What Is Most Important For You In This Life

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Being clear about our ultimate concern. Remember, aspire, commit to, and train to realise this. The story of Tong-an and Liangshan: what is the business under the patched robe? Intimacy. Another version of the story has the answer: authentic awakening; a third answer, suchness. Expressing the buddha mind in conversation, and in all activities.

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been two hours there is great joy
can you hear me up in the heights
there's a great joy that we can ah
such a beautiful vow that we just recited

yeah that some people have have a vow
like a corso
the ancient teacher
a console goggins envy and he had a bow like that
is so wonderful
and we can we can
see it and listened to it and remember it and then we can see if we accepted and if we want to uphold it such about

five days ago we finished a three week intensive at green gulch
in that valley with the dragon green dragon was there
and at the beginning
of the three weeks i
brought up the question of what is most important in this life

or another way i say it is what is the ultimate concern of life
what's the deepest are the highest
and as usual when i bring that up some people
reveal that they're not clear about that and then i'll tell them that that's that's quite common hard it's happens often that people when they look inward to their heart and mind and body
they are not real clear with will what the with a response to that
still i keep asking it and encouraging people to ask because there is an answer
and yeah and not answer is that for the time being what's most important to you and it's very beneficial to discover that within yourself because your life can be oriented in relationship to it
without that
most people most of the time are
while they're very distressed picking and choosing trying to figure out what to do
sometimes not really doing anything other than tried to figure out what to do
and in are very distressed about it
the hard for them to go to work on anything because should shouldn't do this this or this or is it
when you find out what's most important and you
to make a long story short when you settle into it fully then everything lines up with it and it there's not really much distress about which of the things that line up that are in accord with what's most important
doesn't matter which one you do because there are infinite number of things that line up with what's most important
but if you don't know what's most important that you can
be in distress about choosing which of the infinite things to do
but when you feel that they all serve the same
point then you can accept does to this one today i'll just just do this one right now i'll take care of this thing right now
and that will be good because it will be in accord with what's most important and also i understand when i remember what's most important
unless what's most important is for you to forget what's most important if you remember what's most important
then to do anything even tiny thing that accords with it is wonderful and you can accept that you cannot do the infinite number of good things that line up with it this morning
but you can prop you can quite likely do one right now if you know what it was
gus does the thing lines everything up and or is infinite opportunities also there's things which do not line up with it
whatever it is something to do not line up with it some things are in conflict with it and that also is a normal situation
you heard the vow of the ancestor dogan that's his bow but even he probably had some conflicting intentions
but he can maybe see quite clearly that's the conflicting intention
well not just like over it doesn't go with this
and if i can't let go of it than i have very clear practice how to deal with that that's called lack of faith and practice so then i go back to that practice and then i realized again
i say unto you again here's an opportunity to today
this morning this afternoon this evening
to ask yourself what is it that's most important
and just keep doing that until
you hear the answer from your heart
and then continue after that until you until it's a nice clear
a nice clear message from you to your life from your life to you
and also do it every single day
everyday re fresh the question and rediscover what it is because every day you need to line up again with it
otherwise she drift off into the picking and choosing
i'm trying to pick and choose

now if it and then also if it becomes clear
then you can consider do you aspire to realize what's most important the next step is there an aspiration to realize it as both as possible say well this is most important but i don't know if i want to work at of
well can look at that do you aspire to what to realize what's most important if so now you have what's most important also sometimes called faith
an innocent you believed that that's most important
and then you aspire to it
and then if you're inspired to it then when you're ready are you ready to commit to it
and then with that with but most important aspiring and committing than you're ready to train in accordance with them to do the things which line up with it
and to let go of the things which are distractions

so for me i do ask that question and i am blessed with answers to the question and
yeah i'm kind of like i don't know what not very interesting person
because i keep coming up with kind of like
the standard answer for bodhisattvas
and i'm not trying to get you to have the same
ultimate concern is me but i'm more just tell you about mind you can see hi work with my ultimate concern
so i think my ultimate concern is
yeah it's
true awakening
and then
sharing that with all beings true awakening for the sake of the true awakening of all beings that sort of my ultimate concern
ah does forgetting this a lot is it does forgetting this conflict with it kind of feel
so i'm not the the forgetting it is is one of the things i i'm willing to let go of if i do forget nothing much i can do until i discover i forgot when i discover i forgot then i have a practice practicing of confession and reform i forgot i'm sorry
now i'm gonna go
back to my aspiration
return to the training which is to learn to remember what's most important all the time as part of the aspiration when you realize complete awakening you will then be on the beam of from milan and you won't get distracted before that is realized
we get sometimes distracted because of the karmic accumulations
we can request and even if we don't request those who are not distracted are
guiding us to remember
what we forgotten
and ah
and so if i forget than i also a not only do i try to remember it's am sorry but i also say guides great guides please help me remember and please help me respond appropriately when i discover i'd forgotten
this is what dogan prayed for for his own practice so we'd probably have a similar situation

once i remember if i do remember
that the buddha mind the awakened being the being awake is most important than i can also remember
other teachings related to that
so as i said earlier
is this sitting
i said is this sitting such a question insisted and then
moving on from is the sitting is this sitting expressing authentic awakening
is this sitting expressing authentic or were gunning authentic awakening is most important it's the best thing for the world to help all beings okay is this city we were sitting is this sitting
expressing it
and also is this sitting earlier this morning and right now is this sitting impressing it
on body speech and thought is this sitting expressing it in body speech and thought
do i want my sitting or this sitting do i want this sitting to express the buddha mind
do i want that
yes i do
and part of the reason i wanted is because
that seems good
because i want this buddha mind and i want my life to express it
but then there's another turn of phrase which i didn't mention this morning which is a statement that proposal that if we do or when we do express
buddha mind
in our physical postures in our vocalizations in our thoughts when we do then the entire phenomenal world also
expresses or becomes this buddha mind
and the entire sky turns into enlightenment
and it is possible to remember this
buddha mind and remember
to offer our body speech and mind to express it and being impressed by it to offer that and to participate in this total awakening of all beings
which is going on and we're trying to get everybody to join it
the buddha mind is
but it seems like we need to be interested in it
make it up make it a the most salient not a subsidiary but the most salient value
aspire to had commit to it and trainers are mind train our mind to be with at all the time
and if we if if i try that i notice i have to train i had to i had to keep
being reminded being reminded being reminded or you could say reminding remembering but i don't do it by myself
i do it with
a corso
when i i when i see his words and say his words i am reminded when you say his words i am reminded when i'm reminded you reminded this is this is
but this is how we actually can learn to
more and more be with the awakened mind even while we're talking to people who are
you know
being quite know what
a challenging
saying many things that make it hard for us to remember
what would be best for them for us to remember that it's good for them if while they're yelling at us if we remember the buddha mind it's good for them even other seem to be challenged making it hard for us to remember what's best for them and course best for everybody

now we hear some kind of beeping they have some gonna beeping or buzzing going on
and i've stopped
when we heard the beeping did that distract us from
unsurpassed complete perfect enlightenment
well one answer is no it did not
it did not distract
there was a remembering of what was most important when the buzzing went on
when people don't when people make commitments and then they get distracted
that may be painful for them and painful for us to see or if we're the ones as distracted it may be painful for us to see our distraction and that
pain had our distraction the pain at the distraction might distract us
but it's also possible to see distraction
to feel a pain when you see it or one has seen and not get distracted to be right there

remembering the buddha mind
and looking at the distraction and expressing
the buddha mind while looking at distraction and pain at the distraction but this requires training
and training is available
every moment

this is the beginning of a month
pretty much
this is close to the beginning of a year
this is the morning of a day
every moment is an opportunity
to remember
aspire commit and train at the mind of true awakening

and when we start training the training again itself can they can turn into a challenge to what we're trying to train ourselves to practice
so for example
sometimes people
polished i won't talk about that year i just say when we sit
like we did sworn and we said somehow i don't know how it happened but
this this happened this morning what happened this morning is this thing of a bunch of people sitting somehow they came in here in the sack
maybe some of you remember that there were some people sitting here earlier this morning they came in they sat

and while there were sitting up i i guess i guess many things were happening and with their body and mind that the bodies and minds were very alive and active

and they were sitting
at their seat

underlying the sitting was
the buddha mind
and each each person who was sitting had a different had a unique life process it was going on and each person underlying they're sitting was the buddha mind
and if anybody was doing any meditation techniques and if anybody was trying to do but meditation techniques and was not doing it or some people weren't doing any meditation techniques
they're sitting was actually
founded on the buddha mind
everybody was actually expressing it in there sitting but not probably not everybody remembered that
maybe because of the meditation techniques that they were doing
as i
as as i approached death i more emphasizing the fundamental that underlies all the practices rather than then the techniques that some people are interested in practicing
there are books
there are books which it in the buddhist tradition which teach techniques of meditation
and when people read these books and read these techniques they often think oh this is a meditation technique
but the meditation that i'm talking to a body in a way isn't really a technique

it's remembering what's most important whether you're doing a technique or not

at the end of the intensive
how this issue and somewhere during the session one of our family stories came up which many of you've heard before
which is
was it back iraq's you

hmm how great is the okay sir
as for it says
the story i brought up was a story about
two of our ancestors
once there are chinese and
chinese way of saying their names is

come on

you're on your and the other one's name as long schon
so the japanese names are dolan country
and that's the name of the teacher and the stern is rio's on and com
so the students were studying with a teacher in china
the student
roseanne was studying with the teacher
go on
and the teacher was study with the student
and the student had a job of being the minister to the teacher
and the teacher had the job of being ministered to by the student
and teacher also minister to the student and one of the ways to teach and minister to student was to ask the student questions
the students parents to his job was to carry the teachers robes
and one day as the student was given the teacher the robe when the teacher received it the teacher said what is the business under the
under the robe
i had no worse than response and then the teacher said now you ask me am i speaking okay for you
you ask me the teacher said to the student students said what is the business under the patch road
the teacher said intimacy

with your support someday i'll write that character out on a piece of paper and give it to you
character is in in chinese just me and japanese it's mat-su
and i like to translated intimacy another translation of it is
the translation of it is
the transition is minute or meticulous
what is the business under the patch rome
but you could also say
what is the business under the patch robe is a secret
other translations are
it's dense
no transition would be it's inward
i know another translation was is unseen
they all all those transitions i think have some bearing
sometimes the kit the family style of soto zen sometimes called men meet mitsu
the character men men's cotton and then mitsu this character is can be translated as dense or meticulous
needs meticulous attention to detail
where you could say intimate attention to detail
the the chinese characters further for the warp and weft of a fabric
both the warp and weft used his character this character for density or intimacy for the threads going vertically and horizontally together with not other word
what is the most important thing
under the patch rome intimacy
the i intimacy

no matter what's happening
the work is intimacy
the activity under the
rohde the buddha is intimacy

now this there was another story of two people who are talking and one of them asked the other one what's the business what's the business under the patch robe and the answer was
authentic awakening
the business under the buddhist robe is authentic awakening

and there was another conversation with the same question and the answer was the business what's the business under the patch robes the answer was
such as such in us
somebody said when i used the word intimacy that she said i think of intimacy is like of relationship
what's the business under the patch robe relationship
what's the business owners a patch robe reciprocity

and in the story the student and teacher are doing this reciprocal thing with each other the heck they're expressing their expressing the buddha mind
through their conversation
at the beginning the teacher seems to understand this
that watch that what we're doing here is expressing intimacy by letting somebody carry your robe
and receiving a role and asking him questions this this receiving the robe is expressing the buddha mind
the asking the question is expressing the buddha mind
receiving the bro role is expressing intimacy
giving the border robe is expressing intimacy
asking a question is expressing intimacy not having any words it's expressing intimacy
asking the students to ask a question is expressing intimacy the student asking a question is expressing intimacy the teacher telling him the answer is expressing intimacy
that's the business according to the ancestors and that also is such as
that's the way things actually are
as that were doing this together with each other
and with all beings that we're sitting here
we sat here
or you know our ancestors saturn
and now we're sitting here
and we're expressing this intimacy were expressing this buddha mind
and we're trying to win
join and trained it into a chord with this
this kind of sitting
or this city
imperceptibly inconceivably according with all things and resonating through all times
when we sat here this morning and now we're sitting again now there's a sitting here that's right here and this sitting that's right here is imperceptibly according with all things right now
and from the sitting comes a question wouldn't it be good to remember that sitting
from this city comes the question wouldn't it be good to remember this sitting
this sitting which is reciprocal with that sitting
this sitting
which is that sitting which is this sitting

so we have we each of us have had the opportunity
the practice this setting
and on the first in the first the story in book of serenity the buddha comes up to a seat and climbed up in the seat and sits
the buddhist sits the buddhist sitting and the boot it
may i say perhaps not surprisingly the buddha is expressing the buddha
the buddha is an impressed by buddha
by buddha into being and impressed sitting buddha that's expressing
the sitting buddha
the buddha is sitting there
intimately with all beings

the buddha is
being such
but not saying hello i'm being such
so the wonderful bodhisattva who have to be near by makes it makes a sound
it's a collect as a gamble

and says attention clearly observe
the dharma all the king of dharma is such
that's the
that's the teaching teaching is to be such a teaching is to be intimate there it is
and i had to tell you
so like this morning i had to tell you
you were sitting this morning just like the buddha
you are sitting you weren't telling anybody you were sitting you were expressing the buddha mind in you're sitting
and it was impressing itself on you
and now we have dharma talk so i'd tell you that's what you're doing
but before i said anything that's what you were doing and when i shut up that's what you will be doing and you had the opportunity to remember it
more and more consistently
and it's hard
at the wheel of fortune turns
and it's gonna stop on some really obnoxious place it's hard to in about gay we go
what does it again or your intimacy intimacy with this ah
yeah right
turning round and round and nice landed on total distraction oh what a great opportunity to remembers dullness and intimacy and such miss

so that's a summary of the history of buddhism up till now
we've all been
expressing the buddha mind seal and we've been in a long process of training and now he had the opportunity to continue but in order to continue it seems really necessary that you remember you want to
without remembering that this is really important
what the buddha mind
without remembering that this is really important what the teaching of such this without remembering that
the intimacy of realities really important
it makes it even harder to remember but if you can remember that's important it's still hard
but it's much more likely that we would be able to remember

and it may be that in the last hour many people in this room have remembered quite a few times

it lives one person who remembered quite a few times
and sometimes that person has called me
sometimes that person is even called uncle me
or anti me
but sometimes a person's called pam or dylan or christoph or marlena
i'm patrick
when justin
then those are other names for what
for the one who remembers

for the intimacy that remembers intimacy
me doesn't remember intimacy by himself
it's by intimacy intimacy is remembered as by intimacy that intimacy is transmitted
it's by such us that we remember such lists and practices and transmitted
reality is sponsoring our realization of reality
and yet
reality is to sponsor us wandering to realize it
otherwise it's kinda like we have an alternative
to the ongoing process of realizing the true dharma
we don't really but if we don't say we want that's what we want if we don't say i vow from this life on through are countless life to hear the true dharma if we don't say that
we might miss the boat that were already on
so but we did say it right number so we're fine
we said we bow and that counts
but when we say we vow from this life on thorough account with like that counts but that also means that we will do it again and again and again so that
that change the world when we said that and
what we said is we're going to say about again and again we're not going to stop making this fall we vowed not to stop making about we make the vow and we bought or continue for endless endless time

and anybody who doesn't agree is an opportunity to remember
anybody who doesn't want to remember is an opportunity to remember

and anybody who wants to remember but somehow forgets is an opportunity
to remember intimacy
which is our business our only business

i was just thinking god
that that talk went on for a long time
and nobody raised her hand and just then yes
it is
remembering or not
an actor will
no but
every moment of this in every moment of this there is a pattern which is called will
but the will doesn't make the will
oil rises in the world could be the will that is there when for the thought i wish to remember but the will doesn't make
as a vicious time it's a vicious as fun
the pattern
cyclic pattern like cycling cyclic pattern as long as i will be in the cyclic pattern i'm going to need to start a higher rate
i mean to
the to this typing patterns and i don't think that the vowel will keep mean that auf das das which i am trying to get out and the matter of fact for me sometimes eating them bow and thinking oh i gave my wow i gave my vote gave
my wow that actually keeps me not be attentive to what is and going in vow rather than eating in here now what you just described is allowed
allow yeah it's it's a it's allowed to happen in this universe where you just said
the story is told we already
and i are
and why you told the story
i i worked that's my watch my wish is that there would not a any thoughts on whether it's gonna be a lot i don't want any off so it can so while that while that what you just said going on
there can route there can be remembering intimacy and there is
no no i'm just saying that i'm just saying that there is and intimacy also allows that there isn't
i don't i don't i don't want on any and he is or is not on one is what you don't have to but if you do what if you don't intimacies there and if you do intimacies there
but are you enjoying intimacy you look like you're not
i don't know i'm enjoying or not enjoy
yeah i don't know i don't either but you'd look like you're not
i don't know either i'm just saying what you look like
and i'm intimately and i'm intimate with the way you look and you are too but i don't you and now you're starting to look a little bit like your get intimate the way you look no i'm to the inquiry all that i know i mean i'd like to inquire i don't like to make ideas or assumptions
i know you like to inquire but sometimes when you're talking sometimes when you're talking you look like you forget what you like
i don't think i forget the fact that i am always interested in inquiry i don't i must say your that year not interested and i'm saying sometimes when you say things i wonder if you're inquiring why you say them yes that i'm doing the right right now for example that
was saying you are and you so you're happy right because you're doing what you want to do
in that sense you smiling when he stopped and like
in contention or not he is paying attention and inquiry right that future said that would you want right you weren't paying attention and inquiring no matter what you're doing
yes now
okay okay one one last question for we go
the you mentioned above we're sitting on just my why do we say we're sitting on the ground why do we have to see on some random them y oh because the ground is buddha mine
but you can also say boo reminders the ground
in okay so here's where where my mind starts to countries it was a difference between like he pulled all of has been set only has to be christianity creek christ consciousness or buddhist mine or zoroastrians my so so but if all if i think
what we're all sitting on the grounds that nobody nobody kind of that's fine the grounds fine the most important thing in your in your life could be ground
yes yeah so then why you're doing various things like stating your what you like in what you don't like and you're paying attention to what your schedule your statements and inquiring why you're doing that he remembering the ground
yeah that's hard that's hard because you mind so because if now
we're speaking about something or doing something or analyzing and whatever you whatever is yeah you know a stem line but when when were seen on the ground and ground is last in line oh that ah
call that
ah doesn't make sense with what you said before he said why can't we just say we're sitting on the ground make absolute sense that the way waiting makes bastard is when we're sitting on the ground it granted has no condition is unconditioned the mine
as accomplish the mine has the story and all kinds of everything you want to cities and so he wanted to
you want to sit up an unconditioned
that is that what you want to sit on if okay so
are you gonna do it said jabbar to sit on the unconditioned
i'm fine
i'm longing that i'm longing
was the wings ability that that
spring is is down
can pass the team i'm longing that the village you can pass it on that which is and as long as i don't have or happens thought i don't have that ability or can
asked the team here i go into you just be with you missed it he didn't require them
you said as long as and you didn't inquire at that moment you believed that he didn't inquire
you believe what you just said you didn't inquire why you were talking there on i caught you
you do not do what you want to do
you did not inquire into what you just said that he said as long as i do this and you didn't inquire into that as you said it so you got caught by that and you got obstructed
i got happens when this
you got trapped into just believing used used you believe what you said because you weren't inquiring why you said it that just happened
so you want it you don't want to do what you just did but you didn't do it
you don't want that you want to enquire the one enquire all this stuff
that peterson and i'm happy to support you to do that
is i want to inquire with no way
well again when you say you want to inquire with no beliefs inquiry doesn't have the requirement of no beliefs
enquiry doesn't have stuck to it no beliefs it doesn't have that so what you want it doesn't go with inquiry what you sit so you have to give up their second part i ready to give it up
your they are you ready to give it up which do you want you want to get rid of beliefs or do you want to do inquiry they don't go together
let's say police
what you want to get rid of beliefs and forget about require inquiry for now okay fine
so now we have a new
we have a new program forget about inquiry and just just you just get rid of i have done wrong
did you think and but we're not going to court you're not going to require into that
however when i inquire into it i think that to trap
getting rid of beliefs is not inquiry is to trap
and also holding on to believes is a trap
so i'm not only gone
i didn't say you are you just said you you but before you said you wanted to get rid of him you want to get rid of the police know it's not is the believes are it believes are kind of ah
what is no believe so it is so if if the precisely i would want is because i don't want to see your will be not believe is more he did you say you don't want to say it yeah well you know
then you're saying it
yeah yeah i'm seeing now

so this is there are
is there a way of loss see it or see it is i don't know is there i'm just questioning if there is the way
of last seen that beliefs for a way is to
the their beliefs and not far
dog give too much ah
love you any intuit asked them one
so if the beliefs are there
am i capable of seeing their beliefs without giving
any any eating or any angel
the rooms are air their air but it was she is the wind and waves that
even you
leaves i capable of
long england
good question
and i think it's been proposed that there is a type of at the type of practice which
gives the beliefs
get the appropriate amount of weight which is not much and also not too little
so part of the training is giving the beliefs enough attention to just let them be
and not too much so they become
pitts and prisons
people do

try to get rid of him is giving them too much

not inquiring into them is giving them too much
given them compassion
here's intimacy
given that statement i just made compassion his intimacy

according with what's going on
is to work