Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi, Part 6: Not Abiding In Renunciation

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In this school, we often sing a song. And the song we sing is a song called the song of the precious mirror awareness. And we've been discussing this song for several months now. And I was intending to continue to discuss this song today. But some things came up that I thought I should pay tribute to. And in the process of paying tribute, all of our time maybe


used up and I won't be able to talk to you about the song of the precious mirror awareness. But maybe not, we'll see. One of the things which came up was that someone said to me here, I feel like it's a gift to be able to sit here in this seat today. And I thought, I agree with her. And it's a gift to us that we can sit here. And it's also, I feel, a gift to the whole world for us to sit here. It's a gift which we receive, and it's a gift which we give. We receive this person who is sitting we give this person who's sitting.


The song of the precious mirror awareness is a song about this. It's a song about how it's a gift to be here, it's a gift to us, and it's a gift from us. It's a song about that. That wonderful giving of the universe to us and us to the universe. Every period we sit, every moment we sit, what a wonderful gift that we can be here and sit upright. What a wonderful gift we give to be here and sit upright. This is another way to talk about the precious mirror awareness. Another way to talk about zazen is that it's receiving the gift of sitting and giving the gift of sitting, and realizing that receiving and giving, realizing it.


The other thing that came up quite early this morning back at Green Gulch and came up here is the issue of renunciation. And actually there is a Chinese character for renunciation, which also means like to give alms. It's a character for renunciation, but it also means to give alms. For example, when someone is practicing meditation, and you go to them and give them food to support their meditation practice, that's a gift.


That's almsgiving, right? But it's the same character for renunciation. You're renouncing something, you're giving away something to support somebody else. That kind of renunciation, I guess, is kind of like pretty appealing to most people I know. that they would like to practice renunciation in the form of giving, giving as a practice of renunciation. And I think that's really wonderful, that we would practice renunciation by giving, that we practice giving as renunciation. Giving not just to give something, but also to let go of something. as a practice of generosity and as a practice of non-attachment.


I often use the example which many of you heard before. One day I was at a meeting and one of the people at the meeting gave another person at the meeting a really nice automatic pencil. He took this automatic pencil and he said, here, to this other person, and he gave it. And then I said something like, that was a really nice pencil, and he gave me one, too. And then I went back to my little house, and my wife saw, and I said, I think maybe I said to my wife, look at the pencil somebody gave me, and she said, oh, that's really nice, can I have it? And I don't remember exactly what I said, but in brief what I said was basically something like, no.


And what I meant was, it would be a gift if I gave it to you, in a sense, but not really. Because when I give gifts, I want them to be renunciation. I don't want to just give you something that I'm not really letting go of. When I, if I give a gift, I want it to be, I'm giving it and I'm really like, it's, it's, it's not mine anymore. I really let go of it completely and you can do it. And whatever happens with it, I'm ready for that. That's the way I want to give. Not, I give it and then I expect you to say thank you, or like me, or whatever. No, that's not the kind of giving I want to practice. I want to practice giving, which is renunciation, where I really like, you can toss, you can break the pencil, you can sell the pencil, you can say nothing.


That's the way I want to give the pencil. And I was not ready to give the pencil that way. And I felt bad. Here's my wife, my wonderful wife. She wants a pencil. I won't give her a pencil. But in fact, that's who I was. I was not ready to really give it. I wasn't. And so I'm not going to give when it's not giving. I'm not going to do that. And I get in trouble for that sometimes. People want me to give something, and it's not giving time. And so I'm a stingy man. Stingy man, that's what I am, I guess, because it's not giving time on this. So I'm generous towards myself and let myself be stingy. The next day, the next morning, I was ready to give it. And I gave it to her. And I really gave it to her. I was not attached to it anymore.


Having it for 15 hours was long enough. And there's another Chinese expression for renunciation which is similar to the Indian expression for renunciation, which I don't know in Sanskrit right now, but in Chinese they write it, leaving home. And in India there's an ancient tradition of people leaving home. The founder of our tradition, Shakyamuni Buddha, was a family man. He had a family, he had parents, he had a wife, he had children, and he left them. He renounced them, he gave them away.


And so, there is this term, leaving home, which is sometimes translated as leaving home, And sometimes the character leaving home is sometimes translated as renunciation. That term for renunciation is more difficult, I find, for people. And the person who brought it up early this morning was bringing it up because he felt like he was thinking of becoming a priest And we call the ceremony for becoming a priest, leaving home and attaining liberation. And we have another ceremony of becoming a lay bodhisattva, which is called staying at home and attaining liberation. Leaving home and attaining liberation.


staying home and attending liberation. The difference in these two words, staying home and leaving home, is a big issue in the community of enlightening beings. And in the ceremony of called Leaving Home and Attending Liberation, so-called priests in this school, their part of the ceremony is renunciation. It's a renunciation where we ritually enact renunciation by cutting the hair off. In the staying at home and attending liberation ceremony, we also have renunciation. But instead of cutting all the hair off, we cut some of the hair off.


There's still differentiation, but it's not as, I don't know what. I don't know what the word you used for the difference. Not as graphic. Not as, hmm? Not as radical. Like Suzuki Roshi used to call this the most radical, the radical haircut. Oh no, he called it the ultimate haircut, This is the end of the line of haircuts. So renunciation, and what we just chanted, it said, when you hear the true Dharma, you will renounce worldly affairs. What does renounce worldly affairs mean? It means renounce distraction from being a Buddha.


It means renounce distractions from what you aspire to. It means, yeah, it means give yourself completely to all beings and renounce distraction from that. It means give yourself to all beings in every moment. That's the practice. Without trying to get anything back or forward. That's the practice, right? And also to receive support from all beings in every moment. To receive the gift of life from all beings in every moment, in each moment. with no distraction. That's Buddha. That's the precious mirror awareness.


And renunciation is to let go of anything that... all the things that distract us from being in this precious mirror awareness where everybody we meet is a gift to us and everybody we meet we are a gift to them. And then if there's any closing down and pushing away that kind of way of being with beings, we renounce that. We aspire to renounce that. So what we just said was, when you see the true Dharma, you will renounce. But also, when you renounce, you'll see the true Dharma. When you renounce your resistance to your life as a gift, when you renounce resistance to everything that comes to you as the gift of your life, when you renounce that, you will hear the true Dharma.


And when you hear the Dharma, you will renounce being distracted from that precious, mere samadhi. And from that renunciation, the song will come again. And this person said to me, this person does not Actually, this person has a partner that he's committed to, but he doesn't have children, and he's considering becoming a priest, he's considering leaving home, and he says, I feel like the model at Zen Center is having a family, not leaving home. And I said, I don't think that that's the model. Maybe some other people do. Like, maybe you think that. I don't think so. I think the model at Zen Center is, whether you have a family or not, that you renounce all distractions from the practice.


And if someone has a family who is not you, they are a gift to you, and you are a gift to them. Whether they're practicing renunciation or not, that's an issue, but you can practice renunciation with people who are not yet ready to practice renunciation. From the point of view of our true nature, One could say that all those who are not yet ready to practice renunciation are just simply immature. They're not their children. They're not yet ready to let go of all resistance to who they are. And certainly little children are not yet ready to


let go of resistance to who they are, because they actually kind of sense who they are, and they're really frightened by it a lot of the time. They sense that they're vulnerable, they sense that the world's an impermanent, unstable place, you know, and it's hard for them to go to sleep at night. They need help in such a world, and they get it. But the help they usually get is not Well, it's time to go to bed, and this world is really unstable and unpredictable, you know? And then the baby says, but you'll be here tomorrow morning, won't you mommy? And mommies don't usually say, no, I won't be here. I mean, there may be a mother here, but she won't be me. It'll be a new mother. We don't usually talk to children like that. unless they're right on the ready to open up to the reality that this afternoon all of us will be different, all of our friends will be new friends, and actually everybody is our friend, and right now all the friends we have we've never had before.


Maybe this doesn't frighten you, but it might frighten children, so we don't necessarily mention that. until they're ready. And maybe today you're ready, because that person was talking to me at Green Gulch, so I think he was setting me up for you. I wasn't intending to talk about renunciation, but since two people brought it up, I thought, I guess I should. And I said to this person early this morning, I said, if you do not have a family, and you're not renouncing not having a family, that's not renunciation. If you have a family and you're not renouncing have a family, that's not renunciation. If you have a family, you practice renunciation if you're on the Bodhisattva path.


If you don't have a family, you practice renunciation. If you live in a temple, some people live in temples. Their job is to practice renunciation in the temple of renunciation. This is a temple of renunciation. It's called no abode. It's called renounce your abode. When you come in here, check your abode at the door. Come in here having let go of your abode. Doesn't mean you don't have one, it just means you let go of it. This place is a place for renunciation, of abiding. That's the mind of the Bodhisattva. If you live in a temple, you have the opportunity to renounce living in a temple. If you live in a house that's not called a temple, you have the opportunity to renounce living in a house. If you renounce living in a house when you're living in a house,


you are Buddha. If you renounce living in a temple, when you're living in a temple, you are Buddha. If you abide in a temple, you're resisting, you're not being generous. You're distracted from this dynamic process of giving and receiving. with the whole universe. So whether you do the so-called leaving home and attaining liberation ceremony or the staying at home and attaining liberation ceremony, whether you initiate it as a priest bodhisattva or a lay bodhisattva, In both cases, there is the opportunity for renunciation of all distraction from the samadhi, from this precious mirror awareness.


And whether you have done the ceremony or not, I should say, no matter which ceremony you've done, you have the same job, really. So most of the people in the room have not done the leaving home and attaining the way ceremony. Just Kathy and I have done that. So we are wondering, what is leaving home and attaining the way? Many people here have done the staying at home and attaining the way ceremony. So now you can wonder, what's that? But staying at home does not mean that you're attached to staying home. If you're attached to staying home, you're hindering the attainment of liberation. And if you're staying at home and you don't take care of that,


The reason you're not taking care of it is because you're attached to it. If you're not attached to it, you will take care of it. Of course, you can try to take care of it while you're attached, but that would just make it harder to realize liberation. And the chant says, after it says that, when you hear the Dharma, you will renounce, worldly affairs, and I'm adding, when you renounce worldly affairs, you will hear the true Dharma. Then it says, although our past evil karma has greatly accumulated, because of our past karma of resisting this awareness, we have felt hindered in practicing renunciation. But then it goes on to say that by revealing and disclosing our lack of practicing renunciation before the Buddhas, admitting our resistance to this awareness, admitting our being closed to this wonderful awareness, and feeling sorry about it,


melts away the roots of this non-renunciation or of this holding on to being distracted from this awareness. So I wasn't intending to talk about this, but I feel this is, again, kind of like a part of the initiation into discussing this song. In the discussion of this song, we can see the opportunity to renounce any distraction in listening to this song. Renounce any distraction from practicing this awareness. Yes? A moment ago I felt the impulse to ask, why become a priest?


The causes and conditions of becoming a priest, of being initiated as a priest bodhisattva, are inconceivable. the causes and conditions of becoming a so-called lay bodhisattva are inconceivable. And every person who's contemplating or has entered into priest initiation, every person you could ask, why did you? Or before they do, you can say, why are you thinking of that? And you'll get many different answers. many different stories about why they're wishing to or why they did. And the same with the people who do the staying-at-home entertaining. If you ask them, why are you thinking of doing this? Or, why did you do it?


They could all give you stories about that. The story I'm giving you is that how we wind up going through this gate or this gate into the bodhisattva life, how we do that. And there's basically two ways, right? The so-called leaving home way in, and the so-called staying at home way in, but they're both supposed to be ways in, and I'm saying once you go in, the issue of renunciation is still there. So I went through the so-called leaving home initiation. Why did I go in that way? I really don't know. But sometimes when people ask me that in the past, not today, today I'm saying, I don't know. Today I'm saying, for me, bottom line is, it's inconceivable. Why? It's inconceivable how and why I became a priest.


You could say the why of how I became a priest is all the causes and conditions that made that ceremony happen. That there was a Zen center, that there was a Suzuki Shinryu Roshi, you know, those are conditions. That I wanted to be like that priest. He was a priest. He was my teacher. I wanted to be like my teacher. That's a story I could tell. But really, I don't know. That's just a story I'd tell. And I felt that way. I kind of wanted to be that way. Someone else could say, well, unconsciously you wanted to be a priest because you thought your status would be elevated, etc. And some people honestly say, I want to have higher status in the community. Some people actually admit that. Or some people say, I don't want to become a priest because people think I'm trying to get higher status. But they say that about the lay initiation, too. A lot of people resist it because they think, well, then people will think I'm more advanced and I don't want to play that game.


All this stuff's going on. But for me, it started out, I want to be. like my teacher. I wanted to be close to my teacher, so I thought, if I do the things my teacher does, I'll be closer to my teacher. I wanted to be intimate with my teacher, so I thought, I'll do this, I'll live like my, I'll take that form. But, I don't know. Really? Yeah, and this this person who brought the question up earlier is thinking of doing this priest ordination. And I said, part of what I said also is that if you do the leaving home and attaining the way ceremony, you're going to be practicing with a lot of people who are not on that path. And then you get a chance to renounce your ideas about them, and your judgments about them, and your judgments about yourself.


If you think, I'm a bad priest, you can renounce that idea. If you think, I'm a good priest, you can renounce that idea. If you think you're better than lay people, you can renounce that idea. If you think lay people are better than you, you can renounce. So we have a lot of different people we practice with, and we don't want to limit the people we practice with just so that we won't think certain thoughts that would be hard to renounce. Did you follow that? If you select the people you practice with and make it small enough, you might not have to deal with certain judgments. But if you let the field of your friends grow, like, I don't know what, to include both Republicans and Democrats, if you you know, if you let your field of friendship grow to include all candidates from the Republican Party for presidency. And then you have these opinions arise when you see them speaking about various topics like Mexicans and rapists and, you know,


When they appear to you, you have opinions arising. Now you have a chance to renounce your opinions, which you wouldn't have that chance to renounce it unless you open to these people. So some people want to go to a nice little monastery where everybody there is causing them to have positive opinions. So you get there, and then all these positive opinions arise about these lovely bodhisattvas. But what's your job to do with those positive opinions? To give them away. If you hold on to, these are the best people in Marin here in this room, this is not the bodhisattva path. Bodhisattva path is to think, these are the best people in Marin, and to give that away. not abide in the thought, these are the best people.


I'm so fortunate to be with these people. That's an opinion I have. I do have that opinion. But that's not my job. My job is not to have opinions. But I'm a human being, so I have opinions. Maybe you do too. You look like humans. Do you have opinions, some of you? That's not exactly your job. That just sort of like comes with the equipment. Your job as a Bodhisattva is to renounce all your opinions. But a renounce doesn't mean to say they're wrong and then attach to that. Renounce means give them away and realize they're gifts to you. Your job is not to make gifts come to you, your job is to receive them. You receive these gifts of opinions, and you give them away.


That's your job as a bodhisattva, not abiding in any opinions. So some people who want to become priests, I think, would like to go someplace where there's just priests and no families. And that's fine. That's another thing to renounce, that desire. When I was, I think not too long after I got ordained, I said to Suzuki Roshi, maybe I should go to a monastery where there's all men. Because at Zen Center, as you know, we have women practicing here with the men. And I was a man at that time that I was talking to him. And there were women around. And I thought, hmm. I had opinions about the women. And I was having a little bit of difficulty with my opinion about the women. Like, that woman is really, really attractive. That was difficult for me to renounce. And he said, and so I said to him, maybe I should go to a monastery where there's all men.


And he said, That would be too easy for you. So he didn't encourage me to leave Zen Center and go someplace where there are just men priests. He actually asked me to stay in a situation where there were men and women, lay and priests, families and not families. So I'm still here, and he didn't tell me when to leave, so I haven't left. So I don't know why I became a priest. I don't know why other people... I mean, I've heard stories about why other people become priests, but although I don't know why, I am very, very, very grateful that I was able to become a priest, and starting with being a priest with that person called Shunryo Suzuki Roshi,


I don't know, I often say I don't know how I got to have that opportunity. I think that, here's one story. I come home with a pencil. She says, can I have it? I give it to her and I'm happy to give it to her and I feel joy in giving it to her. Do I have to be aware that I'm a joy? Can I have joy without thinking, I'm really joyful?


Huh? I can. But I do need the joy. You do need the joy. You gotta have joy. But you don't just have to think, I am like full of joy. You don't have to think that. But you do need it. You do need to be full of joy. And if you practice giving, without even thinking you're practicing giving, but you're doing it, You're joining reality. You're joining the reality sangha. You're joining the reality club when you're practicing giving. But you don't have to think, I'm giving. But you do have to practice it. Because you are practicing it, and you can be aware. I was asked for the pencil, and I gave the pencil. And if you give it right, you will be joyful. But you're not giving it to become joyful. You just will be. But you might not notice it. But that joy fuels you to do all kinds of other good things, which you might not think, I'm doing good things.


But if you do think you're practicing giving when you give the gift, then that would be something else that you would give away. So someone might say, did you give that pencil to her? I might say, I don't know. Or, yeah. I don't know. I don't know if I gave it to her or she gave me the gift of asking for it. I don't actually know who's who in the giving process. But I might just say yes to make things simple. No, I actually felt like I wasn't ready to give the pencil. I was conscious that I wasn't ready. Because you were attached to it still?


Yeah, I guess I was either attached to it or I wasn't ready to give it. Kind of the same thing. I guess I was sort of thinking I was attached, but I was also aware I'm not ready to give this. The next morning I noticed that I was ready to give it. So in that case I noticed, oh, now I'm ready to give it. So I kind of did notice that I was ready for the renunciation, but renunciation is actually not something I can see. Because I could give the gift, and was the renunciation really there? I don't know. The day before, is it time for renunciation? I said no. I don't know what renunciation is, but I'm not ready to practice it by giving this pencil. Next day, I'm ready to give the pencil. I'm ready to do the thing of giving the pencil. Was renunciation there? I think so. Did I see it? I don't know. Renunciation is our inconceivable life together.


You can't actually see it. But you can say, oh, that was renunciation. We need it, but we really can't see the fullness of it. Your wife had renounced it. Your wife had renounced it in the 15 hours. She might have renounced it, too. I don't know. I don't know who's renouncing what. I just say, we need it. And we practice the ritual of it, like we give a pencil, or we don't. And if we don't, we kind of feel a little bit sorry. And if we do, we may feel good doing the ritual of giving. And then we can look, was there really renunciation there? But although I ask the question, I do not expect to be able to see that I did. Do I wish to be a bodhisattva? Yes. Do I know what a bodhisattva is?


Not completely. Can I see a bodhisattva? Not completely. Do I want to be? Yes. Am I wondering how to be? Yes. How can I become a Bodhisattva when you ask me that question? I'm wondering. And I do not think I'll ever come to the end of that question. I don't think so. And I give that question away by telling you about it. So I don't think I'll ever finally know that I am a bodhisattva. I don't think so. And if I ever did think that thought, then on that path, that thought just evaporates when I think it. Finally I'm a bodhisattva. Yes? So once you said no to someone asking you something, does that then play on... I mean, does that then mean at some point you're going to have to deal with that


Well, at that moment I did feel, I confessed to myself, and I confessed to her too, no. In other words, I confessed that I'm not giving you the pencil. And I also felt a little sorrow, because she's such a nice person and, I mean, giving her a pencil's a minor expression of gratitude for all her kindness. She's given me a lot more than a pencil. So I felt kind of sad not to give her the pencil, but that's a sadness which I accept because I accept that it's sad to be me sometimes. Whenever I'm not generous, that's a chance when I might feel somewhat sad. And if I feel like I'm not being generous, I kind of feel good about feeling sad. That seems appropriate.


So then I feel good, because I'm feeling the appropriate way, and then a minute later or hour later, maybe the hindrance has dropped away. And the thing that got away melts in the furnace of confession and repentance. of saying, oh, that wasn't particularly generous, and I feel sad about that, that will melt the transgression from generosity. Yeah. When anyone asks you for anything, and you're reluctant to do it, you don't want to give something, is that denial of giving it something?


Not necessarily. So, for example, my leader, she often wants, one of the ways she copes with this world is to watch, she calls them shows. And she can watch them on iPads, on TVs, she likes to watch shows, and I don't know how long she would watch shows if allowed, but much longer than most people want her to watch. When she wants more shows than her mother thinks is good, and I'm taking care of her, then she asks for one more show, just one more show. And I've done this sometimes, of one more show. I've done that a few times. And then guess what happens? Just one more. And then guess what happens? Just one more. And then finally I say, OK, no more. And then we have... Sometimes the meltdown is really short, sometimes it's quite long.


I do eventually say, I don't think so. Do I think it's a gift? I don't necessarily think it's a gift. Do I want it to be a gift? Yes. If she wants, and she usually doesn't, she doesn't want more and more cookies. I don't have that problem with her. Can I have another cookie? That's not a problem with her. Her main, Her drug of choice is videos. And I want my setting limits on her screen meditation, I want that to be a gift. Is it a gift? I do not know. Does it sometimes work out really well? Yes, it seems to. But that doesn't mean I know for sure that it was a gift. But I am sure I definitely want to be generous with this person. But sometimes what she asks for is, I don't know what's good for her.


So like, the recent thing is we, so, she gets to watch a certain number and then we stop. And then now we go to the library and we can check out one video. And then usually after we go to the library we go to the playground next to the library. But she said, I don't want to go to the playground today, I want to go home. She said, I can watch the video before my mom gets home. and she won't know that I watched it. So I'm kind of not exactly her mom, you know, I'm more like her assistant. But I'm an assistant who also is loyal to her mother's wishes, so it's interesting. Do I want everything I do in relationship to her to be giving?


Yes. Can I keep on the beam that everything she does with me is a gift to me? I'm pretty much there. Even when she challenges me and says, one more show, I kind of see, oh yeah, that's a gift. How can I deal with one more show? It's an ongoing question. And I feel good when I'm right there with the question. And I don't feel good when I go over to knowing that it was a gift. Or even that it wasn't a gift. It just doesn't seem to be a gift, and when it doesn't seem to be a gift, I'm sorry. And also, I would be sorry if I knew for sure it wasn't a gift. That would be going too far. Just that I don't think so is enough. Yes, children are asking us to offer them limits.


From the Buddha's point of view, all non-Buddhas are asking Buddhas to set limits, and Buddhas do offer limits to help people become Buddha. Yes? Yes? Yeah, so you're not, she said whenever she offers an opinion, is that what you said? She said she's never confident that it was what? That your opinion was correct? Yeah, I think that would be good to continue to never be confident that your opinion is correct. Never be confident, which sounds fine to me.


Correct is going a bit far. Correct is like correct is correct, right? And that correct is like, it's not incorrect. You're closing the door on the possibility that your opinion is incorrect. Man, don't go there ever. Forget about that for the rest of your life. And I have confidence, and what am I confident in? I'm confident in you renouncing your opinions and renouncing the opinion that your opinions are correct. I'm confident in that. What else am I confident about? I'm confident in you giving me the gift of your opinions. I'm confident that if you have an opinion, it would be good for you, and me to use that opinion as an opportunity for practicing generosity together.


I'm confident in that. I can get distracted from that, but I want to renounce distraction from what? From giving. What's giving? I'm a human, I have opinions. All my opinions have been given to me, and I give them all. And if you have a friend named Reb, he's saying to you, basically he welcomes you to give him gifts of your opinions, plus also give him gifts of your opinions about the relative correctness of your opinions. Part of your job is to sometimes give people your opinions. They are asking you for them, implicitly or explicitly. You just gave me an opinion which was, I think that I'm not confident that giving my opinions is correct, or I'm confident that giving my opinions is correct, but I'm not confident that the opinion is correct.


I would even extend I would extend the uncertainty to, I'm confident that I need to give my opinions. I'm confident that I need to give my opinions, but I'm not confident that this particular example of me giving my opinions is correct. That the giving even is, maybe not the right time. But I basically, I do want to and I have confidence that I'm responsible to my life to give my opinions in a way that is beneficial. First of all, that is true. It's true that this is my opinion. Not that my opinion's true, because I'm saying it's opinion, I'm not saying it's a fact. To give my opinions, and the truth of opinions is that they're opinions.


and also to give them in a way that's beneficial, and also to do it at the right time. So whenever I give an opinion, I know that the time of delivery is always in question. So I think, okay, I think now's a good time, but I'm not completely sure now's the right time. I gave you a bunch of opinions just now, I do think, and I want to give you my opinions when it really is my opinion, and when it's going to help you, and when it's the right time. I want that. But I don't know if my opinions are correct or not. I don't know. But I do know that this is my opinion. This is the one I've got. And I don't know if they're beneficial to you, but I'm going to try to find out.


I'm going to offer it, and maybe tentatively offer it. And part of offering it in a way that'd be beneficial is ask if you want to hear an opinion. And if you say no, that might make me do some more research. And then the timing. So I really support you and have confidence in supporting you and offering this universe your opinions. And when you offer them, think about, is this really my opinion? Is this what I really think? OK, yes. Would it be helpful? No. Well, then don't offer it. Is it going to be helpful? I don't know, but I think so. OK, offer it. And then also check, is it the right time? and you say, the person is not paying attention, I don't think it's the right time. The person is in too much pain right now, I don't think it's the right time. But opinions, my opinions are not... I can't say for sure that they're correct.


So if you can't, I would encourage you be like me and not be sure that your opinions are correct. And not being sure that your opinions are correct, I think will help you and not be sure that my opinions are correct, I think will help me renounce my opinions. And when I'm in the process of renouncing my opinions, I practice giving my opinions. And in the process of renouncing my opinions, I practice receiving my opinions. So I must renounce my opinions in order to enter the Buddha way. It's not that I don't have any, it's that I must renounce them. Renounce them so that they are not distracting me from the way.


Renounce them so they don't distract me from the giving process. How are you feeling now? It's a lot, yeah. Giving is a lot. Giving is the totality of our life. It's inconceivable. Whenever opinion arises, try to be with it in such a way to open up to its inconceivable suchness. That's the samadhi. That's the awareness of the precious mirror. All of our opinions are precious mirrors. They're not us. In truth, they are us. Tyler?


Could you speak up? Could you speak up? Maybe I'll say what you say, because people upstairs can't. I'm curious about the process of renouncing opinions, of how that works, how we should approach it when we discover ourselves with our opinions, how we should address them and go about renouncing them. I just want to let Kathy go to the toilet or whatever. Anybody else needs to go to the toilet, please do. You're curious about the process of... Renouncing our opinions. How we go about renouncing them. Well, just now, talking to Kim, I gave her some opinions. Did you see me? Now I can look at myself and say, Are you attached to any of those opinions? And I might sometimes feel like I do feel a little attached to them.


Or I might feel like, I'm not sure if I... I don't feel attached to them. But also, not feeling attached doesn't mean that I'm not. That would be going too far. That would be attaching to that I wasn't attached. But sometimes I can feel like, yeah, I really was, I kind of like, I could sense my body was kind of tensing around what I said to her. As I was expressing the opinions, I felt some tension. I felt some lack of openness to the generosity of the process. And so then I say, I confess that. I wasn't really, I didn't feel like I was practicing generosity dash renunciation. And I'm sorry. And then a moment later, I try it again. And so that time I felt more open, less attached. And I'm also not knowing if I really did practice renunciation. And before, I'm not saying I really know that I did practice renunciation. I'm not saying I really do know that I didn't.


So I don't abide in I didn't, I don't abide in I did. I mean, I aspire to not abiding and I didn't, not abiding and I did. So it looks like a process of, this is what I seem to be feeling now, I seem to be feeling generous, I seem to be feeling grateful, I seem to be feeling open and relaxed, and I aspire to be that way. But I'm not really sure what that way is. And I keep wondering, how can I be really open and generous. How can I be a bodhisattva? I'm wondering about that. And I do not expect to get an answer, a final answer to that. I understand that the process is open-ended. And I have an aspiration, and I have a current presentation of how I'm doing with it. But my aspiration is not the way I'm currently dealing with it.


My aspiration is, you know, the complete way of being. Yes? Is there ever a time when we might do something that might look like renouncing aspirations or something? Is there a case where renouncing aspiration? Are you talking about not following the aspiration or renouncing the aspiration? Well, I aspire to be a bodhisattva. I aspire to be generous. And it would be appropriate for me also to not be attached to that. Yeah, so I might feel like I aspire to be a bodhisattva, but I want to do that in an open way because I'm aspiring to something which I don't really know what it is.


So it wouldn't be appropriate for me to hold on to what I think it is and say, well, you know, if I'm attached to anything, it must be because I'm attached to an idea of it. But someone might say to me, Again, I might say to somebody, I aspire to be a bodhisattva, and they might say to me, no you don't, and I feel like, you're right. Or I might say, no I don't, but I still think I do, but I can say no I don't, and I feel really fine about that. If you aspire to be uptight and then people tell you not to be uptight, you can say, yeah, I'm going to go ahead and be uptight.


Or if they tell you, keep being uptight, you say, well, I'm not going to be uptight if you're telling me to do it. But if you aspire to be an open bodhisattva, You don't completely know what that is. So if people tell you to give it up, fine, give it up. And when you give it up, it fills your body and mind. Let go of it, it fills your hand. Yes? You have some good things that you think ultimately they would need to be renounced, but for the time being they seem useful? Yeah.


For the time being they seem useful, but being useful doesn't mean that it's not time to renounce them. You could renounce them now. You're admitting that ultimately these would be renounced. Okay? And in the meantime, before I renounce them, they're useful. Okay? But you don't have to wait. You can renounce them right now. Ultimately it could be now. I feel like I need the help. You need what? I feel like I need the help. You can have the help while you're renouncing it. Okay. So you've got it that this is useful now and I know ultimately I need to renounce it. Yes, we're good there. And I'm saying you could also renounce now. You could make ultimate now. It doesn't mean you don't have the thing that's useful. For example, a body and mind. They're useful. And ultimately you're going to renounce them. But you can renounce them now. You don't have to wait. So you can let go of your cake and eat it too? You can let go of your cake and eat it too.


Or you can also say, you can eat your cake and let go of it too. But in the Bodhisattva path, you can't have your cake and eat it too. But you can have your cake and confess that you have your cake. Having your cake is not the bodhisattva path. Bodhisattva path is giving your cake away. So, bodhisattva path, if you have your cake, you cannot eat it. You cannot. You cannot. When you have your cake, you close your mouth. You got your cake, but you can't eat it, because you got it. Okay?


Thank you. But if you give away your cake, you instantly eat it. When you give away the bodhisattva vow, when you give away the bodhisattva life, that's what it's like to eat it. You got it now? No. Here it is. I don't have it. It's useful. It is useful! The bodhisattva vow is useful. And I'm using it, but I don't have it. Ah, it's delicious. It's so useful, because I don't have it. And if I have it, it's of no use. It's the greatest thing, but if you have it, you close yourself to it. The bodhisattva path is there to have and not eat, and it's there to not have and eat.


You get to eat it if you're not attached to it. loving it without attachment to it is eating it. Is it the what of renunciation? The actual renunciation is invisible. The visible renunciation is good too. So we have the ceremonies where we cut some of the hair and all the hair. That's a visible renunciation. Yeah, and when you're intimate with the visible renunciation, you realize the invisible renunciation. When you're intimate with the apparent or the visible generosity,


Intimacy with that. The intimacy is invisible. And the renunciation is realized in that intimacy. And the renunciation and the intimacy are both inconceivably wonderful and inconceivable. Invisible, unhearable, unseeable. But we need to be intimate with the visible, the seeable, the hearable. acts of renunciation and generosity. And the intimacy, we never know if we actually have got the intimacy. Hey, was I intimate with you today? You know, some people say yes, some people say no, but I don't know. And if you say yes, how did you know that? It's just interesting the last statement that you said about what's not hearable into the realm of hearing it.


I kind of lost the tune, the hearable and non-hearable. I have an opinion. The opinion is, do you want to hear it? The opinion is, convert those losses into gifts. You said something already, that was good, I don't know what to say, it was fine. Convert all loss into gifts, as a suggestion. And I have an opinion that that would be good. I'm not saying for sure you're gonna lose anything. I'm not saying that for sure. But I would say this, that if we don't practice giving, there's gonna be a lot of loss. If you don't give this day away, it's gonna seem like a loss.


If you don't give your present age away, it's going to seem like you lost it. But if you give your youth away, you give your health away, you're not going to lose your health. This is the miracle of renunciation. Renounce everything and you don't lose anything. Give everything and you don't lose anything. all the things that you thought you lost, retrospectively convert them to gifts. Well, that was a long talk. I hope it was in accord with the precious mirror awareness. our intention equally extend to every being and place with the true merit of Buddha's way.


Beings are numberless. I vow to save them. Delusions are inexhaustible. I vow to end them. Dharma gates are boundless. I vow to enter them. Buddha's way is unsurpassable.