Stimulating Bodhisattva's courage and entering reality 

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We have just recited Bodhisattva's vow attributed to a Japanese Zen teacher and the last sentence says may we extend this mind over all beings so that we and the world together may attain maturity in Buddha's wisdom. This mind what mind is that? It's a mind that that you know looks at everything as an avatar of the Buddha. For example if by any chance a person should turn against us become a sworn enemy and abuse and


persecute us we should sincerely bow down with humble language in the belief that he or she is a merciful avatar of Buddha who uses skillful devices to emancipate us from our sinful past actions. So if someone's being rude to us this is saying reverently believe that this is a merciful avatar of Buddha and if you can believe that then you can say please be respectful to me. Please be kind. I need you to be kind. I may not say this to them but I already believe


that you are offering me a chance that a Buddha would offer me. Buddha offers me a chance to respond to what's happening with this mind this mind of compassion and this mind of compassion says please speak kindly. I give you the gift to ask you to do this and I can do this I can ask for this great gift of kindness because the Buddha's teaching me to be kind and this mind if we extend this mind to all beings which means to every event inwardly and outwardly to every person and animal and tree and cloud and raindrop and pain


and pleasure and fear if we have the mind which sees all these things as the Buddha's Buddha Dharma coming to us this mind that extends this to all things this is the way to reach maturity in Buddha's wisdom together with all beings so we extend this over all beings and then we together with all beings will realize maturity in Buddha's wisdom will realize for example that all beings are just our conscious construction and the Buddha's teaching is coming to us through all beings but this is a vow and also this is a vow, it's a promise and it's also a prayer


it's a prayer to be like this. Where did it come from? Where did you get this? Where did I get this? I don't remember but it's in the Rinzai Zen temples in Japan. Many of the Rinzai Zen temples in Japan are descendants from Hakuin and even the ones who aren't descendants of Hakuin are influenced by Hakuin and this person, Tore, is a disciple of Hakuin. So the Zen teacher Hakuin wrote a text called The Song of Zazen and some Zen centers chant this Song of Zazen. There's a line in there which goes something like


Buddhas and sentient beings are like ice and water. Ice is water, right? It's frozen water, right? So Buddhas and sentient beings are like frozen and solid and liquid water. They are two aspects of the same thing. Which is which? I don't think he said which is which. Maybe he said that the melted ice


is the Buddhas, but maybe it's the other way around. Let's say the melted ice is the Buddhas. If you put warmth onto the ice, it melts. Yeah, right. I wonder how do you feel about that? Reverently believing that whatever comes is the Buddhadharma, the teaching of the Enlightened Ones. What about that teaching? It takes practice to believe it? It takes practice to implement that belief.


Well, you say it takes practice, but you could also say it is practice to implement it. Implementing it, that is the practice that he's talking about. That you would have this mind and then you would extend this mind. You have this mind for this particular person who's being, whatever way, challenging perhaps. But for this particular person who's being not challenging, who's being kind of like easy to receive, but don't stop there. This easy to receive guest is the Buddhadharma. So this guest is not to be held on to. Now extend this mind which sees everything as the Buddhadharma, extend it to all beings. That's the difficult practice. And then imagine extending it to all beings, which would mean for each moment. Each moment.


That's the hard part. I've had that in retrospect later. I've seen that as just thought, but not often in the moment. So there's a chant for the Bodhisattva of Compassion which says, moment after moment, moment after moment, khanzeyam. Moment after moment, khanzeyam. Khanzeyam means observing, khan-zey, world, on or on cries. Moment after moment, observe the cries of the world. Which means observe the cries of the world, but also observe the Bodhisattva who observes the cries of the world with compassion. So what's coming is cries, but also the Buddhadharma which reminds us to observe whatever is coming with compassion, which means with gratitude, with generosity.


Observe, listen to the cries of suffering beings with gratitude. Not that you're grateful that they're suffering, but you gratefully receive the cries of their suffering. You gratefully receive the cries of their suffering, as the Buddha's teaching, to remind you to listen to everything with eyes and ears of compassion. So moment after moment, khanzeyam, which is a double thing, because moment after moment, remember the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, and moment after moment, regard, listen to, watch the world's cries. Listen to, watch, smell, think of the world's cries. Moment after moment, do that, which means moment after moment, think of the great Bodhisattva.


Think of the great Bodhisattvas. These are beings who have learned to receive everything as Buddha's teaching. So when you're describing this, there's not believing in the teaching, it's living it. It's not so much believing in the teaching, but believing in the teaching that everything is a teaching. So you believe that teaching. Then why the concept or the idea of believing it? Where does that come from? Is it because it gets hard? Well, it's like believing in the sense of bet, make a bet. Bet that it's a good idea to consider what's happening as reality being given to you, Buddha's teaching being given to you. Bet on that way of dealing with things. I'm going to bet today, I'm going to bet tonight, I'm going to bet this afternoon, on receiving everything as Buddha's teaching.


I'm going to bet on remembering Buddha's teaching, to listen to everybody with compassion, to look at everybody with compassion, I'm going to bet on that. That would be believing Buddha's teaching, because Buddha's teaching is, have a mind like that, have a heart like that, that's Buddha's teaching. And also, if somebody starts talking about the teaching of conscious construction only, listen to that teaching with compassion. Look at that person who is teaching this difficult teaching with compassion. Even this teaching, even this person who is teaching Buddhism might be teaching Buddhism. It's possible. Yeah, it's possible that a Buddhist teacher is actually a vehicle or an avatar of Buddhist teaching.


It's not so much what they're saying is, and what you're interpreting, but the Buddhist teaching is coming through everything. Bet on that. And then extend that mind to all situations. He said this was both an intention and a prayer. Well, I said it was a promise, a vow in the sense of a promise. He says, when I, a student of Dharma, so this Zen master is a student of Dharma. He's a student of the Buddhist teaching, which he's saying everything is teaching him all the time. So when he does this, when I, a student of Dharma, when I look at the world, all is the never failing manifestation of the mysterious truth of the Tathagata, of the Buddha.


So actually that's not really a promise, that's more like a prayer. A prayer in the sense of, this is the way he wants, this is the kind of relationship he wants with the world. He wants the relationship of, what I'm looking at, I'm not going to wait till later, whatever I'm looking at is the truth of the Buddha. That's his prayer, that's the relationship he wants to have. I think the prayer is being addressed to someone. Yeah, he's addressing someone, that's right, he's talking to the universe. He's saying, when I look at the real form of the universe, he's now talking to the universe. He's praying to the universe, he's saying this is the kind of relationship, when I look at the universe, I'm talking to the universe now, and I'm saying to the universe, when I look at the universe, or I could say, when I look at you,


whatever you are is the unfailing manifestation of the Buddhist truth. I'm talking to you, universe, it's you I'm talking to. Yeah, that's right, you're addressing the universe in this way. He's addressing the universe. This is one way you could do it. This is his way of doing it. Yes? Did you want to say something? I read it a little differently. You read it? I received it a little differently. I heard and I recited, when I was student at the Dharma, to look at the real form of the universe. And the word real and form together sort of opened into the Heart Sutra, where the form of the universe is the form,


and to me that word real sort of informed my sense of what is form, and that light, what follows. When I look at the real form, right there, real form, real is form, form is real. When real is form and form is real, then everything is a manifestation of the Buddhist teaching. You can discriminate between form and real, but real is form and form is real, and there's no difference between real and form.


And so, if you're looking in that way, all is a never-ending manifestation of the mysterious truth of the Tathagata. And that's the way I see it. Thanks for reminding this to me. So is real emptiness? Is real emptiness? Yep. But real is more than emptiness. Real is also that emptiness is form. Real is the way form really is. And emptiness is the way form really is. Form is really empty, and emptiness is really form. And when you see things that way, then everything is teaching you the Dharma. And when you see everything that way,


then you see that form is really empty. So, already form is really empty, but we have to have this compassionate attitude towards everything in order to see that everything is the teaching. So it goes around and around. Treat things with compassion, you'll see they're real. When you see they're reality, you treat them with compassion. I think of phenomena that comes more as an event than emptiness, for example. You see phenomena that comes... More as a teaching, as it's described here. I don't go to the realm of emptiness. I go into a realm of karma with it. Well, you could, but you could also just say,


the thing that's coming... Oh, I see, you're saying that you sometimes go into karma rather than receiving what's coming as a teaching? No, I receive the teaching as my karma. You receive the teaching as your karma. As a manifestation of causes and conditions. You see, the teaching as manifestation of causes and conditions. Brings me here at this moment in time. You see what's happening as causes and conditions which brings you here at this time. Right, it's like Dogen's teaching. Things come forth and you are realized, right? Yeah, and does that go with everything that's coming forth? Is the Buddha's teaching? Yes. It does? Great. I lose track of it a lot of times.


Yeah, well he didn't say he lost track of it, he just said that that's quite a practice. But he didn't say he actually lost track of it. Well, I lose track of it. Some people do. We sometimes lose track of it. We sometimes veer off the track. Or get discouraged. And we sometimes get discouraged. So, then if we examine the discouragement, that will be part of the way to protect people from our discouragement. Say that. If I examine my discouragement, that will protect people from my discouragement. It will protect them if I examine it? If I confess and examine, if I acknowledge and examine my discouragement, that will protect beings. And usually we examine the discouragement


together with our practice friends. The Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas and the people in the Sangha. Are you discouraged now? No. One more thing from Oscar before we go away. I'll start following up on Jackie's question. Earlier today, I've heard you say, I think I've heard you say... Let's not dwell on the past. Right now I think I've heard you say... Good recovery. Here we are, back in the present. That dharma is not part of karmic consciousness.


It's not part of container consciousness. Did I hear you say that? Yeah, or it doesn't consist of the container consciousness. It doesn't consist of the container consciousness. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but... The dharma is the nature of the thing. The dharma is the nature of the thing, but the dharma is also the teaching about the nature of the thing. Yeah, it's the teaching about the thing. And the teaching about the thing is not the thing being taught about. Because this thing can get totally transformed, and the dharma is realized by totally transforming this thing, which it's a teaching about. So there's a teaching about this unconscious mind, which is the result of our past karma, but the result of our past karma aren't the dharma.


Are they the teachings of the dharma? No, the teachings of the dharma come from the complete transformation of our past karma. And the transformation of our past karma is completely free of karmic activity. And it can send messages to karmic consciousness, so that this result of past karma can be completely transformed into more enlightenment. That's if there's a transformation. If there's a transformation, that is the transformation. The Buddha's enlightenment is the transformation of what? Of the results of past karma. But the transformation I'm hearing is the moment that you get the teaching is the transformation,


but isn't the teaching just there sometimes without that transformation? Well, you could say it's there, but what I'm saying is that when the teaching somehow comes into our active consciousness, into our conscious life, that the moment we consciously receive it, it transforms the results of our past karma. It transforms our unconscious. When we consciously receive it, we receive the teaching. When we receive what's happening as the teaching, that transforms the results of our past, which is our unconscious mind, which supports our conscious mind. So when the conscious mind that's supported by the unconscious mind receives the dharma, the unconscious mind is transformed on the spot at that moment. So it's the willingness. Yeah, so somehow the unconscious mind supported the conscious mind, which was willing to receive the teaching.


Teaching is coming all the time. Everything is the teaching. But sometimes our past karma allows us to open to what's happening as the teaching. So you heard this thing about open to what's happening as the teaching, and some of your active consciousness has said, OK, cool. And that's because your past karma allowed you to open. So somehow you did enough good karma so that you have an unconscious which supports you actually being willing to consider this or perhaps everything that comes to your conscious mind as the teaching, as a teaching, as the Buddhist teaching. And when you receive one thing, if you're open to everything being it, that transforms your unconscious in one way. If you're open to this as the Buddhist dharma, that transforms it in another way. So just being open to anything as the Buddha dharma transforms it.


But being open to everything transforms it in a more profound way. And when this unconscious is completely transformed, that's what we call Buddhahood. So we will be attaining that, all of us. And as soon as possible, of course. But it looks like some of us may take quite a while. But that's not really the problem. The problem is getting with the program and considering welcoming everything as the Buddhist teaching. But there's no problem. That's right, there's no problem. Thank you.