Teachings and Meditations On Our True Nature

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Our true nature is that we fully possess the wisdom and virtues of the buddhas. But because of misconceptions and attachments we do not realize our buddha nature. Therefore, teachings are given to listen to, accept, and understand so that such misconceptions and attachments drop away and thus our true buddha nature may be realized. Each class will begin with quiet sitting and walking meditation followed by teachings and group discussions.

Transcript: 

This is a traditional Zen thing to do. Hold the flowers without saying anything. So once I get here, I always have a good time. And this summer, I've had a really good time not just being here, but studying. Studying things which I've, I don't know, not studied so much before. And I'm really inspired by what I'm studying. And I'm sharing it with you and other people in other places. So I've told you already that part of what I'm studying is,

[01:03]

and I'm sharing with you, is a basic text which is the main Indian treatise on Buddha nature and the realization of Buddha nature, which is Buddha. It's an Indian text. This text was, we don't exactly know, but it has something to do with a great Indian historical figure named Asanga. So he seems to be the one who wrote it down. And there's some unclarity about whether he actually received the divine instructions from the next Buddha, Maitreya. So one story is he went to a heaven where Maitreya lives and took notes on Maitreya's teaching. Maitreya taught him about Buddha nature.

[02:11]

And the teaching of Buddha nature isn't just in this text, though. It's in other great Mahayana sutras. It's in other great vehicle scriptures. The teaching of Buddha nature. And part of the reason that I have been finally inspired to... No, part of the conditions for me starting to study this more deeply than I'd had before was, number one, many years of hearing that the Buddha nature teaching is very important in the Zen school. Number two, reading the Nirvana Sutra, which sort of put me at ease about the dangers of studying this type of teaching. Yeah.

[03:16]

And then once I started studying it, I really felt great. And tonight I'm feeling... I'm feeling that this Indian teaching about Buddha nature and the fruit of it, the fruit of purifying the Buddha nature as in becoming Buddha, that that teaching and the details of that teaching I'm starting to see is actually in our traditional Zen stories in a simplified form. So, I told you the story about a monk coming to the Zen master, Zhao Zhou, right? And saying, does a dog have Buddha nature? Right?

[04:21]

That's one of the simple Zen stories. Does a dog have Buddha nature? And Zhao Zhou says, no. And then another monk comes, or the same monk comes at another time and says, does a dog have Buddha nature? And Zhao Zhou says, yes. Or, another way to translate it, does a dog have Buddha nature or not? And Zhao Zhou says, doesn't have. Does a dog have Buddha nature or not? And Zhao Zhou says, has. Who is that? It's not somebody coming to visit? Did you hear about the dog in the Dharma talk last Sunday? So, in response to this story,

[05:25]

this person made this amazing doll and I shared it in the Dharma talk at Green Gulch. And people really appreciated the dog. They appreciated the dog and the reverse of the dog. Did I tell you the story about Bodhidharma and his main disciple, the second ancestor of Zen in this class? So, here's a story. So, this person who we call Huika, the second ancestor of Zen in China, somehow he went to meet

[06:28]

Bodhidharma, the first ancestor, the founder. And Bodhidharma was sitting in meditation in his cave. And this very sincere person who really wanted to study with him, came to see him and asked to see him. And anyway, to make a long story short, finally, Bodhidharma accepted him as a student and they spent time together. This person, Huika, was very devoted to Bodhidharma, dash, the teachings of Bodhidharma, dash, the teachings of the great vehicle. Bodhidharma is the great bodhisattva of compassion,

[07:29]

who teaches the great vehicle teachings. And Huika was devoted to him and the teaching which he studied, practiced and taught. So they're hanging out for some period of time. We don't even know, you know, there's no real scientific proof that Bodhidharma actually even existed. But anyway, in the religious imagination or the spiritual imagination of the Zen school, he's a big, he's a big fantasy. We love him. We're devoted to him and we don't know who he is. Matter of fact, part of the story of him is he went to see the emperor of China

[08:30]

and at one point they had a meeting and the emperor says to Bodhidharma, who is it that's standing in front of me? And Bodhidharma said, don't know. Don't know. That's another story about Bodhidharma. It's another story about the same teaching, the Mahayana. It's a teaching about Buddha nature and Buddha. But the story I want to tell tonight was not that one. Even though I couldn't help it, I came out. The story I want to tell is between Huika and Bodhidharma. After Bodhidharma said to the emperor of China, don't know, he left the imperial compound and went north and sat in a cave. After he left, the emperor's

[09:34]

national teacher in the palace said, do you know, your majesty, who that was? And emperor Wu knew about Buddhism. He knew about, for example, the great bodhisattvas. He knew about the bodhisattva of infinite compassion, Avalokiteshvara. Do you know, your majesty, who that person was? And the emperor said, no, and he doesn't know either. As a matter of fact, he told me not to know who he was. And so the teacher said, well, I'm going to tell you who it is. It's Avalokiteshvara. It's the bodhisattva of infinite compassion who came here to transmit the Buddha mind seal. And the emperor said, oh, we should get him to come back. And the teacher said, even if you sent the whole country, he wouldn't come back. And then brackets, I'm adding,

[10:37]

but if you wanted to go study with him, he might accept you if you're really sincere. Close brackets. Anyway, the emperor did not go, but somebody else came. And what was his name? Go ahead, say it. Yeah. Which means, you could say, able in wisdom. Can do wisdom. Wisdom can do. That's his name. Hue is wisdom. And ka means we can do it here. So here he is, and they're hanging out. And at some point Bodhidharma says to him, outwardly, whatever is out there, don't activate the mind around it. Inwardly, no coughing or sighing. Or no scoffing and sighing.

[11:49]

None of that. Inwardly or outwardly. With a mind like a wall, thus you enter the Buddha way. That was the instruction. This is a Mahayana instruction. For the sake of realizing Buddhahood. Then the disciple comes to the teacher at some point. In the story it says, Bodhidharma gives that instruction, with a mind like a wall, this is a mind like a wall. What's a mind like a wall? Not activating your mind around objects, outwardly or inwardly.

[12:51]

That's a mind like a wall. Walls don't activate around stuff. They face stuff. Walls have faces, right? And they face everything without activating. With a mind like that, you enter the way. This is a great vehicle teaching. So the story is, with a mind like a wall, thus you enter the way. And then the next line in the story usually, it says, one day, finally, Huika comes to the teacher and says, the disciple has no further involvements. In other words, the disciple has a mind like a wall. The teacher gave him an instruction to have a mind like a wall to enter the Buddha way.

[13:54]

He finally has the mind like a wall. He comes and tells the teacher, I've got a mind like a wall. And the teacher says, have you fallen into nihilism? Or another translation could be, have you fallen into annihilation? And Huika says, no, I have not. And Bodhidharma says, please prove it. And Huika says, I'm always clearly aware and no words reach it. No words. No words reach it. And then Bodhidharma, I think, says,

[14:58]

this is the mind that all Buddhas, you know, take care of and transmit at ease. Or that'll do, pig. Do you know that'll do, pig? Bernie? Yeah. There's a book called Babe, I mean a movie called Babe. And after Babe performs various miracles, his trainer says, that'll do, pig. So, you know, that's sort of like one of the last lines. They're walking off into the sunset and the guy says to him, that'll do, pig. Now this guy does not have a Scottish accent. He has a New Zealand accent, I think. But I think he might be from Scotland. Do you know this guy? Anyway, Bodhidharma says,

[16:02]

that'll do, pig. Now, what further details on this, I can tell you. But this is my creative imagination. This is my practice that's going to be talking. There's no scientific proof yet for what I'm about to tell you. So some versions of the story mention that there's seven years between when the instruction was given and when he said the student had no further involvements. It's actually on a piece of paper. It's like one line and then the next line. But in between there's, some people say, seven years. But it could be 70 or 100 or a million. The point is that they hung out together and worked on that teaching. In order to understand that teaching,

[17:03]

which is a teaching on our, a teaching on, and for the sake of our true nature, in order to work on that teaching, it's necessary to have deep devotion to the teaching. And certainly sometimes the Hoika had deep devotion to the teaching and the teacher. It's also necessary to have great compassion. It's also necessary to have great tranquility. And it's also necessary to have analytic wisdom or a wisdom, an insight process which is analyzing. What? Well, the teaching. And the teaching's about a mind.

[18:06]

So it's analyzing a mind, applying a teaching to the mind. So those things are necessary in order to understand this teaching. And I would suggest to you that they were working on the teaching using these purifying practices. These practices which purify the misconceptions and attachments which live together with our true nature. And it's easy for me to imagine that Hoika continued to be devoted, but maybe he had periods where his devotion flagged. Maybe he ran out of patience during those seven years when Bodhidharma kept giving him instructions about how not to activate the mind. Now the thing, our true nature

[19:10]

is suchness. And the realization of suchness is the true body of the Buddha. And that true body of Buddha is free of any conceptual elaboration. Sentient beings are generally speaking prone to, dash addicted to conceptual elaboration. Which means we see something, we see somebody, we see something, we feel something, we think something, and we conceptually elaborate it. So again you can say we're addicted to it, dash

[20:12]

strongly inclined to do that. So the training to some extent towards realizing our true nature is the training in giving up conceptual elaboration. Which is a mind like a wall. Outwardly don't activate your mind. Look at people, that's your mind. Everything you see is your mind. And then see if you can not activate, not elaborate. And it maybe took him seven years of devoted supervision by the teacher he was devoted to to learn how to give that up. And realize the mind which is clearly aware that no words reach. So this is a story, this is a conceptual story I'm giving to you. It's a rational presentation of a relationship

[21:15]

and it's a rational description of a mind which is beyond rational description. It's words about a mind which is beyond words. It's concepts about a realization that's beyond conceptualization. But the story doesn't get into the details. I'm getting into the details for my welfare and for yours. So not only are people sentient beings kind of prone to conceptual elaboration of everything in their life, but they also have some other things which kind of interfere with realizing their true nature which this instruction can address.

[22:19]

So again, in order to address what's going on with ourselves, we need to be devoted to the teaching. Now, I'm devoted to the teaching and you also are devoted to the teaching. I don't know how devoted you are. You support me to be devoted to the teaching. Can you imagine that? I don't know that you support me to be devoted to the teaching. I'm coming over to the yoga room. Do you think I'm maybe thinking about the teaching when I'm coming over here? Do you think maybe I'm studying during the week knowing that I'm going to come over here? And then after here I'm thinking about the next talk at Green Gulch. All these people are supporting me to study, to be devoted to the Dharma. And you're devoted to it somewhat too because you come here to support me, to support you and so on. So we are somewhat devoted.

[23:22]

And that devotion is kind of like a remedy for the different translations. But I like the word, well one word is for hostility towards the teachings of the great vehicle. Can you imagine that somebody would be, not you people, but somebody who wants to, I don't know if that's kind of like wants to have a life that they're hostile or have enmity towards the great vehicle teaching. Have you ever felt any enmity for the great vehicle teaching? Two people are admitting it. Three, four, five. They're raising their hands and nodding.

[24:25]

That they've had enmity towards what? The great vehicle of the Buddhas? The universal salvation of all beings? The teaching of that? You've had some enmity towards? You've had some enmity towards the overwhelming, inconceivable Dharma of the great vehicle? Well some people do. The enmity is another, so hostility or enmity. Today I thought of enmity and I thought of a poem. A poem which is case 98 of the Book of Serenity and the name of the poem is Dungshan's Always Close. So you could understand, that could be understood as Dungshan is always close

[25:28]

or Dungshan apostrophe S his quotes always close. Both work. One day somebody came up to Dungshan and said, among the three Buddha bodies which are the true body, the reward body and the transformation body, among those three bodies, which one doesn't fall into any categories? And Dungshan said, I'm always close to this. I'm always close to what doesn't fall into any categories. And therefore I'm not going to tell you which one of them doesn't fall into a category. I'm just going to say, I'm always close to the Buddha body

[26:29]

which doesn't fall into any category including the category of Buddha body. I'm always close to that. And in the poem celebrating it, there's a poem which says something like the ultimate closeness is almost like enmity. This great vehicle teaching is the thing that is closest to you. And when you actually start to get that, when you start to get closer, as you start to get closer and closer before you've made it all the way, you start to like want to go someplace else. Almost like enmity.

[27:35]

And I've often told you about I came from Minnesota to Zen Center partly to study with a Zen teacher. I didn't know exactly who it was going to be but when I saw him I said fine. And then I was devoted to him. Can you believe I was devoted to him? I was. I'm not saying I'm more devoted than someone else but I was devoted to him. Pretty much where he was, I was. And I enjoyed that. I really did. Kind of like you may not like me but I'm in your face and I'm going to keep being there in the form of like you're in the Zen Dojo, I'm in the Zen Dojo. You're giving a talk, I'm giving a talk. You live there, I live here. And sometimes he gave me some special opportunities

[28:36]

to be with him. Like he would actually say you can come and hang out with me now. And a number of times when he let me come and be with him guess what? Guess what Barbara Joan? I went. Yeah. I went to see him and then when he actually started to give me his full attention I wanted to get away. And then, so I would say I wouldn't just walk out, I would say well I don't want to take any more of your time and he'd say, it's okay, you can stay. When we start getting close to what is most intimate, it's sometimes something almost like the emnity. And so we need to just keep working on the devotion.

[29:36]

So you get, you know, you just keep being devoted maybe at a distance, then you get invited again. Then you try to run away again. But then you keep being devoted again. So that was going on between them. And then compassion towards the running away, compassion towards how difficult it might be to be close to somebody, to be close to the teaching, letting that be, being careful and gentle with that, being patient with that, and then practicing tranquility. Being calm with the teaching that you're devoted to and calm with this trouble you're having in understanding the teaching or being consistently devoted to it. You know, being calm with that along with being compassionate. And then you can get into

[30:39]

well what is it like to actually not conceptually elaborate? So you go to the teacher and you say I have no further involvement and then he says, oh yeah? Is that nihilistic? And then maybe you don't have such a good answer as he had. And he says, and the teacher might say, guess what? You're activating your mind around my question. You don't have a mind like a wall. Get your human mind out of my sight. Or anyway, hand over your human mind. Give it to me, I'll take care of it. You don't know how to take care of it. I'll take care of it for you. And so on for seven years. Analyzing whether he actually is able to give up elaborating on whatever is happening in the mind.

[31:42]

And those practices, those four practices overcome the resistances to our true nature which are what's the first one I told you already? What? No, I told you the four practices. You got those? If the teacher tells you, if the teacher gives you a teaching like that, then you work on that, you're devoted to that. That overcomes the resistance in the form of what? Enmity to the teaching and to the teacher. You keep being devoted even though actually you want to get away from what you're devoted to. And the more you're devoted, the more you might try to get away. I never particularly wanted to get away from the other Zen students at Zen Center because I wasn't as devoted to them.

[32:48]

As I got more devoted to them, then I wanted to get away from them too. Next one is, the next thing that hinders having a mind like a wall is have a strong belief that the person has an individual self. And the next one is, it has two parts. One way to say it is desiring personal happiness and peace dash being afraid of the suffering of samsara. This teaching is

[33:54]

to help us not be afraid of the suffering of samsara. And if we're not afraid of the suffering of samsara, that facilitates us not trying to get anything for ourself like personal happiness and peace. And when we give that up by practicing these four practices, we realize true happiness. Because there's a desire for personal happiness and personal peace which is actually coming from fear of the suffering of the world. Now, if you got an instruction like Bodhidharma gave, you might still be subject to desiring personal happiness

[34:57]

and personal peace. You still might be afraid of the suffering of samsara. Even though you're hanging out with Bodhidharma and he's giving you a special instruction which will live for centuries. And you're kind of like, I'm so happy. He's giving me this great teaching. And I'd like to get some personal happiness out of this and some peace. But that's going to interfere with realizing no conceptual elaboration of compassion. Now, if that is there, the practice of compassion will deal with that. Devotion to the teaching and practicing compassion will deal with trying to get something out of Buddhism, out of being Bodhidharma's student.

[35:57]

And it will help you from the frustration if you're not getting happiness and peace for yourself. And then there's another thing which makes it kind of hard and that is not caring enough for the welfare of others. And I already told you the other thing was strongly believing in a self. Strongly believing in a self. If you give up conceptual elaboration the belief in the self will drop away. So these four things interfere with the realization of the mind which doesn't conceptually elaborate. And the other four drop away those four veils. So there's four veils and four practices

[37:03]

which go with those which are applied to our Buddha nature which is we are fundamentally pure, we are reality, we are reality associated with temporary misconceptions and attachments like attachment to and belief in, misconception about the person, about our self as being an independent creature, misconceptions and attachments to that and also misconceptions also give rise to fear of suffering and being compassionate with that, being devoted to the teaching about that and so on. So all that's going on during those seven years

[38:07]

I would say. I don't know if anybody, probably somebody said something like this before but this is like I'm like, I'm laughing because I think that when I was a kid there was this TV show called You Are There and so they reenacted certain moments in history and I remember one of them was the moment when Cleopatra was like in her palace and Marc Antony was around except they have reporters now TV reporters are there watching the scene and she's like about to pick up the snake and so on and I think Walter Cronkite was the moderator and he says it's just like it was back in ancient Egypt except you are there

[39:07]

so I'm saying to you it's just like it was in ancient China except now you are there and I'm telling you what it was like then. And you could say, well, but you weren't there you know but now you're there telling us how and now we're there so it's not like it was well, in a way that's true, it's not like it was we weren't there when Bodhidharma and Quaker were struggling to understand the mind that enters the Buddha way we weren't there except the teaching is that we were we were we are they are included in us right now and we are included in them who lived in the past we are included in these ancient teachers

[40:12]

we're included in them and they taught that we are they taught that there's no division between them and their future students and between their future students and them they taught that and a mind like a wall opens to that and enters that a mind not like a wall has some trouble entering that because we conceptually elaborate well how could I be included in Bodhidharma and Quaker's conversation right now well the way I am is like this, this is the way I am I'm telling you stories about their relationship that Quaker he cut off his arm his forearm, or part of his forearm and offered it to Bodhidharma

[41:14]

to demonstrate that he wasn't lacking in devotion we're included in that scene and anything we say about it is included in it even if they would say we're not, that's not true we are included in people of the past and people of the past are included in us and we're also included in people of the future and they're included in us we're included in the past Buddhas and the past Buddhas are included in us that's what Buddha is about just like we're included in our parents and our parents are included in us we're included in our children and our children are included in us it's the same thing it's another example of the same thing

[42:17]

so the Bodhidharma story is a simple version of this somewhat elaborate teaching and I'm bringing in the elaborateness of it because I think that the principles of the Mahayana I think Bodhidharma was teaching them but in this way he taught them this way and now we're teaching them this way tonight we're doing the same thing that they did this way and they back then are doing the same thing we're doing that way right now we're doing it in reality we're realizing our true nature right now this is what we're into and we include them but we're also included in them to me that's crystal clear

[43:31]

that what we're doing here is actually being included in them it has two ways to hear that what we're doing is included in them but also what we're doing is the practice of being included in them because all they're about is they're all about us that's what their job is is to have us and they do so they're a success and their success is us so therefore just like a mother's success is her children Bodhidharma is our parent we are included in them they live for us and they live for the people before them that's who we really are that's what we're really doing here so that's one extended conversation piece

[44:33]

which I am very happy to offer you yes, Tyler what does it mean to what does it mean generally speaking it's a process of misconception it's like you have a concept about something and you or I should say it could be that you have a concept of something and that you actually believe that the concept you have of the thing is the thing so you got

[45:40]

for example right now you're looking at me and you're living with me and maybe you'd like to be able to know that I'm here and so in order to know me maybe you'd like to perceive me but in order to perceive me you have to project some concept on me some image on me so you can say Reb rather than Nettie Nettie, that's the way she says it right Nettie now if you do that and you don't attach to that at all then it is still a misconception if you think that's me but you could also say it's a conception but it's not you but then if you don't have then you have troubles knowing me so to know me without making a conceptual version of me

[46:43]

is to realize your fundamental true nature and mine which is unknowable it's unknowable by this consciousness which knows by projecting images on things but that doesn't mean we're going to stop the image making process because that would just be another image making process in order to realize this situation where we are living without any conceptual elaboration which is the true body of Buddha in order to realize that we have to practice devotion to the teaching which tells us how to relate to our conceptions with compassion and devotion

[47:43]

and analytic wisdom in conversation with students and teachers who are doing the same thing because we cannot do the analytic wisdom by ourselves and we cannot practice compassion by ourselves because we need others to support us which they are doing so we have to accept that in order to practice compassion with this concept making process I thought of Freud who said human beings are powerful independent fantasizing machines and I disagree with one part of that which is independent we're not independent we're interdependent fantasizing machines so that's part of our temporary life is that we're fantasizing in order to know and if we practice with that fantasizing process it drops away

[48:46]

without being pushed away or degraded in any way it just drops away and we realize the suchness which was always there and that there without any temporary or associated misconceptions and attachments that is our true body which is already here with our misconceptions and anything you say about that is just back to our good old Buddha nature which is we temporarily try to say something about the true body of Buddha like we say it's this or that but anything we say about it is based on a concept and any concept or word doesn't reach it and the not reaching of any concept or words we say about it

[49:50]

is how it is free of any of my conceptual elaborations or yours not to mention it's free of attachment to the intellectual or conceptual elaborations it is free of it and it is teaching us how to be free of it because this Buddha body which is the realization of our Buddha nature which is the understanding of suchness and also the delusions that are associated with this so we are reality with delusion realizing that is this thing which is beyond delusion and this thing has qualities which are actually also beyond conceptual elaboration but these qualities make possible activities which are also fundamentally beyond and these activities are to teach us

[50:50]

teach us what? how to realize our nature by practicing with our pollution in a compassionate devoted calm and dynamic conversational insight process which we are doing this class is analytic wisdom this class is devotion to the teaching this class is tranquility this class is compassion towards yourself and towards each other right? that's what we are doing here yes and yes we are included in the past

[51:57]

and to me that feels like a prolonged circle ever that the past and the future aren't separated by segments of time that time as we perceive it is a projection of our consciousness how we function in the day so how does time get explained in the idea that we are part of the past and part of the future and they are a part of us what happens to time well right now it's going by in and out how do we reconstruct that if we are also in the past and in the future you could say time is going by

[53:13]

I think a lot of people would say oh yeah how does it go the fundamental things of life as time goes by we have this thing called time going by and then we have past present and future our past is past going by is future going by is present going by yes I have a more practical question

[54:14]

oh not so esoteric this conceptual elaboration that we are strongly inclined toward yeah so I got in touch this week with one that I'm strongly inclined toward which is I realized that I am disappointed by almost everybody I just realized it this week one by one I find myself disappointed in the people I know I just realized that it's a pattern so I'm trying to follow the instructions here so I've just confessed it but I'm still disappointed so again, I don't have to believe it I cannot see the disappointment of my thing it's not really over there but I'm still disappointed so this practice isn't about getting rid of disappointment it's about

[55:16]

letting disappointment drop away by noticing it, confessing it noticing it, confessing it which is an act of compassion pardon I'd say there's more shame than compassion to I thought you what is it I thought you said you confessed it and there's some shame does that shame facilitate you being compassionate towards this disappointment oh, so when you're you want to be compassionate towards

[56:18]

do you want to be compassionate towards everything so you want to be compassionate towards people and you want to be compassionate towards disappointment in your mind well, on principle but it just feels like a tiny little drop of shame like it's not going to work it's too tiny did you say in principle you wish to practice compassion towards disappointment when it arises in your body and mind I just want to get clear that in principle you wish to practice compassion so the teaching we're just talking about is like practicing compassion towards for example, disappointment disappointment is a temporary

[57:18]

misconception and it's a temporary attachment I understand that but I'm trying to say I actually feel it, I understand that part but what do I do about that I still feel it and now I'm ashamed to feel it when I know it's temporary and it's not real and it's my concessional operation so now I feel worse because I still feel it I'll say again when we practice devotion to the teaching compassion towards for example, disappointment and the people who the disappointment is associated with when we practice compassion and we practice tranquility and we practice analytic wisdom the temporary situation which we just

[58:24]

described as disappointment and disappointing people that situation drops away well if you've got an instant, it's an instant if you've got a week, it's in a week it drops away in that situation and this original, true nature of Buddha is realized which is free of conceptual elaboration which I've just dropped away this practice is not to get rid of what's going on with you and what's going on with you is what's going on with your body and mind and what's going on with your body and mind is that you seem to have a relationship with other bodies and minds that's your life so called internal and external aspects of your body and mind

[59:24]

this practice your Buddha nature is that disappointed woman believing that's actually going on and attaching to it not liking it, but attaching to it like this is actually happening and that's all I've got to say right now is this is happening because I'm attached to it and I'm not very flexible about it like well maybe I'm actually not disappointed maybe I'm actually like totally encouraged by these people I'm so inspired I'm attached to this it's not like this is just like one way of seeing them this is the way to see them and I happen to be seeing them the way that is the way to see them and so therefore what can I say I'm right and of course I attach to what's right because there's no alternative

[60:27]

well actually there is if something is right you don't have to attach to it we attach to what's not right because we think if I don't attach to it I might lose what's right that's a fear of samsara so anyway if you're really kind to whatever mess you've got it's not the point of it really kind to it doesn't get rid of it it doesn't get rid of it it lets go of it and then you get to see actually some things you never saw before for example disappointment actually is not disappointment disappointment is the universe knocking on my door and saying open it and I opened it and I saw the whole universe under the auspices of this obnoxious visitor

[61:29]

called disappointment which has been knocking on my door for quite a while and I have not been opening the door but now I do and what do I meet I meet my true nature by letting go of my resistance to disappointment and letting go of my attachment to disappointment it all drops away and then what do we got reality which we already had but we let go of the associated pollution now we have just pure buddha reality plus all this stuff which you will be happy to hear comes along with it like the ability to next time do the same thing and teach other people how to do that you know so to be concerned with getting rid of it or getting better and all that is to be hung up on the conceptual elaboration

[62:30]

it's just the same thing to confess it as an act of compassion is the practice of becoming free of what's hindering the realization of buddhahood but all these things are actually knocking on the door saying here's an opportunity, here's an opportunity here's an opportunity so disappointment in people is an opportunity appreciating people is an opportunity whatever is an opportunity for devotion to the teaching great compassion tranquility and analytic wisdom and all this is done in the sangha with the teacher and the students you're welcome thank you for the wonderful opportunity

[63:32]

Nata? yes I did yeah what is the practice of tranquility? I understand I think I know what it looks like I think I know what compassion looks like I don't know what it looks like before you have before tranquility has done its job fully and it does its job fully when it's associated with these other three things you can have tranquility without great compassion and without analytic wisdom and without devotion to the teaching but when you have tranquility with them

[64:33]

then the veils obscuring reality drop away just tranquility by itself isn't sufficient but tranquility with those other you know the four horse people of the apocalypse they make up the great change by itself if you look at it by itself people who are not devoted to the great vehicle teachings they can still practice tranquility now it turns out from my perspective that tranquility thrives with compassion if people try to practice tranquility basically tranquility is very similar to give up conceptual elaboration in the process of giving up conceptual elaboration you calm down but in order to give up conceptual elaboration

[65:36]

like for example disappointment you need to be compassionate to the disappointment so let's say you come to meditation and you sit down and you're disappointed you come to the yoga room, you sit down you're going to practice some tranquility at the beginning of the class we do, we practice it we practice tranquility, don't we? so you come here and some of you might think well I came, I sat and I conquered no, I came, I sat and I didn't calm down and I'm very disappointed and it's because of other people in the class not because of me or it could be I'm disappointed in myself I came and I sat here and I'm not calming down I'm not calm practicing compassion towards not being calm is conducive to guess what? yeah

[66:36]

if you're agitated and you practice compassion towards it you calm down if you're agitated, if you're distracted, if you're not concentrated if you're not tranquil and you're generous towards it you calm down if you're careful with it what? agitation agitation if you're gentle and tender with agitation guess what? you calm down if you're patient agitation is irritating often if you're patient with agitation you do various things like you give up leaning away from where you are you're right here, you calm down and then you think about oh, I want to practice tranquility basically you've already started but now you're going to really get into it

[67:38]

and you think this tranquility is going to be really helpful along with the other three we're going to realize Buddhahood here this is really wonderful so I'm really going to apply myself to tranquility I've got energy to do it now and so then you give it a try which is basically, it's very similar to you're in the process of giving up conceptual elaboration so you look at the floor and some conceptual elaborations might come up and you just let them go you look at somebody's face and some conceptual elaborations come up don't try to get rid of them don't try to hold on to them like there's Nettie, she's a nice person I'm not going to hold on to that I just look at Nettie and I look at her and try to give up conceptual elaborations of Nettie until I finally don't even know who Nettie is she might be Bodhidharma

[68:38]

matter of fact the teaching says she is so when I give up conceptual elaborations of Nettie I realize, my God, it really is true Bodhidharma is included in Nettie and Nettie is included in me so Bodhidharma and so on you open to the teaching when you calm down so you basically don't push away your thinking you just let it go by being generous with it and tender with it and careful of it and patient with it and enthusiastic about being that way with it and enthusiastic about letting go of what you think about this world thinking about the world means that you let go of what you're thinking about the temporary world the temporary world with the temporary misconceptions attachments and sufferings this is how you let go of the temporary world to have revelation of the permanent

[69:41]

blissful, pure peaceful world of Buddha which you then, when it's realized you can use that to help everybody else who is having trouble with the world to teach them how to do the same it's really a great deal and tranquility is part of it basically the main training in tranquility is give up conceptual elaboration not stop it, because that's another conceptual elaboration not fight it, not hold on to it let it be be tender and gentle with it be careful of it, because you're not careful of it you can trip up on it and fall into major agitated turmoil but if you do ever fall into major agitated turmoil you know what to do, right? practice compassion with it

[70:44]

and be devoted to the teaching which tells you how to deal with it and then you'll be calm okay? so the structure of this class is we have a period to work on tranquility I don't try to get tranquility when I come to this class when I used to go to the yoga room I didn't go to Berkeley and sit in the yoga room and calm down I did not do that I'm like pretty good I didn't try to get tranquility out of the yoga room classes when they were over on College Avenue and I don't now but every single time I'm given tranquility I just sit here with you without trying to get anything and I calm down I just sit here without trying to quiet down the neighborhood and the neighborhood quiets down no matter how noisy it is tranquility is available

[71:46]

but sometimes if it's really noisy you have to sit for a long time until you stop resisting the noise and realize how quiet it is tranquility is already here we're already not conceptually elaborating just have to tune into that station and we become calm along with devotion to the teaching so this class is structured we have tranquility practice we have devotion to the teaching because we come here we have compassion for all beings ourselves and others and we have discussions which are our analytic wisdom phase we're doing it all together they're a concerted orchestra of three practices which remove what's resisting our Buddhahood

[72:48]

which is operating on our Buddha nature kids making a face like that that was really clear was that what you meant? yeah, that was really clear, thanks and so was your doll there were no little kids at the talk but too bad, I can use it the next time I give a kids talk thank you very much we have one more class I just can't get better than this and that's okay and I'm not trying to get anything out of this class but I get so much even though I'm not trying to get it how about you? and if anybody is trying to get anything out of this class you're welcome to come back and try again thank you

[73:48]