Sitting in the Presence of Buddha

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.


A Dharma talk by Tenshin Roshi for a gathering of the No Abode community.


AI Summary: 

The Dharma talk unfolds around the theme of the "Flower Adornment Sutra," focusing on the samadhi of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, exploring the profound relationship between Bodhisattva practices, the vows taken, and their significance in alleviating suffering and serving both Buddhas and all living beings.

In particular, attention is drawn to the importance of preparing oneself through deep engagement with Buddhas to effectively aid others. Engaging stories and analogies, like jumping onto a moving train, illustrate the need for readiness and momentum when undertaking spiritual practices. The talk delves into Samantabhadra's vows, emphasizing the interconnectedness of serving all Buddhas as a pathway to assisting all beings.

Key components discussed include:
- "Flower Adornment Sutra"
- Bodhisattva Samantabhadra's vows and practices
- Analogy of boarding moving trains to describe readiness in spiritual practice
- The role of samadhi in spiritual depth and nourishment

The session ends on reflective questions regarding personal engagement in these spiritual practices, examining the readiness and sincerity in one's approach to spiritual service and growth.

AI Suggested Title: "Samantabhadra's Path: Vows and Readiness in Bodhisattva Practice"


Since last June we have been sailing in the ship of compassion over the vast ocean of the teaching of the flower adornment scripture. And today I find myself wanting to bring up something that I brought up before that's in this sutra, which is in the third book or the third chapter of this sutra, which is called, the title of the sutra is, the title of the chapter is Samantabhadra's Samadhi.


Samantabhadra Bodhisattva's Samadhi. It's also translated as the meditation of the enlightening being universally good. And universally good is a possible translation of Samantabhadra. And I, as I said, I brought this up, this meditation of this great Bodhisattva, I brought it up here and other places, but just recently I've been kind of struck by the first sentence,


which is that this great being sat in the presence or in front of the Buddha. I've been, you know, really struck by that, sitting upright in the presence of Great Awakening. And I also have been mindful of what I've heard about this Bodhisattva who's sitting upright in front of the Buddha.


What I've heard about this Bodhisattva is that this Bodhisattva has lots of very deep wishes and has vowed to take care of these wishes moment after moment. And again, we've talked here about these ten vows of this Bodhisattva. And the ninth vow is one which I think is, in some sense, easy for people to relate to. The ninth one is the wish and the vow to practice accommodating to all living beings. And accommodating means like being in accord with them in such a way that they are liberated


from suffering and may live in peace. That's the ninth practice of the ten practices which Samantabhadra wishes and vows to practice. So, I think many of you may be able to relate to the wish to accommodate, to relate to beings in an appropriate way, given their suffering. We have so much suffering now and this Bodhisattva, like maybe us, wishes to accommodate all the suffering in a beneficial way. But that's the ninth practice.


The earlier practices are a lot about how to relate to Buddhas and how to relate to Great Awakening. So, most of the vows he makes are about a relationship with Buddha. And all these practices, these first eight practices, make it possible for him to do the ninth. So, this Bodhisattva, this great being, wants to do all the things that would make it possible to help all beings. I guess we have this expression, front load. He wants to front load himself with this relationship, this intimate relationship with all Buddhas to, if you excuse the expression, empower, to be empowered, to be imbued with what's


necessary to be helpful in this world of such great suffering. He wants to help people, but he needs a lot of help from Big Time Awakening to do it. So the first three of his vows are basically, he wants to be of service to the Buddhas. He wants to be the Buddhist servant. And the founder of our tradition in China, who we call Dongshan, the second part of his name is Liangjie, which means good servant. He got that name, and I see him as like Samantabhadra, that he wanted to be and was a good servant


like Samantabhadra was. He wanted to be a good servant to the Buddha. He wanted to be a good servant to the Buddha's teaching, and in particular, he wanted to be a good servant to the teaching of this sutra. He was actually teaching this sutra as part of his service to all Buddhas. But of course, he also wants to serve all living beings. The Zen ancestors and the great Bodhisattvas want to serve all beings, but there seems to be the principle that if you want to serve all beings, serve all Buddhas, because serving all Buddhas will enable you to serve all beings. If you just flat out—excuse me, again, in common language—if you try to save all beings flat-footed, you just get knocked over. You get knocked over.


You need to be already dancing and swimming in the teaching in order to help all beings. When I was a kid, for some reason or other, for fun, I used to hop trains, go down to the train yard, and then when a train started moving, jump on it and go for a ride. That's one way to do it. Go down to the train yard and watch when the train starts moving, and when it starts moving, get on. And I did that quite a few times. Then one day, I was going to do it, but I tried it on a train that was already moving. I don't know how fast it was going, but it was going pretty fast. And I was standing—this is winter in Minnesota—I was standing


on the ground in snow, fortunately, and the train came by, and I just grabbed it, and it just threw me into the air and flipped me down right next to the wheels of the train. Not under them, but it would have been—there was a slight incline—I could have got thrown under the wheels, but as you see, I did not. I survived that. And I think after that, I saw a movie, and the name of the movie was Picnic. And one of the stars was the actor William Holden. And I think the first scene in the movie is in a train yard, and William Holden was wearing this really nice leather jacket, just like the ones I was wearing—a nice brown leather jacket. He was walking along next to the train, and the train was moving.


And he started to run alongside the train, and then he grabbed the train, and he got up on a moving train. So I thought, oh, that's how to get on a moving train—run alongside of it so it doesn't throw you for a loop and kill you. So Samantabhadra's teaching is partly, if you want to help all beings—you know it's a big job, right? You know it's challenging. You know there's all kinds of really difficult situations that you're going to run into. If you want to enter them all and help all beings, you might be good if you stocked up on a lot of assistance from the people who know how to do this—the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas. So Samantabhadra is somebody who is starting by wanting to serve the Buddhas so the Buddhas


can help him. Not trying to get anything, just knowing what needs to be gotten and serving the Buddhas. And he had these great vows. And we hear in the sutra about how much he served the Buddhas. And one of the ways to serve the Buddhas is to do all kinds of virtuous deeds, sets of service of Buddhas. Anyway, he practiced all kinds of wholesome activities and he did this to serve the Buddhas so that he could serve all beings. And probably we'll talk about him more and more if we keep living longer and longer. But for now, I'm looking at the first sentence of the chapter which is talking about his samadhi, his samadhi, his concentrated awareness.


So sometimes samadhi is translated as concentration. It's a fine translation. Concentration or gathered awareness, undistracted presence. So, and again, he's sitting now in the presence of the Buddha and I'm entering that statement and I'm imagining with some confidence of what he's doing while he's sitting in front of the Buddha. He's sitting in front of the Buddha and he's requesting that the Buddha meet him. He's not trying to get anything. He's requesting that the Buddha meet him and use him to help all beings. He's praying. He's sitting there and he's praying. And later in this chapter, it says that all these samadhis that the Bodhisattvas are able


to do and all the practices they can do, they do by the vow power of the Buddhas. The Buddhas want to help us help all beings. They want us to help help us enter this samadhi and in this samadhi, that's where we're going to receive all the spiritual nourishment we need in order to do this great work. But entering the samadhi comes from the Buddha's wish to help us enter. So the Buddhas always want to help us enter this concentrated awareness. Yes. But we need to sit in front of them and ask them to do so, even though they're happy to do it. And they're not really exactly waiting for us to ask. It's just that the transmission of this samadhi and the entrance into the samadhi is a mutual affair.


It's a communion. Through communion, we enter this samadhi. And now, can we, when we're sitting, can we offer ourselves, pretty much all of ourselves at that moment, can we offer ourselves to the Buddhas? Can we pray that they will imbue us with the ability to enter this concentration? And then when we enter the concentration, there's more work to be done. And the concentration helps us do the work. So before we enter the concentration, we might be trying to practice concentration.


However, there might be some clinging to something in our concentration. We might be clinging to the difference between misery and peace or war and peace. We might be clinging to that distinction. We want to work for peace, but if we cling to the distinction between peace and war, that will disable us to some extent in the process of realizing peace. This samadhi, if we enter it, will help us not cling to any distinction between the way we are now and the way we want to be. One can make a distinction between the way we are now, perhaps miserable,


and the way we want to be, perhaps at peace. We might distinguish between our level of ability, our level of compassion, our level of all kinds of virtuous practices, we see them, and we see that these seem to be different from what we've heard about some other people have attained. Our mind can see the difference. In this samadhi, we don't get caught by the difference. We see it, and we don't abide in it. So this temple is named after the mind that doesn't abide, no abode, it doesn't abide in distinctions between between deluded people and wise people. But it lives in the midst of,


and all deluded states live in the midst of this non-abiding. The non-abiding is applied to all states. So he sits in front of the Buddha, praying to be of service to all Buddhas and all living beings. And because of this presence, because of this request, the Buddha responds to the request to enter the samadhi with the Buddha's spiritual, inconceivable spiritual function. And by that, we enter the samadhi. And then the book goes on to describe


the wonderful things that happen in the samadhi. But part of what I want to emphasize is that the being who's drawn into this samadhi, where the samadhi doesn't cling to anything, all the beings who are clinging to something are in this samadhi. All the beings who are grasping distinctions flow into this samadhi. And the samadhi surrounding them and curing them of their attachments. Some people might say, you have to be completely free of all your grasping in order to enter the samadhi. That's a possibility, that we have to already give up our clinging to enter the realm of the samadhi.


That's a possibility. But another possibility is that we who are still somewhat clinging to the difference between misery and peace, those of us who are clinging to that, we can be that way and practice in this samadhi. We can sit upright, even though we still have some, definitely have history and maybe some present involvement in making some distinctions and clinging to them, we still can do that and live that way in the midst of the samadhi. However, and the samadhi will help us be in the samadhi with the distinctions and stop giving up clinging to them.


So, again we have this famous story about one of our ancestors who was sweeping the ground and his Dharma brother said to him, you're too busy sweeping the ground. So we could be meditating, maybe not in a zendo, but maybe meditating under a tree and our Dharma friend could come up to us and say, you're too busy. Maybe they would understand that we're sitting, but we're busily making distinctions and grasping them. So in the story, the monk was accused of being too busy and he said, you should know there's one who's not busy. So we can practice being a busybody in the midst of the awareness which is not busy. And that busyness in the midst of the awareness


that there's one who's not busy and also in the presence of the one who's not busy, we realize that the busyness and the not busyness are not two. But it's hard to be busy and be aware and remember that there's somebody who's not busy. There's an art to that. How do you do that? How do you pay attention to a conversation that's very busy and follow it while remembering an unbusy conversation? It's kind of difficult. If you lean too much into the unbusy, you maybe have trouble following the conversation. Or maybe another way to put it is


you start to develop a different way of being aware of the conversation and maybe you can't get a hold of it. Maybe you don't understand it the way you usually understand it. Maybe you understand it without being able to grasp it. This is part of what it might be like to practice being an ordinary person in the midst of this samadhi. Not to try to be an ordinary person, but be an ordinary person who has distinctions in her mind and body and is kind of a little bit stuck in the distinctions. Be that person and also be in this samadhi. The samadhi in which all the worlds are flowing into this samadhi.


All the beings who are making distinctions are flowing into this samadhi. Everybody is included and there's no abiding in anybody or anything. In this samadhi is where we will receive the teachings about being an ordinary person so that we can realize ordinary person is not different from fully awakened person. And not lean into fully awakened person or lean into ordinary person to live in their non-duality. And also realize that it seems to be necessary according to the sutra that we request to be in this non-dual space.


And we request those who are teaching it to us, we request the Buddhas, we pray that we're allowed to live in this samadhi. On Thursday night, I was talking to some people over the hill at Green Gulch. Valerian was one of them. And as I was talking about this samadhi, I kept laughing. Not because of the samadhi, but because of what I was thinking to say about the samadhi. And I just saw so many funny things that I was thinking about while I was about to talk about the samadhi. And I didn't tell the people who were with me all the funny things I saw, but I did see lots of funny stuff.


There's lots of irony in this situation. And today I'm not seeing the irony so much, so I pray that you help me see the irony in this discussion. But maybe today, if I do see it, I'll tell you the ironies that I see after I laugh. Because I laugh before I can tell you. If irony comes up, I laugh. And usually I just keep talking, but today maybe I'll try to... If an irony comes up and I laugh, I'll tell you what I saw. And some of you are smiling now, and I'm almost laughing. Because it's kind of funny that I'm going to tell you about the ironies as they come up, so you know why I'm laughing. And just that idea is kind of funny,


but didn't quite get a laugh out of me yet. But got one out of some of you, that's good enough for me. Okay, so that's the first sentence of this chapter where I'm kind of proposing that if I think about who is sitting there, this is what I think this person is up to. They're sitting there, and they're vowing. They're committing. To this... To this what? To this meeting with the Buddha. They want to be there. They want to serve this Buddha. They want to pay homage to this Buddha. This Bodhisattva wants to praise the Buddha. This Bodhisattva wants to make offerings. That's who I think is sitting here. So we could just start, not start, but continue by considering, when you sit,


do you wish to be sitting in the presence of Buddha? And if you do wish to sit in the presence of Buddha, do you wish to offer yourself as a servant to Buddha when you're sitting? And another way to put it is... Again, I almost laughed at that. This is kind of funny. Another way to put it is... So I do think it's funny. Another way to put it is, this is what I think is funny. Do I want to be like Samantabhadra? It's kind of funny. Do I want to be like such a great Bodhisattva who really wants to pay homage to Buddha non-stop? Make offerings. Every moment, make her life an offering to Buddha. Every moment, offer their life as praise of Buddha. That's what Samantabhadra is like. We got it in this book.


It says that's what this being is like. They're constantly offering their service to Buddha. What's funny about that? What's funny about that? No, the funny thing is, do you want to be like that? What's funny? I thought that was kind of a funny suggestion. You want to be kind of a weirdo, wouldn't you say? No, no. Anyway. Okay, and that's not ironic, though. So I'm not laughing. What's ironic is that an ordinary person kind of wants to be such a weirdo. How could one want to be that way? Well, and even though I kind of wonder how one could be that way, or even though you might wonder, maybe the irony is that you do want to be that way. Kind of like, who would have expected an ordinary person to want to be like this? And I haven't even got into the next vows.


Maybe I just mentioned one of them. Another vow is to request, not just request the Buddhas to allow us to enter the Samadhi, but request that the Buddhas turn the wheel. Tomorrow at Green Gulch, no, yeah, tomorrow at Green Gulch we're going to have a ceremony of giving people Bodhisattva presents. We're going to give people Bodhisattva names, Bodhisattva robes, and Bodhisattva precepts, and Bodhisattva lineage documents. These are... I think that's funny, people would think that these are presents. Kind of... Those aren't presents, those are awesome. Anyway, we're going to give presents tomorrow. Also, usually we don't call them presents. We don't call these names presents. But today I'm calling the Bodhisattva name


a present, which the preceptor gives the ordinary, the ordinand. It's a present. The precepts are presents given by Buddha to living beings. And these people who are going to get these presents, they requested them. They came to the preceptor and they say, I request these precepts. I request you give me lots of presents. I request a lot of gifts from you. But that's what they're doing. They're requesting these gifts, which some people might think these are the best gifts that can be given. These Bodhisattva names, these precepts, this Bodhisattva outfit. So several of you are wearing


these Bodhisattva clothes. You requested and they were given to you. You also sewed them. But still they were given to you. So tomorrow, Timothy is going to be one of the people who requested to receive the precepts, who requested these gifts, and these gifts are going to be given to him. And after the ceremony is over, he might say, thanks for the gifts. At the end of the ceremony, there's a place where the people who receive these gifts say, thank you very much. They sometimes forget to say it, because they've just been through this onslaught of gifts that they can barely receive. And then after they receive these gifts from the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas, after they receive them, then they're asked,


after they receive the gifts, they're saying, from now on and even after realizing Buddhahood, will you take care of these gifts? And they say, yes, I will. That part, they almost always say yes. And we ask three times for the various gifts. Will you live according to these gifts? Will you take care of them? Because these gifts are ways of living. And they say, yes, I will. So after all that, they forget to say thank you. And again, see, there's a laugh. It's kind of ironic that after you get all these gifts, you forget to say thank you. It's kind of ironic, but it happens because people are so overwhelmed by the gifts that they forget to say thank you. If you just got one little one, they'd probably right away say thank you. But we don't stop after each gift and say thank you, thank you. They keep coming. They keep coming, they're overwhelmed with joy,


overwhelmed with gratitude, and they can't remember anything. They can't remember their old name even, maybe. This ceremony, again, is like sitting in front of Buddha and asking to be in the samadhi. So tomorrow we'll do that ceremony, and that ceremony, I wish for that ceremony to be performed in the midst of this samadhi, so that there will be just wholehearted performance without grasping anything. And it does seem sometimes like that's the way people are doing the ceremony. They're just wholeheartedly doing it, and they don't have any ability to grasp what's going on, and they get through, and they realize the name of the ceremony is attain liberation. They attain liberation in the ceremony. So this samadhi


includes all these ceremonies. All right. Yes and yes. Yes? Something that's coming up for me when I was hearing you speak a few minutes ago was, I think you said something like, be like Samantabhadra. Be like the Buddhas. I did, yeah. And I feel like that's bringing up a little reactivity in me. I have a hard time with not taking care of the distinctions which is like this, this being, and this body, and this mind. So I'm not sure how to relate to... Well, thank you for that. I'll change it. Do you want to do the practice of Samantabhadra? I don't know. But that doesn't cause the same reactivity, right? That causes, I don't know.


So I take back, do you want to be like Samantabhadra? If you do, fine, I do. I don't have reactivity about that. I have enthusiasm about that. But if you do, let's just switch it to, do you want to do the practice of this Bodhisattva? I have had moments too where I've asked myself, do you actually want to practice compassion? And where I might have said, I don't know. So thank you for that. I don't exactly withdraw the question, do you want to be like Samantabhadra? I add the question, do you want to do Samantabhadra? That's a practice that Samantabhadra does. Because the name of this sutra, the name of this, the name of this Samadhi is, I'll just say part of the name of the Samadhi, part of the name of the Samadhi is which is in all Buddhas.


So this Samadhi is in all Buddhas. So I wish to practice the Samadhi which is in all Buddhas. This Samadhi is in all Buddhas. I want to do that. But I might have earlier said, I don't know if I want to do this Samadhi. When I first started practicing, the Samadhi I wanted to do was me sitting on the cushion, cross-legged, and I wanted to get through the period of meditation. I wanted to like actually be able to sit at the seat for, you know, 40 minutes. That's what I thought the practice was, to get on the seat and sit for 40 minutes, and it was really hard and I wanted to do it. And I did it over and over. I did it, I did it, I did it. I didn't hear anything about Samantabhadras, Samadhis. I didn't hear anything about this Samadhi I'm doing being in all Buddhas. But this Samadhi I'm doing is in all Buddhas,


I'm hearing in the Sutra. All the Samadhis are in this Samadhi. Including the Samadhis of people who are just trying to get through one period of meditation, so they can do some walking meditation. So thank you for that, for telling me how you felt, and let me add that, another question which led you to, I don't know. Do you wish to do this practice? And the answer is, I don't know. And I don't know is welcome in this practice. In this Samadhi, I don't know is welcome. And reactivity is welcome. I see you Jackie, and Homa is next. And Brek. Yes, also at the time when you were talking about meeting Buddha, in that moment of meeting, it was like, of course. Of course. Of course. There was no separation.


And then comes the resistance. And then comes resistance. The irony for me was the resistance to something that is so obvious, something that is so clear. At the same time, the irony of it is... Yeah, they're at the same time. Of course, and no thank you. Of course, and let me get out of of course. I want to go someplace else. Thank you. That's kind of ironic, yeah. Kind of unexpected. And I don't know which part is unexpected, the of course or the no way. Maybe you might think, well I thought when I said of course that there would be no resistance, but there is. It's not like I thought it would be. Or I thought I had no way, and then there was of course, and I was surprised. Which reminds me of this woman


who practiced Zen, and then she went to Japan and practiced Zen, and she found herself in a Zen temple where she found herself doing prostrations. And when she was doing the prostrations one day she thought, this is totally ridiculous to be doing these prostrations, but somebody is doing them wholeheartedly. It might be kind of ironic that we can be wholehearted right in the midst of our resistance. And it's kind of funny, although she didn't say that it was funny, but some people could find that quite funny that this person has a lot of resistance and they're bowing wholeheartedly. We might think, look at those people, those worshippers, they're just bowing and bowing, you know. And I don't want to be like them, I don't want to do that. But you might not know that they don't want to be like that either. Irony is part of our life. Jackie?


I do want to be like someone who is a Baha'u'llah. Okay, you can... I, at the moment, I feel repulsed by... Repulsed? Repulsed by this human being that I love so much. That is part of my flesh. But I have this sense of repulsion towards this person. And you mentioned Dushan and just this is it, right? So I'm not sure where to go with this sense of repulsion that makes me feel badly because it's so not who I want to be or the practices that we're talking about. The practices of someone you love. Yeah, so it sounds like you're noticing some repulsion


towards somebody and you're also somewhat repulsed about feeling repulsed like I shouldn't be repulsed by anybody, especially this person. The Mahatma wants to accommodate to that. Samantabhadra wants to fully embrace that repulsion. And Samantabhadra can do it because Samantabhadra has been serving the Buddhists. So there's repulsion and then there's sort of an inability to be generous towards the repulsion. But the person that we feel repulsed by is calling for compassion. So we feel unable to be compassionate. As a matter of fact, we feel repulsion. But the repulsion is also calling for compassion. And Samantabhadra is compassionate towards repulsion.


And Samantabhadra meets people like us who are feeling repulsion, like us. Samantabhadra meets those people and listens to them and accommodates them and is intimate with them. So if I want to be like Samantabhadra, I want to learn how to be intimate with my repulsion towards myself and my repulsion towards others. I want to be intimate with that. Samantabhadra is teaching me how to do that. That's what Samantabhadra would do with all my repulsions. So how do you practice with that? Just be compassionate to it? I don't know about stay, be. Be. Be mindful that all repulsions are calling for compassion. And then listen to those repulsions who are calling for compassion, listen to them like Samantabhadra would listen to them.


Just completely, openly, and welcoming and respectful. Is it coming from an empty ... Is the repulsion emanating from an empty, sad place? Well, I would say, usually repulsion comes from clinging to something. Usually there's clinging when there's repulsion. But the clinging has a voice and it says, listen to me. And it's calling for great compassion. And giving compassion to clinging will translate into being able to give compassion to repulsion which comes from clinging. That's how I imagine Samantabhadra dealing with repulsion. Because again, the eighth vow of Samantabhadra


is to accommodate to living beings and repulsion is a living being. That's what Samantabhadra wants to accommodate to, be with, be intimate with, and through the intimacy, liberation, this repulsion is liberated. I think maybe breakfast next. Sorry? Maybe, yeah. At the beginning today when you were speaking, you said that if we want to essentially do the practice of Samantabhadra, that we need the support, we need a lot of learning, education, support. That doesn't preclude starting small, does it? It doesn't preclude... Did you say, if we want to do this practice,


we need a lot of help? And then you said, when you say it, what do you mean by it? You mean the practice? The idea that you need all of this to be able to do the practice of Samantabhadra. But at the point where I am right now, which is a very tiny step on the way to that, it seems to me... What's the tiny step? The intent. The intention. But not yet having all of the wisdom and all of the support, perhaps. Okay, the intention to practice like Samantabhadra? Yes. So that intention is calling... So that intention could be offered... This is my offering. This is my intention. I offer this intention. And I offer this small intention. This is a...


Did you hear me laugh? No, here's what I thought was funny. This is a small brekkian intention. A small brekkian offering to the practice. I offer my brekkian, my little brekkian intention. I offer it to the practice. And it would be fine with me if this practice would come and support me to enter the practice. In a sense, everything we have is really small. And so this sutra deals with that. The things we do, the things I do, is just like a little particle in the universe, right? However, the sutra says that the whole universe is included in the particles that I offer. So the sutra is saying this little step you're taking, you offer it, and it includes all the Buddhas. So yes, please make your...


offer your little offerings. I think I misunderstood. I guess I didn't misunderstand because I do understand what you... what you mean. But listening to the words, I thought my one interpretation of that would be wait until you're ready and then start to practice. No, no. It's just that I make this little offering, and this little offering really includes universes, but I do make it, I offer it to the Buddhas. I offer it for the sake of the practice. I offer my intention to practice this Samadhi. I offer it to the Buddhas who are this Samadhi. And, as I continue to offer it, the Buddhas are responding to me. And I gradually will wake up to that they have actually, right away, before I even noticed it,


they let me come into the Samadhi. So my little offering actually was responded to, and I actually did enter the Samadhi with my little offering, but I didn't get it. I didn't understand it. But later you will understand that your little offering includes the Buddha's Samadhi. But it doesn't necessarily, and it includes you understanding that. However, you who feel this intention might not understand that you are actually in this Samadhi. So this is about entering into where we already are. So I see... Yes? Thank you. So I see I see Karen and Suchitra and Sonia and... Yes, please. I was just going to say that how I see this is the Samadhi that we enter into when we are sitting in Dzogchen


is that the same Samadhi has all the Buddhas. And so when we sit in Dzogchen we are actually in the position of Samantabhadra sitting in the presence of Buddha. So we're sitting in the midst of the Samadhi. Were you trying to... You were trying to get me to pay attention to Karen? Is that it? No, I was just listening. It's kind of the same question over and over. You know, I feel when I hear you read or when I read the Sutra the vows, those great vows, those great dedications, I feel like, you know, here's a little me and that's quite distant. I feel like it's the way that I cling to distinctions. It feels like it's far away. So there can be that distinction. A person who's making that distinction can sit in front of the Buddha and request to be admitted into


the place where there's freedom from distinction. And how to think about that distance? Well, you could say how to think about it, but before you start thinking about it you could be kind to it. So here I am feeling like I'm little and that's great and so it would be appropriate to be kind to feeling little. So now, I who am feeling little am sitting in the presence of Buddha. I who am feeling small am sitting in the presence of the Buddha and offering this person who feels that way as a servant to Buddha. And if I can sincerely do that, does the distance dissolve?


Does it dissolve? Well, does something that doesn't exist dissolve? There really isn't a distance. There isn't a separation. But if you really thought it existed then I guess it would dissolve, but not really. Okay. It's not really a distance. It's not really there. There's no Buddhas who are separate from you. There's no Buddhas who are separate from what was the word you used about yourself? Small? There's no Buddhas who are separate from small sentient beings like ants. There's no Buddhas separate from ants or people or whales, etc. There's no separation. But there is the imagination of separation but we're imagining something that does not exist. And we can, we're quite gifted, we can imagine things that don't exist. And the person who has this power to imagine something that doesn't exist like separation between


small me and vast Buddha mind, the person who can do that is not different. And that person who can do that can offer her small self to serve Buddhas and make a request that the small person be admitted into this Dharma drama of this sutra where you will be participating in the liberation of all beings. You can request to enter there. You don't have to get bigger or a little smaller to get in. Okay? And, I don't know, are you next, Sonia? Sujita? I might just


cook for a little bit. You're going to cook? Okay. It's when you talked about being flat-footed, you know, like trying for this thing, but yeah. That, I'm just cooking on that one, almost like, oh yeah, that's me. And anytime you say anything like ancient twisted karma, that's stuff. And yet, on the other, wanting to be, very much wanting to be like somebody like that. So, you know, this tendency and this great wish, like, tending to be flat-footed but wanting to be there. What I mean by flat-footed is a person like this


who tries to do something without warming up. So, it's sometimes good to warm up before you do something. You don't have to be a different person, you're just warmed up, you're kind of like, are you, I want to do that. And somebody might say to you, are you ready? And you might say, oh no. I want to be present. Are you present? No. I want to be present. Are you present? No. Are you present now? Yes. So, what I meant by flat-footed was to try to enter into some activity without assessing where your feet are. flat-footed kind of means like not very aware of your feet. That's what I mean by flat-footed. Like, not aware, is one foot carrying more weight than the other? Are you, you know, which foot are you ready to step with? If they're both equally on the ground, you can't really step yet. You have to shift the weight onto


the other one before you take a step. So, to try to take a step before you assess the feet is kind of like flat-footed. You're not ready. So, I'm just talking about getting ready and then once you're ready, you can leap. And, and maybe those first eight vows where you're calling upon and calling upon and praying to be supported by? Yes. To have that somehow as the instinct before trying to leap on the train, you know. I'm just kind of trying to put this together. Yeah, and also each step leading up to that, the step before helps, the following step helps you warm up to the next step. So, just before helping beings, you do all the practices that Buddhas do. But again, to do all the practices


that Buddhas do, which is number eight, that's preceded by being of service to all Buddhas. And so, each one is kind of a warm-up for the next one, which Samantabhadra is very happy about having all these warm-ups. But again, there's no... we're warming up to the realization that there's no separation between the beginner and the advanced. But there is such a thing as warming up and getting ready to leap so you can enjoy the flight into freedom from distinction and thereby being able to help beings who are caught by distinctions, who are stuck in distinctions.


So, people who have become free of them are able to help those who are still stuck, which is what Samantabhadra wants to do. Sonia? I just noticed as it came closer to Sonia that my heart started beating. You became aware of your heart? Yeah. So, kind of following the flow of the offerings that people were making. When Green was speaking, I thought what came to my mind was instead of wanting to be like more like Grotor, which includes kind of my small Brekian self, which is moving that would be the vow to move toward something which doesn't dismiss who


or what I am now, what I appear to myself to be now, and yet keep this other thing in mind. And when I thought about my resistance, I thought, oh my God, what did I say yes to? And I feel afraid. Like, you know... That might be where you are, is that you're afraid once you looked at... Yeah, just like... So that's where you are. And then I thought, what actually helps me is to remember that everything changes and I can have curiosity about... Then each flat foot becomes a wisdom in a way if I'm... No micro intentionality to that. So just kind of


following the flow of all of this made me feel like opening to rather than being like. You know, all of being like is me. And the last thought is, you know, Suzuki Roshi talked about this swinging door, the breath, and that was kind of like a swinging door. Did I get that right? I thought the samadhi was kind of that I'm in and I'm out. It's more like that swinging... Or the not busy one is part of that swinging door. Does that work? Yes. It all works. You gave some different examples of where you are. You gave an example of where you are and then you gave another example of where you could be. But you started out by saying this thing about where you are and moving forward. So the main point that I feel here is that the principle, the practice principle is


where you are you're not going to move forward unless you're completely where you are. So being where you are fully is that's really moving forward. And then you gave another example. Being like that, wholeheartedly, that's moving forward. So each example you give the difficulty is, the challenge is to be completely this small person for the sake of not getting stuck in the small person. And that could be called moving forward on the path of not being stuck. But the path of not being stuck is not from trying to get from this person to the not stuck person. It's to get with whatever level of sticking there is here completely and that's moving forward into the Samadhi. And the Samadhi helps us be completely here. In the Samadhi


we're getting all that kind of help and teachings about how to be completely like this and like this and like this. Or also being or. Being completely or. Being completely that. And the Samadhi is helping you do that and when you're doing that you're actually receiving the help that comes in the Samadhi. Pardon? Confession and repentance will aid you in being who you are. So if you're if you're holding back in your practice Confession and Repentance will help you be more wholehearted. If you're holding back from being where you are Confession, you can notice I'm not actually


willing to be here. I want to be someplace else that's more interesting. I see that and I confess it and I'm sorry that I'm trying to be someplace other than where I am. I'm embarrassed. Is that confession? No. Feeling small isn't confession. Confessing that you feel small is not part of confession. Confessing that you don't want to feel small when you do feel small that's more something to confess. So if I'm small and I don't want to be small if I'm small ineffective you know whatever I think I am whatever I am if I don't want to do that then I it's not so much I confess being small I confess that I don't want to be small I want to be better I want to be bigger okay that's something to confess that's kind of not very nice to look down


on the way you are but that happens that's what I confess that I don't want to be this small person and I'm sorry that I don't want to be this small person because I understand that this small person is what I have to offer to the Buddhas this is all I have to offer and not saying it's good or bad I'm just saying this is what I have to offer and I have and I want to offer wholeheartedly to the Buddhas and the Buddhas are not the slightest bit different the Buddhas are not the slightest bit different from me being wholeheartedly this small person yes I'm a little confused about whether this is a one-step process or a two-step process is it being completely this small person and requesting help from the Buddhas or is it just being completely this small person it's one step being completely this person is what it's like to offer yourself to Buddha


so the best offering you can make to Buddha is completely this this if you're a small person being completely a small person is the best offering to Buddha and naturally when you're completely a small person you say I finally found the gift that Buddha's been waiting for me to give Buddha's been waiting for me to give who I really am and finally I've completely been willing to be me now I have this is what Buddha's been waiting for I've been giving partial me's before and now you know that's good but now I'm giving completely small me and they've been patiently waiting well finally you give me this small person thank you but you know I appreciate your earlier half-hearted gifts of being sort of like you and now you're giving me what I really want and I am exactly that I'm just like you I'm completely me yes? I'm thinking about an acorn an acorn, yeah


I'm thinking about an acorn and an orchard and the seed that contains the matured but is just not appearing in that way yet and then I'm thinking about war and peace and I'm thinking about the seeds of peace that are within any war and how I'm thinking and wondering about the equal essence of the Buddhas in passing into and sort of the Buddhas are like entering into war with that idea of like cultivating or growing the peace that's within there that's like the reality of it it's the reality of the non-dual aspect of it so it's something wonderful to think about and what do we want to practice do we want to practice and go in


and consider that within this war there are the seeds of peace and can I what can we how can we cultivate or grow this beautiful peace or how can we discover the seeds or how can oh yes they're already there and that's also the name of the Samadhi in a way it's the seeds or the or the womb of peace of the Tathagata so it's like in the Samadhi we will discover the seeds in all these unfortunate painful situations the seeds for freedom and peace in them already and that can get challenged over and over and over again each new thing is a challenge yes it is each new pain is a challenge to be dealt with in such a way as to discover this Samadhi can there be seeds in my habitual noticing habits


to make distinctions and to do something other than be with the peace and abide in peace rather than you could say there are seeds in them or you could say they are seeds and if you care for them they will bloom right like the acorn we don't quite see we don't see the oak tree yet we don't see it but it's there you know we take care of the acorn all these things are acorns yes connection with this idea of the seed of the tree within the seed or at least within more the one who is not busy is always there within the one who is busy yeah yeah Charlie What's another word for Samadhi? That word's been uttered a lot today concentration yeah collected awareness awareness undistracted awareness those are synonyms


sometimes is it more than that or is it when we say this Samadhi is that a shorthand or something more it seems like there's a lot of time that's bringing it gets loaded with something more than just concentration it sounds like sometimes it means the situation that's why I like Samadhi because it's not just concentration because this Samadhi includes all the Buddhist qualities not just being concentrated it includes wisdom and compassion there are some concentrated states like some people might be concentrated on their work and it is a concentration but they are not they have not yet opened to how their concentration on their work includes all beings so because of so we're trying to teach them about this Samadhi which includes everything including their limited Samadhi where they do not feel


you know they think they can do it by themselves for example so the Samadhi which we can't do by ourselves includes all of our dreams of concentrated minds that we did by ourselves so that's why I like Samadhi in a way better because it can be used for this all-inclusive awareness which is also undistracted and includes all these particular concentrations that people have which they think they can do by themselves and that is and those concentrations can be set the basis for opening to a concentration which we do together with everybody