Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi, Part 1

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Thank you. And also, when I was listening to you chant that, I thought, this is another way of saying, speaking about the precious mirror, samadhi. When he looks at the universe, he sees everything is the Buddhist teaching of perfect wisdom. Any event, any moment, in any place, None can be other than the glorious revelation, or the marvelous revelation of the glorious light. But in order to see this light, we need to be in a state of practice. Maybe I can start now. So most of us don't see everything as the Buddha is teaching.


Actually, he's saying most of us. I don't know how many of us. But the Buddha is saying that the Buddha is right in front of us all day long, teaching us. The Buddhas are intimately entrusting us with this precious mere samadhi. Now you have it. So keep it well. Maybe you don't see that the Buddhas are intimately transmitted this perfect wisdom, precious, mere samadhi to you. Maybe you don't see that the Buddhas are transmitting this teaching or this truth of the way you really are, the teaching of suchness, the teaching of the way you really are. Maybe you don't see that. Maybe you don't see the Buddha teaching you the lotus flower of the true Dharma. But, the Lotus Sutra says, those who practice all virtues are upright, honest, flexible, and harmonious.


They will see this. And practicing all virtues sometimes is explained as entering into the mud and water of all living beings in order to show them how to practice. So it isn't just that we are sitting in some remote place and being upright and honest and flexible and harmonious. We're entering the mud and the water with all beings, and then demonstrating this, and then when we do, we will see that everything is a marvelous manifestation of the glorious light. And then we will demonstrate the practice by which other people can also see this.


one of our Zen ancestors, his name is Cloud Cliff, no, Cloud Gate, or Gate of Clouds, Yun Men, he often would ask his friends questions and then he would answer them himself. So on one of those occasions he said, what is the Buddha's work during her whole lifetime? And he answered the question. An appropriate response is the way it could be translated. But another way to translate it is meeting one and teaching. But one means meeting each. Meeting each and teaching. Meeting each person, teaching. That's what the Buddha is doing all day long.


First, whole teaching life. meeting one, meeting one, meeting each, and then teaching. It's translated as appropriate response, also. Yeah? It seems a pivotal word, and maybe the same thing in that first sentence of the Jomaharsamadhi is intimately transmitted. Yeah. We're not getting it by Twitter. We're not getting it by Twitter. Well, I don't know. Is Twitter into it? I don't think so. I wouldn't know. All I know is this. And this is what I'm trying to do, to meet each and teach, to respond appropriately. Appropriate means to the point, to the point of transmitting the teaching which liberates all beings. And the Buddha doesn't have a teaching, She's not holding on to a teaching and then bringing it to people.


The Buddha is meeting people, and in the meeting, the teaching comes. In the intimacy, the Buddha doesn't have the teaching, and the sentient beings don't. That's not intimate. Intimate is, they meet, and in the meeting, this marvelous Dharma is transmitted. And what they're doing is Their job is to transmit it, and they transmit it in this intimacy. Or you could say, their job is to be intimate, and by the way, that transmits the perfect teaching. So let's see... So there's two things. One is a comment that somebody made, and another one is a comment somebody else made. So, somebody hears about, which I've been saying to you, Avalokiteshvara's practice is to listen, to listen to the cries of the world, to listen to all the cries of the world, to observe all the cries of the world with eyes of compassion, to listen with ears of compassion.


So then somebody says to me quite often, okay, okay, okay, so you listen, and then what? Or you're listening and you say, well then what? Maybe I should fix something. I'm not saying you shouldn't fix something. I'm not there yet. I'm just saying, Avalokiteshvara listens. And that listening or that observing assembles an ocean of happiness. But does Avalokiteshvara have a response to what she's listening to? Yes, she does. She listens, and then she has an appropriate response. She listens, and when she's listening, she's also practicing perfect wisdom, which means she's listening, but not abiding in the cries. She hears the people crying, but she's not abiding in the crying. She sees the people in anguish. She's intimate with the people in anguish. She's intimate.


She's not separate from them. She's not separate from their suffering. And in that intimacy, the appropriate response arises. It's not, and then what? In intimacy there's no abiding, and in the no abiding comes the appropriate response. So there is a response, but it's not, and then what? And it doesn't fix anything, it liberates everything. Before it fixes anything, it liberates everything. comes from listening to everybody, observing everybody, and then doing that so thoroughly that you're practicing the precious mirror samadhi. You're not abiding in the suffering that you're hearing. And from the non-abiding comes the appropriate response, which shows people how to listen,


and how not to abide, and how to join their appropriate response. And sometimes they learn right on the spot. So it's not that the Bodhisattva doesn't do anything, it's just that what they do comes from non-abiding. And the non-abiding is non-abiding in the suffering which they're intimate with. If we're not intimate with our own suffering, We abide in it. If we're not intimate in other people's suffering, we abide in it. Intimacy is not abiding. Non-intimacy is abiding. So we listen, and when the listening is really full, there's no abiding. And in that, there comes the response. And the response is to transmit that intimacy. the teaching of suchness.


The next comment is that when I was talking recently about this transmitting the teaching of suchness, which is this Zen poem, this poem by people in the Zen lineage, someone referred to a teaching which I often quote from the Buddha's early teaching with his monks and nuns in India. So here's the story. There was a guy, and his name was Bahiya. And this person was quite a diligent student of himself. And he was a teacher, I think, of many people, because people wanted to study with him, because he knew how to study himself. They wanted to learn from him, and he taught them. He was a good teacher, quite a good teacher.


And being a good teacher, he also wondered how good a teacher he was. And he was wondering, you know, I wonder if there's anything I'm not understanding yet about myself or about reality. And he got, as often happened back in those days, when people wondered if their understanding was good, somebody answered their question from the trees or the sky. And somebody said, well, actually, we're not going to comment on your understanding, but actually, it's good that you ask. And there is somebody in India who can help you. who has really perfect understanding and he can help you. His name is Gautama Buddha, and he lives over, you know, someplace. If you go see him, he'll be able to check you out and give you training. So this person is quite advanced in his understanding, leaves his students and goes to study with Shakyamuni Buddha.


And when you arise where the Buddha is living, He goes to the place where he heard the Buddha is, and the Buddha is not there, and people say, he's gone to town to beg for lunch. So he goes to town and he sees the Buddha with his group, begging, and he goes up to the Buddha and he says, Master, please teach me the Dharma. Help me. complete my study of reality." And the Buddhist says, venerable sir, this is not a good time, I'm begging. And Bahiya says, with all due respect, Master, we don't know what will happen this afternoon. We don't know if we'll live through the rest of the day. So please,


instruct me in the training. And the Buddha said, this is not a good time. And again, he says, in this world, we do not know what will happen this afternoon. We do not know if we'll live through the afternoon, please. And the Buddha said, this is not a good time. Is that the second time I said it? Third. Third. Oops, sorry. So then the Buddha said, OK. OK. So then he says to Bahiya, he says, Bahiya, train yourself thus. In the seen, there will be just the seen. In the heard, there will be just the heard. In the smelled and tasted and touched, there will just be the smelled, the tasted and the touched. And in the imagined, mentally perceived, there will just be the imagined.


Train yourself thus. When you become like that, then there will be no identification with what you're hearing, what you're seeing, what you're thinking, what you're feeling. And you will not abide in it. And there will be no here or there or in between. And that will be the end of dissatisfaction. And by the time the Buddha finished giving the instruction, Bahiya had completed the training and realized the thusness of this life and become free of dissatisfaction. by this realization, by not being here, there, or in between, which is where we are actually right now.


We are neither here, nor there, nor in between. That's where we're living. He realized that. And now he had it. He had the teaching of suchness. But he didn't say, see you later, thanks a lot. He said, I want to study with you more. In other words, I want to learn how to take care of it now that you've given it to me, or now that I've received it, or now that I've attained it. I want to continue to practice with you. Let me practice with you. The boy said, fine. Do you have the requisites to join the group? And requisites are to have a robe, like this kind of robe here, patch robe, and also to have a bowl to bring. And he didn't have the requisites, so he went to get them.


And as he was looking around for somebody to give him the requisites so he could join the Buddha's training program, actually post-graduate training, because he'd already realized the training, he just wanted to take care of it now with his teacher. As he was looking for the requisites, he got between a water buffalo and her calf. And he was killed in that interaction, or that interaction led him to die. And the monks asked the Buddha, you know, is this okay? Don't worry about it, he's fine. He's got it together. So I'm telling you that story because after I was talking about the teaching of suchness has been intimately communicated, now you have it, so keep it well.


Somebody said to me, isn't that the same, is that teaching of in the seen there's just a seen, and in the heard there's just a heard? Teaching of suchness is intimately entrusted by Buddhas and ancestors. Now you have it. Isn't that the same teaching? Yes, it is. It's exactly the same teaching. It's just that this later way of saying it is twofold. One is saying that learning this teaching is learned in a relationship, which you might not have noticed in the story of the Buddha, that this monk came And they were intimate together. This teaching was conveyed in their intimacy. And the Buddha didn't say, now you have it, so keep it well. But he did say it, in a way. Actually, later he said, this person did attain it, and he will keep it well.


So this teaching of suchness is intimately communicated in the early Indian situation, in the Chinese situation, and hopefully now in this modern global situation, that this teaching will be intimately communicated. And what is being intimately entrusted is something you have right now. So it was affirmed back in India, It was affirmed in China, and it is affirmed now in this country. But it's the same. It's the early teaching before the rising of the Bodhisattva vehicle. Same teaching. But maybe the vows might have been different in the early days of India. Maybe not all the people who received this teaching had Bodhisattva vows. Yes.


In the legend, Gautama was almost dead from starvation, and a young woman came by and said, what's the matter with you? Have some rice. And he said, oh, OK. Could she be said to have been his companion in that teaching? Well, the story you're telling sounds like she was his companion. And it sounds like she was affirming him, and he was affirming her. Sounds like there was... Without that, he might have died. Without that, he might have died. It's possible. I was recently struck by a comment about Nietzsche, that he noticed that in... in Western Christian tradition that ethics is often associated with asceticism or masochism.


Nowadays, when people talk about, you know, the one extreme of self-mortification and the other extreme of sense pleasure, or I shouldn't say the extreme of self-mortification, I should say, the extreme of addiction to self-mortification and the addiction to self-pleasure. Sometimes people are not so familiar with addiction to self-mortification. But actually, in our culture, to some extent, there is a kind of addiction to the idea that if you're ethical, you're in pain. And that's not necessarily true all over the world. It's not so much leaned over to that side. So it may be hard for us to notice it, because it's part of our culture that self-sacrifice is more ethical than eating a good breakfast, a breakfast of champions. But it's not.


An addiction to either one is not correct. But sometimes it's good to have some pain, and sometimes it's good to have some pleasure. Sometimes that's an appropriate response. So in the case of the Buddha, it was appropriate, I think, that he had some food, and it probably felt pretty good to eat it. It was appropriate. And if he had continued to not indulge in sense pleasure, he might have not found the middle way. He might have been getting a little addicted to self-mortification. He could see that it wasn't working, It's kind of in a rut. It's hard for him to go to the other side. So last time we met here, at the end of the day, we had a Bodhisattva Vowel Ceremony.


And at the end of the ceremony, as the preceptor, acting as the preceptor, I confirmed that the people made these vows. as some of them say back to me, they made the vow that in a world without friends, without protection, without refuge, they will be a friend, a refuge, and a protection. They made vows like this. I witnessed these vows. And now I offer the teaching for people like that. The teaching for people like that is the teaching of such And I offer it to encourage us to practice intimacy so that this teaching can be transmitted. And also telling you that we're working on transmitting it by working on being intimate, but you already have it.


So keep it well. And the way to keep it well is to work on intimacy. We have to make that effort to take care of it. It's already been transmitted to us, but we have to make that effort. And it's hard to be intimate with people who are changing all the time. Like, some people are really nice, but then they change. And some people are not so nice, and then they change. I was just getting used to you not being so nice, and now you've changed. You're so difficult to be intimate with. So one of the themes of the January Intensive at Green Gulch, and I think I brought it up maybe last time here, one of the themes is the Pink Panther movies, the Pink Panther series.


Do you know the Pink Panther? So the Pink Panther is about this French detective named Inspector Clouseau, and he has a house, he has a servant named Cato. And Cato's job is to challenge their intimacy, to see if he can catch Clouseau not being intimate. And we have that situation. We have people challenging us like that, right? We have daughters and sons and grandchildren and spouses and parents and teachers and students who are challenging us, challenging our realization of intimacy. Have you noticed? This is the work of intimacy, is to be with the ever-changing


flow of words, good person, challenging person, helpful person, not helpful person. This is our challenge. And Buddhists accept this challenge and work on intimacy with everybody. And Buddhists have difficulty with it. If they don't have difficulty, they can't practice patience. But they do have difficulties, so they can practice patience. And they get so good, they can be patient with the greatest difficulty. And being patient with the greatest difficulty goes with the greatest wisdom. Yes? I was wondering if, If it's hard for me, is it because maybe the challenges keep changing too fast, or I don't have the time to stay with one challenge until I learn to completely sit with it?


Yeah, that's kind of it. Is that because it's going too fast? Let's say you're up for being challenged. Let's say you realize you want to be intimate with all the challenging people. Maybe I say, Paloma, I've got a hundred thousand Challenging people. You want to be intimate with them, and you say, yes. And then... One at a time. And you say, one at a time. It's fine. And then they come, and they're very dynamic, and you're saying, this is really difficult. And I say, I know it is, yeah. And you said you wanted to do this, right? And you say, yes. But it is difficult. But that difficulty is what challenges you to see if you have any abiding in that relationship. And if you don't, congratulations, and now, here's another one, who's changing even faster. And then if you don't abide in that one, your reward is to get somebody who's changing even faster. And then, if you can not abide in that, then we have somebody who's changing even slower.


I'm just getting used to faster and faster, now it's slower and slower. Wait a minute. Like I often tell the story... Well, here's one story I've got to tell. There are so many good stories about my wife, but I can't tell you. I can only tell you the stories which I've already told. So, I'm sorry to repeat them, but you can imagine, by this example, that there are some new ones coming every day. So the story is, we're having dinner with people, My wife says to the husband of the couple, he's a male-female couple, she says, where do you work? He says, I work in Irvine, University of California, Irvine. And my wife says, well, how is Irvine? He says, it's beautiful. And his wife says, it's ugly. And he says, it's ugly. And my wife says to me, You should learn that. It's no abiding.


It's no abiding. You should learn no abiding. We should all learn no abiding. And we should have all of our friends reminding us of that, either literally or by doing something which challenges our abiding. Would you please not change so much so I could get a hold of you? Sure, I won't change. I'll make it easy for you to attach to me. I'm just a little confused by that. You know, if you really do think Irvine's ugly, is it healthy to agree and say Irvine's nice, even though you really think Irvine's ugly? For the husband? It's healthy to be flexible. But flexible doesn't mean you deny who you are. But if you're saying Irvine's nice and you think it's ugly, is that not kind of... I mean, if you think Irvine's beautiful, and your attendant, your helper, says it's ugly, and then you demonstrate flexibility, you can probably still remember that you thought it was beautiful a moment before.


But maybe you can really wholeheartedly say, it's ugly. And then maybe later, somebody says, how's your pregnancy? It's beautiful. Or you might say something else. We don't know what your appropriate response will be if you're not abiding in ugly or beautiful. He could have said something besides what he said. A lot of different responses could have demonstrated lack of attachment. But it isn't like you go into denial, like, it's beautiful, it's ugly, it's ugly. It's not like you go into denial that you said a moment before that it was beautiful. You say, it's ugly. You're not stuck in your opinions. And now if somebody says, is it really ugly? You might say, you know, even all the Buddhas in 10 directions don't know. like, how could I?


You can have fun when you don't attach. But fun doesn't mean you're in denial. It means you know what you think, and you're like, it's just a gift. Here, you take care of it. Who's going to take care of Irvine's beautiful? Anybody take care of that for me, please? Thank you. And somebody else take care of Irvine's ugly? Sure. OK. Now I can be free. He's creating harmony, and in that moment there's harmony, which is way more important than harmony. Harmony is what's important. If you're harmonious with your wife or husband, disagreeing with you, if you're in harmony with that, from there comes, oh, this is the Lotus Sutra! My wife is teaching the Lotus Sutra! But if you're not in harmony with your wife, You may think she's just criticizing you or disagreeing with you. But if you're in harmony with her and flexible and upright, then you see, oh, it's the Lotus Sutra!


Wow! I never thought I'd see that come out of her, you know? And not only that, but there's like a huge assembly of Bodhisattvas behind her, and there's celestial music. Wow! This is impressive. All because I practiced all virtues, was flexible, upright, harmonious, that's what's important. Then we see the truth. And you have that now. You have it now. So take care. Okay? So I hope to see you again soon. In the Pure Land. Your intention...