More Poverty And Nobility

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I'd like to send this, the recording from this morning, to somebody I'm working on a book with. So I'm working on a book. So a book might be coming out this year, perhaps in December, perhaps in this world, perhaps. But I'm working on another book, and sort of the structure of the book is the story of wandering away from our, our abundant wisdom and compassion for a long time, and then gradually finding our way back to our home, but not believing that it could be our home. Wandering our way back to wisdom,


but not believing that we could, that we would be allowed into the house of great wisdom and compassion, and gradually developing the confidence that we actually, that this is our home. That story from the Lotus Sutra is the structure of another book. So in that introduction to the book, we tell the story from the Lotus Sutra, and then I wanted to tell the story I told today, after that story. So I'm giving this talk this morning as a possible addition to the introduction. So thank you for letting that come out. And, yeah, some of you seem to enjoy the story. Did anybody not enjoy it?


Maybe they left. That's also in the Lotus Sutra. The Buddha said, I got a story to tell, and it's really outrageous, so maybe I shouldn't tell it. You might get really disturbed if I told that story, so I'm not going to. And then people said, please tell it. No, no, no, it really wouldn't be good. No, please say it. No, no, no, oh, please say it. Okay, so you have three time, I'll say it. And then a bunch of people, 5,000 people walked out. And then he said it, and it really is a shocking teaching. It's a shocking teaching. What's the teaching? You're already bodhisattvas. You're on the bodhisattva path. You're in this great family, you know. Just an amazing, shocking teaching. And the Buddha also says, in that Sutra, he also says, this teaching is,


among the teachings in the world, this teaching is the most difficult to believe and understand. It's so amazing. So if you're having trouble believing it, that's because it's really hard. It's so deep, [...] means hard, hard, hard, hard. Like the chant we just did is kind of in the spirit of it. Even if somebody's a fool, maybe you know some people like that. Even if they're a fool, et cetera, et cetera. Even them, they're in our family. They don't know that they're in our family. They don't know that they're bodhisattvas, but they are. And we, we can help them wake up. But as I said to somebody earlier, all the king's horses and all the king's men,


and all the queen's horses and all the queen's women cannot put so-and-so back together again. But that's actually, all the king's horses and all the king's men are putting so-and-so back together again. But so-and-so is a broken, a broken, a broken person. And so-and-so is afraid. So, so-and-so is, yeah, they're afraid. And we can put them back together by putting ourselves back together. By realizing, be kind to our brokenness and wake up to that we're not broken. And help other people wake up to they never were broken. And that is very difficult to believe that our waking up to our wholeness


and our abundance and our wisdom and compassion, that that will be the awakening of others. It's very hard to believe that. But that's the teaching of, of this school. After generations of nobility, temporarily fallen into poverty as a test of that nobility, to let that nobility prove itself in poverty. So, it's something of a story to say, everybody possesses the wisdom and virtues of the Buddha. So then we thicken the plot by, but they don't realize it. And they don't believe this teaching.


So we got an interesting story on our hands. And also remind me someday to talk to you about my warnings against, or my warnings regarding the word, the English word, why. It's too late now to bring it up, but I have something to say about the word why. Some instructions about how to deal with it. I also have some instructions about how to deal with the word who. Remember that who is an acronym for World Honored One. Who are you? Who are you? Who are you? You are who?


That's hard to believe, isn't it? But, excuse me for saying so, it must be so. The World Honored One is the one who is so. The one who comes, who has gone to, it is so, and now is coming back from it is so. That's the World Honored One. And you are, you are, you are so. You are thusness. Is there anything you want to talk about before I go? Yes? Thusness does not need any of proven, it doesn't need to be proven to be here.


It does need to be proven. It does? Yeah. It's already the case, it's already thus, that you fully possess wisdom of the Buddhas, but you have to prove it. You have to prove it. How do you prove it? When you're bringing a you or a I in this. Say again? When you're speaking, you're bringing a you and an I in. Yeah, but also, a you and a I, but I'm also bringing everybody. I'm bringing in everybody, including. Nobody, nobody. Nobody, everybody, you, and I. Everybody is included in what? Everybody fully possesses the wisdom and virtues of the Buddhas. However, not everybody realizes it. Not everybody proves it. And therefore, it's calling for proof.


It's calling for realization, verification, proof. And the way you prove it is in the world where it doesn't look like that. You prove your wealth by the way you deal with poverty. You prove your enlightenment by the way you deal with delusion. And the Buddhas are really good at dealing with delusion. No matter what, they hold out the possibility of no matter how much delusion you throw at them, they just come back with more compassion. That proves. That proves what? It proves their compassion. It proves their wisdom. So they don't discriminate between this pretty enlightened person


and this pretty not enlightened person. They're not caught by the discrimination. They're compassionate too. Below average, average, and above average enlightened people. They don't discriminate. They don't treat one better than the other. Differently, yeah. Differently, but not one better than the other. Non-discrimination proves non-discrimination. Did you have your hand raised by any chance? I did, but it's a different topic altogether. How could it be different? Let's hear it. Let's hear a different topic. I wondered if you could tell us about this wonderful thing that appeared in the garden today. Oh, I could tell you. Where is he? Oh, there he is. Tell us about it.


Matisse, Matisse, tell us about it. It's just a cute little girl. Is there anything more you want to know? Yeah. What? What do you want to know? Ask him. What? Later, gator. Ask him. You want a story? You want him to tell you a story? I want a story about the statue on the inside of it, the one she... You want him to tell you a story? Or you. I want one of you to tell me a story. Tell her a story. Will you please tell her a story? Who is it? How'd you do it? Where'd it come from? Who? Who made the house? eBay? And you just shook hands with eBay? Huh? And you just shook hands with eBay? Yeah. And the house? And she has a house. You guys are impossible.


You're just impossible. Pardon? You're just impossible. I'm just impossible? Yes. Wow. You say the nicest things. No, I wouldn't be terribly insulted if you told me I was possible. You're like possible. Whoa. You're a big fat possibility. Yes? Hi. Hi. I had something left over from this morning. Really? It's a leftover. And it's kind of off of Charlie's question about results. Yeah. And I had the imagination that every hearing, that every action or every event has a resultant.


And I wondered, so I feel like I had that equation in my mind, like there is nothing that does not have a result. No, it's not that. The Buddha didn't say there's nothing that doesn't have a result. The Buddha didn't teach that. The Buddha taught that karma has result. Uh-huh. He didn't, I never heard the Buddha say nirvana has a result. So our cultivation, the act of thinking there's a cultivator would have a result. The thought that there's a cultivator. Me. Yeah. Practicing. That thought. Would have a result. What? Would have a resultant. That thought would have a consequence. Yes. Consequence. That thought would have a consequence. Which is like Sonomi's teaching.


I mean, I don't know if you would say it that way, but if you keep practicing, then you'll be a Buddha one day. The thought that if you do X, Y will happen, that thought is karma. Right. And that will have consequence. But the consequence it has is basically more karma. And positive. Huh? You're doing it positive. Yeah, it can be positive, but that thought could also be negative. Could have negative karma. It's kind of hard for us to tell what the consequences of our karma are. Like if you think a thought, it does have consequence. But it's a little bit advanced for you to be able to tell what the consequence is gonna be. Like that story. Just the little things she wanted to bring up. So that story about, you know,


the name of the story is Maybe So, or Maybe. You know that story? Do you know that story? So there was a man one time, and he got a horse. And people said to him, oh, that's great, you got a horse. And he said, maybe so. And then his son got on the horse. And then the horse ran away. And people said, oh, that's terrible, you lost your horse. And he said, maybe so. Then the horse came back and brought a herd of wild horses with it. And people said, oh, that's great, your horse brought all those horses home. And he said, maybe so. And then his son got on one of those horses and fell off and broke his leg. People said, how terrible, your son broke his leg. He said, maybe so. And then their army recruiters came and took away all the young men, but not his son, because he had a broken leg. And then people said, that's great, they didn't take your son. And the man said, maybe so.


So these are consequences, right? We don't know how they work, but there are consequences. Anything more from you today? Buddhas are not the consequence of sentient beings. Sentient beings, generally speaking, they're into karma. And by studying karma, they will wake up to the nature of karma, which is delusion. They will become enlightened about karma by studying it. So the Buddha says, karma's something that has consequence, so pay attention to it. Buddhas are trying to get us to pay attention to karma, even though we can't actually see how it works, still we pay attention to it. And by paying attention to it,


we will wake up to how it works. Karma's basically in the poverty department. Karma is a destitute version of our wealth. Karma is a destitute version of a wisdom. Wisdom is not what I think. What I think is karma. However, if I'm not kind to my destitute thinking, then I won't discover the abundance of wisdom. Yes? So in both stories- I shouldn't say not that I won't, it will not be discovered. Wisdom will not be discovered by being unkind, by destitution, but it will be discovered in great compassion to destitution, like all of our thoughts are destitute versions of our life.


Like I'm a good person, or I'm a bad person. That's not what I am, that's just thoughts about me. Those are stories about me, yes? So in Uncle Mi's version, in both Uncle Mi's and Dong Chong's way of looking, there's action that a person takes. But the difference between the two is that with Uncle Mi's idea, you are taking action to get from point A to point B. So I'm getting from a sentient being to an enlightened being. Yeah. But in Dong Chong's version- In Uncle Mi's version, human agency applies. It's the human does X, Y, and Z, and gets to A. So in Dong Chong's version, there is also human agency. No. Not really, there's not really human agency in his version. He's saying that originally, or after long,


originally, we have this nature. And this nature, not human agency, goes into human agency. But it's not the human agency. It just, the human agency is where the original nobility is verified. Maybe action would be a better word, because- It's a syn- They're basically, they're synonyms. Agency and action are synonyms. But you do something, right? You become intimate with delusion, not the doing something to realize that you're already wealthy. Did you say it was doing something? Yeah. No, that's incorrect. Becoming intimate involves giving up trying to do something. So becoming intimate isn't doing something. It's not. Like, for example, you becoming intimate with yourself is being yourself. That's not doing anything. You don't have to do anything to be what you are.


However, even though you don't have to do anything to be what you are, to accept that teaching, you have to be kind to the person who thinks she has to do something. Being kind is doing something. Yeah, but being kind isn't what makes you be who you are. Being kind- So basically, is being kind being who you are? Yeah, it's being who you are. It's part of being who you are. And being who you are is not something you do. You're a doer. Being a doer is not doing anything. I don't know, you're a human. But being human isn't doing something. Humans are into doing things. Being somebody, a human, who's into doing something is not doing something. So practicing compassion is not doing something. It's really not. It's just being who you are. It really is. But in order to get to that level of compassion, which is just being who you are,


maybe you have to do another kind of compassion, which isn't really great compassion, where you think you're doing it. You're not quite there yet. That's called sentimental compassion, where you think, I'm being compassionate, sort of to warm up to it that way. But great compassion is really who we are. And great compassion lets us be who we are, which is already the case. So it lets things, it lets reality be reality. Thank you very much, reality says. Good. Yes. I have a question on doing versus being. Doing versus being, yeah. A friend of mine said that she felt she was under a lot of pressure at work because she felt like she had a responsibility to be happy.


And something stuck out to me, like our responsibilities are more about how we respond than how we be or how we are. And so, is that right? Responsibility is simply being and responding, but you may be eluded, you might be enlightened, you might be happy, you might be distracted, but responsibility bears on our actions. I would say no matter what's going on, we are responsible and we have a responsibility, no matter what we are. I would say that, yeah. Responsibility to act, responsibility to respond. You say a responsibility to act, that's fine, but another way to put it is we will respond. Part of our responsibility is that we're able to respond. Another part of our responsibility is that we do.


When somebody says hello, you respond. When they say goodbye, you respond. When they say I love you, you respond. When they run away from you, you always respond. That's your nature, is you are a response. And you are also a call. You're both, you're calling and responding. That's what you are, that's your being. But you don't do that. You don't do being somebody who's responsible. You don't do the fact that you're a person who's always responding. You don't do that. If you did that, then you can maybe not do that, but you cannot not do that. You cannot avoid being responsible. It's your nature. Our nature is that we're responsible. Our nature is that we respond to the entire universe. But also, our nature is that we are a response, a unique response. Each of us is a unique response to the entire universe.


We do not do that. We are that. However, being human being, we that the universe makes, not that we make, we that the universe creates, the universe doesn't do us, it supports us. It creates us. And what it creates is somebody who thinks he can do something. And that's part of our responsibility, too, is that we're somebody who thinks he can do something. And we do respond to that idea. We do. We can't not. And other people also respond to our idea that we can do things. They say, that's true, you can. And sometimes they say, that's not true, you can't. You cannot do that, I won't allow you. But that's their response to our, we're responsible beings who are responding to each other nonstop. And everybody else in the universe is included


in this nonstop, boundless responsibility. And part of training is to open up to the limitlessness of our responsibility and be the person that we are. But we don't do that. But we do think we're doing various things. And part of our responsibility is to own up to that we think we're doing things. You don't have to own up to that being true. It's an illusion that you're doing something by yourself. But it's also true that you think that. And that's your karma, is that you think you do something. And just being is not the same as karma. And we, for example, we can be in states where we do not think we're doing anything.


By various causes and conditions, brain trauma, getting close to death, yogic trances, being in a coma, and in deep dreamless sleep, we're not doing any karma. You go into the deep dreamless sleep with a certain karmic load. It's there when you're asleep. It doesn't increase or decrease. When you come out, it's just the same as when you went in, because you didn't work with it. And you didn't do any more karma when you were in this deep dreamless sleep. You were not thinking of doing anything or not doing anything. So your karmic, your practice went in at this level and comes out basically at the same level. The place you work out your karma is by practicing compassion towards it. By being kind to the illusion


that you can do anything all by yourself. And most of us think, or have thought at some time in the past that we could do something all by ourself. Like you could lift up a hearing aid all by yourself and put it in your ear, or you could put it in my ear. We think that way sometimes, don't we? Well, that's just an illusion. That's just a story. It's not really true that I'm putting this in all by myself. And it's also not true that I'm talking about this all by myself. If you weren't here, I wouldn't be such a strange person if you weren't here. You make me into this bizarre creature. But I'm responsible too. It's not like you're responsible and I'm not. Together we're making this person. Okay, Charlie?


I agree. But it's getting kind of late, and I do not want anybody to feel that I've kept them here too long. Does anybody feel like I've kept you here too long? Be honest. Yeah, two people do. Okay, so let's go. Oh. May our intention equally extend to every being and place with the true merit of Buddha's way. Betsy, you can leave. Things are numberless. I vow to save them. Delusions are inexhaustible. Elizabeth, you can leave. You can leave. Gates are boundless. I vow to enter them. Buddha's way is unsurpassable.


I vow to become it. Not only can Elizabeth and Betsy leave, you can all leave. But you cannot leave without my support. We have your support. You do. And you cannot leave without each other's support. You can't do it all by yourself, but you can leave. And you cannot leave without each other's support. You do.