Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi, Part 5: Wholeheartedly Wondering Who You Are

Audio loading...

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

AI Summary: 



We have just recited an English translation of a Chinese poem which is called The Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi. And the word samadhi could be understood as a state of cognition, a state of mind that is undistracted, that is focused, that is open and relaxed, joyful and bright state of cognition. And this particular awareness is an awareness, you could say, of a precious mirror, but it is also, could be said, it's an awareness which is a precious mirror.


It's a precious mirror awareness. It's a precious mirror concentration. And so we have just recited an English translation of a song about this precious mirror mind. Some of the ancestors have taught, one taught by whenever anybody came and asked about the precious mirror, he would raise one finger. Another person, whenever anybody came to ask questions, she would turn and face the wall.


There was a there was another person who, we say, sat and faced the wall for nine years. Another person, whenever anybody came, he'd close the door. But some people, instead of doing those methods, write poems and sing songs. So we have the song of one of those people, But basically this song, I think, is in the tradition of a gesture towards the cognition of the Buddha, which can be called the precious mirror cognition. It's also called, in Japanese, it's also called Zazen. which can be translated as sitting concentration.


So this could also be called a song of zazen, a song of the sitting Buddha, of the sitting Buddha mind, or the standing Buddha mind, or the walking Buddha mind. And the song starts off by saying something like, the teaching of suchness, intimately communicated, intimately transmitted, Buddhas and ancestors. intimate communication. Buddhas and ancestors. Buddhas and ancestors are intimate communication. So this is a song about an awareness, an awareness which is the awareness of the Buddhas, and the awareness of the Buddhas is intimate


Entrustment. The awareness of the Buddhas is intimate communication. Again, usually people think, oh, you've got the Buddhas, and they've got this teaching, which they are transmitting to somebody, which is true. But what they are is the transmitting. They are the intimate communication. And what is being communicated, this teaching which is being communicated, is the intimate communication. The teaching can never be separated from the communication, from the communion, from the entrustment. And the Buddhas are never separate from the entrustment. Unemployed Buddhas are not Buddhas.


When Buddhas are Buddhas, they are employed. And what is their employment? Their employment is intimate communion. What is intimate communion? It is the teaching of suchness. What is intimate communion? It is the precious mirror samadhi. Precious mirror samadhi isn't your samadhi, or my samadhi, or even our samadhi. It's our samadhi, it's your samadhi, it's my samadhi, but it's also the mutual entrustment between us. That's Buddhas and ancestors. That's their work, and they are their work. When they're working, they're Buddhas. When they're not working, there's no Buddhas. And what are Buddhas? Buddhas are this intimate communion. There's a song about that, which we have just sung.


And then it says, now you have it. You have this intimate communion. Please take care of it. Now you have the Buddhas and ancestors. You have them, because you have this communion. Please take care of it. And you might say, how? And I would say, that's a good start. That question is a good start. How can we take care of this intimate communion, which we have? It's not like when you get a little bit more advanced in your practice, we'll give it to you. No. Now you have it. And if you get more advanced in your practice, you'll be able to take care of it in a more advanced way than you are right now.


When you get more invested in your practice, you will become more and more ready to take care of this communion by giving it away, by not attaching to it, and so on. And the rest of the song is trying to help us learn how to take care of this intimate communion which we have. And again, it says, turning away from this communion or touching it are wrong because it's like a massive fire. If you depict it in literary form, that's okay. But realize that that's just a depiction and let go of that.


If you get excited about it, you'll fall in a pit. The intimate communion, the Buddhas and ancestors, the precious mere Samadhi, whoopee, be careful. How can you be joyful but not get agitated? This is a way to take care of it. Another translation is move and you fall in a pit. Another translation is, if you're excited, it becomes a pitfall. It? What's it? The intimate communion? I don't like that translation, that it becomes a pitfall. The intimate communion doesn't become a pitfall. The moving towards it or away from it, that is the pitfall. You have it, so you don't have to move to realize it. Matter of fact, you need to not move to realize it.


That's how you take care of it. Now that you've got it, don't move. And letting go of it doesn't require moving either. Opening your hand doesn't require moving. Now you have it. Now you have this precious mirror samadhi. Take care of it by not moving, by not turning away, by not hesitating. Don't hesitate to enjoy it. Don't possess it. Don't reject it. And last time, and I'll start again now this time, we talked about the line where it says, it is bright just at midnight.


What's bright at midnight? Buddhas and ancestors are bright at midnight. The intimate communion, our intimate communion with all beings is bright at midnight. and it doesn't appear at dawn. The Chinese original of the poem is bright at midnight and then it says at dawn there's no dew. The word for dew also means appear. So you could say it's brightest at midnight and there's no dew at dawn. This type of dew. this sweet dew of this intimate communion which is Buddhas and ancestors. It doesn't appear at dawn.


The dawn here, I would propose to you, is the dawn, you know, where it's not dark anymore, where we can see things. It's the dawn of ordinary consciousness, where we see colors, we even see the color black, we even see midnight. It's the dawn where we see other people, where we feel feelings, where we make discriminations, where we do karma, where we do actions. It's ordinary karmic consciousness. and this intimate communion does not appear in this consciousness. We're in this room together, with our friends, and in this room, this room appears, and our friends appear, and the communion does not appear in this space.


The communion does not appear any place. It doesn't even appear in the dark, which may not be a surprise to you. It doesn't appear in the dark. It doesn't appear in the light. But it shines in the dark. All there is in the dark is the shining of this. but it's not an appearance, it's not an object. It is the relationship, the true relationship between subjects and objects. The song is sung at midnight and there it shines, but we don't see it. We sing the song at gone in our ordinary consciousness.


We sang it. Did you see it? Did you hear it? Did you sing it? And we do sing it. And the more we sing it, the more we become it. And the more we become it, the more comfortable we become with not attaching to appearances, any appearances, including the appearance of the precious mirror. Later in the song it says, It's not within the reach of feeling or discrimination. How could it admit of consideration and thought? This intimate communion is not within the reach of feeling or discrimination.


There is communion, there are some communions that are within the reach of feeling and discrimination. Like, you may feel like we're in communion right now. So you have a feeling of communion or there's a communion that's in the realm of your feelings. Hey, we are like communicating intimately. There's intimate entrustment between us. I can feel it. Well, fine. There's another one. There's another intimate communication that's not in this realm where you're feeling intimate communication. And this intimate communication that doesn't appear at dawn does not reject the intimate communion that does appear at dawn, or that doesn't appear at dawn. You think, this is not intimate communion. That appears at dawn, that thought. There is a compassion which appears and on.


There is compassion which appears in ordinary consciousness. I hope you've all seen it occasionally appearing. But the compassion of Buddhas and ancestors, intimate communion, does not appear. There is a compassion which you can feel. And that's an important compassion. I feel your compassion. I feel compassion for you. That's a compassion which appears in the realm of feeling and discrimination. And it does admit of consideration and thought. two other kinds of compassion, and one of them is called great compassion. And great compassion is Buddhist and ancestors. And that compassion is not a feeling.


It's not a discrimination. It doesn't admit of consideration and thought. That is the compassion which is, we call, zazen. That is the compassion which we call the Precious Mirror Samadhi. You can think about it, I can talk about it, but it doesn't really admit of thought. And it doesn't reject thought. Now a word from our sponsor.


Sitting meditation. Okay? Zazen. We sit, today you've been sitting. And any sitting you do in the future could be, from now on, that the sitting you're doing is performing. performing. In the realm of your conscious awareness, there's a body which is appearing, and this apparent body can be used as a form to perform the body of intimate communion. your sitting is directly dedicated or indicating or it's a direct gesture towards the sitting which is the sitting of intimate communion.


And you're using your body as a physical opportunity to perform the teaching of suchness, which does not appear in the realm of performance. The realm of performance is the realm of appearances. My hands are raised up. My palms are joined. My legs are crossed. My back is held upright. I'm using this body to perform intimate communion. I'm using this body to perform Buddha ancestor. I'm using this body to perform the teaching of suchness. I'm using this body to perform a great mass of fire. And to not turn away from this body performance or touch it while performing.


And this performance is necessary in order to realize this performance in the realm of appearances is necessary in order to realize this intimate communion, which doesn't appear at dawn, which is imperceptible. This perceptible situation must be performed in order to realize the imperceptible situation. This precious mirror samadhi is a guide for all beings. Its use removes all pain.


This intimate communion is proposed as the thing which, when used, removes, relieves, liberates all beings. In order to realize, in order to use it and realize it, we must perform it in the place where we can't see it. We must use what we can see and feel and think and say We must use the things of karmic consciousness to perform the ceremony of intimate entrustment, the ceremony of all Buddhas. We must do the practice in order to have the realization.


But it's also important to remember that what we're doing is not separate from it, and is also not it. Because it doesn't appear, but what we're doing does. What we're doing, which appears, when we're sitting, we're appearing to sit. When we sit, we are doing that practice. in order to realize the sitting which does not appear in this realm, the sitting of intimate communion. We must practice in order to realize this. Practice. We must practice here to realize there, and they're not separate. And if you don't have one, you don't have the other.


And actually, you don't have one and you don't have the other. We must practice to realize Buddha's compassion. We must practice to realize Buddha's wisdom. But the practice doesn't realize the wisdom. we must have the goal of being Buddha in order to be Buddha. But when we realize the goal, the goal disappears. And if, when we realize the goal, we would have it, that's not the goal. It acts as a guide for beings, its use removes all pains.


Although it's not fabricated, what's not fabricated? Buddhas and ancestors are not fabricated. And also they're not not fabricated. And also the word fabricated, the original characters for fabricated are one character means to have and the other character means to do something or make something. And so the poem says it's not doing something. It's not making something. It's not putting something together. It's not that. And this making something is parallel to another two characters, which are the characters for not making something, not doing anything.


So in Taoism, at a certain point in Taoist history, they have an expression called wu wei, which they call non-doing or non-action. So it's not action, but it's also not not action. But even though it's not action, and even if it is not action, it can speak, it can talk, it can sing songs. And so we are singing one of its songs right here. We can sing this song. This song comes from midnight.


And it's appearing at dawn. So we can see it, and read it, and sing it. And the next part is, it's like facing a dual mirror. Form and image behold each other. You are not it. In truth, it is you. It seems now that this facing the dual mirror can occur at midnight, and this facing the dual mirror can occur at dawn. Form and image behold each other.


Form and image behold each other. I am not you. In truth, you are me. At midnight, I can't see you, and I can't see me. In the dawn, I can be over here, and you can be over there. I can see here and there. But at dawn, the here I can see, in truth is the there I can see.


and also the here I can see is not the there I can see. This is the intimacy. And you can perceive it, but there's a more fundamental way which we cannot perceive. And even if in the realm of Consciousness, you cannot see it. Still, you have it in an imperceptible way. It never comes or goes. It never arises or stands. And it can talk. And you can perform it. And while you're performing it in the perceptible way, while you're talking about it in perceptible way, while you're hearing it in perceptible way, simultaneously it is living at midnight.


And at midnight, however, it doesn't go or come. maybe in the realm of perception you see, oh, here's the coming of the image, here's the coming of the form, here's the coming of me, who is you, and the coming of you, who is not me, and the coming of you, who is me. So this part of the poem is written down by a person who realized what he wrote here as he was looking at his reflection in a river in China. He was wondering who he was. His teacher told him


Just this is it. Just this person is it. He was wondering about this, and wondering about this, and he was crossing a river, and he saw his reflection. And in his practice of wondering what this intimate communion is, he saw his reflection at dawn. in the water. And he realized that this reflection was not him. And in truth, this reflection was him. And he sang that, and he wrote that poem at that time. And then he wrote it again in this poem. This is an excerpt from the poem he sang upon realizing this intimate communion.


He had the intimate relationship with his teacher, but at a certain point he felt conditions led him to say bye-bye to his teacher. They were intimate. They were living together intimately. He became his teacher's successor, and yet he had to leave his teacher to realize intimacy. In the realm of perception, he was a student, his teacher was a teacher, and they were perceptibly intimate. And he was perceptibly the successor of his teacher. and they were happy to practice together. And yet, when he asked his teacher how he should describe the teaching, if someone asks him, later the teacher said, just this is it.


And he didn't understand perceptibly. The teacher actually told him, my teaching is our relationship. If someone asks you what my teaching is, tell them that my teaching is our relationship. And my teaching about our relationship is, just this person is it. And the student, the mature student, did not understand. And he, as he left, the teacher says, you must be thorough going on this. You must continue to contemplate this. This is the teaching which we have had all along. All along we have been together. All along we have been good friends. If people ask you what my teaching is, my teaching is the friendship that we've had


all the time together. And now the way I tell you to meditate on it is, just this person is it. Just this is it. And then he realized, just this is it, and just this is not it. there's the opportunity to repeatedly and maybe eventually continuously perform this, you are now me, I am not you.


to perform, you are not me, in truth I am you, to perform that by your body, by your body, through your body, to perform that relationship, to use your body to pay testament to this intimate entrustment, to pay testament, to honor these Buddhas, to honor this teaching of our actual relationship. To donate your life to the performance of an inconceivable intimacy. And at the end it says, practice secretly, working within, like a fool, like an idiot.


How foolish to give your life to a life that you don't know anything about. to give your life to this life of Buddha, which is imperceptible, which is not reached by feeling or discrimination. The Samadhi, all Buddhas are living in it. And the Buddhas have sung a song which sang, you have this place where we live.


You have this realm. You are here too with us. All Buddhas live in this realm, but there's no trace of karmic consciousness reaching this light. this radiant samadhi. No consciousness reaches it. And it illuminates all consciousness. Living beings are also moving in the same radiance, the same samadhi, but the samadhi has not yet manifested in their consciousness. So it still looks like things are appearing and disappearing. And in the realm where there's appearance and disappearance, living beings can perform the ceremony which realizes the realm where things are not appearing and disappearing.


and they can never become very knowledgeable about the imperceptible. In the realm of appearances and disappearances, of coming and going, we have the opportunity to practice a compassion which we can feel and look at. And we need to practice compassion that we can perceive in order to develop a compassion which can tolerate devotion to the inconceivable teaching of suchness.


If we're not kind to what appears and disappears, if we're not generous and patient with what comes and goes, it will be hard for us to perform the ceremony which realizes what doesn't come and doesn't go. What doesn't come and doesn't go is a guide for all beings, and it removes all pain. What removes all pain doesn't come or go, doesn't rise or stand. It can talk, but there's no traces of consciousness in it. This is hard for us to tolerate. It's so unfamiliar. We're not used to being devoted to what we can't get or get away from.


But we can train and devote more and more of our life to the performance of the inconceivable. which is going on all the time, imperceptibly. So one more thing I'll say at this point is that I've often mentioned to you four types of spiritual communion. I'll start with number one, which is usually mentioned fourth. It's that where you feel You feel something, like you feel, like you want to ask for the guidance and support of a good friend, maybe even a Buddha friend. You request that, you want that, you perceive that you want that, and you feel that you're requesting it.


And you see, and you request, and you see someone, and you request someone you can see. You look in the face of another human being, for example, and you say, please teach me suchness. And the person says, I'm happy to do so. you can perceive that you ask, you can perceive a response. And you have this perceptible version of Buddha, intimate communion. And that's one of the ways it happens. And in that realm, you can perform the ceremony. You can say, hi, I'm somebody who wants to realize imperceptible, mutual, intimate communion. Here I am. I request that you do this with me. And somebody else who's doing the ceremony with you says, OK, let's do it.


Or, we're doing it. This is it. You're requesting it is doing it. I affirm that you are doing it as you ask for it. You already have it. things can appear at dawn. And there's many stories about such dawn stories. Sometimes you ask, please teach me this intimate communion. You can perceive you're asking and that you're here, but you don't hear the response, yes, or We're already doing it. It also says in here, inquiry and response come up together. Sometimes we ask for help, and we don't notice that at the moment of asking, it's already there. We think, I ask? No. But it's not later.


It's at the same moment. The tears in the teacher's eyes are glistening as before you finish your question. the teacher's eyes are glistening before you finish your question. Is it the teacher's eyes that make the question or the question make the teacher's eyes? They come up together. But anyway, sometimes it seems like I asked and you said okay. Sometimes it's like I asked and you didn't answer. Other times, I didn't ask And you answered, but the most fundamental one is, some people are performing the inconceivable. Some people are fools.


And they're doing a ceremony in order to perform the actions which they cannot see or reach. And that is going on. And I can't prove it, except by telling you that I aspire to be your friend, and I don't know what friendship is. And I'm wondering, what is it? And I'm trying to wonder it all the time. And if I forget, I practice compassion towards my forgetfulness. What did I forget? I forgot to wonder, what is this intimate friendship? I forgot to wonder.


I was trying to practice it, but I forgot to wonder what it was I was practicing. I'm sorry. Did you ask for this talk? Is this a response to your request? Did the response come up together with the inquiry? Has it been bright at midnight? Has midnight been dark? Has dawn been dawn? How marvelous to not turn away or touch.


How marvelous not to move or hesitate. And in this way, to take care of this great mass of fire. I invite you to say something, if you wish. Yes? Did you say, some of the time?


Yeah, you could also say, for the time being. Doubt is a welcomed dimension of, for example, the performance of Buddhas and ancestors. So, we have opportunity to perform Buddhas and Ancestors, to sit Buddhas and Ancestors, to walk Buddhas and Ancestors. We have the opportunity to perform intimate entrustment, so intimate that no one can get a hold of it.


No one can get a hold of this intimacy. But it would be natural then that we'd have doubt about that because we don't know what the intimacy is. It's not that I doubt that this is what I want to be devoted to. It's just that I'm devoted to something that I don't really know what it is. So that's a doubt. I doubt that I am a bodhisattva. I want to be a bodhisattva, but I doubt that I am. But I also, it's not that I doubt that I am and I know I'm not. I don't even know if I'm not. I wouldn't even know how to prove that I wasn't a bodhisattva. Because I really don't know what a bodhisattva is. It's like my nature as a human being is that I want to be something. I want to be my nature. But my nature is that I never can really be sure of my nature.


So doubt is, this is great doubt, this is not skeptical, this is not corrosive doubt, this is a doubt that gives energy, which frees us from rigidity about what we're doing. We don't want to be rigid about this intimate communion, well, It's not too difficult not to be rigid about it when you are happy to admit, I don't know what it is. I'm a fool. This is the fool's school, where we're trying to realize something that's inconceivable, and that is beyond all conception. And that's what frees beings from suffering, because suffering occurs in the realm of conception. So doubt is part of it. So then I have no way to gauge whether I'm on the right track or not? You can gauge, but as you gauge, then you say, I don't know how the gauging is working.


I think, again, that's why we need to be compassionate in the realm of where we're uncomfortable. We need to make ourselves as comfortable as possible so we can open to this potentially insecure, vulnerable, uncomfortable situation vis-a-vis. Our nature is that we partly want to get a hold of things, And also, we want to truly realize who we are. But in order to truly realize who we are, we have to do something uncomfortable called letting go of what we think is making us comfortable. Does it become second nature? What becomes second nature? Letting go? It's actually our first nature.


Our first nature is letting go. Our second nature is holding on. And so we have to be compassionate towards our holding on in order to open up to our real nature, which doesn't hold on. I had a thought that Doubt is being somewhat open to not knowing. Yeah. Faith is being completely open to not knowing. Faith is completely open to not knowing, and doubt is what? Somewhat open. Doubt is that feeling like, yeah, maybe not, and faith is like, I can see that, but I also see that being totally open to not knowing this thing, that's faith. And doubt is, not only am I, doubt is, faith is I'm open to not knowing, and doubt is I don't know.


Doubt is actually, one is I'm open to not knowing, the other one is actually I don't. So doubt is more like raising your hand and saying, yeah, I don't. Faith is like willing to raise your hand. and feel good about being a fool. Doubt is, I am an idiot, I am a fool, okay. And part of compassion is to be honest about that. And faith is, I believe that that would be appropriate. Faith is faith in doubt. Faith is like, I believe I should be open to not knowing what I'm talking about. and that faith to being open to not knowing what I'm talking about. For example, I'm talking about being a human being. I don't know who I am, and I don't know what a human being is, and I'm totally concerned with this, and I'm also concerned for other people also to really become human beings in the true sense. I'm totally concerned about this, and I'm also open to not knowing what I'm talking about, and also, I don't know what I'm talking about.


And I don't even know to what extent I don't know. What I was getting at is that sometimes I thought that doubt is in opposition to faith, but in a way it's sort of on the way to faith. Doubt is starting to accept that I don't know and faith is totally accepting that I don't know. Well, you can also see that they're on the way to each other. If they're both moving, they're moved. So you have faith, and I don't know what, wanting to be who you really are. You think that would be a good thing to work on, since you're who you are? You think it might be good to realize that? Some people are really suffering. Some people are depressed, right? And sometimes the people who are depressed get a little break from depression. I mean, not just reducing it, but it kind of goes away for a little while, and then they're like, here they are, not depressed.


Then what do they want to do? Then they want to become a human being. It's hard to work on becoming a human being when you're depressed. It's not impossible. But when you're feeling good, still there's something more you want to do. You want to really become I don't know what. You want to become this who you are. And who you are is Buddha. Who you are is intimate communion. That's who you are. And you're kind of like, yeah, that's what I want, and I'm open to that. And then, you say doubt comes first. So you can say, that's what I want, and I doubt that I am, or this is what I want, and yeah, this is what I want, and I don't know what it is. Now I have a chance to want more deeply. Okay, now I want more deeply. Now I even more know how much I don't know. Okay, now can you open to that?


Yes, I see the myth. I don't know which starts. where there's doubt, faith, but it's faith or doubt, and then I doubt that I am the person I want to be, and I also doubt that I know that I'm right. And I doubt that I know what the person I want to be is. And I want that, and I'm open to that. There's the faith. And then, now that I want that, I can more deeply doubt. It's an ongoing process. They're feeding each other. Yes. I think I could be wasting my time is good. To be open to that is good.


And I think being open to that is kind of like faith. I'm open to being generous towards a thought. I could be wasting my time, but also I could be wasting my time, yeah, it could be doubt too. I wonder if I'm not wasting my time. That's kind of like doubt. But who's asking that question? I think it's somebody who who kind of like want, who believes in not wasting this opportunity, this amazing opportunity of being a human. Okay, so I'm pretty comfortable. Like I mentioned recently here, somebody came and told me that they feel comforted to be here. I think it's good to be here and feel comforted. Now that we're comforted, now can we like wonder, what is it again that we wish to realize in this life? What's challenging?


It's challenging to be here, yeah. And then it's challenging to be here in a really vital way. And having doubt, I think, increases the vitality. Okay? So here we are trying to be kind to each other, It's pretty good, pretty alive. And I know what kindness is. Then things are getting kind of like, what do you call it, that game where you say, getting warmer, getting colder. I want to be kind to all of you, and I want you to be kind to each other, and I want you to be kind to me. Okay? That's pretty warm. Now, I know what that is, getting colder. I don't know, I want this, and I don't know what it is, getting warmer. I want this, and I don't know what I'm talking about, getting warmer.


I want it even more, and I even more don't know what it is, getting warmer. And also getting more uncomfortable, maybe. And in getting more uncomfortable, then you have to be, practice more compassion towards your discomfort. And then if you're more compassionate and patient and generous towards your discomfort, then you can be more doubting and more alive. And more alive and more doubting, more discomfort. And more patience and generosity and carefulness with the discomfort, more doubt. More doubt, more pain, or more uncertainty, and so on. So after a while you can be like potentially insecure all day long. you know, and be able to have enough compassion to be able to tolerate that and tolerate that vitality.


And also, when you get, as you approach that possible state of development, people may come up to you and say, don't tell us how insecure you are. So, what happened to me is that I'm using Right. And great doubt. Yeah. Right. So that you can doubt all the time instead of just once in a while. And you can also, if you can doubt all the time, you can be compassionate all the time. And actually, we already are doubting all the time, and already are compassionate all the time, and that's 98.6. Or in my case, 97.2. I'm kind of cold.


But perceptibly, perceptibly, our compassion comes and goes. And perceptibly, our doubt comes and goes. And the more doubt there is, the more, you know, the more kind of like insecure we are, until we're like totally or continuously insecure and continuously fully alive, which can be quite a shock to everybody. And people say, would you please not be so insecure? You're our leader. You know or you believe it's more valuable. Because how could you know?


Because you don't know what sitting is. Yeah, you want to be fully alive. You want to be as alive as you really are. And we know that there's things we do that limit our vitality, that close down on possibilities and opportunities. We know we do that with our mind. And we should be compassionate to that. When we see that closing down, when we see that closing down of our life, we should be compassionate towards it. And being compassionate towards this promotes the opportunity to opening up again. And being insecure, and being more alive, and being more insecure, and being more alive. Totally insecure, totally alive, totally intimate with all beings, what a stupid situation to be in. And again, you already have this.


It's where we already are. It's just that we have a consciousness which manifests these forms which challenge it and limit it. So we have to deal and be compassionate with that. You were next, I think, weren't you? Did you have your hand raised? I did, but I think it takes us up front. OK, thank you. Are you going to keep us on track? I have a feeling so. In fact, so much that you may not like it. So there were a couple of statements in the poem, and then you expanded on it. I think it was one of the, maybe the writer of the song, Well, his teacher said to him, the teaching his teacher gave him was, just this is it. And he didn't really understand it.


So he's wondering, what is this? Just this is it. And he's walking through the water, he sees the reflection, and then he has something to say. And so what he says, they said he had greatly enlightened. Well, we don't know what that was, that great enlightenment. But then he starts talking, and he says, One of the things he says is, now I see. He is not me, or it is not me. In truth, I am it. And then he writes that poem at that time, and then he excerpts that from that poem and puts it in this poem. I guess my question was more, sometimes, I think I've seen this in other texts, in Zen, particularly, but in others, in Buddhism too, there's a play on this is it and this is not it, and they're juxtaposed.


It seems to me somewhat confusing. If instead we said that this, meaning the image, is part of it, then it becomes pretty clear what they are trying to say. So my question was, isn't that what is intended here to say? That the image and the person is part of it. So if you just look at the image and say, this is it, it's wrong, because it is bigger. And if you say, this is not it, it's also wrong, because the image is part of it. Is that right? At least my understanding of it is that. I don't know. I really don't. Do you? I'm trying to derive an understanding so that I don't have to be confused by some sentences. So that's fine. Did you say you're trying to derive an understanding so you don't have to be confused?


I welcome your confusion. I vow to be a friend to your confusion. Do you wish to be a friend to my confusion? Do you wish to be a friend to your confusion? Well... But while the confusion's here, before it goes anyplace, would you like to realize enlightenment while the confusion's still here? Yes. That's being a good friend. A good friend is acting in relationship to, for example, confusion in a way that is liberation before the confusion goes away. So resolving doesn't mean that it goes away. I mean, it doesn't have to mean that.


If you mean by resolving getting rid of it, then that would not be what I would call a good friend. For example, if I'm confused, your friendship with me doesn't wait until I'm not confused anymore. It's friendly to me now while I'm confused, and your friendship with me now is my liberation. Your friendship is my liberation with my confusion. That's what I call friendship, this kind of friendship. This intimate communion is we do not... we don't touch it. We don't touch the confusion, we don't turn away from it, and we realize that the great massive fire is not someplace other than the confusion. The way the confusion really is, is a guide to all beings.


The way the confusion is as such is the relief of all suffering. But usually people want to get rid of the confusion so we can be enlightened, so we can be at peace. But I have to be generous and open to the dis-ease I have with confusion in order to realize the suchness of confusion. Well, can we just wait before we go there and just say, we've got the confusion, We had just completely opened to it and been good friends with it. Now we have, what do you call it, now we have the realization of liberation from suffering.


And now you might say at that point, is it okay now if we have a party called celebration of confusion? And we're not at all confused about this party. It's called the celebration of confusion. Confusion was the thing we used, the situation we used for this great realization of freedom. So action naturally comes up out of the liberation from confusion and leads to these poems. Now, if you wanted to go back to the confusion and saying now that we've been friends with it, can we do something with the confusion? Well, when we're friends with it, confusion has lost its function as confusion. It's now just an opportunity for freedom. So there's nothing more to do with it. Yeah, you look like that.


It's like getting caught in the confusion. Huh? It's like getting caught in the confusion, like getting caught in an attachment. Usually people are caught in whatever, and one of the things they can be caught in is confusion. But being friends with the confusion shouldn't stop one from perhaps getting fascinated also. Being friendly with confusion doesn't stop you from anything except, it does stop you, however, from not liberating people from suffering. It stops you from that. Friendship stops unhelpfulness. But friendship doesn't stop you from anything that would be helpful. So if you can think of anything helpful to do in relationship to confusion, good friendship would not stop you from doing that.


But sometimes you can think of something helpful to do with confusion, but you're still not friends with it. And so you're not friends with it, but you're still stuck in it. So you're doing good things for the confusion, but you're not free because you're not friendly to the confusion. How's that? Yes. Yeah, you don't hear it. I hear it a little bit from Buddha, and I hear it actually a little bit from Hakuin.


But also, what did he say? He said, practice secretly, working within. They don't tell people. They don't tell. They keep it secret. Teachers do that. They look like they've got it figured out. They sit calmly. They're patient with people attacking them. But they actually have tremendous doubt. And occasionally they tell their students, you should have doubt. You should have a great doubt. Hakuin taught that. But he didn't say, and by the way, I have it too. But in his biography, you can see he had it. And the Buddha occasionally would, some of the stories of the Buddha, he would tell. Like one of the stories is, things are going on, but I'll try to tell the story quickly, so you can have lunch. Once upon a time, the Buddha was dwelling someplace in India, so people could find him.


Usually he wasn't dwelling, but he would sometimes dwell so people could come and talk to him. So this guy came and see him, and I often joke to say, this is one of his Italian students. His name was Senor Pravasoli. And he said to the Buddha, are you the teacher of this group? Yeah, are you like, their mentor, and are you their exemplar?" The Buddha said, yeah. He said, well, do they practice the way you do? And he said, yeah. He said, well, I've heard that you used to go into the forest, into the deep, dark forest, where there were lots of dangerous situations, dangerous animals, and dangerous spirits. Is it true that you used to go there? And the Buddha said, yeah. He said, but then won't your students go there? And he said, yeah. Won't that be dangerous for them? Aren't you going to send them on a dangerous path? And he said, well, this is the way I look at it.


I used to go in there. And when I went in that place, the name of the scripture is called fear and dread. When fear and dread arose in me, if I was walking, I would just continue to walk. So the Buddha said there was a time in his practice when he saw stuff, he had fear and dread, he doubted his understanding of reality and he felt fear and dread about it. If I was walking, I would just keep walking until the fear and dread subsided. If I was sitting and the fear and dread arose, I would just keep sitting until the fear and dread subsided. And so on, if I was standing, if I was reclining. So he said, you know, I actually had fear and dread. I was insecure in the forest. But this is the way I dealt with it. And when I dealt with it that way, the fear and dread subsided, the discomfort and insecurity subsided, and then I saw, I saw the teaching of suchness, and then I was very happy to be there.


And now I continue to go into the forest. And then he said, and someone might say, well, are you attached to the means by which you achieve this great peace and freedom from all suffering? And he said, someone might say that about me, but I'm not attached to these forms. I don't have to do them. I'm free. But I continue to do them for two reasons. One is I like to. The other is to show an example of how to face this insecurity, to go in a situation where you will feel insecure. So I think if you teach the important dimension of doubt in the practice, You're showing people a dangerous path, but you know that they need to walk there in order to realize peace and freedom. And you're going to be there to help them, to remind them how to be with the fear, how to be with the doubt in a gracious way so that it can subside and then open you to what's already here.


But a lot of our times, he just sort of lays it out there. He doesn't tell people how he got to that place. But he did go through this fear and insecurity and doubt. And even on the... Well, anyway, he did go through it. He said he had his doubts. He had his embarrassments. And he's saying to us, Not that you have to have the same embarrassments and doubts that I had, but you must open to and have confidence that you should be open to these doubts. These doubts are what make our faith alive. Our faith is to help us be completely alive. Because we are. We already are. But without training, without performing, our life as our full life, we don't realize it. And when you perform it, you do naturally doubt.


Like, how is sitting here great compassion? How is the way you sat here this morning great compassion? And now this afternoon, how is the way you spend the afternoon great compassion? The way it is is shining right now. The way our life is great compassion is brilliantly shining. right now at midnight. How do you realize that? By performing the ritual which says, that's what I'm devoted to. I do not, but I doubt that. I doubt that what I'm doing here is intimately related to this great liberation of suffering. But I'm hearing that I should be such a fool. as to do this little ceremony of this little one-day sitting to celebrate this great compassion. And I need great doubt in order to open to the great compassion.


And I do have doubt. I kind of don't get it. I don't see how what we're doing here is the intimate liberating function of all Buddhas. I don't see it, but I understand that even the Buddhas don't see it, but they are it. That's all they are. But some doubt is going to arise if you do your little ceremony. Our little ceremony. How? I don't get it. Here I am sitting. Now, how is this the teaching of suchness? How is this the intimate entrustment? How? I don't know. And I feel a little insecure. It's not like I don't know and I don't care. It's like I don't know and I feel a little insecure about it. I feel a little foolish that here I am spending my life sitting here, not understanding perceptibly how this is realizing great compassion. But I am doing a ceremony to realize that great compassion.


And I've heard that if I don't do this ceremony, I'll miss it. In other words, if you hesitate right now to perform this ceremony, you're going to miss it. And then you're going to be sorry for at least until lunch. Maybe longer. But it's not eternal damnation. You can start off again. Refresh. I wish this body to be a ceremony, to be the performance. I wish this body to be a performance of great, inconceivable compassion. I wish that. I want to give my body for that goal, for that goal, which, if I ever realize it, will disappear.