Stories of Enlightenment

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In our class this fall we will contemplate and converse about several stories of Zen practice and enlightenment. Our contemplation and conversations will naturally bring up questions and concerns about our daily life and how to meet the great and small challenges of our wonderful and troubled world in beneficial and liberating ways.

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i'm gonna for the time being skip over telling you what enlightenment is
i'll tell you later but not now
i'm gonna start by telling you a story
not exactly a story about enlightenment although you could say it's a story about enlightenment i would say where you going joanne

all the better to hear you
are you a wolf
so i'm into story
of enlightenment or an enlightenment story
and you could say it's a story about enlightenment so the story is a story from
about thousand years ago or more in china and one of the

one of the teachers
to one of the student one of the students and the teacher's name was
me who
but usually the who is not it's chinese right me who but the who is not usually roman ized
w h o
it's usually ramen ized h u m i h you the name of it
zen teacher
and he had one of his students
go ask a friend of yours
a question
question was
two people these days need enlightenment or not
did you use a question
can you say it
so they saw the monk went to see another teacher whose name was
young schon

by the way yarn means like to venerate or worship and sean made mountain so his name means venerating the mountains
so the monk asked young shot in the question do people these days need enlightenment or not
at young schon said
it's not
that there is no enlightenment

but how can one not fall into the secondary
the secondary

one example of secondary is
seeking enlightenment
it may already makes sense to you than enlightenment is not seeking enlightenment
which not in that can turn
enlightenment is not seeking enlightenment
another way you could hear it was seeking enlightenment is not enlightenment
why are you frowning
know what your to yeah
so how can you not fall into stranding to understand
so it's not that isn't isn't the teacher says is not literally it's like it's not like enlightenment is not nonexistent
he doesn't say enlightenment does exist he didn't say that

he's not think he'd but he is saying it's not nonexistent
he could also say it's not existed but he didn't
did you get that
he said enlightenment is not nonexistent
and by the way i would just mention that that applies to not only in china in those days when there were lots of great zen teachers but it applies to now
enlightenment is not nonexistent and by the way it also applies to hear
he applied to then and there
and it applies to here and now
enlightenment is not nonexistent
and i just might mention it also isn't existant it doesn't fall into existence or nonexistence
but given what he says next
maybe his best buddy says enlightenment is not non-existent or it's not that there's no enlightenment
but how can we how can one not fall into the secondary of seeking it
how can one not fall into the secondary of seeking enlightenment that's just like of the kind of like got homework for zen students we got enlightenment know when we gotta we gotta school
and in this school enlightenment is not nonexistent
we gotta we gotta class here on
enlightenment and in this class enlightenment is not nonexistent
but how can we not fall into seeking it i haven't even told you about how good it is
before i was saying anything about our great it is which might perk your
perk you pick you up make you perky
and make you think i think maybe i'm going to go get some of that by the way katie could you with that way little bit so that tiffany could move that way little bit because i can't see tiffany
great thank you
so has pretty simple right enlightenment is not not exist in here and
the great teacher saying how can we not fall into seeking it
now there is seeking is normal it is normal in this world that some people are seeking good things
those people are seeking enlightenment that's part of the deal in this world some people are
some people aren't i mean yeah some people are
maybe maybe some people aren't
but the pot there's a possibility they even the people who are seeking enlightenment and don't fall into that they just like to see they just take it
so let it go
it's not not here and it's not here
however it's the name in the game and we could end it can be realized this this enlightenment which is not not here
and also not here can be realized and then again i'm not going to tell you all the good things that are possible them
it can be realized and in order to realize it
the recommendation here is not to fall into the secondary and one big secondary is to trap is to try to is to seek it because again it you know given what i just said is kind of contradictory to seek something that's not not here
and also is kind of
even more subtly
not appropriate to seek something that's not here
that's not not here
so that's the story that's the first story of enlightenment
some people who say and the purse the people who were under story
have realized enlightenment and they are asking they're talking to each other about it and
yeah so someone might say now to think it would do think these days in the twenty-first century you think these days to people need to enlightenment or not
and some of you might say yeah they need it
we need a lot of it
but he didn't say yes they need it he said it's not that there isn't any it just the job to job is not falling into the secondary
and then there's a poem
a poem com others lots of poems but there's a particular poll this story by the way his story number sixty two in the book of serenity
book a strategy has one hundred stories main stories about enlightenment and then whole bunch of sub stories to but the sixty third sixty second main story is this one which is called
me who me who's
enlightenment or not
and then a later teacher wrote a poem about this case in chinese

the secondary head
literally the number to head
distinguishes enlightenment and breaks delusion
quickly release one's hands to discard trap and net
trap like
release your hand to discard nets and traps
nets and traps you know like nets to catch fish and traps to get rabbits

release your release your hand to discard traps and snares and nets
accomplishment before it's exhausted
becomes an extra thumb
accomplishment before discarded becomes an extra thumb
that chinese character which is translated tonight as some
it can also be translated as
big toe
and we have expressed in english all thumbs right
you know that term you don't know they're here don't know it
as grade now you're like know it was an expression in english called all thumbs image got too many times you can get older things
i feel he's he's all thumbs
in other words you know he he he can't pick up a glass of water without spilling it because he's all thumbs
we had this opposable thumb if you had all thumbs you'd be it wouldn't be able to there'd be nothing to oppose just have a bunch of posers
having an extra thumb is too much and actually contra indicated for
holding things
accomplishment that isn't exhausted becomes an extra thumb now accomplishment could also be understood as enlightenment that isn't exhaustive
there's also think about when you when you have a net and you catch a fish
you forget about the net
when you have a trap to catch a rabbit you forget about the rabbit
so release release it and the enlightenment one is exhausted or thorough
it doesn't get in the way but if you have enlightenment which is pretty good stuff right if you have enlightenment and you don't exhausted it gets in the way it trips you up or if thumbs you up


i agree
and you know maybe i should have said what i think about exhausting enlightenment just if you exhausted accomplishment if you've put thoroughly exhaust if you've thoroughly accomplish if you exhaustively accomplish the secondary you like of you don't you don't fault you don't fall into it
if you exhausted so this isn't saying get rid of the secondary it is a get rid of the people who are seeking enlightenment
or don't be on those people it's actually saying
just saying don't fall into it you can go ahead and the secondary all over the place but each secondary should be completely exhausted and then you will fall into it

you won't have the energy to because your energy would be totally used up
in the accomplishment
wisdom can hardly know
like you can't bite your own navel
ah the old rabbits the old rabbit
which is a you could also say the full moon the the old rabbit and in in literary chinese means the full moon
it literally says old rabbit but they transfer the they think people don't know that that old rabbit means full moon so that they translated full moon the full moon's icy disk
and again their the chinese characters are water and disk
but usually when waters in the form of a disc is ice
or for example when waters in the form of a marlin it's ice
do you know mean
marlin it's a fish so if you ever have you ever seen on an ice fish
you seeking scalp ice into a fish or into a woman
so a water woman is an ice woman usually
is it says it says water disk
you could say water disk if you want to but it also translated as
the full moon's icy disk
got it
is weeping
in the autumn do

know if that birds are cold in the jade tree
again literally it's cold birds in the gray jade tree
the dawn breezes chill

completely without flaw the white jade is valued or esteemed
that's the verse commenting on
i don't say
whoops i think i've forgotten line sorry
i then this is a verse on i don't say
there's no enlightenment
but how can we not fall into the secondary
i think that i forgot i'd miss that teachers to my couple more loans i'm sorry and i my books in the car so but i think basically what has hit one one of the lions is about
how great the auction is
in the view of the poet how how great young shown is one of the last last lines is how great young chan is he can he can show us you know upright and leaning
there's one more but this is enough probably right and i welcome you to
yes that's what
you're welcome
thank you for controlling me
i wanted to know
but i don't know how how will he ways to
the a while so
last year
you know i feel
i'd like to let you be that way for a while
maybe later weekend
well i guess we can talk about it but i don't want to get into telling you how it applies to something that you know how these images apply some place not yet
this live with that who live with that imagery of the moon or the old rabbit
have you ever felt like the moon is a little bit cold
no well apparently i heard people from people that it is actually quite cold up there
the temperature of the mona's plan one
what side you're on
i think it's called on both sides or does even know
on it has no atmosphere
but anyway oftentimes the moon looks cold to me
but oftentimes i'm looking at it on a cold night
so it got this cold moon up there
oh we've got the moon and it's seen as ic disk by the poet
and then it's we're being told that it's weeping the moon is weeping
in the autumn do
do often happens when we have in the morning you have a
something cold and then it starts to warm up and then we have condensation in which is do
so the moon's cold and then at the same time we have somehow it it's like weeping
oh along with an autumn do and then we have this bird is cold bird in the jade tree
and the autumn breeze is chill
so i'm
i'd have done this before but i i invite you
to write a poem about this case
i invite you to write a poem about this case
gil get yourself a little piece of paper or a large piece of paper and then write a poem on it
and it might even keep in mind that the seven classes so you might get seven pieces of paper
and get ready to write seven poems because i'd try to give you a store a story about and like me each week at least one maybe ten
so please if you'd like to write a poem and you can give it to me or you can also created in class
you can give you can write the palm and you can give it to me
oh you can read it to the class and also this these poems i don't want i don't i'm not inviting necessarily to recreate a long ones and read them in class so if you want to write a short poem on this story and read it to the class if you're right a want writer want want to write a long poem
i'll read it

yeah yes right having a lot of trouble getting this on

case sixty two

you know a terrible thing just happened
is this is a first
guess what just happened anyway you know you up
well in a sense i put it in the wrong here in another sense i put two hearing aids in one ear
the first time first time i did that and you were and you are here
a new witness the first time i've actually succeeded and get and getting them in and it was quite uncomfortable
and i couldn't hear so well
okay so
i think i broke this one anyway

yeah as haley said if you well she sort of said
if you exhaust the secondary
you're in a really good position to welcome enlightenment
yeah you would need it because you you'd you'd be enlightenment if you exhaust the secondary you are enlightenment so you don't need it in a way just like you don't need to be you don't need yourself
honest extends back again
if you seek it to the fullest extent you can
you won't you won't have an extra thumb
and yet i'm i'm kidding you want your thumb you won't be here are some will get in the way of enlightenment
but if you seek it
eighty percent eighty five ninety ninety five not to mention fifty fifty if you seek almost completely there's still some resistance to the enlightenment which is not not here
we didn't go
and he
it's about being thorough and whole harder
and about the and about the secondary so by being thorough and wholehearted in the secondary you don't fall into the secondary
but sometimes we're not thorough and wholehearted some of us
so then we fall into what we're doing

no it's like you you thoroughly if you 'd if you happen to one enlightenment if you do do you yeah
if you do that thoroughly
if you exhaust that wish you won't fall into it

is a couple of like
please tell me
exhaust in equal some concerns runny runny more really how far can my run
mine gets exhausted
stay still
thing is he writing him
what young shine saying is that the thing
is already not not here
he doesn't want to say it's here
but he doesn't want to say it's not not here

yeah so
citizen right
the porky taught places but yeah the places to place that's that's to the place is the place

if she if you're too if you will excuse the expression
are you ready know what let me know when you're ready and i'll talk
what okay if you'll excuse the expression now you're talking
so another are are know you're you're right up my alley you know that expression eric

so some of these expressions hadn't been used for thirty or forty years
it hurt to him not fair
so anyway it's a
when someone is completely enlightened they don't necessarily think quotes i'm enlightened but they might just they don't think necessarily
kind people do not necessarily walk around thinking i'm kind
they don't necessarily do that but sometimes people come up to them say you're so kind and they go i'm so kind oh well maybe school like that
i heard heard that i lama say when he was a little boy they told him that he was the incarnation of
in a great compassion
and he he just kind of thought well gee that's what are they talking about
and then when but when he was about seventy said now i'm kind of like i think i know a little bit about what they mean
if you tell a buddha that there are buddha the buddha might think oh my buddha interesting but they don't walk around thinking or buddha but so when one is thoroughly buddha one does not necessarily think your buddha however you there are buddhas
and the buddha's
i so thoroughly buddha's that they go on being they go beyond being buddha's they let go of being a buddha they don't make their own a grasping a buddha

i started with a short stories so that he would be easy for you to remember it he remember it right

also if i if i tell you them where you can find the story you can not nowadays you can find it online
yes and raised who was a yes oh eric

the wish is inexhaustible dj yeah
if you don't know what it means to exhausted

i think i think not knowing what it means to exhausted would
i seemed like that would be part of exhausting it if you if you were trying to exhaust the did you say something for enlightenment
the wish if you're trying to exhaust to wish for something and he had never occurs to you that well you don't know what it is or wedding or exhausting it would mean he he hadn't gone very far
like for example if you want to be a doctor
or a mother
or a father
or zen master
maybe you know that you're not yet
or like if your little kid you may be you know you're not yesterday at a mother but you won't you wish to be one
but some little kids when some little girls when they wish to be a mother
and they know they're not yet another they think they know what a mother is
that's because their little girl so don't understand yet that they don't know what they're talking about but these to they do wish for that as they become more mature they realize well actually i'm not sure what a mother is
this is more mature and then some mothers even when they wished they wish to be a mother and then they become a mother
they have a baby and some of them think they know it the mother is and they think they became a mother and the thing and they became and then know what it isn't they know that their that but then if they practice being a mother longer and longer they become more mature and the more mature they become the more they
don't completely know what a mother is
that's part of
the ironic quality of human existence so not knowing what anything is
and wanting to be that anyway
is a is is is a full life

is a full is is more full to want to be enlightened and think you know what it is is really kind of a dull enlightenment
full enlightenment is full of wonder and
an infinite possibilities but that's our life

a friend who is lucas was fully convinced
i thought you're going to say who you think is completely enlightened i thought you going to sign up a friend who's completely enlightened
but you're saying that she thinks she is
i won't ask your name i won't ask your name
and her address
and i won't ask any of you in public if you think you're fully enlightened
but i do sometimes ask people in private if they think they're fully enlightened

a yes katie
hmm i'm calling it
why would you experienced realization you will not think this is realization just what exactly was right he sat on my gut
and every time i the as
it's way
wonderful i'm so glad you crack up not enough people crack up when they when they read that guy he's really
he's really quite funny
that's wonderful
so how many times
i don't think is trying to i don't i don't think he's trying to be funny
but i'm not sure but a lot of people think is really a serious dude
i'm glad you to see that he's see the humor in him that's really good
he doesn't he also doesn't talk about laughing very much
he's kind of like his own straight man

yeah that statement that she just made he said when when you attain enlightenment it won't be like what you previously thought it would be and i hadn't thought that that's like a statement of the irony involved in in in the process of awakening
that it keeps it keeps being something that you didn't expect
and then some people like you know they resisted it wasn't they resist that it wasn't what they expect
they say i wanted to be what i expected and it isn't
i'm enlightened i'm enlightened i'm enlightened and i'm depressed
i got to do


haha yeah
when i when our idea when you come pre of our idea of ourselves were more useful to the world

thinking about
raised in a statement
yeah you can put where you can put yeah pretty much anything like
like it says in that another another line and said
it's it to it it it said the number to head is to distinguish enlightenment and break delusion
but you could also make any other kind of distinction
and that that would be secondary to
in this one it says like to to be to be making distinctions are distinguishing enlightenment and the word that just english translation which i haven't checked the year the original but to distinguish enlightenment could be like to make it distinguished like to think it's good and then to try to break
delusion that's like the secondary so seeking at or putting it a pie
i think it's better than things thinking that you're better than me as a secondary
but again if you fall into it as the problem is okay for you to think you're better than me
but it's not good for you to fall into that
it's not make you you could even think somebody is better than you that's okay the problem is to fall into it but if you thoroughly get into thinking about how you're better than somebody or how you're not very good
you thoroughly do that
there's no extra sums you're ready you're ready to live
so you know to get rid of your distinctions and if you try to get rid of delusion that's okay
if that was happening if you do it completely if you completely try to get rid of delusion you won't fall into it
and then enlightenment while not not be here
and also you'll be free of it being here to being here is kind of like grabbing it
it put putting it in a trap

no this the secondary just some kind like discrimination
like enlightenment this delusions that or
or delusions this and i'm going to try to get rid of it is like falling into it but just delusion itself if you like are completely compassionate towards it
you don't fall into it

i'm in example
in a situation
for if if i thought i was better than you
that when
when you if you want have just when i gave if you want to give me one

okay why i'm here yeah
i'm ok i'm confused at
yeah yeah
we are you by the way it confused right now
okay so
one of the basic principles is if you're confused
k and if you have by any chance fall into being confused than the way to get out of falling into our are being out fallen into confusion is to have a conversation a genuine whole hearted conversation which you're doing right now conversation
get you more into the confusion you can't get into the confusion wholeheartedly all by yourself you can get into it enough to know that you're stuck and kind of constricted by it and you can know you want to get out of it but didn't you can also perhaps notice i want to get out of it but
kiss seem to be keep repeating it so i wonder if i really do want to get out of the conversation starting there and then you talk to somebody else so you have to have conversations with ourselves and others around for example confusion
or certainty you could follow a certainty i'm i'm certain i'm right okay that's fine that you're certain you're right but are you by any chance fallen into that and you might say well actually
oh my god i am i i'm actually trapped in my certainty and i feel bad about it i'm really i'm arrogant
i do think i know better than other people and i can't get out of that trap because i do think i'm because i i am better than them and i feel terrible about that
well once you start talking to somebody about it
now we're opening up and then also as you talk about your confusion you can open up to that you really don't know what confusion is
or you really don't know arrogance is
that's how to get into it and we cannot get fully into it
without conversation with others whole hearted conversation with others
we have that right
the story where the guy
whether you get
isn't it don't get confused today
oh for
yeah definitely
yes that definitely all day long do that but also
involve other people in our conversation and then you
some people will really give you a hard time if you'd find out you're talking about that stuff
you mean what you mean why you telling me that you're not that i you're not gonna let me for you
well because i do get for by you i didn't are you saying that i'm trying to fool you know know and so on
okay you can deliver it right now if you'd like
what does it all
better not to know be car
you a question to a poetry
which is what is more just what is oh him
thank you for your poon
and why you are right reading your poem a bunch of other ones came up in the term
in people's minds yes
and feeling her
the issue in this reflection one yes let one was for the knows
it showed greets me who sends out the search here then we to surge here now exhausted extra pounds in all the way
i bet
i was okay we've had asked ever
live well if they're motivated by seeking enlightenment or just really curious a bath like an hour renovation of practice and man
i know
was you don't fully relate to what
i would have been motivated practiced by the idea
you don't yeah well as i said at the beginning
i'm not gonna talk about enlightenment right now too much although i could i just wanna go right to a story what part of what you bring up now is that she says she did not feel much motivation to attain enlightenment right but i'm really curious
but i think yeah we're into that so she is motivated to enquire about other people did you think curious yeah so does your curiosity motivate you yeah so she's motivated by your curiosity about you guys that's the way she is she's not one
of these people who are in
in the neighborhood of
then the not not existence of enlightenment she's not one of them who is seeking enlightenment very strongly anyway if it came here might let it in
when i first with the track changes and i was not motivated or interested in enlightenment
i mean i didn't even i knew the word was in the neighborhood but that wasn't what attracted me was attracted me was it was beauty the beauty of the tradition
and truth attracted me and the relationships i saw now i would say that the relationships i saw our enlightenment but i didn't even think that they were enlightenment and i wasn't trying to get those relationships i just want to live that way so a law
of people are not trying to get enlightenment
yeah to be curious about people
the question is does this person who's curious about people and wants to know what their interest in enlightenment is for this picture this is one of these people these days does she made enlightenment or not now there's a question does katie these days need enlightenment or not that was the
question long time ago and the answer was not yes she does need it the answer was
kind of i hope she doesn't fall into the secondary
which is know what you're into
but again not falling in secondary means i hope she doesn't heartedly be involved in the secondary i hope she wholeheartedly
ask people about their relationship to enlightenment because she's i'm not interested in it but i'm interested in people who are
are you also interested people are now
so i'm like in to pick she's like i'm a people person i'm really interested in about people and i'm trying to thoroughly be this person i am so i won't fall into being katie
they will
yeah yes
you tell
it isn't
does that katie wanna be collocated up
i guess i think so i think she wants to be fully katie right yeah
the part of being part of being fully kim
or katie is to be open
to not being fully camera katie
like i want to be fully reb but
nobody is room better say that i'm not fully room no no that wouldn't be fully read full the arab i need you to question me about whether i am like did you think that was fully rub just then you know i need that i need to be i need my full being reb i needed to be called into question by
you in order to be fully reb which includes i don't think you know i don't think i was pulling myself at that moment
so i think she does not want to get stuck in being katie but as she did want to stock and be stuck in being katie
k then question is how can we help her be fully that way in and not be stuck

but when we asked helping
except i didn't say that but where did you get the
where did you get that
haha she thinks they've got it from me i thought yeah that's good
we have to help katie and guess who else who have to help
yeah we have to help ourselves but well said to have kim
kim needs help being fully kim and we're here to help her be faulty cam right
so she won't get stuck in being kim which of course we can't get stuck in who we are but
sometimes it seems like we are in the way it seems like we are is that were not fully ourselves
and it's a lot it's like fluff it's the fall life to be fully ourselves and we can't do it by ourselves other people
have to help us and yeah
when we need to help each other
not to be enlightened cause the enlightenment is already not not here
but not to fall into resisting it by being half hearted about the secondary or half hearted about
wanting enlightenment or half hearted about being interested in people who do when you don't
everybody has their perfect position to do this work
their unique position
how you get hurt
oh great i'm glad you came as a class and here new yeah yeah
some is
yeah this is a new water you're here you're you're adjusting to it
yeah and then also the original chinese i mentioned to you is number two
and then this in that number two brings up some you haven't really it just came up your now you didn't have before what's primary
what's primary at the end of this case commentary says something like and as for the primary
as for the primary
it isn't
it isn't but we think the secondary is secondary is what we think is
like we think enlightenment is or isn't as a secondary
what's the primary while the primary doesn't get into that
it doesn't even get into the primary
so this is a little thing that which is in case sixty two of that book that you're getting to getting to know
yes over there
wow we engage in the swatch of the second also can also work on right
boy oh now
it's an acid
here's is quite so on this it as us
did you say like or did you say like now
for me or take away the like
yeah that's what doesn't is not zazen isn't actually not like zazen yeah
we're temperate words or secondary let's use them yes
if that your phone
other times
where are you
we're already enlightened
yeah roddy enlightening part of the reason we don't realize it is because we discriminate between it isn't it isn't
but enlightenment doesn't fall into it isn't it's not non-existent but it also doesn't fall into it is
and it's already here in in the way of not not existing or existing and and when we are open to it than that's it
and we don't get that we don't get to own it or disown it but we do it we we can live a life for slut lets it go constantly lets it go
and also let's go in the secondary but let's go the secondary not by pushing it away
but by taking really good care of it which we're we're learning that how to take care of the secondary so fully
that we forget it

yes was awesome just wondering what the secondary was
well as well yeah
and no by the way it also says the number to head
yeah the number to head distinguishes enlightenment and breaks delusion the number to head
have cared to per head

so that that's like ahead we are also in zombies they put ahead on top of your head
gotta head and they put another one on top that makes his discriminations yes
on your head
i wish my didn't do great year's drought shaded hit you know you

thank you

ha ha ha
a half

your teaser oh great does she laugh

and i think that she is there
she says
well i just don't know
so does your already enlightened learn
now you're actually said you are
but invader or and you're sad that you don't believer
i know but i'm asking you are you sad that you don't believe her yeah
well if you feel that sadness k you run it to fall into believing her
but you can just accept that your art enlightened
and then you can not fall into that
by the way i i told that your friend to come and tell you that i told her to tell you that
get well again i didn't give you background there's interesting background but i wanted to just actually start with story and we get make it more background on on the different ways that we approach this issue this issue of enlightenment
and also some background on what we're actually looking for each of us but i'd like to give you a story every week to and i welcome you to write a poem on this one and again it
it's nice shorts so i think you can do that thank you very much