What is a Zen Practitioner?

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A virtual Dharma talk by Tenshin Roshi for an online gathering of the No Abode community

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all right here we are
again and again
this ritual
is in residence or
is a
example of the chalk
that i wish to offer to jail
so the the name is is talk could be or by the name of is thought could be
what is a zen practitioner
or what is is zen student
what is zen master
or what is an enlightened person

so the last time i gave a talk here in this are no abode
then you a month ago approximately
i talked about this issue but it didn't get recorded
so ah ahmet try to give to talk again because i've liked this talk i'd like this message to be recorded so we'll see if it disregarded
so again the question is
what's a zen practitioner
and i was i often bring this up but i was again stimulated to bring us up i was reading a text about the bodhisattva precepts
by one of our family ancestors and the the teacher said
these bodhisattva precepts can only be received by zen zen practitioner
and when i heard that i thought well that sounds really kind of narrow that could be understood as in a narrow way
like a zen practitioners somebody who practices ah you know with the idea that there a zen practitioner or could be the ideas and practitioners one person
so when i'm basically proposing today said
yeah a zen practitioner is is the the being
that receives the bodhisattva precepts
a zen practitioner is one that understands the buddha dharma
the realized this it
but i guess my main messages a zen practitioner is not
an individual
independent person
so i'm proposing that a person does not understand a person cannot know the buddha dharma
a person is not a zen practitioner a zen practitioner is a conversation
a zen practitioner is a meeting
between buddha and buddha
a zen practitioners of meeting a conversation
a dance
between buddha and buddha this conversation knows the buddha dharma

so simple and also kind of a little bit strange cause often we think that person over there by herself is a zen practitioner but that person by herself is not a zen practitioner
that person
trolley being that person
in conversation with another person who's full-day that person that conversation that meeting between them that is a zen practitioner
that is a zen master
that is a buddha
i was attracted to
so-called zen practice
by stories about
zen monks
but in those stories about the zen monks the zen monks were in conversation with others and monks and those zen monks run conversation with many kinds of beings they were in conversation with
many kinds of lay people those were stories about lay people
the stories about zen
activity war stories of lay people in conversation with zen priests or zen priests in conversation with zen priest or lay people and conversation with people what attracted me where these
conversations with these face to face meetings
the face to face meetings that attracted me they are the those meetings are the zen masters and attracted me
those meetings on the zen practitioners that attracted me
those meetings are ordinary people
relating to each other deep in deep honest conversation those conversations attracted me to buddhism
actually not to buddhism me but i didn't even i knew the word buddhism but i wasn't attracted to buddhism i was attracted to those conversations that were had so-called zen people in them
now i found out that that's buddhism that that is the buddha way
another stimulus for this talk is some people as zen center were trying to find out the source of a quote that it is circulating in the stamps as and center and beyond and the quote is
supposedly from suzuki roshi and maybe he did say this in the court is there are no enlightened persons
there is only enlightened activity
and i don't know if he said this he may have but even if he didn't i still agree with that there are no enlightened people
there's but there is there is enlightened activity
so in our meeting here today
in are seeing each other's faces and recognizing each other and respecting each other
that activity in that activity there is
the zen master the buddha in that activity is in that activity is the understanding of buddha dharma
asked my proposal
yeah so ah this
when i think of it i think this is kind of strange just suggested people that there are no enlightened people
but i am suggesting that
i'm offering that you to meditate on
to contemplate
that there's no enlighten people does not an enlightened person
there's not even an independent buddha
but there is the possibility of buddha together with buddha meeting intimately there is enlightened activity
and one could for example i could
aspire to give my life to that enlightened activity
not that i inspire that i'm gonna do that but i will join that because i cannot do the conversation but i can give myself to the conversation all day long cause i'm never ever any place but that converse
asian and yet
i have to set i have to say
that this is the way
the buddha dharma it is understood or maybe i want to say up as somebody has to say it and so somebody has to say i'm saying
but you can say it now for now on you can take over the baton and carry on the teaching
a buddha buddha is buddha activity it's not an independent person

this assembly
in conversation
is buddha activity
i am not by myself but activity i'm good activity
in relationship to all you and the same i suggest goes for all of you
now i aspire to this boot activity i aspire there is an aspiration in me
to join and realize this put activity but i i have not reached it
but i give myself to it and also i don't really know it it is
but i think about it all the time or i aspire to think about it off all the time ice expired to be devoted to it i'm devoted to something that i can on and i can't get away from

i and i don't really know what it is so i'm deeply attracted is something that i don't know what it is
that's my simple message on and i'm here to join the conversation with you about this conversation

her first offering is from charlatan

well right now
will bring assembly
thank you for being here today

wanted to n talk about
the i have a relationship in my life that they're currently under very
much turmoil and
yeah we have a lot of disagreements between us
it's a lot of pain and them
hurt in between us and there
are you know
nice find myself believing in the story slipped my mind creates about experts french bench
and then see my son hear you say you believe the stories that you have in your mind about this person yeah i can have him catch myself lunch after a conversation with this person a while
i kept myself afterwards like o k i was really really rigidly holding on to my view of the situation and they're not really listening to to him and data
yeah watch always strong feelings about
and me being rise and he be wrong
i am playing out in in my life manner there
i really don't want to i think i could and sylvie
i see the situation with i could very easily hurt him a
a lot because of my anger
and i'm a i think that it's this results of confession the i think i may have during this last couple of days i think i have
i'm thinking
yeah i'm kind of kind of thing
unkind sometimes that were
i didn't want to be that
hmm having the same time by a want to respect my
to say their own

yeah then
i think a is my question is about standing up for one for oneself by putting boundaries a to somebody else
i find that very difficult to do
i am
as i am very easily find myself
map but i don't trust a
what my there because because everything that i perceived
it's just really mind my own story on what what is going off or not but not the truth of
him or any situation so and that confuses me i think because i think about that and then i get very much
in doubt on of my own

yeah when when can i put my foot down to somebody that if i just feel like in when i'm confused about where is it is to something in my mind is really saying what he's doing me wrong is really do with apple is he's done wrong and there's another
it's my story of lives and he has another completely other
story about the situation and he feels hurt
and then i feel but i feel like
strongly to gonna put put my foot down and respect myself that status i think that has been a really big problem for me in my life to the stand up for myself
am but i find this very very confusing
that is uncomfortably complexed to
something is our own story we are dealing with
but we can still see that okay
i need to i get the picture yeah thanks
just wondering if you have any comment
it turns out i do know
lucky for me
first of all ah i heard you make to confessions
the first one i heard was that you noticed you you caught that you that you sometimes believe your stories about this person know
so yeah thousand dollars a confession to know i'm i felt you were letting us know that you saw this in yourself so you could compress it that's good man
it's a powerful vision and and then you didn't say it but i i think that you you kind of implied that it was your kind of sorry that you believed your stories about this person
and then you said that you sometimes are not kind of the person
almost as though that unkindness followed
from believing your stories about in person which is
that's the way it is really
when we believe our stories about people it cuts into our kindness it made us miss early destroy it
but it is not kind to believe our stories about it
does not kind to ourselves that's not kind to the stories that's not kind of the person the stories about
but we do strongly we have a strong tendency to believe our stories about
i sell and others
and sometimes we fall into that tendency and when we do
that hinders the boot away but by confessing that we believe our stories about people and feeling sorry about it that confession and repentance melts the way the melts the root of transgressing into believing our stories about
it doesn't stop us from having stories
it melts the root of transgressing into grasping them as true
and then you also said that you feel like you have to stand up for yourself you could say but girls you also said it's a stand up for your stories
now he also had put your foot
i agree you should stand up for your stories
and you shouldn't put your foot down on your stories you should put your stories down like putting your foot down
this is my story
like today i giving you my story
i'm standing up for my story right now
i respect my store
but i also must not part of my stories i want to i aspire to respect other people's stories
and respecting my stories standing standing upright in my stories standing upright for my stories in my stories by my stories standing up in my stories upright
to do that i really
let go of my stories
or letting go of my stories i really stand up for them
if i hold onto them as not a good way to take care of them
but respect them and express them an upright way
and is complex because things are changing all the time
new stories are coming in upper other people are offering a sister is very dynamic so it's difficult to learn how to stay alert
for believing our stories
about people and ourselves
tailored for that and when noticing it give it honor it by note by a confessing oh i'm believing what i think about you
in may or may not say that to the person you don't have to say it
they will appreciate it if you do not believe your stories about them
even if stories are good
they're not to be app does nothing about them that you can really that justifies grasping them
but in order to not attached to my stories about people i can't skip over my stories i can't disrespect them i can't push them away
i need to find a way to be upright wisdom and gentle and flexible and harmonious an honest this is my story what is your story this is my story man
and i yeah i want to honor my story and i want to the your story
and if must if the stories as this is too much for me included not including that story yeah and your honor your story of i feel i need to ask you to give me space i need i need you i feel a boundary that's my story i feel a boundary and i need you to
two i need you i respect you and i i request you to hear my my my boundary and he respected him and i offered you i offer you this gift to you about my boundaries i offered this is a gift to you as part of the conversation
it is
understanding the buddha dharma
i'm not moving are getting rid of the story but deeply respecting it an honoring it and not grasping it just what it takes to have a genuine conversation
in a turbulent
world of change
so drink i if i find myself wiki this is i found myself just is so tricky yeah i just like usual which is this is a big deal you know this is the great vehicle were talking about this is good activity were trying to learn it is not easy
can i find myself to try to get friends around me to confirm my story about this person yeah that's not we're not here to confirm your story where your house your story know
don't get people around you that tell your stories true and it people around you who listened to your story and help you not grasp it
even if they agree with you there agreement is not to help you both grasp the story
yeah tell me a story we could be together and we can see see something happened and you could tell me your story not to say i have basically the same story
we kind of have the same story i pray neither one of us grasp it must help each other not grasped the story which we share yeah
that's the kind of friends we need friends that help us look at what we are story is respected
hmm a gentle with him honest about it be upright with and not grasp
when we noticed that we're trying to get people to work
ah prove that were right
in the watch out for a pet
ah but yeah everybody in this assembly
can resonate with what you've told us thank you so much and and best wishes on the great path a boot activity
thank you ran autumn

our next offering is from homer
morning assembly
include wrapped in the assembly i include myself in the assembly
i'm questioning
a billy tea
well as even i'm saying if i have this programming in my mind that this mind is limited
so here i am and here's the i that comes in this limitation
so this i is limited and this i is playing in the realm of limitation
and as i was actually hearing myself feeling myself i said all my gifts i have the same story
yes and i wasn't even i have the story adding to this story is i i want to piece this i
has a story that wants to be free from this because the reason for that is underneath it when i feel it ease his pain
it is hurts what pay
pay his debt
the belief the belief is the belief of limitation they believe believing limited things believing believe of limited things are more than delimited limited things that's painful in it's pay for anything that
takes the form of belief
it belief in in that limited things are more are more are unlimited
our more are more than just these little things gondolas pain
belief or also grasping these these limited things as being something other than limited things that is a definition of pain
okay and we're conditioned to do that yes i see his conditioning of grasping so grasping is a condition
i like to read that conditioning into question good
yeah i really want to bring it into a question and then i was as i was listening
i love the war practice
the practice of lessening the practice of even observing
and when you even say the word zora buddhism practice zen practice zoroastrian practice his law practice any ward that dilutes the practice i'm going back i feel happy
ah there's another
addition to ordinary being ordinary ordinary zen ordinary who does the ordinary why can't we just be ordinary what's wrong with this ordinariness
why this i need to keep adding
her ideas her imagination and her story actually your story to this ordinary way of existence yes
i support your questioning
and i hope and i i pray that you're questioning can be more enjoyable and relaxed it's a good thing you're questioning is good you're questioning is good but i see stress when you asked the question but the questioning really is a wonderful thing that you're doing so yeah
open to it in a kind of real boxed way that will help you be more steady and
yeah questioning yes yes don't make the course don't make the question doesn't have to be in think it can be a kind of question the the question is more when i was the question is not really the ah
the point the question may stay well what i'm looking is this is space this space the

the question may never go away
the question may stay but the openness that's the ward it's the openness
that this question ah greens that's more that's where i need to i need to the that's what the relaxation needs to happen in that open it's not that question in the open sea i was questioning the questioning age a
aids the open supports the old pocahontas
the questioning promotes the openness yes yes exact exact things back
so i'm i'm i'm always questioning yeah i'm always in this question of openness
yeah how how open can be open as be book is another one thank you

next offering will be from man read

as a good evening because i'm a his wife say good morning to most of you also
rep am
he was at various enlightened activity
and i would say that means at the entire new entities if there is only activity
and in my experience i think i i can experience something like activity only
like it's just happening for instance are being in stillness or being in states like flown is kind of self for getting like dancing or singing or hiking is our states where i have this feeling of
it's just happening it's activity but i couldn't save this is enlightened activity because we're speaking about enlightened activity
so what is that if the end difference between only activity and enlightened activity
i think only activity will open opens onto how
only activity is in relationship to only activity it's not it's not an isolated only activity
but my only activity is the way i meet you are only activity
the enlightened activity isn't my because i could think i could get for the focused on my only activity
but that's not enlightened activity like an activity is
only activity only activity only activity together with your only activity or other own activity
there's not an enlightened and activity by itself it's always in relationship to other only activity
so when you're hiking in the mountains and they're just activity you're doing your job of hiking good thank you
but there's more to it than that because you're enlightened activity is actually in reality
intimately meeting everybody else's only activity
that's the bird activity
but he even in the only activity you're referring to is yours is your your responsibility to
to give yourself to that kind of only activity and and then bring that only activity to us
enter the mountains
in the mountains are also that you're hiking in their only activity they're just doing the mountain thing and you're doing the mon-fri thing and then that way you can have
face to face transmission together with the mountains that's the boot activity
i would see like that when i feel hiking i feel it's not a metering the i it's just
every moment the world him
is born in one pan out with psyching your dancing v you can dance alone i can get some other people and it's always an interaction so you may arrive in veneer is correct when i understand you like detrick if to activities only need
enlightened activities now
and the and my sense of just enlightened activity here that my sense of it i i need to give myself to that but that's not the whole story
it's how that is the relationship to you and all beings that together is what makes it
completely the buddha dharma
thank you thank you

our next offering is from stephen
a okay wow i think there's a question here at yeah so i two plus two my story on tube was to is that equals four and dom
i'm not really that interested in
contemplating too many different stories about that i mean if alfred whitehead said it wasn't for i would you don't get a phd or and figure out i couldn't get a phd to figure out why he wasn't sway with seen it wasn't for but
eight of has a hasty if i was a junior high math teacher i would want to respect most students declaration that it was seven but when trump tells me us that he's won the election or that there isn't global warming i'm
inclined to respect certain pieces of that story but i'm not interested in on
listening to long repetitions of the counter story and i don't think it's particularly buddhist from to ask me for me to want to do that i mean i want i mean there is a buddhist piece which we are you know why i i
think demands and requires that engage with you know what would i view as the test ball right wing or left wing stories but i mean at some point you have do you know be upright with the sense that there is some objective reality in the
other storytellers got it wrong
yeah i can hear some questions there
one thing that came up for me when you are speaking was that it in your contemplation of the possibility of listening to people
say things like
donald trump says
you're listening to that you said i'm willing to listen to two plus two is seven or etc
but you know i'm not really up for listening to repetitions of it
and so on so far so part of this listening to other stories
which goes with not holding onto our own
is that sometimes we have a story which is i've had enough of this i need a break
part of having conversation genuine conversation is to offer our our sense of limitation an hour stress and our need for rest
that's part of making the conversation work
but in the long run we we do have to work it out with everybody on this path but along the way we should stand up for our sense that i've what i right now i'm limited i cannot actually listened to this story anymore that you're telling me but i
i aspire to some day come back and listen to some more but right now i want to take an hour break a two day break or whatever and then resume the conversation later but right now is just i've had enough that's where i met
until i can find actually an interest and coming back and discussing it with you these these statements you're making to have a conversation with you but right nine i i feel like i'm i won't be able to do service to the conversation so i'm gonna i'm gonna
go away for awhile but i'll come back i'm not abandoning you donald i will come back but today i've had enough
for me and i play i please excuse me and i'm i'm not running away from the conversation i'm just resting
and stand up for your stories yes
without it without grasping them

alright next offering is from uk

morning the moon
the conversation you haven't with monfort partly answered this question but i wanna go a little deeper
i understand that you said the buddha buddha activity is interactive that happens in conversation
i'm quite often the circumstances of my wife and that there's nobody around to have a conversation with it looks like and so i'm wondering how that
come what you said applies in that situation and kind of the question underneath the question is about how does it help when we you know the world's in bad shape right now so i think so how does my sitting help that
oh now why here to questions
one is referring to the manfred saying sometimes
i sometimes they're just hiking in the mountains that's all there is
it's just only activity
and you're saying okay well what about when there's nobody else around
so if you're in the mountains
or in the forest and there's only activity in the mountains in the forest that's great that's true does only activity right there
and then resisting of how this sense that you have of only activity is actually in conversation with the trees only activity
but you can't you don't know the trees only activity but you are actually the way year only activity is in relationship to the trees in the mountains your the you're never alone you're always in relationship to other things
that are only activity but that's not reached by your mind see so the sense that year alone that sense can be only activity
your sentence of i'm i'm alone and there's nobody to converse with that is your activity at that moment
and and when that i'm all i have nobody to talk to there's nobody to have a conversation with when that is only that's everything that's happening for you then you open to how somebody else who says i do have somebody to talk to his in relationship to you
what that opens up to how your in relationship to the walls behind you and the chair you're sitting and
but you have to be completely the person who says i have nobody to talk to right now that's an activity
and you have to do that you know or give yourself to that as though it was the you know
the meaning of life right now this thought for me is is not that it's true it's just is my activity and i'll walk you totally have this activity that's that's your job no resistance know or if there's resistance complete that homo
cosmic resistance
i am totally resistant
that's your job at that moment because that's what's happening for you
you had that ability to do that completely
and that in when you do that you are
you are opening the door to everybody else doing that completely with you no matter what your activity is
and then this notion that are not like volumes moved on to say you mentioned he another activity you showed me another activity was in the activity was the world in bad shape
that's an activity
and to do that activity completely you open the door to the buddha away
if thought the world's and back bad shape it uses that thought that the world's in in in a very babs way it uses that thought to practice to boot away and to bring peace but not by getting rid of that thought of getting another one for example the world's in good shape that's a perfectly
good one but if it if that's the when you've got do that when completely
and then you said what is the sitting have to do with this
the sitting is our traditional exercise program in total activity like we just sit in the city to to develop the basic practice which is total activity
we're not trying to fix the world we're just trying to totally sit but then if we learn how to do that we can apply it to the world's in bad shape or i disagree with you or whatever
and then the buddha way extends itself
into the total activity of your being
together with other people and wakes the world up to this to this conversation which is bush activity which is the zen master which is the zen practitioner which which does received the dharma and understand but it's the hard part is you being completely the person who thinks
the was in bad shape
another hard part is that i don't see the helpful much you know i don't actually see it i mean like as another that's another difficult activity yeah i don't see it that's what does my a kid right now as i don't see it again the one who complete who is completely
lee expressing i don't see it she's ready to meet somebody else like that
she's not a zen master yet but she's ready to meet somebody else who's not as a master yet and these two people who are not yet zen masters who are not yet zen practitioners when they meet that is the zen practitioner but you have to be the this you have to be whoever you are
our which is sometimes you really
har it's it's a hard it's a hard situation
but as your job
and it's not my job is your job my job is to do me and be ready to meet you doing your job
are you saying i can take it on faith that that would be helpful
i'm not saying you could take it on faith i'm saying i'm saying this to you and you can try it out
because i'm saying this is the abboud away is the definition is helpful it liberates beings from suffering but in other words that liberates them from half heartedness
the buddha shows the way to be wholeheartedly who we are together with others
and that is peaceful and free
without changing anything
and things will change on by themselves
wars will start warns will stop
we're in the midst of a war now our job is to find a boot away in the middle of this war
not waiting for to end before in practice if it ends we continue our practice if another one starts we continue our practice which is to be completely who we are together with others who are being completely with they are and this is available to us now weather
are you believe it or not that's your choice
believe it means believed to try it and and try and see check it out does it free does it bring freedom to you and your friends
i think it does i've been trying it seems to it seems to be bringing peace
but i don't see an end to suffering i just see peace and freedom in the middle of the suffering it's been going ons as far as since i've been around
i was born in world war two
me too
thank you so much
you're welcome
so much
next offering is from greg

my question is about

if you're if you if you're very aware of these stories that you have in your head about whatever
but you're trying to have a conversation
with someone and in this case it would be a very special kind of relationship because i'm talking about my daughter
and that person
is not sharing their story
or at least the story that they seem to be sharing comes through actions and things that they're doing that then in my mind become like
read danger danger danger signal like i have all these horrible stories in my mind that this my daughter is may be in trouble but i can't
i and it seems like the more that i get that in my mind the more she doesn't want to share her story with me
and on the one hand i understand that
but i'm kind of stuck i don't really know how to
be fully there for her and in some ways really like i don't know whether i should even be trying to protect her is that like trying to change things i mean of course i want to protect her she's my daughter you know i don't want something bad to happen to her so
you know our her actions part of her story or is it is that isn't that we're stuck because like my stories coming out in her story isn't
i get the picture
and i think of what i'm talking about you know a zen practitioner
a zen master
all they all the all is an practitioner is there nothing more or less than protecting beings that's what a zen practitioner is
it's all about protecting beings and liberating them that's what it's about
but the way the zen practitioner is the conversation between for example you and your daughter that the zen practitioner is the conversation
it's not you you cannot protect your daughter
she cannot protect you but your genuine conversation with her
does protect protector not i wanted to say will it does
and when red lights come up
or wince when warning alarms go off
if you wish to protect your daughter
and help your daughter be free then you have to completely embraced the warning the red lights
if you don't embrace the red lights
the warnings about some harm coming to if you don't if you don't fully sit with that and be with them
you limit your ability to
in the kinda practice of protecting her
and it's difficult to fully embrace a warning sign
a red light about the possibility that someone who you love so much will get harmed
but if you do or if i do if i can not get knocked off my seat and be there with the warning light
that that i'm ready i'm offering her myself to meet and not offer myself to control her says she doesn't get hurt i'm offering myself to there for her to meet and i don't know when she's gonna meet me but i'm working on being the person i am so that i'm ready
the to meet her and she ever wants to meet me here i am
and i'm an i'm not conveying to her and i am conveying to her that i respect her while i'm worried about her and the way i respect her and i also am not trying to get rid of my worry or get her to be different so i won't worry i am completely with my worry and i i am i
i do worry that she will get hurt and that's who i am and i need to be that person completely so i can so she can talk to me
and not as we say leak out
seeing mother to leak out and that scares her when you leak
she wants to be a league that i'm not being totally yeah yeah you not been totally not been totally some of your worry or some a your wish
so totally wish her to be protected and totally were totally worry that she might not be whatever's on the whatever on the deck at the time now i'm just wishing for her safety and her happiness and i want to do that completely and then there's no leaking but if i wish her well
and as done to a completely than shake it leaks out and makes you feel like i'm trying to control her into being happy
she does not want you to be making her happy right she wants you to show her how to be who she is
and when she and when she does that she's doing her job and then together
together your joined the protecting of her and you and all beings but it is hard it is heard when you
slightest little scratch on her as her
but when she's when it's when the scratch happens if it does or when you're afraid of it happening you can be totally afraid
an understanding that that's your job
is to be totally afraid when you're free
and totally wish her well when that's happening with nothing left over to manipulate

hurry next offering is from angela

hello ramp not angela
hello greatest son play
ah i am totally afraid and i am totally sitting here and here
and it's taken me awhile to be able to express that go on
without a tongue trembling which i am playing a little presently i think it i think it's possible to be totally trembling ah and when you're totally trembling
you're not moving yeah you're just completely with the tremble
thank you you're welcome
oh i have that
story and to share with the assembly am and i it's possible and it occurred to me during and after
this story that this could be an enlightening enlightened activity and then while tell the story first i was returning from houston and i had three flights houston to dallas and then dallas to phoenix and then phoenix tomato
and on the first fight houston to dallas i sat next to a young woman who didn't speak english and i don't speak spanish
up but she had a translation app on her phone
and so i she asked me as soon as she
plop down in the seat and i could feel her anxiety and she actually was face timing with her mother and in spanish
an and she had to me can you play with me and and thence and then i looked at her in and then she can you help me
and i responded yes and i can but would you said you play with me yeah that was wonderful ah is that the that's how to helpers to play whether correct yes i see as the like because she's not feeling very playful it sounds like
no no but she asked whether she really ask for the right thing yeah and i actually noticed how i wasn't sure it homemade maybe i can help maybe i can that's kind of playful yeah made a i n maybe i can
yeah what i want to but i don't know if i can pray people sometimes ask me can you help me i say i don't know i want to yes you do
yeah i'm an and then add and we were texting back and for it i was looking at her ticket and explaining and and then i i had said i've not been to this airport either i've not been to the dallas airport either of and to
go up let's do this together i said we'll do this will get home together yet how good that sounds like enlightened activity getting home together yeah i aspire to getting home together and other words i inspired to boot activity
oh and then i'll go onto the next so this doesn't end up being too long
but we did find our way and we had different terminals that we took the train together and continued translation and then other people were also very helpful which was wonderful to see and that yeah there is a there is a lot going on next
ha ha heavy that i planned to be heavy hearted in the world now that there's also still very a genuine there's an a lot of more and people are willing to help and and so that was wonderful to be a part
of and to witness the next flight was deluxe to dallas to phoenix and i was on the isle and this boy appeared with this big box and a cowboy hat on his head and an isa excuse me ma'am and he sat down in the mid
i'll seat and and ah we sat there for a minute or two and i said excuse me i i don't mean to be in your business but i don't think the a flight attendants are going to allow you to hold that box in your lap and he said oh well there it doesn't seem to be any
place to put it in the overhead compartments and nice why think there's room further back would you like me to take the hat box and he said oh no ma'am i'll do that so he didn't he came back and then he introduced himself and he's an eighteen year old am pro rodeo a bull rider
and he and we had a have wonder oh conversation either way to phoenix and am i brought up a living in the question and the i aspire to live in a question and so he found that to be helpful
a and he thanked me for that and so some enlightening activity you know it and he shared his instagram account with me and he was an so pleasant and he was so respect for and he just was so full of gratitude destroy
a it was yeah was just have one wonderful such a wonderful experience and then the third flight from phoenix to monterey i sat next to a man who has retired as a professor at the naval postgraduate school in electrical and
nearing and i immediately thought angela you're out of your league here and but yet i was so i watched myself be kind to my stories of inadequacies and and that i didn't wouldn't have anything to control
butte to such a person of high intellect and an we had a wonderful conversation and i took care of my unskillful less and am
yeah just be you know it was so wonderful to be present an open and and not hear about who he was and then just close down you know in and pick up my book or know whatever but to to be there in the discuss
spurt in the
ah ah day dynamic situation how and ah
not an just hit i felt it was enlightened activity i want the final part that i want to share his ah
an array i found myself to be giddy are excited
about this travel home and it wasn't until shar lotta and you were talking with the assembly and i don't remember what she said but am i have been practicing some time and to ah i noticed that i just
now this morning recognized that that excitement is a bit of grasping you know like i and i might be grasping
to this enlightened activity
i'm and
so i just wanted to share that and and i'm sorry if for doing that in a for
i'm sorry
and i wish to ah be aware when that excitement comes up an end to not have to pay attention to it
and to care for her
so that i can be fully ready for
whatever happens next
thank you like you
wait a minute please
so i i thought those are wonderful stories
and i feel like they were stories i felt in the stories that you'd have fulfilled your responsibility quite well of being in your seat
being in your seat and the first flight the second flight and a third flight and i think all three times it was somewhat challenging for you to be in your seat
but you were in your seat
and that's part of buddha activity
the you part of it
if you been in your seat
so that was great that you did that and then afterwards when you are giddy about those three three examples of you being in your seat then you noticed a little bit
that you were made a grasping how it was when you are being in your seat
thank you that's guess what and what came to mind was that and in times like that when you're being in your seat
and maybe with somebody else who's being in his seat or her seat at those moments that the conversation between you
that's the buddha activity
but the way i see it
or the way she sees it
that's not the boot activity
the conversation between the way you see that the the way you see it and the way she says that's the boot activity
but the way you saw it was wonderful
and the way you saw it i think came along with you being able to be in your seat
can help them be in their seat
and when they were in their seat and you are in your seat
there was no their the boot activities realized the tricky part is to say that the buddha activity is this misses the point
and in wonderful times like that we might say hey this is buddha activity
but know that mrs it this is my contribution to the meeting and i am so happy to make this contribution and i'm totally giving myself to getting home together with this lady that's where i'm mad and i'm so happy to do it wholeheartedly yes that
it's great and you've learned how to do that angela because you've been practicing a long time you know how to sit in your seat even if the seats trembling as great
but does not boot activity because you can point at that say this is good activity no
that mrs it
it is actually
her sitting in her seat you sitting a your seat and getting home together without pointing at anything
but if you point out something if you if in these wonderful stories like i could imagine getting giddy
you know if i pointed to these stories and then sit and not a not only were they wonderful but they were booty activity yeah
so they're wonderful i'm thankful thankful and i don't know a good activity is but i'm that's it i'm here for
thank you so much
thank you
her next offering is from kate and paul page

in morning good morning it's came a decade
so looking at another facet from what angela was talking about when i aspire and an activity
to be skillful but my judgment or of myself is that i'm not
how does that fit into or when when
a member is engaging in an activity or unskillful does does that how does that fit into good activity
well did you say you aspired to be skillful and the new and is thought arises in you sometimes
of thinking maybe you're not know yeah so i would say if you aspire to be skillful
you still may have pasta rising in your mind like
i'm not skillful
or ellis just skip simple i aspire to be skillful and i had i have a thought my mind that i'm not skillful
so if you aspire to be skillful than when thus that you're not skillful arise then it would be appropriate for you to be completely with that thought
i'm not skillful
and completely means you respect respected
you listen to it
your upright with it you don't try to get rid of it
you don't you
you really let it be and you're completely there with it
that would be the skillful thing to do at that moment
in the next moment you might confess or again and so i feel sorry that i was unskillful then be completely sorry that your unskillful so right now i'm having i am having feelings of i'm not practiced and asking questions in this public sich
situation and i don't feel confident and i don't feel skill fall and and i and i'm making a judgment you can now assure that and if you wish to be skillful
then what you just did it seems appropriate that you've noticed these thoughts in your mind
and those thoughts if you take good care of them that skillful
and if by any chance you a thought arose in your mind like while i'm pretty skilful and asking questions in public situations if that thought ever arose
then god will be the thought which you would really be allow and respect and be there for that that way of being with your thoughts
his skillful and opens to you being able to meet others who are doing the same work
of being whatever they are like hug as you should you might have the thought i'm not a skillful asking questions and public and you made might meet of these other people who think i'm really skillful and being a are asking questions and reported in public so if you both respect your thoughts which are opposite
then neither one of you will attached to them
and then you can meet
but if you don't respect and care for your thoughts
like for example on not skillful then you're not ready to be skillful
or i can say you're not being skillful if you don't respect your thoughts that's not skillful
but respect to your thoughts and honoring them and being upright with them that is skillful whatever the dial of your thoughts has turned to whatever the judgment that's an opportunity for practice
and and so is is any activity potential work any activity is potentially
enlightened buddha activity but is any activity always
i don't think so
because the activity has to be fully fully honored any activity does not honored block closes the door on good activity
any activity that is honored and respected and practiced with uprightly opens the door to boot activity and that's a skillful way to be with whatever thoughts or but the thoughts themselves there is no thoughts themselves whatever arises if
if we don't take care of it that's unskillful and if we do take care of it it is skillful so i mean thought isn't isn't good activity
but a mean thought cared for wholeheartedly and compassionately that's the that's the one side of the boot activity
so i mean thought about something if i completely exert that thought which means i'm gentle with it respectful of it upright with it honest about it and i'm ready to meet somebody else has got some other thought maybe another person has a mean thought and we to people
who have mean thoughts who are skillful with our main thoughts we can meet together and have a conversation which protects beings
by the same for somebody to people had not in a loving thoughts if they didn't take care of them those loving thoughts that would not be scope even though it's a nice thought i wish you well
if i don't take care of that that's not skillful
when might whatever my thoughts i wish you well i wish you ill whatever my thoughts they all are calling
for me to be totally there for them
and then that it's the first step and getting ready to meet other people who are doing the same work
thank you thank you

her next offering his friend jim
during charlotte's confession inspires me to approach my arm to inquire into my own
some years ago i was living in a zen monastery
i was told it was the first coed said a monastery i don't know if if it is or wives
but nevertheless men and women were practicing their together
ha to of which fell in love with one another can ask the habit to perform in wedding ceremony
the abbott during the ceremony so we're bringing together the north and south the girl being from the northern new england c word and the bride being from the carolinas with sumptuous
and the bride blurted out
yeah and it's gonna be a real civil war ah
the abbott said well may your civil war be a civil war
and oh
i think my confession is leaning in the direction of
not believing that engagement is the way home
i've i've had a real preference i guess for heaven or divine space
and that's been slowly changing but my confession is
really liked that happy place
i hear you
if so there's a whole lot that i crew you don't say more about but am i feel the real desire to continue exploring that is with you
me too
thank you very much thank you very much

next i frank is fun marjorie

good morning
good morning senior memory of effects
the accuracy of what happened when but my memory is that last time i spoke you had been talking about reaping although there had also been something about swimming
and i very strongly picked the swimming i said that one works for me
and quickly got off and afterwards i felt it had been rude perhaps even perceived by some although i felt probably not you as disrespectful
and i'm
i have
i'm very high respect for you
oh and also for people who feel i may have said something disrespectful
today on i am very much moved
what i understand as you're identifying
one being meeting another
so i'm inside this being so it's for me always meeting
the activity of a meeting others and i'm reminded of enlightenment being our intimacy of all beings but i also feel as though it really works for me too
i feel is so i have okay so i come from a military as well as adopters family are marching orders is a joke
the feeling as though oh
if i just pay attention i can just keep practicing paying attention to what's going on with the beings around me or in front of me or that i perceived to be
i'm reminded of something i think you said also in the last time that we were together though assembly and that i have heard you say oh at least at one other time and so i feel that regardless of i don't know how you
think about it but you presented a question of of how do we think about this and the story is
going as a guest ah having become transmitted zen teacher and roshi to see a roshi in japan you had seen before
oh who had been so clearly functional of for but this this time
our it in your accountant you wanted us i think to so how do you think about this intercepts and assembly on
beloved roshi honored roshi is drooling clearly having been dressed by his attendance being told kindly oh look roshi
on rib roast you are however the were identified has come to visit
and so i realize
that's for me anyway feels like an and since the a good part of my life has been caregiving for beloved elders or others who were
in enough extremity so that the their responses might be different from how they had been before
it's kind of like out as a strong signal oh i should pay attention to this being clearly practicing managing to sit up or not lying down
oh what it is right now between me and this person or this being or i have a
a photo from my
cousin beloved cousin who died a few years ago ah where this sages down on the ground basically meeting with a turtle that was looking at him and they're they're meeting with their different consciousnesses so
is everybody who's spoken before me
and it also feels so everybody's participating in this space in between you and them you and them in the assembly
and i feel held so happy
so thank you so
and if i could just comment on this story eight you about meeting
this very old zen teacher
so you said before he was functioning and he was he was functioning he could walk he could talk he could do beautiful calligraphy he could laugh he you know he was he was he was a ball
however when i met him the last time he was still functioning young lady was functioning was he couldn't walk yet he couldn't talk his eyes were watering his mouth was drooling and he was functioning and he was completely that way
but that's not the way most people think of a zen master
and that's right that's not a zen master but the way he was before it's also not as zen master
the zen master was that when he when the drooling old man met me in that meeting there was the deep question what is then
that's great function kit it came out of there so he was functioning before but in a way when he was in this new
it was almost more encouraging and more deeply more deep than couldn't be
that's all that that's that's another story of leaping and meeting
and respectfully swimming and respectfully swimming yeah
i story and i'm sticking to it
our next offering his friend maggie
hello rep
nice to see you if i give my and raised my question i let leslie to greet the sadly greetings are up in greetings on everyone there are my name is mostly enya or have practiced with marry you years ago
in green gulch and i am just wanted to express a a deep gratitude and how i've been deeply moved by so many of you in my life so i just wanted to say that that i frequent gift leslie
leslie is our great stenzel in the station by when you're so
hello thomas
that's not thomas a he is doing through the amazon know
my name is through a dark from germany hello
nice to meet you realize the beer's your year long
outer space use or as we are so far away on it's a pleasure to on for listen to see you all over there yeah
and one of the one of the groups here is called the clouds end of this is kind of like the cloud xander
hello also great the assembly and and my my question is related to the book or the third twenty of the whale and there was a there was one and point a you mentioned it sent a several times
which i'm not sure whether i understand it and so oh that is the mind that is contaminated by any mind
and i don't have particular context and at this moment but this isn't an this is a m recommendation for practice of the book to look and to look at the mind that is contaminated by any mind my question is
they aren't there are two minds in this sentence i'm not even a sentence but what is the first mind
and what is the mountain what is the any mind i have some understanding but i i would like to hear your
an explanation about these to mind that your mentioned
am i would say a simple answer and this is not an answer like to believe in it's another thing you've been contemplating it the sutra the suture says contemplate the mind which is contemplated by any mind
so the instruction is to contemplate the mind that all minds are contemplating
yeah that's what i would suggest for now for your consideration is
the instruction
is to contemplate
and the mind that here's that instruction and then tries to contemplate is one of the mines is a particular mind this one right now
now if we shifted to another instruction
for another state of consciousness that would be a different mind and what it is saying is for these different minds that we have our where our minds are changing all the time
our conscious mind is constantly changing so the message to are constantly changing conscious mind is
think about or contemplate the mind are which all these minds of contemplate
so in that in a work it sank we talk about mind consciousness and intellect
consciousness is the the mind that be spoken to by that instruction
so the conscious mind is being told contemplate the mind which is contemplated by all means and i would say that in mind consciousness and intellect is being told used the consciousness to contemplate the mind and what is the mind in that book
it is the storehouse consciousness
so the instruction could be translated is
use the consciousness to contemplate the unconscious because the conscious minds are all was contemplating the unconscious that the all contemplating that
they're looking at the unconscious and then the and then they're seeing appearances or representations of the unconscious
but no matter what our conscious mind how we have we're always looking whatever conscious mind we have we're always looking at the unconscious
we can't hear you
or the appearance of unconscious with yeah we're we're looking at the appearances of the unconscious but but instruction is remember whatever appearance you're contemplating this is something that given to you by the unconscious so that's a way to understand it and the other one of the intellect is
partly the the way we understand the waiver received this instruction in our consciousness and apply it and your question kind of comes from that the intellect
so that simply simple interpretation would be the mind as contemplated by all consciousnesses
that's the mind in in mind consciousness and intellect
try that out

thank you you're welcome now we're gonna i need to stop at noon and i have time through one more question i think
okay our next offering or is from tracy

am i am so glad that that last session was not recorded and that this one is doing it again that this has to spin
mindblowing for me this question and both what you've said and let the other members of the sangha said you know i don't know that you are mere the times but i'm i'm
oh good overwhelmed by the richness of this meeting i'm in particular i appreciated your reminding us something that i try to remember a thousand times a day about not believing my stories about people and i do
i have to do it all the time but what i i didn't hear you say initially was a reminder to not believe our stories about things and that these times for example and so little bit later in the conversation i do think you you spoke to that some and that that's helpful
i still have a question or and deeply engaging as is when you say and yes stand up for my story without grasping it like i have absolutely no way to understand what that means i actually think i get it but i
i can understand that what you to stand up to you said you i know it i have no on the i've known way to understand that so if you just serve yeah yeah i get it but i can understand it okay so i get it a story
so let's respect that one and then i can understand it must respect that one and in both cases if you just stood i can't i get it we could we could use that one and that would be enough
i don't want to believe the story i i get it
but i want to respect the story i get it
i want to be upright with the story i get it i do not want to grasp that story i get it
but i do on a respect and honor that story and be upright with it
then move onto the next one what was the necro is the next one
i have one
that i get it ah
and i don't understand it i tried getting so i don't understand it is the next story i am i don't wanna believe that one either but also i don't want to push it away my i want to honor i have no way to understand it
well honor that that's the practice so you can be free of i get it yeah i'm free were free together i'm ready to meet somebody now i get it and now i don't understand it do the same with that and be free of i don't understand it and being free of those two stories
we'll help you remember not to believe stories other stories but those two are very basic right yeah it may seem counterintuitive to ask this right now but i realized i'm starving for your story about these times since well since you have just told me i should
believe it anyway whatever you say but i realized coming into this meeting today and my own relationship with my own thoughts and stories about the world and what's happening in the world i realized god i really want to read what's your story about these times
my story is like everybody else's constantly changing
am i aspire
that i must i aspire to the store realized the story that i want to include all the stores i wanna include putin story trump story biden story boris johnson story murderers story i want to include everybody stay
for that's my aspiration my story is just one of them
at minds changing all the time but my basic story is i want to include all the stories and liberate all the stories that's my basic store
and may my aspiration and your aspiration
equally penetrate every being and place
with the true merit of buddha's way
beings are numberless we vow to save them
are inexhaustible we vowed to cut through and liberate them
donna gates are boundless
we've our to enter them
put away is unsurpassable we vowed to become it
thank you so much everybody
for coming to the cloud zendo