Teachings for the Welfare of the World

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In this summer series, teachings will be offered for those who aspire to embrace and sustain the great earth and all living beings in order to realize peace and freedom in our troubled world.
Each evening will include quiet sitting and walking meditation followed by teachings and group conversation.

AI Summary: 



Last week Marjorie asked me if she could share something with you and I said, okay. Thank you. Today happens to be I just wanted to mark it. And the 1970 windmill, several pages are memorial to her.


And you can see there something about her extraordinary practice spirit. Her mother also died very young, so she had a difficult life. I was going to be able to beat the cancer long term, and finally coming to accept it. So, I just wanted to share that.


Thank you. A few days after she died, there was a funeral. at what we call Sokoji. Zen Center's first temple was called Sokoji. And so there was a funeral, and it was the first funeral I ever went to. In my family, my mother never encouraged, my mother and father never encouraged the children to go to funerals. And so we didn't go. And so I arrived at Zen Center, and the teacher was doing a funeral, so I went, and I was glad I went.


And it was for Trudy, and I thought, this ceremony is really good for the people at the ceremony. I wasn't sort of thinking about that it was good for her. That didn't come across at that time. It was my first one. But I really felt it was good for me to be there. And I remember Siddharishi saying, I never thought I would have such a great student as Trudy. I wanted to start by invoking, I guess, a prayer. I think it's called the Serenity Prayer. Would somebody recite it, please?


Would you make it louder, please? God give me the sanity. Oh, God give me the serenity to accept the things I can't change. Is that right? And the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know which is which. Yeah. So I'm, Yeah, so that's sort of what we're doing here. We're considering what's the appropriate response to this world. Sometimes, yeah, sometimes when we're serene, when we're silent and still, we're able to


and see that something maybe can't be changed, like Trudy's cancer. She was pretty serene about it. And yeah, so she had the serenity to accept that maybe this was her family inheritance. And then to have the courage to make the changes that would, that seem to be beneficial. For example, edit a book. Edit some transcripts of talks given by your teacher. Change the transcripts into like English. And then change them into a book. and have the courage to do that even while you're very sick.


And then the wisdom to know which things to work on, and which things to basically be quiet with, which things to be quiet and still and compassionate with, and which things to express some other kind of response to the situation. Can you hear me okay? And I said earlier that we have this, we have stillness and silence, and living there, which is very close to being serene, there's illumination. There's a wisdom to see what is appropriate.


And living in that wisdom, there's stillness. are living in that illumination, their stillness. So in stillness, the illumination can show us what's appropriate. And when we see what's appropriate, we're also not moving around, not making noise. We just see what's appropriate and let it be expressed. So I have been, what's the word? Kind of hesitant, or anyway, cautious about telling you about some kind of central teachings of a school of Zen called, in Japanese called Soto, and in Chinese called


Not very nice sounding, but anyway, Sautung school, Soto school of Zen. It's kind of like distinctive and core teaching is that essence, the essence of our life and the function of that essence interpenetrate each other, include each other. So the teaching is that our life has an essence and that that essence functions. An essence that has a function, a stillness an unconstructed stillness that has function.


And the function of the unconstructed stillness is illumination. So the practice of stillness and illumination is the practice of the interpenetration of essence and function. Essence and function, or principle and phenomena. The practice, which is sometimes called silent elimination, That practice is the meditative practice of the teaching of principle interpenetrating with phenomena.


And the word principle and phenomena, I think it's useful to be able to use a lot of other words for that. So I'll give you some. some now and more later. Another way to put it is, non-particular or un-particularized and particularized, universal and particular. So in this teaching, universal and particular interpenetrate each other. Everything is particular. Everything is what it is. Like, for example, you are yourself, and you are also a very, very big otherwise.


You are everything in the universe also, besides being the particular you. And this big otherwise interpenetrates with your a particular self. Another word is, in Buddhism, we have the term emptiness. And then we have, we all say, sometimes we say form. But form is one example of existence. So emptiness in form, emptiness in feelings, emptiness in perceptions, emptiness in emotions, emptiness in existence. emptiness and existence interpenetrate each other. Another way to talk about it is the upright and the biased, or inclined.


The upright and the inclined interpenetrate each other. In the upright there is various inclinations, but the inclinations are functioning in the upright. To to listen to that teaching and to meditate on that teaching and to practice silent illumination in relationship to that teaching realizes the appropriate response. The stillness has within it the capacity to function. in relationship with all ordinary phenomena.


Yes, so in the serenity prayer, the stillness has the capacity, the silence has the capacity to respond to situations that are not really calling to be changed, but they are calling for compassion. And they're actually asking to be taught compassion. and the silence and stillness can respond to that request appropriately to free that situation, to liberate that situation without changing it. And in the other case, a change is being called for and the response is


But not really change, it's a response by which the change can happen without losing where the response is coming from in the changing. I have often reminded you of silence and stillness and suggested to you what it's like to live in it. And again, I mentioned before there's constructed silence and constructed stillness.


I've said that to you over and over. And I mentioned that in the yoga room, particularly when we used to meet over at the Julian Morgan Center, at the beginning of the classes, he was usually kind of noisy. There was one or two pianos playing right outside the room, in two different ballet classes. Almost always there was a ballet class going on, or two of them. One on the second floor, right outside, and one downstairs. And the piano players actually were usually fairly good, so it wasn't that irritating. And also outside, there was traffic on College Avenue, cars and buses, and there were usually one or more dogs barking outside the window.


And also, apparently, that Julian Morgan Center was on the path of the Oakland Airport, so airplanes also flew over. Here we have the trains. Anyway, and then the neighbors also sometimes talk into each other outside, and kids screaming and so on. Anyway, it was usually at the beginning of the class, it was noisy. And I didn't construct, I wasn't into constructing silence and stillness. Well, yeah, I wasn't really, yeah, I wasn't into constructing it. I just sat still, but I didn't try to sit still. I just sat still without trying to make that happen. I just happened to be where I was. And I also didn't try to be quiet.


I was just quiet. I wasn't trying to quiet myself down or the neighborhood down. But every single time, and I didn't even try to figure out what happened, but every single time, as far as I know, without any, I don't know, maybe somebody else constructed silence and stillness, but I didn't, but silence and stillness was revealed. By the end of the session, it was silent and still. Now here it's not so noisy, but it's the same story here. I'm not constructing silence and stillness here, but in fact, that's what happens here. And that doesn't even happen, that's what's realized here. The unconstructed stillness doesn't happen.


The constructed stillness happens and doesn't happen. And maybe some of you are constructing silence and stillness, I don't know. But in the unconstructed stillness, living there, which is where you live, so it's like living where you are, and hearing the teaching that where you are is still and silent, illumination is there. Now, if you happen to have any illumination and you would live in that, you would discover this unconstructed silence and stillness. And maybe illumination is how you can sit here without trying to sit still. It's how you can sit still without trying to sit still. It's how you can be quiet without trying to make yourself quiet. When you have illumination, you can be quiet without making yourself quiet.


You can be who you are without making yourself who you are. Yeah, that's like a good start for tonight. And those words are the function, the words might be the function of silence. The words you have heard tonight are the function of silence. They're coming from silence. Yes? You weren't here last week, right? So last week I told this story about a


It was a TV show I saw as a kid. And the way I remember the story was this guy, this young man made a bet with an old man for like two million rupees. They were Russians. And the bet was, the original bet was, the old man said, I bet you can't stay in a room for five years. I'll bet you two million rupees you can't," and the young man said, I'll stay in for 15 years. And so that was the bet and the name of the story I found out later was The Bet and it was written by Anton Chekhov. Anyway, this guy, this young man goes into this room and Yeah, he's gonna stay there, and he has a hard time staying there. Just like if you would just sit someplace in your own room, just sit there for 15 years, you might have some difficulties.


You might, and that was part of the bet. You won't be able to stay. A person cannot do that, especially when you're doing it voluntarily. And you know you can walk out. And also, if this young man lost the bet, he didn't have to pay. He just lost the bet. He didn't get the money. But he didn't have the two million rubles. He didn't have them. He just wouldn't get them. And the old man said, even your grief will not be sufficient for you to do this, especially when you know that you can actually leave. Anyway, the young man did not leave. And so he kind of like constructed himself into being able to stay in that room. Yeah, he did a lot to be able to stay there. So he constructed stillness day after day after day, he constructed stillness.


And it doesn't say in the story when the unconstructed stillness dawned on him. But one of the advantages of constructed stillness is you sometimes awaken to the unconstructed stillness. Because the function doesn't come from the constructed stillness. Because constructed stillness isn't the unconstructed stillness. It's not the principle. So the things you do from constructed stillness are basically either more running away or more stillness construction or more silence construction. However, in the process of constructing silence, you might discover what's been there all along. So when he went in the room, the unconstructed stillness was sitting there waiting for him.


But he didn't see it, because it's hard to see it. It's not visible, and it doesn't talk. It doesn't say, this is really deep silence here. But our mind does. Our mind says, this is shallow, this is medium, this is deep silence. That's not constructed stillness, that comment. That's a function coming from relative levels of constructed stillness. And if you have questions about that, maybe hold them just for a second. But in the process of constructing stillness, somehow he opened to the unconstructed. And when he opened to the unconstructed, after some time, he discovered illumination in that unconstructed stillness. So constructed stillness is actually kind of encouraged in a way, so that's like getting together in a room and sitting down, that's like constructed stillness.


and you don't have to even be trying to construct it any more than just go to the room, sit down with other people, and that actually kind of constructs stillness. But then, in the middle of that, you discover the real one, and then you discover the illumination that's in that real, not the real one, yeah, the real one, the real stillness that doesn't come or go. And the constructive stillness, which comes and goes, How often is a situation in which we discover the unconstructed? And then meditate on that. It's available for meditation even before you enter the room, and it's available after you leave the room. However, when you come in this room and sit still, it might dawn on you, especially after what I've said, this might be a good opportunity to meditate on unconstructed stillness.


The guy says the real stillness is here. Maybe I'll just kind of like check it out. since it's here. And I can also check out constructive stillness while I'm at it, but I don't need to actually. I'll let the other people do the constructive stillness if it needs to be done. I'll just hang out with them and contemplate. You could say absolute, absolute stillness, unconstructive stillness. And also I understand that if I, in the process of contemplating unconstructive stillness, there's illumination, okay? So then the illumination that came to the young man was it would probably be a good idea to leave like maybe the day before the 15 years was up. He could have let two days before or 10 days before, but anyway, he thought, well, I'll just leave like just one day before.


In other words, what he saw was the appropriate response. He could see it. That illumination came to him. Not by him figuring it out, not by him trying to be still, but him trying to be still he discovered, I would say, this principle of things, which interfuses with your expression, and the expression is, I think I'll leave one day early, because I don't care about money anymore. He's also illuminated, money's not the point of my life anymore. That was part of the illumination. Now, what he didn't know was the person who, the banker, who was betting him, had lost a lot of his money during those 15 years and wouldn't be able to pay him. And the wavier was witnessed by important people, so it would be very hard for him not to pay. And he tried various tricks to get the young man to come out, but it didn't work.


And his friends found out about that, and his reputation went down when they saw he was trying to trick the young man out by offering him a little bit of money to come out. Anyway, when the deadline came, the banker went into the room where the young man was. I remember on the TV show, it was a library. But anyway, he went in there with a revolver to kill him, so they wanted to pay him. And he found the young man asleep at a desk, and he went over to him, and there was a note lying next to his head, I guess. I don't know if it was addressed to the banker or not, but anyway, he picked up the note and read it, and the note said, I'm going to leave early. You don't need to pay me. And the young man did not consciously know that the banker had lost all his money and was coming to kill him.


The wisdom, you know, that comes from stillness, we don't really know how that happens, but it does. And it was really nice that he didn't get killed, the banker didn't kill him, he was a happy camper, and maybe he even enlightened the banker somewhat. I don't know. But that was an example of a pretty nice response rather than, yeah, basically being unilluminated and still basically trying to win the bet, and then all the tragedy that would have happened if he'd continued on that path. From the stillness came the illumination. Like when I was a kid, another thing I saw on TV was an ad which goes... I'm from Minnesota, right? From the land of sky-blue waters, waters...


From the land of pines, lofty balsams, comes the beer-refreshing, comes the beer-refreshing hams. Hams beer. Do you know Ham's beer? There used to be a big Ham's brewery in San Francisco and the building is still there. You can see it from the freeway. It's now condos. But it used to say, when I came to San Francisco, it said Ham's. And when I grew up there was an ad for that beer which says, from the land of sky blue waters, waters, From the land of pines, lofty balsams. Minnesota has these beautiful lakes. And they said the beer comes from there. Anyway, this wonderful, appropriate response comes from the stillness.


Yes. And also, even before you have stillness, you can still be like constructing stillness. I'm trying to be still, but I don't think I'm there yet. And you're like perceiving that you're not really still, and then you perceive that you are still.


So the constructed stillness you can perceive, you can also perceive constructed, not very stillness. So this is something that a lot of people do, and that's fine. And then while you're doing that, it's possible that the unconstructed stillness will dawn on you. And you don't have to get rid of the constructed because The unconstructed stillness expresses itself through constructions. But the function of the unconstructed is construction. When you said you became a Jew in order, you just sat. Did you mean you didn't sit and practice sitting? Yeah. But I came to the Julia Morgan Center after I'd been practicing a pretty long time.


So I still go and sit, and you could say I construct the posture. I can perceive the posture, you can perceive my posture. So I kind of set the stage or set the table for what? For the feast of stillness. I don't really try to make myself still. I just sit. I don't try to gain stillness, I just sit. I don't even try to gain just sitting. And then I'm there available for the unconstructed stillness to emit illumination. But even if I, in my early years, I think I did try to construct stillness, construct silence, get myself, and I used to say, I think I told you, I used to say, be silent and still. I even used to say to people, don't move.


In my early practice, I was into constructing silence and stillness. Now I'm into remembering it. remembering stillness, and I'm remembering the stillness, which is, since it's unconstructed, it can't go anywhere, and it also, but although it doesn't go anywhere, stillness doesn't go anywhere, the unconstructed doesn't go anywhere, it also can emerge, and I'll go into these details later, it can emerge from some construction. like you can find in a constructed thing, you can discover, it can come forth, the unconstructed stillness can come forth. Just like for this young man, the unconstructed stillness came forth from his activities in the room, some of which were trying to... I think he made a big effort to get himself to stay in the room.


He was trying to master himself. and he was successful, but he was kind of forcing himself to stay there for a long time. After a while, he wasn't forcing himself to stay there anymore. So he was still in the room, he was in the room and he was still, but after a while, he wasn't forcing himself anymore. And then he kind of realized, oh, he didn't say this necessarily, but he kind of realized, oh, without forcing myself to be still, I am. And when you see that you're still without forcing yourself to be still, you just have illumination. And then from that illumination, you can do other things, like you can sit down again without trying to get anything out of it. So you can do a constructive thing like sit down without trying to get anything for it. And that shows that the construction thing, the constructive activity of sitting down, is infused with the unconstructed, which isn't trying to make anything.


So you make the posture, but you also realize that posture contains this not trying to make anything. So the unmade permeates and interfuses completely the made, and the made interfuses completely the unmade. The made completely permeates the unmade, and the unmade completely permeates the made. So I said earlier, something like, it's possible for me to speak to you, which is kind of like construction, right? language constructions for me to speak with you, but the speaking can occur in silence.


The speaking can occur in silence. The constructed can occur in an unconstructed. I'm like, I'm not trying to calm myself down, I just happen to be here in no place else, and I start talking, or talking happens. And the talking can be in the middle of a stillness and a silence which I did not make. However, even though I didn't make this stillness and silence, which is here, while I'm talking, I can remember the silence and stillness, and I can remember that this talking, this particular activity, is occurring in something universal. that this talking which is born and dies, born and dies, born and dies, is living in something that is not born and dying.


It's living, this form, these gestures are living in emptiness. And remembering that is the meditation on stillness and elimination. I'm remembering the stillness so that my speech is illumination, is the function of the stillness or the function of the silence. I think that the compassion, the compassion basically practices on particularities.


Compassion doesn't exactly operate on stillness. Stillness is like, it's like, it's one of the words for reality. Compassion doesn't exactly... Does compassion arise from stillness? When it does, then it is illuminated compassion. It is compassionate illumination. But there can be a compassion which doesn't seem to be illuminated yet, but is still focusing on a particularity. like a pain, like a fear. So compassion towards that particular, so compassion can be towards many particulars.


And wisdom is sort of more focusing on, first of all, one thing, like emptiness or the universal, but then the wisdom can also open to seeing how the particular, which compassion deals with, interfuses the universal. And so you can practice compassion where you're dealing with particulars, which is usually what compassion deals with, and as you're dealing with particulars, you can discover the universal, because it's right there. Did you get that? So there are plenty of particulars in your life, right? Pains and pleasures, fear and courage, ups and downs, birth and death, lots of particulars.


Okay, we've got the particulars. When you practice compassion with the particulars, you will discover the universal, because universal permeates all the particulars. At that point, there's illumination. By being compassionate, you settle into the stillness You're not, yeah, you're like not running away from the pain or towards the pain, you're just like being completely embracing with compassion this particular. And in that embrace, you're, without even trying to make yourself still, but you could also be part of being compassionate, is you could like force yourself to stay with somebody. Like the guy forced himself to stay in the room.


Some people force themselves to stay with their sick friend. They're trying to get away. They want to get away from their friend, so they force themselves to stay. Are you following that? They're trying to be compassionate, but they're not quite fully compassionate. They're still trying to get away. And then I often recommend to people who are trying to get away from their compassion practice, to be compassionate towards trying to get away. If we practice compassion towards trying to get away, we often discover that we're not getting away. In other words, we discover that we're right where we are. We discover stillness. Without trying to make yourself still, you can discover it, and also without trying to make yourself still while you're trying to get away from the situation, both. So be compassionate, and if you are trying to make yourself be still, if you're compassionate towards that, you'll discover the stillness which is not made by you.


Because I'm trying to make myself still, it's a particular trip, a particular activity, and that's calling. All the people who are trying to make themselves still are involved in that particular activity. That activity is calling for compassion, and if you're compassionate towards trying to make yourself still, you will discover the universal stillness, which is always right there. All things are completely still and silent. All time, every moment, that's the way they are. And they're also not that way. And the not that way is interfused with the that way. So compassion is a necessary part of the process of practicing this teaching. It's even part of the necessary process of listening to the teaching even before you put it into practice.


Listening to it is an act of generosity, and listening to it carefully is an ethical discipline. And being patient with the teaching and how difficult it is to understand is also part of compassion, and so on. All that helps you wake up to the stillness which doesn't come or go. Being compassionate to the stillness which comes and goes will bring you to wake up to the stillness that doesn't, and that awakening, again, is samadhi. Yes. [...] He read those books.


Yeah, and the constructions are particulars. So when you're compassionate to the particulars, you discover the universal. When you're compassionate to the constructed, you discover the unconstructed. And then in discovering the unconstructed, you also discover illumination. And then you understand that the whole time that you were working with these constructed particularities, and trying to be compassionate towards them, this thing was always there, and now you get to see it, and it's wonderful, and it also changes your whole history, that you realize it was always there with you, even before you saw it. Now you see it, you see it's the kind of thing that was always there, rather than you have a new take on it, but part of it is saying, I've always been here with you. Did you have your hand raised a while ago? Can I go to him before you? Hey, Barry. Even though...


Well, I have a wonderful understanding of your question. I don't know if you'd like it. But here's my understanding, is that some movies, and some dancers, and some novelists, and some runners, and some batters, and some tennis players, and some basketball players that they, somehow, they become an opportunity for us to concentrate on what they're doing. They kind of like, they do something, and we look at it, and we kind of like go, we're like, we don't try, we're not like, okay, I'm gonna really try to concentrate on this baseball game. I'm gonna really concentrate on this movie. I mean, some people make me do that. Do any of you do that? I'm gonna go concentrate on this movie.


But some movies, I mean, they help you concentrate on them. Do you know what I mean? Some novelist, like what's his name, Jonathan Franzen, he's not a terribly difficult novelist, but he feels that the way he writes and the way his pal, David Foster Wallace, that they write in such a way as to kind of require their readers to be concentrated. What they're trying to do is help their readers be concentrated. And if they can get the readers to concentrate, now I'm taking it further than what he said, he just says that the kind of novelist he is and his friends are, are people who are trying to help people concentrate. then I would say, by helping people concentrate, you help people open to illumination. So some novelists, they write in such a way that you cannot keep reading very long without concentrating.


And when you concentrate, these illuminations happen. The lights go on, like the Iliad and the Odyssey. They aren't that interesting if you're not concentrated. Like going through the list of military equipment that various armies have, and who the different people in the army are, and how many slaves they have, and how many tripods, and how many stores, is that part of it? It's not exactly fun to read that stuff. And you can read it and you can kind of be like, well, how much longer is this going to go on? When am I going to get through with this? But if the list goes on long enough, you maybe stop resisting and just start reading. Six tripods, 427 swords, 18 spears. You start to actually focus on each word and each image, and then


The lights go on. The lights go on. What lights? I don't know what. The lights of ancient Greece? And these lights are like, not just the lights in the room you were in, but the lights from thousands of years ago go on. You look at the ballet dancer and you concentrate on her. and this illumination happens because you're concentrated. You look at the movie as such a movie where you actually are there, and you see something, and the tears come because you're open to the beauty. It's not the beauty isn't actually in the movie, but it is in the movie. But it was there before you saw it. It's just that you weren't concentrated before, but somehow the movie works you and supports you to be concentrated, and in your concentration, and you're not wiggling anymore, this wonderful illumination occurs.


So, my question really was about the purpose of the emotions. Are you saying that the emotion arises automatically? I don't think the emotion... I think the purpose of the emotion might be might be to help you to ask yourself some more questions and practice some more stillness, to have some more emotions. Because these emotions aren't just emotions, they're splendid, they're like, they're magnificent emotions. They aren't just like happy, they're like body shaking, you know, they're transcendent, yeah. And so the purpose of a transcendence, I think the purpose of a transcendent would be maybe to like go back and concentrate on the particular again. The purpose of a transcendent would be to go back into the untranscendent. And the untranscendent is the person you're seeing there dancing, or the person you're seeing there running.


That's not transcendent, that's the particular. But because you concentrated on that particular runner, you saw how beautiful she was, you woke, you had this illumination, and that illumination should encourage you to look at other runners that way too. So the purpose of the illumination is more practice of stillness and illumination. The purpose of the illumination is to keep the process of illumination going, to keep the process of transcendence, which means to keep the process of entering into the particular, because transcendent isn't just going beyond the particular, it's going beyond and going back into, because what you just realized, that in the particular you discovered the transcendent, the universal. But as you go from one level to the other, your body might secrete various liquids. Because it's a life-changing thing.


You're not like all bottled up anymore. You kind of transcend your limits, and things will start flowing. One of my first practice periods at Tathagatagarbha, I started to relax a lot, and I was afraid I would poop in my pants. because I was so relaxed. I didn't, but I just, you know, we don't have to hold ourselves as tightly as we do. You know, we're not gonna poop in our pants if we relax, probably. I haven't heard much examples of that. People more poop in their pants when they're scared, when they tense up. involuntary poop comes more from that. So yeah, I'd say those emotions are their accompaniments of illumination, and they're optional.


You don't have to cry when the illumination arrives, but often we do, which is fine. It's fine. I think it's just fine. Okay, so next maybe was Nettie and then Barbara-Joan. So last week, I was pretty confused about this constructed stillness. Good work, Jeff. I'm not either. But she said she... You're always helping her, don't worry. So he related it to something that we talked about previously in this class, the road and the river. It made some connections there for me that I could understand it a little bit better. And so I'm just going to clarify something with you. So it seems like I have been in this past conversation


better place to be at than this dang road that seems very formed and structured. But now I'm seeing this relationship between this So she's referring to an image at the beginning of a book by Ben Okri called The Famished Road, and the book starts out something like, in the beginning was the unborn, brackets, unconstructed, unmade, in the beginning was the unborn and it was like a river. But then the river got covered by a road, and the road spread out over everything. But because the road was originally a river, it was hungry for the river.


So every particular, the unborn is covered, the universal is covered by particulars. The universal is of course always here, the unconstructed you can't get away from it, but we also have this life where we scatter particulars on top of it. But these particulars also, because they are actually in the unconstructed, they kind of yearn to get reconnected. But the particulars aren't worse than the unconstructed, it's just that they're intimate. And sometimes we're often stuck in the particulars and hungry for the universal. We're stuck in the constructed and we're hungry for the unconstructed. And then again, being compassionate to that hunger without doing anything other than being compassionate to the hunger, the water squirts through the road.


Or we realize that the river was always here, and that the road in particular was always living in the in the universal, or you also realize, oh, the universal was always in the particular, the river was actually in the road, and the road is always in and on the river. There's no road without the river, no river without the road. And when we're caught in the road and hungry for reunion with the unborn, that feeling of hunger is calling for compassion. We shouldn't get rid of the hunger, and we shouldn't, like, you know, start pouring stuff into the hunger, necessarily, unless temporarily we might say, the hunger might say, feed me some blah blah, and you might say, okay, or you might say no. But you do it as an act of compassion in both cases. And then you suddenly, oh my God, look what I found in the road, it's a river.


Just what I was wanting. and I stopped neglecting the road because of my hunger. Before, I wasn't taking care of the road because I was too hungry for the river, but now I stopped neglecting the road. I took really good care of the road, and then I realized the stillness, and I realized the universal, the river, the unborn, in the constructed. And vice versa, when you realize the unconstructed, we don't usually practice compassion with that, but we kind of do practice compassion with it, actually. And the way we practice compassion with the unconstructed, with the illumination that lives in the stillness, the way we practice compassion with that is, donated to your local charities. Give it away.


Give it away. Don't hold on to the illumination. Don't hold on to the feeling that comes with the illumination. Like when I was, when my father died, it was not much of a surprise. I'd been with him many times when I thought, he's going to die right then. Many times I thought, this is his last breath. So I was ready when he died. I wasn't in the same state as him. It's in the same part of the country. And when he died, I was like, okay. So I went a few thousand miles to go see him. And that funeral I went to, that was after I started going to funerals. Now I'm like a funeral addict. I'll tell you stories about my funeral enjoyment later. But anyway, I went to this, This wedding, this funeral, was after I started to go to funerals. And it was for my father's, and so I went to this mortuary place, and he was in an open casket, and he had on a nice suit, and yeah, I went up to him, and I just looked at him, and I think, I guess what I felt like, I just saw


this like profound sweetness that he was, and I just burst into tears, and they were joyful tears, incredibly joyful. I saw how beautiful, I mean my father had problems, but I saw how beautiful he was, with his makeup on and everything, how beautiful he was, what a sweetheart, how blessed I was, and I was just bawling with joy. I wasn't the tiniest bit sad at that time. I am sometimes sad about my father, but mostly I feel blessed by everything about him, including all the immature, unskillful things he did to show me what's unskillful and immature. He did that for me. He was just a big, fat blessing. And I just felt this great joy.


And then my uncle, and I looked like I was probably, maybe I looked like I was in trouble. I don't know what. My uncle thought, his older brother, but he came over and he kind of like forced me to stop crying. And I gave it up. I wasn't attached to this blessed bawling. I just let it go. It was such a blessing. Tears can be such a blessing when they come from illumination, from seeing how beautiful somebody is or something is, how beautiful it is beyond any kind of measure. Now, did you raise your hand, Elizabeth? Because it's quite intellectual, and not only intellectual, but I think intellectually challenging.


So I just didn't want to drive you away into the hills by bringing up this quite philosophical discussion. And I have more of it, too. But I gave you a little bit tonight, and you seem to be doing OK. So I'm encouraged to give you more next week. But, you know, the interfusion of the principle and phenomena, as some people go, get me out of here! But, you know, you seem to... You know, Siddhartha Goswami also talked about, you know, talking about principle or emptiness, it's like... and then talking about form, the emptiness is like salt and the form is like rice. And, you know, if you put too much salt on the rice, it's really hard to eat.


But the right amount of salt on the rice, dash, our life, our phenomenal life, putting the right amount of principle on it, it really makes it taste great. But it's kind of an art to know how much emptiness how much unconstructed stillness to put on to our constructed life. And so I was kind of cautious, because I'm bringing up this salt, which I don't want to put so much on that you, you know, get sick or disgusted. Like, this is too salty. This is too emptiness. This is too unconstructed. Give me a break. But I think that's why. Well, I had an experience early when I came in. And I was sitting back there.


Well, so in any case, I saw a folded blanket in front of me in a certain place. one could use exquisite, but it was much more than that. It was... I didn't know what it was. But I think it was still there. In the blanket, in the thing. And I was thinking, well, maybe it's This stillness of the person who did it is something impressive.


I don't know how to explain it, but I thought it might be that the person who did it, that somehow I was experiencing Yep, the person or the machine that made it, you're experiencing all that in that blanket. But much more than that. The whole universe makes that blanket. And you maybe got a little bit of compassion towards that blanket, and the blanket revealed the unconstructed stillness and illumination to you. The stillness was not in me. It seemed that it was calling to me by looking at that thing.


It's almost as if that... Yeah, that's what I said, like some novels, they call you to be still. Like the Iliad calls you to be still. It's kind of saying, if you try to get entertainment out of this book, you're going to miss it. You should just be obedient to me and just listen to me without trying to get any meaning, and I'm calling to you to be still while you read this book. And so teenagers have a hard time reading the Iliad and Odyssey because they have a hard time listening to the call to be still with these classics, so it's useless. But the classics and also a carpet or a yoga mat, they are calling to you for compassion. They're calling to you to be still with them. And if we receive that call, then they bestow upon us the light which is in them.


And so you got a little light there, congratulations. You're welcome to kiss any of them. Is that okay if she kisses some of them? The other people sweat on them, you can kiss them. Yes? to answer it quickly now, because we're over time. You can bring it up again next time. But basically, if you are relating to an object sentimentally, with sentimental compassion or sentimental attention and carefulness, that's a start.


I gave a class here on different kinds of compassion once, didn't I? Yeah. But when the compassion is full, you're no longer identifying with the object. But when you start, usually you identify or don't identify with it. And so that sentimental identification with the object could be the beginning of your compassion. But when your compassion is full, you don't identify with the particular thing. The particular person that you are doesn't identify with the particular thing that's there. And then, in that kind of compassion, then you see the identification of the particular with the universal. If the particular you identifies with the particular it, you're still kind of like postponing the realization that the particular it and the particular you are interfused both with the universal.


But as your compassion opens more and more, you get more and more settled, and then you realize, oh, I'm identified not with this thing, but with everything. And that thing is not identified with me, it's identified with everything, including But sentimental compassion is more like, she's identified with me and I'm identified with her, but we're not identified with everybody. And that's a start. That's nice. I have compassion for you and I'm identified. Also, there can also be I'm identified with you and I do not feel compassion for you. Matter of fact, I hate you because I'm identified with you. So that kind of compassion is a warm-up to a compassion which isn't just for this particular, but for every particular.


And then we get to see that every particular includes the universal. But we can talk about this more later, okay? Thank you so much.