Loving All Being and Resistance 

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Please bear with me if I say something wrong. Something that sounds sort of grand. The Buddha way is love for all beings. The Buddha way is compassion for all beings. I guess that that, although it's kind of a grand statement, I guess that that's not a big shock to you. If it is, please let me know. But I propose that as an idea. That's what the Buddha way, the way of the Buddhas is. Another way I've been saying it lately is


that the Buddha way is helping others. And then further, I would offer that the Buddha way is to love all beings. Without dwelling in them. To wholeheartedly care for all beings in such a way that there's no attachment to them. And I would like to turn that around and say


that when we do love beings wholeheartedly, we are not attached to them. Now you may think that there's some beings you're not attached to, but you don't feel like you're attached to them. Unless you love them with your whole heart. But I propose that if we love someone with our whole heart, we're not attached to them. You can love someone a great deal and still be somewhat attached, but if you exercise the love more and more fully to the end, there will not be attachment in the Buddha way. And this is what makes it possible to love all beings.


To love all beings without dwelling in them is to love all beings with perfect wisdom. And I say perfect wisdom, but you could also say the perfection of wisdom, but maybe better to say to love all beings with perfecting wisdom, an ongoing perfecting of wisdom, by loving each and every being without dwelling in them. And I think I might get back to this, but I also say this kind of love of all beings, which is in accord with perfect wisdom,


and which does not create attachment, is to love beings with no resistance to the beings or to the love. And I'll amplify on this resistance later, I hope. So, I'm suggesting that the love which is the Buddha way, the love which is the Buddha way of loving all beings, that that love includes not abiding in any of the beings that we love. And since we love all beings, it means that this love


requires not abiding in anything. So the mind of the Bodhisattva, the being in the evolutionary process of helping others completely, that being has a mind of no abode, and that mind of no abode, that mind of perfect wisdom requires love of all beings. Perfect wisdom requires love of all beings. And vice versa. Love of all beings requires perfect wisdom. This is a proposal of cause and effect. This year, I promise to concentrate on


the Buddha's teaching, the Buddha's teachings of causation. Love for all beings is the cause of perfect wisdom. Perfect wisdom is the cause of the love of all beings. Perfect wisdom is no resistance to any and all beings, and no resistance to any and all beings is perfect wisdom. In this case, these causes and effects are part of one thing. They are causes and effect, they depend on each other, they mutually cause each other, they arise through mutual dependence, and this arising is the arising of the Buddha way. Helping others arises with others helping us.


So, in echoing or resonating with a famous and wonderful expression by our ancestor, A.H. Dogen, I would say that to love... Now, this is something new, watch. To love the Buddha way is to love the self. To love the way of helping others is to love the self. And to love the self is to forget the self. To love the self into oblivion. I'm tempted to say to love the self to death, but that sounds like killing, so I just say


love the self into oblivion. And by loving the self into oblivion, the self is saved. By loving the self into oblivion, all events realize the self. Everything that happens to the self, which has been loved into oblivion, are enlightening. To love the self in the context of the Buddha way is to love all beings. So this is kind of a new definition of loving the self. This isn't, again, liking the self,


and this isn't liking all beings. You can like them, it's fine, and you may dislike them, actually, that's welcome too. But what's being encouraged is loving them, which is neither like or dislike. And the love can be there when there's like and dislike, which, as you know, there is. I mean, there seems to be. But this love of the self, this thorough love of the self, is the same as loving all beings. And that's the same as to forget all beings who are loved. But, I just said, the Buddha way is to forget


all beings that are loved. The Buddha way is to love all beings and to forget all beings who are loved. In other words, don't dwell on them. But, I would suggest that we don't forget any beings before we love them. And not only that, but don't forget them before you love them all the way. Remember them until you can love them without dwelling on them. I would suggest that to me and you. So it isn't like, OK, I loved him, I can move on to the next person. No, I need to love him until I don't dwell on him. And you may think, well, I love him and I don't dwell on him. Well, I would say, just to make sure,


love him more. Say, well, I loved him more, I still don't dwell on him. OK, well, how about a little bit more? No, actually, I've got to move on to the next person now. Are you going to come back? Now, really, take a particular person or a particular being. A being could be like a rock, a tomato, your own fear. I love my own fear, but I'm not dwelling on it. OK, love it some more. Are you really completely willing to spend your whole life devoted to your fear until you love it completely and have forgotten it and not abiding in it? Yes? OK, well, go ahead and do that. And let us know when you feel like you've reached complete love without dwelling in your fear.


Or in your spouse, or in your children, or in your parents, or in your friends. Come back and tell us when you completely love one being with no attachment. And that you love your attachments completely with no attachment. Because you can say, in a sense, beings are a kind of attachment. So we're not trying to get rid of attachment, we're just trying to be with attachment in such a way that doesn't create attachment. This is called forgetting the Buddha way, forgetting the self, and forgetting the beings who we live for and die for. So again, don't forget any beings


that you're loving until the forgetting happens at the ultimate point of the love. And if you think you've reached that place, then it's good to find a Buddha and bring your Buddhahood to meet that Buddha. Check it out. One other way to say it? We have not fully loved a being until we have forgotten them. We have not fully loved a being until we can't find them anymore. And not only can't find them,


but know that nobody can find them. Then we're really in love. I have another page of notes on this line of talk, but I'm going to stop because I feel like now may be the time to talk about resistance. Because after all, it is about 10.39 or 10.37, is that right? So I probably should stop pretty soon. Let us not resist. Let us not resist. So I haven't been talking to you in this way for a few days.


The last few days I have not been talking to you like this. So, right? So, you've not been listening to me talk like this for the last few days, so you may not have too much resistance to what I'm saying for the last few days. But if you had been, you probably would be resisting what I'm saying. Yeah, sort of what I'm saying. And also what I'm talking about. But when I do talk to people this way, they do come to me and say, you know, I kind of resist what you're talking about. I resist, I must admit, I resist living for the sake of all beings. I resist it. Now when somebody tells me that, I think that's an expression of loving his, of loving his self. That he looks and sees that he's resisting


and he comes and talks, he takes care of that resistance and comes and talks to me or somebody else about it. It's actually quite kind to recognize it and to bring it to discuss in a kind of calm and loving environment. Let's look at this resistance, shall we? A person is resisting this wonderful thing. How dare you? No. I'm resisting the Buddha way. According to you, I'm resisting living for the sake of all beings. And I have the courage to be honest and tell you I'm resisting what you say is the Buddha way. And the person says, what should I do about the resistance? And I say, what should you do about the resistance? You already know, right? Love it. Welcome it. Live for the welfare of all beings.


I feel resistance to that. Welcome the resistance. Not like it, not ask for it to come necessarily, you don't have to invite it unless you get special encouragement. But when it comes, welcome it. Be patient with it. Don't look down at it as less good than non-resistance. Don't look down on half-heartedness as not as good as wholeheartedness. You might say, well, it is not as good. Okay, fine. Don't look down on not as good as less good than better. Don't look down on anything. Don't look down on the worst thing that there is in your life. Well, looking up to it might be okay. So bodhisattvas are not supposed to look down on others. Like, you know, I'm better than them. But it is kind of okay to look up. Others are better than me.


That's kind of okay. But again, if you're looking down on others, welcome it. Love the fact that you think you're better than quite a few people. Love that, which means welcome it. Be patient with it. Be gentle with it. Be flexible with it. My resistance to living for the sake of all beings and my resistance in the form of thinking I'm better than other people. My resistance in thinking people are not good. My resistance in thinking this is not good and that's not good. My resistance to actually things that are good, like living for the welfare of all beings. Be patient with that. Gentle with that. Flexible with that. Non-violent with it. Non-violent with resistance. Not overbearing, like, get rid of the resistance.


Now, if there is, get rid of the resistance. Be gentle with that. There is apparently, according to stories, a bunch of people in the history of the Buddhist tradition who said, get rid of the resistance. They did that to give students a chance to be gentle with them. To meet them courageously and flexibly and not be overbearing on the overbearing Bodhisattva teachers. Who aren't really being overbearing, they're just seeing if the students can not respond symmetrically. Oh, poor teacher, you must be kind of stressed. No, I was just testing to see if you could be kind to me when I'm being overbearing. And, treating the resistance all these loving ways.


In this way, get to the point where you treat the resistance without dwelling in it. So then, the resistance to living for the welfare of all beings is the same as the resistance to living without dwelling in anything. And in this way of kindness, you get to the place where you can actually be totally devoted to whatever, your own resistance, your own fear, other people's resistance, other people's fear, other people's violence, other people's greed, hatred, whatever, to meet that with a welcoming, gracious heart, a patient heart, a gentle, flexible, non-violent, non-overbearing heart which doesn't create any attachment. And there's a wide variety of ways


of resistance to the Buddha way manifest, but three I thought I might mention. One is the one people usually mean by resistance, where you hold back. You hold back from giving your life to the welfare of each and every being, each and every human being, to give your life fully to each being. Some people would hold back from that, right? Most of us can get in touch with a little bit of holding back to some human beings. Right? Some. Some you feel like, I don't think I'm holding back with them. OK, we'll hold that one over there for a second, the one you don't think you're holding back. But some you do feel like you're holding back. So you can see that resistance. I don't want to give my life to this person. OK, there's a resistance. I feel resistance to that. OK, fine. We're with you.


We will be with you as long as you resist giving yourself to this person. We'll hang in there with you through this long path of resistance, this long and ever-changing path of resistance to helping this person wholeheartedly. And also it's great that you notice it and you can express it. A lot of people are resisting giving themselves to people or loving beings. They don't even notice that they're resisting. They're distracted from noticing that they're resisting this program called the Buddha way. But those who notice are really like doing really well, I would say, to notice. OK, what am I missing? I'm resisting the Buddha way. How wonderful that I'm resisting such a wonderful thing. I'm not resisting a petty thing, but actually, now that I think of it, I also resist petty things. I resist being petty. I don't like being petty.


When I'm petty, I kind of like resist it. So actually I push away being great or I resist being great. I hold back from being really great and magnanimous and I also hold back from being really petty and stingy and small and nasty. So actually if you're great beings who are living for the welfare of all beings are not afraid of being petty because pettiness is one of the beings they're devoted to. When pettiness arises in themselves they're patient and welcoming of it. They're kind to their own pettiness. And if they're afraid of their own pettiness they're kind to their fear of being petty. And if they meet other beings who are dabbling or really heavily into pettiness they welcome these, what do you call them,


these pettiness aficionados. They welcome these beings, they welcome them, they say, please come in, we're here for you. What can we do to help you? You can make me feel better about being petty, okay. Well, I just want you to know that you have my full support to be petty. And you can be petty as long as you need to be and I'm your supporter. I hope someday that you won't dwell in the pettiness after you really love it. But right now, if you're dwelling in it I am totally supporting you. And I'm not dwelling, actually, in your dwelling in it or getting you to get out of it. I might not say that to the person but that's my vow. To learn that. So that's one kind of resistance


which I guess is familiar to us. Holding back, pushing away. Another kind of resistance is holding on. So there's like pushing away the life of living for the welfare of all and each completely. There's pushing that away or holding back from that. And also when someone comes to me and tells me that they're resisting it and I'm nice to them about their resistance to this great way of living and they ask me what to do about it and then they practice being kind to their own resistance they often notice something else in that the resistance is about fear. That if we actually open to loving all beings to living for all beings we might feel like we have nothing to hold on to. So we're afraid of that.


So you discover more about yourself as you notice your resistance and confess it. The other kind of resistance is when you first come to the Zen Center most of us first came some of you have been here a while but when we first came most of us I don't think walked in the door and said this is mine, I own the Zen Center. Some of us may have felt like I'm home but I don't own the house. I don't know, is that true? Did some of you come here and didn't immediately think you own the place? But if you sweep the ground and wash the floors and clean the windows and straighten the cushions and cook the meals and fix the tires and pour gas into the cars


and maintain the cars and be nice to the students and love the students and be devoted to the students and be devoted to the garden and fix the roof and you do that for a decade then you might think well actually I do own the Zen Center, it is mine. That's the normal human tendency, it's my Zen Center. I'm looking at somebody who built some buildings here recently and when he first started building them he might not have thought it's my building actually I don't even think he thinks it now but if you built a building at Zen Center you might think it's my building and sometimes we talk that way like that's so and so's building because they built it. I have problems with the word


my student try to avoid using my student but the important thing is that I look in my heart and see do I really think I own this person? Is it really mine? My children, my spouse, do I think they are mine? So I watch and look at that so that's another form of resistance is to possess something, a being it's a resistance to them and again if you put more kindness towards them it brings you more and more to the place of noticing where you are being possessive and see if you can find this way of being with them without owning them, without abiding in them. It's really quite a difficult place to get to. The Prajnaparamita, the perfect wisdom is called the profound perfect wisdom because profound means difficult


it's difficult to get to the place with something where you don't dwell in it. You have to love it really a lot it's a big job, love it fully not too much, not too little in such a way as to not attach to it that's very profound practice dash difficult. That's why we need to be patient with our resistance in the process because it's going to be very challenging for us to find this place. And again, be kind and patient with ourselves on how long it takes to fully love something without attaching to it. Many great beings in the past have said this is difficult who have been trying to practice this way. Of course, loving something a lot


and being possessive of it or loving something a lot and being possessive of it it does have the feedback often we do get pain for that that's cause and effect too. If you love fully but dwelling in what you love I should say love almost fully and dwell in it, it's painful sometimes very painful so what some people do is think maybe if I love less it will be less painful so they try that, loving less and that does sometimes reduce the pain so loving less with dwelling reduces the pain loving more with dwelling in some sense might turn the pain up but how about loving more and drop dwelling I know this person who has had this problem with me for a long time that they really have been very kind to me and loving to me and they have a big problem with me


and recently the person came and said I still have this problem with you and I've tried loving you less as a way to cope with the problem and that does kind of help a little bit it numbs the pain but it occurred to me recently that the problem I have with you is I expect something of you and I said, well I didn't say it but I kind of feel, hallelujah that's right, you've been expecting something you've been expecting me to be a decent person or a reasonably kind person or something or even a great loving teacher whatever now if some of you expect things of me but don't give yourself to me it won't be so painful but if you are devoted to me and you dwell in me it will be painful and for me towards you too


so that the dwelling does give feedback does cause feedback something's off here, the part that's off is the dwelling but the non-dwelling doesn't just come from not paying attention and not caring for things we just don't notice that we're dwelling and the other kind of dwelling the other kind of resistance which I'm quite familiar with is forgetting so I'm not going to just flat out say I don't want to be devoted to all beings and I'm not saying I want to possess and control them all so I can just resist the project of being devoted and not attaching by forgetting just forget so part of being whole hearted is to remember when you remember then you can notice you're resisting when you resist the nice thing about when you forget the nice thing is that you forget


you don't even notice that you're resisting because you forgot what it is that you want to do that you're resisting so if you wish to practice the Buddha way and if you agree with me that it is simply, very simply being devoted to all beings living for the sake of all beings making every action of body, speech and mind for the sake of all beings if you agree with me then you may notice some resistance and then let's help each other deal with the resistance in this loving way because resistance is a wonderful being to love it's a wonderful actually like a Bodhisattva it's a Bodhisattva that comes to us and says can you love this resistance because pettiness is a gift for us to take care of wholeheartedly, lovingly


without attaching to it and greatness is also a gift, of course which comes to us to see if we can love it without attaching to it so now it's probably you know what time is it? it's like about 2 minutes to 11 so now Bodhisattvas vow


they promise to live for the sake of all beings and and then when they practice that vow they notice resistance to it and then they bring that resistance forward confess it and see how they feel about it and then act again and see if the next action can be wholeheartedly for the welfare of all beings without dwelling in it and again and if they notice holding back and so on and there's no end to this practice this is the ongoing maintenance of the Buddha way and there's no end of it until everybody is living for the welfare of everybody and so


it's going to be a long time before everybody is living for the welfare of everybody and some of our favorite people don't seem to even be ready to consider living for the welfare of everybody like my grandsons one of my grandsons is still not willing to live for the welfare of George Bush he's still harping on George Bush's administration and I don't exactly tell him you should love George Bush with your whole heart but I sort of do tell him that but not to get him to do it and actually I don't tell him that but I do have some response when he doesn't want to live for the welfare of past presidents


some past presidents so my job with him is this person who's resisting this bodhisattva practice who has resistance to it he doesn't yet think he owns the bodhisattva practice he thinks he owns me but he doesn't think he owns the bodhisattva practice he more like has resistance to it in the form of holding back from caring for all beings so my job with him is easy to love him in his resistance in his pettiness in his small mindedness easy to love him easy to be patient with him most of the time easy to be generous with him easy to be gentle with him the hard part with him is not abiding in him that's really hard and so because all the love comes so


so easily it's hard to find a place where there's no attachment to him no dwelling in him so there's a lot and it comes easily but it's a little off it's a little incomplete because there's this fleeting dwelling here and there and I really enjoy catching myself at it and he enjoys catching me at it too so I've told you the story about one time I was behaving in a way he didn't like and he turned to me and said after he recovered from his hatred towards me he said, if a Buddhist master saw the way you're acting


they would fire you but then after a while he forgave me and his little hand reached up for mine and we were walking together again down the path and now just recently, just a short time ago he's starting to ask me questions about our wonderful teacher Suzuki Roshi he's starting to ask me about how he was and who his students were and who was and wasn't his students he's starting to show interest in our dear teacher and his teaching and his students and of course it's easy for me to love that and welcome that but it's hard not to dwell in it ooh, so lovely


little guy, little guy getting interested in Zen oh how cute very difficult for me not to dwell in that you can imagine, right? so how do I receive it you know, gratefully, and let it go thank you and give it away and not just for me to protect me from dwelling and the pain of the dwelling but for the grandfather to show the grandson how to accept such a precious gift and not hold on to it and give it back to the universe it's very difficult, I really enjoy this challenge and I think we, I hope you all have some people who you really can love and love so much that you can find a place of dwelling and be kind to the dwelling


and then you're really getting to the you're really getting to the heart of the Bodhisattva practice you're getting close to perfect wisdom and your love supports you to get close to perfect wisdom and your perfect wisdom, that's coming close is helping you perfect your love thank you very much for listening to this may our intention equally extend to every being and place with truth