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.

AI Summary: 



This might be the last class we're going to have this summer and I want to start by thanking you all and also by inviting you to bring up anything that you'd like to bring up since we're not going to meet next week here. I had an unanswered question or an unquestioned question last week that I didn't ask. How much do you have to translate everything you understand? How much does it have to get small to communicate to us?


How much does it have to get small to... For us to even begin to understand what we're talking about. From your understanding, because when you talk a lot of times it seems like you have access to such massive understanding of things that goes on and on and on. I'm just wondering, what's your experience of diluting it? I don't know the right words so that we can relate to it. Well, I was... In a way... Well, I'm trying to use words. To talk about... Basically, I'm using words to realize what's beyond words. And so the history of the tradition is that maybe there's some beings who realized


our life beyond words, which is similar to our life beyond consciousness. So, consciousness uses words and we can use words to have conversations with each other in consciousness to open up to our life, which is not enclosed by the words or the consciousness. So in a way, yeah, everything that is coming out of me is really coming from beyond words and into words to encourage freedom from words. And freedom from words, then we have words about what freedom from words is like, for example, freedom from words is not just no words, and so on.


So, I'm not necessarily making things smaller or bigger, but I am translating my life in a way that I hope is appropriate to whoever I'm with, and they're doing the same. And we're in this process, and so I add the words, which, as it were, in this process of caring for our consciousness in a way that will lead to freedom from words. You can't liberate consciousness without, and you don't liberate it by getting rid of it, or demeaning it, and there's basically two ways to demean it, squash it down or make it worse or make it better. Making it better is not really being kind to it.


Consciousness is into making things better and making things worse. So, trying to make them better and worse is just more of the same. So, I think I, maybe I said last week that, yeah, that, or another way to put it is that the words that we're using are to encourage the realization of a way of living that's free of conceptual elaboration. But the way of becoming free of conceptual elaboration is come through a way of dealing with concepts and being able to be aware of what elaboration is and what beyond elaboration is. Yes?


I find that I keep resisting the words and I want to skip the words and go to feeling. Because they make my head want to explode sometimes. Because I can see them bumping up against them and I don't understand all this. But I found it really helpful when you talked about confessing the resistance. Is that what you would suggest or do you have any other? Would I suggest confessing resistance? Yes. And I particularly, I would suggest confessing resistance when you aspire, if you would aspire to not resisting. You can disagree with something without resisting, without resisting it. Like you can say, no, I don't agree and not resist what you're not agreeing with. And you can say yes or no to something and be resisting it.


Yeah, resisting the confusion. Yeah. So if you, if you aspire to resist, for example, your own mind, if that's your aspiration, you're already a success. So then you can confess, I'm successful at resisting what's going on in my mind. There's confusion and I resist it and actually I'd like to get rid of it. Which now that I think about it, it's kind of confused. But if you would aspire to practicing compassion towards everything that's going on, sort of, as we say, with your body and mind. And part of what's going on with your body and mind is a version of everybody else's body and mind. If you wish to be compassionate towards your version of everybody and also your version of yourself, then if that was your aspiration,


then if you were resisting inward or outward, then that would be not in accord with your aspiration and you would be appropriate to confess it. And then if you feel sorry that you're not following through on what you aspire to, like to be compassionate, then you might say, actually, I feel kind of embarrassed or sorry that I'm not doing what I aspire to, what I think is really what I want, what I really want. We don't usually say, I aspire to have breakfast. We could, but we use aspiration for something that's maybe more important than this breakfast. And then one of the things you might aspire to is compassion. And we might also aspire to compassion because we have, I don't know, we thought it was beautiful when we saw it happening,


when other people were doing it, when we practiced it, we didn't regret it, we felt good about it. And also we heard that compassion goes with wisdom, which liberates people from, for example, their cognitive enclosure that they're living in, where they're experiencing suffering. So if you find words confusing, disorienting, nauseating, at risk of blowing you up, etc., then these would all be things to practice compassion towards. Yes? When you have resistance, but you're not so worried about resistance,


like you feel okay about resistance. Well, if you have resistance and you're okay about it, then it sounds like you're sort of not resisting your resistance. So you've got resistance, but you've got some non-resistance too. You feel okay about it maybe because you're letting the resistance be. So that's an example of being compassionate to your resistance. Like sometimes when I'm offering various things, people show me with their face or tell me with their words. Or their hand gestures. I'm resisting. And do I aspire to resist their resistance? I don't, do I? That's not my aspiration. Might I resist their resistance? I might. That's not my aspiration though. And if I resist anybody's resistance to me,


and or what I'm saying and doing, which is kind of related to me, if I'm resisting their resistance to me, that's not what I want to do. I want to really welcome your resistance to what I'm offering. If you have it. And if you don't, I welcome you not having it. I mean, I aspire to that. And when that's the way it is, I feel good. Really good. Not because I'm trying to feel good. But just when there's practice of generosity, there's feeling good. If you're practicing generosity, if you're letting things be so you'll feel good, that's not really generosity. But if you really let things be, you're going to feel joy, but not a joy you're trying to getting for yourself,


a joy that's given to you because you are practicing giving towards whatever. So, confusion is... The karmic consciousness is, you know, it's typified as confused. Not confusing, but confused. Confused, giddy, unclear. That's the normal situation for karmic consciousness. And giddy means excited, agitated, and to the point of being disorienting or disoriented. And so, it seems quite likely that if somebody's talking about consciousness, they might draw your attention. Your attention might go to your consciousness, and you might discover this place is confused and disorienting. And I feel like I'm going to, you know, I'm having a hard time with this. This is like, I hadn't noticed this before.


It's kind of like shocking to see what a disorienting, unclear, and sort of endless process this is. But there's a practice for that called confession. Well, called trying to practice compassion. And then if you don't practice compassion, then you would confess, I'm not being very compassionate with this consciousness. Even though I heard that this consciousness is calling for compassion, that I'm actually being called. It's not just something I want to do, it's something I'm being asked to do. So, you might want to do it, which is great, but also, by the way, you're also being asked to do it. It's not just because you like to, it's because people want you to. It's your responsibility. But also, you want to be compassionate to yourself, whether you know it or not. Yes?


I'm attempting to reconcile the idea of acceptance with the need to take action in any given situation. So, for example, in the case of injustice, for example, how do you reconcile acceptance and the aspiration of acceptance with the feeling of the need or the need to take action? Well, excuse me for this example, which you all hear me say over and over again, but in martial arts, I learned to accept what is being given to me,


which is often somebody coming at me with some energy. Not always, like the teacher might just be standing there, not coming at me at all. But most, even the teacher sometimes would move towards me or, you know, tug me this way or that way. So, I was encouraged and heard about the great masters, is that when you take hold of them and move them, they're like this. There's no resistance. They go wherever you want them to. And then, when they wish, they flip you there and set you down in a non-harming way. So, when you really learn how to accept, you also respond in a certain way. You kind of go with the situation, but you could also go with the situation in such a way as to use the other person's energy to take them someplace else from where they were intending. And so, if you are observing injustice, if that energy is coming towards you


and you can accept it, you can take the energy that the injustice is giving you and you can use it to teach the injustice something like justice, like flip them in the air and set them down, you know, justly, just so. And then, the injustice which might be associated with human being, there's a teaching or an insight which occurs that they realize that, you know, they realize that they should have been taught something, that they were doing this and suddenly they're someplace else and now they're okay. They didn't get hurt. This is a teaching situation, but they can see that they were, in some sense, unjust because they were stepping in such a way that they could easily be flipped in the air


because there's something off about the way they were behaving. Yeah, I think I have to yell because I put the hearing aids on. So, part of justice is accepting. So, if we have a situation where we're trying to establish justice, part of it would be to accept the various parties involved in the conversation. But acceptance is then followed by being careful and being patient. And being diligent and energetic and being calm. And then, finally, to come back with a response which wakes people up from their delusion. So, does acceptance impede that perception of justice then? Because if you accept things completely, you're still able to perceive justice and injustice.


Well, what you first see is what you think is injustice. You see that. Yeah, you got a concept of it. Seems like this is an example of injustice. That's what you're relating to now. So, there's a just way to relate to injustice. If you relate, if you learn the just way of relating to injustice, you will wake up to what justice is. And sometimes you could see injustice in your mind or your environment. You see injustice, but you don't necessarily see justice. You might not even be thinking about justice at the time. You just say, that's injustice. So, the beginning of finding justice is accepting. So, again, if somebody's attacking me, the beginning of doing that situation justice is to have a conversation with that person.


Because we, generally speaking, do not do justice to other people. We see them in terms of our own idea of them. We see them in terms of our own projections, generally. We're strongly inclined to see them in that way. That's not justice. But if we would see something that we were very concerned about and thought was injustice, then to do justice to what we think is injustice, to the person we think is being unjust, to be justice to them, to do justice to them, to get out of our own enclosure about them, the way to do it is by having a conversation with them. And again, in martial arts, the teacher shows how to have a conversation with people. The teacher can converse with people indefinitely without throwing them, without getting thrown. And then at any point in the conversation,


it may be like, now is the time to do a throw. But it may never happen. And the way the teacher relates to the student, who might be really being unjust to the teacher. The student might be trying to hurt the teacher or beat the teacher or something like that. The student might not be trying to help the teacher be a good teacher, which is kind of, you could say, well, that's kind of unjust. The teacher is the teacher. Why don't you just let the teacher be the teacher? I want to just beat the teacher. But in order to have justice, we need a conversation. In order to have a conversation, I have to accept your argument. But I also have to accept what I think your argument is. And the full acceptance of what I think your argument is, I think, includes asking you something about what you think your argument is


and what you think my argument is. In order to do justice, I believe we must be open to be put in question by the other. So if I see somebody being unjust, in order to arrive at justice with this person, they need, I need to allow them to put me in question about, for example, well, everything. And for example, my thought that they're being unjust, if they can't put me into question, and if you, a bystander, see me looking at somebody and you notice that I think they're being unjust, I also, in order to arrive at justice, need you to be able, I need to allow you to put me in question. Like you might say, are you sure you know what he's up to? And when you say that, I actually like, well, yeah, well, I guess,


I guess now I'm questioning whether I know what he's up to. You can put me in question about what I think of her. She can put me in question about what I think of her. And if I can't do that, I would say we're not doing that is not doing what promotes justice. And doing that is being generous and accepting, but it's also being ethical. And ethics involves being called into question. Because if I think this is right, and I think that's wrong, and I don't allow myself to be called into question, I would say we have a major blockage to justice, to realizing it. And again, like in a physical interaction, like, you know, like tango and martial arts, very similar. The martial arts, not martial aggression or cruelty,


but martial art, martial interactions as an art form, as a way to bring beauty into the world. To realize peace. Well, tango, you take roles. One is so-called temporarily the leader. One is temporarily the follower. So the leader, first of all, has a partner who's called the follower. And the leader needs to accept the follower. Well, like, for example, you need to accept, which foot does she have her weight on? And you might think she has her weight on the wrong foot. Well, fine. Do you accept then that she has her weight on what you think is a wrong foot? Okay, well, if you can accept that, then if she has her weight on this foot, then you can invite her to put her weight on the other foot. If you don't accept that she has her weight on this foot,


it's going to be harder for you to invite her to do anything, because you don't accept where she is. And she's going to have to shift her weight from the foot she has her weight on to another foot in order to move. So you ascertain where her weight is. And then you invite her to go someplace else. Or you might even invite her to stay right there. And if she's accepting of you, she will accept that you're not asking her to do anything, but stand there with her weight on her left foot. And then you invite her, and she may not accept your invitation. So guess what I would suggest doing with that? Tyler? That's down the road.


First of all, I would accept that she didn't accept my invitation. And usually in actually a dance or in a class, the leader does not usually ask verbally the follower any questions. The nice thing about my experience is that if I would invite the follower to do something, and she does not accept my invitation, I don't tell her, you know, I just invited you to step forward with your left foot. I ascertained that your weight was on your right, and I asked you to step forward. I don't say that. What do I do if she doesn't step forward? First of all, I accept it. So then after I accept it, then I might also say, she still didn't take a step, so maybe I'll invite her to do something else. And if she doesn't do that, I'll invite her to do something else.


After a little while like this, the teacher will come over and say, you're actually following him. Your job is to follow him, and you're not following him. I don't tell him that. The teacher will tell us if we're not. So that's what I would... And I actually am able to do that, to invite somebody and have them not do it. Now they might tell me, your invitation was not clear. They might say that, but they're not supposed to tell me that either, but they might. The teacher might come over and say, you know, your invitation wasn't very clear. You invited the person to take a step back, but they didn't. That's it. The conversation is physical. And then if they do take a step, when they take a step, then they're the leader. And then I follow what step they take. So I might invite them to take a step, and they take some other step. But I don't say, I didn't invite you to take that step.


I follow the step that they took. And so they're the leader now, because they step wherever they step. I go where they go. I don't pull them back to where I thought they should go. I go where they go. And maybe they can sense, oh, he's coming where I went. And now I'm going to make another invitation maybe. He invited me, I went with him, then he went with me. Now if he invites me again, I might go with him, and so on. So that's the conversation. It's a physical conversation. Now if it's verbal, let's do the same thing. If I invite somebody to do something and they don't do it, I think it'd be nice for me to call myself into question. Like maybe my invitation wasn't clear. And in tango, it's often that the so-called follower is making invitation, and it's not clear,


because they're not conveying it with their whole body. Like they're moving their arms, but not their chest. So the follower doesn't really know what they're asking. Again, the teacher might come over and say, you know, your lead was not clear. But I also could wonder if I invite somebody, they don't go, like maybe my, they're not going calls me into question. And anyway, I could talk about this for the rest of the night. And the same, it's a physical conversation, but the same with verbal conversation, that we need, we can question ourselves too, but we need others to do it. If others do it, we will eventually learn to do it. If we do it, but don't let others do it, we're sunk. Then we just become self-righteous. Like that's injustice.


I know what injustice is, and there's no discussion. That's not justice. Justice is a conversation where both parties are questioning themselves and feel questioned by the other. And yeah, so almost in some sense, every conversation is an opportunity to realize justice. I think Nata, oh go ahead, Nata. Maybe too much of a stretch to say we have a conversation, not now, but also politically or individually. Yeah, yeah. So you have a courtroom, and I would say that if the defense or the prosecution, if they're not listening to each other, if the prosecution is not listening to the defense and vice versa,


if the judge isn't listening to the people, and if the witnesses aren't listening, and the people aren't listening to the witnesses, and so if they aren't doing that, I don't think, I think justice is like on hold. We're groping for it, but we're not getting there because nobody's listening. Now what if we're listening, and then in listening, we actually feel called into, like the defense feels called into question by the judge, the witnesses, the jury's face, the prosecution. I think a defense attorney can feel called into question by the prosecution. That would promote justice, I say. But what sometimes happens is a defense person doesn't respect, or they won't let the prosecution call them to question. Now actually, that sounds like not a very good trial if the other side's not able to call you into question.


But they sometimes do not let the other person really call them in. The person asks them questions, but they don't really want to like being asked questions. They've got their agenda. They don't want anybody to, you know, question. Not only, question's okay, but I'm not going to feel questioned. I'm not going to feel called into question. Like I'm joining that. I think that doesn't promote justice, but I think doing that in a courtroom or a political process, I think that's the way of justice, which is the way of generosity, being careful and gentle and tender with everything, being patient with the pain of not yet having realized it, being diligent and energetic and remembering that it's really important to you, and being calm and flexible. All that we would like to apply to all situations, political, physical, interpersonal.


Basically, it's all interpersonal. Yeah, excuse me. I think, yeah. No, you're next. You're next. I think you're next. I just wanted to go back to something you had to say, and just make an observation, which I welcome you to have a conversation with me about whether this is a misunderstanding, but I feel like part of what has been confusing for me before in the past and sometimes in the present is that we use the word acceptance differently in our culture at large than we do, I feel like, in this community. And in the culture at large, I feel like the word to accept something has sort of a connotation of like, we positively affirm it and make some judgment about that it's good.


And I feel like what we're talking about in terms of acceptance in the context of Zen is not either positively or innate. There isn't that value judgment about it. It's sort of like saying, it's sort of like pausing, acceptance is like pausing to say something is happening, and I don't deny that something is happening, and that something that's happening is almost like an opportunity to get curious about what exactly is happening. But that there's not that, yeah. But I don't know, for me, that feels, maybe it feels obvious to you, but I think like when we use that word acceptance without talking about the way we use it specifically here, it can be very confusing. Yeah, so thank you for bringing up that point, that people might think acceptance means a positive attitude towards it.


That's why I don't use it actually too much. I didn't bring it up tonight, I don't think. But I don't prohibit the use of the word acceptance. I usually use generosity or giving, welcoming. But welcoming doesn't mean you like it. You can welcome a disease. You can welcome an opponent. So here's, you know, here's my opponent. I welcome you. You're my guy. You're my girl. You're my opponent. I welcome you. And but it doesn't mean I like you, because you can, maybe you're going to try to, you're going to try to throw me out the window or something. I don't know. And it's, again, I thought when I was a kid in high school, I was in a boxing tournament, and I was a little bit bigger then than I am now, quite a bit bigger. But my opponent, who was ahead of me getting on the scales, first of all, when you step on a scale, you go up about four inches off the ground,


and he was about eight inches taller than me. And he stepped up on the scale, and I looked up at him like, I'm going to be fighting that guy. And he looked down at me like, you're going to be fighting me? But I did find a way to accept him. Yeah. I didn't like him. I saw him as a big danger. And he was a big danger, because he was trying to hit me, and he actually did hit me. And it kind of, I was surprised. It really hurt. But then somehow he got knocked out. I don't know how that happened. You were so welcoming. I was welcoming of him. I didn't exactly welcome the hit, because it hit me before I could welcome it. But I welcomed my coach's instruction too. He told me something to do, and I did it, and it was very successful. So, yeah, I think welcoming does not mean,


I mean, welcoming does not mean you like, and it doesn't mean you dislike. It means you let this guest into your house. Grace, you know, gracias, graciousness. You say thank you to injustice when it appears. Thank you, injustice. [...] Now, I have an opportunity to work on justice. But it's not, I don't like injustice. I don't like it. And maybe I don't even hate it. Maybe I don't like it or hate it. That makes it a little easier to welcome. But sometimes you do hate something, but then what you do is you welcome your hatred. Now, in welcoming your hatred, then you might be able to welcome the thing, but it's hard. So, yeah, acceptance. I would not recommend liking what's going on


as the path to justice. And I wouldn't recommend disliking as the path to justice. But the path of justice is strewn with likes and dislikes. There's likes and dislikes all over the place in the path of justice. Everything is in the path of justice. But the path of justice, it does not have a fixed form. But acceptance-generosity is, I would say, and necessary, I'll just say necessary, unavoidably necessary aspect of the path to justice is generosity. And that's actually first. And next comes ethics, being careful. And also confessing if you're getting off track. Like, you know, I was working on justice,


but then I just wanted to beat the person up. I got off track. I'm sorry. That was a mistake. I made a mistake. And I'm sorry. That's not what I was trying to do. Like somebody said, you know, training dogs to fetch. Some people throw the bone, you know. And then the dog doesn't go. And then sometimes the person who's throwing the bone says, swears at the dog. You know, and then someone else, the teacher might come over and say, that's not the way, swearing at dogs is not the way to teach and to fetch. The word you use is fetch. Not those other words. That's like a mistake. It's a distraction. Yeah, so thank you for pointing out that in some cultures, being generous even, and welcoming. Welcoming could be understood, you welcome nice guests. But that's not a gracious host that just welcomes nice guests.


A gracious host is one that can welcome everybody. This is the Buddha who can welcome everybody. But Buddhas don't like everybody and Buddhas don't hate everybody. They actually are not much into like or dislike. And Bodhisattvas might still be feeling like and dislike, but they welcome their like and welcome their dislike. They're embarrassed maybe that they're like and dislike, but they accept that they're into that. But their practice is not to like people. I would say Bodhisattva's practice is not to dislike people. Bodhisattva's practice is to welcome them and be called into question by them. Welcoming generosity, being called into question by them. Ethics. So I want to work for justice. I welcome the situation that looks like injustice. I want to work for justice. I think this is unjust and I welcome being called into question about my view. And then patience,


enthusiasm, and have a mind that's flexible and undistracted. Didn't you say it's a conversation? That justice is a conversation? Yeah. But what if the other guys don't want to have a conversation? That's part... The fact that if you tell me that you don't want to talk to me, that is a conversation piece. Everything you offer me, in the actual practice, in the successful practice of realizing justice, the justice realizer sees everything that's being given to her as a conversation piece. Which doesn't mean everything that's given to me is this or that, like everything that's given to me is good. Everything that's given to me is an opportunity for conversation. For me being called into question and for the others to be called into question by me. Even though they don't want to talk to me


and don't want me to call them into question. I saw these little kids at Green Gulch and I looked at them and I saw that these two kids ready to know were probably cousins of the one I did know. I said, you know, are you cousins? They say, yeah. I said, excuse me, could I say something to you? And the little girl said, what? But then she didn't just walk off. I said, would you... If you're going to have those machetes in your hand, would you please not hold the tip down? Don't wave the tips up in the air because you might put out your cousin's eyes. They kind of listened to me. But at first she was like not really welcoming me sort of to make a comment. But then she kind of stayed there for it and I thought we kind of came up with a nice... I don't know if they kept their machete tips down but that's what I asked them to do.


So if you don't want me to have... If you don't want to have a conversation with me and you tell me, then my job is to welcome you telling me that you don't want it and that's the conversation at that moment. I don't want you to listen to me. You say to me and I'm sitting there listening. And you want that. You want me to listen to you when you say I don't want you listening to me. And my grandson says, would you stop looking at me? And he wants me to stop looking at him and he wants me to look at him when he tells me I don't want... He doesn't want me to look at him. So I look at him, he tells me not to and I look away. So that's the mind that has been trained in giving up conceptual elaboration.


Yeah, it's like, it's kind of in the wisdom part of the process. So I look at you, let's say I practice generosity with who I see. I let you be. I welcome you. Now, if I would notice that I'm welcoming you and I also have... that my mind is conceptually elaborating you which I might notice once I've welcomed you If I don't welcome you, I might not even notice that the person I'm not welcoming is actually somebody I'm making a conceptual elaboration about which is not worthy of my welcoming. But if I welcome you, I might notice that I have some kind of idea about you, some conceptual elaboration about you like this is not somebody I want to talk to. But I already welcomed you. So now I've got you


plus my conceptual elaboration of you. If I don't welcome you, I'm not going to maybe even have much... I'm not going to have such a very good chance to notice that what I'm not welcoming is you plus my ideas about you. Like most people, if you have no ideas about them, are not very difficult to welcome. Like a wall has no ideas about you and a wall has never rejected you. But when we have trouble with people and are at risk of not welcoming them, of not being generous, when we're at risk of that, then we need to practice generosity. Once you practice generosity, we can start to notice the conceptual elaboration. Then the next thing is be tender with the person you're conceptually elaborating and be tender with yourself and be tender with the conceptual elaboration. Don't swat the conceptual elaborations down.


Don't kick them. Don't hate them either. Treat them with generosity. So you've got a person plus your stories about them. Treat the person, which is hard because they're covered with your elaborations, but treat all your elaborations, which you think are them, with tenderness, now that you've accepted them, now that you've welcomed them. And if you don't like them, that's you that doesn't like them. So then welcome your dislike of this person and your dislike has arisen because of your conceptual elaboration of them. So then turn your compassion towards your dislike of them and welcome your dislike or welcome your like. Whatever. So you have to inwardly, like the story is, inwardly, don't activate the mind. No, inwardly, no coughing and sighing. Outwardly, don't activate the mind. So towards others, welcome them, dash your ideas of them. Be careful of your ideas of them.


Be tender and gentle with your ideas of them and then be patient with the discomfort of dealing with people with all your ideas mixed in with it. And then be heroic about it and energetic to be basically devoted to the situation for the sake of no conceptual elaboration which will cause everything to enter the Buddha way. And then finally, you can check to see, is there any activating of the mind around objects? Is there any coughing and sighing in the mind? And you might find conceptual elaboration has ceased. Like in the story. And you can go tell a teacher the conceptual elaboration has ceased and then the teacher can call you into question. And you can see if you're welcome being called into question after you've finally attained what you've been working on for years. But it's not like, okay, I finally got it and I'm telling you


and no questions about it. You've been questioning me for years and once I tell you that I've finally arrived where I wanted to go, you can continue questioning me. And he did. And then after he questioned him, the guy said, even now after I've finished the job, you're questioning me and I'm still saying okay. And then the teacher says, okay, for the time being, no more questions. You finally have arrived at no conceptual elaboration. In other words, you've arrived at perfect wisdom and I've questioned you about what that's like and you've welcomed my questioning and weren't defensive and that's a sign that you really have arrived there. You have a mind like a wall now, which is the same as a mind like a Buddha. But we get there by all these loving practices. Generosity, being tender and careful and respectful of everything in the situation. Allowing ourselves to be questioned


and doubted and resisted. People resist me. They're calling me into question. They're calling me. I want to welcome that and so on and be patient with this. This may go on forever. I don't know how long this is going to go on. And that's a kind of uncomfortable thought which I'm patient with. And then renew my vow to do this work. Think about how wonderful it would be to practice this way and think about that until you feel energy to continue forever if that were the case. I don't care how long it's going to take. I just love this work and I believe in it and I'm going to continue. And then we're ready for wisdom which is no conceptual elaboration which is not getting rid of it. Just let it drop away and see the world the way it is with no elaboration. To see the inconceivable reality of our life.


Yes? Q. Thanks for that. I've been wondering around for weeks about the mind of the wall. And I realized when you just answered him that this is a process. It's a constant process and maybe you'll get through the mind of the wall rather than trying to get out of the wall. Thank you. The wall is not trying to get to be a wall. But we are. We can try to get to be a wall. We're capable of that. I'd like to become a wall. Or a Buddha. Yes? Q. I wonder what you think about wandering yogis. What do I think about what? Q. Wandering yogis. I heard yogi? Did you say a wandering yogi? What do I think about them? I think they're conversation pieces. Q. Pardon? I think they're conversation pieces. Q. Conversation pieces?


For example, you just brought up wandering yogi. Now you told me that, so I can tell you I think that's a conversation piece. Then you can say, conversation piece? And then I say, yeah, you just did it. You gave me a conversation piece. I think wandering yogi, like everything else, is an opportunity for a conversation. And not only is it an opportunity for conversation, it is a conversation. I'm a conversation. You're a conversation. Wandering yogi is a conversation. So everything is a conversation piece or invitation and everything is also a conversation. A conversation makes it and then it offers itself for conversation. Q. I don't want to change the subject in case we are... Okay, thank you. Q. This has to do with


the practice of compassion. Yes. Q. It always, always it makes me think how can one practice compassion? It sounds like a volition thing whereas, it's a practice and the way that I think I've experienced compassion is like it's sort of it's born but it's not a volition thing. Yeah, I agree. A volition is something to be compassionate with. But you could have a volition, like you could say, I wish I could be compassionate. Wishing to be compassionate is not exactly the same as compassion. But you could wish to be compassionate and you could vow to be compassionate and then compassion might come. Like I think of some women who are nursing sometimes if somebody else's baby cries the milk squirts


out of their breast. Now, they might or might not have said, I would like to give milk to all babies that cry. They might have had that volition, but in fact the milk did come in response. There was a call and the milk came. I would say that's compassion. Whether they were thinking about wanting to be so generous with their milk or not. But they could also say, I would like to give milk whenever it's asked for. I have plenty and even if I don't, I still want to offer it. That could be a thought you have. But that's a thought and that thought would be something to be generous towards, to be careful of, to be patient with, and so on. But when you're patient with somebody you can be patient with them even if you don't have the thought, I'd like to be patient. And is it possible that the time may come when you are pure compassion? Is it possible? I think


actually my life is lined up with that possibility. And not only possibility, but the inevitability. The inevitability. So I'm kind of lining up with the proposal that you're going to have pure compassion someday. Pure, great Buddhist compassion. We're heading in that direction. I'm suggesting that's what we're doing here together. We're helping each other realize great pure compassion, which is already here. It's a question of that, again, that's our nature. We have this. We already have the wisdom and virtues of the Buddhas. The Buddhas have great pure compassion. We already have it. However, we also have misconceptions and attachments to our misconceptions. So we have to work with our attachments


and misconceptions, and when we do wholeheartedly, they drop away and then what's left is great compassion, which has been here all along. But we didn't fully engage with our temporary misconceptions, like what we think other people are, for example. And attachment to what we think other people are. Like, I think you're being nice to me, you know, which is not wrong, it's just a misconception of you. Your life is not just being nice to me. Your life is much more than being nice to me and not nice to me. You're part of a much bigger program than that. But I have conceptions of you. And some tendency to believe my conceptions. Well, we have a program to get over that. And when you get over it,


then you realize the wisdom and compassion which has always been here. So yes, I think it is possible. And I think we already have it. I'm in that you already have it, so take care of it, school. And the way to take care of it is to be generous with all of your conceptions of what other people are, and the fact that you believe that they're that way. To believe that you're the way I think you are is a mistake. It's an error. We are free, we're actually free of conceptual aberration. Which means we're free of being pure and impure. We're free of being good and bad. That's the way we fundamentally we're pure in the way of being free of pure


and impure. But we have to encounter our ideas of purity and impurity with compassion and other teachings about compassion in order to realize the way we are far beyond pure and impure. Which we call pure. True purity. Rather than my thought, my perception of purity, or my perception of justice. But again, we don't push away my conception of purity or my conception of justice. We welcome it. I mean, I welcome mine, and I want to welcome yours. And you and I are trying to learn how to


welcome everything. And be tender with every fragile being. Even if they're jumping up and down, pounding the table, screaming and hollering, they're still fragile. And they're still calling for generosity and tenderness. Even though they say, I don't want your tenderness, I don't want you to listen to me, I don't want your compassion, I don't want your friendship. I guess sometimes people say, I don't want your hatred, I don't want your cruelty. I think that's true, they don't want our hatred, they don't want our cruelty. I think that's true. They want our compassion. So I'm saying to you, I want your compassion, and I think you want mine.


And I'm calling you to be compassionate to me, and if you practice it, it'll be really good for you. And you might be able to do it with yourself, if you do it with me. And also, you're being called to be compassionate towards yourself. And if you practice compassion towards yourself, you'll be more able to be compassionate with me. So inwardly and outwardly, we're being called to be generous, ethical, patient, enthusiastic about being skillful, calm and relaxed and open and undistracted and wise. This is the world, the world's here calling us to be that way. And sometimes it's very clear. Please be more gentle. Okay? Please be more tender. Thank you for being patient. Thank you for being generous. Sometimes it sounds like that.


It's kind of easier sometimes that way. But it's not always that way. Sometimes the call for help sounds like, get away from me. I don't want to talk to you. But if I say I don't want to talk to you and you welcome me saying that, everything... that's... that's where it's at. That's where the Buddha way is, living. Yes? I wanted to stop because next we can Yeah, so now we start a period of... Pardon? I think sadness is a gift. I think sadness is a gift. And compassion is giving. So your body, when you separate from


someone you're happy to be with, sometimes your body doesn't accept. Or your mind, too. I don't accept that this class is over. And actually, from the beginning of it I wasn't accepting that it would end. But... my actual compassionate life is saying, you know, it would really be good if you gave this class away. Don't hold on to it. But sometimes you can't hear that. So then sadness comes. And sadness says, please feel me. Please look at me. Please feel me. And when you're open to the compassion, you let go of your resistance to things being over. So compassion is like a gift. It's like a gift. The gift is, please listen to me. That's a gift. Please feel me. I'm an opportunity for you to feel. And it'll really be good if you feel me. And if you don't feel me, then I'm just going to keep calling you


whenever I can. And if you run real fast, you won't hear me. But when you slow down, the grieving that you're being called to receive has a chance to be felt and heard. So yeah, grieving and sadness are part of the compassion path. I think they're actually a gift of compassion. Compassion gives you sadness and grief to help you get over your resistance to change. Grieving is not arguing with the change. That's depression. Or that's depressing. But feeling the sadness is letting go of something which you may not know


you're holding on to. And you don't have to know what it is. Just let go of it. And you can move on to the next challenge. Sometimes you realize what it is, but a lot of times I don't realize it. I just feel refreshed. I feel the sadness and I feel fresh. Fresh and refreshed. Because something was released that was not calling to be held on to. You know, the past wanted to be passed. So we're dead in the past by holding on to it, and we're dead in the present by holding on to it. Our life doesn't want that. Yeah. It is. It is possible.


It's possible that I'll do classes forever. Yes? Did you have your hand raised? No, I'm not holding it. It feels nice. Yes? So you're resisting the word because it's used a lot, but are you welcoming not knowing what it means? What? Yeah. One time I was giving a talk at Green Gulch and I, I don't know, I somehow brought up the word love and I stopped and said, hey, I'm talking about love and I don't know what it is. But I'm going to continue


talking about it. So I don't know what compassion is either. I don't know what it is. Nobody knows what it is. It's really free of any conceptual elaboration by which you would know it. I think when you say know it, you mean some way to grasp it, perceive it, and so on. I associate effort with it too. I do. My mind associates effort with compassion. My mind associates life with compassion. And I associate effort with life. Yeah, so it's part of the life effort thing, compassion. And whatever the life effort is, which is there when there's life, compassion is there with it because it's calling for compassion. And compassion is responding.


There's nothing... Compassion is a compassion not someplace else. And I'm saying these things, but that doesn't mean I know what compassion is. It just means I'm having a conversation with you about compassion so that we become free of our conceptual elaboration of it by having a conversation about it. And while we're at it, we'll become free of our conceptual elaboration by having a conversation about ourselves too, which is what we call the true body of Buddha. Or another way to put it, we open through the conversation to the inconceivable aspects of our life by talking about the conceivable aspects and noticing when we're attached to them and being kind to them and our attachment to them.


And also noticing that the more kind we are to our conceptual elaboration, the less we attach to it. The more kind I am to my conceptual elaboration, the more I notice what a silly attacher I am. And being kind to noticing that again promotes letting it all drop off and then let things become free, or I should say, then realize the way things are originally free. So let's keep talking about compassion, okay? And accepting that we don't know what we're talking about. But working with our talk in this way, we will realize what compassion actually is, which is free of our talk. Yes?


Well, in terms of like six basic practices, we say giving ethical training or ethical discipline, patience, enthusiastic effort to do wholesome things, concentration, and wisdom. So the ethics is, I think, following, welcoming things. Then ethics is basically to be very careful of everything, to be careful of what you think about things, what you say about things, and the postures you take in relationship to things. And then there's all kinds of ethical principles to meditate on, to get in touch with whether you're really being tender with all these fragile phenomena, whether you're really being gentle and respectful. So like, there's a precept called not killing to sort of like


for you to meditate on in relationship to being tender with things and being respectful. Like a lot of people say, it's not very respectful to kill things. Or even to say, you know, I'm going to kill you for your own good. I really want to help you, so I'm going to kill you. So again, I think ethics, not to say the other practices aren't that way, but ethics is basically having a conversation about all our actions. And being careful of everything that we've welcomed. So you welcome a guest into the house, but then pay attention to them, otherwise you might trip up on them. Oh, you're still here? No, no, you're here, and I'm your host. I'm going to take care of you. I'm going to be with you, and I'm going to be careful of you. That's sort of like the ethics part. Yes? Could you say ethics is preventing harm or stopping doing harm?


It's nine... This is not exactly a cliffhanger, this is just like Linda asking a huge question at the last minute. You're welcome. I'm just saying this is happening, I'm welcoming you to be that way that you're asking. And here's the answer. When Buddhas teach, the first thing they teach is refrain from all evil. If you don't hear refrain from all evil from a Buddha, it's not the true Buddhadharma. But the full truth of Buddhadharma is that when you're practicing refrain from all evil, when you practice that, that means that you wholeheartedly


practice compassion with your body and mind. While you're trying to do this practice called refrain from all evil, if you have an evil thought or a harmful thought, you practice compassion with it. You welcome it. You're careful of it. You're generous with it. You're respectful of it. You're patient with it. You wholeheartedly engage if you have an evil mind. The Buddha's teaching is not destroy the evil mind. It's refrain from all evil actions. So, if you practice compassion with any thought of or any evil action, if you practice compassion with it wholeheartedly, the body and mind will drop away. And when body and mind drop away, you will realize that


all evil is refraining from. So, first he says, refrain from all evil. When you receive that teaching and you practice compassion towards everything that's going on with you, your body and mind will drop off and you'll realize that what that means, refrain from evil, what it means is all evil is not refrained from, all evil is refraining from. Since you brought it up, that's what I say. All evil is refraining from. That's what it really is. It's what we're not doing, really. But to wake up to that, you have to be kind to all your evil and all your good. Because in order to wake up to that, you have to let go of your body and mind, because your body and mind is in there trying to figure out what's good and evil


and punishing yourself or punishing the evil ones. It's a mess, which we've been talking about. If you're kind to this mess, it isn't that you get rid of it, you just let it drop. And when you let it drop, you realize you're letting all these misconceptions about what evil is and what good is and what refraining from and doing is. Another world opens up. So the ethics isn't so much about refraining from evil, it's about studying that teaching, refraining from evil. That's part of ethical teaching. The first ethical teaching is refrain from harmful action. Evil is harmful. Refrain from that. That's the teaching. That's the way the Buddha teaches. But after teaching that, then the Buddha teaches compassion and dropping off body and mind and giving up conceptual elaboration. But you start with this teaching, refrain from all evil,


and someday you understand what it means. What it means is that evil is refrained from. So the Buddha is refraining from evil without getting rid of it. Totally including it all, simultaneously refraining from. Thanks for the big question at the last minute. Thank you all very much. www.mooji.org