Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi, Part 3

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For the last two one-day sittings here, we started to meditate on this song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi. And whenever I myself, meditating on this poem, I almost always start with the beginning. So that's a kind of a challenge for me, is how to move through the text if every time I start at the beginning. But the beginning is, what can I say, it's the beginning, or it's the source. I said it to you this morning that Buddhas and ancestors, or Buddha ancestors, are intimately entrusting the truth of suchness.


That's a very basic message of the Buddhas. The Buddhas are sending the message that they are intimately entrusting the teaching of suchness. And I reviewed the last two talks, and during those last two talks I was talking about the intimate entrustment. And I think, can people stand more discussion of intimate entrustment, which the Buddhas are up to? Somebody can, wow! And what are they entrusting? They're entrusting the teaching of suchness, the truth of suchness. This is their business, this is their livelihood, is this intimate entrustment. And I said it before and today I say it again, that the teaching of suchness and the intimate entrustment might sound like two things.


like the intimate entrustment of the teaching of suchness. But I feel like now that the teaching of suchness is intimate entrustment. And intimate entrustment is the teaching of suchness. That what Buddhas are doing is the teaching. The teaching is what Buddhas are doing. The activity of Buddhas is the Buddha's teaching. The Buddha's teaching is the activity of Buddhas. This is our song, and this song, written by a Chinese ancestor who is named Dongshan Liangjie, or Tozan Ryokai, this ancestor, we say that this ancestor is the founder of this particular school in China.


And one might wonder, why do we say that she's the founder because how about the person before her or the person after her? I don't know why she gets to be called the founder, but she is. And even though I don't know why, I still have a possible story. One story is that she wrote this song. that this song is a couple generations after another founder, but that founder had different lineages coming from her. That founder was named Sekito Gisen, or Shirto. And he wrote a text called, The Relationship Between Sameness and Difference. or we say sometimes, the harmony of difference and unity.


He wrote that, but he had more than one lineage comes from him. And one of the lineages comes is down to Sekito Gisen, then his disciple, Yakusan Igen, then his disciple, Ungan Donjo, and then Tozan Ryokai. So his great-grandson is this person, and this person kind of receives that teaching and makes his own poetic version of it, which is the song about a concentration. It's about a state of mind. It's about a mind, Buddha's mind, our mind. the way our mind and Buddha's mind are the same mind, to be concentrated in this way on this precious mirror, the precious mirror.


And the precious mirror is the intimate entrustment, the precious mirror is the intimate transmission, the precious mirror. is the teaching of suchness. So maybe that's a story about why he's called the founder of this lineage in China. And then in Japan we say Ehei Dogen is the founder of this lineage in Japan. And then we say Shogaku Shinryu is the founder of this tradition, this lineage in America. But it's a little bit more of a question of why in China, when you have this lineage going down, it doesn't get transmitted to another country, so how come he got chosen? Maybe because of the teaching here. and the other teachings he gave, he set a particular flavor that we are taken care of.


The next line after the one I just told you, which again I talked about quite a bit, is that after he says that this is the business of Buddhas, what's the business of Buddhas? Intimate entrustment. Of what? Of intimate entrustment. What is that? The intimate entrustment is the teaching of suchness. Then the ancestor says, now you have it. He said it back in the Tang Dynasty. And today we say it, now you have it. You can say that to everybody. So take care of it skillfully. In this school, sometimes I speak of the practice as a 10,000 mile iron road.


Just recently I found a place in the writings of A. H. Dogen where he said, the path is a 10,000-mile iron road. And the person who walks this 10,000-mile iron road or who rolls down this 10,000 mile iron road is called an iron person. It's a person who, in the midst of all the swirling and twirling of life and death, doesn't forget the intimate entrustment. And if by any chance she does forget, When she notices she's forgotten, she confesses and repents that she forgot.


In the presence of the intimate entrustment, she says, I forgot. I got distracted from the intimate entrustment. I'm sorry. Now you have it. On another note, I don't know if it's lighter or heavier, someone sent me an email in which the person said, is Reb aware of this? And what she was wondering if I was aware of is all these YouTube things with my picture in them. And I was aware of it. Oscar arranged for a workshop that occurred in Sacramento a couple of years.


He arranged with people for the workshop to be videotaped. So the person sent me these YouTube things, and I looked at them, and there was quite a few, because it's broken up into parts, because it was a whole weekend. It broke up into like an hour and a half parts or something. There was a big line. of these pictures of me. And down under the pictures is Groucho Marx. Anybody not know who Groucho Marx is? Oh, OK. He's famous, I guess. And it's Groucho Marx, and I think underneath the picture it says, you bet your life. That was the name of a TV show. But that's also sometimes the way I talk about faith. Faith is what you bet your life on.


So in this school we sing this song because this is what many ancestors bet their life on. They bet their life on the teaching of suchness. They bet their life on the Precious Mirror Samadhi. They bet their life on intimate entrustment as the Precious Mirror, as the teaching, as the truth. The truth which is a guide for all beings and removes all pain. An intimate entrustment that's a guide for all beings and removes all pain. This teaching says, now you have it. However, even though that's the case, some beings do not bet on that yet.


Buddhas, I've heard, appear in the world because of a wish. They wish to intimately entrust this perfect mirror Samadhi. So they appear in the world to open beings, to open living beings to this intimate entrustment. In other words, some beings are not open to it, even if you've heard But this is the work of Buddhas, and even if you've heard that now you have it, you may not be open to what you just heard. I may not be open to it. So Buddhas wish to open beings to it so they appear in the world, and one of the ways they appear is by a song like this, which says it, and which says, this is a song and


It's recommended that you say it over and over until your mouth becomes this song, until your arms and legs become this song. Someone just said to me, I know that being peaceful and not trying to get anything out of life is the way to go. But then I think, oh, I got it. I got to do this. I got to do that. I don't understand why I keep thinking I have to do so, so much. There's so many things I need to accomplish." So I said, well, one story is, you do understand this, but your understanding has not yet got into your cells and into your bones. So we have to go over this again and again with our body. We have to use our mouth to say these teachings until the teachings body doesn't keep telling us that we have to be something more than intimate entrustment, something more than the truth that's already been given to us.


So, this is a repeat, excuse me. So we did the first few lines here, now the next line is filling a silver bowl with snow, hiding a heron in the moonlight, we discussed that. And then, take an assimilator, like if you take the silver bowl and the snow assimilator, take them assimilator, They're not the same. When you mix them, the snow and the silver bowl, you still know where they are. In other words, it's not that you mix the snow and the silver bowl and they become indistinguishable. It's that they're intimately related,


Because the snow is in the silver bowl, and the silver bowl is holding the snow, they're intimately related, they're similar, and yet they're not the same. You mix them intimately together, but it isn't that you lose the discrimination. These two are, what are these two? Well, they could be difference and unity. They could be Buddhas and living beings. Any of the different elements in our intimate life could be these two. But we're not eliminating difference to realize harmony. We're not obscuring difference to realize no difference. We're trying to develop this intimate entrustment, and this is an instruction about what the intimate entrustment isn't like.


It's not that similar things, you can't tell the difference, or when you mix things, you don't know where they are. It's not like that. Intimacy doesn't destroy the elements of relationship. And I think we also talked about the meaning is not in the words, yet it responds through the inquiring impulse. But I'm not sure. Did we? I think we did. The meaning is not in the words. What words? Well, it could be the words of this song. It could be the words of the teaching of the Buddhas. The Buddhas give words. The Buddha Dharma is not words, but the Buddhas give the opportunity to turn the teaching of suchness into words.


The teaching of suchness has been intimately communicated to us, and we have word consciousness. when the teaching of suchness appears in consciousness, it appears as words. The teaching is not words, but it appears as words. And these words are telling us that the words are not, the meaning is not in the words. And if we bring the right kind of energy, the right kind of effort to meet the words, the teaching which is not in the words will respond to our gift of our life energy. Right now we have the opportunity to respond to these words in a way that the words will respond to us.


And in that responsive relationship we have the intimate entrustment again. So the meaning is not in the words, yet it responds to the inquiring impulse, it responds to the impulse to meet, to serve, and then the next two lines carry it on further. This translation says, move and you are trapped. The intimate entrustment, which you have now, move, and you're trapped. You're not trapped by the intimate entrustment, you're trapped by the movement. You're trapped by the understanding that you have to move to get the meaning, or move to take care of this intimate entrustment.


Another translation is, if you're excited it becomes a pitfall. So if I hear of this intimate entrustment and I get excited and move, the excitement and the movement turn into a pit for me. The intimate entrustment does not trap. But if I try to get it, I fall into a trap. If I get excited about it, if I move to get it, I'm trapped. So it doesn't say so, but I thought I might mention at this point that maybe the instruction is the teaching of suchness has been intimately entrusted,


Now you have it. Take care of it well by not moving. Every moment, you have it. Every moment, don't move. This is forecasting later in the text, but this is becoming a stone woman. This is becoming a wooden man. When you don't move, you become the strong woman. When you don't move, you become the wooden man. And when you become the wooden man, you start singing. And when you start singing, the wooden woman The stone woman, the one who didn't move from her intimate communication, starts dancing with your song.


But you don't start singing in order to get the transmission. Like sing for your breakfast, is that what they say? Or sing for your supper. You don't sing for your supper. Your supper has already been given to you. This is a different teaching from sing for your supper. The teaching of suchness has already been given to you. You've already received your supper. Don't move. And from that not moving, you'll start singing. But you won't be singing for to get the teaching transmitted. You will sing not just from the transmission, which is good, but from the taking care of it. Now you have to keep it well by not moving. And then you'll know, we'll all know, when you don't move because you'll turn into a wooden man.


And then you'll show us a wooden man can sing. I didn't know a wooden man could sing. Wow! A Zen student who doesn't move can sing. And not just any singing, but a singing which will intimately communicate with the stone woman. The next line, miss and you fall into doubt and vacillation. So one way is, you don't move. Hey, I received it, I'm not excited about it, I'm just grateful, and I'm like a cool, calm, flexible, relaxed gratitude. I'm not uptight about this not moving, because if I'm uptight then I might hesitate.


I might hesitate to move, I might hesitate to think, I might hesitate, or I might, again, try to think of what it is. And then I'll be, who was that strange transmission that just went by? I should have said something. I didn't say anything because I thought I should do something. And I heard I wasn't supposed to move, so I hesitated. This is the iron person. Totally there, totally responsive, not trying to get anything because you've already received it. Backing up again, snow in a silver bowl, intimate entrustment.


Buddhas and ancestors and you. Snow in a silver bowl. A silver snow cone. Don't eliminate the difference, don't confuse the difference. This is a picture of this intimate entrustment. Now, once again, the meaning is not in the anything, but as our practice we have to Go to meet it. Go to meet it without trying to get it. Go to meet it without trying to get it. So, first of all, snow on a silver bowl, taking a symbol, that's showing us of the relationship.


It's a picture of the intimacy. Then comes instruction about how to relate The next one is, turning away and touching are both wrong, for it is like a mass of fire. All day long, turning away and touching are both wrong. All day long, all these offerings that people give us, turning away and touching are wrong. because everything is this mass of fire, because this is the teaching of everything. This is the teaching of the way everything is thus, everything is such. So that's actually kind of a review of where we were last time.


Maybe a little bit further, maybe we took the next step of turning away and touching our both wrong. I see, I hear, I see and hear lots of examples of where people want to turn away from something, or want to touch something. And a lot of times when we want to turn away from something, if we hear it's a massive fire, we say, well, it's good to turn away from a massive fire. But the other side of it is, the massive fire is the source of your life. It's the source of all your energy. So turning away from it, we will die from turning away from our life.


And I see lots of opportunities to turn away from my life as it manifests in me being a certain way or me seeing myself a certain way. I want to turn away from me being a certain way. I'm tired. I feel tired. I appear to myself as tired. I want to turn away. Being tired is not a massive fire. I don't have to. I can turn away from it. Or someone asks me for something and I don't want to deal with it. This is not the massive fire. I don't have to deal with this. Today I don't think that's true. Today I think that everything that comes to us is this massive fire. And it's hard for us to not want to reach out there and control it, and change it, or get away from it.


This is what we're good at, trying to control or running away. Or, you know, and one way to destroy things, I mean one way to control things is destroy them. Then they won't need any further control. So it's hard for us. So, that's the next line. Turning away and touching are both wrong, or it's like a mass fire. Although, in some sense, we haven't made much progress in the text today, our lack of progress is a great opportunity. For me, in this position of offering a teaching which is not going forward anyplace, for you, in being patient with


the same old thing over and over. Is there anything you wish to bring up in regard to anything in the universe? Yes? I just thought I would mention that today sitting here 30 years, it occurred to me that this song is being sung by the Jewel Mirror Samadhi. It's not a song about the Jewel Mirror Samadhi. It's the voice of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi. That's right. Congratulations. Thank you very much. So Tozan Ryokai had a teacher who was named Ungo Doyo, or Yunyan, Dongshan and Yunyan.


They had a relationship and the author of this text was told by his teacher, I now entrust to you the precious mere Samadhi. And then later he said, you have become, you are the precious mere Samadhi. And then the Precious Mirror Samadhi sang this song. This is a song from the Precious Mirror Samadhi celebrating the Precious Mirror Samadhi. So we may wish to also be the Precious Mirror Samadhi singing this song, always for the first time. And I'm not going to press the point by never going any further.


Yes? Would you say that louder, please? Very good. When you're singing, be careful not to move. Otherwise, you wouldn't be singing this song anymore. And again, this not moving is a not moving which doesn't hesitate. It's like right there for each sound, it's like right there, totally, completely present. Like someone said to me, Suzuki Roshi said, don't leave a trace. So to sing the song word by word, moment by moment, without leaving a trace. Not moving, not getting excited, and not hesitating because we've heard the teaching about not getting excited.


Yes? I'm just perplexed about not touching. I can understand don't turn away, but then don't touch. I can understand if you're using... Then we work with the perplexed. You're perplexed? Okay, so then we don't get excited about being perplexed, and we don't turn away from it. This being perplexed is the mass of fire too. Now maybe the perplexed arose along with trying to get something about this teaching. Maybe you tried to get something about the teaching. Maybe you tried to touch it. And if you try to touch it, you might get a gift. Here, have some perplexity. Now, this is the opportunity to not turn away from the perplexity or hesitate.


Perplexity, I'm here with you, perplexity. We've got perplexity here, and we're not trying to trade this in for non-perplexity. If we do try to turn it for non-perplexity, now we have that. Now that's the mass of fire. Now that's the teaching of suchness. The teaching of suchness is uninterrupted in our life. But we can argue with it. It's not that the teaching of suchness says, no argument with the teaching of suchness. Obviously it allows considerable argument and resistance. We feel that sometimes. Yeah. And then you might say, you might just have just flat out resistance, or you might be perplexed also.


I feel resistance and I'm perplexed. Why would I be perplexed about my resistance to this wonderful teaching? Or somebody else might say, I'm perplexed about why we didn't care about such a stupid teaching. It's obviously ridiculous. Why does it even bother me that I don't know what he's talking about? He being who? That's also in this text. Who's talking? Who is he? Who is she? She's not you. In truth, she is you. We don't even know who's singing this song. And the Precious Mere Samadhi doesn't know who he is or what he is either. The Precious Mere Samadhi is, let me tell you something about the Precious Mere Samadhi. I don't know anything about it. Well, I know a little, but not much, or not everything.


And I'm full of that way of being. that they weren't defiling the teachings by writing. How do they know? Well, because in a way, there's that risk when you... Yeah, that's the next line. About... That's why I... To depict it in literary form. One translation is, this translation says, just to depict. some translations just say, to depict. So, if you put it in literary form and you think that now the meaning is in those words, then in your mind you have, in a sense, defiled it. But it may be that when this precious mirror is singing, as it sings, it knows, it understands that


each one of these words offers no basis for apprehending them. So the story comes to mind in our distradition, which I think you might have heard already. The sixth ancestor got visited by one of his new students who came to visit him, and the sixth ancestor says, where do you come from? And the new student whose name was Huairang said, I come from Mount Sung. Where do you come from? I come from Mount Sung. Then the sixth ancestor says, what is it that thus comes? What is thus coming? What is thus coming? Which is an epithet for Buddha.


What is Buddha? What is thus coming? What is the teaching of suchness? Who are you? But he just said, what is thus coming? And the new student says, to say it's this, to depict it in words, to point to it, misses the point. What is the teaching? To say it's this misses the point. Then the teacher says, the ancestor says, well then is there no teaching? Is there no enlightenment? Is there no practice? And the new student says, I don't say there's no teaching. I don't say there's no practice or enlightenment. I just say it cannot be defiled. you can't defile it.


You can try, you can say it's this, but it never will defile it. And since it will never defile it, I'm not going to say much more about it other than to say something would miss the point. And then the ancestor says, just this non-defilement is what all Buddhas have been taken care of intimately. Now you're like this, and I'm like this too. How are we? We're not indicating what it is. And again, this is a characteristic of this school, is we don't directly indicate what it is. Or we do indicate what it is, and we say, I did it, but that was not the point. So we don't not talk just because talking would relegate it to defilement, but we talk in a way that we get to look, am I trying to get something from that talk?


Am I turning away by this talk? Am I trying to control by this talk? Maybe so, so I'm sorry. But I don't think this talk is going to this teaching, this talk is not going to depict this intimate communication. But I want to talk whenever it's appropriate, whenever the talk is being requested. Please talk to me, and I'm not even saying I'm going to talk every time I'm requested, because sometimes people invite me to talk, but they don't really want me to. So maybe I won't. Sometimes they are requesting, and I will talk. And in this sitting we're having today, you did not formally request me to give a talk. And yet, I gave a talk.


Now, many of you know that this often happens at this time, so you could have left. And I could have asked you before, do you wish me to give a talk? But I didn't. Maybe next time I will, I'll ask. I'm perfect, perfect, perfectly happy to sit with you in silence. Almost perfectly happy to sit with you in silence. And I'm almost, but I'm not quite perfectly sure that that's true. Okay? Does that give you something to let go of? Is that enough for this morning? Yes, Peter? I'm still busy with the fire. It's okay, so you're busy with the fire, yeah?


Yeah, like, does it mean that whatever I experience, each moment, is fine and always will be fine, don't touch it, don't turn away from it? Is it like that? Yeah, it's kind of like that. Or another way to put it is, if you don't turn away and touch it, whatever it is, you will realize that it, you will realize how the thing you're dealing with in that way is the precious mere samadhi. You will realize how this thing, whatever it is, If you're that way with it, it is a guide for all beings, and you're using it in a way that will relieve all suffering. So it's not so much that everything's okay, because if you touch it, then it'll be kind of like everything's burning you, and if you run away from it, you're not gonna be able to realize that everything's okay.


So this fire is saying, you relate to this fire appropriately, you'll realize that everything is giving us life. You're welcome. And I imagine, I just imagine, you know, some people torturing me to the point where they say, do you still think everything is something to not turn away from or touch? Do you still want to practice that way? Until I get to the point where I say, I don't want to practice that, but I just want to get away from this pain. So that does happen, that the pain gets so strong that you say, I'd like a little break from the practice. I just want to get away from this pain. So that's why we develop patience. And the Buddha said, if you practice it, you will eventually be able to practice patience with anything.


And in order to be Buddha, you have to be able to be patient with what's happening. In order to open to this dual mirror, we have to be patient, but some pains right now are so strong that we do tend to want to get rid of them or get them under control. And so then we say, okay, that's where I'm at. This is the limit of my patience practice right now, and I want to be kind to that. But the teachings say we need to learn to do that gradually with more and more of our life. So to me it also sounds like there's the approach to healing trauma. And when trauma happens, the psyche splits. And the split is avoiding, distracting, dissociating. This process, or this method, what you say, sounds to me like the way to slowly heal that deep pain that's in trauma, which we all have, more or less.


Yeah. And even if we don't feel that way, when we meet someone else who does, then can we not turn away from theirs, or control theirs, try to control theirs? Can we just really listen to the cry of their trauma, or listen to the cry of our trauma? Can we really just observe it? And again, this is instruction about how to listen. And then we can also look and reflect. I wish to listen in this wholehearted way that leaves no trace. I want to be kind to my inability to listen wholeheartedly to this cry of trauma. Here's another little massive fire for you.


I offer you the opportunity to not have a work period today. I hope you can not turn away or touch that. I will also be trying to practice that with no work period. But we will have lunch, and lunch will come soon. Is that enough for this morning? Thank you very much.