Nobody's Perfect, and There Is Perfection

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Nobody's perfect but there is perfection. "The Way is perfect and all-pervading" It pervades everywhere including suffering. It is the Non-duality of peace, ease and suffering. Luis Gomez and the "Sutra of Non-Activity of All Phenomenon". Manjushri says in the Sutra "Sentient beings are immediately Bodhi".  You being you is Buddha. If so, what about self-improvement? Being who we are completely is hard and requires faith. Don't look for the practice of enlightment in any place other than where you are. Our practice is to remember that. When Suzuki Roshi died 142 people were sitting sesshin at SFZC and 60-some at Tassajara.  Our sitting now is the continuation of his life.

A Dharma talk for the sangha gathered at No Abode Hermitage.

 

AI Summary: 

In a Dharma talk at No Abode Hermitage, the relationship between imperfection and the all-pervading perfection of the Way was explored. Concepts from Mahayana Buddhism, specifically the notion that the inherent nature of sentient beings is enlightenment (Bodhi), were central to the discussion. This theme was illustrated using the "Sutra of Non-Activity of All Phenomenon" and teachings by Manjushri, emphasizing the non-duality of peace, ease, and suffering. The text posits that there is no separation between flawed individuals and the Way, which pervades everything peacefully.

- **Reference Text:** "Sutra of Non-Activity of All Phenomenon" introduced by Luis Gomez.
- **Mahonayana Teaching:** By Manjushri noted in the sutra, highlighting that "sentient beings are immediately Bodhi."
- **Commentary by Eihei Dogen** was also invoked to reinforce the message that enlightened nature is inherent in being just as one is.

The speaker encouraged embracing each moment as complete and perfect as it is, fostering a deep understanding of the non-separation between individual imperfections and universal perfection. This approach challenges the perceived need for self-improvement by prompting recognition and acceptance of one's immediate experience as fundamentally enlightened.

AI Suggested Title: "Imperfection and Perfection: The Way in Mahayana Buddhism"

Transcript: 

The kind of the core of what I wanted to offer today comes from a conversation I had with a person recently where the person was telling me about some teacher that this person studies with and after telling me about this teacher he said but nobody's perfect and I I don't know if I said right but I kind of thought yeah right and then I found myself saying here's the one but there is perfection. And perfection is a word that has a lot of emotional

[01:01]

resonance for many people but anyway I found myself saying but there is perfection and where does that come from I don't know but anyway. Today I want to talk about this relationship between nobody's perfect and perfection. After I had that little talk and I think I did talk to him about that a little bit and but then you know maybe that night I went to a little study group at Green Gulch and we studied a text and the text starts out are you ready? Doesn't start like that. I'm asking you are you ready to hear about this text? The text starts out the way the way is perfect and all-pervading. That's how

[02:10]

it starts and you know kind of like I rest my case. That's the proclaiming. However that statement does not say there's no ordinary people who you know aren't perfect. It doesn't say that. It's talking about the way. The way is perfect and all-pervading. There's no place it doesn't reach. That's what I want to talk to you about today. How this way which pervades is complete and perfect and pervades everything. It pervades all the incomplete imperfect beings. The way is not the slightest bit different from the imperfect beings. The imperfect beings

[03:15]

aren't the way but there's no way separate from the imperfect beings. Just to reveal to you I'm getting kind of worked up about this but I'm okay with it. I feel very happy about this workup that's happening. I might even think, hey the way is pervading me, pervading this ordinary person. The way is pervading me. Do I see it? The way is pervading my being worked up. I don't have to be worked up. It was pervading before I was feeling worked up too. But contemplating this I'm getting a little worked up but not much. Kind of normal for me. Oscar is serving as the attendant today and Oscar, it's not his birthday but it's

[04:32]

halfway to his birthday and he's 82 and a half. Oscar, there's a manila envelope sort of under that lectern. Could you bring it please? Thank you. This text goes on from after, you know, the way is perfect and all pervading. It pervades all imperfect beings and it doesn't change them at all, it just pervades them. And the way is that every imperfect being, every perfect feeling, every imperfect thought, every imperfect emotion, every being, every phenomena is utterly peaceful. Thank you.

[05:34]

All phenomena are utterly peaceful because they are pervaded by the way. And the way is also called the mind of Buddha, which is the body and mind of the Buddha. That's the way. It's also, this way is an intimate communion among all beings. The way is an intimate communion among all beings. Therefore it pervades all beings. All beings receive it and give it. All beings who are utterly peaceful are also, they are intimate transmission. Each of us, ordinary person

[06:56]

is the intimate transmission of the mind of Buddha. As I said earlier, the text goes on and it says, what I just said about the intimate transmission and all that, that's not in the text, that's me making some comments. The text goes on and says, however, or something like that, if there is a hairs breadth difference, difference, what hair breadth? If there is a difference between an ordinary person and this way, if there is a slightest difference, it seems like it's a big difference. It's like, there's no peace around here, this

[08:03]

is turbulence, this is conflict, this is war. Yes, right. And not trying to like minimize the conflict or jack it up, just like, this is conflict, this is suffering, this is pain. And the way is, we're told by the tradition, the way perfectly, completely pervades the pain. Whatever pain I have, the way is not the slightest bit different from it. But if this mind makes a difference and agrees with the difference, then it's like there's suffering and there's no peace. It's like, this peace is like, someplace else. I'm just, all I got is suffering. Yes, it's true, all

[09:12]

suffering that you've got, which is all you've got, is completely pervaded by peace and ease and freedom. They're not separate, they're non-dual. This is a non-dual teaching. But non-dual teaching doesn't mean, don't take care of your suffering. If I don't make a difference between the way and my suffering, then taking care of my suffering is taking care of the way. And if I want to take care of the way of peace, then I take care of my suffering and your suffering. And if I really believe that teaching and realize that teaching, I do take care of everybody's suffering completely. Then I'm just like the way, which I already am. I completely pervade everybody's suffering. And all of you pervade everybody's

[10:13]

suffering. But we have a mind which can make a difference between misery and peace. Not to mention misery and joy. But misery and peace, there's peace in joy, there's peace in pain, there's peace in neutral sensation, there's peace, not peace in them, they are peace. They are actually peace. Everything is utterly peaceful. Everything is utterly liberated. And that way of peace and liberation pervades everything. That's what the text says. Can I see that? And I also was, I don't know what the word is, tipped off to this

[11:21]

teaching quite a few years ago by a wonderful Buddhist scholar named Luis Gomez. He was the same age as me during his whole life. And then he died. So I've become older than him. Anyway, a wonderful Buddhist scholar. And he introduced me and other people to a Mahayana Sutra which is not so well known. And I think the part of the reason it's not so well known is that it's so radical and easy to misunderstand. And the name of the Sutra is the non-activity of all phenomena. Sometimes translated as the stillness or the

[12:25]

non-moving of all phenomena. And in that, before I get into talking about the Sutra in detail, I just want to mention to you that I did some calligraphy of a line from the Sutra. And I think this calligraphy is on the website. Do you recognize it? I think it's on the website and I think it's translated as the nature of a sentient being is bodhi. That's the symbol. Sentient being nature is immediately or precisely or is exactly or is none other than bodhi. What sentient beings are, and sentient beings are not perfect. Sentient beings are imperfect. Have you noticed? At least in other people. Sentient beings are sentient

[13:30]

beings. Bodhisattvas are sentient beings. They're not perfect. They are precisely bodhi. They are enlightenment. They are the Buddha's enlightenment. If I had written this in English, it would be more popular, but I didn't. I copied it out of the Sutra. And if you want a copy of this, I'll put it over there. I'll put it on the altar. At the end of the day, you can take a copy of my Western person's calligraphy of the Sutra. Living sentient beings, living [...] beings are precisely, immediately, immediately, not later, but right now, the way we are sentient beings is immediately bodhi, Buddha in intimate transmission.

[14:31]

Okay? That's the teaching from the Sutra. The earlier quote is from Eihei Dogen in his The Sutra is something like, this is a little bit of an unusual Sutra. It's a Sutra where Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of perfect wisdom, of perfect wisdom, of complete wisdom, of true wisdom, the Bodhisattva offers his teacher, the Buddha, some teaching. And he says, you

[15:43]

Buddha says, yeah, let's hear it. And he gives him his teaching. For a sentient being to be a sentient being is precisely Buddhahood. Therefore, for a sentient being to be Buddhahood is just not to move. You don't have to do anything to be a Buddha. You don't even have to do not doing something. You just have to be yourself, completely, without looking for inconceivably wonderful liberation and awakening someplace other than the way you are. And Professor Gomez

[16:45]

offered this teaching and he said, I want to offer you this because I think it's really kind of a Zen Sutra. And when I heard about it, I said, yeah, I think this is in accord with our just being still. You don't have to move or think anything other than what you're thinking to be a Buddha or to be Buddha. You don't have to feel anything other than what you're feeling to be Buddha. Because the Buddha way pervades every feeling you have. And if by any chance you make a distinction between the way you're feeling and Buddha, even that distinction, you don't have to be anything other than the person who's making the distinction. However, if you believe distinction, you're going to be a

[17:46]

person who is miserable, more or less. However, when you're miserable because you're making a distinction, because you believe that freedom is something other than what's happening now, that peace is something other than this argument, at that very moment, the way you are is the way you are. And it's perfect, you're perfectly, perfectly the way you are. And that way you are is precisely Bodhi. I'm not saying you're Buddha, I'm saying you being you is Buddha. And you being you is the most difficult thing for a sentient being to be because they've got all this equipment for trying to be something other than what they are. We are, you know, among all animals on this planet, because we've

[18:47]

probably killed all the ones that used to be kind of good at this. But among all animals on this planet now, we're the best at trying to be other than what we are, which of course is what we are. So we're really good at making hair's breadth differences between peace and what's going on and also big differences. And the hair's breadth may seem, well that's not so bad, but the teaching is even a hair's breadth is actually quite a problem. The slightest doubt that the way pervades has major consequences. However, no doubt means that you can be devoted to every living being with no reservation. You can be devoted completely to every pain without trying to get anything, without trying to get anything, without trying to get anything, because this teaching freezes from trying to get

[19:52]

anything, including if you're trying to get something, trying to get something other than being a person who's trying to get something. So another story from the Tang dynasty is that there was a teacher and his name was Dharma-I, Fa-Yin. And a student came to him and said, the student said, My name is Hui-Chao. And I asked the teacher, What is Buddha? And the teacher said, You are Wei-Chao. The great teacher said, You are Wei-Chao. He didn't say, You are Buddha. He said, You're Wei-Chao. So I don't say Christian is Buddha. I say,

[20:58]

Do you want to know what Buddha is? You're Christian. You're Linda. You're Gail. That's what Buddha is. What Buddha is, is each of us being just what we are, nothing else. And what we are, again, one more time, is a living being that thinks that peace is something other than this. So if any of you think that, that's an example of ascension being. And that's immediate. Being that way is you're perfectly that way. You're never imperfectly being who you are. You're always perfectly being who you are. And who you are sometimes is that you think you'd rather be somebody else. And when you don't think you'd rather be somebody else, you perfectly don't think that. Because the way pervades your imperfection. Not by you being perfect, but by you being who you are, which is imperfect. Yeah, so that's it. I could go on, and I will go on

[22:12]

indefinitely. Somebody said, well, actually, you're going to die pretty soon, so it's not going to be indefinite. It's going to go just until you die. Well, we'll see about that. We'll see about that. Like when Suzuki Roshi was dying at the Zen Center in San Francisco. The morning he died was the beginning of the biggest ascension we ever had at Zen Center. Were you there, Gail? I was at Tassajara. You were at Tassajara. You missed that one. Sorry. Anyway, Gail was around Zen Center at the time that Suzuki Roshi died, but she was not in the Zendo. And it's okay. You weren't in the Zendo at Zen Center. Let's add the Tassajara people to the list. Were you having a sashimi at that time?

[23:18]

Okay, so this is even getting better. In San Francisco, Suzuki Roshi was upstairs, and 132 people were downstairs in the Zendo, and in the hallway wrapping around the halls there, it was quite populated. 132 plus another 60 or something at Tassajara. So, like 180 people were sitting Zazen when Suzuki Roshi died. He wasn't doing anything fancy up in his room. He was just lying in his bed dying. And then he died. Did he die? Or did his teaching go on with 180 people sitting? That's what he wanted. He wanted his life to go on as us sitting still. And we're still practicing his way. You may not think you are, but he's happy to see you practicing being who you are. And that's one of his teachings, right?

[24:27]

Our practice is just to be completely who we are in each moment. So, maybe I will keep teaching indefinitely, this teaching. We'll see. Now, what if people stop sitting? Let's not get into that. But I guess if everybody stopped sitting, then that would be the end of my practice. So, keep it up, please. And if you don't, that is precisely Bodhi. So, either way, thank you so much for being who you are. And, is there anything that the Great Assembly wishes to express? Yes?

[25:37]

So, what about self-improvement? Self-improvement. Sentient beings, especially humans, are into self-improvement. That's one of the main ways we're not perfect. We're not perfect because we're trying to improve. In other words, we don't think we're perfect, so we're trying to improve. I'm pretty good, but I'm just going to try to get up a little closer to perfect. That's the way we are, a lot of us. Some of us don't try to be perfect, but then we're that way. But all the people who want to be more perfect, want to improve, those are sentient beings. Does that make sense? All the people who want to do that are living beings. And the people who do not want to do that, they're living beings too. But a lot of living beings are into self-improvement.

[26:39]

And some living beings are also into other people improvement. These are examples of living beings. And for a living being to be like that, or like that, is precisely awakening. Because awakening pervades everybody being the way they are. So you can go ahead and do any kind of self-improvement you want. Buddhism is not going to stamp out any kind of self-improvement. And Buddhism is not going to stamp out any living beings. The self-improvement ones, it's not going to stamp them out. And it's not going to stamp out the people who are opposed to self-improvement. Buddhism is to help all the sentient beings be completely what they are, in each moment, which is bodhi. Yes.

[27:40]

So we need to remember that this is bodhi. We need to remember. Yes, that's why I'm saying this. To help you remember. All the better to hear you. All the better to eat you. Remember. So we need a kind of faith. Would you say we need a kind of faith? Because sometimes I feel like I'm... You could say we need a kind of faith. That's fine. Or you could say what we really are is faith. Being who you are is faith. Having trouble being who you are is a little bit lack of faith. So we need a lot of faith to be completely... Because being completely who we are is really hard. And so we need faith in the teaching that the way is perfect and all-pervading. Then we need faith that remembering it would help realize it.

[28:42]

We also remember that since it pervades us, we're not about being anything other than what we are. We remember that too. And we remember not to look for bodhi any place other than what's going on as the sun shines. We're not looking for someplace else. That's the practice. And if I am looking for somewhere else, the practice is to confess I'm looking for someplace else and I'm a silly boy. Because the practice says do not look for bodhi someplace other than where you are. I need to remember that. I need to remember that. And I don't try to remember things that I don't have faith in. Some people remember that they're the best person in the area. Some people believe they're above average. Some people believe they're below average. They believe that. This is a Mahayana Buddhist tenet of faith. To remember it.

[29:49]

And try it out. Try out being who you are without trying to get anything good aside from the way you are. Try it out. See if by any chance you develop more confidence in being who you are completely for the welfare of this world. Taking care of yourself in this way requires taking care of yourself this way. And sometimes we have to remember a teaching in order to do the hard job of taking care of ourselves completely. Some people might even have a thought which they have trouble taking care of. The thought is I want to take care of other people, not me. That's a perfectly good thought of a sentient being. To take care of yourself when you say I don't want to take care of myself, I want to take care of others. To take care of that helps everybody in the universe. And we need to remember that in order to do this hard work.

[30:56]

Because if you're doing this hard work of being who you are just for yourself, it's going to be really hard. But if you're doing it for all of us, I have a hard time being who I am occasionally. But then I think well I'm not doing it just for me, it's too hard. I can't do it, it's too hard. And I can't even take care of that thought. That is too hard. But for you, if it's for you, and you're having a hard time too, if it's for everybody, then I can take care of the thought it's too hard. And that will help everybody take care of the thought it's too hard. They have thoughts like that too. So yeah, we have to remember and then you have to decide what's your faith. Do you believe that the way is perfect and all-pervading, all things? Do you believe that for a sentient being to be a sentient being is Bodhi?

[31:57]

Then you have to remember it. If you don't believe it, then you should argue with me. Until you do. Yes, Linda. This morning I was working with pretty much what you're talking about, and I was giving myself a message that was, you think sitting is hard, but remember you don't have to do anything at all, just like bees, just sit there, you don't have to do anything. So I was trying to get into that. And then this thought arose which was, I do need to do something, I'm supposed to be following my breath, I'm supposed to be not daydreaming. Was that a mistake, those thoughts? Because then I thought, oh no, it's not okay to just do nothing. Okay, so do you have a question? Yeah, that's the question.

[32:59]

What's the question? Is it true that I don't have to do anything, or do I need to do something to sit in a way that's fruitful or helpful? Okay, so you have just given us examples of a sentient being who's doing things, who's thinking things. And one of the things you were thinking is, do I have to do anything? And I think what you mean is, do I have to do anything in order to realize peace in the world for all beings? Right? And the answer is, you do not have to do anything other than what you're doing. And what you're doing might be, do I have to do anything? So when I think, do I have to do anything? At that moment, do I have to do anything? I do not have to do anything other than that thought. I'm already doing quite a bit. Do I have to do anything?

[34:00]

It's quite a feat to think that thought. And then you can make it a little bit fancier. Do I have to do anything in order to free all beings from suffering? That's quite a thought. Do I have to do anything? Like pay attention to my breath. Yeah, for example. Here's another one. Do I have to pay attention to my breath? Do I have to pay attention to my breath at that moment? The way is none other than me asking that question at that moment. It's not the slightest bit different from that. So you can think, do I have to follow my breath? Or you could also think, I want to follow my breath. You could also think, I am following my breath. Those are three examples of ascension being. In three different moments. And the way pervades all three of them. Or if it's simpler, it pervades the question, do I have to follow my breath?

[35:01]

It pervades that. And to not look for anything other than that is the practice. So the teaching is, whatever you are thinking, the way pervades it. And your responsibility for the practice is, don't look for the practice of enlightenment anywhere other than what you are doing. And then again you can say, but do I have to do anything? And I can just say, nothing other than that question at that moment. And you can also say, will I be doing things? And I would say, well, yes. The practice, when you ask the question, will I be doing things for the rest of my life? The practice is to listen to that question and don't look for someplace other than that question. But in a conversation I might say, you will continue to do things moment after moment. You will be a person who in each moment is doing something. The teaching is, our practice is to be the person who is doing something completely.

[36:04]

That's our practice. You don't have to be thinking X or Y. You can also think Z. But when you are thinking Z, the practice is to completely be the person who is thinking Z in that moment. And then the next moment you will do something else. There will be a new sentient being for you to be completely. And also see, can I actually be completely without looking for any piece other than me being completely who I am at that moment? Who I appear to be? And if the answer is yes, it's pretty much like, well, there's peace. That's peace. So, I think it was Tracy and Christian and Linda. Were you before them? No, I think you answered my, I had two questions.

[37:06]

Okay, well, tell us the questions that I answered. Which was, Jackie brought up self-improvement. I think I see self-improvement as a way of looking for somewhere else. It could be. But now you're saying presence with that moment. Exactly. Looking for somewhere else. Yeah, so there's no eternal damnation. If I'm trying to improve myself, which is, again, very common among living beings. And humans have such a variety of ways of improving themselves. In the moment I'm trying to improve myself, at that moment, the practice is to be that person. Which I just happen to be. The attention, the attentiveness, the presence with it, is the ingredient that has to also be here. Our whole, we have to be there completely. And including, in this particular example, which includes that there is an attempt to get something.

[38:13]

That's there. And I'm completely the person who's trying to get something. That's the practice, is to give myself completely to the person who is trying to get something other than what's going on. Which is this engine being. We're biologically made to be that way. To try to get stuff. To try to improve stuff. And also to think that things will really be good. If there's improvement, it'll really be great. And then, even before we get this thing that's great, and even when we do get this thing we think is great, then almost instantly we look for something else. We're built to do that. Even though it's going to happen and we're going to get what we thought would be great, we think of something even greater just before we get it. And it's just a trick that our sentientness does.

[39:17]

It's a trick show, it's a magic show that our body and mind conjures up for us. And now we have a teaching which is like, stay with the magic. And it's hard because it's so tricky. It's so slippery and jumpy. It's challenging. We are, sentient beings are challenging to be. That's a good bumper sticker. Yes, Tracy? What does it actually mean to completely be something? What does it mean to completely do something? To be something. What does it actually mean? According to Sutra, it means bodhi. That's what bodhi is. When you are completely who you are, that's what enlightenment is. I asked the wrong question. At any moment, how do I get myself to completely be?

[40:22]

That question which you're asking right now, that question is the way you are now. Or you were a few seconds ago. How do I get, etc. There you are, being a sentient being. How do I get? I'm not telling you how to get. I mean, I could get into that, but I'm not really going to. I'm going to address who you are now rather than how to get. Who you are is somebody who is asking, how do I get x? What I'm saying is, the way pervades this how do I get x. The way pervades it. So, you don't get not moving, but if you just don't move, you realize it. But if you move, you realize it. And if you move, you realize it.

[41:23]

What are we doing here? But if you move, you miss the not moving. You can move, but once you move, then you're unmovingly moving. And you're looking like a sentient being over there. That's going to be my other question. How do you like having us all masked on a scale of 1 to 10? Say again? On a scale of 1 to 10, how much are you enjoying us being masked today? 1 to 10? It's the enjoyment scale, right? Not suffering scale. On an enjoyment scale, somewhere in the neighborhood of 0. But maybe 1, because I appreciate that you're so kind to wear these masks. I really appreciate it. But I don't like the masks. I just appreciate your greatness in putting them on. And I might mention that NoBo follows Green Gulch's protocols.

[42:30]

And now at Green Gulch, people can go from outside Green Gulch directly into the Green Gulch bubble. The Green Gulch Zendo. They can go directly in with no mask if they do a PCR. And then I think maybe a rapid one when they get there. And I was surprised. I was in the Zendo and I saw these people who I never saw before sitting in the Zendo with no mask. But they follow that protocol. So if you want to, you can come into... Next time we do it in April, if you do a PCR and then a rapid antigen, you can come in without a mask. And the other people who haven't done it, they're here with masks. So that would be following Zen Center's protocols. I'm in the bubble, so I don't have to wear it. So I think that's for the next one. If you do those two tests, you don't have to wear a mask anymore here.

[43:34]

In the meantime, I'm not enjoying it very much. It's harder for me to hear you, harder for me to see you. It's kind of... I'm not going to get into 1 to 10 pain, but it's 1 to 10 pleasure. It's not that much fun for me not to be able to see your face. But I'm being patient with it, and you're being even more patient. And so that's what we're doing. So the next one-day sitting, those of you who want to make that great effort, you can come without a mask. In the meantime, I don't know what other changes will happen, but that's currently the Green Gulch policy. And people who come in who are vaccinated but have not done the PCR, they need to come in and wear a mask for five days and test after they get there. It seems like it should be changing pretty soon. Yeah, it could be.

[44:38]

But, you know, here and in Green Gulch, we're very conservative. We don't want to endanger anybody. So the very conservative are taking the step now. So next time, if you want to make that effort. Can I make one more comment? May I make one more comment? Yes. I wouldn't have thought flowers could be improved upon, but when I saw that arrangement on the author, it's like, they're even more beautiful than they were. So I don't know if I've ever seen such a lovely arrangement. And I don't know who did it, but I think that... Yeah. And you don't have to be the slightest bit different than the person you are appreciating them. You don't have to be any better than who you are appreciating them. And you being the way you are,

[45:42]

that's the practice of Bodhi. And next was Christiane. Yes. So, I think what I'm hearing, and trying to test it out a little bit, which is, we can't not be ourselves. We cannot not be ourselves. No. That's right. All day long we are a sentient being. It's not alternating. Did you say Bodhi was alternating? No, no, no, I said that part, the part about Bodhi being all-pervading is something to remember. So as we are being ourselves and doing our whatever, if you have an awareness of that, that might be nice. The Buddha remembers that. The Buddha remembers. And says it.

[46:44]

And somebody has to say it, so that we can remember it. So, mindfulness is part... Practice can help us remember it? Well, practice is remembering it. Practice is remembering that. That's what you do when you remember that. You're practicing. And when you're practicing, you remember it. I mean, when you remember it, you're practicing. And then when you remember it, you're practicing, even though... Okay, you remember it, but I can't go ahead and let myself be this person, I want to be somebody else. But then I just... No, no. It applies to this. So by remembering, you somehow recover from getting distracted and not believing it. So, mindfulness is part of being a sentient being. Sentient beings aren't mindful, you say? Yes. But to be a sentient being completely,

[47:49]

we have to be mindful. Now, what if you're not mindful? Then you're completely not mindful, is also being a sentient being. But the sentient being you are when you remember the teaching and the one you are when you don't remember it, are two different types of sentient beings. One is realizing peace, the other is not. Even though the peace is pervading them, because they're not mindful of it, they miss out on reality. And it's reality that they miss out on reality, and that it hurts. Can I say one more quick thing? There's that koan about the teacher's banning himself and... the student asks, why do you have to keep banning yourself? That's another example.

[48:49]

So, it pervades everywhere. It's permanent and all pervading. It's always pervading, and it's pervading everywhere, so why do we have to practice? I didn't get into that, but that question was asked in the text. Since the way is perfect and all pervading, there's no place it doesn't reach, why do we have to practice? Somehow, magically, if we don't practice, it's like it's not here. So, understanding that it pervades is to practice. And part of practicing is moving this fan... Yeah, not looking for any other kind of air, or more wind than we have here, just doing this, that realizes it. And without doing it, we don't understand. But we are doing it,

[49:52]

and we're just trying to clarify the practice now. I'm not trying to get anybody to not be into self-improvement. I'm not doing that. And I'm also not trying to get you into self-improvement. But if you're into self-improvement, I'm not trying to get you to be in self-improvement. You're into it already. I'm trying to encourage you to not look for anything other than what you're up to for the benefit of the whole world. Some people have to do this in order to help the world, and some people are. Sometimes you do do that, and it's very helpful. Thank you. I also wanted to mention

[50:53]

somebody who might be Amanda gave me a piece of paper and on the piece of paper it had the names of it had words describing various activities that were being done for this one day sitting. It's a full page of activities. I don't know how many there are, maybe 30 or 40 activities related to making this thing happen. And then people's names are next. It's like such a great effort was made in order to make this happen today. And the day's not over. So there's going to be more effort. And it's going to be going on all the way until sundown. It's just amazing and wonderful that so many people are doing so much to make these events happen. Thank you so much. It's a blessing to have a place where people can make such a great effort. So good for them.

[52:00]

So good for us. So good for the world. Thank you.

[52:02]

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