The Seeds and Fruits of True Awakening
The Seeds and Fruits of True Awakening
Series by Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi
March 8, 2012 at The Yoga Room
Part one of a seven part series based on the Six Paramitas
Transcribed by Barbara Byrum
This course, in a sense, has two titles. One is “Zen Meditation,” and the other is “Seeds and Fruits of True Awakening.”I was thinking about seeds and fruit, and also that between the seed and the fruit, there are other things going on – if you use the image of a fruiting organism that has seeds and fruits. Sometimes human beings are spoken of in these terms, but also fruiting plants are also described in this way. In a sense, there is the seed, then there is the sprout, or the stem, and then there is the flower, and then there is the fruit. Between the flower and the fruit, there is something going on too. Something similar is going on between the flower and the fruit that is going one between when there’s a stem. Before there is a flower, there is a stem and a seed. So the seed and the stem are there. There’s a flower, and after there is a flower, there is still a seed and a stem. And after there is a flower, there is still a seed and a stem. So between the flower and the fruit, the stem is still working. The stem has roots. Maybe I should say there are seeds, and there are often roots and stem, and there is a flower, and then there is seed, roots, stem, and flower, taking the flower from being a flower to being a fruit. Now, if we are talking about the seeds and fruits of enlightenment, of true enlightenment, then that is this course. So in this course, I will talk to you about the seeds, the stem, the flower, after the flower, and the fruit of true enlightenment. I might propose that the seed of true enlightenment is – well, it is somewhat circular. The seed and true enlightenment – maybe not – the seed of true enlightenment is an aspiration. It is the aspiration, it is the wish – big wish – to attain true enlightenment. But it is not just the wish to attain true enlightenment. The seed of true enlightenment isn’t just the wish to attain true enlightenment. It is the wish to attain the fruit of true enlightenment, which includes the true enlightenment. So the fruit of true enlightenment is sometimes called buddhahood. Buddhahood is the situation of the optimal benefit for all living beings. It is the process of living beings, who are usually in a wide range of suffering, is the process of them becoming highly encouraged to practice, and achieving the practice, and becoming free, and living the joyful life of helping others. That is the process; that is the fruit of the aspiration. So, again, I am proposing the seed of true enlightenment is the aspiration to realize it and to realize its fruit, which is to realize the welfare of all beings, to realize its fruit for or as the benefit of all beings. I will go over this again and again, but for now, I want to go back now to the seed. I am proposing that the seed of this process is an aspiration. So in a sense, this whole process, from the seed to the fruit, is an aspirational process. I think it is probably a good idea for me to invite you, and invite myself, to check out, to see, if by any chance, the seed of true enlightenment – which is also the seed of the fruit of true enlightenment – if by any chance, you see anything like that in the neighborhood. Do you see an aspiration, do you feel an aspiration, do you sense an aspiration for buddhahood? To make it easier on you, you don’t have to think of it as you becoming a buddha, exactly. You don’t have to take it personally; you can just think about whether you would like to donate your life to the welfare of all beings, but not just like a small donation, but donate yourself to the realization of that. Don’t even donate your life, but whether you would like to donate all life that you have to donate. Again, I take back “all life you have.” I guess, would you like to donate all life, whether you have it or not – and actually you don’t have all life – so would you locate to donate all life, including any that you have, to this project? This is the project that I am talking about in this class, the project of finding that seed and then taking care of it, so that it develops into this fruit. A basic proposal is that although this seed, although this aspiration, is necessary, and it has the power to make the fruit, it can also be lost. It can be misplaced. One can get out of touch with it. Even if one remembers it, which is great, even if one senses it and remembers it, the being who feels contact with this seed, or with this aspiration, needs to bring this aspiration into a training situation, in order for it to be realized, in order for it to come to fruit. This training process, I would say that it is a yogic training process, and this yogic training process comes to flower, I would say, as an entry into reality. It comes to flower, it blossoms, it opens up, onto reality. It sees reality, it awakens reality, this flower, this awakening. Then, the yogic practice, which arises from this aspiration, continues with this awakening, continues in this realm of reality, which has been entered. Basically, the same stem, or stalk, which supports the flower, now takes the flower further into repeated openings into reality, and getting the flower more and more ready to actually drop its petals, drop its bloom. In other words, let go of enlightenment, and become the fruit. In actual process, there is the seed leading to yogic practices, which blossom as entry into reality, and then the continuation of yogic practices, in the context of reality, leading to repeated openings, repeated awakenings, leading to further yogic practice, leading to further awakenings, leading to further yogic practices, leading to further awakening, leading to further yogic practices, until all signs of the flower of enlightenment have dropped away, over and over, so that the awakening is free of the signs of awakening, and all there is is benefitting beings. So there is no buddha in the end, in addition to the benefit of beings, and the benefit of beings is that they enter this process, that has just been described. One of the logical consequences, actual experiential consequences of what I just said, is that when we first start practicing the care of this aspiration, we are doing so prior to entering reality. So we are caring for this aspiration with yogic practices, the nature of which we have not entered. So we are doing yogic practices without understanding them correctly. However, they can, even though they are not correctly understood, even though we are practicing them not yet having entered into awakening, we can still care for this aspiration and bring it to flower, at which time we start to understand the practices that we have been doing all along. Then we continue to do them, but with the correct understanding. Another way to put it, we do these practices in a somewhat impure way until we enter reality, and then we do the practices in a pure way. By doing the practices in a pure way, we remove all signs of awakening, all signs of reality, and the reality and the practice become into complete accord, as the fruit of this whole process. That is an overview of the welfare and happiness of all beings, and how the process gets initiated and realized. I will talk later about where the seed comes from, and various other topics, but I want to come back now in this class, and really emphasize the benefit of looking in your heart to see if by any chance, there is an aspiration. The etymology of the word “aspiration” is “to breathe into or to breathe onto. To give spiritual life to.” The first definition is “a big, a great, a vast wish.” It’s a wish, but it is a really big one. We don’t usually use the word aspiration for little wishes. If you wish to go the toilet, we usually don’t say, I aspire to go to the toilet. However, if you really have to go, you aspire to go. Some people who are constipated, aspire to go. It’s a big deal for them. It’s almost a matter of life or death. So ordinary wishes, when they get really big, are not ordinary anymore. They become aspirations. So this is a big aspiration. This is an aspiration for welfare, for happiness, for everything, for everybody, for all living and non-living phenomena. Is there something like that in your heart? If there is something not quite that, but closely related to it, that can be cultivated and extended and extended and extended, until it reaches that very extensive quality. Many people say, I have aspirations, but they’re not that extensive. And many people when asked, Would you like to have such an extensive aspiration? People often say, Yeah I would like to learn it. I don’t have it yet, but I’d like to learn to have it. Again, I am asking you to look. I myself have looked for it in myself, and I have looked for it in others. I ask people about it, like I’m asking you. I ask people about it quite frequently, and they often say that they don’t know. I ask them again, and they say they don’t know. I will tell them that I have noticed that it takes people sometimes months to see anything much about it, but often in a few months, people start to see something, which is not that long, in a way. Please look! Even if you find it, even if you found it tonight already, still, then, I say that if you do find such an aspiration, take care of it and help it to have it available, so that it can be trained. It needs to be cared for. The training cares for it, and you have to care for it, so that it can be trained. Part of the training is to repeatedly look for it, repeatedly ascertain it, repeatedly refresh it, repeatedly go back to it. When you get back to it, be with it, because this is where the energy for practice comes from. This aspiration is the energy source for the practice. Sometimes if you check the aspiration, and you look, and you find some energy for practice, you find some energy for the yogic practices, which protect and develop it. A little bit later, you sense that maybe your energy is waning, at that point it is really good to go back and check the aspiration, and again find some energy to continue the practice, to protect the aspiration. Q: I read an ancient master referred to the sambhogakaya as the ever-present wish to benefit all beings. Does that sound like what you are talking about? A: “The ever-present wish to benefit beings?” That is what I am talking about, whether you call it sambogakaya or not, that is what I am talking about. If it would augment and enliven an aspiration to call it sambogakaya, I would accept that. If you would augment and enliven it to call it some other things, I consider other names for it too. Q: I feel a contact with the aspiration that you are talking about, but I don’t feel much of a hurry at this time. A: Did you say that you don’t feel much of a hurry? Q: Yes, I noticed there is a feeling of urgency [inaudible words.] So what would you say about that? [Inaudible words] important to the aspiration. A: “The aspiration is, you said, is up to be “a hundred times returner”? The aspiration is happy to do even more than a hundred returns, in order to develop this great awakening for the benefit of all beings. I think that the bodhisattvas are not in a hurry, and yet they feel urgency. So urgency without hurry. So how can you get that very sharp feeling of a sprout coming up through the ground, a very fresh, new feeling, frequently, during the day? That feeling, Oh my God, this is wonderful, this is alive and not be in a hurry. So when the sprout comes up, you are not rushing it to be any taller than it is. Every inch of the way of this wonderful aspiration, you enjoy it where it is. You are not rushing it ahead of where it is. And you are happy if this sprout goes on as long as beings need this thing to grow. So you don’t want to rush, because rushing can cause us to get distracted from taking care of it. It’s so wonderful that you rush ahead, and then, Where is it? Oh, I left it back there. So urgency, in the sense of freshness – really how wonderful to take care of this. This is really an urgent matter. “Urge” – comes from the feeling, up, up, out of the ground. I think that is where “urge” comes from. It is very fresh. So checking the freshness of the aspiration is one of the techniques, that is, the language you can use as a refreshing language. Am I still in touch with the urgency and freshness of this aspiration, of this wish? Also, part of taking care of it is to watch out, and not really be present, and not be rushing. Because you don’t want to leave anybody behind, even people who are in a rush. You don’t want to leave them behind. They want to leave you behind, maybe, but those who wish to pass you up and move on and not move so slowly – you don’t want to leave the behind, but you do let them pass you. But they don’t get past you; they just want to. They are not behind you either. They are right there with you. Q: I struggle all the time with aspiration. It strikes me that you are creating the energy by creating tension. Reflecting on the way things are now, [inaudible words] there’s a tension. That’s what moves me toward the aspiration…try to resolve the tension that comes up. That’s a wonderful thing, but I also feel a sense of dissatisfaction to what is happening now, because I want to resolve that tension that is falling short of the aspiration. [inaudible words] In a way, I could bring the aspiration down to relieve the tension… that is the easiest. If I try to hold the aspiration where I think it should be [inaudible words] and that is the nature, step by step. The tension is always there. [inaudible words] A: Let me try this. What I just heard you say was that you were contemplating the karmic working of a mind. I feel that if you would continue to contemplate that karmic workings of a mind like that, an aspiration would arise, but the aspiration would not be like what you were just observing. It would be the wish to understand, for example, the process you just described, in such a way that would benefit all beings. Because I heard you describe a karmic process, and part of the process was an awareness that in that process there is dissatisfaction. For example, there is some lack of appreciation of the current state. You could say a lack of compassion for the current situation. There is an awareness that that lack of appreciation and compassion for the current state of dissatisfaction is dissatisfying. There is an awareness that that is the case. To then move on to say, I would like to get rid of this situation of not appreciating things, because that situation is unsatisfying, that would be another example of the same type of karmic attitude. As you watch this, it might come to you that there is a wish not to get rid of this at all, but to be kind to it. But maybe not to be kind to it, but the wish to realize and understanding – the understanding does not say Let’s get rid of this karmic stuff. It’s more, I wish to awaken to a reality which I am not noticing in this story that I just told, or the story that I just observed. I would like to awaken to a reality which would benefit everybody who has a karmic consciousness like this. There might not be the slightest taint in this aspiration of disrespect or lack of appreciation for the suffering and the causes of suffering, which you are observing there. So, in a way, I heard you observing suffering and the causes of suffering – yeah, I did – but I didn’t hear, Wowsy, doosy, I saw the truth of the suffering! And I saw the truth of the cause of the suffering. You didn’t say that. You said, I saw dissatisfaction, and I saw the causes and conditions for it, and I saw that part of the causes and conditions for it were not really appreciating it very much, like not really appreciating dissatisfaction and the causes of it. If the aspiration to realize the awakening of others arose from this kind contemplation – which I think it does – it is from that kind of situation that it arises. It arises from that kind of situation, but it also arises from observing that kind of situation. I said earlier that I would probably mention where the seed comes from, and now I think it is a good time to mention [it]. It comes from, for example, a person like you, contemplating karmic cause and effect, and noticing that it is unsatisfying the way it works. And maybe almost noticing that it is not going to work itself out, and that is kind of dissatisfying too. But in that work, something comes to meet you. That work is a request for somebody to show you something that would work. That meeting with something that does understand how this does work, and has realized that understanding how this works, is freedom from it. Understanding how it works is really important. Understanding how this process, that you just described, works, really, comes to people who are really compassionate toward the process. You might not know that right away. You might just wish to understand it, and that the benefits of understanding would be available to everybody. That might arise right in the same karmic mind that is thinking certain ways and noticing that those ways of thinking are unsatisfactory. Still, this wish to attain this great thing for all beings could arise in that state, in that defiled situation, in that unsatisfactory situation. That wish has nothing disrespectful to say about the situation, and, again, the cultivation and protection of this wish involves learning yogic practices of being kind to that situation, being kind to the unsatisfactory situation, and being kind to the causes of it, being kind to the causes of suffering. Those are the yogic practices that follow the arising of the aspiration. So, from the contemplation you told me so far, I did not see the aspiration. I am responding to you to show you the difference between the aspiration and just what you are looking at, as you are contemplating your karmic consciousness. However, it turns out that contemplating karmic consciousness is part…To put it this way, it’s part of what is necessary for you to be where you are, where you can meet what stimulates the thing to arise. If you are not noticing your karmic consciousness, if that aspiration arose and you weren’t noticing, you would be someplace else from where it arises, because it arises in karmic consciousness at first. This great thought arises in a defiled karmic consciousness. It arises in a person who is thinking, and the thinking is not the aspiration, but the aspiration appears in the realm of thinking, and it is thinking. So when you are observing what you are observing, you are right in the right place to experience the arising of this aspiration, but this aspiration is not about being dissatisfied with the situation. That’s not what it is about. It’s not about getting better; it is about waking up to reality, beyond a mind that thinks in terms of better and worse. Not just waking up to it, but waking up to it for the welfare of all beings. What he was observing and working on is the kind of work we need to do to refresh our aspiration. The wish comes from noticing that that is how things work, when we don’t practice. If you have the aspiration, you need to practice compassion towards the situation you described, and when you notice the situation, and you have the aspiration, then you check to see, Am I doing the yogic practices? Which take care of the aspiration, and which treats the environment in which the aspiration arises, with kindness. You treat the aspiration with kindness, but you also treat the suffering, in which the aspiration lives. I forgot to mention another aspect of the image that this seed appears, or is placed in, mud. It lives in karmic consciousness. That’s where it lives. Forgot to mention that part. This seed, when it germinates, sends roots down into, it embraces, unsatisfactory consciousness, all the unsatisfactory unconsciousnesses [sic] it can embrace. Then the embrace of the unsatisfactory karmic consciousnesses gives rise to the sprout. And it stays grounded in that, all the way through that process. Q: [inaudible] A: You are part of it, but it is usually recommended to emphasize others. Just be willing to forget about yourself, for starters, even though you are included in all beings, and even though you will be very happy to forget about yourself. Just give it a try. Don’t make any deals, like, Do I get anything out of this, too? Just forget about that part. Q: [inaudible] A: Yes, it is hard to help other beings, if you are entangled yourself. That’s right. And, the first part of the process, if you are actually on the process of helping other beings, and you are starting to do the practices, which will take care of that aspiration, and bring you to enter reality, from that point, until you are entering reality, it will be hard to help other beings, because you are trying to help them, without understanding how to help them. So you are right. It is hard to help other beings, when you are entangled. However, you can help other beings, when you are entangled. Q: [inaudible] A: No, you can help them, when you are really not awake. You can be kind to your unawake-ness, and for you to be kind to your unawake-ness, helps everybody. However, it is real hard for you to be kind to your unawake-ness. It is either a little hard or very hard. After you are awake, it is easy to be kind, after that. It is easy to help people, because you actually understand how it works. So before when you are entangled, before you understand, it is hard, but not only can you do it, and you help others before you understand reality, before you enter it, but you can progress towards entering it. You can show other people, who do not understand, how they too, who don’t understand, can practice prior to entering. There is an effective practice prior to entering reality, fortunately. Otherwise, how would we enter? But it is hard beforehand. Q: [inaudible] A: That’s right. You can’t explain. You can try, but you won’t be able to. Q: [inaudible] A: It’s not really you, and it’s not how you really made the decision. You do think you make them some way, but that’s not how you make them. That is just your story. When you were telling your story, I thought of the seed putting down roots in the soil and having a sprout, and the sprout comes up. The sprout has stories about how it’s coming up. The sprout may have resistance to coming up. It may have trouble coming up – trouble with gravity, trouble pushing out where it used to be, and so on. But it is being driven by this seed, which has put roots into the soil. The soil and the roots are working together to force the sprout up, regardless of what the sprout thinks is going on. Sometimes the sprout thinks, Oh this is really good, and this is the reason why it is good. Sometimes the sprout says, This isn’t too difficult. But sometimes the sprout says, What is going on? I don’t understand this, but I feel that I am being forced to do this, and I feel that something is right about this. That is how sometimes how you are doing things, and you feel that they are right, even though there is a lot of resistance to it, because they are in accord with this aspiration, in accord with this seed. But it is kind of hard, because the flower hasn’t come yet. Some people may think that flowers have a hard time, but we can get into that later. Actually, I already did. I already told you about the flowers, that part of the flower thing is that flowers are pretty cool things, but for a flower to really do its job, it has to fall away. Flowers sometimes have difficulty. We might feel like they are having a hard time, withering and falling away. But, actually, this is what they have to do, for the sake of the big program. Q: I was thinking that when you were talking about the seed, there is a lot of potential in the seed. A: Yes, there is all the potential in the seed. Right. The seed has tremendous potential. This wish has tremendous potential. This wish has the potential to make buddhahood in the world. That’s the statement. It’s amazing that a wish, a karmic wish, a wish that can take this form, has this power. However, it needs a lot of help. It needs all these practices. It also needs these practices, so that the roots it sprouts can embrace karmic consciousness, can embrace suffering. It has the potential, but the things that make it work are tough stuff, in a way. It has the potential to use suffering to grow this enlightenment. It has that potential. The proposal is that without this seed, which has this potential, you don’t get this amazing thing. It has tremendous potential. If you look at a seed, it is pretty wimpy. It needs a lot of help. Q: [inaudible] A. We are really good at it. Q: [inaudible] A: Wondering if we are acting compulsively and wondering if we are acting obsessively, I think is helpful to locate where to apply the yogic practices. So, now I am wondering if I am being compulsive? I’m wondering. Maybe I am looking at what I am saying right now. Or maybe I am looking at myself walking towards the hospital. I am walking towards the hospital, wondering if I am being compulsive. Compulsive about what? Well, walking towards the hospital. That is what I am doing now. I am wondering if I am being obsessive? What am I being obsessive about? Maybe I am obsessing about my friend in the hospital. I am thinking about her. So I am walking to see if I am being compulsive or obsessive. Okay? Now I am also going to practice these yogic practices with this karmic consciousness. I’ve got this karmic consciousness to take care of all the time, right? I mean, I [person’s name]have this karmic consciousness to take care of. Karmic consciousness can wonder about itself. Are you with me? More or less? So, I hear you talking about your karmic consciousness, and then I hear you saying that in your karmic consciousness you are wondering whether there is some kind of unhealthy stuff going on in your karmic consciousness? Okay? My karmic consciousness thinks that it is good to wonder if unhealthy things are going on in karmic consciousness. Just to wonder that. It is one of the things that you can check out. Now, while you are doing that, just look at the karmic consciousness that you’ve got, which is like taking a walk, or something. Bring the yogic practices of compassion to the karmic consciousness. Maybe the question about the compulsiveness goes away, and you are thinking about something else, like thinking about walking down the street. If you bring compassion to your mind, which is thinking that you are walking down the street, even if you are being compulsive, you are bringing the practices to bear on that compulsive walking down the street, such that this will develop towards entering into reality. You might enter reality before you actually get to the hospital. You might continue to care for your karmic consciousness as you enter the hospital, and continue to enter reality, along with entering the hospital. So, I am just saying that your wondering sounds fine to me, and your wondering deserves the same care as your walking does. Everything that you are doing is the mind, is the ground in which the seed of realizing the welfare of beings will plant roots. Everything you are doing is the ground in which this aspiration will plant roots, and all these practices of compassion applied to the situation will make the sprout come up. Q: [inaudible] A: Yes. In other words, it is the reality of almost everything that we are aware of, because we are basically aware of our karmic consciousness. It is the reality of walking and talking as karmic acts are motivated by our thinking of our walking and talking. So, by caring for karmic consciousness, by wishing to realize entering into reality, in order to benefit all beings, and doing the practices which bring that wish to fruition, as entry, we understand the thing we have been taking care of all along.
Another bumper sticker for you is, By caring for the unreal, you enter reality. By caring for the untrue, you enter the truth. The unreal is our karmic consciousness, which if we look at it, we think, This is an unsatisfactory situation. I wish that there was understanding of reality, so that all beings with karmic consciousness would be highly benefitted and liberated. That’s a karmic thought, but it is a wish to understand, rather than any kind of disparagement of this painful situation. The principle here is that by practicing yogic engagement with our karmic consciousness, putting down the roots in karmic consciousness by yogic practices, and then being kind to them, the sprout comes up. Engaging them and being kind to them. So, again, these practices of engagement are practices to engage the untrue, the unsatisfactory, which gives rise to a sprout, which is getting ready to support a flower. Q: [inaudible] A: Do you want to tell a story about that event, a story about unsatisfactoriness? Okay. Q: [inaudible] long pause until 55:09 A: It is possible to do something beneficial in a situation like that, even if you do not have this aspiration. But if you do have this aspiration, it is also possible to do something beneficial in a situation like you described. Your situation sounds similar to what J. described and what V. described. What you described sounds very similar. Anyway, with or without the aspiration, you can practice compassion toward the situation, where you feel like you want to get out of the situation, where you would like to be somewhere else. J. was noticing that to want to be somewhere else is also unsatisfactory. Some part of you does not want to be somewhere else from your daughter, especially when you don’t want to be somewhere else from you daughter, when you are having problems with your daughter. You want to be there when you are having problems with your daughter, and you also don’t want to be there when you are having problems with your daughter. In other words, there are contradictions and conflicts and nonsense, and it is very unsatisfactory. We all know that nobody has to teach us to want to get out of that. How can you be compassionate in a situation like that? The way you can do it is by being compassionate, of course. How can you be compassionate? By saying, Thank you very much, and meaning it. You can say, Thank you very much to situations that people have described here. You could say, Thank you very much, and not mean it. That’s easy to do, right? If you had this aspiration, you know that you need to be training yourself to be saying, Thank you very much all the time. So you do, maybe, because you have this aspiration. So when you get to a situation like this, where you can hardly imagine – How could I say, thank you very much to a situation where I’m feeling resentment towards somebody, whom I don’t really feel it is appropriate to feel resentment towards? How could I say, Thank you very much? If you don’t say, Thank you very much, that’s not how you say it. Keep your mouth shut. It is not how you say it. You say it like this, Thank you very much. That is how you say it. Is it hard to say it before you enter reality? Yes. Is it hard to say it when you have entered reality? No. It’s easy. As a matter of fact, it comes naturally. You keep surprising yourself by the situations you can say it in. If you aspire to this great thing for everybody, including your daughter and your husband and yourself, if you aspire to this, then you need to know you are going to have to do some practices, in order for that aspiration to stay alive. You are also going to have to do some practices, in order to just be in your life. One of them is to say, Thank you very much, when you are in a situation where you have already said, I want to get out of here. Before you even said, Thank you very much, you said, I want to get out of here. So now you say, Thank you very much. If before you said, I want to get out of here, you said, Thank you very much, you could have done it then. But sometimes you really have to bang your head against the wall really hard before you say, Thank you very much. When you hit it kinda like…[sound of striking something several times]. No, that’s not…nah… nah. Okay, Thank you very much. Then, maybe, the first time you say, That wasn’t sincere, then you hit it harder, or it hits you harder. I think I told you the story about this very popular book, written by a Bay Area person. It’s called The Kite Runner. Did you read it? My favorite part of the book is where his dearest friend is a kite runner, this young man who flies kites, and he has this beloved brother, who runs the kite down for him, this guy is being beaten to death. He doesn’t really get into it, but you can feel a little bit that he kinda wishes he wasn’t there. He is being beaten to death by a monster that he didn’t stand up to many years before. He is being beaten to death by a person, who he let that person harm his best friend. He didn’t stand up for his best friend, and let this monster attack his friend. He was such a coward as not to protect his friend from this guy. Now this guy is beating him to death. What does he do, ladies and gentlemen, when he is being beaten to death? What does he do? Remember? He starts laughing. Why is he laughing? Because this has been what he has been wanting all these years. He wanted some punishment for his cruelty to his friend. Now he is getting it, and he sees it, and he is laughing. Of course, when he starts laughing, the guy stops beating him up, because the beating up has done its job. It got him to realize to say, Thank you very much. And when he says, Thank you very much, that’s enough of that. How bad does it have to get before you say, Thank you very much? Well, pretty bad. Didn’t get quite that bad tonight, and that is fine with me, but you came to class. In class I tell you to say, Thank you very much, when it gets right up against the wall, when your daughter is just about killing you, because she knows how to get to you, and she is going to get better at it.[Laughter] She’s learning. There is a possibility that she thinks that it is possible she is going to get control of you, finally, because you have other things to take care of. All she has to do is get you under control. She thinks it’s possible, and she is going to try, and she is going to get better and better. It’s going to get harder and harder. You may as well start now, and say, Thank you very much. Every time that you do, the roots are going to go deeper in the soil, and the stalk is going to get stronger, and then she is going to come at it again, and give you more fuel to put your roots of compassion down to say, Thank you very much. After you say, Thank you very much, to these monsters, then you be careful of them. Because this is dangerous, and you be careful, and then you be patient. You do that in situations, How could I possibly say thank you? Well, just say Thank you. Or How can I say welcome? Just in your heart, say Welcome. To say it out loud might provoke something. But in your heart say welcome until you mean it, until you say, Welcome. Wow! That was a real one! I meant it. I was really grateful. I was actually practicing generosity towards the monster. So the guy is teaching you to study your karmic consciousness, because that’s the place where you can do these practices. You have to be watching it to see where to be kind. You were watching it, but somehow…so you need this aspiration, because this aspiration is fueling these amazing practices, because these practices aren’t just good. They’re not just good. They’re going to save the world. They’re going to save your daughter and your husband and all of us. They’re going to do some really great thing. They’re going to cause entry into reality. Then all these practices which you are doing now with difficulty are going to get easy. And when they get easy, you are going to do them better and better, and that’s going to greater and greater. But you have to take care of it. When you forget, it is back to zero again. But then you go back, and your aspiration starts up again, and you start all over. Also, be kind to yourself when you get to the place where you say, That’s enough. I want to be out of here. Forget patience. Forget generosity. I’m done. I don’t want to practice anymore. Then say, Thank you very much to that. And say welcome to, My practice having a total flat tire. I’m not practicing at all. I can’t remember my aspiration or anything. I am totally flattened. Then if you are there, watch it, and you will be there again. Then somebody can come and meet you, and in that meeting, the seed will come up again. Q: You talked about yogic practices of compassion. What does yogic mean? A: Yogic means it is a yoga practice of becoming intimate with some kind of practice. For example, the yogic practice of compassion means the yogic practice of saying, Thank you very much. That you actually learn to do that in a concentrated way. You learn to do that and never move from that. To be yoked to that, to be united with that. To never, ever forget. You train until you never forget to say welcome to your life. When you start to do that practice, before you enter reality, which this practice will take you to – you have a hard time. Sometimes things aren’t too hard, and you think that you don’t have to do the practice. If things are easy, I don’t have to welcome them. I don’t have to be generous when things are nice. As a matter of fact, I can hold on to nice stuff. Bad stuff I’m not going to hold on to. As a matter of fact, I’m going to get rid of them. If you have this aspiration, you aspire to welcome all beings, which means that you welcome all your states, which means that you say thank you to everybody and everything. That’s what you are aspiring to, to be able to do that. So then you do the yogic practices. When you are first starting to be a yogi, you forget your yoga a lot. Your yoga isn’t really yoga yet. Is one definition of yoga to stop the movements of the mind? So one definition of yoga is that your mind doesn’t move. You stay there with these practices. So they are yogic in the sense that you always want to be welcoming. You want always to be careful. You want to be always patient. So you are working these practices until you are present with these ways of being, and being present in these ways of being, are ways for you to engage your karmic consciousness to give rise to the sprout, which enters enlightenment. This path is sometimes called the Yogachara, which means “the path of yoga” in this system, in this bodhisattva teaching. This teaching of the aspiration is how to yogically practice with these things, so they grow into entry into enlightenment. Then continue these yogic practices, which will be easier to remember when you enter reality, because the reality will keep reminding you to do them. Reality says, This is a gift. This is a gift. This is something to be careful of. This is a precious thing. Please be careful of this. This is for you to take care of. This is for you to be patient with. This is for you to be calm with. Reality tells you that. Before reality tells you that, you have to remind yourself. So it is harder. Now most of us are spending quite a bit of time slightly dislocated from reality, having a hard time being compassionate to whatever happens. Right? But that’s fine. That’s something to be compassionate to. How lowly we are is a great thing to be kind to. Q: I didn’t quite catch the answer, but it seems like you defined yogic as using the word “yogic.” What does yogic mean? A: Isn’t the root “to be yoked to”? You are yoked to, so you are not moving from something. It is a practice that you are yoked to, that you are concentrated on. These are things you are trying to learn to be intimate with. They are not just things you listen to, they are things you try to be yoked to. Yogic practices are compassion practices, which you are trying to become united with, no matter what is happening, because compassion practices with whatever, right? It is hard to practice compassion with happiness. Actually, you can practice it with worldly happiness, but you don’t have to practice compassion with enlightenment. But with anything less than enlightenment is an object of compassion. Next week we have a little vacation from this class! But we do not have a vacation from looking for our aspiration and taking care of it. Please, do not lose your aspiration in the next two weeks. [Laughter] Take care of it, please! If you lose it, please be kind to yourself and find it again. Thank you very much.