Serving All Buddhas with No Expectation of Gain

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A virtual Dharma talk by Tenshin Roshi for an online gathering of the No Abode community

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the lotus sutra as i often have mentioned
in chapter twenty five at the end it says
speaking of arbeloa good test for a bodhisattva it says
observing sentient beings
with eyes of compassion
eyes of compassion observing sentient beings
assembling an ocean
a blessing beyond measure
listening to the cries of all suffering bags
assembles an ocean of blessing
beyond measure

it seems to me
i believe that this great assembly has been listening
to the cries of the world

and listening to the cries of the world has
gathered this great assembly and this great assembly in the midst of the world of suffering this great assembly is an ocean a blessing
an ocean of blessing in the midst of terrible suffering
and we all listened to it and continued to assemble the ocean of blessing by this practice
i've listening to the cries
opening our hearts to them
this has an effect and the effect is to assemble an ocean a blessing
this is the lotus sutra
i bet on this teaching
i'm sick and i practice listening to the cries as a world with confidence that this assembles
an ocean of blessing and i see it right now in this wonderful assembly which is a great blessing
thank you cause an effect for working in this way

again the lotus sutra teachers
in chapter sixteen
it teaches that buddhas
our right here right now with us

and they join this assembler
right here right now
and if we
can't see them this is quite common
but the sutra says if we
listen to the cries of the world
if we are gentle
an open and harmonious with these cries
if for upright and honest in the midst of these cries we will see that the buddhas are with us right now
this is an amazing and perhaps difficult to completely believe teaching
of the lotus sutra and of our family
this is also the teaching of our japanese founder
it is also a teaching of our
american founder
and i also
join this teaching and pay homage and make offerings to this teaching
the teaching
the buddha's exist right now
and that if we
our caring for our body and mind by being
oh i'm wearing the rock sioux again that has those characters on
by being
flexible soft gentle harmonious upright and honest we will see
the buddha teaching right now

so i'm not only do i have the teaching that is exist
now they also exist in the past
and they exist in the future
and we have another teaching which is
do not say
that buddhists have a beginning
and also
do not say that buddhists do not have a beginning
please do not say that as have an end
or that buddhists do not have an out

to get involved in supposing that buddhists have a beginning or end
we are not studying buddha dharma
but with faith that buddha's exist beyond big without begin or without saying they begin or end
we will realize the british charm

and also today i want to
suggest to you
that those who
make offerings to buddha is
and followed the buddhist teaching
will inevitably become buddhas

those who make offerings to buddha is will inevitably become buddhas

and those who do not make offerings to borders will not become buddhas
bice by a virtual by the merit of serving buddhists
of making our life moment by moment what would you know a service and offering to borders
i practicing that way we will become buddhas and all buddhas have served all buddhists
all buddhas have served all buddhas

in my view
the members of this great assembly
made offerings
to all buddhas
you may not have thought you did but i think you did
and i think you're going to continue
and if you continue you will become buddha
i guess what i think
if i have made and continue to make offerings to buddha is
this will realize buddhahood
nothing much that i'll become buddha but this practice becomes brutal
this is buddhist practice to make offerings to buddha is
listening to the cries of the world
as an offering to buddha
observing living beings as an offering to buddha
making eggs and toast for a granddaughter is making offerings to buddha
offering incense
in the zendo
offering incense in your own home
can be an offering to all buddhists
offering t offering you're sitting
offering you're coughing and sneezing offering every moment of your life
you will to boot to all buddhists you will inevitably
you will certainly
the part of the process of realizing buddha

in this in discussing this practice this
ah i don't know what to say this awesome amazing practice of making offerings to buddha
this arrow what to say practice of making offerings to buddha
dog is mg brings up various mahayana sutras which teach
making offerings to all buddhists

one of the sutras that he brings up his
has three characters first character is buddha second character is could be translated as treasury but i like to translated as womb
at third character sutra
in japanese it's boot su xiao qiang
and again ah it's often translated as buddha treasury
but i feel i like buddha womb
what is the womb of the buddha's
it is the practice
venerating buddhas of serving buddhas of making offerings to buddha
this sutra is about
making offerings to buddha
and in the sutra
shakyamuni buddha is telling a story
about himself when he in the past when she was a bodhisattva
did you get that shakyamuni buddha is telling stories history he's telling historical stories
of when he was a bodhisattva and when she made offerings to all buddhas
and in this process of making offerings to all buddhas
in order to facilitate the offering
she became
a wheel turning
sovereign a wheel turning king or queen
this is a great king or queen who has at available
immense resources for making offerings
so the bodhisattva with these immense resources made immense offerings for an immense amount of time to a to various motives and the suit your goes through and all these buddhas in the sutra are called
and then all these buddhists have us also other names
so the is go through buddha after buddha after buddha after buddha after booted up that she made offerings to great offerings to
get the picture

and so in each case after
that she made these great offerings
at the end she says
however that buddha did not affirmed me
that buddha did not predict me
by saying in the future you will become a buddha

and then again
the buddha described that the buddha describes when she was a bodhisattva making great offerings to another border
and then say but this buddha did not affirming by saying
in the future you will become a buddha
over and over and said
and then over and over it said well why have come when i made all these offerings when i was serve these buddhist so in immensely
why didn't they affirm my practice and predict me to buddhahood
didn't i say before if you make offerings you will inevitably become buddha
why didn't they affirm
the buddha
and the answer is because i was expecting some gain

the body sofa made great offerings to the buddha and the buddha did not a from her because she expected some game the body sought from made great offerings to some borders
but they did not affirm you because he expected some game
over and over over and over
and then finally
after making after going through all this
inconceivably great process of serving all buddhas making offerings and not being affirmed because
of trying to gain something like this
the buddha met finally the on cholera border
burning lamp buddha

and then finally the buddha made offerings to that buddha without trying to gain anything
finally the buddhist saw
that there is no gain or loss
that there is no coming or guy
that there is no increase or decrease and buddha except the bodhisattva accepted that it's the bodhisattva the bodhisattva accepted that things do not arise and cease that does not beginning and end really
that there's no gain or loss
and the buddha the bodhisattva came to see this by making offerings for such a long time and not being affirmed
because she was trying to get something

sincere body saatva however
misguided bodhisattva
she's sincere she's devoted to the buddha yes that's good so good so good but she thinks have something the gain and therefore it is trying to give sometimes and over and over she does this
i finally
she gives it up she continues to make offerings she continues to make offerings and she continues to make offerings but not expecting to gain anything
and then she receives affirmation
that she will become a vote in this case name's shock your moody

i don't know ah the i can see you all at once but how many have you seen a movie ah groundhog day raise your hands place
not all of you anyway it's a story about somebody who are it's about a man who serves a woman but he's trying to gain something
and he surgery and and and then
and then she sees the is trying to gain something so she slaps him
and that's the end of their meeting
and then a and then the next morning he wakes up and it's the same day as the day before
and and then he meets this woman again and he and he really wants to be devoted to her she said he can see she's worthy of devotion she's worthy of sir he he served sir he takes her to dinner he he in he's really up he's really undeserving her
but he's trying to get something and when she sees that he's trying to get something she slaps him and that's the end and then it goes to sleep when he wakes up the next day and the same day again it's groundhog day and then again he made her and again he
young we see him being get you know very devoted to her but trying to get something have you ever seen that happen that some trying to get something from somebody else
they're big do you know they're giving them gifts are giving devotion they're giving him attention they're giving them praise you know and i mean it they mean it but they're trying to get something and wench and shit and she really enjoys receiving all these gifts thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks and she's like really enchanted by his service and then she said
sees he's trying to get something as his lap some
so in the movie they go through this about don't know maybe five or ten times the we see five or ten days where you know he's getting better and better at making offerings
but he's still gonna get something and she still sees it and she's still slaps and and then after showing these days then they just show a sequence of the end of several dates they show her the show a slap slap slap slap slap slap slap slap slap
get the picture just like shakyamuni those buddha's slapped him is good as slapped her cause he was trying to get something
you know how disrespect of the ghostly the buddha and try to get something from the buddha but anyway
shakyamuni buddha did that he was devoted to the buddha's but disrespectful tried to get something because he was ignorant he thought there was something to gifts

and finally in the groundhog day movie he gives up trying to get something
and she doesn't slap me
and she predicts that he's gonna have another day at two miles not gonna be the same day
and it's not and they live happily ever after
and we will too if we make offerings to all buddhas yes if we make offerings to all booed as we will eventually we will inevitably become buddhas but in the process
we will not become buddhas if was trying to get something but in the process we will stop trying to get something and then we will receive prediction
from the bowlers who had been serving and now are serving without trying to get anything we will be predicted and then after we predicted we will continue to serve buddhists but now from then on now that were predicted not were affirmed we don't need to get anything but we continue to sir
sir buddhas
and buddhas are were caught a place holder for all living beings

so if we serve buddhist
the ancestors the lotus sutra
the buddha womb sutra and other many other suitors about making offers the board say you will inevitably become buddha but in the process we have to stop trying to get something from this offers
so we sit zazen as a service to the buddha's
we assemble here as a service to buddhists great
and we're learning to make this waffling of gathering here
in service of all beings and all buddhas we learned to come here to become free of expecting any game

yeah isn't that an amazing teacher you if you make offerings you will inevitably come buddha but by the way you have to make the offerings learn eventually to make the offerings without expecting and a game without trying to get anything job
just make the offering wholeheartedly and without any expectation of game and you will accept that moment you will be affirmed
and anyway even if you're even if you are i are still making offerings are some from expectation were still going to hit we're going to continue
we are going to inevitably become buddha
but maybe today there's still a little expectation i don't know that's for you to look and see
i'm not gonna go through this assembly one by one and say you are expecting gain you're expecting gang york's and not gonna do that
but you can look at yourself
it could look in your heart and see if there's a little bit trying to get something from your ear your devotion to this practice
oh hello we to new people can bird welcome birth
welcome joe
all right well that's that's my basic and if to me it seems like an amazing teaching ah which i'm happy to share with you and i hope you're not too shocked by it i hope you can stay on your meditation cushion
so you may have some comments on the teaching that buddhas are
here with us right now and that serving them will inevitably
come to fruit
as would a hood and
we have to learn to do that without trying to gain anything maybe have some comments on these teachings
our first ushering is from gail

am i have two questions if we have time or the first is referring to what we said earlier about not saying that buddhists have a beginning and not saying that with do not have a beginning to who and to me that that is the me
it'll way and yeah
and it's also not trying to get something from the buddha's
it seems to me
and so i was wondering if that know we can say if we make offerings in the middle way to all buddhas
and i thought and i wonder if this is correct that that
makes one a buddha
mean how does the teaching the that practice makes one a buddha
our for makes to avoid any way that practice makes buddhas
and then i also wanted to confess something before you and the great assembly which causes me some shame and i i'd like to get some clarity on it and when i get really afraid or angry or disappear
pointed on i curse what feels like the fates which i believe is my old farmer but i curse and it it feels to me when i hear what what do you mean by curse actually swear or you swear yeah how do you swear you swear by you curse
the shortcoming
yeah well you know i guess really in my mind in those moments that feel like on something is happening to me but of by a force outside of me and i curse that for you curse that force yeah and i worry that i'm cursing the buddhists and ancestors and i'm gonna like burn in hell for a lot
and i just so i figure you're gonna lie to the if we curse if we cursed living beings or buddhist we do kind of burn in hell for a while i mean cursing disrespecting beings is kind of help that's what held his instead of hating living beings in buddhism bodies are
autism and hating jesus and whatever hating is hell young paintings how you get to help
yeah and you can worry you can worry but and bands justified worry because hating is really the fast track to hell
yeah when you're hating you might he might worry a little bit chewy i was getting trouble for this
yeah well so i figure also your prescription would be to be compassionate to it as you've said before be compassionate to any thought or feeling that yeah yeah yeah yeah be compression to definitely listen to it listen to observe it with eyes of compassion
so if cursing comes up
that's a sentient being to be observed with eyes of compassion observing an ocean of kersey with eyes of compassion assembles an ocean of blessing in the middle of the ocean of cursing
you can say we live in an right now we're living in an ocean of cursing right
lot of cursing going on in canada in a vast amount of cursing is around us right now
and listening to that cursing compassionately observing and compassionately assembles blessing in the middle of the ocean of kherson and there in that blessing realm like here in this blessing assembly we can make offerings to buddha
we can become buddha
in the middle of an ocean of cursing
and come again cursing bad stuff right
yeah but we can also love pass bad stuff we can also observe bad stuff there is bad stuff we can observe it
eyes of compassion
i'm not saying it's easy but there it is that's the practice and with being offered this day to this a great assembly
thank you very much that make you very much very helpful
next offering is from dennis
morning read
good morning dennis our you to see you better see you so i love this i guess etc janyk a story this a groundhog day or at least i interpreted as such
bill murray was buddha
he was this this being that
his girlfriend being sort of a bodhisattva vows are staying around and slapping him hitting him with the they met netted the stack and waking him up each time i love that such a great jada story
so you may know that too
when i first married terry of her daughter whom you know chrissy
with my stepdaughter and i wanted nothing more than to have a family and she wanted nothing more than to help me out of her life
every time i'd make this effort to try to get her to love me and accept me she would slap a it she would wake me up
i don't want you i don't want this what i finally gave the aspiration of this seeking and i just began to
love her
in accept her and have compassion for what she was going through
she gave a hitting me
and we have this today as really she's one of my best friends she's such a sweet lovely lady and our grandchildren are so sweet them
story so when i guess i take from that is one cannot simultaneously
express buddhahood and also at the same time try to get something that's right
food is not trying to get anything buddha wishes is all well without trying to get anything
congratulations sounds wonderful wonderful wonderful story thank you and wonderful wonderful life that you finally served that young lady
without trying to get anything
young teenagers are very smart and they can tell if you try to get anything and they do not like that
the they don't mind you serving them
but if you're trying to get something there's during not like it and in that way they're great they're great teachers
and you use that you receive the teaching and you and you woke up congratulations dentists may may spread to all aspects
in ten directions yeah but thank you
our next offering is from samir
hello rob lot some year and hello to the great assembly
the first time i practice virgin
was because i heard a sentence from could also keyhole she
proactive and expect nothing from the practice
and it became a mantra for me great just practicing for for practicing
and then
many years later i discovered the parameters
and i i can say that today
daily in the daily practice remember those six parameters and and try to express them in many situations
today something happened since
few days back am
i'm practicing the van and practicing she can tether and i'm praying and i hope that my prey will am
give some strange with other people praying to stop this
crazy war but not just here in in in europe but everywhere
and i see myself favorite okay i i practice i pray and there is an expectation that those prayers will support will we'll the
give possibility to something to grow something be inefficient for
i feel like on the age i'm practicing and varies an expectation
even though it's a positive expectation
but it's still an expectation
yeah it's very subtle it's very sad of yeah exactly
so could you please
now gave me some feedback yeah i think you that's very good thank you so much for bringing this up so i would propose to the great assembly
that the buddha does wish
the buddha wishes for peace
the buddha wishes for all beings to be free the buddha wishes for all beings to enter the buddha away and the buddha has no expectation
so your wish is like buddha's wish
a buddha has no expectation in the wish
and the english word the hopes of popular word these days and has been a often on for a long time
the the english word hope has a little catching it it means not only to wish but also to expect
so again i just i said earlier of the teaching is if we make offerings to all buddhas and then brackets without expectation we will become buddha
then and we wish to become buddha and if we make offers to a ball buddhists we will become buddhas but if we expect to become buddhas
then that forestalls that blocks the realization so i wish with you for peace in europe and all over i wish for i wish for it and i listened to the sufferings
there are now in the midst of of war
and i wish for peace i wish for enlightenment and i have to watch out for any expectation that interferes with my with the wish
and get the i don't i don't say i hope for peace i wish for peace i want peace and i don't expect and i said this to before not use some years only by mother people
if i wish and expects and don't get what i wish for i might be disappointed and give up
if i wish that beans will practice the bodhisattva precepts and i do i wish all beings will practice bodhisattva precepts i wish all beings will practice not killing not stealing and saw i wish for but i don't expect it
and then if i see beings
not practicing these precepts even those who said they wanted to i'm not disappointed i am pained but not disappointed and but if i expected i might give up on the beings
i might abandon them because i expect
so i really watch out for expectation i try to make my wish stronger and stronger and also with
letting god any expectation from my wish
years are the same time or for me with my background oh
expectation doesn't exist because there is devotion it's a natural part of my faith that the when you have devotion you're not expecting because you you you can give you your life completely here now completely when your devotion his whole hearted yeah but shockey money
buddha in his story he was devoted to borders
but it wasn't yet wholehearted the buddha's telling us i practiced devotion to these buddha's but it wasn't wholehearted i was expecting something if we expect something from our devotion is not wholehearted but a whole measure who measure the germ the
well you can see you said who you know and who isn't is is is an acronym for world honor one so the buddhist measuring well you could say enlightenment is measuring and enlightenment saying
the enlightenment of saying there's no expectation in this house
in the house of of a perfect awakening there's no expectation so enlightened medicine nadia and lightness going back in like muslim whack stomachs lactation still whack
so enlightenment which is all around us it will tell us when our devotion is a little off or way off but a little off is enough and a little expectation little bit i'm trying to get something from our devotion is enough to keep
create you know
a big gap
so yeah we want our what we want our devotion to be so whole hearted that there's no expectation there's just devotion
there's just sitting
with no expectish there is just
paying attention there is just being generous there is just being careful there is just being patient
and no expectish and if there's an exit expectation then then like shakyamuni buddha we confess it he confessed to our buddha confessed i repeatedly tried to get something by being devoted to boot us so we we probably will be repeatedly confessing we discover some
i'm gaining motivation
some grasping in our devotion
yeah yeah and okay i will end now and i will say one thing to you that i love you and you are in my heart and i'm not expecting anything from you not really enough to render for and i'm looking forward to see you in the deep
the forest in sweden
meteor hope you're still welcome thank you thank you for much thank you for and i love i love you too but i confess i have a little expectation okay
thank you thank you
our next offering is from laurie essential

new method a arab now i suppose you can hear me okay so i have to fold question and the first part is if i'm studying the boot away and i'm doing that
to become a wiser more compassionate person that is the gaming mind right know you you will become
ah what you say you will
and you want that yes but you can want something without trying to get it
oh yeah i am practicing the put away are trying to practice to to get the happen you yeah but if you try and if you're if you're trying to practice to get it that's off if you're trying to practice because you want it that's not
oh to get it to the deaths of the differences get it or wanted yeah the differences to gain it
i wanted versus to gain it okay not again it's who you are okay but i wanna be who i am but becoming who i am as not again
it's buddhahood okay
ah thank you for that the second part is and this also goes to expectations of a friend who has heart problems and i've asked him please do not eat potato chips and i'm expecting him to not do that but he does yeah i don't know how to handle this young were just
confess you just do you just confessed that you want him not to eat potato chips that would you want and you also that's that's a confession of something good you want him to be healthy you want him to be happy that's fine that's what buddhists do they want this person to be healthy
but they don't expect that the person will
so if you are expecting than confess him again and again confess i screwed it up by confirmed by expecting wishing him well as fun but then i defiled it by expecting it by trying to trying to make my wish turn into a manipulative
exercise i confess it if you keep confessing it just like shakyamuni buddha your eventually give it up your stop expecting and you'll just be devoted to your friends
so once i've said this drop it
it's their choice well when she said confess it and if you confess it and confess it and say you're sorry that you're trying to get something
you can keep asking him to stop it eating potato chips and you can finally as a service you're asking him did not eat potato chips as a service you're serving him yes and if you notice your gaining if you confess that and say you're sorry to the boot is not to him
that that will melt away the root of this like i said this is the pure and simple color of true practice
this melts away the root of trying to get something it by confessing that we're trying to get something and saying we're sorry that melts the root of trying to get something
so we we all have like shakyamuni buddha we've all been sometimes trying to get something by confessing that and saying we're sorry we will we will give it up it'll melt the the root of that
of that trying to get something trying to get some to use a transgression
of the border way confessing and repenting it melts the root of the transgression into gaining grasping
oh that's the pure and simple color up true practice okay we're left to thank you so much rep be so welcome
thank you teaching

next offering is from betsy

and so i i i so see the wisdom and what you're teaching it's such a big practice for me of being generous in giving and i found some much joy through that and recently i have on some new health problems and a lot of pain
and when top of that some difficult life circumstances
i'm feeling very overwhelmed and i confess that it don't want this and i
i can't even it's very hard for me to even find my way to practice with all of this happening and i feel like you know as a human being were so hard wired to avoid pain
so i wonder if you have any words of wisdom for
how do i find my way back to practice in the middle of so much hardship and pain
i'm not saying i have words of wisdom
but i do have some words

and if i guess the first amsa as practice is not necessarily easy
it's sometimes really hard to practice even when we're comfortable and in good health
and it's a beautiful day and everybody's being nice to us and were great and we're just really happy
we still might have trouble
like we manage have trouble not expecting us to go on this good this good day so practices that is not necessarily easy so as the practice that comes to my mind is
to listen
to these cries that you just told us about
to listen to them
and to observe them with eyes of compassion and listen to them was compassion
listen to them was compassion listened to listen to the pain was compassion
listen to the pain with compassion observe the compact the the pain was compassion and if it's hard i told you before him it's it's not only hard to beat pain is hard to observe it was compassion but although it's hard though
that is a practice of the bodhisattva
in the midst of the pain
observe the pack
with eyes of compassion
and that's not easy it's hard even remember the teaching when you're a lot when we're in a lot of pain but that's the first in the company might observe these pains that you're telling us about with eyes of compassion listen to them listen
to rest practice practice is not trying to get rid of them
the practice is to listen to them of course we wish they would go you know take a walk that's fine we wish for freedom we wish for peace we wish for ease that's fine
but we're not gonna be at peace if we don't listen to the cries
with compassion and we are gonna be free
we are going to be in an ocean of blessing in the middle of all this pain if we practice listening to it and observing with compassion with that will bring blessings in the middle of the suffer
if the suffering goes away fine but even for suffrage still present if we really whole heartedly observe it
there's blessing there's happiness in the middle of the supper

okay i'll practice of that thank you walked on
i pray for it and i don't expect it

her next offering is from karen
i wanted to go back to arms
groundhog day
because there are many many layers of dharma teaching in there i just an appeal some back and are showing my kids the movie after your arm years i'm not watching it actually the first time i saw that was in high school what philosophy class and the teacher said this is
in a nutshell ask specifically john paul sartre who basically said life is meaningless until you realize that you have an obligate asian to others and that's when he stops the loop in the movies he takes on this responsibility to other people and it's not just that he gave the woman what she wants he also
so there's there's an old lady in the up in the movie who's having trouble getting across the street he helped her there's like all these different things he does that finally get them out the loop and has also been really interesting thing that i realized the beginning so the whole reason that he's in punxsutawney philadelphia or a pennsylvania i believe
is because he's watch they're all watching this this little or the groundhog come out and the groundhog comes out and and basically determines like easy gonna be good or bad you know more winter or no winter last winter right and the god's name is phil right
so bill murray's name is phil right he is fell and he's also a weatherman himself and his whole thing in life is that he always determines the weather and he's right in real well in his personal life is very negative he's very very cynical he seen it all and he's trying to get to a bigger market he doesn't like where he's were
working and he's also a kind of sleazy he's hitting on his arm his new boss you know is a woman he's hitting lotteries kind of sleazy and so he's cured of all that by this i basically i think one of the teachings is that he knows the whole good and bad thing where you where you you look at the sky
if you're like oh it's gonna be bad you know and therefore it's bad you know anything he has good be one of the things he has given on is that preferences you know oh this is good or this is bad he thinks his life is terrible because he stuck in some small market he wants to go to new york or something ah but it's all it's all about the gaming's thought that movie has gotten so many levels of
stuff going on and apparently they made into a play that was playing in san francisco recently ah yeah but anyway it's there's a lot going on there a really rate coal one of the best probably western movies for yeah some of the stuff i've ever seen so thanks for bringing that up the head thought about the is date aspect of it too
yeah but that's the it's great
thank you darren

our next offering is from is sarah

thank you sir i didn't see your i welcome i hopped in a little later apologized for that ah i just want to say two things
one if i just came back from new york city and that bill murray
and my friends and i was wes
said to him into my birthday is february second
groundhogs day
and we were in a bemelmans bar was a very kind of chaotic and he turned to hearn he said oh then you have a lot of work to do
i just thought that was sort of your interests and and were funny the earthy i i just wanted to say rub is for the last oh gosh better know that a year and a half for two years thanks to karen karaoke kneeler and pam walton i've been participate
waiting on zoom with some groups of students reading you your bucks reading some of your blocks we we started with the precepts and we are now working on third turning of the wheel wow
it has been after all these years of
oh i sort of being i have never been in a situation with other students discussing their understanding of this material and it has been personally really rich to have that support and it has been fantastic to have to
discus and and has been one of the most valuable it's been wonderful also during the pandemic and the isolation to come together in a little mini sanga and friends and check-in personally as well it's just been fantastic and i
and so grateful for it your books have been sitting on my shelf i've read them but this is a much you will read two or three pages and then everybody will kind of filter it through their understanding and disgusted a little bit it's just been a wonderful wonderful gift and i
i i wanted to express my gratitude for the incredible books themselves but also for this this group of people it's really been wonderful and of course rab you're invited
a to join any time you might want to listen to what was playing i think it would you know have it was it's just very interesting to hear how this material place in people's lives and and as a teacher you're probably hearing more about this but as a fellow still
when i have not and so is really deepened my my experience of the material my practice i'm really grateful that just one the theater well that's a wonder thank you for that wonderful report it i'm so happy to hear it and may i say to the great assembly that there are these
the groups there's more than one and if you are if you wished to join one of those groups or if you wish to start a group
i think that that my that that would be great if we had many which michael cells
ah of the great assembly into groups of three four five six whatever
ah yeah if you're interested in starting a group or you know posting a group
joining a group that's already going on
i really would ah i would be so happy to hear them more groups are starting because they think they the ghosts you get something there that you can't get in the big group
or you get more along with the big group and saw met i see a man whose face and i ask amanda
how can people are contact you and tell you if they're interested in in hosting or being a member of a group could you could you help with that
niagara to and you know we can use to know about sanga at gmail address to express your interest
that would be the return a nail on the announcement that you receive for these events
we can also our next announcement send out the m the website that holds a lot of these offerings as well
yeah so please please feel invited and encouraged and supported to join or start more cells for discussed for diamond discussion
and of course it doesn't need to be about books with my name on them it can be about the lotus sutra or whatever and i think people are strutting also other things like the lotus sutra so i just think the key is to get together
no more than once a month hopefully way once a month in addition to the big meeting
so we have the big church and that we have the cells
so please if you like express your interest thank you sarah for bringing that up let's just say one more thing
huh just one of the things that i was a little concerned about was what it would be like to not have a teacher or priest present as a sort of
and it's actually been really wonderful in some ways to simply as practitioners here everyone's understanding and to hear it also play through what's actually happening in people's lives as as things do you know a real
patients ship problems parenting issues of death of parent end of the all the things and to to let people report that and discuss that as well with regard to these ideas if it was really kind of interesting how it feels not to have a priest and not to have an authority in the circle
it's it's been a really wonderful thing and thank you sir thank you

my next offering will be from angela

hello wrap hello community hello
an my question is
well first i'd like to say the gay link idea is very subtle
an ends often times i'm not sure
if i'm having a gaining idea
i'm so my question is
can you have a situation and you're contemplating at and you see gaining idea arise
can you
i new in the next moment
be free of gaining idea not have gaining idea
it could happen
that could arise
in in your consciousness and then the next moment not there
it's possible
and then the next moment you might say well you might notice hey the last moment i don't i don't think there was getting idea but the one before there was that hundred i'm sorry and i confess that but i also felt little breath breath of fresh air as or in between
and as you said yeah so what you said can happen
it can happen that we have gaining idea and then we don't and we don't
our practices terrified
also because gaining idea can can be quite subtle sometimes it's really gross
but sometimes it is very subtle and so we don't notice it so because it's summer we should be open to the possibility that what we're doing
for example that our devotion to practice is
put you know infected by getting idea by trying to get something by expectation of day even though we don't see it going to be open to maybe it's there in a very subtle form
so there are people say to us we that was really good would you just did we get we're expecting anything and he gained from what you just did that good you did then you might say well maybe
rather than how dare you ask me
i never i my my offerings are completely fear free of any expectation of game i'm like you know know made her not maybe we're trying to gain something there and be open to that and then in the open as you may sometimes get a break from it but also an open as
may say oh yeah there is a little better
ah yeah yeah
which tends to be that as a human there is yeah
we can develop you know it seems like as part of hard are natural organic development to try to get stuff
otherwise we in our children were just sit
in chair all day and would never take run around the house they run around the house cause they think they're gonna get something
thank you thank you

next offering is from homer
please read your morning morning assembly
i can clearly see and first i would like to thank laura for her beautiful questions of her pain the expression of the pain that she is she was expressing
and actually her her question rob the question to me which was i
can see myself in pain i can see myself in suffering i can also see myself in immense beauty
i can see the blue sky i can see that son i can see the trees and their animals than the whole p t
and then the question that arose in me when he talked about from passion

is what see is the beauty and what seized the pain and suffering
and the power of its freedom
from both sides

they're my question is that
me or i in this body which is constantly constantly attached to pain and suffering and beauty
can not see is not capable of see what it's not even capable of realizing what compassion is where we are constantly talking about it
so it's compassion compassion as i speak it it's something beyond
they're the duality and while i am that quality how can i also be beyond as the question how can how can the duality at the same time eat yeah the song

am i
see that duality is actually also beyond reality
but how that is i really have nothing to say
but i think that duality is also beyond to algae
okay thank you but they're mostly i can't really say how just to okay so thank you use you get answer my question than my real question is that is not a fact
pardon it is not a fact it may be a fact for you but it's not a backward
i don't know if it's a fact or a truth for me it's not a tooth for me so that's why i keep going back and forth back and forth so
so so the question is that
i can see it's not the truth for
and then the the question would be more about
is it is it possible for m mind that does not see that as the choose
that becomes that is that is that that possible the in mind that does not seem quality as the fact as the truth
is there possibly for that in mind the mind that does not see that duality it is beyond duality combined it does not caesar okay
bad mind also
he has transcended is beyond that mind is beyond that mind
a mind of duality is also beyond duality
yes but that that what you're saying must become a fact and becomes a cooker and one point it becomes a truth that by jean compassionate to the mind of duality
by being compassionate to the mind of duality there is the seen that duality is beyond duality
okay at this point i'm gonna let go because i don't see that compassion in the mind of quality i don't study not for much of the compasses in the mind is more like compassion embraces that mind
compassion observed the mind of duality yes but i still i'm still lingering because if that mind of twenty does not resolve it i mind of duality does not
mounts yes in compassion is still gonna linger as the mind of duality separate and may it may linger that's fine but the compassion is without trying to get rid of his to compassion not trying to melt
the compassion for it is embracing it as it is and in that embrace it will be seen that this lingering duality is actually beyond well
i don't i don't buy that i just don't wide i just feel like everything must everything all the lingering all the nung everything must have but that that's the you're just expressing now that the mind of duality the
our dance right there yeah that mind of duality of so that's fine and so that that mind would you just expressed his br is beyond that mind
an hour to realize that there needs to be compassion for this i don't buy it
i don't buy it is a is a dualistic mind

i'm trying
compassion compassion for the i don't buy it yeah thank you for giving me abundance to sit on i love to sit on it yes i will sit i will stay in this in this mind of duality without a without thinking there is the compassion
and without thinking without thinking about compassion i would like to just sit in this mind out it without without anything or may you're sitting be compassion he has thank you think come
oh next offering is from flourish
i read i create assembly thank you so much everyone
ah i put my hands up and and i took it down and i printed an open took a town and i'm
i think it's vulnerable for me to share ah that's about a week ago today i learned that my mom has unexpectedly

she has a
serious cancer
i'm going to see her next week the california i'm currently new york and one of the things that being away from her has allowed me to tears
you know when i get off the phone to take care of my own suffering and
i do feel like i have a lot of spaciousness to
be with a strong emotions and be compassionate to them and i noticed you know a lot of wishing wishing for her health wishing for her wellbeing and i noticed some wanting must not to be true and having
the expectation and you know i noticed that trying to be kind to it and i guess my concern is when i'm going to see her i sense that i have this you know great desire to help her great desire to be there for her and i
yeah i'm familiar with that part of me and i know that
it has a strong desire for it's not gain but i'm just i feel the great efforts
i want to try to
envision a possibility in which i can be in her presence and hold space for myself and also hold space for her
without trying to change anything

i'm just anticipating with difficulty of that

being able to be with her
is would be a great blessing
that's a great blessing that's a great happiness it's a great happiness to be able to be with her
open heartedly
an open to her suffering and yours that would be that's a great blessing
and that great great blessing he's created
by listening to the christ and you have told us about
the she draws his cries with compassion
will bring the blessing of being able to be with earnest in way you really wanna be with her
and you'd run up to be with her to work on this but if you work on this when they're not with her than the blessing will come to be able to be with her just a way you both really wanna be
does that mean just the way that i am like in five you know just a way you are they just a way she is
one at the end of one of our femme most famous dialogues in our tradition the teacher says to the student you are no thus i am thus to
and also what comes to my mind is there was a
yeah i think he was
i think it was a frenchman named
what's his name
miss lee
anyway he was a great writer and he had a friend
and and people every people were inspired by their friendship and they asked him how could you love him the way you do
where did this great love come from
and he said when we were together
i was like me and he was like him

next offering is from linda

i'll thank you i think barbara was a haven't made much thank you thank you i
i wanted to speak and well to for english actually because i'm on the other side of the coin i'm the mother who found out three weeks ago that a cancer all lead
was finished with his back and i have a son who is thirty two and we are alarming to be real with each other just to be who we are and it's hard sometimes and it's beautiful sometimes
sucks spirit m or sorry
the real
if that what you are right now you are just a half sorry for being who you are we can we walked us through out who you are
we can still laugh together i can still enjoy my grandson
and what i'm working with now is trying
to get rid of the gaming mind of how much time i have left and they'll disappear out and do what i have to be
i wish you the best

going it's going
and i'll you gave me a lot of stuff to to talk about today thank you you won't come

no next to nothing is from barbara
i read hello assembly
nice to meet you all again and then i just wanted to tell you read that m
i guess i want to acknowledge something that i was to them was happening for me and the and the synchronicity of we'll talk today
i recently i've been
munching on the thought that maybe i should just be done with the same thing ah because i don't seem to the i'm not trying to gain anything from it anymore i don't hope to learn anything new that is gonna save me or enlighten me or changed my life and say
so i should i bother so i was hanging in there is no man's land for quite awhile and like i kept me going from the motions seen as the most of going to this practice group and that practice group you noticed showing up and and hating the feeling of
not belonging and not release knowing what why i'm showing up very early
so i thought maybe i'll just say with by and be done with it because life has already been giving me all these lessons i don't need to show up in a special place for to find practice it happens pretty well in every moment of my of of life
so but there was this the thing it was actually yesterday when they had i was still tossing like should i show up at this group or and then finally kind of there was this thought that just show up just because there's no reason
to do that but just just do it and the you say i think i heard heard you say that this is when it really because the offering to a good as when we don't try to get anything so i guess you kind of confirmed the message that i risk
saved from buddha as i guess
and the and i guess i will just keep showing up wherever i will show up
and then that's sir i guess i have a new direction now
and i wanted also to share that my mother just died beginning of of the year beginning of january and then
it's it was a
twas a combination of her life in a very unexpected way
and it was it
the latter part of it latter part of her life was very strong practice material for me because of the intensification of her pain and my resolve to free her from that pain cause i felt that if i meet her in the way she
he is
there will be i will give her the love that she needed to receive as a child that she didn't get so i was really committed to the practice bed
and i was it was getting closer but still some of the pains buttons that when in me with some sometimes just prevent me from being fully there yet and i would i would not meet her
and her death and i was really really ready i was promising that we would meet for and celebrate her eightieth birthday that i would show up in poland and make a big party for her but it didn't happen so actually my grieving about my mother was not so much about
with her departure because that's just part of life i understand that but the fact that i just couldn't give her the love that i was hoping to give her that death beat me till it to that race and but in the grieving process
there was so much connection to her pain and my grandmother's pain her mother's pain that the the generational traumas everything that i that was possibly blocking me from meeting her when she was alive in
all came to healing and fruition and changed my life and i think it changed her departure or moving on with whatever is going to happen to her good so it was a beautiful process very tiring i was exhausted it as
after breathing for intensely for a week or two but if it was very beautiful so it it all meaningful and wonderful if we can meet it that way so to just my offering to you that now i really don't have much rigor
reds at a
i'm just sometimes i i still have this little pain ah if i could only have delivered more time together more love but interested and happen
thank you

the next offering is from i knew

hello rep hello assembly
i wanted to take my turn to somehow voice out or express the shock i'm feeling right now about the warring or crane from russian in basin there it's just so shocking and i'm so feeling so terribly
sad for all those people were in the war zone though cranium people and may be also those russian sold just that might not have known who have been were going and then found themselves the in the middle of their well a war killing
ah and it's also so helpless feeling that what can i do for them of course to feel compassion but it's somehow i to still feeling it doesn't do anything
they would need something concrete that right now of course i can give them money and hope that it reaches out those who need it but the aids it says
such a shock and it also puts me to think through my own values how i have thought about like military service about taking guns and defending your country of i think always almost all has been again
s military service and thought that it's better to
ah like am a to do dialogue and peace work like nonviolent a work against that any a war would ever like come about but then he puts me to think that well
i'm living in finland in helsinki and we're not under attack but it's still puts me to think that what about it it was us what would i do so casa if it's so easy to say that i won't take a gun i won't kill anyone if there are
others who take up the guns or global on the borderline and defend us against like the invasion those are taking the war against us
so how how to practice this way in those circumstances is not to kill like
does it apply in those circumstances also am i not buddhist anymore if i defend my country my neighbors my family myself like a taken by guns so i would really like love to like hear what you
think about this is you thank you
completely devoted to protecting living beings
so ah
so the question is is what protects beings and you see something that will protect bags
and am
yeah the we don't have an example of the buddha killing someone to protect beings but there is a story is why least one story of 'em
in edwin the buddha when the buddha was a body sought for debbie
there was a
i'm a murderer who was going to kill all the people in a boat
i forgot how he was going to accomplish this but there were five hundred people in the boat
and the bodhisattva could see
that this person was going to add a way of killing them all
and that body sought for in that story kill that person to protect those beings and also to protect that person from becoming a murderer
so the that this this body sought to could see and had the intention to protect the murderer
i'm being a murderer
and also protect all the potential people that the murderer was going to kill
and saw the boys offer kill
a murderer
and the body sought for experienced terrible
consequences for that
but was willing to do so in order to protect the murderer
from becoming a murderer i should say protecting the person who was intending on murderer and prevented them from becoming a murderer
and protecting those people so there arse there is a possibility that a body the would
if they could see that usually we can't see that it's not often that you can actually see that you're gonna to shoot one person doesn't necessarily mean you're protecting other people
and as you i think as you know a lot of people a lot of ukrainians are nonviolently confronting russian soldiers
and i think that's very inspiring that they courageously walk up to those soldiers and say please go home please leave us alone
please don't do this
ah and you can't do that from finland but you may you can do that from finland maybe we can do that for united states to somehow
find a way
to request with no expectation
that russia leads
that people stop
harming joe we can work on that
we can wish for them
and wished for it while we listen to all the cries
that doesn't mean we know that we would never kill but i'm
i guess i would say
some people somebody surface can basically say they would never kill there would only kill in some extreme situation like somebody you know push the dalai lama into a corner and said if you were standing next to someone
who could press a button which would cause a nuclear explosion that killed millions of thousands of people
if there was no other way to stop them
she couldn't just didn't take your hand away if there's no other way to stop them than to kill them would you kill them
and the dalai lama said i guess i would
it just like to protect them from being a murderer a mass murder and to protect his people
so there is a possibility that a bodhisattva if it would help people really if you can see that it would help people you would violate the board the precepts
he would violate the precepts
if it were if it helps people and in a and would hurt you can violate them so there are extreme examples but you know impractical life i've almost never see them
that we can actually see some situation where we can see that this if this person doesn't do this it protects many beings and there's no other way to stop them i already talked to him i asked him to stop they wouldn't i tried to stop them they wouldn't
there may be some example like though
that's a possibility
but for most of us
yeah we can't see that joining the army is gonna be helpful we can't see it does gonna protect beings
it might i might cause you know or a free if we kill which trying to kill it may cause we don't know that that would that the will now be that there will be helpful but if we could see if you could see that it was helpful maybe so
so i'm not i i can't say never but basically never
i want you give up my life rather than kill
i would give my life to protect
i would want to i am i wish i could give my life to protect other beings in danger if that would be helpful
but i have not yet been asked to give my life to protect beings that i don't i don't see that situation year but if you know
i will if your life was in danger and i could give my life to protect you i would want to do that
i would like to get between you and the danger that's what i want to do
but that's not the same as killing the danger
which that might not be to give my life to protect you i think that would be good but to kill someone to protect you i don't know if desperate
but again
i can't be completely sure about it there could be some possibility
and do you say that it's also about the intention you have the intention the intention is to protect to kill to protect but again usually and war is not clear that to kill protect like i thought it is example the in the battle of waterloo
ah there wasn't a in a french officer was in retreat was in retreat not fighting anymore in retreat and that officer stopped and got off his horse to help a fallen comrade
and an english soldier was gonna shoot that officer
and his his comrade said don't shoot him he's not a danger to us anymore
and it mere fact he's a hero is stopping and endangering himself to help of a wounded soldier that they're not gonna fight us anymore there's no point to shoot a normal person that doesn't help
that's a case where in to shoot somebody who's do like to shoot i'm a medic is cruelty is not protecting anybody is just murder and to shoot that officer who was basically a medical person at the moment is just cruelty is not necessary he doesn't
he was no longer a danger
and but people do shoot medics in the war they shoot people who are trying to help people even though the the person or shooting as isn't a danger
so we can see that killing people is sometimes just cruelty it's not helpful when is it helpful i would say oh
extremely rare that it's helpful to kill people but i can't close the door and that possibility
yeah i guess it's really really difficult to guard yourself against the hate like to keep your heart somehow yes you about intention yeah muscle we're trying to learn
is to learn hotter
receive the danger without hating
and then and then hopefully respond in a way that effectively protects beings
thank you ever he iq for that you thank you

we we send our intention to
protect the people in ukraine and and the people who are fighting
let's send our intention to protect the people of ukraine and to protect the russian soldiers
to protect all beings from violence and cruelty let's pray for that lesson send our wish for that
and may this intention equally extend to every being in and place with a true merit of buddha's way
beings are numberless weave out to save them
afflictions are inexhaustible revolved to find a way through
dharma gates are boundless we vow to enter them
buddha away is unsurpassable
we've our to become it
thank you great assembly like you
leaves really care of all been thinking
i am