The Light of Buddha's Wisdom - Precepts of Compassion

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Buddha sheds the light of wisdom on the true nature of suffering, liberation, and the human mind, on the teachings of compassion, moral causation, and the whole phenomenal universe. This retreat offered an opportunity to receive, study, and contemplate Buddha's teachings on mind, precepts of compassion, and moral cause and effect. The discussions and contemplations were framed in the light of wisdom which is far beyond all discussion. Wonderful teachings were offered together with ways of not clinging to those teachings. There were periods of quiet sitting, walking meditation, oral teachings, and group discussions, with opportunities for individual interviews as time allowed.

AI Summary: 



I'd like to relate the light of wisdom to precepts or instructions on compassion. And I already did that last night when I was talking to you about practicing giving. And again, practicing giving means to practice what is already the case. Giving is already happening, and the way giving is already happening is radiant. The way we're giving to each other right now is brilliant.


When we see how we're giving to each other, we see this light. And when you see this light of how we're giving to each other, you're happy and you know what to do. Another unfoldment of the precepts of compassion. So one precept of compassion, which is not often called a precept of compassion, is the practice of giving. And once again, this is a precept or a practice about to realize what's already happening. Another precept of compassion is what is often called the precepts of compassion, or ethical precepts.


And in this particular tradition, we have 16 precepts of compassion. The first three are to return to enlightenment. That's an instruction in compassion. It's a compassionate instruction and it's an instruction to return to compassion. Return to, did I say enlightenment? Return to and rely on enlightenment. Now we usually say, going for refuge in Buddha. Going for refuge in Buddha, that's the first precept. To fly back to Buddha. Refuge, fly back to Buddha. That's the first instruction in a way.


Next one is to fly back to the truth, to take refuge in the truth. The next one is take refuge in the community. Those are the first three precepts of compassion. Once again, to return to Buddha means, and to rely on Buddha means relying on, first of all, this light. To rely on the way we are supporting each other. To return, to be mindful and remember and return. To what? To the ungraspable radiance of how you are supporting me and I am supporting you. How you are supporting everyone and how everyone is supporting you. The way we are supporting each other in both directions all the time, that is Buddha. That is enlightenment.


And that enlightenment is behind us, is actually what is motivating us to realize that. So enlightenment is pushing us to realize enlightenment. The light is pushing us to realize the light. And, yeah, so that's feeling that encouragement and returning to the light is going for refuge in Buddha. The truth of that, the truth of that light, that life as truth is the Dharma, which we return to. And part of the truth of that light, the truth of how we are supporting each other, the truth of enlightenment is that this enlightenment, it has no, there is not a particle of dust in it.


And that means there is not a particle of separation in it. That's the truth of it. It's not something out there or in here. And the community is the harmony among beings who return to this wisdom, return to this light. Returning to this enlightenment is the same as returning to compassion, is the same as returning to giving. To keep going back and remember all the time that we are living in a generous universe. Universe. The universe is generous and we are generous together. All of you are generous beings is the same as saying all of you have light.


Your light is your generosity and your generosity is something that's given to you. Everyone supports you to be generous and you are. However, if you don't remember to practice generosity, you can get distracted from this light. I can get distracted from this light. And when we're distracted from the light, we're afraid. And when we're afraid, we're distracted from the light. When we're distracted from giving, we're afraid. And when we're afraid, we get distracted from giving. Of course, if you are afraid, I say of course. I don't know if it's of course. When you are afraid, when I am afraid, if I try to practice giving, I start to return to giving. If I'm afraid and I start to practice giving, I start to return to fearlessness. The way to get from fear to fearlessness is through giving.


When you're practicing giving wholeheartedly, you're not afraid. When you practice giving wholeheartedly, you realize everyone's been giving to you. If you don't see that everyone is generous to you, practice generosity towards those who you don't think have been generous with you and you will open your eyes to their generosity. Okay? Then moving on in these precepts, the first three are returning to enlightenment, the truth of enlightenment and the community of enlightenment. The next three are, in this tradition, they're called to embrace and sustain the forms and ceremonies,


to embrace and sustain all good activities, and to embrace and sustain all beings. Those are the next three. They're related to another way of talking, which is to avoid evil, to practice good, and to save all beings. Or you could say, to embrace and sustain avoiding evil, to embrace and sustain all good, and to embrace and sustain all beings. So there's an interesting juxtaposition between avoiding evil and practicing forms and ceremonies. Sounds different, but they're really the same. So here's a big story. The big story is, enlightenment is the way that we're all working together harmoniously,


the way we're supporting each other. Enlightenment is the way you give me life and I give you life. That's enlightenment. And that enlightenment actually is a mind. It's a consciousness, which we're all included in. All of our minds are included in the mind, which is the way all of our minds support each other. That's the enlightened mind. The mind that includes all enlightened minds, all unenlightened minds. And everything, all things that aren't minds, like bells, and steel, and trees, I shouldn't say trees, sand, and fire, and all those things,


the way they're supporting each other, that's actually mind. And this mind, for various reasons, and there's theories about this, and scientific research about this, this mind can manifest as individual minds, and individual minds can manifest as minds which are poisoned, poisoned minds. So enlightenment generously allows individual poisoned minds. Some people say, why does God allow ignorant people, why does God make ignorant people, some people ask that. Why does God allow ignorant people to become frightened and cruel to each other?


Anyway, we do have this phenomenon of ignorant people, people whose minds are poisoned by greed, hatred, and delusion. This one mind, this enlightenment actually generously allows ignorant children to exist in the world. And these ignorant children are objects of the compassion of this one mind. And this one mind gives teachings to ignorant children, children whose minds are poisoned by greed, hate, and delusion. And these poisoned minds have the ability to, I shouldn't say have the ability, they come with the activity of imagining their relationship with the world.


Individual minds can imagine their relationship, can construct a picture, a representation of their relationship with the world. I'm now getting into talking about the teachings on mind, but I'm not going to go too far in that direction. I just thought I'd mention that. These minds, all these individual minds, which are supporting each other generously, they can be affected by greed, hate, and delusion. And while still affected by greed, hate, and delusion, they can construct, these minds can construct, they have a constructive capacity to construct a representation of their relationship with the rest of the world. So each of us has the ability to construct a representation of our relationship with each other. And we do that every moment.


Every moment my mind constructs a representation of my relationship with you, a picture of it, a story of it. And that story I have of my relationship with you is called intention or will. And it's the definition of karma. It's the basic action. The basic action of the mind is to construct a story about our relationship with the universe. And we do that every moment. Every moment your mind constructs that. Like right now my mind's constructing that I'm related to the universe, and in particular I'm in a room with you, and you're all being generous with me, and I'm being generous with you. My mind's constructing that kind of a relationship. And it's a happy construction. It's a happy story that I have. I would say it's a skillful story.


And also my mind, which is affected by greed, hate and delusion, can also construct other kinds of stories about my relationship with you. I could construct a story that only some of you are being generous with me. My mind could give rise to such a story. Or I could even make a story that almost none of you are being generous with me. I could make a story that none of you are being generous with me, and I'm not being generous with any of you. I could have a story like that. I could also have a story that none of you are being generous with me, and I'm being generous with you. That's like the mother's generous story. I'm supporting these kids, they're not supporting me. I'm giving my life to them, they're not giving back to me. There are stories like that. Those stories are not so skillful.


But in both cases, those stories are not the relationship. If I tell a story that you're all supporting me, and I'm supporting all of you, that story is skillful, and actually it's true. It's a true story in a way. It's right, but the story is not the way you're supporting me. And the story I have that you're supporting me is not the way you're supporting me. It's just my mental version of how you're supporting me. And it's a nice mental version of how you're supporting me, because it's saying, yes, you are supporting me, but it's not the way you're doing it. And similarly, my story that I'm supporting you, I do have that story I'm supporting you. I got that story, actually, right now. I think I'm supporting you, but the way I think I'm supporting you is not the way I'm supporting you. The way we're supporting each other


is inconceivable radiance. It cannot be grasped. My words do not reach it. However, it is illuminating my words. This attitude towards my stories, or this way of talking about my stories is, again, a way of talking about my stories, but if I have a story that we're supporting each other, I would say that's a story which goes with, what do you call it, avoiding evil. If I have a story that I'm supporting you, and supporting you means I want to help you live, I want to help you live, I want to avoid anything


which will harm you in any way. I want to support you, not harm you. That story, that way of seeing my relationship with you, and wanting it to be that way, seeing it that way, and wanting it to be that way, that's what I would call along the lines of avoiding evil, avoiding harm. But, if I think that my story about how I want to help you is actually what's going on, if I tighten around this good intention, if I tighten around it, I will blind myself to the light of how I'm actually mutually supporting you. Similarly, if I have a


not such a happy story of my relationship with the universe, and I think that story is my relationship with the universe, in other words, I tighten and stiffen around that story, I also blind myself by that tightening to the light of wisdom. So, just recently someone told me kind of a story like this, which I thought points out how, in a way, subtle this is. The person was telling me about how she was observing certain people caring for her mother. And she saw them, and she had a story that they were being skillful in the way they were caring for her mother. That was her story.


Her mind constructed this story. And that, I think, is kind of a skillful story called seeing that other people are being skillful. In her case, if she thought they were skillful, maybe they were. I don't know. But anyway, she thought so, and so she said thank you to them. Seeing someone as skillful actually is generous. Seeing someone as not skillful is also generous. But in both cases, you can miss the generosity. No matter how you see me, no matter how you see people, you're actually being generous in that seeing. Your seeing is a gift. And also, they're supporting you


and being generous with you to make it possible for you to see them. The whole universe is supporting you generously to be able to see any part of the universe. But you can miss it. I can miss it. So, take the example again of you see something and you construct that what you're seeing is skillfulness and you say thank you. Generosity is going on. But you can miss the generosity if you tighten around your view of what they're doing. Which in this case, again, is a nice story. They're being skillful. Based on thinking that they're skillful, you say thank you. Where's the giving? It's not in the story yet. The giving is


that when you see someone, even while you have an opinion about them, or even before you have an opinion about them, almost, you practice giving with them. You let them be what they are. You give them to themselves. You see someone, you think they're skillful, yes, but do you give them to themselves at that moment? The answer is, maybe not. You see them, you think they're skillful, you're happy at that thought, you say thank you, but you miss the giving. You missed it. It was there and you missed it. And


by missing the giving, you tighten around your story that they were skillful. You missed the giving, you blind yourself to the light because you missed the giving. By not joining the giving that was going on while you were doing this kind of nice thing called thinking they're skillful and saying thank you, by missing the giving, you missed the light. And although you're kind of happy because what you're seeing is somebody being skillful and you're saying thank you, you're kind of not happy too because you're missing out on the giving. You're missing the light. And on some level, because you're missing the light, you're afraid, right while you're seeing someone being skillful towards your mother and saying thank you, you're afraid. Why are you afraid? Because you don't see the light. Why don't you see the light?


Because you don't see the giving. Why don't you see the giving? Because you're not practicing giving. You missed it. You are giving, but you're not practicing it. You don't realize the giving because you're not. We have to practice the giving in order to realize the giving. We have to practice what's going on in order to realize what's going on. Sorry. Not really sorry, but I apologize for telling you this. We have to join what's going on. We have to get with the program, otherwise we will miss the program. We have to give ourselves to what's going on in order to realize that we are giving to the world. Now you shift to another story. Namely, the people are not being skillful. They are not


taking care of my mother skillfully. Got that story now. So maybe you don't feel like saying thank you. Fine. So you shift to another story. Namely, the people are not being skillful. But seeing people not being skillful, there's still the opportunity to practice giving, to let the people who you think are not being skillful, to let them be, to give them to themselves. It isn't that you like their skillfulness, and you like giving, it's not that you like them, but you also don't hate their skillfulness. You just think they're being unskillful. Did I say skillfulness? It isn't that you like their skillfulness, it isn't that you hate their skillfulness, it isn't that you like their unskillfulness or hate their unskillfulness.


In both cases, no matter what you think of people, you give the people, regardless of what you think of them, you give the people to the people. You give the person to the person, no matter what you think of them. If you think they're terrible, unskillful, you still give them to themselves. You're still compassionate with them. As a matter of fact, those are the people you're supposed to be compassionate towards. And if you think they're skillful, you give them to themselves too. Those are the people, if they're not enlightened, unskillful people, those are the people we practice compassion towards, first of all, as giving. First of all, give things to themselves. Give people to themselves. That's first. That's first. That's a practice. Now, having opinions about people isn't actually practice, necessarily. It's just that our mind constantly is doing that. It's just what we're doing. It's our


action. We're always having opinions about people. That just happens every moment. We've got a story about the situation, comes with opinions, comes with criticisms. That's not actually practice. That's just our activity. The practice is being generous with the people your activity and be generous towards those who you're relating to through your activity. So if you see someone being unskillful, like the example in this case was a caregiver was going to care for someone without gloves on. So if you're practicing, if you're entering into generosity with this situation, you let the person, you give the person to themselves who doesn't have gloves on. You give that to them. You're practicing generosity towards them. And you say, would you please put gloves on? I would like you to put gloves on. Hello!


Glove time. You say that to them after practicing giving or in the context of practicing giving. And while you're practicing giving, you can see the light. And practicing seeing the light, you say, would you put gloves on? And that speech you see as a gift. You see as light. And you're showing this person the light. And they may be able to sense it, they may not be able to, but you actually are speaking, the Buddha's words are coming out of your mouth. Because they're coming in this light, in this giving. Similarly, you could say the same thing. Please put gloves on. Having not given them to themselves, not seeing the light, and being unhappy and afraid. And then, same words, same gift, literally,


but you're also now giving fear, an attempt to control them, and maybe even worse things you're giving too. You're still giving, but because you don't realize the giving, you give a lot of negativity also. You give fear. Experience fear, and you give it. But you don't realize that you're giving a gift when you give the fear. You're distracted yourself from the light. You say the same thing that you said when you said it in the light, same words. And there's unhappiness and fear because we're distracted from the light. Because we weren't generous with the person who we thought was unskillful. But again, go to the person


who you think is skillful, and don't be generous with that skillfulness. And you also, although you're saying thank you for being skillful, you're actually also giving fear and unhappiness to the person who you're saying thank you to. And you're missing that you're giving fear and unhappiness. You can feel the fear and unhappiness maybe, but you don't see yourself as a gift because you don't notice the giving. And you say thank you to them for being skillful. And you say you're so skillful. In other words, I think you're so skillful, and I'm so happy that I think you're so skillful. But it isn't just that I'm happy I think you're skillful. It's that I think you're skillful, and I think that's true, rather than I'm being generous with myself and letting myself be somebody who thinks somebody's skillful. And I'm letting you be who you are. I'm missing out on the giving. So I say thank you for being skillful.


But I don't say thank you for showing me the light. I don't see the light. But you could even say I see you as skillful, and I thank you. Why would I thank you for how I see you? I see you as skillful, and I thank myself for thinking you're skillful. But most of all, I thank you for giving me my life. Or I thank you because I think you're skillful. I think you're skillful, and I thank myself for thinking that. And also I want to confess to you that I don't see the light in the situation. I don't see you giving to me. I don't see myself giving to you. I'm blind. And the person may say, I have a job to do, please excuse me. Now if the person who you're thanking is a, what do you call


it, a Zen master, they don't say that necessarily. They say, thank you, I hear you. I hear you telling me that you're not in touch with how you're being generous with me. And because you're not in touch with how you're being generous with me, you're not in touch with how I'm generous with you, and you're confessing that to me, and you're afraid, and you're unhappy, and I understand. And thank you for that gift. And do you see that you gave me a gift? And the person may say, now I see. Once again, you see someone, you have the opinion they're skillful. Do you see that you're giving them to themselves at that time? Are you just going, you're skillful, you're skillful, you're unskillful, you're skillful, rather than, oh, I'm letting you be you. I'm giving you to yourself. And it's not like,


just thank you very much for being that way. It's like a totally opening the relationship up to the vastness of what's going on. And again, it can be practiced when the mind is constructing the opinion, you're not skillful. I let you be who you are, and I let you be who you are, and I have opinions about you. It isn't that I let you be what I think you are, because you're not what I think you are. I let you be who you are, and I think you're unskillful. And my thought that you're unskillful is a gift I have for you. But before I give you my gift of my opinions about you, I already am letting you be who you are. And the subtle nuance between, that was good, to say to someone, that was really good, and realize that you're


giving to them, and they're giving to you. This is a big difference. This is a way to practice avoiding evil in such a way that you're not caught by the discrimination between evil and good. If you're not generous towards evil, you'll be caught by the discrimination between it and good. If you're not caught by the discrimination between good and evil, and you're generous towards good and generous towards evil, you will avoid evil. By following this light, you will avoid evil. It is possible to avoid evil, tighten around it, but then you miss the light. It's possible


to do good, tighten around it, and miss the light. If you do good and don't tighten around it, and are generous with it, you open to how the good is not separate from the evil. But if you tighten around evil, you say, you think it's dangerous to not keep the good, the evil, separate from the good. You're not generous. Not generously giving the evil to evil is the same as keeping the evil separate from good. Keeping the evil separate from good, you blind yourself. Being generous with evil and being generous with good, you give up the separation between them, and you see


the light. And then when you see evil, you can be generous with it in that light, and you can, by seeing evil in this generous way, the evil has no function. In other words, you avoid it. It's avoided. But I think people often feel like they should not be generous towards evil, otherwise the evil might flourish. Hear my words? Being generous towards evil neutralizes it. It doesn't


destroy it, it just doesn't hurt anybody anymore, because it lives in the light of generosity. Good, tightening around good doesn't destroy the good, it just doesn't let the good flourish. The good flourishing means that not only is there good, but there's no fear, and there's happiness. But if we're not generous towards good, which means giving it away, which means letting go of it, if we're not generous towards it, if we cling to the good, we go blind. We've got good, yeah, I've got the good, yeah, it's great, but I'm afraid, and I'm at risk


of doing something very bad, because I'm afraid. I'm afraid and I'm unhappy. I've got a lot of good here. So right now, we're here, we have a lot of good. Being here together is that all of us are experiencing the results of wholesome action. That's why we're in this nice place. Not only that, but we are experiencing the results of wholesome action. We have the resources now, the good resources. Now we have something to not hold on to, got something good to not hold on to. If we don't hold on to the good, if we give away all the good we have, and we also give away everybody else's goodness, and we let everybody be what they are, then we won't hold to the good which we have here now. And if we don't hold to it, we will see the light and we will be fearless and happy in seeing this light, in seeing


the truth. So maybe that's enough of this, what do you call it, this exhortation. Yes, Karen? When you talk about seeing the light, I get the impression it's not entirely a metaphor. You get the impression it's not necessarily a metaphor? Yes, it's not entirely a metaphor. Well, you're seeing a spiritual light. Ordinary light, if you look for it, you can find it. This light, if you look for it, if you look for the light, you're not being generous. This light is the light of generosity. It's


the light of how we're being generous with each other. If you look for it, you're overlooking it. Whereas ordinary light, you could look for. Physical light, which is immaterial, you can look for, and you can find it. But this light, which is the light of physical light and physical darkness, and it's the light of everything, this light, if you look for it, you've just distracted yourself. And when you look for it, you're not being generous. When you are generous with what's happening, suddenly you see a light, you see a glow in things. When you look at someone and you give them to themselves, you see a light, you feel a light, you feel a warmth, you feel a fire. When you give yourself to someone who you see and practice giving them to themselves, I give you to you and I give


myself to you and I realize that you give yourself to me, a light turns on when I enter that realm. It's a spiritual light. And in that light, you will find joy. When it gets turned on, you'll feel joy. It's there already, but you have to get into it for the joy to come on and the fearlessness to come on and the happiness to be revealed. So it's a light, but it's not a light that depends on your eyes being open. It depends on you having eyes, however, because you do have eyes. So it depends on all this, but even when you have eyes, you can miss this light. And again, you miss this light when you skip over the basic thing we're doing together, giving to each other. If you miss that practice, if we miss that practice, we miss what's going on. And if we miss what's


going on, we miss the light. Yes? Suchitra? Excuse me. Could I ask you to come up and sit here by these flowers? And if you can't hear her, go like this. A lot of hands. So when they go like this, I'll go like this. Your mind could be creating karma while you see the light. So I could be seeing the light


and also have an opinion about you. I could be seeing the light and also think, oh, this is my friend. And I could be practicing generosity towards myself thinking, oh, this is my friend. Thinking that you're my friend, my mind constructing this friendly relationship, this friendly picture of our relationship, that's karma. And that can be going on and I can still see the light. In other words, you don't have to stop imagining your relationship with the world in order to see the light. And you can also then say, oh, this is my friend who seems to be doing something without gloves and I think it would be good if she wore gloves. That's karma. I have this mental version of my relationship with you and your relationship with the world. So that can go on. But I can also be practicing giving at the same time and see the light at the same time. So then I can be talking to you while remembering that we're in this generous relationship with each other. I can be talking to you out of


a picture of our relationship. These words can come up out of that. It's not necessarily like karma-free when you see the light or being generous. No, it is karma-free. You're free of karma right while it's being generated. Just like, again, from a certain perspective of generosity, you can look at other people. Like, again, I use the example of a grandchild. You look at the grandchild and you're just totally tuned in to generosity. You're giving to him, he's giving to you and you can see it and you're enjoying the radiance of this mutual generosity. And not only that, but you feel like everything, the trees and the mountains are all joining in your giving to this child. And the trees and the mountains are joining in the child giving to you. You're in the mode of the light. And you're totally engaged in the generosity which is the same as the light. And you think this kid's about to fall down the stairs, which maybe is right,


maybe is wrong, but you have this imagination, this story about the situation. However, your karma, which is how you picture your relationship and how you imagine this person as being unskillful, you're free of it. It's not causing you any hindrance to seeing the light. Usually, I'm telling you this story about this light, but then I didn't say it so strongly now. However, because of karmic accumulations, we don't see the light. When you see the light, the karmic accumulation is dropped. And even though the past karma is not hindering you and your present karma is not hindering you, the results of your past stories are not blocking you any from seeing the light. And you're even able to imagine a present story right while you're in the midst of this light. And you can speak


from the present story, like, please stop throwing rocks at me. And the child may not be able to see that the person who's talking to him is totally engaged in and appreciating how generous he is to throw the rocks. You totally feel the generosity of the rocks flying towards you and also the sender of the rocks. You're totally into that, totally unafraid, totally happy. And you're happy to say, please don't throw rocks at your grandfather. And there's karma there and you're not hindered by it. You can enter the realm of karma. You can enter the realm of action. Totally. And so totally that you're free of it. That's my proposal. And I would like to invite everybody to come up here to talk to me, please.


Yes. And you don't have to even wait in line to come up here. You can just come up here if you want to talk. Kate. So raise your hands if you can't hear her, okay? I'm finding myself making a story that good and evil are in conjunction. Okay. I have that same story, that they're in conjunction. They're never separate. Actually nothing's ever separate from anything, but that's a good example. This is a very important example. Good and evil are in conjunction. They're inseparable. That's a story. Every moment is an opportunity to turn towards good or turn towards evil? Yeah. In other words, every moment is an opportunity for you to construct an evil, or for the mind


to give rise to an evil story about your relationship with the world, or a good story of your relationship with the world. Every moment there's that opportunity, and every moment we avail ourselves of that. Can we fit fear into this story? Yes. You can fit fear into the story. And would you like to fit it in? Yes, please. Go ahead. How would you fit it in? That if I'm fearful, I tend to turn towards evil? She said, if I'm fearful, I tend to turn more towards evil? Not necessarily. That's my story. Not necessarily. However, if you're fearful, you're at risk of turning towards evil. You're at risk towards harming life. But not everybody that's afraid is imagining harmful stories of their relationship with the world. But even if you're not doing that


right now, if you're afraid, if you're thinking about being kind to people, because you're afraid of what will happen to you if you're not, for example, although you say, I really want to be kind to this person because I'm afraid of what will happen, that does make you more vulnerable to slipping into being unkind to them, than if you were thinking, I really want to be kind to this person, and I'm not afraid of what will happen if I'm not. Because the key thing is, the reason why I'm not afraid is because while I'm thinking I want to be kind to them, I'm also practicing giving. So I want to be kind to them, but I'm not tight around my wanting to be kind. But if I'm already feeling fear? If you're already feeling fear, yes. But I want to be kind. And you want to be kind? I want to be kind, but I want to not feel fear. Yes. And you want to be free of fear? Okay, then practice generosity towards the person


you are who wants to be kind and who's feeling fear. Be generous towards your fear. Give your fear to your fear. And not just kind of like, okay, I'm afraid. But give your fear to your fear until you feel joy at giving your fear to fear. Until you find the dimension where you let the flower be a flower and a spark of joy comes up. Let the fear be fear until you find the way of letting the fear be fear. Basically, the fear drops. Then you've tuned into the light. You've turned into giving towards the fear. And then, if anybody else is afraid, let their fear be fear. Give their fear to their fear. And show them, even though you don't say so and they may not be able to see it, but still


show them that you're giving their fear to their fear. That you're generously, joyfully in a relationship with them where you let them be afraid. Let people who are afraid be afraid. People say, I don't want to let people who are afraid be afraid. I generously let you not be generous with this person. If you don't want people to be afraid, if you do want people to be afraid, if you don't want people to be afraid, be generous towards yourself with those feelings. If somebody is afraid, Buddha completely gives them to themselves who are afraid. And Buddha shows them how to become free of their fear. If they would do the same with themselves in their fear, they would become unafraid. So if you're afraid, be generous towards yourself and you will tame your fear. I said the fear will go away,


but really it just loses its function. It doesn't have to go away even. It just doesn't bother you anymore. It's like you see the light of fear. Fear has light. You look at the fear generously and the light comes on. And there you're feeling fear, but you're feeling this warmth of Buddha's wisdom. Now, if you're not feeling so afraid and you heard that if you're given a fear, a greater fear than you have now, but you'd also be given access to the light of the fear and be able to see Buddha's wisdom, would you be willing to be afraid? I would say, okay. So wisdom could be turned on at a moment of looking at fear generously. It isn't that you look at the fear tensely. You look at the fear and then you generously give the fear to the fear 100% and feel how the fear gives you


your life. Because when you're afraid, fear gives you life. Enter that light, even in fear, means you enter generosity and the fear loses its unhelpful, harming power. You can both come up and then one will be on deck. You look nice in all black, Leon. You've got black socks, black pants, black sweater. If I'm generous with evil and that neutralizes evil, then if I'm generous with good, I would


think, if I follow that logic, that that would neutralize good. No. It doesn't work that way. If you're generous with evil, you neutralize it, but you don't just neutralize it, you open to light at the moment of evil. So you don't just neutralize the evil. Some great good, a good that's beyond good and evil, comes to you when you're generous with evil. However, if you're generous with good, then good sort of comes to fruit as seeing the light. So good are the things which actually promote you in your practice of giving. Evil are those things which make it harder to practice giving, but I'm still saying, practice giving with evil. So good flourishes and goes beyond itself in generosity.


Evil, however, doesn't exactly flourish, but it does go beyond itself, so it's neutralized. Does that make any sense? In both cases you go beyond, by generosity you go beyond good and you go beyond evil. But going beyond good is more good, and going beyond evil is not more evil. Going beyond harm is not more harm. It's being free of harm. Going beyond good is more good, because good naturally is better when it doesn't hold to itself, because holding to good creates fear. Does that make sense now? It's not the story I was making up. So are you practicing generosity towards the story you were making up? Well, I'm going to try, because I'd like to say it.


Okay. I was thinking that, back to neutralizing evil, that I could also neutralize good, and then I would be open to what happened next with the absence of these two, and that that might be Buddha nature. Yeah. But that's the maturing of the good. That's the flourishing of the good, is opening to the Buddha nature. Good is what promotes opening to spiritual opportunities like that. We don't call evil opening to spiritual opportunity. We call evil that which is distracting us from that, or seems to hinder that. But if you're generous with evil, it doesn't hinder you anymore, because you're practicing. So let the evil be evil as an act of generosity,


and it loses its harmful power. And I'm thinking that if I let good be alone, that it loses its harmful power, and that's something else. Yeah. Well, good doesn't really have harmful power. That's why we call it good. It's the clinging to good that's harmful. It's not practicing generosity with good. That's what's harmful. Not being generous is evil. That hurts people. That hurts everything. So being generous towards good is being good towards good. Being generous towards evil is being good towards evil. And then they both go beyond themselves, which is what we're doing all day. All day long we're going beyond ourselves. So generosity promotes this going beyond ourselves. So in a sense, again, going beyond evil neutralizes evil. Going beyond good, it flourishes. It flourishes in opening us to Buddha nature. Yes.


Thank you. You're welcome. Rissi, you want to come up? Yes. When you talk about practice generosity, my understanding is that generosity is in itself a practice. It doesn't matter towards what it is. If good and evil are tied and are inseparable, then they're not even existing.


That's right. Well, it's not that they don't exist. It's just that they don't exist independently. Good doesn't exist by itself. It depends on evil. So they exist, but they exist depending on each other. That's the way they exist. But they do not exist independently. You cannot ever actually find good by itself. But that doesn't mean it's not there. It's just that you can't get it without bringing evil along. That's all. And you can't get me without bringing you along. We can't get anything without bringing all that supports it. So in that sense, things don't exist by themselves. There isn't an axis of evil all by itself. Okay, that's what I thought. Yeah, that's right. They're not existing. They're like inseparable. They're interdependent. Inseparable and interdependent. So that brings the question...


And if you're generous with evil and or good, you're open to that inseparability. And that inseparability is light. The way good and evil support each other is radiant. But then I cannot be practicing generosity to evil, because at the same time, I also practice generosity towards good. And in life, when I look at things, I can find good in everything bad that happens. Even the worst. What we call bad things bring a lot of courage and opportunity for others to exercise extremely compassionate or good deeds. That's right. So actually the practice is really generosity. Yeah. When you're generous with evil, you realize there's lots of good opportunities.


When you're tight with evil, you can't see all the good possibilities. Yes, that's right. And if you're tight with good, you can't see the good possibilities either. You're closing down on the good. I got the good, I'm going to keep it. If you're generous with good, you're open to the evil. You say, I don't want to be generous with good and open to evil. But if you don't open to the evil, you won't see all the further possibilities of good with evil. So you're right. Open to be generous with good means you're generous with evil. Being generous with evil means you're generous with good. But then it brings the question, what is good and what is evil? It's fine to ask the question and it's good to keep asking the question. Just understand beforehand that you're going to be generous in asking that question,


which means you're not going to try to get the answer to the question. Because it's good to say, well, what is good and what is evil? Then you find some good and then you question it and then you practice generosity. Questioning and generosity are closely related. Answering what evil is, is not so generous. Answering what's good is not so generous. It's okay to answer it though, if you're generous with the answer, which means you don't cling to the answer. Which means you go back to the question. So having the question, what is good and what is evil, is very compatible with being generous. Yes. Andy. I wanted to ask if some people would call what we're talking about as the light,


if some people would call that God. Would some people call it God? Yes. And are we... I know sometimes I'm afraid of that. But some people would say, no, that's not God because it's too mutual to be God. Too mutual. The light, enlightenment and the light of enlightenment are how we're working together, how we're supporting each other. Some people would more say like God is what supports us, not so much how we support God. So that's the more, I don't know what to call that, but it's more like power-centered view of this process. But this teaching is not so much about power-centered, but more like mutual empowering of all things. So some people would call that God, but some people would want to make God more centralized


and have all this support coming from one place out to everything rather than seeing how everything goes back to support this place and this place is everywhere. Are we afraid sometimes to use that term because of what it means? Are we afraid? As Buddhists, are we afraid to use that term? When we're practicing generosity, we're not afraid of the term. And when we use the term, we think, well, what is God anyway? We're not afraid to not know what it is. In other words, we're generous towards the term God. If we're generous, we're not afraid of the word. And when the word comes, we practice generosity with the word. So people say, oh, this is God, and we let them be somebody who's telling us what God is. And somebody else says, no, that's not God, this is God, and we practice generosity towards them. So we start, again, showing the people who are taking one side about what God is,


we show them how to practice generosity so they can be fearless. Because, again, people who have tight views of what God is, they're afraid. And if they're afraid, they're at risk of being violent. And so we have the case of people who have a tight view of God, who are afraid, who are being violent. This is really right up there on the top of the agenda of world problems, is people who are ungenerous with God. They're not practicing generosity. They don't realize the generosity that's actually circulating around God. They're closing in on that, and then they're afraid, and then at any moment they can become violent out of their fear. So we have to be generous towards those who are not being generous towards God, and who are at risk of being violent. We have to be generous with them to teach them to overwhelm them with the gift of love,


overwhelm them with the teaching of generosity. Because that's what they want to find, because people want to be happy, and they want to see the truth. And the truth is revealed in generosity. The truth is not revealed in tight, stingy attitude towards the world. It doesn't get revealed there. It's going on, but we're saying, No, I don't want it. I want this, not all that. And we're afraid, and we think, and in our fear we think, if we would open, we think, well, then things would really get bad if I would practice generosity towards this frightening, horrible world. Well, no, actually not. So somebody has to show them that opening up will actually be really great and lovely, and they'll see just exactly what they want to see, the truth. And God wants them to see the truth, too. God's on our side. But if you hold tightly to God, then you'll miss God.


He said, suppose I'm afraid that if I don't hold tightly to God, I'll get in trouble. Then I would say, practice generosity towards being afraid of what will happen if you don't hold tightly. And then you won't be afraid anymore of not holding tightly. Generous people, people who are really into generosity, they walk around not holding tightly. They're not holding tightly. They're letting go of everything all the time. That's actually the way we all are. We're all letting go all the time. But if we don't practice generosity, we don't notice it. And if we don't practice generosity, we're afraid. And then we think if we would practice generosity, something bad would happen. So not practicing generosity, we're afraid. Being afraid, we're afraid to be generous. Somehow we have to start being generous, even while we're still afraid. If we get into it, we won't be afraid anymore, and we will not be afraid that we have to hold on to God


because we will be enthusiastic. We will be filled, enthusiastic means in full of God. Enthusiastic and fearless. And we realize, I don't have to hold on to it. It's totally taken me over. I don't have to hold on to it anymore. But before we really get into generosity, we're going to be somewhat afraid of what would happen if we weren't so tight. And difficult, painful things might happen if you're not tight. And difficult things might happen if you are tight. So in both cases, difficult things may be coming. Like we have these bodies which have been taken care of for a while. Difficulties for this body may be coming for most of us, unless we die now. We might break our leg.


We might get sick. A lot of trouble may be coming for our body. If we tighten around it, the troubles will come or not, but we'll be afraid. If we don't tighten, the troubles will come or not, but we won't be afraid. And we'll be happy and generous with what is given to us. So I'm not saying no difficulties are coming. I'm just saying how to get in a position so when they come, you see it as ongoing process of giving. So the Buddha got sick. Buddha had back problems. And sometimes the Buddha couldn't give the Dharma talks. He had to lie down and have his senior students give the Dharma talks to the community. He had pain. And because he had so much pain, he couldn't sit up. The great Buddha couldn't sit up because he had back pain. But he wasn't afraid.


He was lying there. He wasn't afraid. He wasn't afraid of more pain coming or less pain coming. He wasn't afraid of having lousy students. He wasn't afraid. He was generous towards his students, towards his pain. He was just a glowing, generous, happy Buddha. Buddha is the enlightened one. Buddha is the tamer of those who need to be tamed. Buddha is the teacher of gods and divines. Buddha is the happy one. Buddha is happy. Why is Buddha happy? Because Buddha sees the light. Why does Buddha see the light? Because Buddha is generous towards everything, including fear, which comes from not being generous enough. Of course, the Buddha doesn't have fear because the Buddha is generous enough. But the Buddha sees all his children


who are not generous enough and who are afraid. But then Buddha is generous towards these frightened children and he shows them, See how I am with you? If you're this way with yourself and others, you will not be afraid anymore. See how I'm letting you be afraid? Really? I'm not trying to fix you up. I'm really totally happy that you're the way you are. And I want you to get over it by you being happy with the way you are. Please be generous with the way you are and you will become free of fear. And you will see the light. And then you will really be able to show everybody else. And this will be very happy. God, God, God. I'll say I wanted to, you know,


just mention the word feedback to you. I looked it up in the dictionary. So I invite you to give me feedback. And so I can say, I can say, Do you have any feedback for me? And I can also say, Do you have any feedback about me? Either way. But I invite you to give me feedback, either for me or about me. And feedback is, in the dictionary I looked up, it's the return of a portion of the output of a process or a system to the input. So this group of us is putting out something. And the feedback is a part of what we put out goes back into, goes back to the input to our process.


And the second meaning, that's what I mean, the second of that first meaning is that portion which is returned is also the feedback. And then the second meaning of feedback is, what do you call it? It's return of information about the result of a process or activity. What do you call it? Evaluative response. That's another meaning. I welcome both of those types of feedback throughout this weekend and forever. I welcome feedback. I welcome your evaluative response, but I also welcome just some part of what's happening here to come back into the process. I welcome that. It's going on, but I just want you to know you're invited to do that. And the vow is to receive whatever you give generously,


to generously receive your gifts, to let your gifts be your gifts. That would be the vow here. People who are not necessarily, see themselves as religious or spiritual sometimes try to practice avoiding evil and doing good. Morality doesn't necessarily need to be religious, although morality is one of the places where religion is practiced. Being generous towards morality is a very good field to realize generosity. When we are practicing avoiding evil


and doing good, but not generously, in a sense it's not a spiritual practice. It's an ethical practice, but not yet spiritual. But bringing generosity and compassion to ethical exercise opens the practice to the light. So there can be a practice of ethics without generosity. This is bad, this is good, I'm going to avoid the bad and do the good. That's still a good exercise. Those who wish to realize enlightenment, that's one of the exercise programs for them, is to deal with the minds working with that stuff. But the thing that makes it spiritual is what opens the process to light, which is giving. And then we have teachings about the precepts, or about ethics,


and we study them, and it's a very good type of study in order to realize wisdom. So you bring compassion to the situation and realize wisdom. . . Bruce, do you have some feedback?


Yes, I do. My feedback is, I called my wife last night, and this is the story I told her, and I'm sticking to it. You're not going to be generous with this story? Yes, I'll be very generous. Oh, you're going to be generous with it? I'll be generous. Then you don't have to stick to it. Okay. She was curious, so I told her I'd call her. And my feedback is, I'm really enjoying the experience tremendously. It comes at a time when it's for my wife and myself and our daughter. But my experience was that Rev feels to me that, he seems to me like he's firing arrows through a powerful bow, and they're hitting me right between the eyes, except they're arrows of compassion, of enlightenment.


They go right to the point, and the message coalesces much of what I've been struggling with in my life. It simplifies it and clarifies it, and it's a very certain embodiment of the light. And that's my feedback. Thank you. Thank you.


Faraday. Could you come a little closer, please? I have two questions. One is, it's such a beautiful surrounding here. How come you have the curtains closed? She said, her first question is, it's such a beautiful surrounding, how come you have the curtains closed? I closed these curtains because people were facing that way, and the morning light is kind of hard on some people's eyes. But I think if you open them now, maybe it's... Would you like them open, some of them? Yes. Yeah. Because the morning sun, when it comes... Huh? Yeah, yeah. So I closed it because of the glare of the light coming in. That was the reason. Also, I don't want you to see any trees. I gave you a joke.


Thank you for accusing me of not being generous. That's one of my favorite jokes. I sometimes don't get it right away. I've been practicing being present, and one of the things that I've been doing is the ways of doing not to judge anything. So let's go back. She said something about not judging anything. Right, like keeping my mind busy. Keeping your mind busy? I try not to keep my mind busy. You're trying to give up having a busy mind. Right, exactly. And one of them is not. Okay, trying not to be busy is more busy than just letting go of being busy. Right, exactly. Just not being busy, meaning, for instance, when I meet someone, I don't make any judgment about them.


If you meet someone and don't make a judgment, that's fine. However, that's not generosity. Generosity would be if you meet someone and don't make a judgment, you give yourself, you let yourself be somebody who is not making a judgment. That's where I'm confused. Yeah, because if you did make a judgment, you could also practice generosity. Right. So the practice is not to make judgments, and it's not not to make judgments. The practice is, if you're making judgments, be generous, and if you're not making judgments, be generous. So it's okay with me if you don't make any judgments. That's fine with me. I'll be generous to you and let you be somebody who's not making any judgments. And I hope you are also generous with yourself when you're not making judgments. But if you do make judgments, I also practice generosity. And I hope you also practice generosity towards yourself while you're making judgments,


so that even while you're making judgments, even while you're busy making judgments, which is related to... Oh, Suchitra asks, can we be free of karma? Making judgments, when your mind makes judgments, your mind is busy. Busy means your mind is active, making up stories about your relationship with people. If you're generous towards that, you'll be free of it. If you're not doing it, which can happen, and you're generous towards not doing it, you can be free of not doing judgments. But if you're not doing judgments, and you're not being generous towards your judgment, you're caught by not making judgments. You're trapped and afraid while you're not making judgments. So I don't really recommend that you make judgments,


and I don't recommend you not make judgments. But if you tell me that you're into not making judgments, I say, beautiful. If you tell me you're really into making judgments, like it's your profession, you're doing a lot, I say, fine. I say, frío. That's fine. That's fine, but that's not giving. Trying to keep your mind a certain way is not generous. Even if the way you're trying to keep your mind is to keep your mind good. So if you're trying to keep your mind good, that's like practicing good. I want to practice good. I want to keep my mind good. Wanting to practice good is not, I would say, not quite as good as... Wanting to practice good, I'd say, is a little bit better, I would say,


than wanting to keep practicing good. But they're both pretty good. But if you hold to that, hold to good, you will blind yourself to the light. But it's okay. Go right ahead and wish to practice good, even wish to hold to practicing good. However, if you practice generosity towards holding to practicing good, you'll stop holding to practicing good. And you'll just practice good and be generous towards your practicing good. But holding to it distracts you from the giving. So you both can come. You both can come. Yes.


We have Homa and Roma. Do you know Roma, Homa? No. I'm just wondering why something so clear and so obvious is light. That literally I could see it, I can see it, but then I don't see it again. I mean, it's so obvious, but in the... How can you do something so obvious? Karmic, what do we say, karmic hindrance. Karmic obstruction. That's the story about why we keep losing it. Because our mind creates, always creating stories about the light. The light of our relationship supports us to be a person who imagines, who makes stories about her relationship with the world. That's the kind of creatures we are.


And the consequence of making stories about the world, our relationship with the world, the consequence of that is that it's hard for us to see the light. Because we made a story about the light, which is not the light. So we can tell people about the light. Say, you know, I saw this great thing. I saw this wonderful thing. Without a story, it's hard to tell people about the light you saw. So anyway, we do tell... Our mind makes up stories, makes up versions of our relationship with the world, and the consequence of that is that some obstruction to the actual radiance occurs. But if we practice generosity towards the obstruction, the light starts flooding in. I'm still confused as to when there is the light, there is actually no evil and good. It's just light.


It's this light, light seeing the good and evil. It really doesn't exist in the sense of... It's not so much that there... It's kind of like there isn't good and evil, but it's more like that the good has a light and the evil has a light. There still is evil. It's just that you see the light in the evil. I don't see any. I don't see any. Sometimes I don't know what happens... Well, that's okay. Sometimes you don't see it. But it's also possible to see the light of the evil and still be able to see the evil. That's possible. But it's true. Once you're looking at the light, in some sense, if you're looking at the light of good and the light of evil, in some sense, you don't see either one. That's true. Okay. And even if you do see good and you see the light of good, at the point of seeing the light, the light kind of, in some sense... It's like if you look at a fabric and the light starts coming through after a while, it's hard to see the fabric. Or when you're looking at water,


like when the sun's setting on the water, sometimes it's reflecting so much light you can't really see the water anymore. That can happen. And be generous towards yourself in that condition of just being blinded by the light. Being blinded to things because of the light, just like we're usually blinded to the light because of things. So, yeah, that's part of what you need to learn is how to surf in the ocean when it's just so brilliant you can't even see where the waves are. But you can learn how to do that. One more. Visitor before breakfast. Yes? I'm saying no, okay?


But this is a gift. I accepted what you just said. What I heard you say was, fear is not a reality. So now you feel fear, okay? You need to speak up. You don't have to accept that there are illusions for starters. First start by accepting that you feel fear. And be generous towards the fear. Don't discount it at all before you're generous with it. She wants to know about practical ways to embrace fear. Okay. Pardon?


Fear of abandonment. Fear of loneliness. So if I feel fear, I can feel fear of abandonment. Think about abandonment. There it is, there's the fear. Now I give the fear to the fear. I give that to itself. You surrender to it. Is that what you're trying to get at? Surrender to it. But not just surrender, but a little bit like proactive surrender. I surrender. I surrender. I give myself to the fear. I give the fear to the fear. I give the fear to me. I totally enter into the mutual, generous relationship with this fear. And the more I get into that, not trying to get rid of the fear, the more I get into it, I will realize that fear is light. And in that sense, fear is an illusion.


Because it seems to be not light. Fear doesn't seem to be light. But the more you're generous with fear, and letting the fear be fear. So surrender to the fear, but also let the fear be fear. So you surrender to me, but also give me to me. So don't just be surrender, be a surrendering, generous surrenderer. So in other words, if I have fear of loneliness, I practice being lonely by myself. Is that what you're saying? No. No. No. You could do that, but I don't know what I'm saying. She said, if I have fear of loneliness, then I practice being lonely myself. Is that what you said? I'm saying no, not necessarily. Because fear of being lonely, you have even when you're not. Like right now, with all these people around you, loving you and supporting you, you could be afraid of being alone. So you don't have to be alone to be afraid of being alone. You can be afraid of being alone


when you're surrounded by people who you love and who you feel love you. You can be afraid that they'll go away, even though they're still here. So you can practice with the fear of being alone, or the fear that people will abandon you. You can practice with it while they're not abandoning you. But the way you practice with it is not by saying, you don't have to talk yourself out of it, like say, oh no, they're really supporting me, and stuff like that. That's okay. You can do that. That's another trip. But before you move on to like, they're not going to abandon me. They might. It might look like that. That story might occur. But the thing is, right now you've got something to take care of, called your fear. And if you're generous towards your fear, you'll become free of it. And then if abandonment ever comes up on the horizon, like everybody comes up to say, guess what, Seema?


Is it Seema or Sheema? Huh? Seema. Seema. I'm going to abandon you today. I'm going to abandon you today. And you practice generosity towards me, while I'm talking to you that way, and you feel the light of our relationship, and you're not afraid. Every time I go away from you, you know, I don't mean to abandon you, but every time I go away from you, you can say, you abandoned me. And I could say, yes! I totally agree with you. I abandoned you. Here I am with you, abandoning you. That's me and you together. And you see, that's an illusion. But you have to be generous towards it. And I need to show you generosity, and you need to show me generosity, while we feel like we're abandoning each other. So generous people can manifest the story of mutual abandonment. You know? And be free of it right at the moment.


Or generous people can manifest the story of abandonment, and not appreciate their being generous, and then they believe it, and then they're afraid. So we need to practice generosity with our fears. And in order to practice, so again, the worst thing is to ignore them. Next thing is to try to control them, like get rid of the fear. But the good thing about that is at least you've noticed it. If you're trying to get rid of it, at least you've noticed it. Okay, now drop that one, and now move on to give the fear a big generous field, let it be, and it will turn into light. And then you won't be afraid anymore. First face it. Face it is like, after ignoring it, then face it. Now you can go directly from facing it to generosity, or you can try to control it for a while after you face it. First face it and try to get it controlled. But you know that song,


There may be trouble ahead, But while there's music and moonlight And love and romance, Let's face the fear and dance. Dance with the fear. Don't try to control it. But controlling is better than ignoring it. Because when we're controlling it, then we can come up to you and say, Relax with your partner. You're not supposed to be leading. Control, no. That's not dancing. Dancing is being generous with your partner. Dance with the fear. Be generous with the fear. But first of all, you have to find it. It's there. Unless you've already mastered generosity and see the light, there's some fear. Unless you really realize that everybody is your close friend, and you're a close friend to everybody.


Unless you fully realize that, there's a little fear. And the little fear can get big. And then you can be, you know, ready to kill. Because you're afraid. But if the fear comes, as soon as possible, practice generosity towards it. Let it be. Let it be what it is. But not just like, OK, but I generously give you to yourself, Mr. Fear. OK? You're welcome. So would you like to have breakfast now? All right. So we'll reconvene here for sitting at 11. All right?