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: 



At the end of our last session, I looked at Leon's face and I asked him what was going on and he said he was in a state of consternation or something like that. And then later I asked him if I could help him with his consternation and he said, what did you say? I said yes. So he's doing well with his consternation now, right? And do you remember what else you said? I said that I think that all we have is stories.


Huh? I think all we are. What makes the word consternation? Consternation, it means kind of stirred up, kind of disturbed, puzzled. It's different from, what is it, carnation. Carnation milk is made from concentrated cows. Pardon? I said that accounts for it. They used to say that carnation milk was, before Buddhism was well established in America, they used to say carnation milk is made from contented cows.


But now they say concentrated cows. Which includes serenity, serene cows who are not taking any drugs. So then I said to Leon Wright, and then another story came to mind, which is a story about, a story which appears in the book of Serenity, which is written by cows. And case 37 of the book of Serenity, it's called something like, Guishan's active consciousness, or karmic consciousness. And Guishan's most noted disciple's name is Yangshan.


And so Guishan says to Yangshan, if someone comes up to you and says, all sentient beings just have karmic consciousness, how would you test that in experience? And vis-a-vis what Leon was bringing up, you could say, all sentient beings just have stories. Boundless and unclear. With no fundamental to rely on. How would you test that in experience? And Yangshan said,


if someone comes and says that to me, I would say, Hey you! If he hesitates, no, I don't say hey you. If someone comes, I say, what is it? If he hesitates, I say, all sentient beings just have karmic consciousness. Just have stories. Boundless and unclear, with no fundamental to rely on. And Guishan said, good. So he tests by saying, for example, if someone wants to understand what this means, he tests to see if they understand, and he also tests to see where they're at.


He says, what is it? And if they hesitate, he just feeds them back that teaching, which is basically, you're just caught in your story. You're caught in your story, so when I say, what is it? You hesitate. And so that's a good test to see if the person is caught. But this story doesn't tell the other side. But in the commentary to this story, there's another story, which has both sides. So two monks are talking, and one of them's name is Nanyang. The other one is not named.


And the monk says to Nanyang, in the flower adornment skillet, in the flower adornment scripture it says that all... No, in the flower adornment scripture it says that the fundamental affliction of ignorance is itself the immutable knowledge of all Buddhas. This seems very abstruse and difficult to understand. And Nanyang says, No, I don't think so. Seems pretty straightforward to me. The monk says, Well, how so? And Nanyang says, Well, see that young man over there sweeping the ground? Watch this. And he says to the boy,


Hey, you! And the boy turns his head. And he says, Is this not the immutable knowledge of all Buddhas? And then he says to the boy, What's Buddha? And the boy hesitates, and gets disoriented, and kind of stumbles off into the dust. And then he says, Is this not the fundamental affliction of ignorance? So the boy is a sentient being, and all he's got is stories. And then you say, Hey, you! But he just turns his head, just like a Buddha would if you say, Hey, you!


He's living in this fundamental affliction of ignorance. He's living in this story land where unenlightened beings live. I brought this to show you. And the teacher says, Hey, you! But he's not caught by his story. He just turns his head, like a Buddha would. So the Buddha, you say, Hey, you! The Buddha could just turn her head. She's not living in the story. I'm the Buddha. People should not be caught saying, Hey, you, to me. I'm the Buddha. You don't say, Hey, you, to the Buddha. Well, you don't, really. There's a story like that.


You don't do that to the Buddha. You don't say, Hey, you, man. Actually, I do have a story like that. But usually, when you do that, you realize that's kind of not appropriate to be talking to the great teacher that way. It's not really kind of the right thing to do. There's a story like that. And the Buddha knows that story. But the Buddha's not caught by that story. So you say, Hey, you, to Buddha. So the Buddha can say, Yo! And that boy could, too. That's what Buddhas can do. They understand the stories, so they aren't caught by them. And this story arises, they've got a Buddha here, and people should be respectful.


And then this story arises, they're not being respectful. And you don't stick to either one. You go... That's what Buddhas can do. They know how to do that. And that boy does, too. Working with the same material, but not caught by it. Then he says, What's Buddha? And the boy, the Zen master's asking me, What's Buddha? Catch! Catch! Catch! Hesitates? Trouble. There it is. That's the fundamental affliction. That's what happens to you when you have ignorance. You get hung up on the story. Because you don't understand. Then you get hung up. But the same story. Right there.


You're not hung up. And that's what Buddhas know how to do. It's right there. Sentient beings means living beings that are not fully awakened to what a living being is. They don't understand stories yet. That's what they've got to work with. But still, they're not separate from the Buddhas, so they can immediately turn at some point and not be caught. This path of least resistance. Another word is the path of least action. That's another physical principle. Principle of relativity and principle of least action. Things actually go. Physical things actually go according to where there's the least work. Whereas we imagine stories where there's more work than necessary and get stuck in those stories and get tired out. Even though everything is still flying right on course, we get stuck.


So the first story just tells half the test. The second story shows both sides. Same person. One time they're not stuck. The next time they are stuck. First time they're like a Buddha. Next time they're like a sentient being who's stuck. And I had this New Yorker. This is a New Yorker, February 12th. Is that Abraham Lincoln's birthday? It's a New Yorker magazine, so it's probably a New York subway. It's got all these people on the subway with other people. And it's got all these little bubbles above their head of their dreams about their relationship with the other people on the airplane. They're all dreaming. They all have stories arising in their minds about their relationship with the other people


on the subway. So this one young man who looks like an art student. He might be Asian. He might be Japanese or Chinese. He's got straight black hair. And he's got a little, what do you call it? A portfolio to carry his artwork. And he's looking at another, kind of a buxom, but also potentially Asian girl. And he's dreaming of her being his model for his paintings. He's dreaming of painting her in the nude. And she's dreaming of him and her getting married. With their clothes on. And then there's a man of African descent


reading a magazine. He's dreaming of a huge superwoman carrying him around. And then there's a man who's got his arm raised and he's looking at this woman in front of him and dreaming of kissing her. And she's thinking of how smelly he is. And then there's this blind woman with a dog. And the dog's dreaming of chasing a cat. And the blind woman, who's sitting next to a woman who has a crying baby, is dreaming of the baby not crying. And the woman with the baby is dreaming of going for a walk in the park with the blind woman and her dog and her baby. So everybody on the bus, I mean everybody on the, it could be a bus too I suppose,


bus or subway, is dreaming about their relationship with the world. And then other people, and we get to see actually the whole story here. This is kind of a Buddha's eye view of the situation. But this is like normal. This is the normal situation. But if we are generous with this normal situation, we can find the way not to be caught by the normal situation. Then we don't even have to go to an abnormal situation where nobody's dreaming. And then if nobody's dreaming you think, well then we wouldn't be caught. No. Because then you would think not dreaming was it, and you'd be caught in not dreaming. You'd tighten up around that. Finally I got rid of all this dreaming that people are doing. Got away from these stories about what's going on.


I have no ideas. So then I'm really in touch with reality. So then you're stuck there. So then you don't see the light either. And a lot of, in Zen and other Buddhist schools, some teachers, some students think that having no thought, and therefore no stories, and therefore no karmic consciousness, that that would be nirvana. But this tradition is saying not discriminating, not thinking, is not non-discriminating wisdom. So you can't tell in this picture whether some of these people are studying all their stories that they're having, just studying one after another, as they change from one to another. Or that if they knew what the other people's stories were, that they would be able to study and be interested in their stories


as much as their own. And they'd be able to see that the other people's stories are really their own. They just didn't know yet until they were told. But when they were told, say, oh, that's my story too. Do you want to hear my old story before I heard your story? And the person says, no. Say, oh. So these stories, again, according to that statement, are boundless. There's no end to them, really. They really don't have ends. They're unclear, or you could say obscuring. And there's no, there's actually no fundamental there, nothing to get a hold on them. And yet they are sufficient for us to go through them in a path that's not the path that requires the least action. So then we get stressed.


And also, I forgot the lyrics, but there goes something like this. I mean, I don't know, I don't think it was something like this. Tell me, help me. It's just the same old story. A tale of love and glory. What? A fight for love and glory. What? A case of do or die. What? The fundamental thing is the fundamental things apply as time go by. A kiss is just a kiss. A smile is just a smile. Oh no, you must remember this. A kiss is just a kiss. A smile is just a smile. A sigh is a sigh? I thought it was a sigh which is a sigh.


Yeah. But then somebody told me it was a smile. Anyway, you must remember this. A kiss is just a kiss. A smile is just a smile. The fundamental things in life, the fundamental things apply as time goes by. Back to the beginning. It goes It's just the same old story. A fight for love and glory. A case of do or die. That's the situation, right? Now, you must remember this. In a situation like this, with these old stories, these boundless stories, you can't get away from them, and they're do or die stories, and they're stories of fighting for love and glory, and, you know, etc.


Against the axis of evil. Fighting for my way, which is true. These kind of stories, in such a situation which we happen to be in, surrounded by other people who are dreaming like us, remember a kiss is just a kiss. A sigh is just a sigh. A sound is just a sound. A smell is just a smell. A touch is just a touch. The fundamental things apply as time goes by. Now, time's going by again. It'll be the same. Time's going by. A kiss is just a kiss. That's it, that's it, that's it.


Can I have another one? It's just that. There's not another. There's just that. Don't overwork. But we have to train ourselves into just a kiss. Just a sigh. In other words, be generous with those kisses. Be generous with those sighs. It's a sigh. That's it. Okay. Give that sigh to that sigh. Give that kiss to that kiss. Totally participate in the thing being just that, and complete it with your generosity. As time goes by.


In other words, moment after moment. Practice that way. Remember this moment after moment. These tales of love and glory and fights of love and glory will continue, but this is the way you practice in such a dramatic setting, which is all we've got. And sometimes people get dramatically undramatic stories, extremely boring stories, and those actually are very auspicious, because that means the tales of hatred and greed have kind of like waned, and now they come in and tell you that it's boring. So go back to those exciting ones again. Caroline? Hi.


Hi, Caroline. I'm still thinking about the Long Ji story. You're thinking about the Lin Ji story? Lin Ji. Yes. That's good. Keep thinking about it. Can you explain why it was appropriate for him to hit both of his teachers at the end? Why it was appropriate? Did it help them gain a higher enlightenment too? Definitely. His activity is the deepening of their enlightenment. His exercise of freedom. Oh, so it's not the fact that he hit them, it's the fact that he felt free to hit them. Yes. His freedom, his joyful liberation deepens their enlightenment. Yes. Wang Bo was very happy about this, you know.


He was having a good time with this. It didn't really hurt him to have... that swap didn't hurt him. And the yell didn't hurt him. He was very happy about it. He was delighted that this person realized his freedom. And then every time this person demonstrates it, it's a joy. Just like, again, when you see someone you love and they demonstrate their freedom and you enjoy that, that deepens your understanding. Interesting. I'm here pretty much as a student. Pretty much? Pretty much as a student. What else? I could be just an observer.


Oh, I see. Okay. And that could easily happen simply because I'm accompanying my friend Sal and I'm very grateful for him to bring him on to this meeting today. Can you hear him? A little louder, Rudy. I am very grateful to be here today and accompanying my friend Sal to have brought me to such an event. So I could easily... Thank you, Salvi, for bringing Rudy. I could easily have been just, like I said, an observer and call that a day. But it's been a very enlightening experience to be here. I've had a lot of great teachers, and that means all of you. And call it the story of Lentine. And it made me aware of all my own stories. Last night, in talking with Andy and Sal, and telling one of my stories,


they brought up, let's say, another individual that says, oh, you're just like that individual. And I said, no, that's not me. And they both started to laugh. We'll support you. And I thought that one of the most difficult things is to let go of your own stories. And it's... And out of all the things that I learned, and I think that that's probably the thing that I learned the most, is to be able to let go. And that is going to be a very difficult task. I'm observant of it. And I appreciate it. And I appreciate the setting that has allowed me to do that. So I thank you, all of you, for this event. Is... Spanish is Rudy's first language, right?


Yeah. But his English is very good. But I don't know if there's a kind of, what do you call it, an idiom called, we say, an observant Christian, or an observant Jew, right? Somebody who's observing the practices of that tradition. Okay? All right? So, I was thinking, what he learned here, the most important thing he felt he learned here was to let go. And that's what an observant, so-called Buddhist, that's what a Buddhist practices, is letting go. Including letting go of Buddhism. And one of the ways you can test if you let go of Buddhism is see if other stories from people from other religions can be your stories, which is very difficult for some of us, you know, when a Jehovah's Witness comes. And it's not so much, you know, they're called Jehovah's Witness, but really it's a person


who's got a story. And they say they're a Jehovah's Witness, that's part of their story. So then they tell you their story, which some other Jehovah's Witness might say, no, that's not my story. But all these Jehovah's Witnesses, one of which is my sister, they come and they tell you stories, and then you think, well, geez, that's kind of like not my story. So in some ways, I would say, you know, I have the story that a Buddhist is like not holding on to, that's not my story. They might think, that doesn't seem to be my story, but I'm not going to hang on to that it's not my story. Just, there's a story, which comes up in my mind, and now I hear their story, and I make a story of that, and they seem to be, I don't see them reflecting each other.


Okay? But I want to let go of, not just let go of their story, but let go of the story that they're not related, and let go of my story. This is the observant, the practitioner is actually working on that. But it's hard. It's hard. You have this understanding of Islam, okay? And I want you to know, there's other understandings of Islam. You have this understanding of Judaism, you have this understanding of Christianity, there's other understandings. And also, there is cutting through all of them. And that's, I think, what everybody wants. I think that's happiness, because the truth cuts through all stories. It doesn't get stuck in any human story.


But human beings, bless their hearts, are living in story land. So, who? Wheat? Watch what I just said. I said human beings. Are you not a human being? Are you not a human being? Yeah, I said human beings are in story land. And you said, so are we, so I thought maybe you're not a human. Are you a fox? Are you a red fox? Are you a red fox? Oh, and you have stories too? Oh, well, thanks for coming. Um...


Anybody can come up. And you don't have to come alone. You can bring a friend if you want. Well, I wanted to come up, because yesterday, this is what I was avoiding. I've already spoken with you, Will, about what happened, but I wanted to say it to everybody. Speak up, please. Okay, I'll speak up. Well, yesterday when I was... Sing your song. ...sitting in the back, and Rev said, move up. And I said, I immediately said, well, I wasn't moving away from you. And the minute I said it, I knew I was. And so, um, it was like the whack that I didn't expect. So I thought I was moving away. And I sat with that, and then Rev told me, told your story about hiding. And, um, that's my story. And it was, um,


it was really important. It was an important discovery, because I really didn't understand that story, that I'd been hiding for a long time. And I've done it through moving to different communities and avoiding that connection, that deeper connection. And coming here, and wanting to be connected on some level, but then not doing it, and hiding it. And feeling... Wanting to be connected, but then not doing it? But not connecting. Wanting to connect, but not connecting, yeah. And somehow feeling safer. And it's my own story. Feeling safer when you're not connected? Just feeling, somehow. I mean, it's a story. And I'm listening to it. Yes, I know you are. So, um, I feel quite relieved,


and I feel anxious right now, but I feel calmer than I was yesterday. And, um, I was looking down at my shirt that somebody else gave me, but it says, snowed in, and I have cabin fever. It says cabin fever. And so I feel like I did sort of come out of the mountains feeling that way. You came out of the mountains feeling what way? Snowed in. And having cabin fever, in a way. And then after you got out, you want to go back in the cabin? No. I don't. I want to go back and take your advice and connect with other people, but I have a little song I... Connect with other people. Yeah. In other words, realize your connection with people by doing rituals like going and grabbing people


and punching them. I have attempted to reach out. We are connected, but we get distracted, so then we have to do something to realize it, like go and sit together and walk together. This morning, when you were walking meditation just a while ago, you know, I sat here and I just wanted to let you walk forever. You were so beautiful, walking together, so calmly. Wasn't that nice? So nice, so quiet, so... But, even though it seemed like it would be nice if you do it forever, also it's nice to give it away. Just give it away and sit down. So, yeah, we do these things, we can feel connected, but it's really to realize the truth that we are. And so then we try to do something to do it,


and then when we start to do it, we want to not do it anymore. We don't want to feel connected. We do want to feel connected, so then we make a big effort, you know, like we leave Minnesota and drive all the way across the country to be with a teacher, and then when we get there, and the teacher turns on us and says, I'm here for you totally, we say, well, it's okay, maybe later. What did you say? I know. You know. Yeah, because I've felt it for so long that there's an intensity with you and you're so present that it makes me feel like, I don't feel it right now, but I have felt like I needed to draw that. Yeah, right. And I just want to say, I felt that way with Suzuki Roshi too, that when he actually gave me his total attention, I often feel like, I don't want to take any more of your time. It's okay.


Thanks a lot. See you later. That's why I said to you yesterday, you want to go to dinner now? And you said, well, I got started on my story and you had to say, slow down. Okay. Yeah, sometimes people tell me their story and they say it so fast because they don't want to notice that I'm listening to it. Okay. Thank you all very much. You're welcome. And let's see, there was one other. Oh, remind me about Joe Muir. Yes, please. I have a story I want to share that I think is appropriate for the group because you were talking about finding teachers last night. Yes. And I had been studying a long time with Leslie Temple Thurston coming here. She is not from a particular lineage,


although she had Hindu teachers. And then I started going to hear Adyashanti, who seems very clear. I started to go to hear Adyashanti, who seems very clear and sharp, and I went on retreats with him here and enjoyed them very much. And the last time I went on a retreat with him, I got kicked out of the retreat. And I don't want to go into a lot of details, but it was very interesting because I felt this was a community that I could maybe fit with. I liked his teachings. I still go to listen to him, but I won't sign up on a retreat with him again. I was kicked out because I could not stay the whole time. I had obligations that came up. And at that time, I felt it was okay that the universe somehow set me up for this experience. And of course, I was more upset about it later


when I could think about it, when the thinking comes in. But what I think the real message was that of course in a way it had nothing to do with Adyashanti. I think part of it was a lesson to see that I was depending on teachers too much and thinking that if I would go to retreats maybe I could be carried through and not have to do as much work. And so I think it was kind of the universe saying, wake up, it's time for you to do more of the work yourself and take on more responsibility. And so it really was a very valuable retreat and very different from any other retreat I had gone on before. And coming to this retreat, I may have heard you talk once, I wasn't really aware of who you were,


but I wanted the place and the time to meditate and I've enjoyed it very much. And coming here has allowed me to appreciate my other teachers more too and see that all of you are this part of this beautiful quilt where you really all say the same thing, but you say it very differently. And being able to say it differently allows people to see things in different ways and to come in and to hear in a way that maybe you couldn't with somebody else or you couldn't at that time. And so thank you to all of you. Because we're in this together. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. I'd like to share this story and to let it go, but I don't know how many times more I'm going to repeat it before I let it go.


But I say it with an intention about hope. And for some of us, another perfect example of about 20 years ago, if you would have seen me, I was a rock. Totally destroyed the nature. I was not related to the trees, to the birds, nothing. Totally disconnected and I wanted to have my backyard to come and be concrete. And the person who came before he comes, he said, why don't you wait for two weeks because when you put the concrete, if you want to change it, it's kind of hard. So give yourself some time. And within that two weeks, I happened to go to this ashram and there was a chanting program. I went there for a couple hours. I kind of felt the energy. I kind of felt the vibration of the chant came out of the chant. And for two days, I was in absolute bliss.


I was just connected to the whole world. Birds were not these flying objects to me anymore. Trees were not the extra stuff that kind of puts in my backyard. I could feel, I could see, I could sense every line in the bird. And I could see my own hands. I could see the lines. I could see this perfect shape which before I was totally disconnected. So I'm saying with just the intention to just loosen up for some of us who love the nature. Just have some hope because there are people like me who'd be transported just a matter of, who knows, you know, just a moment. So thank you. Thank you. So you didn't put the cement in, huh? You can come too, Suchitra. You can come too. It's all right.


Friday when we talked. Okay, Friday when we talked. Thank you for thinking of me. And I told you the story of my family and having a very difficult situation with my alcoholic niece. And... Alcoholic niece. And I had to take her to a homeless shelter. Homeless shelter. Beloved niece. Your beloved niece. Yes, okay. And before I came here Friday, I was packing. I told you I accidentally didn't know. I put on Sarah Brightman's, accidentally, CD called It's Time to Say Goodbye. And it just flattened me.


And I told you I laid down on my bed. And what came to me was saying goodbye to my family. And, I mean, that's pretty much a cardinal sin according to my family. And I got scared. Because the question came. And it was you said about the question yesterday. It was so right on. You said it was difficult with the questions is... What came to me was this question came from my heart, like you said. Not through my mind. And the question was... Well, what am I really letting go of? And I got scared because it was like... First got images of my family. And then all kinds of things came in. And I jumped off the bed. I thought, well, where does this end? And then when I came Friday night and you said...


And this reminds me of that Lynn G. story. Your student said about getting hit in the holding places. And you spoke my worst fear. Because I said the question that came up is... What am I letting go of? And you said everything. Which was my terror. Well, what's that mean? I asked you, I think, and you gave me an answer. But I lost it. And what I got through the weekend is... Everything is just a story. They're just stories. My family thing is just a story. So to loosen up around it is creating space. And you said be generous. I've been generous with it. And I feel a lot better. And you said you almost guaranteed me there would be a light.


There would be different light. And it's true. And the other thing, it's so aware of the support. You know, no one knows that they all supported me. Well, you know. Everybody knows. And doing this thing, I could not have done what I did and the way I did it without everybody supporting me. And then one more thing. Where's the young woman? She did. When you came up and talked about masters, and, you know, it's like knowing intellectually about masters. And what I got somehow in that conversation was you are a master at, I'll call it the mind, knowledge of the mind and spirit.


And it's like, well, there are master therapists, bridge players, golfers. And it's somehow at a feeling level took care of. And, you know, intellectually I know you don't want to be master of me or people. You keep saying it over and over. But at a feeling level, it's like this young woman said, well, everybody's a master. Learn from everybody. It's like I learned a lot from my niece. I mean, we both, we did. And I'll learn from those dark things. But I can choose to study masters who know things that are going to bring more light. And I just felt relieved. And I think it primarily had to do with I had a very authoritarian father.


And so, you know, the master thing just kind of lightened me up. In fact, I'll share this. He used to say as a kid, he'd do it in kind of a joking way, but he'd do this fist and he'd say, put it up to your nose and say, smell your master. I hated it. And I told him, don't do that. I don't like, you know, sensitive children. So I had forgotten that until this woman brought up that topic. So, and one more thing. Ann and I were talking last night about why would you go up there in the center like this? Why would you do this? And why is because we've got to share. And I learned, and these other people come up here and do this. So even though, and everyone talking, this is really helpful. We're going to be more miserable sitting back there or coming up here.


And I thought, well, I know I'm going to be more tied up if I don't. So thank you. I have to thank everybody. Thank you. I think Suchita was next. Did you want to offer something? A poem about a turning word? Something like one turning word in the moon's cold. Something like one turning word in the moon's cold. Uh-huh.


I can't remember it. I know. I'll find it. Yes. So my takeaway of this retreat is generosity. And when you spoke of generosity, I took it as it has no limits, no boundaries, no preferences. So therefore, when that nice, wonderful lady spoke of her needs and the pain that woman is going through,


I felt that if there is generosity in the universe, and if there is no preference about it, then our generosity is for everyone. And it no longer matters if it's my daughter, if it's my niece. She said something, but you didn't hear, right? Shall I speak louder? Yeah, please. To start from the beginning? Yeah, kind of start from the beginning. Yeah, thank you. Sorry. So my takeaway from this retreat is the word generosity. And to me, generosity, what I learned from you today is that this generosity has no limits, no boundaries, and no preferences. It is something we offer to everyone in the universe. And everything. And everything. Exactly. And no judgment.


And give to the give. Now the meaning comes to me. I understand it. I'm going to practice it. Great. But going back to the question my friend had, or the feeling that she described, my observation was that when we talk about generosity, it doesn't matter if we're helping or we're concerned about our niece, or our children, or our brothers or sisters. Now our generosity is offered to the universe, so we offer it to whoever is asking for it. Well, we offer to whoever is asking, but sometimes we can't hear them, so we can give gifts even to those who don't ask. Yes. But if someone asks you to give them a gift, yes. But some people you can't hear them, but you can still give them to themselves,


even though they didn't ask you to. They still appreciate it. Speak up, please. But the step that I've taken is that even if they don't, then you offer. I mean, I used to offer, and then people would not want me to continue. Well, practice the other kind of giving, where you just let them be who they are. Exactly. And they can't resist that. And you don't have to say anything to them, either. You just look at them, and you see them, and you give them to themselves. And you feel that that's giving, and it is. They don't have to hear from you, but if they see it, they will be very happy, because then they will be able to learn it and practice it also, which they want to do.


But they need somebody to show them. Somebody has to show us this. We aren't born knowing how to do this, even though... We're not born being conscious that we are doing this. We actually are giving everyone to themselves. And we are actually giving ourselves to ourselves, but we're not conscious of it when we're children. So we need to be taught, and taught, and taught, until we understand. You can just come up, you don't have to raise your hand, just come up. Is there a difference between this seat and that seat?


Yes, there's a difference. But they're not separate. And what's the difference? The difference is you feel different. Yes. And that's a fine difference. They don't feel different. You didn't hear what I said? The difference is she feels different. And she said it's a fine difference. It's a fine difference. I didn't mean to feel the difference. Thank you for feeling the difference, Calvin. I didn't mean to say that, but my shirt says Calvin Klein. Thank you so much. I'd like a little help with the practice of giving myself to others.


You'd like help giving yourself to others, yes? Somehow it's more clear to me getting others to themselves. I understand it more readily than giving myself to others. I don't quite know what that means. Well, I don't want to tell you the meaning of it, okay? Like if you're sitting, you know? Can you have a feeling like you're giving your whole heart to your sitting? Like I'm just giving myself totally to this posture. And now you're looking at me, can you feel just like you're giving yourself to me? The way you give yourself to your posture. Like, here's Steven, he's yours. I'm yours. Can you do that? I can imagine doing that. Yeah, it's like that, it's like I'm yours. It's like a friend of mine said, she met somebody and they said, what are you doing?


She said, what do you need? On a good day, that's what she said, what do you need? I'm yours. And again, the grandsons say, you're mine. I say, you're right, I'm yours. But I'm also the other grandchildren's. I'm also everybody's. But I'm yours, that's totally true. I'm here for you, I'm yours. But I'm also here for your sister and your mother and your dad. But right now, I'm here with you and I'm yours. But if somebody else needs me, I'm theirs too. But you really can be, I'm yours. And each person, I'm yours, it has a different meaning which you can enjoy.


The way you're everybody's. And I just wanted to underline the part about the difference between staying back there and staying up here, coming up here. But coming up here is not so familiar. I encourage you to go in the unfamiliar directions more. You can hang out in the familiar areas too, but come to the unfamiliar. Come and be awkward with me. Awkward in the unfamiliar, embarrassed, clumsy. That's where Zen is. It's not hanging out in areas where you're totally cool and got it all worked out. Although, you know, if you want to go there sometimes, fine. It's okay.


But please come to the unfamiliar. But if you don't, I'll let you be that way. I mean, that's my vow. And if you feel like I'm getting impatient with you, hanging out where you're familiar, let me know, please. Of course, that would require you to go someplace unfamiliar. But that's not so unfamiliar, right? Giving me feedback that I'm being impatient with you, or you feel like I am? Have I done that? Yes, you don't have to go out in the middle of the room to do it. You can say it from a distance. I mean, you used to be able to, but now I ask you to come in the middle and say it. I upped the ante. I didn't really up it, it got upped. My heart upped it. I don't have much time left, so I don't want to... I don't want to...


collude in... what do you call it... hiding. Thank you. Let Keith come, he hasn't come yet. Well, this was not a part of my story that I thought was going to happen. Coming up here was not part of the story of what you thought was going to happen? But when Elizabeth said, what's the difference between the two, I wanted to experience the difference, so I had to be here. The weekend has been marvelous for me. With you, but with everyone else,


it's been fascinating for me to watch the different stories that I've gone through. There have been many different stories. Even though I've got caught in them, there's also been a part of me that's sitting over here watching the story. It's just sort of amazing what life offers us. It's even more amazing when I get to step back and watch it rather than get lost or hang on to it, and I'm good at hanging on to the stories. This is the first retreat I've shared with you. This is the first retreat I've shared with you. My spiritual practice is different. It's a different practice than Buddhism.


It's Kriya Yoga. Listening to the teachings here, I found myself partly feeling like, is it wrong for me to be here because this is not my tradition? That was only a thought that I had. At the same time, listening to the teachings, so much relates to exactly what my teachings are, and that's wonderful. What this woman said earlier, in listening to the parts of the teachings that don't sound the same, actually helps me go deeper into the meaning of what my teaching is. So I appreciate the differences. And that helps me on my own path. I'm leaving here


to go on to a camping trip vacation to Joshua Tree. And my plan in coming, or one of my reasons in coming, was I thought this would be a good transition from my other life. Into the desert life. And it's been a wonderful transition for me. Because in the desert I will be totally without people, which I love. And I like that experience. And in the silence, where I can go deep into the teachings and the wonders of nature, which you opened up to. But this transition has allowed me to conduct with so many wonderful souls, as I'm leaving that connection,


and moving into the non-connection to people. And it occurred to me that it was, because I came into the weekend with a lot of heavy, tired, feeling sort of exhausted with relating. But what I found here is that there's a, with all of you, there's a cleanness in the way that I experience interacting with you that sort of helped me release all the uncleanness that I had brought into this weekend. Which then frees me more readily to fully go into my joshua tree. I thank everyone. It's not too bad sitting here.


What I would like to ask is to be in a space to totally allow myself to feel the harm, but at the same time, nothing is being harmed. So, bow. Thank you. So my experience is that some stories are really obvious, and those are easy to let go of, to see. It's just, well,


that's questionable at the start, so you see it. But the ones that I find difficult are the ones that are not. It's like, some of them are up on the computer screen, and here I am, I'm a story. And there are others that all you know is that the blue screen comes on, and something's going on there. I guess the question is teasing those things out. Because there are obviously, there are stories that I feel I need to let go of. For example, sort of the fear of coming and sitting up here. I mean, I have a story that I've watched everyone come up here and have a compassion experience, but then there's this fear. And there's obviously some story that's not the story that I'm aware of. It's something else. Well, the more challenging ones,


I'm suggesting to you that if you sit quietly with them and don't try to get anything with no expectation, in other words, surround the story with generosity, just be present with it. Actually be with it, generously. It will eventually tell you who you are, who it is, what it is. It will tell you its secrets. It will show you its light. And you said tease out, and you can tease out if it's generous. Generous teasing. Giving teasing, not teasing to control, but teasing as an offering. Or teasing just to see what happens kind of teasing, like, come up here to see what it's like. I'll go check it out, see what it's like. Not trying to get something from it, but just, I'm going to go see what it's like.


Did you want to come in and talk to us? Yeah, we do feedback. Yeah, you can come in. Come on in. So, just look at the stories with this kind of generous mind, and it will reveal itself to you. In other words, study everything about the story. But the challenge is, for me, is not even having any idea what the story is. There's obviously something there. Well, that's a story you just told. It's a certain kind of story which you find particularly troublesome, probably. So that's a tough story for you. Be generous with that one, too. Let it be very obscure and elusive and mysterious, if that's the kind of story you're into. And it seems like you are. That's the kind of guy you are. And that may be hard for you to be patient and generous with who you are. You might want to have different kinds of stories


that would be more obvious. Some other people would like to have yours and have you to have theirs. But thank you for coming and sitting here. And I wanted to say something, too. You know, people come up here and now we've developed sort of spontaneously a ritual here. People come up and they bow and sit down or they bow and they leave. And to some extent I feel like, what are they bowing for? Are they bowing to me? Well, sort of. They're kind of bowing to me. But maybe not. But it seems appropriate for them to bow sort of to me because I have this role of taking care of this place where you get to come and be. So this is kind of a sacred spot and I'm taking care of it. You can bow to everybody. That would be fine, too. But I am kind of like giving my time to provide this place here. So you're bowing to the one who makes a place for you. And a place for you to talk to the one


who makes a place for you. So this bowing to each other seems kind of developed and I kind of feel okay about it. And now we have a young man has come to to give feedback on the weekend. So, please. My name is Mark. I'm here to seek some feedback from folks. Navadana Center continues to improve as we receive feedback from program participants. And I just have a quick four questions and then I'll be on your way. And I want to let you know that I'm going to put some evaluation sheets on the table outside if you guys want to get more feedback. So first off, how were the meals? And the facilities? How were the facilities for you guys? I have an observation about the sleeping and bed skills


building up with the blankets, which are mostly made of plastic. And it's always a struggle for me. They want to get away all the time and I wish they weren't so plastic. They would like that. I wish they weren't so plastic. The comfort, the comfort. It's just not there. Oh, right. So, in the morning, I get up, and I try to last through the night. Also, this was an accident, but the coffee maker, which was leaking yesterday, there was an accident yesterday. And this morning when we came, the water was flooding, so they would have checked it before anybody else. So that was not an accident. It just happened. The heat apparently is kind of a mystery, but it was on the whole time I was in my room.


I had a comment or a question for everybody about this new amplifier system that has been around for a long time. I don't know if you can hear it, but it's a very in-depth session. The next question is in regards to the center staff.


How was your experience with the center staff? The last question is in regards to what your experience is like within the community. You have family here, you have a school, there's a teacher. It's quiet. It's quiet? Yeah. It's very warm, right? It's a party. My eyes are very long right now. Are there any other comments or things you'd like to keep saying or something that really stuck out as a really good thing? I thought that the introduction by the director was wonderful. Just emotional hospitality. Really. A certain person. A certain person.


I have another one. I really enjoyed the service in the morning and the scene and playing the instruments. It was beautiful. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. I'm being here the third time. I just want to remind you guys that we're going to have food up there for you guys. Don't be hungry. If you have enough food, I want you to eat that carefully. How we want it to be can be kind of a one-way road. And then we'd like to invite all of you back. Come back by yourselves or bring friends and family. We have this program called Personal Retreat where you just can sit back, enjoy the place, kick in the pipes or the hot tub. And you can do that by just logging on to our website or give us a call.


And then thank you, Red Anderson, for bringing Scooter, bringing yourself, for doing the wonderful work that benefits our community to have people like yourself doing this kind of work. Thank you. Thank you. I'm wondering if this might be a good time to make an announcement about recording. Okay. Up to here or up to there? Wherever you'd like, Paul. This is a little bit of an experimental project. This isn't something we've done before or as a routine thing. So it's a little bit chaotic because it isn't just worked out preplanned. And it might have been easier if I had little sign-up sheets


or told you what to do and whatever, but it's not there, so I hope you can kind of bear with us. I've recorded all the sessions in digital form, and I can offer them as MP3 files primarily. Rev has agreed generously that they can be posted on his website. Correct me if I'm wrong. There's a link to Talks, and it'll be on the Talks link. Okay, so from the website, there's this Talks link, and they will be MP3 files, do you know, or a podcast or something? There seems to be a confusion over that, but we'll work it out. So that, if you have access to being able to download MP3, you should be able to get all of the files that way. If not, I'm going to propose that you email to me,


and I can produce individually CDs with the MP3 files on them and mail them back to you. And I'm doing this completely as a donation, and so I'll be asking for you to send me a check made out to Rev Anderson, which will go to him. And I guess I'm asking for a minimum donation of $20 for the one CD. More, of course, if you feel generous or feel like it was worth more to you. $1,000 checks are always acceptable. Yes, all of this is going to take a few weeks because I need to process it. I'm going to be in Tassajara for next week, and then it'll take a little while to get it onto the website also. So I thought I'd write the email address.


I thought I'd write it down, or if people don't have pens, I have some paper. But I made this address a while ago. It's called revrecording, just R-E-V-R-E-C-O-R-D-I-N-G, at, L-I-N-K-L-I-N-E. L-I-N-G? E, Link Lime. If for some reason you've got it, you can also email to revassistant at S-F-C-Z dot org, which will be Catherine, and she can forward. If for some reason that connection doesn't work, I give you an alternate. Call Catherine. Call Catherine. Yes. She can forward any request to me, and I will respond with an email with a PO Box address at my home in Mammoth, and you send me a check, and I'll send you a CD back.


Beyond the digital files, it's very tedious and time-consuming to try to produce audio CDs for me. I'm not set up to do that. If there is anybody who's unable to work with the MP3 files or doesn't have access to email or whatever, please see me later, and maybe we can work out something else, too. Paul, you think that the CD that you would provide would not be an audio CD? No. Maybe I need to be clear on that. The CD is a CD of these MP3 files. Many new players and DVD players will actually play them directly, but they're actually digital computer files. These discs will not play in a regular audio music CD player. But if you have access to maybe some friends who know how to work with this stuff,


they could convert it for you or whatever. But if there's no alternative, email me or talk to me later. I might be able to make one or two. It's a huge stack of CDs. Don't do it, Paul. It's too much work for you. The MP3 file that Paul is using is MP3 format. It's usable by any computer. So if you have a computer, put the disc in it, you'd be able to play it. It plays on any computer, and it also plays on iPods or any of these other little digital things, some of which cost like 50 bucks now. What? You found one? For 20. For 20, yeah. You should be able to find a device that could play it, and maybe somebody could take it from the computer disc onto the device. If you share a Wi-Fi, you can use the iPod. Yeah, yes. Is that sufficient?


Yes, I hope so. Okay. Thank you. So I wanted to mention about the dual mirror. Everything you look at is really a dual mirror. And your stories are dual mirrors. If you understand that what you're looking at is you, and also not you. And the instruction is that, you know,


right in the darkness of the mirror is the light, and right in the light of the mirror is darkness. But if it's dark, you don't try to see the light. And if it's light, you don't try to see the dark. In other words, you're generous with what you're given here. It also says that, when I say it also says, I mean, there's a text about this dual mirror. And the text about the dual mirror awareness says that if you're excited, it becomes a pitfall. And if you hesitate, you're lost. So you have to develop this way of looking at your stories where you're not getting excited about them, and you're not hesitating. Somebody says, Hey, you, or what is it? How do you meet that? Generously, without getting excited or hesitating? In that space,


you can see that what you're looking at is not you, but actually is you. And usually we're looking at... If you look inwardly, you're looking at your story, you can see your story. If you're looking outwardly, you're seeing your story outwardly. You have a story of this, but actually it's inside. So this is how to work with this dual mirror, but you have to be not excited or hesitant. Otherwise, you fall into pits or feel left out. I started getting excited!


About a half an hour ago, I started thinking about coming forward, and I was thinking I hadn't really had any stories to... I was feeling pretty free of stories, and then I saw that was a story I wanted to tell. And then I could see what the stories I was having were, which were that I really had plenty of opportunity to come forward and meet the teacher, so that it wasn't my turn or my place to come forward in this setting, because most of everybody here doesn't have that much opportunity. And then I felt I also had the story... I lost the second one, but there was one related to that. Maybe I will come back. But then I was wanting to come forward, and maybe this was the second story. Suddenly, a lot of people who were not coming forward


until the last minute were coming forward, and that's when I started to get excited, because I started to fear that I wouldn't have the opportunity to come forward. And I saw this, like, restless, energetic impatience. I felt this in my body, this wish to come forward that wasn't there really, out of this wish to be here with everybody. Oh, and the other story I was having that I found when I realized I did have some stories was I don't know what my job is. So there's a part of me that's wondering if I'm doing my job constantly or frequently, or if there's something. As I said to Paul, I always feel like there's something I need to be doing, but I don't know what it is. And Paul said, oh, well, yes, that's our condition in the universe.


And I said, well, I meant specifically, I was pointing at Rev's door. So that's my confession, I guess. Are you generous with this situation? My story is that I'm generous with this situation. Are you enjoying being generous with it? Oh, yes. Yes? Oh, yes. Thank you. Thank you, Catherine. I've also been excited and scared for about half an hour, because I wanted to come up, and I told myself a lot of stories about how I already came up once, I think. And when Catherine was here,


experiencing the difference between those seats and this one, I was trying to figure out how I can take the experience or create the experience of this seat when I'm not here with you. And then I saw that I was trying to hold on to this experience. It didn't make it a lot better, but I said that it didn't make it a lot better. Did you hear what she said before? No. How far back? Well, I think that key point about... Did you hear what she said? She was considering how she could feel what she feels when she's sitting here in other places that aren't exactly here. I thought you said you'd like to. Well, I'd like to. I'd like to be able to. And what is it about this that you'd like to be experiencing throughout your day?


I'd like to feel connected and maybe in the wake of your wisdom. Connected in the wake of the wisdom? Yeah. You'd like to feel that all day? I'd like to. Or maybe not all day, but quite frequently. That would be good. With a few breaks, perhaps, here and there. I'd probably want some breaks if I felt that all day. So that was one thing she said. And then? And then I realized that I was... Trying to hold on to it? Trying to hold on to this experience. So that if I try to recreate this experience at home, in my world, moment to moment, I'll be missing the experience that I might be having in that moment. When you come up here and sit here,


do you feel like you're... that the practice of generosity was alive? Or is alive now? Do you feel the practice of generosity is alive now? In some way. In some way? Yeah. I'm feeling fear right now because I want to say something that I'm telling myself is scary. You're feeling fear because you're about to say something that you're afraid to say? Uh-huh. And you're having trouble being generous around that? Yeah. And the thing that I wanted to explore... It's a story I don't know if I'm quite ready to be done with. But it's a story that I have. And the way I've told it sometimes in the past is that I love to be around people.


My favorite image of how to do that is I go to the farmer's market and there's all this joyful energy and fresh produce. And I like to weave my way in and out, but I don't really interact with anybody. I'm just with people and I like that. But I'm aware that it's kind of what I, at least up to this moment, in the way I've done here, is I come up here and I'm visible, but I don't really let you all in. And as people have been talking, and you've been talking about the way we all support each other, the way the universe supports the whole universe. Yes. And I've been feeling moments of being connected with other people here, which brings me joy and fear.


And so as an experiment, I was wondering if we might do the thing that we did when we started, where we went around and said our names. I would really like to do that because I would like to recognize each person here and the way we're supporting each other and feel that. So I wondered if we might do that. I'm happy to do that again. I would like to go sit over there when we do it so that I can be part of the circle. OK. After many years of going to a place


that's set up to feel like you're in a place, that's set up to feel like you're in a place, like someone came to me and said, at a session at Green Gulch, someone came to me and said, in my little room, she said, thanks for providing, thanks for being here and caring for a place where people can feel like they're here. A place that's set up to help people feel like they're in the place they are, rather than setting up places which tell you to go someplace else quickly and spend money, and then you'll be a success. After many years of coming to a place that's set up to help you feel like you're in the place you are, without holding on to that, you feel like you're in that place. You more and more feel like you live in that place


because you have been actually living in that place repeatedly and it starts to sink in that you're always in that place.