Speakable and Unspeakable Names of Our Zen Family Ancestors

Audio loading...

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

AI Suggested Keywords:


Perfect Wisdom, good friendship, This good friendship is the whole of the holy life, Shitou, Matzu, Yaoshan, Da-Wu, Lung-tan, Deshan, Guishan, Xiangyan SFZC lineage, Mind of No Abode


AI Summary: 



Kip, is this your first time here? Welcome. And what is your name again? Carrie. Welcome, Carrie. And Justin, first time here? And Judy, first time here? Welcome to Judy and Justin and Carrie and Kip. Anybody else? Oh, and Rosie, first time. Welcome, Rosie. The name of this place is Nobod, which comes from an encouragement from the Buddhas to Bodhisattvas, to beings who wish to attain supreme perfect enlightenment for the welfare of all beings. The Buddha recommends if you wish to attain enlightenment, then you should


practice the perfection of wisdom. Because the perfection of wisdom is the mother of all Buddhas. And then also, in order to practice the perfection of wisdom, the Buddha recommends that the enlightening being give life to a mind that doesn't abide anywhere or in anything, the mind of no abode. So that's where the name of this temple comes from, referring to this mind which doesn't abide in anything. It doesn't abide in ideas, it doesn't abide in colors, smells, tastes, tangibles, sounds, it doesn't abide in anything. So when seeing a face, when seeing a color, you wholeheartedly see it, you wholeheartedly meet it without


clinging to it, without abiding in it. This is the kind of mind which realizes perfect wisdom. And then, in relationship to this practice of perfect wisdom, lately I've been bringing up the teaching that the path of perfect wisdom is the path of good friendship, that by relying on good friendship we can actually practice perfect wisdom. The historical Buddha is supposedly somebody


who lived in the world, in India, about 2500 years ago, and supposedly his attendant, who was his cousin, came to him one day, and his attendant's name was Ananda, and Ananda came to the Buddha, and met the Buddha, and walked around the Buddha, and paid his respects to the Buddha, and then sat to one side of the Buddha with the Buddha. So they're sitting together, and Ananda says, this is half the holy life, or I could add, maybe, this is half of the practice of perfect wisdom. And the Buddha said, don't say that, Ananda, don't say that, Ananda. Then Ananda goes on to explain what he means by this. He says,


this friendship, this good friendship, this admirable friendship, this admirable camaraderie, this admirable companionship, this is half the practice. And the Buddha said, don't say that, Ananda. This good friendship is the whole of the holy life. And I would again rephrase it, this good friendship is the whole of the perfection of wisdom. And the Buddha said, by means of this good friendship, one can be expected to practice the Eightfold Noble Path, Right View, and so on. The whole path of freedom can be practiced by means


of this good friendship. And so I've been talking about examples, stories about good friendship for a few months. So last time, I talked about the friendship of two ancestors in the family lineage, which leads to, for example, the San Francisco Zen Center, and this temple, and so on. So there's almost all the lineages, almost all the families in the huge, many, many families of the Zen school. In one sense, they're all one family, they're one family which is devoted to taking care of the perfection of wisdom, which is


the mother of Buddhas. But also, you could say they're sub-families. So in this family, sometimes when things arise in my mind, I tell you, even though I wasn't expecting to tell you before they arose. For example, I was recently watching whales in a lagoon in Baja, California. I went out in a boat with some other people, and whales would appear around us, sometimes pretty far away, but you could still see them. But sometimes they would appear quite close, and then sometimes they would come right over to the boat and


sort of put their head right next to the boat and turn his face to the side, because whales have their eyes on the side of their heads. So the first time I went, the first day I went out, one turned his head to the side and just laid there and looked up at me, and I reached down and petted his soft skin between his barnacles. And I went out six times with my group, and every time we went out, the whales came to the boat. We weren't chasing the whales, we would just go out there, and if we saw some whales at a distance, we'd go over near them and then we'd slow down. And some of the times we were out there, and I thought, well, maybe they won't come today. But every time they came, they don't always


come, but every time they came. And also sometimes the mothers would come, and on the other side of them was their baby. And then sometimes the mothers would come with the baby between them and the boat. But usually they'd come maybe with the baby on the other side to check out the scene. But it seemed like the mothers wanted to be with the humans, and the babies go with the mothers. And then sometimes the mothers seemed to want to make it so the baby can be closer to the humans than she is. So we actually got babies right near, too. And one of the males that was right near the boat played with the boat for a little while, pushing it around. So I thought of that just now because I was talking about families, and one of the things that one of the naturalists said is that when you have subspecies that


can mate, they're in the same species, and they're subspecies, and they can mate, and if they're in the same species, if they're subspecies, when they mate, they have offspring which can reproduce. But if they have offspring that can't reproduce, they're different species. And the typical example is horses and donkeys can mate and have offspring, wonderful offspring, but the offspring cannot reproduce. Mules cannot reproduce. They're wonderful creatures, amazing creatures, but they're not really a species though, because they can't reproduce. But donkeys and donkeys can make donkeys that can reproduce, and horses and horses can make


horses that reproduce. So horses and donkeys are different species. So I was just thinking, if the families of Buddhism can mate and produce fertile offspring, then they're in the same species. And if they mate, but don't produce fertile offspring, they're not the same species, you could say. So I say this because a lot of different species come from the same source, right? I'm just guessing that horses and donkeys come from the same source. So you can have a species that produces a variety of subspecies that are still in the same species,


and then from that you can also get different species, right? So the story from last month was coming from one teacher, the sixth ancestor of Zen in China, Hui Neng, coming from that teacher, you have many disciples, and two of the main disciples, their names were one's name was Qingyuan Xingzi, and the other one's name was Nanyuan Huairang, and Qingyuan Xingzi, two main disciples of the great sixth ancestor. And he had many disciples, but those two disciples also had many disciples.


And on one side, Nanyuan, no, Nanyue Huairang, one of his disciples was named Matsu. He was also called Horse Master, he was a horse, and his name was not Ed, it was Matsu, which means Horse Master. And on the other side, Xingzi, he had many disciples, but his main disciple name was Shirtou. I say main because these two had the most offspring, and their offspring come down to the present day in this world. Some of the other disciples were great disciples, and they had offspring, but their offspring didn't make it 1,500 years.


Those two have offspring that make it to 1,500 years. So, one of our ancestors in this particular family is named Yaoshan, which means Medicine Mountain. So, last time I told the story of Yaoshan, wonderful person, devoted to the Buddha Dharma, studying it, practicing the ethical precepts of Bodhisattvas, but feeling that somehow he was just not understanding what the Dharma was, still being not at peace in his life. But with the faith that if one correctly understood the teaching, one would realize perfect wisdom, and this perfect wisdom would be birthed to Buddha.


He longed to realize Buddha's enlightenment in his life. He was devoted to it, but somehow he just felt like he needed help. He needed some friends, and this wonderful person manages somehow to meet Shirto. He manages to meet one of the great students of one of the great students of the source of the Zen school. He meets Shirto. Shirto's full name is Shirto… I forgot, just a second. Shirto, by the way, is kind of like a lot of Zen teachers have their… part of their name refers to where they live. So, maybe someday people will call me No-Abode.


So, my Dharma name is Tenshin Zenki, so they might call me No-Abode Tenshin, or No-Abode Zenki. Zenki means the whole works, so they might call me No-Abode the whole works. So, Shirto means on top of the rock. His temple was a rock, apparently a flat rock, not a pointed rock. So, his name is on top of the rock or rock head, stone head, but I think it means he sat on the head of the stone. And his Dharma name was Shichan, Shichan. Okay, so last week I told a story about Yaoshan looking for a teacher, looking for a friend,


and he manages to meet one of the greatest Bodhisattvas in the Zen tradition, Shirto. And he goes to Shirto and meets Shirto, and if I tell you what happened, that will take up the whole talk again. So, please excuse me for not going into detail, but he met Shirto and he didn't… he still didn't awaken to perfect wisdom. And Shirto sent him to Matsu, the other greatest teacher of the time. So, here is this person who gets to meet the two greatest teachers. And so, these two apparently were in the same species, because they mated and their offspring was Yaoshan.


Yaoshan went to Shirto, Shirto sent him to Matsu, and together they produced this new enlightened being, Yaoshan. And Yaoshan was able to reproduce. So, Matsu and Shirto are the same species. They are actually subspecies of the Buddha, but they are in the same species as the Buddha because they can reproduce. And one of their mutual offspring is Yaoshan. And Yaoshan produces the lineage coming down to us here. And Shirto had another disciple, another great disciple, whose name we now call him Tianhuang Dawu.


His Dharma name is Dawu, and the name Tianhuang is because he became the abbot of Tianhuang Monastery. But before he was the abbot of that monastery, we call him Dawu. So, here is the story of Dawu, and now I'm going to talk about his friendship. So previously I talked about the friendship that Yaoshan had with these two masters. And that friendship with them gave rise to the maturing of perfect wisdom in his life. And then this person is directly our lineage. So I'm trying to emphasize here that this particular lineage is a lineage which brings together two sub-lineages from the sixth ancestor.


This won't be possible all the way down, but at the beginning the lineage is sort of reinforced. The lineage splits and then it rejoins on one side. And then another place where it splits is between Shirto and Yaoshan. So Shirto has a disciple called Yaoshan, but in some sense he co-parented this person with Matsu. But we say that Yaoshan is the successor of Shirto rather than Matsu. And when he goes to Matsu, I'm telling you about these family styles, okay? When Shirto goes to Matsu, he becomes enlightened with Matsu. And Matsu says, yes, you're enlightened with me, but Shirto is your teacher.


In other words, you will be in his direct line even though you woke up with me. And he stayed with Matsu for two years and then went back to Shirto. Shirto had another disciple which I have told you about. And his name is Dawu. So Dawu, which means the way or enlightenment, and Wu means to awaken to the way, to awaken to enlightenment, Dawu. He wanted to become a Buddhist monk when he was 14 and his parents didn't like the idea. A lot of parents don't want their sons and daughters to go away and not have any kids and stuff. They want them to have biological kids only, not just spiritual offspring.


So he wanted to go and become a monk. His parents wouldn't agree. And in the Buddhist tradition, usually it's recommended to get the support of your family if you're going to go become a monk. In the early days in India, when the Buddha became known, a lot of people went away from their family responsibilities to study with him. And then when they did, their families came to the Buddha and said, you shouldn't let our children leave us and go study with you without our permission. So the Buddha said, okay, from now on, I'll tell them to get your permission. So then when people would come, I think if they were young, he would ask them if they had the support of their family. And so there was a tradition to get your family's support if you're going to go and practice in the Buddhist monastic community.


So this boy wanted to be a Buddhist monk, his parents didn't like it, so he went on a hunger strike. And got pretty skinny. And finally they said, okay. So he went to a monastery and lived there for quite a while. And when he got older, like about nine years later, he became ordained fully as a monk. And then he studied with his first spiritual friend. And his first beneficial friend was named Ming Zhou. And then his next spiritual teacher was National Teacher Fa Qin. And then his next spiritual teacher was Ma Tzu.


So he had three spiritual friends before he met Shi Tou. And one of them was Ma Tzu. And with the National Teacher, he received the teaching of the National Teacher. And the National Teacher said he had a good understanding of his teaching. Who is this again? Da Wu. Tian Huang Da Wu. So he gets to meet the National Teacher after having some other teachers. The National Teacher teaches him and approves of his understanding. Then he goes to Master Ma. And he lives with Master Ma for two summers, which means two years. And Master Ma also confirms his understanding. And then he goes to meet Shi Tou. And upon meeting Shi Tou, this new friendship, now we have some dialogues about their friendship.


So I'd like to tell you this conversation they had when they first met. Would you like to hear it? So this is now a more intimate description of the friendship between Da Wu and Shi Tou. And he says to Shi Tou, By what method do you reveal liberating wisdom to people? By what method do you reveal the perfection of wisdom to people? So here they go. Here's the method. Shi Tou says, I have no slaves here. From what do you seek liberation? What method do you have to reveal liberating wisdom?


I have no slaves here. From what do you seek liberation? And Da Wu says, Well then, how can it be understood? Does it follow that? No? What method do you have to reveal liberating wisdom? I have no slaves here. From what do you seek liberation? Okay, I got it. Got it? I'm wondering about how do you teach liberating wisdom?


You say, nobody here is not liberated. Everybody here is liberated. From what are you going to get liberated? Okay? Got it? This is the teaching. He wants to know how do you teach liberating wisdom? Well, the way I teach it is by saying that nobody here is unliberated. That's my first response to how I teach. Okay? And then what does Da Wu say? Well, how can people understand that? How can people understand what you just said? That there's nobody here who is not liberated. I mean, I understand, but how can one understand that? In other words, what method do you have to reveal liberating wisdom? So he asks him what the method is, and he says, well, basically, here I am.


I'm here. Hello. I'm with you. I'm here with you, your person who is not unliberated. He didn't say you're liberated, he says there's nobody unliberated here. Because this guy isn't liberated yet, in a way. And he kind of gets that, but then he says, but how am I going to understand that? In other words, the same question again from the beginning. And then he says, are you still trying to grasp emptiness? Are you still trying to grasp the void? Can you see that? Here's the void, right? There's nobody here who isn't free. How can you get liberation? How can you get liberation? Okay, how can I understand that?


Are you trying to grasp the void? Are you trying to grasp perfect wisdom? And Dao says, from today I won't do it again. Now remember, this guy has been practicing for a while now, right? Got ordained when he was 14, got fully ordained when he was 21, studied with Ming Zhao, studied with the national teachers, studied with Matsu. Now he's probably in his early 30s, after been studying for about 15-20 years. So, if you ask him, he knows he's not supposed to be grasping emptiness. He knows he's not supposed to grasp perfect wisdom. He knows that his teacher kind of caught him at it. He says, okay, I won't do it anymore.


Things are moving along here, this friendship is developing. I don't know how long the space was between the sentences. It could be eons. Or it could be just like today, perhaps. From today I won't do so again. No more grasping at emptiness from me. No more trying to figure out and get a hold of how you teach people liberating wisdom. No more. And then Shirto says, I'd like to know when you come forth from that place. Do you understand? I'd like to know, I'd be interested to know when you come forth from the place of never doing so again.


Never doing, never trying to get liberation. Of course, we wish all beings to be liberated, and we understand that we need this mind which doesn't abide in that wish. The wish that all beings be liberated flourishes when we don't abide in it. But you have to take care of it, and not abide in it. So here he is, and Shirto would like to know when he comes forth from that place of not grasping. I'd like to know when you come forth from that place. And Davo says, I haven't come from that place. That's pretty good. The teacher says, I want to know when you come forth from that place. I'm not going to abide in that place. I'm not going to come from that place. I'd like to know when you come forth. I'm not even going to come from that place.


Pretty good. And then Shirto says, I already know where you come from. And then Davo says, Master, how can you slander people that way? Or another translation is, How can you falsely accuse me of that with no evidence? And then Shirto says, Your body is revealed now. Right here. And Davo says, Okay. Although it is thus,


How? Okay. Your body is revealed right here now. Okay, okay. I got it. But still, if this is the revelation of my true body, how can I show people this? How can I teach people in future generations about this? How can I reproduce? And Shirto says, Please tell me, Who are those coming later? Who are they? Or who is the one coming later? Okay.


And you know what happens next. What happens next is, Davo has a great awakening. He has a great awakening, and this great awakening dissolves the mind that he had attained with the previous teachers. That's one translation. Another translation is, he had a great awakening and it dispelled his doubts about what he had attained with the previous teachers. So he did attain something with the previous teachers, and I guess they felt, it seems like they felt what he had attained was authentic, and they let it go. They accepted that he was still maybe kind of abiding there a little bit.


They confirmed his understanding, they confirmed the mind he realized with them, and then he left. And now Shirto dissolves the mind that has attained anything, that abides in anything. And another translation is, he had a great awakening, and he finally understood what the other teachers had taught him. The other teachers had taught him and confirmed his understanding, and yet he didn't really understand it, and now he completely understood it, and the way he understood it was that the mind that he had understood it with dissolved. So this is a story of the friendship that led to that disciple's realization


of perfect wisdom. And that disciple, his name is Dawu, that disciple has a disciple who I've told you about before, and they had a really good friendship, which I've told you about before. Dawu's disciple is named Dragon Pond, Lungthan. And I've told you about their friendship, they had a very nice friendship. Do you remember me telling you about them? You don't? So, I'll begin to tell you the story about Lungthan again. Some of you probably remember the story of Dragon Pond meeting his student, Dragon Pond also reproduced,


and his student was named Dushan, or Virtue Mountain. Do you remember the story of Dushan meeting Lungthan? Some of you do, some of you don't. You don't? So, I'm, you could say, I'm attempting to teach, but also I'm just basically telling you stories of our family, right? So, one of the stories is of this fellow named Dushan, who was an expert on the teachings of Perfect Wisdom. And in particular, he was an expert on the scripture called the Diamond Scripture of Perfect Wisdom. And his friends called him, because he was an expert on the Diamond Sutra of Perfect Wisdom, they called him Diamond Joe. His family name was Joe, so they called him Diamond Joe, or Diamond Sutra Joe.


And he was pretty, he was devoted to the teachings of Perfect Wisdom, he wanted to understand Perfect Wisdom, and maybe he thought he did understand Perfect Wisdom. Just like the story I just told you. Da Wu kind of thought he understood Perfect Wisdom, and two great Zen masters confirmed his understanding. Now you could say that confirmation was just a setup for him to meet his next friend. Not a lie, but they thought, okay, you understand well enough, I'm not going to ask you to dissolve the mind which you just understood that with. But we must, we must dissolve the consciousness which correctly understands the teaching in order to perfectly harmonize. But first of all, we have to understand them. And he did. He did understand them. Da Wu did. And then he has a disciple named Lung Tan,


and Lung Tan had a disciple named De Shan, who was also very interested in Perfect Wisdom. And De Shan is the one who's traveling to go south to destroy the Zen school because he thinks the Zen school is undermining the teachings of Perfect Wisdom. So he's on his way to refute and dethrone the Zen teachers from their teaching seats. And on the way, he stops at a refreshment stand and meets a lady. Who sells these cakes. I've told you that story. Do you remember that story? John, you've heard that story, haven't you? Well, actually, they're called... The name of the cakes the lady's selling in Cantonese are pronounced dim sum. But dim sum means dot, put a dot on the heart.


Dim, or in Mandarin it's Tian Xin. Tian means make a dot, and Xin is heart or mind. So the cakes hit your heart or hit the spot. They refresh you by dotting your mind, dotting your heart. So it means refresh. They're refreshments. So this lady is selling the cakes. This lady is not an official person in our lineage, but you can see she's part of the family dynamic that makes enlightened people. You've heard that story before, some of you? I'll tell it again until you... until you can tell it again. But I won't do it right now. I'm going to go back, climb back up out of Dishan, back to Lungtan, back to Dawu. So then there's a story about how Dawu


helped Lungtan. And then we have the very famous story about how Lungtan helped Dishan. And then Dishan helped a monk named... what was it... named Shui Feng. Dishan helped the great Shui Feng or Sepo. And Sepo had a friendship with Tizong, which means... Sepo means snow summit, snowy summit. And Tizong is Jizo. Like in Jizo Bosatsu, it means earth womb. And Tizong led to Fa Yen, which is one of the schools of Zen. And then the other person


that Dishan helped, not the other person, but then Shui Feng also led to Yunmen, the other schools. So from these from these teachers, from Dishan comes the Soto school. From Tianhuang comes the Fa Yen school and the Yunmen school. So three of the five schools of Zen come from Shoto through Dishan and Dawu. So I have this vision of some people sitting in front of me who are really my mind and they look like they've heard a lot of stories


and are having trouble, are struggling to keep track of them all. Okay. So there's a lot of... Another thing about about whales that I could tell you a little bit more about is that they have these barnacles and how do the barnacles get on the whales? Well, barnacle... I think that barnacle larvae have a kind of cement on their head and that cement when it touches whales and


piers and what else can they go on to? Boats. Rocks. Boats. Buoys. I've cut myself on barnacles that are on buoys. Anyway, they're floating around in the water. After they hatch, they're floating around in the water with this goo on their head and when it touches something it can stick. So then they can have a stationary place and then once they get that place they start to secrete and work with the calcium in the water and they make a shell around their soft body with a hole in the top and out of the hole are little arms and feet that can grab food. And again, the reason I'm bringing it up is because it relates to what I've been talking about


because these beings are hermaphrodite. They're hermaphrodite. And I don't know if some hermaphrodites can fertilize themselves. I don't know if they can. But barnacles cannot fertilize themselves. They cannot be fertilized by themselves. But they can fertilize other barnacles. And other barnacles can be fertilized. But they can also be fertilized by other barnacles. So they can receive fertilization, they can be fertilized and they can fertilize. So barnacles also that way are similar to bodhisattvas, to Zen students. Zen students, the idea is that they will that they can be fertilized and that they can fertilize. Yes, Tracy?


Did you want to say anything? You made a face. Huh? Yes, go ahead. What? I was talking about Zen students. You made the face when I was talking about Zen students. The face was about something else. Oh, something else. Simultaneously. Okay. Okay, just something not related to what I was saying? Not at that moment. Something you said a little earlier. Something I said? What was it? First of all, I got caught not paying attention just now. I got caught paying attention. Second of all, I was trying to see how... not to say I was stuck to that or anything. Oh, why?


Well, the reason I'm telling you the names is so that you understand friendship. I'm trying to help you understand friendship. Yes. When I... At the beginning of this event here, we have people say their names. Did you notice? Yes. Do you want to ask me why we say the names? No. You don't? Is the reason you want to ask because you understand? Because I think I understand. What's your understanding? That it creates relationship and connection. And so you have a sense of being... Right. That's why we do it. But I already forgot all those Chinese names. So it's like... It's annoying. Okay, do you know the names of everybody in this room? I don't know them. Do you know all their names? No. Yeah. You don't know all of them. That's because you haven't heard them enough. I know everybody's name here because I've done this over and over. It doesn't mean just because I know somebody's name


I have a close relationship with them. It doesn't, right? But by saying their name over and over, day after day, year after year, it's one of the things that might help develop a relationship. It seems like the story is what can at least penetrate my little barnacle mind. But not the names. The names, they just fly away. There's just so... I'm not familiar with Chinese names. And so every time you say one, I get annoyed because I know I'm not going to remember. And so your name is Tracy. And you have the same name of a person I've known in the past, who I've met in the past. And I can remember your name. But not everybody knows your name because they haven't met you as many times as I have. Your last name, I guess your last name is Apple because that person who I used to know was also called Tracy Apple. And if you speak English,


Tracy Apple might be easier for you to remember than Tian Huang Da Wu. Right? Reasonable. So not only am I teaching you the names of the family of perfect wisdom, but some of them have foreign names, like Shakyamuni Buddha and Shogaku Shunryu Suzuki. These are foreign names. Even people who knew Suzuki Roshi had trouble remembering his name and pronouncing it. And sometimes when you're learning something and you are having trouble learning it, but you want to learn it, you feel frustrated and uncomfortable. And also when you're learning something and you're not even sure you want to learn it, you feel frustrated and uncomfortable. So I think you're articulating that. So I said your name because you are a person who performs a friendship thing for the Sangha,


of articulating not liking things, sometimes, like you just did. So you're speaking on behalf of all the people who didn't like me saying all these names. The reason I'm saying these names is so that you will have an intimate relationship with these names. And having an intimate relationship with these names will foster understanding the stories. I say that to you. You don't actually need the name, you don't need the name, but you do need to completely overcome your resistance to learning these names. I mean these stories, these stories, to understand them is very deep matter.


And if you have any resistance to anything, that resistance will hinder your understanding of perfect wisdom. I'm not trying to do things that you will resist, but I seem to succeed. But because you respect, because you have respect, you don't just run away from everything you resist that I offer you. If everything I offered you, you didn't resist, that might be fine. If everything else that was offered to you, you didn't resist. But fortunately, unfortunately, I offer you things to resist, so you can say, I'm resisting. And then I can show you,


maybe I have a chance anyway to show you, that the door to wisdom is not so much to learn the names, but to overcome any resistance you have to them and learning them. Because if you say, I'd like to learn the names, I'd like to learn the story, but not the names, it's like, OK, I'll take this part of the teaching, but not that part. Well, I'm glad you want this part, but if you want this part, if you really want to understand it, you have to not resist the other parts, to turn to the other parts and say, I have a problem with this, which you did, so you're saying, I have a problem with this, and I'm resisting. It's facing the resistance that's conducive to understanding these stories. So, we say the names at the beginning of these meetings to offer an opportunity for other people to recognize us, and for us to recognize other people, and this mutual recognition,


and we have a chance then to watch to see, do we have any resistance to anybody in this group? And if we do, we know what to do with that, namely, practice compassion with it. This story is about a person, whose name is Tianhuang Dawu, who actually went to great teachers, and opened to their teachings, but he didn't completely open to their teachings, apparently. They were just as good teachers as Chirto, but at his level of development with them, he could open to part of them, but he wasn't yet able to open to dissolving the mind that he used to understand their teaching. Now, he wasn't ready for that, and they didn't resist him not being ready. They recognized how great he was at his present level,


but he had not yet understood their teachings, and they confirmed his teachings. They've confirmed his understanding, even though his understanding was immature. He hadn't had enough friendship. Yet. He wasn't ready for any more friendship at that level, so then he went and had some friendship with Chirto, and Chirto now was able to finish off the maturing process. So, it may be that these Chinese names, it isn't necessarily that you have to memorize them, but if I bring them up, and you feel resistance to them, that resistance, and it isn't just that you have resistance to names, I think you have resistance to hearing names


that are hard to remember, and that you don't understand, and so on. Yes. So, I have a question about the friendship here, to this sort of stage of development, from Dalai Lama got to a state of conscious attainment, and then transitioned to unconscious attainment. He didn't, I would say, he didn't transition to unconscious attainment, he transitioned to not abiding in conscious attainment. So, he maintained conscious attainment, but no longer abiding in that consciousness. Exactly. Like, he still knows the address of Matsu's house, he still remembers Matsu's name, he remembers what Matsu told him, he remembers what it was like to be with him, and he knows his understanding. And that understanding, which was pretty... This is...


Somebody has a lot of understandings, now he comes to meet Sherto, and he asks Sherto, how do you... Like, I learned from these other guys how they taught liberating wisdom, how do you do it? Now he's ready to sort of present it in a way that he won't be able to get a hold of. And he's mature enough now, so he can get this teaching. He wasn't mature enough before. And there's very similar understanding now, but now he's working up to dissolving the mind that understands, not abiding in it. But it isn't that... He still remembers, he can still tell you what the teachings were, and the names of the places he got it, but now he doesn't abide in the names or the places of the teachings. That's what he attained finally with this teacher. So, was it necessary to attain that with the teacher, or I'm thinking of other stories where somebody who has that level of conscious attainment


hears the ping of a pebble on a bamboo. Right. So then a non-Sentient... Friendship with a non-Sentient being also could. Okay. So he's referring to another one of the family stories where a monk hears a pebble hit bamboo and understands. But what he understood was what someone taught him. So the person taught him this teaching, and the teaching that he was taught was... He was actually taught the teaching of... The teacher said, Dissolve the mind by which you understand the Buddha's teaching. He didn't say it that way, but that's basically what he's saying. What he said was, Say something to me, I want to hear something from you before you were born. This is the teacher's teaching. I want to hear something... I want you to say something to me from before you were born. This is the friendship between two humans.


It doesn't have to be between two humans, but there's a friendship there. And he can't do it. He keeps trying to answer the question from after he was born. He keeps trying to answer the question from his career as a Buddhist monk. And the teacher said, No, no, no, no. He keeps going back to his book. No, no, no. And then he finally gives up. He finally disparages... Actually, you could say he disparages worldly affairs. In other words, he disparages trying to get enlightenment from his mind. You don't get enlightenment from your mind. You get enlightenment from not abiding in your mind. So he disparaged that, and he said, Okay, I'm giving up. I'm not going to do that anymore. But would you please tell me? Please tell me. And the teacher says, I know how, but it's just for me that I know how. If I show you, it will... What's the word?


It will usurp your attainment, and you will revile me for it later if I would tell you how. I could tell you how, but that would hinder you. So then he goes away. And he's not going to try to get a hold of any teachings anymore. He's like Sherto. He says, What do you say? Just a second, I'll find it. Will I find it? Not on that page I won't find it. From today I won't do it again. He says he won't. That's a vow. I'm not going to do it again. What am I not going to do? I'm not going to try to grasp myself before I was born. I'm not going to do it anymore. That's a vow. He still hasn't attained it. So this other monk says, I'm not going to try to get any teachings from you anymore.


You've given me a teachings, I'm not going to try to get you to solve them. So he goes, and he's taking care of this monument for another national teacher. He's sweeping the ground. The pebble flies through the air and hits the stone, and he understands the mind, the dissolved mind. He understands himself before he's born. So that sound is a friend. It's not a human, but it's a friend. It's through that sound, but that sound touches his ear and he understands what a human told him. He understands, oh, there's the self before I was born. And then the first thing he does after he hears the sound is he does what the teacher told him to say. So he hears the sound and understands the teaching, and then he does what the teacher asked him to do. He starts talking to the teacher from that place. And he turns toward...


First of all, he bathes, and then he turns in the direction of the teacher, in the direction of his friend, and he bows, and he says, I'm so grateful to you that you didn't tell me how to do this, otherwise I wouldn't have this. So the friendship is totally surrounding hearing sounds, seeing sights, they're all part of the friendship. The friendship isn't really like... My friendship with you isn't just two humans. The friendship isn't like just two human beings. It's the whole of the path is the friendship. But there's humans involved too. But everything that else happens in our life is part of the friendship. It's part of the friendship. Like learning names, names. Like hearing the sound of a Chinese name.


That may be what you'll have in enlightenment when you hear it someday. Tian Wang Da Wu Ong! You're welcome. Yes? I have a question. Before my question, I want to point out that you have the advantage of having notes and even a book that you can look at. And the names get confusing. I sort of recently had... Visual aids. Well, I hear you and I'm not sure exactly what response to make to that. But you could just get this book and bring it to all my talks. And then when I'm talking, you can stop listening to me and start looking in the book and see how that goes. I got this from this book,


so you could look it up in the book. When I start talking, you say, where in the book can I find what you're talking about? And you can go there and you can look at it while I'm talking. It's fine. Yes, Judy? I am the opposite of Tracy. I hear these names all the time, young men and Dao Wu and all these names. My issue is I don't remember the stories behind them. So, what's the name of your book? The name of this book is... The new translation is Zen's Chinese Heritage. And the translator is Andy Ferguson. And the way to learn the stories


is to read them and tell them and listen to them over and over and over. Just like they used to recite the Iliad and the Odyssey. And before that, Homer heard other stories which he then made his own version of. Storytelling is part of the... There's the scriptures, but then there's stories also to facilitate the study of the scriptures of perfect wisdom. So I made the point last fall we had a Zen stories class and I made the point that the Zen school, as I just said here today, again, the Zen school is focusing on realizing perfect wisdom in order to give birth to Buddhas. That's the point of the Zen school,


to make Buddhas and help people become enlightened and compassionate. But the perfection of wisdom which gives birth to Buddhas is something that's surrounded by tremendous turbulence. Ordinary karmic consciousness is turbulent, but perfect wisdom also has turbulence around it because there's turbulence around precious things. So we have the Zen school which is a family tradition which is trying to take care of something very precious. So when the family is trying to take care of something very precious, it's difficult sometimes for the family to stay together. All families have precious things, like children are precious. Sometimes people even think parents are precious. But families often have something that they really care about and there's a lot of stress around the children, around these precious beings.


If they get sick, if they behave badly, if they poop, all this stuff is a big issue, right? And even when they're not pooping, when they're sitting at the table, and the parents ask the kids how school was that day, and the kids are texting their friends who are not in the room, the parents say, would you put down your phone and the children get upset. Other kids are watching video games and the kids are having food fights. So anyway, after a little while, nobody's at the table anymore. So how do you hold a family together? You hold a family together, one of the main ways you hold it together is having stories. And the stories can be about just stories, or they can mention, this is a story about Aunty Tracy. This is a story about Aunty Elizabeth. This is a story about Aunty Abi. This is a story about Uncle Paul. What was Paul's last name?


Grace. Uncle Paul Grace. To learn the names is part of the thorough understanding of the family stories which hold us together and create the friendship in which we can cultivate perfect wisdom. So it's an ongoing process to develop these things for the sake of developing perfect wisdom. And just like at the table, the kids sometimes don't want to hear any more stories about Uncle Reb or Aunty Rose. So then we tell them a story about, that reminds me of a story about a kid who did not want to hear the names. There was this woman who used to come to the retreats and just hated the Chinese names. And then we had this conversation and she understood. And the mind dissolved and she opened to great awakening.


And she had many disciples who she taught those names to. So the stories help us do this work. And if the stories have no rough spots on them, then what are we going to do when the rough spots show up? Because there will be rough spots. We have stories about rough spots and how people dealt with the rough spots and didn't get turned away. They didn't quit when they hit the rough spots. And by the way, what's his name again? His name is Tian Huang Da Wu. I said that without looking at the page. Tian Huang Da Wu. And what was his disciple's name? Lung Tan. But Lung Tan's other, his dharma name, Lung Tan is the name of his place. His dharma name was Chong Hsin,


which means respect and faith. So you need to have respect and faith in a friend in order to tolerate dealing with things that you resist. Like in my case, unfortunately or fortunately, I had almost no resistance to Suzuki Roshi. In the stories, usually the students have some resistance at some point. I don't have any resistance to you. I don't have any difficulty with you. Am I missing something? And he said, No, you will. But he died. He died before I could really resist him. You know, it wasn't too difficult. And I felt actually that although his death wasn't so difficult for me, I cried, but I didn't cry when I thought I should cry.


His death was not difficult. I felt like he died so that I could have difficulties after he died. I had a lot of difficulties after he died, which I might not have been able to have while he was still alive. In the glow of his presence, I had kind of an easy time. I was a pretty good boy when I was near him. I took him away, I could become kind of a bad boy. Sometimes you can talk about bad boys as people who are having trouble being a good boy. So, I think, in some ways, Suzuki's death really stimulated his students to grow up painfully. So we've had a hard time growing up since he went away. But we have grown up, I think, pretty well. Wow, it's a long talk today. May I add one post-script?


Sure. Thank you. Not long ago, I read a rather long historical fiction book, I think the name is Nobody Knows My Name. And it was about an African slave in the 18th century. By the end of the book, I understood how important names were in the African slave tradition. The only thing they had left when they came over on the boat was if somebody actually knew those two syllables. That was everything to them. That was the story of their whole home. Kind of moving forward, to African Americans here who take on very distinctive names, which I always used to think, God, that's a weird name. I now appreciate the territory a name can hold. So I think I would have not had that reaction to the Chinese names. Names are things which


we usually have a tendency to abide in. Therefore, drawing our attention to names is part of the way to become liberated, not so much from names, but from abiding in them. But I think it's very deep in our human inheritance to work with names. I watch my two-year-old granddaughter. She says my name a lot. Of course, if she wants my attention, she might say, she says, Granddaddy, to get my attention. But she says it in a lot of places where it doesn't seem necessary. She might say, This is a cup of tea, Granddaddy. Whereas, I think, when we're adults more, we might say, Here's a cup of tea. But she would probably say, Here's a cup of tea, Tracy. She puts the name of the person she's talking to all over the place in the sentences.


Sometimes she says, Tracy, come. Mommy, come. But also, Look at this, Mommy. What is this, Mommy? Mommy, what are you doing, Mommy? Everything her mother does is really interesting. So she says, What her mother does, anything she doesn't understand, she says, What are you doing, Mommy? What are you doing, Granddaddy? What is that, Granddaddy? Here, Granddaddy. Come, Granddaddy. She adds that in, and nobody tells her to do it. So somehow, there's something about names of people that's part of our nature, and we sometimes, as we grow up, we stop saying the names as much as we did when we were kids. And, but if you start adding them back in, you'll find that's a different life. Tracy. Yes, Elizabeth. Just one little thing. Yeah. I've always thought the book, Frankenstein,


well, Frankenstein is the name of the doctor. Frankenstein is named after my granddaughter. Her name is Frankie. Frankenstein is the name of the doctor, and the monster never gets named. And I've always thought that's why he ends up killing his father, because he never gets named by his father. Would you say that again? Frankenstein... Well, Frankenstein is not the name of the monster, it's the name of the doctor who creates the beings. Yeah, it's Frankenstein's monster. Yeah, and then he never gives the monster a name. So I've always thought that was the root of the monster's need to kill. She always thought that the root of the monster's need to kill was that the... The father never gave him a name. Very interesting. Thank you, Elizabeth. Thank you. Well, another amazing thing


one amazing thing after another. Are you guys amazed? Yeah. Yeah. Me too. Another amazing thing is that Breck's here. Isn't that amazing? And Breck... You might not be amazed that Breck had a father, and only one father, but that's maybe not so amazing. But his father... Only Breck can tell you by telling stories about his father how wonderful his father was, but anyway, his father, towards the end of his life, got rather old. And it turned out that he died recently on his hundredth birthday. Which is Valentine's Day. Isn't that amazing? He died... He was 99 one day, and he was still alive. And then he made it into the next day.


What time did he die? About 1.45 a.m. 1.45 a.m.? He got into his birthday, and he was a hundred. And he passed away peacefully. So, Breck's very happy to have had such a father, and to have lots of Chinese names to learn, and Buddhadharma, so he could really have a wonderful time with his father towards the difficult end. So now... Gosh, I can see his dad's eye. His dad's name is Hunt Jones, and I can see Breck's eye there. It looks like the whale. I see just one eye here, and I see Breck there. And so, we can do a memorial service for Breck's dad now, if you would like. Would you? Yes, sure. Okay. So let's end this event.


May 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. I vow to become it.