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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you very much last week i brought up case number five from the book of serenity
cold chain your ons price of rice
a monk asked the teacher ching iran
what is the
quintessential meaning of the buddha's teaching and chenier answered
what's the price of rice in luling

and i also brought up a poem written in response to this
by a ancient teacher named hunger
and his palm was
the great work of peace has no sign
the family style of peasants is most pristine
only concerned with village songs and festival drinking
how would they know about
the virtues of sion or the benevolence of yard
and then the the assembly was invited to also write poems in response to the story and some people send me their pomp thank you very much
there was he who sent them and if anybody wants to read their poems here
you're welcome to do so
class and ten see obama said the hospital
the sun is she a lump of clay
clambers up close now in japan
some perverse shuttle pass concerned with hello
birch was as practice hands and never sits in ritual
would you really say the last line again napoli
me here that by anyone by any chance
great data is right
thank you so thank you very much
yes others
her honour
i see
it was this year was a day
what is it you know
thank you very much

yes looking for rice one person
the gonna case
thank you for your research
by the way have you escape then
send presents assess successfully escape you
that you are not so successful

the same six ancestor you get so lucky to successors exponential benefits
i heard quite a surprise seven changing
only unreliable
and this christine useful village filled with truly and festival singing it's no sign listen
oh find gate written by a school with creepy lord and become the song
thank you very much

i've got other ones about cat i'm not reading them
because the people didn't ask me too
i thank you off her yes
have i

well maybe it's possible
i'm working on memorizing ancestors bombs

ready for another story about enlightenment
k so
this this case is number sixteen
in the blue cliff record
it's called
man in the weeds
ching excuse me g chain jing changed man in the weeds changing is the teacher in this story
a monk asked
ching ching
i'm breaking out
i asked to teach you to break in
or i'm picking out as to teach her to pick in
a gym chin said
can you live or not
the monk says
if i weren't alive
i'd be laughed at by others
ching ching said
you two are a man in the weeds

before i read the poem in response to this want to mention that there is the image which
has offered in the tradition
a chick in sight of an egg shell
and the hand outside
and the chick picks out and the hen pecks in
these days not too many of us get to a witness this
may is possible that that hands had forgotten about this possibility
i think however chicks still know how to pick out of
i was show but in the old days that the hands used to
is to tap from the outside
the adult mother hen wen
tap in response to the
check inside the shell and together they would break the shell

so that images used you could say for the relationship between
buddha's and living beings or teachers and students

the hand could break the egg
right after it comes out
but then debate that the the chicken public would die it would be alive maybe lot of it higgs come out with living
if they had hit it right away after him out almost all the chicks would not survive
and without getting packed some chicks my pupil you might think could get out without but
can we we don't know if that's possible really
ah we don't know what
what's helping a chick get out one night when they back but an old days the idea was they couldn't get out by themselves
and also the hen cannot get the check out by herself because she needs to get some information about what's going on inside and one of the main forms and information is
packing which you could see to some extent and hear and feel
and again if you look at the metaphor
people might think that the enlightenment is one that
student breaks out of the show
you could also see the enlightenment as the interaction was six stood still in the inside that that is enlightenment to
and also when they chick gets outside that's not the end of their relationship
they continued to relate is just that the shells not a big issue anymore
except perhaps
they might eat it because it has kelsey a minute and it also has some mom fiber
so the relationship goes on even after breaking out
but there is a breaking up
i don't know who the who the first would his teacher was to use this image
this image was used i'm pretty sure before jing jing was asked by the monk monk at already heard about this
that was addressing a teacher and say okay teacher i'm packing out i ask you to pick in there already knew about this from other people
so then
later another sen teacher wrote this poem
the ancient borders family style
responsive preaching comes to scornful
the attractions
chick and mother hen do not know each other
who is it that breaks in and breaks out together
a pack and she awakens
but she's still in the shell
once again she receives a blow
all the zen monks in this world
name and describe
this process in vain

so this might be an earlier version of this
i'm pretty sure it is this is a poem written by
xiang yang
and sean yon is a dimer brother to the people in the first story of the first class and the first class we have me who
who sent one of his students to his brother
young schon
so young shine me who are dharma brothers said the same teacher and xiang yang also has the same teacher as them
and young shot xiang yang wrote a lot of palms and this is one of them
the chick pecs from within the hen from without
chick breaks free through the show
one hen and chicks are both gone
the function has not gone astray
singing the same song the mystic voice goes on alone

i have another case that's quite a bit longer and more complicated job bring up maybe later
if we need it
so again i think cause who
ah we talked about irony and the first class
in relation katie brought up to statement that
when one attains realization it is not what one was expecting
or you know whatever you thought it was beforehand it will not be that
so in that way enlightenment is kind of ironic

and also in so enlightenment has an ironic aspect and some other things some other things also have iraq an ironic aspect
can you think of some other things that have an ironic aspect

through real easy question
grasping has an ironic aspect
literally anything in the world
everything has an ironic aspect
our life has an ironic aspect
it's not what we think it is
and also then his throat closely related to our life so zen uses irony
uses it as part of the process
so in this story
the monk as the teacher okay i'm picking up would you please back in teacher says you know will you be who you are your will you be able to live or not he says if i weren't alive people would laugh at me and then the teacher says
here's another one in the weeds and weeds means visually delusion
or stuck in shells
but again there's an iron man
whether it which you can't escape
you can try and if you try there will be consequences but you won't succeed
you'll get dead in the story
by eliminating the irony irony isn't the whole story his chest
it just part of the spice of life
so you're at all of invited again if you'd like to write poems about this case
can you remembered
the monk says the teacher i'm picking out i asked to teach her to pick in teacher says
if i do
where you live will you be able to live or not
the student says if i wasn't alive
people would laugh at me
teacher says here's another one
living a know in the weeds

and they
the the teacher says here's another one living in the weeds
so as a teacher in a sense is naming and describing the situation in vain
i think teachers are not afraid to do things in vain
it's not like i'm not going to do anything if it's gonna be in vain

i'm not gonna help you if it's in vain
but again that can be an ironic statement because to say that to somebody could be quite helpful
i'm not gonna help you if it's in vain could that be an ironic statement

i'm not come into berkley if it's in vain

yeah it's ironic
but i'm not
you mean what might a monk have been
ironically saying
he could have been saying that if a zen monk
isn't alive people would think he's you know kind of a phony zen monk


alive in a way that they see
and see if they see the monk and amount doesn't seem to be alive
they think they get a phone in their laugh at him

well it could be it could be that
that the function of enlightenment as be expressed as a life of the monk that's a light that's a living monk
and people might laugh at at a monk who didn't have that vitality

we didn't actually said dead he said alive or not alive so it's it's it's a kind of
being is a kind of being not alive and it you know yes
hey in a is a lie it's fine
he led me out
in their eats or now
yeah or it could be that you you get out of the egg and you think you have a life independent of the hand and that's not really being alive and people would laugh at it had a chick who thinks it
pull the whole thing off by itself
that would be not got a check with thought like that would not be a fully alive chick
chick we didn't need her mommy and realize their relationship we're not in our people would laugh at such chick like the story which we often tell about the the duck who got separated not the swan know doc the duck who got separated from
his parent
and was walking around and came to a pond has a bunch of ducks swimming and the ducks said hey young chickadee come on in and the end and the ducks says i can't swim and they say well yes she can hear a duck
you know and and to nine not not a duck
so he's kind of funny duck
they think she's funny that the know that i mean tour but they understand she just don't understand she's a
so she's not really fully alive yet and she doesn't think she can swim and she doesn't swim
cause she doesn't understand
who she is such so people laugh at her
and a zen monk who doesn't understand who she is
the other ten much my laugh at or but they might also laugh at her in a loving way waiting for her to come alive
but also he would make being a ironic
when he said
in response to that statement
you're here you're living in the weeds
which also has some residents there with the chicken the weeds yes

he said




maybe the maybe the chicks just gonna like
and what's the word wiggling around
in the shell
and doesn't and doesn't hear anything
but then by accident may be scratches
her big and makes a sound
and maybe she hears her own sound
when she makes it
and the processes started to come alive but then she has another
somebody hit somebody errs are scratching and then taps you know doesn't really packs a be my a gentle tap at first so then it then the chick is apple a test for listening to the tapping of the one who is listening to her

so the chicks helping the hen be our lucky test bar and the hands helping to check ability into sharp
and this relationship of helping each other
tune into the life of listening
to each other
custom something to get over that's something to continue but in the process shells may get broken and there may be moments of liberation
but deliberation was also there before the process started because elaboration liberation allowed
the check to pack
and the handers on the process is before now and after
but there is this thing of breaking out of the shell and then they'll sit then there were enlightened
or then there was a celebration of enlightened or as before that were there were really doing it and in a way the celebration is kind of ironic
people living together and they say you know
they're living together look lovingly and then they say i love you

but it can be understood our as i ran a grand i'm saying i love you but really i've been loving it all along
palin say so

there's laughing lab matter or not
i would say it does young
thinking that

oh you guys are talking about this guy thinking that people are going to laugh
and i was thinking about laughing at the ironing
because oftentimes we we kind of get the irony but we don't get it enough so that we wind up laughing
but some people maybe they're bragging they find irony a hysterical
they get they get hysterical about irony
so this a secondary interesting that
people will laugh and he might have been being ironic
at that time when he said people others might laugh at me if i'm not alive
you might have been ironic about the laughter and also about not being alive
because everything is has is ironic aspect which is general generally speaking calling for more appreciation

like this then i said something that could have been ironic and i could have calling been calling for you to appreciate my irony but
nobody did yes
well i are
if i say
you have to be seen
you must have to sleep in order to wake up
yeah and we will we we we have that part down quite well
i think yeah i think it's ironic yeah it's sort of ironic that we that were sleeping is kind of ironic
that we don't even understand our sleeping is a condition for waking up
we miss the irony is sleeping and we also missed the irony of being awake
when nothing we always miss it but we often miss the irony of sleeping and the irony of being awake
we miss the an irony of enlightenment
quite frequently
and also i don't know which is most frequently overlooked the irony of awakening of the irony of being deluded and asleep

ah yeah
so now maybe i could just bring up this thing which he didn't ask me to bring up
the but i told you i would bring it up if you'd asked me but see i didn't ask me so where should i wait for you to bring asked me
remember what it is that your me to bring up

so if i say that i x that i suspected i'll remember that i run my great because i know i'm going to remember
the thing i was going to bring up for this thing about it's actually a thing about
being creative this package is also about being creative right
enlightenment is about being creative it's about helping the next generation come out but also it's about the next generation helping the previous generation be successful
salzburg and the creative so one story is
the dip
that but
yeah nineteen eighty one is almost forty years ago right
nineteen eighty one is thirty eight years ago right so nine and thirty thirty eight years ago i was in england and one of the people who was hosting me was a painter and he wanted me to see a video of his painting teacher
and i i keep meaning to look this teacher up but i think the teachers nickname was
an english painter and the vid in the video the painter said i think the painter said something like
a lot of people think if you understand you can create i think i thought that that you know if you understood something that you could paint a great picture
if you are really good understanding then you can
he said but really it's the other way around when you create you understand
and i thought that i was one of those people who thought understand if you understand how to pay than you can be creative you understand how to play the piano you can be creative thought i thought
but you can understand how to play the piano and as you get into playing the piano as you begin to create than you understand what you're doing
you understand how ironic it is
how'd that happened to me that was kind of like it change your perspective
on the creative activity
of this world
creation understanding then and i think around that time i already had the concept understanding liberation
so some artists may be harder working to be creative so they can understand and be free
like vincent van gogh was really trying to be free of suffering
and his creative process
almost almost liberated him

but it couldn't paint twenty four hours a day
the next thing that happened to that came to me was
another english person
i think if fred in psychiatrist psychoanalyst
named winner god
he i was reading some of his writings about play
and reality
and he said
in order to play you need to
an an order to relax
you need to feel safe
at least in a in sums limited's sphere feel safe you'll feel safe or another way to put it is trust that it would be okay to relax

and then he said also i think that when you can play then you can be creative
so i i quickly i got relax play create understand deliberate
and i was talking to people about this in a workshop and and i one person just felt that he just couldn't trust relaxing
and so i got into what he would need to trust that it would be okay to relax and i gradually became clear to me that i thought what he needed was he needed to be able to practice generosity and ethical discipline and patience in order to
trusted of the okay to relax
and as we got into it seen my desk that's what he needed
so this is a
this is a company that came to me and i see it as an alternative version of what we call and i've talked to about before the six bodyside for practices
the generosity ethics patience diligence concentration and wisdom but it's coming at them from emphasizing for the central necessity of of up being relaxed and playful and creative in the process
and that these people who are pract people who are practicing ethics
how other people feel safe
but also they themselves because they're ethical they dare to relax
if they're really committed not to harm anybody
then they feel more able to relax when i was people but if you're not sure if you're committed to no harm people and you may feel i shouldn't relaxed because i might harm them
i should can hold myself in check because i might insult them or and act in a in a harmful way
when you're really committed to being careful and respectful and tender with beings when with that commitment and with the patients with your current level of that practice which might not be very developed you gradually develop
that ethics in the patience and you actually can feel like you know it's not that i'm trustworthy but this practice makes it so i can relax with people
i don't have to chain myself up in order to protect of people from me
ethics is what protects people and i'm really committed to it and also as i mentioned over and over part of ethics which i'm committed to which helped me feel okay about relaxing is that if i relax and i do something inappropriate
you get to call me into question you get to come into account so part of what helps me relax is that i'm willing to be called into account
for what i do when i'm not relaxed and what i do one i am relaxed so those practices
are the first three practice of generosity ethics and patients set up a diligent concept the diligent effort to take care of things in a way that you can relax and be flexible and playful and then creative and then there's wisdom says that
that's what i wanted to bring up which applies here to this
this enlightened to this enlightenment process that you liked the packing should be careful
i forgot who it was but i think it was a japanese zen monk who saw in japan the hub eight it going to caters chalk is or cicadas
and they call them semi in japan and they they're even the little noisier than crickets they're they're bigger they're almost as big and so they really make a racket at night and it's it's it's okay though
on the country it's very noisy in japan
and this this monk when he was young he saw a cicada coming out of it's chrysalis and tried to help it
he wasn't careful
so that by helping the wing come out of the christmas it put it was informed properly so then the cicada died
that was a great lesson to him to be to be very careful of beings and very gentle and tender
even though you want to help people yes you do and help them
but even so even though you want to help them is still to be careful really careful and gentle
and if you really aren't careful and gentle than you can take care of them and be relaxed etc
and then
mr mr winner god told the star a story
about this girl who was little little girl who was taken care of and she was in hospital
i don't i think maybe and and how she was at the time but and wish this little girl was very very uncomfortable
just really uncomfortable and i had trouble digesting and had rashes and also
came to a situation are being put in the hospital because she was also having seizures
maybe two or three a day
and the seizures the this but i think this particular procedure it's like you your nervous system has this response we're actually you you go unconscious
and when you're unconscious actually of during the seizure you're actually relaxed
you get a little break from the from your attention by the seizure but it's it's you know it's it's troublesome way to get to get some relaxation same as little girl came to see him with her mother i think and
at some point in the process a her spending time with him
she came over got on his me
and she
as they say took it upon herself to bite his knuckles of his hand and to bite them hard almost to the point of tearing the skin
but not not quite that far but close to actually turn the skin and she's certainly not what she did with him she in as sat on his she she felt safe enough to get on his knee and then she felt safe enough and to a bite his knuckle
and then and then along with that she started to reach into his pocket where he had his tongue to pressures of wooden spatulas and pull him out of his pocket and thrown around the room
and so that you cheated with him on one occasion then she came another time and at the same thing so she would play with him and she inch and here he could allow her to throw his spatulas around the room and he could allow her to bite him
and there was some
some trust being built here and also some beginning to relax and be playful
and then one also along with these activities ship one day she was playing with her feet
and so he to help her play with her feet more and more engaging way he took her shoes off
and took her socks off
so she could see she has come off and stocks come off and then she was playing with her toes and she tried to take her toes off
but they didn't come off
and she had a major surprise
now and yeah it was like a creative breakthrough for her that she can play in this way and then she could try to shove you tried to pull her toes off and they didn't come on it was like a creative breakthrough and
and the next day there was no more seizures
and the next day there were no seizures isn't so he stayed two more weeks in a hospital she was over the government seizure she was cured by this process
just keep being able to
relax a little bit with him
and bite his knuckle and reach up and take the spatulas out some relaxation that she wasn't like
almost paralyzed retention so she playing with them a bit she's relaxing with him now she's playing with him and then she starts being creative in her play and then she has this insight comes
and that's
that's that happened the day before she was liberated from the seizures

this is the great function of the pecking in packing out
she was packing to him she was showing him what he could do for her
her biting her
her body tone
took showed him what he could do and then he showed her what she could do and then she showed him what he could do and back and for this way they found their way to freedom together
and then she went on to to be quite a healthy young girl and he saw her years later and she was really doing well
yes this is
standing is a understanding slash yeah wisdom is hard to make out it's hard to make wisdoms tough rising
why wise up
understand understanding understood but we don't wisdom doesn't get those conjugations i wish it did i think and maybe in japan asia can conjugate wisdom and but english and wisdom doesn't really conjugate does it
kind of its kind of like a little bits it's a little bit it's kind of a stock word
now away elements
i really am
yeah a wisdom make wisdom that's the thing about play and reality play opens to creativity to wisdom which realize is reality and reality when i realized reality we're free
we're free from delusion without getting rid of it
you know we're free of the shell without getting rid of the shell
we can use the whatever was confining us we can now use to express freedom
by by packing and and and big and getting pegged back or my hearing the picking and packing with the process is the unfoldment of the freedom when we're in accord with the relationship
the relationship to already there what it is but we have to
we have to get into it and honored to be creative with it and understand it it's already a creative process were already living in the middle of this creative process
so i have to use the aspects of the creative process to realize the creative process and so we are calling to each other
and we're being called by each other that's the actually already going on and we need to an inaccurate in order to realize it and that's how we are doing
listen army is it lists those in a our league
well the way or the way i is emphasizing what now is that
basically in on the in a way the usually people don't say that concentration is compassion but for the it's sort of this
but certainly being generous and being tender and respectful and careful of all your karma is compassion and being accountable to other people about your ethical commitments and your ethical
yeah accountability and then being patient with your pain and other people's pain being present with people these are compassion practices but also being diligent and enthusiastic about those practices but also about helping these can become free to be
to be remembering that and thinking about that see if your energy for it that's also the fewer for compassion and in a way concentration is also compassion
so in a with the first five or compassion
and make possible the entered the totally integration with reality
this was is that also to trust last play rate or said
other also
is compact we need compassion and orange trusted it's okay to relax somebody has to we have to feel that people are
that it's okay to relax with these people we don't have to hope we'd have to hold up our guard with these people are we can hold up our guard but in a relaxed way and you know and then we can help hold up our guard and play with our guard
i can judo they call what they do playing
so you can hold up your guard but an ironic humorous way like laurel and hardy
hi there are very good at playing with each other and kind of getting irritated with each other but in a way that was really funny
yeah and stanton and stand laurel was thinking up all these new ways to be funny about in are being being pushed around by oliver and irritating oliver and all these funny ways yes certainly

much more relaxed now
and hey it
and now fps
oh no
yeah that last statement sounds like he saying you're stuck in the weeds yeah
yeah it's kit is is just it's just the last line in the play which and that play will go on
it is important ingredient years she has a thing about it they're interacting you know teachers to to interact and didn't they say the student walk up and people think like period that's end of story but does not if this is this is an endless drama that they're so this is breaking out the show but they go on
and so the iran another example another story which
yeah i'd say this that long so i'll tell them
so the famous the the founder of the lindzey school of challenge which which became the most prolific school of all the schools in china
and it's all it's one of the two men schools in japan and probably the same and korea but in japan as to manage and schools in china there were five but the most populous one was the lindzey school and when g was about to die he said to one of his senior students
now after i die
do not destroy my treasury of true dharma
or simply do not destroy my teaching
and so and part of
part of flynn then is teaching was shouting his shoulder like students his his packing to the students were often involve shouting and the students was shot back to him and he was shot back to them never they would have shouting matches
playful ironic shouting matches and he was quite successful
i'm getting people
could you could say have to wake up but i would say tonight he was quite successful and getting people who just wanted to keep shouting forever
you know who are just really enthusiastic about shouting at everybody and being shouted at by everybody all over china
so he's about to die and it tells him his
second most important disciple who just happens to be near his deathbed i'm right i do not destroy my teaching and the teachers and his monks name is
foundation which i think means three saints
so function the a great student of lungi here's his teacher say when i die don't just try my true dharma and so on sancho on shots
and destroys to teach us star
and then the teacher said who would have thought or you know how ironic that my teaching would be destroyed by a blind ass
so it's you know irony upon irony my teaching is destroyed when my teaching is transmitted and who destroys it a blind ass my greatest disciple is applied ass
he's like me
it was shouting is it pardon
teacher destroyed his teaching by using his own teaching he uses the shouting to destroy the teachers shout and teacher shout is now have been destroyed however that's also part of the process is that the student destroys the teachers teaching and that makes to teach her successful now the teaching is this do
ooh into teaching
which is again a kind of irony you make your teacher successful by an a sense destroying your teachers teaching and that's exactly what your teachers teaching as for is for you to make it successful by destroying them
and maybe the story didn't happen but it perfectly set up
and that's another irony
is that the setup for a punchline and a joke
when you've put the sarah most people do not laugh
they don't think to setup is funny
then the punchline comes and they laugh and part of what you realize is that the setup was funny
but you couldn't get it until your heard the punchline
so now the setups in the for foreground and the punch lines in the background
say don't laugh
now the punishment comes the foreground set up goes the background and you laugh
and your laughter mixed
set up funny
and it always was but she didn't get it till the bridge couldn't see the punchline

yeah like in dreams and dreams sometimes something's really funny and wake up and you say it it's not funny

what board and me i think boredom is a really good and again as they said maybe other traditions have irony as a big important part but
part of the irony of the other traditions is that people don't know that the iraq
people don't people onto not so aware that christianity is really ironic
and and is islam is really ironic this say it's just like it's not well known were in it's it's like all the scholars can tell you that then has various retort rhetoric devices the main one is irony cape
that's the main sojourners well known for irony being a big one and of course is it's also in christianity too but the distant they don't play it up very much so boredom boredom is another ironic situation

which are probably waiting for from its time yes and i'm willing to tell you even though it will all be in vain yes
which was an that was a joke you got it
see i'm willing to tell you
when he said
sagan another man
the output about it
if it
harsh or me
we all know the not he saying area on the air and
so a teacher
yeah sure i think the ways we don't go the way he said it was is not like that aren't already a lot of people in the weeds this guy to isn't the weeds the also on this one here who's who's interacting with me in his practice he is also in the weed with the other people
that's less than our irony is that the teacher gives up not being in the weeds to go into the weeds in order to hang it in order to
do this thing with people
and then they go into the wage and and the accused people are being in the weeds
but they but they also sometimes accuse what are you doing here
that's part of a to issue
yeah so boredom is like boredom so like boring right
but boredom is really the most in some sense was the last
when i got the last hope against the process of awakening
you know if people are really full of hatred don't need than the boredom is not really relevant
if people are wracked with lust look boredom isn't
people don't you know sometimes people say you know this hatred is really like boring not so often
but the good and that would be that would be like starting to get playful
boredom comes in and says you know you have better things to do than this this is really not interesting
and yet here here like really fixated on the boredom and an israeli here your kind of paralyzed by it so boredom is very powerful who would detract detractors
it's a very powerful detractors like was it
the responsive
the chicken the mother
yeah where's that
oh there it is
the ancient buddhist family style is a responsive preaching to scornful distractions
district not distractions but also detraction this is dan is really a waste of time is so boring but that comes when you're get to get into other ways it's not the first problem the first problem is
more major kinds of but this does this is like a very powerful one and so how to have a responsive relationship with boredom and again if you get really angry at it will already the board and and back disappears
but that's then you're going to take have to back to something more interesting
how can you not try to get rid of the boredom and have a good have a relationship with it
without trying to jazz it up
or get yourself excited how do you have a relationship with the board
there's a again there it is
there's life in the boredom there's life in it it's a lively thing as coming in saying this situation is really dead
there's no life here
oh yeah thanks for coming and bringing me this boredom who gave me this board and i'm so grateful

and now i have a chance to go into board a boring traffic