Silent Sitting and Social Action

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All compounded phenomena are unworthy of confidence. Compassion to these unstable phenomena is our practice. Zen stories are about enacting awakening within social interactions. Attend to your body, posture, breath first, and then you can extend compassion outwards; using the four foundations of mindfulness.

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once again ah
i remind us that all compounded things are unstable
subject to change
not worthy of confidence
being open
and compassionate
to compound compounded things
it's possible to have a steadfast practice in the midst
of instability
and the steadfastness is also
wherever every can accept that are steadfastness is changing we get rewarded when more steadfastness
in the practice of living in an impermanent
unreliable world of compounded from outcomes

and again i'm a compounded phenomena and i'm calling
you for compassion
i'm a i'm up for it now i'm an combat phenomena that wishes to listen to you
to observe you
what compassion
i know i've changed and again i call for your compassion and again i wish to observe you with compassion

so this this picture of compassion which i
spoke of this picture of steadfast practice which i spoke of
is a picture
oh a practice of social engagement
it's a social action practice
it's a practice it
conversation with our bags
among the various schools of buddhism in one way the most the score just most known for social
is then
the classical zen stories are stories of social interaction
the not just stories of somebody sitting by herself on a mountain who wakes up
there was a few of those but mostly their stories of enacting the awakening
it's social dynamics
that's the classical is an image and their men it may be that there never was such a
social life but at some point in the history of his and school people said there was and then people focused on that image up until now and i'm focusing on it now
that what we're doing together is calling to each other question each other listening to each other
we have it's a social practice and it's a social practice that goes along side of
silence sitting
it isn't a social practice it's a social practice which cause with silence ceiling
we bring the silence sitting
do our social practice and we bring our social practice to our silence sitting
in practice and selling socially

a friend of mine from earn it as a practice at tassajara
said to me one time and he had a dream
that we had a party in the zendo it does are
and it was it was a
hell in a lot of ways it look like a normal period of meditation were all sitting in our seats as usual
sitting still is on the only difference was that we could talk to each other
that was the party

we just are starting a practice period not green gulch and
and part of the way we start practice prayers is we have an initiation usually a tougher we have five day initiation and and greenguard we have a one day initiation
where everybody sits basically all day long with meal breaks and toilet breaks but basically it just sits there aren't there aren't fixed periods we just basically sit all day
and then as right after the initiation we have an entering ceremony for those new for the people were entering the practice period
some people have done practice peers before some of not so we have entrance ceremony and then they understand when it has a form a when call caught a choreography which the the entering students learn the choreography usually the night before and then they perform this korea
audra for the next day
which involves them coming in and you know and then in groups of three
skinny coming in and each person offering incense and then after they offer incense they form groups of three and prostrate themselves to them buddha and then in that group of three and and when they finished they line up and when everybody has done they do a certain angulation in the hall
and they this people learned that ceremony and they performed it
they were trained so we we caught practice period but also we used to call it training period the they got tray into your that ceremony
they paid attention
to the instructions
and they
performed what they are instructed to do and it was more or less the perfect performance of like twenty two thousand and i don't know how many people thirty almost thirty people
maybe thirty two people performed a ceremony and everybody was basically gets a perfect but really it wasn't so much perfect it was beautiful
from my perspective for me this kind of things that is beautiful to see people
receive instruction and then sincerely perform it
i was feeling a little down before the ceremony but when i saw them do this they really lifted my spirits with the beauty of their sincerity and their attention to performing the ceremony
just like here
the way you practice here is uplifting to me i'm calling for your compassion thank you for giving it to me in the form of your practice

the days are getting shorter
and this has been a beer for one thank you very much
is there anything you want to tell me before away
close down the shop
she had been here with you i appreciate your coming did current bring you by inches did he bring you
are you a friend of his
well as i listened to teaching this afternoon
a little bit of intention of where i play but also it was arising spontaneously
ah the i think the illustrated they will come at them
so i think of one particular friend
when we get along great part of your hand and pilot time is so obnoxious
that's so irritating to me and to others
and i feel that is i bit more comfortable with the word love in this situation so maybe a good for it feels like he's trying to say i want you to love me even when i'm horrible or
around you and he says if
you know as if those things are gonna get a call for compassion called for love is that it's coming out in kind of way
we have a try and i seek to recognize that but or last night was just too much
maybe the system the end but they know it's not
this is so i felt this standard illustrations
it's an illustration of an opportunity for what i'm talking about yeah yeah so i agree that your friend is calling for compassion and you can expand it and saying his calling for compassion no matter what he does
in two senses no matter what he doesn't call him for compassion and is calling for compassion no matter what he does he wants to see can i can i do can i be
no matter what i am well will it will it come or rather i wanted to come no matter what i am if i'm young and cute i wanted to come if i'm middle aged and not as cute i wanted to come if i'm old and decrepit and demented do i wanted to come yes i do
is it difficult to be as loving to a demented old person as a little baby who's talking pretty much the same way
most people have a harder time
practicing compassion with demented people all people and little babies who are really quite cuckoo
you know like they think that their mother goes out of the room that's it no more mother but demanded people think things like that to they could terrified when somebody goes out of the rumor comes into the room they're like little babies they're nervous system is the babies is coming together but not quite there is going apart
but not quite so yeah your friend is calling for compassion is calling for love i totally agree with you and one more thing i want to say as your thought that he's obnoxious that thought is calling for compassion
and if you can if i can be compassionate to my thought oh no not this again are all ah obnoxious if i can be compassionate with that thought
the maybe i can be compassionate with the person i'm thinking about that way if i'm not compassionate my i thought oh this person's obnoxious it's gonna be harder to be kind to them more a kind of undermines my attempt to be kind if i skip over been kind to my thoughts
that they're obnoxious

heparin you know and i i often tell the story which is basically illustrated the point if you don't take care yourself
it's gonna make it hard to take care of others
if you don't take care what you're thinking it's gonna be hard to take care of the person you're thinking that about
it's a stories called the acrobats
and so it's buddha makes up the story right about to an acrobat and his master and disciple or master and apprentice and the masters of to prentice prentice now you take care of me and i'll take care of you and will be able to perform this feat are are
acrobatic feet
and then the apprentices to the teacher i think you have a bath master i think you haven't turned around you take care of yourself i'll take care of myself and then we can do it and the boorishness the apprenticed as right
an audi take care yourself seek and performed a feet and take our brothers you're aware of your own anxiety and your own thoughts about people if you take care of them
the on to your own stuff than you can take care of others and it can be kind to others if you take care of your thought this person's obnoxious you can be kind to them
but if you don't then you're trying to be kind but they say but there are so obnoxious i'm trying to become you're making it so difficult for me to be kind residence i think you're making it difficult and i totally am kind of that thought another thought not getting in a way anymore
is mike a springboard into compassion because i practice compassion with it
just like springboard in on a gymnast they used that springboard they will don't skip over the springboard they use it and then they fly into the air and do that stuff they don't use a springboard that doesn't work so well and sometimes they don't use this spring burberry well so than the candies the next thing

so please give it a try with this person
and in the person i'm talking about it you
try with yourself and that your homework and if you do then you have a chance
relating to this person that i think about that way
and also in the process of dealing with the way you think about him the way you think about it might change in my switch from obnoxious person to person who is helping me do my work
person who is helping me deal with something i've never dealt with before which is my ideas of people thank you so much
one time i was talking to someone
and i said i was thinking something about her and i said to her
i do not believe what i'm thinking of you i will not believe what i think of you i do not believe what i'm thinking of
i mean i believe i'm thinking it but i don't believe it's true
if you know and also when she saw me saying that she changed quite a bit
but before she you know i wasn't trying to get her a change i was trying to tell myself in her presence not to believe what i thought of herc that would not be good i think she got the idea he didn't know what it was but i think she got the i did whatever you're thinking about my probably wouldn't be
good if he believed i'm glad is that right it's not going to believe it
that would make me i've been more safe
she would be endangered if i actually believe when i thought of her but i did but i had to work hard not to
so as it turns out everything or touch know she didn't get hurt
i didn't get hurt
and i agree story for you
so please don't believe what you think about other people but also don't deny that you think it
i'm to bring compassion to the thoughts about yes and others
as opposed to bringing compassion to my actions oh you're either the thought you have about yourself our actions
the three types of actions in the buddha dharma you're thinking about yourself as an action you're thinking about others that's an action those are actions that speaking and then postures
this desert these are actions
don't skip over your mental don't skip over attention and compassion to your mental action then based on that you can practice compassion towards your physical action and then he can practice compassion with your verbal action but actually the second to
ouvert paying attention to mental is more subtle so the buddha actually recommends first to pay attention to your physical camera first pay attention to your posture then pay attention to your breath and then you can start taking care of
your feelings being compassionate be compassionate to your body a tend to your body be kind to it that'd be a compassionate to your breath than be compassionate your feelings than be compassionate to your consciousness in general and then be compassionate
and compassionate to your mental factors that are going on in your consciousness
the last category is more subtle in the first
and the last category would be where you're thinking specifically this person is obnoxious
but in order to actually be aware that you think somebody's obnoxious it helps to do that if you're aware of your posture too
and when the in that story of them acrobats the buddha said after the buddha said
first to take care yourself then you take her brothers nice at how do you take care yourself and then he said these four ways
foundation mindfulness and your posture and breathing foundation and mindfulness on your feelings foundation and mindfulness on your conscious states foundation image and mindfulness on your mental workings
such as
there's for basics for foundations of mindfulness
my walesa body my promise of feelings mindfulness of
general conscious state and mindfulness of the mental factors in your consciousness those are the for and usually people start with the first one because easier to observe your your posture than some people can observe their posture but
then they're not touch with their feelings but by being aware of your posture and your breathing than you can say home i guess you have some feelings than more subtle and then feelings are among the among mental factors feelings or in some sense the easiest is to be aware of pain pleasure and neutral then you're going to like what's a gentle
characteristic of the consciousness well i'm calm i'm distracted or i'm frightened or
i'm angry that's the whole consciousness and then you get into the subtleties when you look at the anger and the other mental factors are or they're less than say this is impatient a progression of subtlety those for and that's how you take care yourself
so if you're aware of his think somebody's obnoxious have that thought might also good to be a be aware of your posture in my notice that your pajamas all twisted or squinting at that time
so it's good to do all four
it's good to always be mindful of your posture
it's good to always be kind to your buster
every moment
i wasn't speak about
yeah that would that would be like impossible right no one could think of that about courage except certain people are very creative maybe they could
you want to give it a try let's think one two three
didn't work some things are very hard to imagine but somehow were able to imagine that some was obnoxious we can do that sometimes
they help us think that thought and then now we can we be compassionate to that terrible thought and the answer is yes we can learn that
but it's hard hard even to look at it
how not to mention to look at it and be kind to it
it's hard to look at monsters
but if you can look at him than average chance to be kind to them
if you're kind if you don't look at him and your bags and kindness in a weird some count a well
he's like okay now look at them and then began couldn't do it by absentee
okay okay couldn't go over and imagine a cuter monster and then be compassionate that and come back forehead
i can sometimes say to people who don't wanna be kind of themselves i said well if a child if a baby was doing that pretty be kind of them they say yeah i think and imagine you that your baby it can okay can not imagine your adult no no i kept on about
a toddler oh okay and gradually work up to actually being kind to yourself if you can't do a straight on as do the indirect route
we will find a way to be compassionate to ourselves no matter what we are because that's what buddha can do
buddha no matter how terrible our boy
loves us put it
hence we have remember a buddha loving root mass murderers
and also zen ancestors loving murderers
i'm waking them up of it love
but not this is rather advanced
when men not be quite there yet
but do you wanna be there
even say i'm not sure but if it would help people okay of a buddha
once again one two three thank you so much