Training for the Selfless Heart 

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Does this series of classes have like a topic or something, a title? What do you say? It's about training the selfless heart? Training for the selfless heart? Thank you. Yes, training for the selfless heart. May I have this? Tom, may I have this? Yes. In the presence of all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, with my palms joined, I bow my head in reverence


and I hope to accord with the teaching in discussing the training of the selfless heart. I'd like to talk about developing the provisions for the enlightenment of the Buddhas. The provisions for developing a selfless heart and the virtues that go with it, which constitute the enlightenment of the Buddhas. The enlightenment of the Buddhas basically has a body. The body of Buddha


is comprised of wisdom and virtue. Foremost among the conditions or the provisions for the enlightenment of the Buddhas is, you could say, the perfection of wisdom, or in Sanskrit, prajñāpāramitā, wisdom which has gone beyond wisdom. It's the foremost condition for the enlightenment of the Buddhas. The foremost provision of the enlightenment


of the Buddhas. It is called, the perfection of wisdom is called often, the mother of the Buddhas. Buddhas are born of the perfection of wisdom. And the perfection of wisdom includes the virtues together with which the enlightenment of the Buddhas is constituted. So the enlightenment


of the Buddhas, in a sense, isn't just perfect wisdom, it's also virtues. But these virtues are included in the wisdom. The virtues complete the wisdom in such a way that together, complementing each other, we have the body of the Buddha. Again, the Buddha isn't just perfect wisdom, it's perfect wisdom together with virtue, the type of virtue which perfect wisdom includes, or the type of virtue which lives with perfect wisdom. There may be some kind of virtues


that are not growing up out of perfect wisdom, perhaps. But the kind of virtue that provides for the Buddha body, for the enlightenment of the Buddha, that kind of virtue is included in perfect wisdom. The ocean of wisdom, the ocean of Buddha's enlightenment, the ocean of the virtues which make for the realization of Buddha is boundless. Still, all the things in the ocean can be subsumed under some categories. One category is wisdom, the other is virtue. Or another way to put it is, one category is wisdom and the other is five other perfections.


The perfection of giving, the perfection of ethical discipline, the perfection of effort, the perfection of patience, and the perfection of meditation. So, these five virtues under the auspices of perfect wisdom include all the wisdom and virtue that make for the Buddha body. The selfless heart, the selfless mind is the perfection of wisdom. And when it's brought


together with giving, ethics, patience, effort, and meditation, that includes all the conditions necessary for enlightenment. These six things I mentioned are called the six perfections, or the six transcendent practices of bodhisattvas, those who are developing the selfless heart together with virtue. Again, it isn't just the selfless heart, it's the selfless heart together with virtue. And it isn't just virtue, it's the virtue together with perfect wisdom. There are four other perfections in addition to these six, which are called the perfection of skill


and means, skillful means, the perfection of vow or commitment, the perfection of powers, and the perfection of knowledges. But these last four, although they're in some sense subtle elaborations and developments of the previous six, those four are really included in the previous six. So there's these ten perfections, but really the six include the whole ten, and the extra four are further unfoldments. I would hope that as we go through these series of classes, I think there's seven, and we're


well on our way to have one, number one, that would allow us time to maybe devote one class to each one of these perfections. But already I'm talking about what is usually called the sixth perfection, the sixth transcendent practice. I'm introducing it first because it includes the ones that are coming. It's what makes the other practices go beyond. I also would like to render reverence to all Buddhas and all bodhisattvas,


I wish to, from now on and throughout my whole life, offer inexhaustible reverence and homage to all Buddhas and bodhisattvas. And there are many levels of bodhisattvas. It seems to me that there aren't levels of Buddhas. It might be nice if there were, but I don't think there are. I think all Buddhas are on the same level. I don't know where the level is, but they're beyond levels. They're at the Buddha level, and there's only one level, and they're beyond that. But bodhisattvas seem to have levels, and tonight I just thought


I might mention that one of the levels is the initial level, or it's the level of initiation. It's the beginning level. And we have people in this room who are officially at the initial level of a bodhisattva. They have been initiated into the bodhisattva sangha. They have received and committed to the bodhisattva vow. So they are the initial bodhisattvas. And then there's, you could say, six more levels, or you could say 51 more levels. Sometimes we


say seven levels of bodhisattvas, which means six plus one, and sometimes it gets into like 51 stages. There may be other ones, but those are popular ones, and there are some phases of numbers between 51 and seven. But I just wanted to mention that I pay reverence to all the bodhisattvas, the initial ones and then the other stages. Right now I'm not going to get into the other stages, I just want to mention the initial ones. It's a little bit personal or something, because there are actually initial-level bodhisattvas in this room. And they actually may not be thinking, Oh, I'm an initial-level bodhisattva. I've been initiated into the bodhisattva vows. I've been initiated into the vow to work for


the realization of Buddha in this world. And I've heard that because of that I'm worthy of reverence. People don't usually think of that, but I just wanted to say that I think they are worthy of reverence by making this vow. By receiving this vow and committing to this vow, even though they're still limited sentient beings like the rest of us, they have received this vast mind which wishes to help all beings attain the very greatest enlightenment so that they can help all beings. They've actually received this vast mind of the bodhisattva. And in the ceremony which we do to initiate people, we say that these


people who are initiated, who accept this vow and commit to this vow, that the Buddhas and the great bodhisattvas also admire them. Those who are more advanced than them admire them who are initiated. So I'm saying I admire the initial bodhisattvas and all their more developed brothers and sisters. And of course I admire and pay reverence to the Buddhas. I'm not going to say right now, but I would encourage you to sort of open your mind to what in what I speak of later would be an expression or be included in the reverence


and the honoring of bodhisattvas. Now back to Prajnaparamita, which is the mother of the Buddhas and the mother of the bodhisattvas. Or you could say the mother of the bodhisattvas and therefore the mother of the Buddhas because Buddhas are born from bodhisattvas. So Buddhas are born from Prajnaparamita. A Zen teacher named Yun Mun once said, where are all the Buddhas born? And he said, he answered the question himself and said, the eastern mountains move over the water. Eastern mountains means


all the mountains. Like for example, it means the Sierra Nevada, it means the Rockies, it means the Appalachian Mountains, it means the, did I say Himalayas? It means the Caucasus, it means the Andes. It means all the mountains moving over the water. That's where the Buddhas are born. But it also means every phenomenal thing. And in this imagery, if you think about it, you might think about, okay, the mountains are moving over the water, and so where are the mountains moving over the water? They're born where the water and the mountains meet,


and where the mountains move on the water. What's the water? Well, the water is where the end of the mountains. It's where they end, but it's also where they move. And so, the bottom of the mountains, the bottoms of the mountains are often called the foot of the mountains. There's the foothills, and at the bottom of the foothills is the foot of the foothills. The foothills, at the bottom of the foothills is the foot of the mountain. And at the bottom of the, at the tips of the foothills, at the tips of the feet of the


are mountain toes, and mountain toes at the end of the mountains, those toes touch the water, and they splash in the water. And where they touch the water, that they move across and move around at that splashing, at that lively splashing of the toes of the mountains of all things, that's where the Buddhas are born. At the foot of your feelings, at the toes of your feelings, where your feelings are splashing in the water, that's where the Buddhas are born. At the toes of your fear, at the foot of your faith, at the foot of your anger, at the foot of your effort, at the foot of your devotion, at the foot of your reverence,


at the foot of all your efforts, at the bottom of the mountain of whatever you're working with, where that touches the water and splashes, that's where the Buddhas are born. And the water is at the end of the thing. Whatever the thing is, whatever you are, the water is a mountain. Whether you're big or little, you're a mountain. And where the mountain ends is where the water is, and the mountain doesn't just sit in the water, it moves and it splashes in the water, and that's where the Buddhas are born. And that splashing of you and me and every experience


is prajnaparamita, is perfect selfless heart. Everything we do is a mountain. If you completely exhaust the mountain, you could exhaust the mountain up to the top of the mountain too. You could say the mountain is exhausted in the tip, at the summit, but this image is not saying that. It's saying the mountain is exhausted in the feet, at the base, because that's where it sits on the water. The image is not of the mountain being flipped over onto its summit into the water, or having the water on top of the mountain. It's the mountain sitting on the water. And if you look at the planet Earth, all mountains are sitting on water. Do you understand?


All continents are sitting in water, right? And all the mountains either are under the water and coming up out of it, or you could say are sitting on the land which is touching the water. So this is the characteristic of every phenomena that at its extreme exertion, we find perfect wisdom, and that's where the Buddhas are born. For me, that's enough on the perfection of wisdom for right now.


I'd like to move on to what's usually called the first perfection. The first perfection of the Bodhisattva, the first perfection of the baby Buddha, of the child of Buddha, of Buddha's offspring, is the perfection of giving. This is the first, in a sense, the first practice of the Bodhisattvas. And although it's the first, it's not like you practice it and then stop and move on to the second. Just like the sixth includes the first, but when you're practicing the first,


you're also practicing the sixth. And when you're practicing the sixth, you're practicing the first. The second level of Bodhisattva could be said to be, after the initial commitment, the second level is to start to engage in practice. So if you commit to live for the welfare of all beings and to live for the welfare of all beings, and to realize Buddhahood for the welfare of all beings, then the first practice you do to take care of that initiation is the practice of giving. The first practice to train in the selfless heart is the practice of giving.


It's kind of a simple practice, in a way. In a way, it's kind of simple. It's like, make every action of body, speech, and mind a gift. Or, offer everything you think. Make everything you think an offering. Make everything you say an offering. Make every posture, make every gesture a gift. Simple, right? Hard to accomplish, hard to remember, hard to remember, and therefore hard to accomplish.


You sort of have to remember to accomplish it. If you forget it, then you miss out on your action being a gift. It's sort of like, be there when you speak, be there when you think, be there when you make a gesture, like with your hand. Make all these gestures with your hand gifts. Gift, gift, [...] and also your facial expressions, your facial gestures. Make all these gifts. Try to remember to make every posture a gift. Like here we have a yoga room, they do postures. So that's fine with me. And I smile at that and make that smile a gift. And of course,


of course, several years ago Donald asked me to come over to the yoga room to kind of mention to the yoga students that the postures they do in this room could be seen as gifts. To give the instruction to make your yoga practice a gift rather than come to the yoga room to get something. Like, I don't know what, more skillful at yoga? A little bliss maybe? Good health? How about practice yoga as a gift? As an offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, as an offering to the welfare of all beings, which is the same thing. As Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.


So there's a practice for us to work on. This is your assignment for this week. Train yourself in giving. Just give it a try, starting now. To let what you're doing be an offering to the welfare of all beings. That is to say, to all Buddhas and all Bodhisattvas. Which means pay attention to your gestures. Notice what you're doing with your hands. If you're twiddling your thumbs, notice it. Okay, twiddling thumbs, twiddling thumbs. Is this an offering? I want it to be. And as a matter of fact, that was enough of that. I think I'm going to hold them still and make them like this now. I think I'll make this offering instead of this one.


This one's okay, but if you realize it's a gift, you might want to offer something else like this. A fist could be a gift, and when it's a gift, somehow it's a different fist. This kind of fist, if it's not a gift, you might not see it as for the benefit of all beings, but if it's a gift, then maybe it should be for the benefit of all beings. And what you say, in order for me to make what I'm saying a gift, it sort of helps if I actually listen to myself talk, so that I can say that this speech is a gift. And now, even though I'm not saying that, I still am considering making this a gift.


It's hard to remember, but when you remember and wish it to be a gift, I think you're pretty much entering the practice. Entering the first bodhisattva practice. Entering the first bodhisattva practice. The next part is, I don't know, a little bit more not-so-easy-to-understand maybe, but the next part is about how it is when there's giving practice. And what have you got to give? You've got two kinds of gifts.


One is, you can give all your actions of body, speech, and mind, and you can also give material things, like you can give a notebook, or you can give a flyer for a class to somebody. Those are material gifts. Your body is a material gift. Your gestures, your physical actions are material gifts. And you can also give Dharma in the sense of teachings, but you can also give Dharma in the sense of practice. So again, your practice of giving can also be a gift. So you give your gestures, you give your words as gifts,


and you also make your giving a gift. You can also give teachings, like you can give the teaching of giving, and you can give the teaching of wisdom. The combination of perfect wisdom and the practice of giving is such that, well, maybe I'll take that, yeah, I'll use this. The combination of perfect wisdom with the giving is that you don't attach to what we call the three wheels, or the three aspects of the giving process. So the giving process involves often a giver, or benefactor, or donor,


a receiver, or recipient, and a gift, including that, of course, the donor could be donating herself. The donor can donate her blood, her attention, her kindness, her posture, her words, her reverence, all these things the donor can give. So when you practice giving under the auspices of perfect wisdom, you don't attach to any aspect of the process. You don't attach to being the giver. You don't attach to being the receiver, and you don't attach to being the gift, even though you perhaps wish to be a gift, you don't attach to being a gift. Also, if you're observing giving in the form that you're a recipient,


you don't attach to being a recipient. You play the role of a recipient, maybe, but you don't attach to that being really a substantial position. You realize. So you're open to the possibility that when someone gives you something, and you receive it, you are a gift, or that when someone gives you something, and you receive it, you are giving. You're the donor when you're the receiver. You're open to that, even if you seem to be literally saying, I'm the receiver. You maybe say I'm the receiver, but you don't attach to what you said. You realize that you can be a great donor when you say I'm a receiver. If a child gives you your present, you can say, Oh, I'm the receiver of your present, and it's a wonderful present, thank you very much. You totally feel like you're giving to the child.


But you don't attach to that either, that okay, I'm the grandfather receiving this gift, and I'm going to make the presentation, the offering of telling the person who gave it to me what a wonderful gift it is, and make them very happy that I will play the role of recipient of their offering, and that it's such a wonderful offering. So I feel like I'm really, I hardly even notice maybe that they're giving to me while I'm playing the role of the recipient. I mostly am enjoying that I'm giving to them, my appreciation which delights them. But I am actually also the recipient. But I'm no more the recipient than I am the donor. And I'm no more the donor or recipient than I am the gift. But I can be any of those, and perfect wisdom says don't attach to anything in the position. And if you do notice


that you're kind of like a little bit more, I actually am a little bit more of the giver than the receiver right here. I'm a little bit more of a gift than a donor. Okay, do you really believe that? If you really believe that you're a little bit, even a little bit more of a gift than a giver, then you're not letting perfect wisdom in fully. So again, enter the giving process, please. That's the first practice. But open to perfect wisdom too, so that the Buddha can be born in the mountain of the practice of giving, where the giving splashes in the water, and everything gets wet, and nobody knows who's who, and nobody's attaching to any position in the process. But of course, sometimes you think


you are one more than the other, and then it's time for confession, which goes with the second virtue practice of developing moral virtue. If you're practicing giving, and you don't let perfect wisdom in enough, you get stuck a little bit in one of those positions. Does that make sense? If you get stuck in one of those positions, it's kind of a little bit of a flaw in your giving. We really should be able to pivot from giver to gift to receiver to giver, just playing the role, just for a flash, with no attachment, ready to be another moment of the same position maybe, if that's what's called for, or completely changed positions. That's letting the perfect wisdom come in, that's letting the Buddha be born here. That's making the practice of giving selfless.


That's giving with a selfless heart. You're in the process, but you're not stuck on being the giver, or the receiver, or the gift. And if you are, if I am, then I confess I'm stuck. I'm holding to some place in the process. I confess it, and I actually feel a little bit, or quite a bit of sorrow, because I'm interfering with the birth of Buddhas. I'm not opening to the selfless heart. I'm doing this good practice called giving, but I don't really want it to be selfless. I want it to be, I want to be the receiver or the giver. I really don't want to just have any old position in the process, or all of them, or none of them. So I'm sorry about that. And if you're sorry about it, then try again. Go back again and practice giving


in the way in which the Buddha can be born there, in a selfless way. That's what it's like when the wisdom, perfect wisdom, is conjoined with the giving. But we still have to do the, it isn't just, okay, gift, giver and receiver are not attached to. It isn't just that. It's also practice giving. It isn't just, I got that. It's now practice giving. So it isn't just wisdom, it's wisdom together with the actual drama, or the actual, yeah, theater, or drama, maybe better, the actual drama of, now I'm playing the role of the giver. Hmm, that's nice. And now I gave it up, and thank you very much. Thank you. And now I'm over that, and I forgot where I am.


Oh, I'm a gift. And so on. So please try to practice giving that way, and let the wisdom come in with it, and then check to see if the wisdom's operating, or if you're stuck. And if you're stuck, practice confession and repentance, and give it another try. Now, another aspect of giving is that it's done with compassion. It's done without attachment to the different aspects, but it's done with compassion. And another aspect of it, which you've probably heard many times already, is it's done without coveting, without trying to get any reward. So, those three aspects. Give without trying to get reward. Give with no expectation.


And this is really high quality giving. Then do it as an act of compassion. Now it's really good, and then don't attach to any part of the process. So this kind of practice is training the selfless heart, and it's also training the selfless heart together with virtue practice. So it's partly theoretical, because you know that there shouldn't be any attachment, but then it's also partly putting it into practice to see if you can do this practice giving selflessly. In three senses. One is practice giving for the welfare of others. Two, practice giving without expectation.


And three, practice giving without attachment to the three wheels, to the three aspects. Any response that you'd like to offer? No? Yes, Marjorie?


I've seen this happening more often than just once, and I thank you. You are welcome. And when I said welcome, I was watching to see whether that was a gift, or whether I had received something. Thank you. Also, one thing I've been discussing recently is intimacy, intimacy as pretty much a synonym for enlightenment. So enlightenment isn't just perfect wisdom, it's perfect wisdom enacted in a relationship.


And intimacy requires a selfless heart. So if you've got a selfless heart, and then you practice giving, you can have intimacy, or enlightenment. Yes, Linda? More about what you mean about that, about intimacy being pretty much synonymous with enlightenment.


Well, first of all, I would say, take away pretty much. Take away pretty much, just say, intimacy is enlightenment. That's what enlightenment is, it's intimacy. I said a little bit more, something more, you want more? Is there more? Is there nothing in between? Nothing in between? Yeah, nothing in between, or no real in-between. I mean, there's no like, the in-between isn't something. There is in-between, but it's not a substantial in-between. It's a kind of apparent in-between,


like in some sense, Amanda is in-between us, but it's not a substantial Amanda in-between us. Or there's a space between us. I don't deny the space. I don't deny the distance. I just deny that it's substantial. I just deny, I wish to refute that it's substantial, that the distance separates us. And if I feel like the distance separates us, then I don't deny that I feel that the distance separates us. What do I do with that feeling of distance? Well, one thing I can do is make it a gift. I can make it a gift, and then as soon as it's made a gift,


it starts to be insubstantial by the practice of giving. Yes. Enrica? Yeah, or even open right now. Even right now, being open, you might lose yourself in the other. You think you might. So there it is right there. This is it. Losing yourself, and when it's losing yourself, that can be turned from losing yourself to giving yourself. And then again you think,


if I give myself, I might lose myself. And then if you think of losing yourself, you probably feel fear. The life of getting is the life of losing. Whatever you get, unless you get enlightened between when you get it and when it goes away, you lose it. But if you get something and wake up, you don't lose it, you give it. Every moment you get a new Enrica. If you realize it's a gift and you enter into the practice of giving, then at the end of the moment, you give it away. But if you flinch and stop practicing giving, then when you change, when this one isn't anymore,


then it seems like a loss. And when you think of loss, you become afraid, especially loss of you. And even before you think of loss, you can even be afraid when you think of getting. That can be frightening too. So getting and losing is a world of fear. It's not the enlightenment which the selfless heart wishes to realize. However, if there's fear, we can make that a gift too. So when we look at the idea of giving ourselves away and then we become afraid, we flinch from the giving. Actually, we're over on one side of the giving,


we're on the giver side. If I give myself away and you don't realize that you're a gift and also a receiver, if you miss part of it, it kind of can lead to fear. But if you don't attach to any part of the process, then when you give, you also can receive. So when you give yourself away, you also receive. You're going to receive a new self, [...] and you're going to keep giving them away. So you're going to be a gift, you're going to be a giver of the gift, and you're going to be also a receiver in the process of giving. And when you tune into that, there's no fear. If we get away from that, then there is fear.


Even if you don't think of giving, you don't have to think of giving to think that you might lose yourself. You don't have to think of giving to think that you're going to lose your health, your youth. However, if you do start thinking of giving, then it actually brings the fear of loss to the surface. It brings our fear of loss to the surface, where we can see, oh, this isn't giving. This isn't the giving with wisdom, it's the giving of, I give but I'm not a receiver. I'm caught, I'm not in the whole process, I'm in one section of it. And that's enough to give fear. Giving is usually the first way to start working on becoming free of fear. It's the first bodhisattva practice and it's the main place where fear is overcome.


And the complete overcoming of it comes when it's perfectly integrated with the selfless heart of perfect wisdom. And if we can spot those sticking points, which most of us can, then you practice kindness towards them. And you be generous with them, and let the sticking points be sticking points. Don't slap them in the face and try to get rid of the place where you're stuck over on the giver part, or the receiver part, or the gift part. Just say, oh, there seems to be sticking here, and there's graciousness towards this sticking, and this graciousness is a gift, but also in this graciousness there's receiving. I understand, however, I do have a problem with letting go.


You have a problem with letting go? Letting go of the giving. You have a problem of letting go of the giving? No, in giving. With giving, not letting go. Yeah, right. Like it's not enough. I won't have enough if I give something away. If you give something away you won't have enough? Right. Yeah. If I think of giving away something, and the thought arises, if I give away I won't have enough, so then that thought, that thought, I won't have enough, what would I suggest you do with that thought? Give it away. Give it away. I said before, make everything you think a gift. Well, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would be


certainly good candidates. They would like you to give away all your thinking. They don't want you to hold on to your mind. So if you say, here, have this thought, here, have this thought that I won't have enough if I give something away. Have this thought. Some people might even think, if I give my thoughts away, I might not have enough thoughts. I think some people when they're in certain states of feeling very fragile, they think, well, I'm losing my mind, and so they're afraid of losing their mind, and they think, well, if I would give it away, maybe it's even more likely that I would lose it, but actually it's the other way around. If you get into the giving practice, then when you lose your mind, you can still be a Zen master. Of course a Zen master is somebody who's constantly giving her mind away. Every thought she has she gives away.


She doesn't attach to anything, even, it's like, well, that was a good idea, but better hold on to that one. No, this is a good idea, give it away. But also, this is a stupid idea, give that away. Not throw it in the trash, make it a gift. You might say, well, nobody wants your stupid thoughts. It's not so much that they want them, but they want you to make them a gift. It's not so much you want my stuff, you just want me to make my stuff a gift. If it's a gift, you don't have to keep it, it just flows right through you. But you don't want me to hold on to my thoughts, you don't want me to hold on to my bad thoughts, you don't want me to hold on to my good thoughts, if you're a bodhisattva. But holding on to that will make things real. You think they're real. Well, yes, but it's already that you think they're real, so you hold on to them. And then if you think they're real and you hold on to them,


then you deepen that habit, you give that habit another chunk of life. Which we do, so then we confess that. There I did, I made, I substantiated that, I tried to substantiate that thing by clinging to it. But that's not the end of the world. You confess it, you notice that you feel some stress around it, and then you say, actually I'd like to just drop that, and you do, and then you're back practicing giving again. When you start to feel afraid, it means you're actually considering doing the practice. If you don't even think about it, it's not very scary. If you don't even consider it, like, that's stupid, giving is really a waste of time, I'm not going to practice it, then you're scared to death, but you don't feel any more scared. You're so scared you won't even listen to it. That's a common thing.


I wouldn't say normal, because people do sometimes think of giving, quite frequently people think of giving, and then they feel fear. But they feel fear because they're actually getting close to maybe entering the practice. If you're way, way away from the practice, it's not so scary. But if you get right up close to it, like, you're my sister, and that means probably you could donate your kidneys to me, or one of them, I mean, and you'll need one, and I don't have any, and you'd be a good donor, so would you please consider giving me one of your kidneys? And when you actually start to think about it, you maybe feel a little fear. If you say, absolutely not, don't even consider it, you don't feel the fear. But as you get closer to it, you start to feel some fear. But then if you are generous with that fear, you might after a while feel like, I think I actually feel like I would like to give it. And not only that, but I'm not even attached to being the donor.


Now we're starting to really cook here. This is good. This is wonderful. My brother who asked me for the kidney, he's the donor, but he's not stuck there either, because he's the receiver. And the gift is this whole situation. And that's not going to stick there either. But if you're not in the giving swing of things, if you're not doing the giving dance, when you first start practicing, you feel a little awkward and embarrassed, and people maybe think you're not too good at it. Plus you start to think, I've got something to lose here. When you're sitting at the edge of the dance floor, and you have no intention of getting up to dance, you feel like, I don't have anything to lose. But if you stand up and start moving out there, and somebody's inviting you, and you're just about to start dancing, then you maybe start to feel some fear. So when you actually get into the swing of giving, that's where fearlessness lives. If you're sort of a little bit out of the phase,


out of practice, and you actually start to get close to start again, you feel some fear. But when you jump in and start swimming around, you start to notice a wonderful relief of fear. A relief from attaching to the idea there's not going to be enough. And make the idea there's not going to be enough into another gift. Again, not to throw it away, but to say, Hey Buddha, I know you've received this gift from many beings who came to you and said that they couldn't practice giving because there wasn't enough. And Buddha says, Yes. Infinite beings have felt that way. You're welcome to feel that way, and I'm happy to accept the gift of that thought that there won't be enough. Because the thought that there won't be enough is another gift. Which doesn't make there less of those thoughts that there won't be enough. They keep coming up. There's no end to the there won't be enough thoughts. There's no end to this scarcity of stuff.


People keep thinking of that without much assistance from the Buddhas. The Buddhas just keep practicing giving towards the people who are afraid to practice giving. And that practice will eventually penetrate us completely. And we will be fearless. Until we stop the practice. When we stop practicing giving, we start to get afraid again. Consciously or unconsciously. When we get out of the giving thing, the fear starts to bubble up again and take over. Not take over, influence. Limit. Make us stiff. So please work on giving this week.


I will too. Any last minute questions? Yes, Fran? Can you just repeat what the six virtues are? Pardon? Can you repeat what the six virtues are? Well, the virtues are giving. These are compassionate virtues. Virtues of bodhisattvas. Giving. Ethical discipline. Patience. Effort or enthusiasm. And meditation. Those virtues go with perfect wisdom. Wisdom doesn't really develop merit. These virtues do. And two together are what make enlightenment. And they complement each other. It's kind of like the virtues are the body of the wisdom


and the wisdom is the eyes of the body. Eyes of virtue. The understanding. Which keeps the virtue from getting stuck in any substantiality of itself. Yes? Something about the virtue of a courageous heart or something like that? Yeah, in some sense that's the one of, that's like the fourth virtue. Giving, ethics, patience, and courageous heart. And meditation or concentration. So in some sense the effort, the effort, the courage to practice giving is the fourth of the virtues. The courage to practice ethics. The courage to practice patience. The courage to practice meditation.


The courage to practice courage. That's involved, that virtue is involved in all the other ones because it's kind of like the fuel, the workhorse of all these other things. So we have to have the selfless heart and the courageous heart in order to practice giving properly. So I hope you have the enthusiasm to practice giving now.