Listening, Training, Hearing and Liberation

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Inhale. Exhale. Was it last month when we did a well-being ceremony for your own? And then a couple of days later he had a sonogram or a sonar or something. Some kind of an ultrasound event which cleared up the problem. And here he is with us again.


And was it yesterday at Green Gulch we had a baby born? Is that right? Day before. A little boy born. His name is Dustin. Born to Sarah Tashker and Mark R.B., Drew R.B. So, we have a situation where there seems to be a great suffering in our world, lots of hostility and even horrible violence.


And I've heard a number of people thinking that maybe there's more now than usual. A lot of people feel like there's more violence and hostility now than usual. So, it's hard to measure, but anyway, there certainly is a lot. And I just saw a piece of paper, which I had my handwriting on it, and it said, the Buddha said that even in the time of the Buddhas, there's great hostility and jealousy. So it's hard to measure. Most things have some cycle in them, so there usually is ups and downs and whatever. So maybe we have now a big, huge wave of more violence than usual, but it's an ongoing process in which the world seems to be burning up.


And so, we wonder often, what can we do that might be helpful in a world that appears to be in flames? This kind of situation of the world being in flames is a situation which the Buddhas, the awakened people, are very concerned about. It's kind of their big concern is about the world that's burning up with hostility and violence. It's where they sit. They sit in the middle of the flames of suffering. That's where they sit. At the same time that they sit there, they're also sitting in a pure land at the same time. And their pure land is not in flames. Their pure land is peaceful.


And serene. And all beings in the pure land are in harmony. They're all good friends. They're all practicing good friendship with each other in the midst of these fierce flames. They live in a peaceful place in the middle. And the Buddhas are thinking, how can I help beings enter the great way so that they can enter peace? What can I do to help them enter the peace that is realized in the middle of all this? Last time I talked to Gringoche, it was a time like it is now.


There was war and violence going on that month too. And the one before, every month I talk, usually there's stuff that's happening that's really challenging us and asking us, how can we be of help? So last time I talked, I offered a summary of the path of those who wish to help beings who are living in the world of suffering. And so I summarized it by saying, listen to the cries of this world of suffering, train, hear and liberate. Listen, train, hear and liberate.


Or observe, train, see and liberate. One way is emphasizing listening, the other one observing, which could be listening or seeing or looking, like look, look, contemplate all living beings, listen to all living beings and then train the contemplation, train the listening. Train the contemplation so that it is completely wholehearted, and then from that completely wholehearted contemplation of all living beings comes seeing.


And from the seeing comes liberation. Lotus Sutra, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, the one who listens to the cries of the world, contemplating all living beings, her contemplation of all living beings is so total that the contemplation gives rise to an ocean of blessing and happiness. The contemplation leads to vision of truth and the assembling of happiness. Lotus Sutra, Heart Sutra, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, listening to the cries of the


world, contemplating all living beings, completely, thoroughly contemplating them wholeheartedly, sees that all phenomena are empty and thus relieves all suffering and distress. This is the proposal from these Mahayana teachings, that this is the way to save beings in the world of suffering, by listening to them, by looking at them. But when we first start looking at them, most of us see them suffering, but we don't simultaneously see the true Dharma. We see them crying, we see them wincing, we see them snarling, we see them screaming, we see them enraged, we see them full of hate.


But our looking is not yet trained well enough to be able to see the Dharma there. So we have to train. We have to listen, we have to look, and train the listening and the looking until we can see the way all beings really are. And in that vision, the beings are liberated. In the face of suffering, you might feel, well, listening isn't enough. Well, in a way that's right. But it isn't enough, but it's necessary. Avalokiteshvara sees reality, but doesn't stop listening. Avalokiteshvara sees reality, but doesn't stop looking. She hears the true Dharma, and that hearing liberates all beings, but she doesn't stop listening.


So listening isn't sufficient. Listening to the cries isn't sufficient, but it's necessary. We have to listen to the cries. We have to look at the faces. We have to watch the cruelty. We have to witness it all. That's not enough. We have to learn to do that so fully, that we hear the true Dharma and see the true Dharma. And in that hearing and in that seeing, peace and happiness and freedom arise. The Buddhas are sitting in the middle of all this suffering, hearing the Dharma and emanating the Dharma. They're surrounded by beings who do not see the peace that's right there. And they just keep sitting with them and keep singing to them


and touching them until all beings hear and see the true Dharma. But before we're completely trained, at various stages of training, we have trouble wholeheartedly observing every being we see, every being we feel, every being we think, every being we imagine. And when we see beings, often we are talking, or we are thinking in words,


or they are talking to us in words. And when the words come, it's a challenge to stay present and upright. Even a highly cultivated person gets turned about in the stream of words. Hearing that, someone might think, I'm going to go someplace where there's not a stream of words, so I don't get turned about. But the highly cultivated person doesn't run away from the words, even though she gets disoriented by them sometimes. But we can learn to be turned about without getting disoriented. But it's hard.


It's a difficult training to be able to listen to the words and get spun around by them and not be disoriented. But we can be turned and stay upright, but we have to train so that when we receive praise and blame, we just turn, we just pivot back and forth, round and round, and we just keep listening. And we keep listening with the vow to listen wholeheartedly. And then the vow to hear the true Dharma, and the vow to take care of it, and by taking care of it, everybody, the whole great earth and all living beings together attain the Buddha way,


the inconceivable, peaceful Buddha way. Thank you. Avalokiteshvara One name for Avalokiteshvara is contemplating the sounds or the cries of the world. But another name for Avalokiteshvara, and another name for Avalokiteshvara in Chinese is just contemplating sounds.


And the character for word is not mentioned. But it's the sound of the beings who are living in consciousness in the world. The world is consciousness that we live in. Consciousness is the appearance of a world. Avalokiteshvara listens to the cries from the world. But in the Heart Sutra, the Bodhisattva has a different name in Chinese, which is kanjizai. Kan means to contemplate, and jizai means self-existence. So one way to translate that is that it's the self-existent one who contemplates. But another way to translate it would be to contemplate the way the self exists. So in that translation, Avalokiteshvara is not just contemplating the cries.


Avalokiteshvara is contemplating the way the self of the beings is. So one way that you could say the name of the Bodhisattva is that the Bodhisattva is contemplating. The character for contemplation is character also for insight. Avalokiteshvara insightfully looks at beings. Avalokiteshvara has been trained in listening so that when she listens, she also hears the Dharma at the same time. When she looks, she sees the Dharma in the face of every being. Or, you could also say, she sees herself in the face of every being. But most people have to be trained to be able to see themselves in the face of every being.


Some people say, oh, I see myself in that face, but not in that one. Avalokiteshvara sees that others are herself. And this vision, this enlightenment, in that vision, beings are saved. And some of the beings who are saved do not agree that they're saved. Because they have the habit of believing that they're not the people they're looking at. And they're having trouble giving up that habit. But in the vision in which they're actually living, they're actually in harmony with everyone. Everyone really is who they are. So that's what I talked about about a month ago. Not quite a month ago, at Green Gulch, on Sunday morning.


And I'm trying to practice to listen to everybody. To listen to everybody inwardly and outwardly. And I'm trying to train the listening to make it wholehearted. I don't have to train the vision of Dharma that comes in that training. I don't have to train the non-duality of the training in the vision. The vision is non-dual with the listening. The vision is non-dual with the looking. The hearing of Dharma is non-dual with listening to the cries of the world. The liberating of beings is non-dual with the beings who do not feel liberated.


So, since it's non-dual, I try to train not leaning into liberation, or leaning away from liberation. I try also not to lean into bondage, or lean away from bondage. Not lean into being stuck. Not lean away from being stuck. Not lean into being released. Not lean away from being released. Be upright with release and stuck. I'm training at that. If I lean, what do I do? What do I aspire to do if I lean? Justin? Huh? Nope. Huh? I confess.


As soon as I confess, I'm coming upright. I confess, I leaned. I'm sorry. I leaned towards liberation, or I leaned away from liberation. Some people lean away from it because they feel that if they go to liberation, they would be abandoning all the suffering beings. And they don't want to abandon suffering beings. So I'm trying to train at being intimate with liberation. Being intimate with letting go of all affliction. And being intimate with means I don't lean into being free of all affliction. I just am not separate from it. But in being intimate with being free of affliction, I don't abandon affliction. I don't want to abandon affliction. So that's why we don't lean into peace.


We're upright with it. Someone said, don't you prefer peace? If I do, I confess and repent that I prefer it. I want to realize it, not prefer it. Don't you not prefer? Don't you disprefer? Bondage. If I do, that's bondage. The advantage of leaning into bondage, though, is you don't have to worry about being accused of abandoning bondage. I never left you guys in the world of suffering. I stayed in there with you. Yes, you did. But we'd like some people to stay with us who are upright. We want some people to stay with us who are upright.


We've got plenty of people who are staying with us who are leaning into it. Please show us how to sit upright. Would you go in the doksan room to the right of my seat? I think there's a photograph framed. I think it has a gold frame on it. Could you bring it, please? She's bringing a photograph that I thought of when I was talking to her just now. Yes. I mean this question wholeheartedly. Are we Avalokiteshvara? Because otherwise it's inconceivable to me that this person's individual practice could liberate anybody.


It seems... Did you say inconceivable? I did. Well, the liberation we're talking about here is inconceivable. And she's also saying that it seems inconceivable that one person could liberate all beings. But I would say that actually, another way to say it is, it's just wrong that one person... It's wrong. It's wrong that one person can liberate. Because one person liberating you could conceive of. The liberation is inconceivable because it's not one person liberating all people. The liberation is everybody liberating everybody. That's the hard part. It's when Avalokiteshvara sees that everything's empty in the Heart Sutra. It says, and thus relieves all suffering. When people first hear that, they think, well, that means Avalokiteshvara's suffering was relieved. But it means everybody's all suffering. It isn't all of Avalokiteshvara's suffering. Oh, there's two of them with gold frames.


So, here's one with gold frame and here's another one with gold frame. So this is the one I was thinking of. This is the one that he was thinking of. Do you see it? It's probably, it's a picture, I think, of a Buddhist monk on fire. Yeah. Reverend Kwong Duk. I don't know if I saw this picture, but I think I did. I saw this picture one time in a movie, a motion picture of this. And I saw this person sitting on fire and I thought, how can he sit upright there in the fire?


How can he sit upright in the fire? And then the body fell over. And I thought, well, yeah, that makes sense. But then it sat up again. And I don't remember exactly what I thought, but it was something in the neighborhood of, I would like to learn how to do that. Not to set myself on fire. I already know how to do that. I just don't want to. Yes. Oh. Marjorie is suggesting that this setting yourself on fire, not being the... Don't try this in your home department. Don't try this at home. Don't set yourself on fire. What? Or maybe anywhere. Yeah, don't set yourself on fire anywhere, she's suggesting. Don't try this anywhere.


That's Marjorie's suggestion. My suggestion is not to set yourself on fire. My suggestion is, if you're on fire, sit upright. If you by any chance are on fire, which might happen in various ways, like you might be full of... It might happen, you'd be full of anger. Burning with anger. I recommend, if you are burning with anger, try to sit upright and be relaxed. So you can turn. In the words... I don't know, the words... I'm better than you. You're wrong. My religion is better than yours. When those words come, try to stay upright. Those words are... Those words lead to flames if you hold them, or lean into them.


I feel like it's important for people who haven't seen that photograph before to know that he didn't do that by himself. That he did that... He was an old monk. And another monk poured the gasoline on him. It was done as a protest. It wasn't done as a protest. It was done to absorb suffering, I think. To end war. Kathy is saying that... But it's not something he did just on his own. He did it with a community? He did it with a community. Which takes us back to what Barbara said. That the liberation of all beings is a community operation. Avalokiteshvara did not liberate all beings by himself. He did not attain this wisdom by himself. In the larger rendition of the Heart Sutra,


it makes this point clear. The Buddha is sitting there. In meditation. Avalokiteshvara is sitting there with the Buddha. They're sitting together in friendship. Practicing together. And then Avalokiteshvara comes out of the meditation and sees the truth. But Avalokiteshvara comes out by the Buddha's power. It's with the Buddhas, with many Buddhas, with many living beings, with all beings Avalokiteshvara sees. We cannot see, we cannot see the true Dharma by ourselves. We vow, from this life on throughout countless lives, we vow with, we vow with all beings, from this life on throughout countless lives.


We're going to do this vow with everybody. And when we hear the true Dharma, we will hear the true Dharma with everybody. And when we hear the true Dharma, we will know we're hearing it with everybody. And we will also listen to people who say, I do not hear the true Dharma. We will listen to them when they say, I don't hear it. But we'll listen to them. And we'll hear that when they say, I do not hear the true Dharma, when we hear them say that, we will hear the true Dharma. And so their refusal, or their witnessing not hearing, will be an opportunity for us to hear. And therefore, we will be happy to keep listening to them sing the Dharma to us, in the form of, I don't hear it. And our ancestors,


when they were immature, some of them were mature enough to say, I do not hear this Dharma. The ancestor Dongshan, hearing the Dharma of the Heart Sutra, he said, the Heart Sutra says this, but I have that. Why does the Heart Sutra say I don't have that? And his teacher listened to him. And his teacher sent him to another teacher, who listened to him. And many teachers listened to him, and showed him how to listen, until he heard what he couldn't hear before. He heard the Heart Sutra. And this lineage was transmitted, the lineage of listening to the cries of all beings, and hearing the Dharma. But part of the practice is to also admit,


right now, I don't hear the Dharma. When you're talking to me like that, it's not a joyful thing for me to hear, because I don't hear the Dharma in your cry. But I vow to. Yes, Charlie? Would you stand up, please? Sure. What comes before the first step, listening? What comes before the first step? Is there a prerequisite? Is there a recommended path? He's asking, what comes before listening to the cries? I would say what comes before is a friendship. With somebody, from which the wish to listen arises.


Like, for example, someone listens to you, you don't want to listen, you just want to talk. Right now, anyway, you don't want to listen to this person, but you have something to say, and they listen to you. And their friendly listening makes you feel like, that was cool, I'd like to try that sometime. I would like to listen. And you might even tell them, and they might say, yeah, that would be great, I've been enjoying listening to you, I'm glad that you'd like to start listening to people too. I'm happy to hear that you now want to listen too. Like I can imagine somebody saying, Granddaddy, you've been listening to me for a long time, I'd like to listen to you sometime, do you want to say something? But I haven't heard that yet. But she sometimes does say to her mom, What are you doing, Mommy?


She asks her mom questions, and then her mom says, and she listens. But she doesn't have a basic practice of listening to everybody, but she has people in her life who listen to her, who are showing her that they're listening to her, and she feels that friendship, so she might say, My mommy listens to me, I'd like to learn to listen like my mommy listens to me. I like the way my mommy listens to me, she's really a good listener. Would you teach me how to listen like you listen, Mommy? And the mommy might say, I'd be happy to. So from the friend, I do not make myself into somebody who is devoted to listening. I've been helped by many people to think that that would be a good idea. And some of the people are people who are like, I don't even know where they are, but they appear in Buddhist texts.


And some of the people are like, like you guys, you help me, you encourage me to listen. Your friendship encourages me to listen. It's by friendship that I get encouraged. If people are mean to me, I don't feel encouraged to listen. I mean, if I imagine that they're being mean to me, that doesn't encourage me. Really, they're being friendly to me, but I'm not ready for that yet. Yeah. Doesn't vow come in after that then? Would it be the friendship then evokes the vow, and then you listen? Otherwise, what does vow mean? She said, doesn't vow come in there before, after, somewhere in there? So one story is, one story is the basic situation, the basic situation of the Buddhist teach, the basic situation is good friendship. But how that good friendship works is,


you know, it's inconceivable. But at some point, the friendship gives rise, that relationship between all of us and all beings who are perfectly awakened, that relationship, that communion, gives rise to a wish. For example, it gives rise to the wish to listen to the cries of the world. But that's the beginning, and then there's a commitment to that. I vow now to listen. And then there could also arise a wish, I not only wish to listen, I wish to hear what they're actually saying. I vow to listen to the words


and hear the truth of those words. And I vow to liberate all beings by this process. I wish to develop compassion by listening, and I wish to develop wisdom. And I vow to practice that compassion and practice that listening. And part of compassion is confession and repentance when you slip up at the compassion that you aspire to. No. A wish, a vow, I would say, is, if you excuse the expression, a mature, a fruit of wishing. Like some people wish, like, you know, I wish to be your friend, but I'm not promising to be your friend. And I also haven't promised to be your friend


with witnesses. So, part of what makes a wish into a vow is to make the wish in the presence of a respected witness. And also to make the vow and accept the consequences, or to make the wish and accept the consequences of not following through on it, and sense that there would be some consequence. And then, so then you have a vow rather than just a wish. So you say, you publicly, to the other people, to all the beings who helped you want to do it, you say, you address them all. Like you address the people,


the humans who are around, and maybe a human teacher. But you also address the innumerable beings who you can't see. So when we do the vows, we invoke the presence of innumerable enlightening beings to come and witness our commitment to practice compassion. And again, we also, as part of that, we also vow to practice confession when we get distracted or disoriented. So, I vow to be respectful of all beings, and then somebody says something to me, which turns me, and as I get turned, if I'm not balanced, I get disoriented, and then I forget that I wanted to be respectful to this person, because I'm disoriented. So then I say, I'm sorry, I wanted to be respectful to you,


but what you said, I wasn't upright with it, and I got disoriented, and I spoke disrespectfully, and I'm sorry, and I want to try again. And the person may say, you know, it's too late, and you're never going to be able to do it. And then you turn with that, but uprightly, and you say, thank you, friend. And maybe they test you again and again, and keep turning you with their words to see if you can stay upright and keep coming back undisoriented. But it's hard, so we've got probably quite a few confessions ahead of us. But that's part of compassion. Part of ethics is to confess that we get disoriented from the ethics we... Part of ethics is to wish to practice them.


Another part of ethics is to vow to practice them. Another part of ethics is to vow to practice confession when we slip up in them and say we're sorry. And then go back to our vow, our aspiration. Yes? Is the practice to continuously listen and hear? I find myself getting tired sometimes, and distracted, and I just don't have the energy just to pay attention when someone's talking to me. I do feel a natural confession arising then. I guess it's difficult for you to speak about. But I do feel a natural confession arising. I don't know if I can expect myself to be present like that continuously. Well, I heard you say... The last thing I heard you say is I don't know if I can expect myself to be present continuously. This is not about expectation.


This is about aspiration. So, I aspire... Well, I aspire to be present and open to people at least once before I go. Not to mention how nice it would be to be continuously from now on. I aspire to that. I don't expect myself to be that way. I don't think probably I will or probably I won't. I don't get into the... I'm not what you call an odds maker. That's not my job. I haven't accepted the job of being an odds maker on my practice or yours. I'm an aspiration maker, and you're helping me make aspirations. So, I aspire to be present and open ears and eyes to all beings continuously. But as you just said, one gets disoriented or one gets tired. So...


Aspiration... For example, the aspiration to listen to each other, to listen to sentient beings and to listen to Buddhas. The aspiration is the source of the energy to listen. I aspire to listen to you and if I... I can kind of like mine that aspiration until I feel like well, not only do I wish to listen to him, but I actually feel some energy to listen to him. So, now he's talking to me and somehow I'm being supported to listen to him. And at a certain point I might listen and I might hear... Somebody around here is getting tired of listening. Somebody has listened for quite a while and he's done enough listening and he wants to rest. And then there is... Then I maybe say to you, John, I want to rest. Would you let me rest?


And you might say, No, I want to tell you some more koans. And I say, Please, John, if you let me rest, I'll be able to listen to your koans better. And you say, No, no, I've got to tell you one more. And I say, John, please, just five minutes. And you say, Okay. And then I rest. And I come back and say, Okay, I'm ready. Lay it on. Let's hear another Zen story. And you see, Yeah, that was a good rest. I'm glad I let you have it. So, resting, part of enthusiasm for listening to the cries of the world, part of it is resting. I've been listening long enough, it's time to take a rest. Avalokiteshvara takes breaks, but not because she doesn't want to do the practice,


but because she wants to rest and come back with more energy. She rests. Rest is part of the energy generating function in the practice. And the energy comes from the aspiration, but also part of the care of the energy is to realize when you've been working long enough at a particular activity. So, you want to listen continuously, and in order to listen continuously, you need to rest at the listening in order for it to be continuous. People who don't rest sometimes take really, really long vacations, because they burn out. So, do Buddhists ever get tired? Maybe not.


But Bodhisattvas, I think, they're a long part of it. They do get tired. They do need to rest in their effort. Once again, the liberation which comes from hearing the Dharma is the liberation of all beings in the Bodhisattva vehicle. That liberation is the same practice


and the same liberation of all of us. And that liberation is going on right now. But in order to realize that liberation, we have to do the practice. And just like the liberation is the same liberation for all of us, the liberation is the same practice for all of us, so we also need to listen to the teaching that the practice we're doing, we're doing together. That I'm not doing this practice by my own power. You're not doing this practice by your own power. I'm doing it because of your support and you're doing it because of our support. The practice we do together, the liberation we do together. You can't do a practice by yourself. You can't live by yourself. You can only imagine that you live by yourself.


But that's just a dream. But again, listen to that dream. Don't be mean to that dream that I'm doing good by my own power. Listen to that cry. Like it's quite enjoyable with my granddaughter to say to her, you did it! I did it, was one of the first sentences she said. I did it, you did it. It's so wonderful to go along with that. And then, with enough of that, we can say, we did it. If I say we did it now, she'll say, no, no, granddaddy, I did it. But eventually she'll say, we did it. We did it. Yes? You're bringing up something I'm wanting to learn about,


how shall I put it, about going along with conventional expressions, because really it's proper for a child to develop their nervous system, their sense of self. They don't need to say, I did it. It's lovely. It's like hair growing on her head. I want to be able to listen to people in their conventional expression, but it's hard for me to find the line, because if I stroke that part too much, I don't know if I feel good, I don't know if I'm helping them. If I push that away, and start trying to talk to them in a cleverly disguised way about dharma, it sounds like I'm lecturing them. I'm not really with them in their sorrowful feelings. And I don't know, I need some help learning how to do that. Yes, we do.


We do need help in learning that subtle art. I also feel like in the case of the grandchild, or a child when we say, I did it, I feel in their I, in their I-ness, their wholeness, it's this whole, so they're not identifying the expression of doing to me as the person, so they're totally, totally, completely it. Whereas I see myself as an adult, sometimes when I'm not totally in it, I'm not totally being it, there's this kind of ifs and buts, and then my I becomes diluted, and I make something out of the I, rather than the I itself being as it is. Two good points. One is that maybe when a child, there could be a moment when a child said,


I did it, that that I is so total, that it includes everybody. But when you do it as an adult, it's there too, but if you don't practice with it, maybe you don't appreciate it. So, really, the whole world is supporting our statements of what's called self-righteousness. But are we open to that? Everybody, including the people who disagree with me, are supporting me in my self-righteousness. And everybody who I disagree with is supporting me to think that I know better than them. And that makes me not so much think


I know better than them, because they're my supporters, they're my friends. But I think a human being can think, some people are not supporting me. Quite a few are, but some are not supporting me. And human beings can then believe that thought, and believe in that thought that in their mind is self-righteousness. But everyone supports me to think that not everyone supports me. And if I should happen to think that everybody supports me, everybody supports me to think that too. I say that, and everybody supports me to say what I just said. And everybody supports you


to listen to me talk. And I have no idea how it could be that this could be happening. I don't know how this is happening. I'd like to know. You would? I think. That's what I was contemplating. Well, I'm here, and I'm your friend, and I don't want to know. So, I'm a good friend to you. She wants to know and I don't, and we're supporting each other. I'm supporting her to want to know, but since she wants to know, I don't have to want to know anymore. She does that. It reminds me of one time, one of my friends was giving Suzuki Roshi a ride to Tatsahara, and Suzuki Roshi was the passenger and he was the driver, and Suzuki Roshi was saying, I don't know, he was saying something like, according to my friend, he was saying something like, this car, this driving the car


is really kind of dualistic. I drive the car, I, you know. Suzuki Roshi was saying that to my friend. My friend said to me, so he let me do the dualistic thing. So, thank you for wanting to know how this all happens, so I can not want to know. Yeah, well, thanks for doing that for me. So I can like, you know, just completely like not know anything. So, because of your help, I can come here, and you've got somebody in the room who doesn't know anything. And because I don't know anything, I can say thank you for your wish to know everything. And if anybody here, by the way, not only wishes to know everything, but does know everything, that would be nice to have you too. Anybody here like that? No? Huh?


It would just be nice to have somebody in the Sangha who knew everything, you know. Because then we could all like not know anything, because that person would be taking the rap for all of us. Yeah, right. Yeah, right. So, since they're fighting, we accept that we're responsible for it. And we have to look at our aspirations of how we want to meet the fighting. And then when we do it, then try to practice it. And then again, notice how hard that is. And how, like I think, where was I? I was saying someplace somebody was talking about, oh yeah, I know. It was in a study group. We were talking about the situation and someone was talking about


how powerless they feel. And I said, excuse me, I said, you are powerless, we are powerless at avoiding being powerful. No human being is not powerful. And if you try not to be powerful, that's one thing you can never succeed at. You cannot avoid being powerful. I cannot avoid it. The things you do have consequence. The things I do have consequence. We can't avoid that. We have a power to create worlds. And we're not going to stop creating worlds until we're completely enlightened. And then we won't create worlds anymore, we won't have power. We won't have any power anymore. All there'll be is the power of wisdom. But until that time, we are powerful beings. And I think it would be good for us to accept responsibility


for the worlds we're contributing to. And each of us makes a huge human contribution. We are amazing contributors to world creation. And the one thing we're powerless at is to not be the way we are. But we can learn to be responsible and accept it. We can learn that. We can train at that. How wonderful that we have the opportunity to receive support from each other and practice the Buddha way. Delusions are inexhaustible.


I vow to end them. Dharma gates are boundless. I vow to enter them. Buddha's way is unsurpassable. I vow to become it. So now, we can practice eating lunch. If you have lunch. I have one for you.