his hand and he said to Suzuki Resshi, Is the suffering of the Zen teacher and the suffering of the Zen student the same or different? And he said, the same.


And that's what I wanted him to say, so he played right into my hand. And he wasn't sitting cross-legged, he was standing. I don't know if he was in pain, I don't know. I don't know. But his suffering, whatever it was, he said, was the same as mine. Your suffering is the same as mine. Being in this together, all of us being in this together, that is Buddha. Being in communion, we're identical and we, each of us, have various ideas of difference.


That's going on, and that's part of why it's so difficult. Difference can be difficult, and that difficulty is where we sit. And as we sit there, again, in this difficult spot, more or less unlimited resistance comes up, because there's unlimited pain. That's where we sit. Our job is to just sit there. And then I'm proposing that if we accept our responsibility to be where we are, we will wake up to the Buddha's being there all along. We will wake up to the ungraspable, unthinkable, unnameable, indestructible, just sitting.


Just kidding. Just complete communion, peace and freedom. It's with us all the time. The Buddhas are free. They are at peace. They are relaxed. They are joyful. And they see all of us, and they have no resistance to the infinite realms of resistance. They embrace them all, and they give teachings to help people realize that they are there with us, and we are there with them, always. And they're patient with us, not accepting our responsibility. And they mention to us, it's good to confess when you're not accepting ... I'll put it this way. They're talking to us this way. It's good for you to accept when you are not accepting your responsibility.


Buddhas don't usually say this. It's good for me to confess when I'm not accepting my responsibility. But Buddhas do accept their responsibility, and they're encouraging us to do the same. And confessing and repenting our unwillingness to be completely present is the pure and simple color of true practice. It's the true body of faith, the true mind of faith. I am a deluded sentient being, and I wasn't accepting that. I was trying to be at least a little bit less deluded, which of course is one of the most prototypic forms of delusion, to try to be less deluded, or even not deluded at all.


We are trapped in a prison of wishing to be out of prison. We are trapped in a delusion of trying to be out of delusion. That's quite normal. What's kind of amazing and not so common is for a sentient being to accept being like a sentient being. That's kind of not that common. It's a rare thing. But all of us have a chance to do this every moment, for us living beings to accept being a living being. Then we're at the seat of awakening. And if we're not doing that job, we confess that we're avoiding our responsibility, and that practice helps us be here. I confess I'm trying to get away. Confessing that you're trying to get away liberates us from trying to get away,


and opens us to the freedom of the Buddhas, which is always available, but it's hard to be at the place where the freedom is being delivered. And so people say, it's so hard. And I say, yes, it is. And that's normal. Occasionally it might not be hard. You might just like be there, not resisting, and you kind of go like, wow, this is like really amazing. I'm not trying to make things better or worse. I'm like just here. It's not even I'm here. There's just being here. There's just finding the place right where we are, with all difficulties.


That's the Buddha, sitting in the middle of all difficulties, just like that. And we are there too. So that's, and again, we confess and repent our way to our seat. Now, each of us just has endless experiences, endless variety, and they're all asking us to be there for the experience. And then if we can do that, then we open to the fact that our experience is given to us by all beings. And our experience is given to all beings. All beings constitute us. We constitute all beings. Here's the communion, which is already the case.


Okay, I see in the outer realms, I see hands raised. Charlie is number one. I feel like running away. Okay. Is it okay to run away? And if you stay, it's better than running away. So he said, I heard him say, I don't know if he said it, but I heard him say, I feel like running away. If I feel like running away, is it okay to run away? Okay, so I would take, how about changing it to, if I feel like it's like running away, can I run away? I don't want to get into saying you're okay or not okay, all right?


I'm not judging you. But if I wish to run away, can I run away? I would say, no, you cannot. However, wanting to run away is a normal karmic consciousness. And then actually running away is another normal karmic consciousness. But it's unsuccessful. Karmic consciousness cannot run away. Sentient beings who have karmic consciousness cannot run away, but they can try. In other words, they can dream, I am running away. They can dream that, but in fact, moment after moment, they're right where they are. And where I am right now is I am running away. That's where I'm at. That's my delusion. I'm running away.


And then there can be many varieties of that, like, it's not that hard running away. This delusion is not that hard. I'm enjoying it. But it's also a delusion that I'm running away from where I am. So this is another wave to ride, the wave of I want to run away and now I am running away. I was deluded this way and now I'm deluded ... I was deluded that way and now I'm deluded this way. And I'm here. I'm here, completely, running away. So I see there's a little bit of contradiction here. Charlie? Pardon? The thought that staying is better than running away, that's a normal thought of sentient beings.


Sentient beings have thought ... pardon? You feel like that. And I'm suggesting to you, I cannot run away from your question. I cannot. I might want to and you might say that I am, but I actually don't ... right now I do not want to. But even though I don't want to, you say I am. And I'm not running away from you accusing me of running away. I'm okay with you telling me, hey, you're running away from my question. And I'm not trying to talk you into saying, no, he's not running away from my question. He's right here with my question. I'm not trying to get you to sign that document. He didn't run away from my question. But I am saying to you, I do not run away from your questions, even when I want to run away from your questions because maybe they're hard, or maybe I don't know the answer, or maybe I have to go to the toilet.


In reality, we are not running away from each other's questions. We are calling to each other and listening to each other. And one of the things we're listening to is somebody saying, I want to run away, and also I would like to get some confirmation that it's okay if I run away. And I think somebody might be able to give you that confirmation. Charlie Wilson, it's okay for you to run away. Somebody might say that to you. But I'm kind of more interested in, you want to run away? I'm here with you. Buddha is with you when you're wanting to run away, and Buddha is with you when you're trying to find out, is it better to stay than to run away? But staying is karmic consciousness, and running away is karmic consciousness. Staying is, we're not staying, we actually don't stay, we are here. But you don't have to stay to be here.


Matter of fact, staying might help you, might make it more difficult for you to realize that you're here again someplace else. So it's not about staying, it's more like being generous and courageous and honest and so on with where I am, which includes me sometimes saying, I want to get out of here. I want to escape. That's a perfectly good seat to sit. So, Raci? I really appreciate the talk today, the parts I understand and the ones I don't. I'm appreciating all of them. I'm thinking that when I came to practice, which is quite a while ago now, I judged just about everybody and everything,


pretty much all the time, especially myself. Did you say that you had this awareness that judging is going on a lot about almost everything? I did. In the past you thought that? Yeah, I'm not admitting doing it now or not. Oh, okay. But I'm saying it was very strong for me 40 years ago, very strong. Judging people was very strong? Yeah, especially myself. Especially yourself. And I'm thinking, oh, that's bad, you shouldn't be judging yourself. So I came to Zen. And one of the windows that opened for me was the idea that I didn't need to judge myself, that I could forgive myself. And that was huge. It was like unthinkable. It was unthinkable for me, part of that. Today, though, I'm thinking, I want to know, is confession and repentance the same as forgiveness or self-forgiveness?


Is forgiveness even a thing in our practice? That's bucket one. And then bucket two that came next was, what do you think about spiritual bypass? Is that a thing? Those are two separate but very interesting questions I'm having right now. Well, relating to the term spiritual bypass, which was coined in Marin County by John Wellwood. What does it mean? For example, here's a spiritual bypass. You practice, for example, maybe you practice doing prostrations to the Buddha, or you practice making offerings to the Buddha. But your motivation there is to get away from your suffering. Rather than take drugs or go jogging, or maybe I shouldn't say going jogging,


but usually we don't call taking drugs spiritual bypass. It's more like to use spiritual practices for the purpose that people use drugs and alcohol and nicotine and etc. That you're actually doing something which is not usually considered a worldly activity, like offering to Buddhas. But you make the offering so you don't have to feel your pain. And actually, before the spiritual bypass kicks in, you're still feeling pain while you're offering to Buddha. But when the activity of the concentration of making offerings, when that samadhi takes you into a calm place, you actually can realize that you went to that calm place to avoid your suffering. Not going to the concentration in order to be present for your suffering.


So spiritual bypass is like when we use spiritual techniques or spiritual practices, which are spiritual practices. For example, the spiritual practice of respecting other people. It's a spiritual practice. The spiritual practice of being generous with other people and yourself. It's a spiritual practice. But when you do it to avoid your suffering, then it's a bypass. Of course, you didn't really succeed, but it felt like it. And thank you, spiritual practice, for giving me a pass on my suffering. Here we got our life, we got our experience, and in our experience we use certain activities so we don't have to be here. I also heard Dostoevsky say that the rich tend to isolation and spiritual disaster


or spiritual death, maybe. The rich people can isolate themselves from certain kinds of suffering, but that is the death of their spiritual life. Spiritual life offers the opportunity to completely embrace our psychological and physiological stress and suffering. But you can use that, some of the same practices, to avoid embracing our suffering. And forgiveness, I think it's a big topic, but I say basically what's more kind of like salient in the Buddhist tradition is confession and repentance is practice. And it's not trying to get anything, including forgiveness.


But, you know, in a way, in a way, Buddhists don't have anything to forgive because they see that we're just like them. But they do encourage us to practice confession and repentance so we can realize where we're at in reality. And this practice has the function, this practice of confession and repentance has the function of realizing Buddhahood, of being released. So it's more like confession and repentance is liberation rather than trying to get forgiveness, which isn't really relevant to these liberated beings. I think forgiveness is kind of like something, it's a little bit like, for some people, it's like when you're forgiven, it's like there's no longer a risk of punishment for what you've confessed.


This confession and repentance is not like a program to avoid any future punishment. Confession and repentance is to get us ready for any punishment that's coming. Confession and repentance is helping us get ready for all the pain and suffering that we're going to open to on the path to Buddhahood. Buddha opens to all suffering and speaks to each, I'm just like you, I'm just like you, I'm just like you, I'm just like you. I have the same suffering as you and I'm free. And you don't yet understand that you're just like me and that you're free too. You don't get it yet, that's why I'm talking to you. And also, you didn't even see me before I was here, but when you started to practice you noticed I was here for me to tell you this. Haley? Yes, thank you. Thank you for your time and for the moment.


Thank you. Thank you for your offering. Okay. Yes? Yes, Helma? I'd like to go back to Charlie's question. And that is, I actually, the reason I did come to St. Louis, the fact that I cannot walk away. That fact was my main reason. But then, going back to what Charlie is saying, it's difficult for me to be with the fact of not running away, because I have fear, I have anxiety, I have limitation, and I cannot be with my fear, with my limitation, and my anxiety.


Therefore, I like to have the belief or the idea that I can run away, whereas in actuality, I really don't want to run away, but my limitation kind of forces me. I'm being forced by limitations to run away. Yes, running away could also be called the treadmill. The bodhisattvas are not trying to get off the treadmill. They are vowing to fully embrace the treadmill, of trying to get out of the treadmill. And, yeah, it's difficult to be on this karmic treadmill. And we're being called to be present. And not so much being asked to get on the treadmill, but just to be present with the treadmill we're already on. And you can still say how hard it is. That's fine.


That's part of the treadmill. Ah, this is another step on the treadmill. This is hard, this is hard, this is a little less hard, this is more hard. And I want to get out of here. This is a normal sentient being situation. Now, like, people are... Again, people are trapped, and they tell us that they're trapped, and then we say to them... No, they tell us that they're trapped, and we say yes, and then they tell us they want to be untrapped, and then we say, that's trapping again. Wanting to be untrapped is another trap. And so... But that's not a big deal, that's just another trap. We have endless traps. No end to the traps. I see Jean, but before Jean was...


Yuki. Yeah, so, you know, when you put words to it, it seems really blindingly obvious that we can't be any place other than where we are. We can't be any person other than the person that we are. So, but... We get caught up in this story that we could be... Yeah, and we get caught up in the story. Yeah, and that's a sentient being. Sentient beings are caught up in stories. And even though they know it's not possible to get away from being caught up in stories, they still wish to be free. Well, that's part of it. And that's part of it. And so, the recommendation is not to stop being the way you are. The recognition is to listen and observe the way you are wholeheartedly.


That's the practice. And also, if you notice you're not listening and not paying attention, then the practice is to admit, I didn't want to do the practice with this terrible situation. And I'm sorry. But now the practice is alive again. And I'm happy. I'm joyful. This is the practice. This is the body and mind of faith. Still very foolish. Yeah, the practice is to be completely with I'm feeling foolish. And then, if I'm not willing to be fully present with feeling foolish, then I confess and repent that I didn't want to do the practice. Because the practice is so hard to be present with being a fool. And also having other people see what a fool I am.


It just intensifies it. But, in fact, they are seeing. And now they're seeing, but the Buddhas are seeing. But the difference between Buddhas and sentient beings, the Buddha's judgment is, I'm just like you when you're a fool. And I'm also just like you when you're trying to get away from being a fool. And I'm just like you when you're looking down on other people as fools. I'm with you no matter what. And I'm with you, but it's hard for you to be with you. Which is similar to it's hard for you to be with Buddha. Because you being with you is where Buddha's at. So, it's hard. Oh, yes, Jean.


I'm getting tangled up a little bit in what you're saying. Would you please speak up? Oh, I'm getting tangled by what you're saying. Yes. If we are experiencing things that are in constant delusion, isn't the idea or the ambition or the, my understanding, the underpinning of Buddhism to be a benefit to all beings, isn't that also a delusion? When I think, when I have the thought, I want to be a benefit to all beings, that thought in my mind, that's a delusion. So, what becomes the point of thinking? When it comes to the point of thinking,


I want to be a benefit to all beings, the point of that is to be a benefit to all beings. That's the point of it. But that's also the point of being with any of my delusions. But some of my other delusions, the point of them is not to realize them. Like, if I have the delusion, I want to be helpful to just three people, not all beings. That's a delusion, too. But if I completely embrace the delusion, I want, maybe make it even more radical, the delusion of I want to hurt a bunch of beings. The point of that delusion is not to help beings, it's to hurt them. That wish is to hurt. But embracing that mean thought,


the point of that is to help all beings. And if you have the thought, I want to benefit all beings, the point of that thought is to benefit all beings. And if you embrace the thought of being benefit to all beings, it will be the same as if you embrace the thought of not being benefit. The embracing of the thought will realize benefit for all beings. But I would say, sorry, you don't get to have a nice delusion like I want to live for the welfare of all beings. You don't get to think that, and like that's a delusion, but nothing else, but other people's thoughts or my other thoughts are not delusions. No, the other thoughts are delusions, but this one's not. Sorry, this one is a delusion, too. But again, the point of this delusion is to realize, not realize the delusion exactly, but kind of.


I'll say it two ways. The point of the delusion that I want to help all beings, the point of it is to help all beings. That's the point of it. But also the point of it is, and this is the hard, this is the radical thing, the point of, I want to, the point of this delusion is liberation, and the point of the practice is to realize the point of all delusions, which is Buddha. The point of all delusions is Buddha, which is helping beings. So the distinction is the intention. Well, the intention, aside from my thought, I want to be beneficial. The actual intention of our life is to be a benefit to all beings, and in our consciousness,


we sometimes think I want to be beneficial, and sometimes we think I don't want to be beneficial. So those are temporary, what do you call it, temporary intentions. Our fundamental intention is to become Buddha. That's reality. We're on the Buddha realizing reality. It's more like we are sentient beings who in reality are evolving towards Buddhahood. We are bodhisattvas, and as bodhisattvas we sometimes, as bodhisattva we all the time have delusions. We are fundamentally here to liberate all beings. That's why we're here. That's our reality. And we sometimes think in our deluded consciousness, I don't want to help somebody or I do want to help everybody. Those thoughts are opportunities


to realize our fundamental omnipresent wish to live as a bodhisattva. Well, the nature of things is also the nature of choice. The choices are, again, delusions that are opportunities for us to realize our fundamental nature. Yes, Johanna. Yes.


Well, in my deluded experience, a lot of the time when I'm sitting with other people who are sitting in the realm of delusion, we are sitting for the sake of being here completely. A lot of the people, if we could interview them and say, are you sitting at your seat in order to be at your seat and really like settle there? They would say, yeah. Someone would say, no, I'm just trying to get something from sitting here. But if you say to somebody who is walking, are you walking for the sake of being present in every step? And they might say yes. But still, if you interview them, maybe less people who are walking or running, if you said, what's the purpose of your running?


Maybe they would less often say to be here in each step. Because actually, each step you're still. There's stillness in every moment. But the practice of sitting in groups like this is to reiterate or to express our wish to be completely present for our life. So we use this ritual as a kind of banner or emblem of being here. But some people run and that's their emblem for being present. And Buddhas can walk and when they walk every step, they are completely present and completely embracing all beings and completely embraced by all beings. Right? Buddha is always that way. But we sometimes set up little forms like the sitting


so we can remember, what are we sitting here for? Oh yeah, we're sitting here to learn how to be here. But you could also walk for the same purpose. But walking maybe is not so commonly used as a ritual for being present in each moment of walking. Walking is often seen as to get somewhere else. Whereas sitting maybe is conducive to not trying to get somewhere else. But some people sit and they are trying to get somewhere else. In other words, spiritual bypass. They're sitting to get away. Okay? And some people are running to get away. But Buddhas are not sitting to get away and they're not running to get away. In both cases, it's the same practice and the same awakening. And if I see a difference


between somebody who wants to be really present and somebody who wants to get away from being present, I'm just dealing with my own discrimination between those two. They're not really different. And Buddha's with both of them. And it might be that somebody who does lots of sitting gets up and walks and finally wakes up to being completely present. They're sitting and they're wiggling and trying to get away and they get up and walk and they're kind of like, Oh, I'm here. Wow. And they weren't even using the walking as a means to be present but they woke up and maybe they woke up, you could say, because of long struggle at being at their seat when they're sitting


and facing that difficulty and then they got up and stood and they walked and they suddenly were completely there and not trying to get away from anything, not trying to get anything and they realize what their sitting was for before. Does that make sense? Okay, well, I would just like to say one more time, thanks for coming to meet me, thanks for coming to meet each other, thanks for supporting me and thanks for supporting everybody and thanks for being supported by me and being supported by everybody. Thanks for this Holy Communion. I want to change the chant a little bit. So listen to me when I chant and you can do whatever you want


while you're chanting. You can chant with me. I want to change the last word, last two words. Beings are numberless, I vow to be intimate, afflictions are inexhaustible, I vow to be intimate, dharmagates are boundless, I vow to be intimate, Buddha way is unsurpassable, I vow to be intimate. Another version would be sentient beings are numberless, I vow to understand that we are intimate, afflictions are inexhaustible, I vow to understand that we are intimate, dharmagates are boundless, I vow to understand


that we are intimate, the Buddha way is inexhaustible, I vow to understand and realize that it is intimate.