No Abode Dharma Talk - September 9th, 2023

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A talk given to the No Abode Community on September 9th, 2023. Begins with a brief overview of Books One and Two.  In Book Three, 

AI Summary: 

The lecture focuses on the third book of the Buddha Flower Adornment Scripture, exploring themes around awakened presence, the myriad expressions of Samadhi (deep concentrated state), and the inclusiveness of the Bodhisattva's meditative practice. The discussion navigates through explanations of how these immense and detailed practices interrelate with day-to-day activities, making the profound accessible through ordinary examples like a restaurateur embodying calm amidst chaos. This approach illustrates the universal applicability of Samadhi, emphasizing inclusivity in spiritual practice.

- **Buddha Flower Adornment Scripture**: Provides the textual foundation for the talk, particularly focusing on the third book regarding the Samadhi of the Bodhisattva Universally Good.
- **Samadhi**: Discussed extensively as a state of complete immersion and undistracted focus, embodying various forms from meditation to everyday tasks.
- **Vairojana (cosmic illumination)** and **Tathagata (one who has thus come)**: Key concepts referred to in understanding the depths of Samadhi in Buddhist practice.

AI Suggested Title: "Samadhi in Daily Life: Insights from the Buddha Flower Adornment Scripture"


We seem to be in the middle of an ocean, or maybe not in the middle, but we seem to be in an ocean. An ocean of living beings, an ocean of dharma teaching, an ocean of buddhas and bodhisattvas. And we also seem to be in the ocean of the great extensive Buddha flower adornment scripture, in the middle of that oceanic text. And we have been contemplating the sutra for a few months here now, and today I was kind of wishing to bring up the third book of this vast extensive Buddha


flower adornment scripture, book three. And book three is called, I'll say it in English, book three is called the Samadhi of the Bodhisattva Universally Good. There is a statue right in front of me right now of the Bodhisattva Universally Good sitting on an elephant. It's right there in that next room, and he or she is or they are accompanied by Manjushri Bodhisattva sitting on a lion. So this third book is about the meditation practice, the Samadhi of this great Bodhisattva.


Now some of you have not been at all the previous talks on this sutra this year, right? So I'll try to briefly say something about the first two books of this vast scripture. And the first two books are about a little bit more than, together they're a little bit more than a hundred pages long. Yeah, they're about 125 pages long, the first two books. And in those first two books, this sight of awakening of the Buddha is addressed, is put forth. The place where the Buddha first awoke


is the sort of the center, it's the center of the first two books. So in the first book, the Buddha has just awakened and then it describes this ocean of worlds that surround the Buddha's awakening. And the first verse of the book describes the body of the Buddha who is at the center of this site of awakening, surrounded by oceans of sentient beings, Bodhisattvas and Buddhas. This body of the Buddha is, does, it pervades all the great assemblies in the universe, in the past, present, and future. But the body of Buddha does that, is that,


then it says that it fills the realm of Dharma without end, there's no end to its filling the realm of Dharma. Then it says, it is quiescent. What's quiescent? The body of the Buddha is quiescent. It is beyond any nature and it is ungraspable. And this body can appear, and does appear, for the welfare of the world. So that's the context of the first two chapters and of the third chapter. We're in this amazing, it's called, in the name of this place where the Buddha's enlightenment site is, it's in the middle of a world called flower, treasury, ocean of worlds. So the Buddha's sitting in an ocean of


worlds, not just one world, not just one world called flower, treasury, but flower, treasury, ocean of worlds is where the Buddha's site of awakening occurs. And wondrous events are occurring for the first two books, the first 125 pages, wondrous Dharma events are described. And we are contemplating these wondrous descriptions that are going on at the place where the Buddha has first awakened. Now in that same situation, as I said, in that situation there are innumerable Bodhisattvas


and sort of the first one to really be held up and appreciated is the Bodhisattva called universal goodness or Samantabhadra. And so in this great assembly the Bodhisattva, universal goodness or universally good, that Bodhisattva sat, like that Bodhisattva in the other room, is sitting on an elephant, but in this case it's not sitting on an elephant, it's sitting on a lion throne made of a treasury of lotus flowers. And imbued, imbued, this Bodhisattva is imbued with the psychic power of the Buddha,


imbued by the psychic power of Buddha, the Bodhisattva enters into Samadhi. Now I just might say just something about the word Samadhi. So the word Samadhi is Sanskrit and it's often translated as concentration, also be translated as undistracted, it could also be translated as focused, it could also be translated as collected, collected, gathered, it's a state of mind that's undisturbed, concentrated, gathered, and this Bodhisattva is in a state of Samadhi. And there's many Samadhis introduced and described in this vast scripture,


but this is the first one that's really going to get some attention. So, there are many kinds of Samadhi, many, many, many kinds of Samadhi. There are Samadhis, people, what just came to my mind right now is, I went to a restaurant last night, I think an animal just came to the assembly. Did an animal just enter? No. What was it? Okay, so there's many kinds of Samadhi. There are many situations in which one is undistracted


and focused. In some situations, one is undistracted and focused while working in a restaurant, and just now when I was talking about many situations, the face of the owner of the restaurant popped up on my mind, because as we left the restaurant, my spouse was interacting with this person, the owner, the head of the restaurant, and he seemed to be quite calm and undistracted. And she was talking to him quite a while, and he didn't look like, hey lady, I got to get back to work. He was just kind of listening to her and talking to her. He seemed quite collected, and he was at the center of this ocean of workers and customers. Lots, you know, lots going on there, lots of cooks, lots of servers, lots of clients, and he was


standing there talking to my dear wife calmly, and it didn't look like he was going to rush this conversation to a conclusion, just like, they finished their conversation. His face just came up to my mind just now. I think he seemed to be in samadhi, which is a good thing. But some other people might be in samadhi while planing wood, or driving a large truck, or swimming in the ocean, or doing flips in the air. Some people might be sitting in cross-legged and paying attention or aware of their breathing and their posture. So that could be a samadhi. Or some samadhi can be occurring when someone is paying attention to someone else's face.


When someone is listening to someone, you know, undistracted, like, you know, undistracted from right here, not thinking about, well, you know, I've got to go someplace and do some work. That thought could arise, but ... and that may have arised in this restaurateur last night, hey lady, I've got to get back to work. It may have arisen, but he didn't look like it. He looked like he was just there with all his thoughts and with all this other activity. He was just there. He looked like that. Again, I don't know what was going on for him, but whatever it was, he seemed to be there for whatever it was. I didn't know what it was. Actually, nobody knows what it is. He was there in a little ... he was aware of where he was to some extent, but actually he was, like us, in an ocean of worlds, and he was present. So again, many Zen students go, like you today, sit on their cushions with other people or not,


and they are present, undistracted, collected in samadhi. Now, this samadhi that is in Chapter 3, Book 3, is also a samadhi, but it's a samadhi which is an undistracted state of awareness of a Bodhisattva, of a great Bodhisattva. Now, not all people are aware of what this samadhi is aware of. However, this samadhi is aware of all the other samadhis. So the samadhis which don't seem to be aware of what this samadhi is aware of are included in this samadhi. They're not separate from it. Nobody's samadhi is separate from this samadhi, this Bodhisattva samadhi.


And all the people who are not feeling themselves to be in samadhi, in other words, people who are feeling quite disturbed, not here, hey lady, I gotta go someplace else and do some work, I can't talk to you anymore, all those people who are not in samadhi, who do not feel that they're in samadhi, who cannot talk like they're in samadhi, you know those people? You've seen any of those people? People who are kind of like Mexican jumping beans, and they feel like they're Mexican jumping beans, and if they're happy and they know it, they clap their hands. All these beings are included in this samadhi. That's what a Bodhisattva samadhi is like. It includes all the people who


do not appreciate samadhi, and it includes all the people who do appreciate samadhi. And so, my proposal to you, which I am proposing to other assemblies, is that this samadhi, this Bodhisattva samadhi, is the samadhi of our school. It's the samadhi of our long tradition of Buddha ancestors. Their samadhis were like this samadhi. Their samadhis were all-inclusive. Their samadhis included all the little samadhis, all the cook samadhis, all the mother samadhis, all the carpenter samadhis, all the gymnast samadhis, all the


computer programmer samadhis. All the samadhis are included in the ancestor samadhi. So, the ancestors of this tradition, I propose to you, their samadhi was this samadhi. And even if it wasn't this samadhi, their samadhi would be included in this samadhi. But whatever about them that's included in this samadhi is the ancestor samadhi. So, in the first paragraph, I've given you the first couple sentences. No, I just did the first sentence, I think. Yeah, I just did the first sentence. It's kind of a long sentence. The conclusion of the sentence was, entered into samadhi. Bodhisattvas, part of their job description is, enter into samadhi. Enter into a concentrated state of awareness of all beings.


Enter into a concentrated awareness of all concentrated awarenesses. That's part of their job. And as I've mentioned often, Suzuki Rishi said, the job of a Zen priest is to encourage Zazen. So, I didn't hear him say this, but I'm suggesting to you that a Zen priest might be a bodhisattva. And if a Zen priest is a bodhisattva, if a Zen priest is a bodhisattva, then their job description is to encourage people to practice Zazen. And if a Zen student, a lay Zen student, I would say your job could be to encourage people to practice Zazen. But you might have some other jobs too. But anyway, your job as a bodhisattva Zen student,


I would say, could be that you're primarily in this world, or anyway, centrally in this world, to encourage beings to practice samadhi. What samadhi? Zazen. So, Zazen is a word we use in many Zen temples around the world, and for hundreds of years, we use the word Zazen. And the ancestors Zazen was this bodhisattva Zazen, this bodhisattva samadhi, which again includes all the other samadhis and all the other not samadhis. So, for me, the chapter could be renamed the Zazen of Samantabhadra. I am looking at this book three as a description of the ancestor samadhi. I'm looking at this


book as a teaching about Zazen of our school. And then the next sentence, the second sentence, tells the name of this samadhi. The name of the samadhi is the womb body of the thus-come-one, the womb body of the Tathagata, which all Buddhists are involved with, and which illuminates the Tathagata, it illuminates the coming of thusness. That's


the name of this samadhi. A shorter name for this samadhi would be Zazen. So, part of the reason I want to bring this up is to show you how great Zazen is. It's a state of samadhi in which the Buddha, Vairojana, which means more or less all-inclusive illumination, is illuminating the body of the womb body of the Tathagata. And then the paragraph goes on, and it starts many, there are several more sentences, and each sentence starts with it, it, and it. And when I read it, I substitute for it,


Zazen, or I substitute for it, Bodhisattva Samadhi. And also, in this case, it's Samantabhadras. But Samantabhadra, you might not be surprised to hear, is very generous. And Samantabhadra shares her samadhi with all beings, with Zen students and not Zen students. So, this particular copy of the Sutra, I haven't made any marks in yet, but I do see all those it's. Okay, here's the first it. Are you ready for the first it? You are? You're not sure? Okay, here it is. It. What? Zazen. It enters everywhere into the equal essence of all Buddhas.


That's actually the first clause of the second sentence. It, the samadhi, enters everywhere. So, it enters into the equal essence of the Buddhas, but it enters this equal essence of the Buddhas everywhere. It enters over here, over there, [...] over there. It enters everywhere. It doesn't just enter like here into the equal essence, but it does enter here. It enters here and here into the equal essence of all Buddhas. That's part of the function of this samadhi. And then it says, and it is capable of manifesting


myriads of images of the dharma realm. So, in the samadhi, which is entering everywhere, for example, it can enter right there. In that samadhi, which enters right here and everywhere else, it enters into the equal essence of all awakened ones, and it also manifests more or less infinite images of the dharma realm. This samadhi is occurring in the dharma realm. It's occurring in all dharma realms, okay? That's what is occurring in the realm of reality. And it enters, and it is capable of manifesting images. So, right now, if we were in that samadhi


right now, there would be the capacity, the capability to manifest images. For example, the images might look like this hand raised up in the air. In the samadhi, this hand is an image. Or rather, in samadhi, it's possible to manifest an image of this hand, an image of this hand too, an image of this face, and the image of these shoulders, and these robes. The samadhi can manifest all these images of what's going on. So, it's entering into the essence and able to also, in the entry into the essence, display images, which people can see. People can see images. Sentient beings can see images.


Buddhas can see images. But now we're giving some people something to look at, and images can be visual, they can be auditory, and they can be olfactory, they can be gustatory, and they can be tangible, and they can be just mental images. This is the samadhi that can do that, and then it can do so vastly, immensely, without distraction, equal to space. So, this concentration is equal to space, and this concentration, which is equal to space, enters into the equal essence of all Buddhas, includes all Buddhas, and it's able to give rise to manifesting images of what's going on in the


samadhi. And anybody who is not ready to enter the samadhi still might be able to see the bodhisattva who's in the samadhi offer them images. So, that's the first couple sentences. And I just maybe mention one more. All the swirling oceans of universes flow along into it. All the oceans of worlds of the dharma realm flow into it. And a little bit further, and this samadhi can contain all the worlds in all directions. So, maybe I'll stop there with just the beginning of the description of this samadhi.


And this samadhi is being told about this samadhi. So, Samantabhadra has entered this samadhi, and somebody, some narrator, is telling us about this samadhi, which is telling us about Sāsana. And I'm really kind of like enjoying holding back any more of this sutra right now. But this first paragraph has an ocean more of things, just in one paragraph there's another, many oceans more about describing this bodhisattva Sāsana. So, if you have anything that you'd like to bring up in response to this presentation


of a practice that is like this, you're welcome to do so. Yes, and yes, and yes, yes. I have a question about where you said this samadhi enters. Where it enters? I heard that it doesn't enter, it enters only where there is, if you can read it. So, Maitreya says it's not, it enters only in the Buddha. It awakens, I'm going to use the word Buddha as purity, because that word, so it enters, this samadhi enters the purity. And then it grows, expands from that entrance.


So, I was confused in the past that it will enter, like it will enter all the distractions, or all the this and that, but I didn't get that as the entrance. Okay, so, the way I read it is, the bodhisattva entered the samadhi and they tell us the name, okay, and now they're going to tell us about the samadhi which has been entered. It enters this samadhi, and we're told the name of the samadhi, and then we're told that it the samadhi, enters everywhere into the essence. So, that would say it enters into everywhere, means it enters into confusion, it enters into


fear, it enters into colors, it enters into smells, it enters into ideas, it enters into enthusiasm, it enters into resistance, it enters everywhere. The essence of everywhere, am I correct? Well, it enters into everywhere, and then everywhere it enters into the essence of all Buddhas, which happens to be the essence of all the everywheres, but it doesn't say it enters into the essence of each of the wheres, but it uses everywhere and it enters everywhere, no matter what. It doesn't say, I'm not going in there, it's all pervasive, this is the Buddha body samadhi. So, it enters everywhere, and then having entered, then we can enter into the


equal essence of the Buddhas. I saw some picture, and then my next question, which is related to what you're doing, this takes immense amount of time. Can you hear, can you hear what she's saying? Great, great for you. Okay, so speak a little louder, just in case people are having trouble. You're talking about, I mean, reading this and asking this question, this is talking about an immense amount of attention. I mean, it's an immense amount of attention. Yeah, it's an immense, the attention, all attentions, I might mention to you, all attentions are oceans, like the intention to scratch your nose, you might see an image of that intention, because the samadhi can manifest as an image of your intentions, but your actual


intention is an ocean. And the way your little intention is an ocean has something to do with the essence of Buddha. But you use your little intention, the samadhi goes into your little intention and my little intention, then there's another one now, it enters in the moment by moment, attentions or intentions, wow, yeah, this is a wow sutra, this is wow, this is wow. And if you don't want wow, okay, you're welcome to. Okay, and tell me your name again, lovely? Q. Kiran. J. Kiran, is it an Irish name? Q. Irish first name, Kiran first name. Okay, Kiran? Q. Yeah, I have a question, I'm clarifying something, when you speak of the samadhi that


pervades all samadhis, what I hear you saying is, there's another word for it, the absolute dharma which is always present, it's always there. J. Okay, I heard the always present, and this samadhi is always present, and what else did you say? Q. When I heard you speaking of the samadhi that pervades all samadhis, I was hearing that from my background, it's the absolute. J. Absolute? No, it is, it is, it is entry into the absolute and it's also entry into the relative. So the absolute is like the way everything's like space, the absolute is ungraspable, it enters into, it so thoroughly enters into the absolute that it becomes the absolute.


However, it is simultaneously entering into all the particular relative phenomena, and it also enters in the equal essence of the absolute and the relative. They're actually, we talk about these two truths, absolute and relative, the samadhi enters everywhere into their equal essence, into their equality, into their unity. So it enters each one and into their unity too. It enters, it is not the absolute, it is the way the absolute really is, and the way how the absolute really is, is that it's not separate from the relative, and it enters into the relative the way it really is, so it enters into the relative and the absolute and into their unity, that's the samadhi story, which facilitates, again, entering everywhere, because no matter what where it is, any where is a relative, but being


able to use everywhere for entry is the absolute, and so it enters, it harmonizes all the different dimensions of the dharma world. And, Kieran, I'm sorry I called on you out of order, please forgive me, Suchitra, you had your hand raised, and who else was it? And Jim, okay, so sorry I skipped over you guys, I just couldn't resist, and Jeremy. Okay, so, you want to go next? Yes, please, I guess I want to just sort of appreciate, as this little cascade of grokking is happening, I was pretty exposed to like Patajali's yoga speeches, similar ...


Can you hear us, Patti? Great. So, a lot of the same words out there, although the way it always came to me was that samadhi, there's all these steps, maybe we would call concentration something else, and then, but samadhi was like, okay, you've got to go through this barrier, or this veil, or something, and then there was the concepts of samadhis that were so profound and so encompassing that they left no seed, they kind of took you out of creating karma for the rest of your life, or whatever, but I don't think there's any discrepancy in this and that, but when I hear this, it's almost like taking those teachings and they pop into 3D, or 4D,


or 5D, because this is talking about the samadhi turning around and flowing into everything instead of trying to reach something that you don't know how to get to. It's a very different feeling. Anyway, you get a different feeling. Yeah, this feels like when you said the word generous. Yeah, this is super generous, and in this samadhi, this samadhi is free of anybody trying to get something, which includes, this samadhi includes all the people who are trying to get something. They're all welcome here. This samadhi is chock full of people who are trying to get something, and however, if those people hang out in this samadhi for a while and hear about it and contemplate it, they will be completely free of trying to get anything. So in a way, Bodhisattva samadhis are trying to free beings from trying to get anything,


but not to stop them from doing it, because that would be getting something. If you could give everybody a major lobotomy. No, that's not about, but if somebody's having a lobotomy, this samadhi enters into the lobotomized and the lobotomy, it enters everywhere. And as we contemplate this samadhi, we become more and more, what do you call, weaned from our deluded human effort to get something out of life, which is a fundamental problem. And so, I don't know about Patanjali's understanding, when did you live? You know, the timeline, I don't know, but they're in very short sentences, so then everybody's expounding on them. So the description of samadhi might be really succinct, and as I say, I don't think it's in conflict with this, it's just nobody ever, I never heard the description that it's flowing back out, it was more like something.


So you didn't hear it, maybe it wasn't there, but maybe it was, and you just didn't hear it, who knows, but here you hear it, it's flowing, it's flowing, the samadhi is flowing, it's going everywhere, and also all the world are flowing into it. That's the kind of samadhi this is, and everybody's involved in this samadhi. And then, Jim? I've read that the root of sam in samadhi is the same, it corresponds to the English same, when you were talking about entering in everywhere, I was going to ask you about that, but you answered it before I asked you about it, equally entering in everywhere. But then I was wondering, okay, there's samadhi and there's samantapadra,


and I was wondering if there was any correspondence there, if you knew, like, between those beginnings of both those words. And then I was going to ask ... A kind of. Samantapadra means universally good, so the sam of samantapadra might be translated as universal, or, you know, everywhere the same. And the padra part is like worthy and good, so it's universal goodness, but also it's everywhere goodness, and everything the same goodness. In Chinese, they translated the sama part with the Chinese character for universal, or all-pervading. And the padra means, you know, good or worthy. There's a lot of people like Padrapala is a famous teacher, which means skillful or wonderful protector.


Yeah, so I think sama in this case is same, and the Sanskrit word for same is kind of like sama. So it sounds like, yeah, there's a cognate there. Indo-Iranian, Indo-European root there. Thank you. And then, who is next? Is that it? I follow. So, universally good, it's not like, my sense is that it's not like doing good, it's not like doing anything, but that it's that the samadhi itself is good. The samadhi itself is good, like I said earlier, that would be good. The samadhi is good, that's right. It is the good of doing good, and it's the good of doing evil. It's just the good of everything. It's the equal essence of everywhere, this samadhi.


And Samantabhadra's name is vibrating with that. I don't know who was next, but I see, who were you next? I know, so I see Cha Ying, and I see Jackie, who else? Maybe that's enough. And Galen? Okay, those three, let's go. Jackie? I just follow up on Jim's comment and yours about Samantabhadra. Isn't it in our chants that one of our chants is great activity? Yeah, so he's the Bodhisattva that's kind of like the prototype of great activity. He's the Bodhisattva of... Also, sometimes you could translate the activity as practice. He's the Bodhisattva of great practice. So, didn't you make a reference to it being universally good?


And how does that define itself? Are they one and the same? Is universally good and great practice the same? Is that your question? Great activity and universally good, is that the same? Yes. I would say, for me, the universal goodness is a great activity. So, you could also have, instead of great activity and universal goodness, you could just have activity and good. So, it could be a good activity, or an activity which is good. But they just add in great and universal. Because it is an activity that's good. It's a good practice. But they're also emphasizing that this practice is not just one person doing something good,


practicing good. It's how that one person's practicing good includes everybody and pervades everybody. So, again, universal good or universal worthy, but also universal practice. Universal practice is great practice. It has to be good. It cannot be bad. That is all encompassing. It completely enters into bad. If there's any bad, it enters there. And it doesn't go to bad and try to eliminate bad. It enters bad and discovers the equal essence of Buddha after entering bad. So, it's all pervading. This is smati is all pervading. And it doesn't deny that something's bad.


It just enters there and enters the equal essence of Buddha's, and it displays images to set everybody free in the ocean of bad. It doesn't say, bad, I'm out of here. It says, bad, I'm into here. It goes into bad. It goes into evil. It goes into good. It goes into, I don't know what's going on. It goes, it enters into wow. And it liberates beings from all suffering. Xiaoying? I think I'm having trouble holding those that my understanding of what you've been saying today and past lectures


is that this samadhi is universal, your samadhi, my samadhi, so-and-so's samadhi. But there is also, in the text, there is this so-and-so's samadhi. In some way, the so-and-so's samadhi seems to be important here. So in the concept of this idea of generosity that she has mentioned, if it's my thing, your thing, and versus everybody's thing, how... Except it's not versus. Yeah, so there's my thing and your thing. So my thing is an everywhere. It's one of the everywheres. It's one of the where's. My thing is a where, and your thing is a there, and your thing is a where, and my thing is a there.


It enters into all the where's and there's. It doesn't eliminate, I'm sitting here in this place. You're sitting there. So I'm sitting here, and I here, the here enters into everywhere. The where here enters into everywhere. The thing here enters, the thing here and the thing there, and the thing could be your samadhi thing and my samadhi thing, so my samadhi thing and your samadhi thing, okay? This samadhi enters into your samadhi thing and my samadhi thing. So you don't have to stop saying, my samadhi, my zafu, my seat, my bowl, my robe. It's just that there's a teaching coming now for people who have my bowl, my robe, my seat, my practice, my samadhi, all those things.


This samadhi enters into all of them equally, everywhere, and simultaneously entering the equal essence of Buddhas and so on. So still they can, I'm here, I'm practicing, and the samadhi is flowing into me doing that, and me doing that is part of the world, and me and you doing our practice is flowing into this samadhi. And you said you're having trouble trying to get a hold of this. This situation is un-garaspable, and many people over the centuries, since this picture of the Bodhisattva practice appeared, many people, many great scholars, have said, you know, I just don't know how to approach this scripture. But when I read it, I do feel like, you know, enveloped in it.


And I feel like it just surrounds me and embraces me and lifts me up to be willing to practice with everything. But I don't know how to approach it. But first, for the time being, I'm going to read it. And for the time being, I'm going to recite it. For the time being, I'm going to listen to it. And in this process, you know, I may feel really encouraged, even though I didn't get anything, and I feel really encouraged. And I feel so encouraged, I can't even get a hold of my encouragement. I just feel joyful and courageous, and my joyful courage is willing to enter into all my problems in a present, undistracted, wholehearted way.


Because this Madi wants us to be able to enter into every situation like that. But along the way, we may have to kind of like accept that getting a hold of this is not going to necessarily help us. But again, it's not like you shouldn't do that, because this Samadhi enters you trying to get a hold of the Samadhi. The Samadhi cannot be grasped, Buddha's body cannot be grasped, and Buddha's body pervades all the vein-grasping that our minds and bodies do. That's not trying to stop them, it's trying to use them. Like Harry Potter, they had this thing called port keys. There were places where you could like enter into this magical realm. So everything's an opportunity, everything's a Dharma door, you've heard that before. So the Samadhi rather than... The Samadhi helps us just enter everything as a Dharma door,


rather than trying to get a hold of Dharma doors. But again, if anybody's trying to get a hold of Dharma doors, the Samadhi enters there. Were there any other points to be raised at this time? Q. When you say it's ungraspable, I think maybe that's sort of the tone of what I've heard a lot. It's ungraspable, so then you're just lost, but if you don't hear the part where, don't worry about grasping it, it's flowing through you all the time anyway, you don't have to grasp it. It's like that's the other half of the sentence. You could say you don't have to grasp it, that's fine, but also you can't. Q. You can't, but instead of being discouraged by that, well, another day. Or you can go ahead and be discouraged and then it enters that discouragement. And it's not trying to get rid of you being discouraged, it's trying to liberate you even if you're discouraged.


It's like, hey, discouraged person, discouraged human, you're included in the Samadhi. And if you don't want the Samadhi, you're included in not wanting it. The Samadhi includes all those who do not want it, and they're equally appreciated as those who do want it, and they're equally appreciated as those who don't want it or not want it, but just live in it. Yes, Denise? Q. Could you say that the Samadhi is equal to emptiness? Yes, it said that. It said the Samadhi enters all these places vastly, immensely, without obstruction, equal to space. It's equal to emptiness. The Samadhi is equal to emptiness, but everything else is too. But this new thing we're hearing about, we've got to be careful not to say, okay, I'm not supposed to make all the other


stuff empty, but this great Samadhi is empty too? It's just like, it's not just empty, it's not just empty, it's like empty. Whereas a word is empty, but we don't usually mention that that word is really like space. It's like space, it's like emptiness, but it's also like form, and it's also like form and emptiness interpenetrating each other. It's also like emptiness not being obstructed from all the forms, and all the forms not obstructing each other. So that's an orientation in Zazen? That could be your orientation in Zazen. You could understand your Zazen as this Bodhisattva Samadhi. You can understand your Zazen as entering everywhere. You're sitting, you're entering, if there's nobody in the room,


you're entering into everywhere in the room. You're not just entering into like here at your seat in this body, you're also entering into the corners of the room and into the ceiling, but not just the ceiling and the floor, but every particle of the seating on the floor, and also every particle of your past and future, and also, by the way, into all sentient beings, most of whom you can't see in the room, you can only see one person in the room. But if there's a bunch of other people in the room, you can enter all the people in the world, in the world, in the room, and every particle. You can, I should say, not say you can, the Samadhi can. This is the Samadhi can do this. And by the way, just to mention, one of the sentences that's further down in this paragraph is this Samadhi is where the Buddha's teaching is protected and maintained. Anything else before lunch?


Galen, thank you. Can you speak louder, Galen? It's just had to do with, like, a more practical quality of this Samadhi, this Buddha Samadhi. Should we strive, would you say, should we strive for having no preference? Should you strive for that? I wouldn't particularly encourage you to strive for having no preference. But also, if anybody was, if there was anybody encouraging you to strive for something, I wouldn't say that they should stop that. I would just point out that that's one of the basic definitions of suffering,


is to strive for something other than what's going on. But I wouldn't say you should do that, I wouldn't say you shouldn't do that, or shouldn't do that. I'm saying I'm holding up a Samadhi for you which enters equally when you're striving for something and when you're not striving. I understand that, but I just have issues with boundaries. You have issues with boundaries, yeah. So boundaries are here's and there's and where's. And so this Samadhi enters into every boundary. And after it enters the boundary, it doesn't explode the boundary, it just frees sentient beings from boundaries by in the boundary finding the equal essence of all Buddhas in the boundary. And also not just this boundary but all the other ones.


So this Samadhi respects all boundaries, it respects all striving, and reality is not striving, and it completely flows into all striving and flows out of all striving. But the Samadhi is just the embodiment of reality which is like this, like described here. Yes, yes and yes. Is aspiring to enter the Samadhi striving? I can aspire without striving, but also I can aspire and strive. I could aspire in a struggling, or what's the word? Striving, yeah. So there doesn't need to be any trying to get anything out of when we aspire to something.


You can aspire to something without trying to get it. And you can aspire to something and try to get it. And the Samadhi that I aspire to, the Samadhi which I hold up, the Samadhi which I pay homage to, that Samadhi is not trying to get anything and is not trying to get away from trying to get something. And if it notices any trying to get something, it enters there too. And when it enters it might give rise to some confession that I was trying to get something and say, I apologize, I wasn't in accord with the Samadhi at that time, but I understand the Samadhi was in accord with me. So the Samadhi isn't suffering. I'm the one who's suffering because I was trying to get something. But I also understand I'm not kicked out of the Samadhi by doing things which cause pain to me or others. Just a second.


Just a second. Just a second. And now here's another second. Just a second. Just a second. Just a second. Tracy? What does equal awareness mean? Pardon? What does equal awareness mean? Equal awareness? Well, by the way, it didn't say equal awareness. Sutra said equal essence. I may have said equal awareness, but that's not in the sutra. Yeah, I may have said, spoke falsely, wrongly, stupidly, but the sutra says equal essence. Now, equal essence, there would be equal essence of all the awarenesses, so you could say equal awareness. Awarenesses, huh? Why is it important? Well, one reason it's important is it helps me, it liberates me to be of service to you.


It liberates me from trying to get anything when I'm talking to you. It liberates me from wanting to talk to you rather than sutra. If everybody has equal essence, then I am impartial, and I can serve everybody. And not only that, or not so much I can serve that, but that ability to serve all beings is facilitated by the teaching, equal essence of all Buddhas. I didn't understand what you just said. Well, I thought you asked me something like, what is the function or what is the benefit of entering into the equal essence? Well, I really meant, what is it? I don't know what it means, but I don't even know what the benefit is. Well, I don't know. Well, you know, we have this phrase, innumerable meanings. So you say, I don't know what it means. Well, you're talking to somebody who thinks everything has innumerable meanings,


so I don't know what the meaning is either, but pretty much anything, I can find meanings in anything. But the meanings I find are just part of the innumerable meanings. So meanings are basically, you know, excuse my saying so, they're little circles of water in the ocean. So this sutra is saying, this is an oceanic awareness in an ocean of worlds, and now we're going to enter into the equal essence of this ocean so that we can be of service in every circle of the ocean. Without entering into the equal essence of all the circles of water, we might be spending a lot of time picking and choosing and worrying about which circle of water to take care of, rather than whatever one we're in. That to me sounds like the essence part. I'm stuck on the equal part. What is equal to?


Well, in other words, another translation besides equal is unity. So it's the unit, it's an essence which is the unity of all Buddhas. All Buddhas are a unity, but the unity is not afraid of being multiple, big multiple. So lots of Buddhas, and they're equal, they're basically the same, and all the Buddhas have this samadhi, and the samadhi protects all the Buddhas' teaching. So the meaning is, you know, we can start right now with meanings for this, but remember, we're just starting, and we're not going to be done. There's no end to this discussion of the meanings. We can have meanings, and we can have meanings to try to get one, like the main one or something, that's okay,


but there's innumerable meanings of the one meaning too. So basically, we're trying to, without bludgeoning anybody, we're trying to help people let go of everything so that they can be of service to everything. And this equal essence is part of that. And the fact that all Buddhas have this samadhi is part of how this samadhi can protect the teachings of all Buddhas, as they're constantly changing in accordance with circumstances. A confession, yes? It's so big, yeah. I guess that's my theory.


And then you talked about the restaurant tour, and that was hugely helpful to me. So I put aside my resistance. It's not so important. But I'm confessing that I'm more interested in a restaurant tour than in the oceans of flowering adornments. Yeah, so more interested in this than that. That's a thing, that's a here, that's a thing. So that's a thing. And the sutra is here for that. And it completely allows you to have a temporary or long-term preference. And the restaurant tour is an example of an image that arose in the samadhi. The samadhi was capable of bringing up the restaurant tour's face for you.


So you can connect to that. And then, by the way, that little present for you arose in the samadhi. And there's no end to those images that can encourage you, and also encourage you to tell us that you actually prefer the images rather than the thing that allows them. And that's another image. When you say, I have a preference for this over that, that's another image which the samadhi has manifested for us to then relate to. For example, does somebody want you to stop not having a preference? Somebody might say, you shouldn't be preferring that image over this picture of the sutra. That's another thing which the samadhi would enter that. So yeah, confessing, you could also say, I confess I have an image, and I like that image more than those images. So this is, again, an example of the minute detail and the vastness.


And sometimes you prefer the minute detail over the vastness. But sometimes you don't like some minute details. The vastness helps you love those too. So we aspire, without trying to get it, we aspire to wholeheartedly attend to minute details. And the vastness is making that possible. Doesn't matter which detail, we can enter wholeheartedly into them. And one of them is, I don't want to get into those details. Dale? I have a question about emptiness and then a question about time. Okay. But you were talking about emptiness earlier, and my understanding of it is that it means that anything


that we can grasp, or even beyond that, is devoid of its own separate existence. Except you take away anything we can grasp, because you can just say anything, because if you say you grasp, you just contradicted the fact that it doesn't have its own essence. So nothing has its own independent essence. So, meaning that everything is interconnected? I don't know about meaning that. I think contemplating how everything's interconnected opens you to see that nothing has. So it's more like interconnectedness helps us understand emptiness, but emptiness is not actually interconnectedness. Emptiness is the ungraspability of the interconnectedness. You can't get a hold of the interconnectedness, that's the emptiness. Even the interconnectedness doesn't get to have an independent existence.


It's a wonderful teaching of the Buddha, this sutra doesn't get to have an independent existence. However, reading this sutra, you open to lack of independent existence. If you can tolerate this, you can tolerate space. But part of tolerating this is to tolerate that you have a preference for some parts of this over space. So, emptiness, studying interdependence, it promotes realization of vastness, which is... I sometimes have a preference for the word fullness. Wholeness? Full. Fullness, yeah. Rather than emptiness. Yeah, so... Thinking that it really means the same thing. Kind of does, yeah. Kind of means the same thing. It's just that there's a little bit of refutation going on in emptiness.


Emptiness is saying, don't have independent existence. Wholeness doesn't necessarily point that out. It's too busy being whole. Emptiness is kind of like available for, hey, I have a question about that. There's none of that. Emptiness says, there's none of that. There's none of that, none of that, none of that. So, it's kind of refutes. Whereas, interdependence and wholeness kind of like embraces and lets everything be. But that, if you can tolerate that, you can tolerate everything getting refuted as independently existing. Just didn't want to point out the time. Yeah, I think, I appreciate you pointing out the time. And so, part of what we're going to do now, if that's okay with you, we will have a memorial ceremony in this room for Gail's daughter, Blair, who has passed away recently.


So, we will support Gail and her whole family to embrace this immensely difficult time. All right? And thank you very much for tolerating somewhat this vast ocean of dharma, along with preferring little circles of dharma.