Yoga Room Class - November 23rd, 2021

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I'd like to relate wisdom and compassion to the three types of compassion that we have discussed in the past. Wisdom may be seen as observing and negating everything and thus ascending. Observing and negating all phenomena and thus ascending from the world and entering nirvana. Compassion may be seen as the opposite, that is descending from freedom, descending and affirming the world.


So, in terms of these three types of compassion, the first type, which we sometimes called sentimental compassion, has as its objects beings which are observed and affirmed as they appear. So, that type of compassion, in a sense, we have descended into the world of appearances and we affirm the beings who appear in our mind, in our conscious mind. We affirm them as such, per se, as they appear. And we observe their suffering, we listen to their suffering, we feel that it would be great if they were free of suffering.


And we vow to devote our life to freeing them. This is the first type of compassion and it's compassion where wisdom is not yet operating. We are not examining, we are not questioning, we are not observing and experimenting with beings as they appear. We're working for their compassion but without examination. The second type of compassion we start to examine. We observe and question, we experiment and our experiment leads us to seeing that the way beings appear is not true. In this vision, their apparent existence is negated.


And in this sense, we transcend the world and transcend the first type of compassion. And transcend the suffering of the world and the suffering of the first type of compassion. The third type of compassion, great compassion, is intimacy. It doesn't abide in the first type of compassion. It doesn't abide in the second type of compassion. Nor does it abandon either one of them. It's intimate with both types of compassion. And it's intimate with all beings. It's intimate with taking beings as they appear in an illusory way. And it also is intimate with beings who are seen as empty of any independent existence.


It is intimate with both ascending and descending. Sometimes we see stories of meditators negating the world and ascending. Sometimes we see examples of them descending into the world and affirming it again. When we first find ourselves in the world of suffering, we do not realize that we may have entered the world of suffering from freedom, from wisdom, in order to save beings. And have forgotten that the beings that we come to save do not inherently exist. So then we practice the first type of compassion.


But after we then move on to the second type of compassion, and free ourselves from the first, and realize nirvana, then we give up nirvana. We let go of nirvana. We let go of the ultimate truth of emptiness of all beings. And we reenter the world of birth and death. And now we can really be intimate with the world of birth and death at the same time as we're intimate with the world of freedom. So again, in some Zen texts, it is clearly stated that we, Zen students, let go of the ultimate, let go of nirvana,


and join hands with all beings and walk through birth and death together with them. We give up nirvana. We give up ultimate truth. But we're still intimate with it. Again, when we're intimate with things, that does not contradict us letting go of them. As a matter of fact, when we are intimate with beings, we do let go of them. Or I should say, beings are released and beings are let go of when we're intimate with them. And then being intimate with them, we re-engage with them without grasping them. This is the third type of compassion, great compassion. But again, the first two types are also great compassion,


because great compassion is intimate with all three types. And I want to mention that we must be very careful when we question, when we experiment, and when we negate illusion and delusion. We must be very careful when we do that, in ourselves and in the people we're practicing with. So there's many stories of Zen teachers negating the delusions of the students. They have already negated their own delusions. Their teachers have helped them negate their own delusions and ascend to nirvana. Then they give up nirvana, they let go of it and descend and interact with beings in a playful, gentle way, hopefully,


so that other beings can enjoy the freedom that comes from deeply questioning, questioning things all the way to the bottom, and thus negating their inherent existence. Negating not what they really are, but negating the illusory appearance of an independently existing phenomenon, independently existing person. But this negation must be done compassionately, otherwise beings can be harmed. And in Being Upright, on page 154, I think, there's a story I tell about a great Zen teacher named Hakuin. Yeah, page 153 and 154, there's a story about Hakuin, who met somebody who was attached to what he thought.


He was attached to his own thinking, to his own understanding. And, yeah, and Hakuin challenged and negated and refuted his beliefs. And he did it in such a way that it was not beneficial. As a matter of fact, this great teacher made a great mistake and did it in a way that harmed the person who was living in the realm of sentimental compassion, who thought he knew, who thought he understood. This person's name was Cho Un. No, Cho Do. His name was Cho Do.


So he was practicing with another teacher, and he had some insight, and he was very happy with it. And he thought there was an inherent existence to his insight, to this being that he had become, this insight being. And his teacher said, that's pretty good, but it's not complete. You should go a little deeper. And the Cho Do thought it was complete. It was really the way he thought. And he wanted to go see the great teacher, Hakuin, to demonstrate and get affirmation of his insight. And his teacher says, not yet. Stay with me longer so we can deepen your insight before you go visit other teachers. But this Cho Do didn't listen to his teacher.


He was not willing to question his understanding. His teacher says, well, if you won't listen to me, you're going to go see Hakuin. At least let me write you a letter of introduction. So he did, and he gave it to him. And Cho Do went to Hakuin, and Hakuin was taking a bath when he arrived. And Cho Do barged into the bathroom and presented his understanding to the great teacher. And the great teacher said, okay, well, if it is as you say, everything will be fine. But you've been traveling a long time. Why don't you rest, and we can talk later. So they got together later, and Cho Do gave Hakuin the letter of introduction. Hakuin read it. The teacher said, this person has some understanding. Please take care of him. He's rather arrogant.


And Hakuin then said to Cho Do, Your capacity is small. Actually, I wrote, he shouted at him. Hakuin shouted at him, and with fire coming out of his eyeballs, he said, your capacity is small, your potential is inferior. What good is it for you to consider what you have accomplished as the completion of great work? That's what he said to him. That wasn't untrue, but it was harsh. And it shocked Cho Do so deeply that he immediately and permanently went insane. And towards the end of his life, Hakuin, who was such a great teacher and helped so many people, said,


I made two mistakes in my life. One was with Cho Do. A big mistake. He really harmed that monk by negating him without deep compassion at the same time. So we, in the second type of compassion, we do negate, but we must do it gently, carefully, respectfully, tenderly, patiently, generously. But that is part of the second type of compassion, to see that we are illusory bodhisattvas who are practicing illusory compassion for the sake of illusory beings. And by meditating on this, we negate our superficial understanding of compassion


and ascend to freedom from the second type, not abiding in the second type of compassion, which is freedom from the first type. Then, from this transcending of the second type of compassion, we descend and re-engage with all beings. We have understood their illusory appearances. We have understood our own illusory appearances. We have understood the illusory appearance of compassion and the illusory appearance of suffering. And in this way, we have transcended suffering. And now we re-enter, we bring this transcendence down into the world, and here is great compassion, which once again is not abiding in the first type of compassion, but is not abandoning it.


It's right there with the first type. It's not abandoning the second type. It's right there with the second negating, questioning, investigating activity. It's working with both. And it's the intimacy with all beings and intimacy with all methods of compassion. I would also like to review the stories from the early Pali scriptures. One that I told before was the story of the Buddha, who was being questioned about his practice of going into the forest, where there's all kinds of dangers and frightening situations. And he's questioned about whether that's a good idea. And the Buddha said that he went into the forest and he did an experiment.


He observed the situation of the forest. He observed himself in the forest. Do you remember that story? Do you remember that story again, Mio? Hmm? You don't? Okay, here's the story again. So the Buddha is questioned by somebody as to whether he wants to set the example of going into this dangerous forest. And the Buddha says, well, yeah, I do. But for me, I found a way to be in the forest, which is peaceful, which is joyful. And the way I found that was I went into the forest, and when fear arose in me, I observed it. And if I was walking, I did the experiment of continuing to observe the fear and just continuing to walk, and continuing to walk, and observing the fear.


And the fear would leave me or quiet down. If I was sitting and the fear came, I would continue sitting and observe the fear and sit, observing the fear, and the fear would be pacified. If I was standing the same, and if I was reclining in the forest, and the fear came to me, I wouldn't jump up, I would continue to recline, observing the fear in my reclined posture until the fear quieted down. Until I was not afraid of the forest, and the forest was not afraid of me. Buddha made this study, made this observation, and did this experiment, and it worked out, and he attained nirvana. And again, at the end of that scripture, the Buddha himself says,


people might think that since I still go into the forest to meditate, that I'm attached to the technique that I found, I'm attached to the practice that I discovered, whereby I realize peace and freedom, but I'm not attached. I just keep doing it because I like to. I don't have to, but I continue because I like to go into the forest, and I also continue to set an example for future generations. The next story I told was about another meeting with the Buddha, and the person in this case that met with the Buddha is called Bahiya. Bahiya asked the Buddha for instruction, and the Buddha said, basically, observe yourself, train yourself by observing. Like observe what you see, observe the seen, observe the heard, observe the smelled, observe the tasted, and observe the touched,


and observe all mental phenomena, such that, and this is the experiment. So observe these things, now do this experiment, and observe things such that in the heard, there's just the heard. Experiment with that, do that experiment over and over, until in the heard, there's just the heard. In the seen, there's just the seen. In the tasted, just the tasted. In the touched, just the touched. In the smell, just the smell. And in the mental phenomena, just the mental phenomena. This was the observation. This was the experiment. And Bahiya did the observation. He did observe himself, his hearing, his seeing, and so on. And he did observe to see if in the seen, there could be just the seen.


Oh, and the Buddha also said, when for you, in the seen, there's just the seen, and in the heard, there's just the heard, then you will not abide in the seen, in the heard, in the mental phenomena. You will not abide in it. You will not identify with it. And there will be no here, or there, or in between. And that will be the end of suffering. And Bahiya did this experiment until for him, that's the way it was. And he did not dwell in or abide in the seen, the heard, the smelled, the touched, the tasted, the mental phenomena. And he attained freedom in just a few minutes. Now, as a second scientific example, example of Buddha's scientific research,


and realization and discovery of nirvana by observing and experimenting. Do you remember that story, Warren? Now, here's a new story of Buddha experimenting, which I don't think I've told you yet. This story is in the Middle Length Sayings. I think it's number 141. I'm not sure. And it's called Discourse on Elements. Dhatu Nirdesha. And it's a story about a person who had considerable understanding. But he was also rather humble. Does this story sound familiar? Not yet? He was rather humble.


And he wondered if his understanding was complete. Unlike Chodro, he wondered if his understanding was complete. He wasn't sure. And in his wondering, a deity came to him and said, No, your understanding is not complete. However, don't worry, don't despair. There is somebody whose understanding is complete. His name is Gautama Buddha. And he lives, he's teaching in Sravati. You could go there and he'll help you complete your understanding. Okay. How many of you, have I, do any of you remember me telling you this story before? Quite a few are going no, right? Okay, so shall I continue?


Okay, I will. So, I think, I'm not sure, but I think Sravati is in northeast India. And also, there's another city called Rajagriha, which is also in northeast India. And on the way from where this person, this person's name, by the way, was Pukasati. This humble seeker, who was now wanting to meet the Buddha, heard the Buddha was in Sravati and started to go on pilgrimage to meet the Buddha. And on his way to Sravati, he would pass through Rajagriha. Now, what I'm telling you is a combination of what's in the sutra and what's in commentaries on the sutra. So, if you look in the sutra, you will not find the whole story that I'm telling you.


So, Pukasati now heads off to meet the Buddha to get teaching that will help him really complete his understanding. And he's going to go through Rajagriha to meet the Buddha. Now, the Buddha over in Sravati, for some reason or other, decides to leave Sravati and go to Rajagriha. Get the picture? Now, probably the reason why he decided to leave Sravati and go to Rajagriha is that he wanted to meet this wonderful disciple who he knew was coming to see him. Brackets, excuse reference to supernatural powers, close brackets. So, the Buddha knows that this monk is coming to see him. He knows what route he's taking. So, he heads out to intercept him at Rajagriha rather than wait at Sravati for him to make the whole trip.


And he leaves his students and says, I'm going on a little hike. And the Buddha takes, he doesn't have his entourage, right? He's just by himself. He takes off his glamour. So, the Buddha sometimes has her glamour on and sometimes doesn't. I remember Suzuki Roshi said one time, under certain circumstances, I would appear like a great Zen master. But without those circumstances, I look kind of like an ordinary person. And I felt that way, that if I would see Suzuki Roshi on the street, I wouldn't think, oh my God, it's a Zen master, whoa. But when I saw him at Zen Center, surrounded by his wonderful students, I could see, wow, this is a great teacher. So anyway, the Buddha took off his glamour and started heading over to Rajagriha.


The Buddha is observing. What's he's observing? He's observing the world of sentient beings and he sees one of them is coming to see him. He's observing. He's going to try an experiment now. He's going to go meet this person as an experiment. So, before the Buddha gets to Rajagriha, Pukasati gets there and he goes to a potter. And he says to the potter, excuse me, sir, do you have some place I can stay for the night? And the potter says, well, you could stay in my potter's shed. And Pukasati said, thank you, and went to stay in the potter's shed. And then this Buddha comes and knocks on the potter's door and says, excuse me, sir, do you have a place I can stay for the night? Can you believe this story?


And the potter says, well, yes, I have a potter's shed, but there's already somebody staying there. The potter does not recognize the Buddha as the Buddha. He looks just like Pukasati, he looks like a wandering mendicant, not the world honored one. So he says, sure, you can stay there. If it's all right with the person who's staying there, it's all right with me. So Buddha goes to the shed and knocks on the door and Pukasati lets him in. And he said, may I stay here with you? And Pukasati says, sure, friend, you can stay here. So then they stay there together. Buddha is doing an experiment. He's coming to observe this person and he's going to experiment to find out who this person is. What are his abilities? What is he ready for? Buddha knows this person's coming to see him.


But he's going to now do some experiments with this person, some inquiries, some examination of the student to find out. How to transmit the teaching. Following the story so far? So there they are, two yogis in their potter's shed. And I get the impression that they're both sitting up through the night. And somewhere in the middle of the night, after sitting and observing this student who's coming to see him, the Buddha thinks perhaps this person would like to receive some teachings. I mean, I know he wants teaching from the Buddha. So he might want some teachings from me since I'm Buddha. So Buddha says, Buddha doesn't say, would you like some teachings from the Buddha?


The Buddha says, would you like to hear some Dharma teachings? And again, Pukasati is not so arrogant to say, no, I don't want teachings from you. I only want teachings from Buddha. I'm going to see the Buddha. You just be quiet. No, he said, okay. Okay, friend, please give me some teaching. And the Buddha does. And it's pretty good teaching. It's Buddhist teaching, right? Which is pretty good. And the teaching is in the scripture. And the Buddha is giving the teaching and it's really wonderful. And he teaches this discourse on the elements of existence, which if you study them, you'll realize nirvana. It's another way to realize freedom is this teaching. So he's teaching this monk. And while he's teaching, the monk does wake up. He does awaken. And he realizes not only awakening per se, not even per se, not even awakening ungraspably, but he also realizes who's talking to him.


He realizes it's Buddha talking to him. Oh, I forgot an important part. Sorry. Before the Buddha offered the teaching, the Buddha said to Pukasati, under whom have you gone forth to study? And Pukasati said, I've gone forth to study under Shakyamuni Buddha. Who's your teacher? Shakyamuni Buddha is what Pukasati said to Buddha. And Buddha said, have you ever met the Buddha? And Pukasati said, no, I have never met him. Would you know what the Buddha would look like if you met him? No, I wouldn't. So Buddha found out that he was honest. That he was admitting he was going to study with somebody he had never met. He didn't know what the Buddha would look like. The Buddha could even look like this person for all he knew. So he inquired and found out that Pukasati was humble, was honest, and therefore maybe ready to receive the Dharma.


He gave them the Dharma. Pukasati woke up and realized that this person in the room with him was the Buddha he was yearning to meet. And he was so happy to meet the Buddha. And he said, I was seeking my teacher and my teacher has come. And I'm so sorry that I talked to you kind of informally and referred to you as friend. Rather than honored teacher or whatever. And the Buddha said, yes, I understand. But you've seen that that was what you did. And you've acknowledged it and repented it. And in this way of dealing with that, the Dharma wheel turns. So here again, the Buddha is teaching Pukasati the power of confession and repentance. So this is another example of the Buddha observing, finding out that somebody wants to study.


And doing experiments with the person to find out what teaching will be best for him. And then he gave him this teaching and it was really good for him. And he woke and he got his teaching became, his practice became completed by meeting with the Buddha face to face. So this is another example of what I would say is observing and experimenting between teacher and disciple. And again, in our experimenting that we're doing here together and other times and places, we're doing the observing and experimenting in the context of compassion, which I feel helps our experimentation be kind and careful and gentle. We're doing the experiment within our wish to free all beings, so they can live in peace.


Some people are doing observation and experimentation, but not necessarily in the context of our vows. We're doing this experiment. I hope we're doing this experimentation. I pray that we're doing experimentation in the context of being respectful to what we're studying, being gentle and careful with what we're studying, which is our own body and mind and the bodies and minds of others. So that we can critique, we can question, we can challenge, we can investigate, we can examine, but in a careful, gentle way, so nobody gets hurt by our study. And I pray that scientists will start discovering their Bodhisattva vow to support their scientific research. So their scientific research will be humble and honest and unselfish and for the sake of the world.


I think some of them already are that way, but some I think need to bring more compassion to their scientific observation and exploration. So this is what I offer to the Great Assembly for discussion, for conversation. Please observe yourself and us and me and question me, experiment with me. As you wish. Hello, Rev. Hello, Assembly.


All week I've been thinking about just really what you sort of talked about here. And I really want to like get into it a little bit specifically. And it's about like questioning, you know, like questioning a teacher, like, or how the teacher might question me. And how to like, for instance, I would be interested, what I really thought I would ask you would if, if your teacher was here. And you had the chance to question him. Can you offer me some feeling about what that is and what you, how you would do it? And do you see what I'm trying to get at? I don't know if I see what you're trying to get at. I just, I like the idea of questioning and being questioned, because that's how we're going to do this.


But there's something there, you know, there. I don't know how to really explain it. What are you doing right now? Well, I'm questioning you about questioning. And I want to know about questioning and how I can do it skillfully to not, you know, like in that story with the Buddha. Somebody says the Buddha some great questions. Oh, that's a great question, man. Thank you so much. You're going to help everybody by these questions. So just talking about that a little bit to, you know, feel it out a little deeper, because we do it so much. And I hate to miss the chance of having skillful conversations. So I hear you say you'd hate to miss the chance of missing skillful conversations. Yes. Yes. And you didn't, I don't know if you said it exactly, but you would like to learn how to practice questioning.


And become skillful at questioning. And receiving questions. And you'd like to become skillful at receiving questions. Yes. Did I understand you somewhat well by that? Perfectly. Okay. So, right now you're, I think you're doing something that would be appropriate to learning to question skillfully. You're stating that this is your wish. That often will help you learn something is to tell people that that's what you want to learn. And you just did that. And a lot of people heard you. Uh-huh. So you could then go on further to say to this group of people, which includes me, that you would like people to help you with your questioning practice.


Yeah. I would like that. Yeah. Why don't you say it? I would like people to help me with my questioning practice. And a lot of people heard you. But there's more people in the world besides these people, in addition to these people. You could tell other people that you want to become a skillful questioner. Yes. And you would like them to help you be a skillful questioner. Okay. And then you could ask them a question, which is, would you be willing to help me? Okay. And some of them might say, yes. And then some of them might say, how can I do that? And then you could tell them a little bit about what might be helpful to you. Okay. And then what?


For example, you might say, it would be helpful to me if I ask a question and you don't feel comfortable about it, that you would tell me. And we could try to find out what you feel uncomfortable about the way I ask the question. Or the nature of my question. And they could tell you. Or if they felt like there was something good about your question, you would appreciate hearing that too. So I want to do questioning, but also I want feedback on my questioning. And I'm going to tell people that I want that. Okay. Yes. So in the questioning, you want to stay right. I want to stay right on the top of the questioning so that it doesn't get lost in some sort of other miasma of discussion. So you see that it doesn't veer off into some place that I don't really want it to go.


So there is an actual question and there is a response. That's what you want and you just told us that. Yes. And then you could ask us, or ask whoever you're talking to, if they understand what you're talking about. Did you understand what I just said? And they might say no. And then you tell them more. And then they understand better. And then you might say, so now do you understand better? And they say yes. And then you say, are you willing to do this? And they maybe say yes. So if you want to become a skillful questioner, then you need others to help you. And you need to invite them and ask them for feedback on your questioning. And, yeah. Do you have any feedback from me on my questioning? And they might say, well, actually, yes. You asked a question just now. You asked if I had any feedback. But it's been a long time since you asked me that question.


And you say, oh, that's right. I haven't been asking you for feedback. I asked you a long time ago if you would question me and you didn't. But then I didn't renew the question. I didn't renew the invitation. And you didn't question me. I guess you needed more repeated invitations. And they say, yeah. Once wasn't enough. Now that you've asked me over and over, I realize you really do want me to question you. Because some people don't want it. I see. A lot of people don't want it. So a lot of people don't question people. Yeah. And this is okay. But for the people who want to be questioned, it's not okay. So I think it would be good for you, if you want to get skillful at questioning, you need to tell people that's your wish. That's your aspiration. And ask me if they'll help you. And then repeatedly invite them.


And renew the invitation to check in with them about how you're doing in your questioning practice. And you can do this with your so-called peers. You can do it with your family. And you can do it with your teachers. Like you're doing right now, with your peers are watching and you're talking to a teacher. The teacher's giving you some introduction on how to start training your questioning. Thank you. You're welcome. Thank you for your questions. So, I am in the habit, I think, of getting lost in my perceptions and my thoughts and taking them as a reality.


And I'm even kind of trained to do that as an artist. To kind of call forth from the half-light or whatever, what's there. And I am used to relying on these perceptions, visions, sensations as being a guiding mechanism for learning truth and learning wisdom. And so, this whole Buddhist thing is a bit problematic. And I'm kind of grasping and attaching to these signs to navigate the world. And so, you're saying, I hear you saying that that's kind of a mistake. I mean, it's not this path exactly. It's taking what isn't real as real. Yeah, right.


Taking what's real as not real is not what we're trying to learn. We already know how to do that. Right. So, this path is to be compassionate to the taking of what's not real as real. It's being compassionate to that. But how to do that when I feel like sometimes I'm given through this attunement to the delivery of the unconscious, that that's where I'm getting what I need. Like things that I don't know are being given to me. Yes, things you don't know are being given to you. And that's okay. I feel okay about that. But the problem is that after they're given to you, you think you know them. That's the problem. That I think I know what I've incited or whatever. Yeah, and when you think you know, then you grasp it.


And that's suffering. Yeah. So, when that happens, the practice is to practice compassion towards that pattern which you're kind of telling us about. Right. It almost seems impossible to not... I somehow feel like I don't have actually the ingredients to do what you're describing. Okay, you feel like you don't have the ingredients to practice compassion? No, that I have, I think. I have the ingredients to practice compassion. I just don't know if I have the ingredients to let go of my perceptions of the world. No, when you're holding on to the world, you don't have the ingredients to let go of it. Right. However, if you practice compassion towards your holding on, you will discover the ingredients of letting go.


And also you'll find out that the ingredients of letting go aren't something you need to possess. You don't have to have them. You just need to discover them. And when you discover them, they do their job. You don't have the ingredients of letting go. But they're right in front of you. And if you're practicing compassion, you'll discover them. They'll be revealed to you. So if I... By being compassionate with delusion, the truth will be revealed. So do you just, as an illusion appears to you, like, oh, I think this is, I'm perceiving this, some phenomenon. And then I say, oh, I'm going to be compassionate to that phenomenon and let it go. Like that phenomenon has no reality or truth to it. You could say, I'm going to be compassionate to it.


And then the next part, you could say, and let it go. But I would say it more like, I will be compassionate to it, and it will be released. I'm not going to do it. The compassion releases it. Just like, I don't, like when we say, by the power of confession and repentance, the roots of transgression melt away. I don't melt them away. I just practice compassion and repentance, or confession and repentance. And that has a power. And the power of compassion will let go of attachment to illusory phenomena. The resources will come and make possible releasing attachment to the things we think we need to attach to. But do you still believe illusory phenomenon has lessons to teach you or not?


It does. It's just grasping it. But you do learn from it. Yeah, just like you have things to teach me. But if I grasp you, I forestall your teaching. So, illusory phenomena, if you grasp them, you close the Dharma door, their Dharma door. Right. If you're compassionate to them, their Dharma door opens. They turn into Dharma doors. If you don't, if you are respectful of them, if you're intimate with them, you will discover the truth of them. The Dharma door will open. So, are you generating space between everything that arises? Are you saying space? Yeah, like it feels like I need... I'm not generating anything. But I am giving myself, I am receiving and giving compassion, and that discovers space in everything.


Right. That sounds airy. Thank you. Scary is another thing to practice. No, airy. It sounds airy. Airy, okay. Airy is another thing to practice compassion. Thank you. Thank you. Good evening, Rev. Good evening, Jean. Good evening, Great Assembly. Hello, Jean. Hello. I think what I am curious to explore is similar to what Warren brought to us, and I'm curious what Warren would say in addition to you, Rev. But I felt very moved by how you responded to my question last week about responsibility.


And I relate to the idea of a responsibility practice being a reality practice. And in the back of my mind, that is chasing this question. And my question is about critical thinking. So related to Buddha's teaching and his learning, and how he pursues, or how he, I know pursue is not the right question, but how he's teaching us about reality, and how he learns about reality. And my observation is that when an observation is uncomfortable, while reality aligns with this discomfort, there is some shame for others in pointing to it.


And there is a pressure to say all is fine, that the comfort of what is understood is more important than, even if you can verify that that observation is real, there is a discomfort in upsetting that which is understood. And I'm, I guess, in my life, there have been, I have had experiences since the time I've been very small, where bringing this reality to bear has ultimately had positive impact.


It has helped people, but it is very challenging to stay with reality because there's such resistance to it, it's resistance to accepting the reality that's pointed to. And I think that bears out in scientific truth, and great suffering has happened to those that have brought truth that we now greatly value, and those truth tellers have suffered terribly. Can you, can you, can you help me with this understanding of, or help me with this observation that it's that, you know, people want to smooth things over and make it nice for the group.


And if the truth is not nice, or not the truth is not nice, but the truth is the truth, and that challenges the understanding of the group, that truth is then uncomfortable, and so the truth teller is shamed. Are you by any chance a psychotherapist? No. Well, you know, if you're in a group, and you have some truth you'd like to share, and you feel like it's not safe to share it in a group, it would be good to find somebody you can talk to, who might be outside of the group, that you could tell your truth to, if you're afraid to do it in a group. Because what you say is true, that sometimes you bring something up to a group, and it's different from maybe the majority of the people in the group, you might get in, you know, a lot of negative response that can happen, and you could get hurt.


So it's good to go to spend time with somebody who does not represent the group, or who is more interested in you being able to express yourself, and understand yourself, that that's their main thing, that they want to help you get to know yourself. Even if, in the process, what you think wouldn't be happily received by a lot of groups. So don't start by telling the group. Start by telling somebody who is primarily concerned with helping you to learn about yourself through expressing your truth. And when you get better at expressing yourself, and learning that you can survive, even if you tell your truth, your truth, then you can talk to groups, maybe, who disagree with you.


And you can see, once you understand yourself, you can see when it's appropriate to speak to a group, and bring something up, which most of them will be shocked by, and how to do it. But I think a lot of truths we discover for ourselves, we should not start by telling a group of people. We should start by telling someone, testing it with, perhaps, our teacher, who will help us, and talk to us, and question us, and help us clarify our truth. Because it's true that a lot of people do not want to hear anything that's a little bit different from what they already think. We need to find some people who are devoted and aspire to listening to people who disagree with them, and helping those people get to know themselves. And not squashing people who disagree with them, but fostering their expression, so that they can understand themselves better.


Even if the person is saying something which the so-called teacher disagrees with, they still want to help you express it. If you express it, you can understand yourself. I guess my experience has been overall very positive. So, taking the risk to stand up for someone who's being hurt, that's mostly what it is. By speaking to the humanity of that person, my experience, since I've been very small, has been overall very positive, and has changed the dynamic of groups. So when it doesn't happen, or, like you said, I feel like I've been in training for a long time, and when it doesn't happen, I realize my skills are still limited, or maybe my timing isn't good, or my words are awkward, or not adept.


It's good to realize that that might be the case. Yeah, and then I have to go back to school and learn more, and wonder what it was that I missed in that situation. Yeah, it's good. It's good to wonder that, and it's good to get other people involved with your wondering. How do you do that? Like, how do you do that? Well, right now you're doing that. You're saying, how do you do that? I know, but I guess I just need more specifics. If you know why you're asking, how do you do it? Huh? You said you know, so why are you asking if you know? I guess because it feels a little rudderless, or something.


Can you practice compassion with rudderlessness? No, not right now. You can't practice compassion now? No. Yeah, I hear you. Yeah, sorry. It's okay. It's good that you can confess that you can't practice compassion right now. Yeah. And we accept that if you can't. Thank you. You're welcome. Hi, Ron. Hi, Debra. Hi. I just wanted to, gosh, the screen is really bad. Sorry. I just wanted to share how I've been practicing to see if you have any thoughts.


So, I think it was the last Noah Bode. You first mentioned this of just having compassion for it. It's kind of what you guys were just talking about for difficult thoughts that come up, like fear or hatred and anger. And I have been practicing compassion for the fear, for the anger that has been arising. I find that it kind of dissolves it. It, I mean, an example is when you were speaking at Noah Bode, I was actually at a soccer game and someone knocked my son down and I heard the parents say something like, take him out, you know, and I was, you know, I responded like, you know, and but then I immediately practice compassion. And this is someone, you know, I don't even know. Right. So it wasn't that hard. And it was a soccer game. So it's kind of, you know, people speak that way. But it really helped dissolve it. So I've been practicing it in other situations that I'm a little more attached to.


So, I guess my question is, is that what you're speaking of, the second type of compassion. That's one question when you were talking about the three types. Because it did feel like it helped transcend, or maybe it's something totally different. It helped transcend those really, it helps transcend painful feelings. I've been practicing it with an anniversary of an upcoming family member's death and it's helped with that too. It just sort of, I don't know how else to describe it except kind of helps to ease to transform those feelings. And then, and then today you were mentioning the story of the Buddha and the forest being just being with the fear. So it sounds like there's, that's a, and I practice that too, it's just two different kinds of practices. Correct. Is that, does any of this make sense.


I'm, I didn't, could you tell me how, how you're practicing the second, how you're trying to practice the second type of compassion. I don't know if it's the second type, but it's something, I guess, when you were talking about the three types that it sounded like the second type to me. So what I'm practicing with is when difficult feelings come up like anger or hatred or fear, I'm just practicing compassion for those feelings. Okay. Yeah. And, and it does help. I guess it, it just helps transform the pain of it. I don't feel the same pain. It feels like it almost dissolves it. It's no longer attached. Like when, you know, the simple, that example of the soccer game, instead of my anger being thrown, you know, kind of focused on this parent, I just kind of dissolved it. I mean, I'm just using an easy example, but.


Did you say that you focused on the parent? No, normally I might, you know, like if someone said something like saying that, that, you know, even if it's just in jest to hurt my child, I would feel angry. I'd feel a lot of, I would feel upset about it, but I just focus compassion on my anger. Compassion on your anger. Right. And that helped dissolve it. I don't know, dissolve, that's not really the word. It just helped. It smoothed it over. I didn't feel, I didn't really feel angry anymore. I didn't feel, I guess, attached to those feelings. Yeah, maybe, maybe when you gave compassion to your anger, the anger was released. It felt that way. Yeah. And maybe what took its place was compassion.


And it felt like it, yes. So, I felt like I wasn't grasping the person, I wasn't grasping what they were saying that was making me angry. I just felt like, right, I just felt the compassion. Yeah, you were directing your compassion towards your own suffering. Right. And maybe that's what I need to do for a while. Maybe, yeah, for a while. Like, I hope you do that for the rest of your life. That every time you feel anger, every time you feel the affliction of anger, I hope that you accept and give compassion to that anger, whenever it comes. Forever, whenever it comes. And the same with other people's anger. Right. I pray for that. In this way, this wonderful thing called compassion will grow.


I feel like I finally, I feel like I've been listening to you talk about this for, I don't know how long, and I finally was able to actually do the practice and get it a little bit. But I almost had to listen to you say it over and over and over. Yeah, it seems like that is necessary. Quite a bit of repetition until the practice actually happens. And I'm willing to do it over and over until all that's left is compassion. Anger, compassion. Delusion, compassion. Attachment, compassion. Fear, compassion. That's what I'm working for. So thank you for letting compassion come in there at the soccer game and embrace your anger.


Thank you. [...] Welcome June. Thank you, Rib. First, I want to say, for some reason, this talk was very comforting and settling for me. And I appreciate that. And particularly the end when you said you wish that the scientists operate, you wish compassion visit them, and that they practice compassion with what they're doing.


And that really helped my fear around what gets implemented or expedited by their discoveries. So that is good. And I'm torn right now. I found it arising that I just wanted to kind of just enjoy settling into the comfort of the talk. And then various reasons that, no, I come in with questions. And then when I listen, I forget the questions, kind of. But I haven't forgotten the question. And first I want to say, Warren, I think it was Warren who last week said his clunky mind. And yeah, I think maybe. Somebody had a clunky mind last week.


Yeah, so I remember that. And then tonight when he said what you said, Warren, was again comforting. And just I felt not alone with that very thing that he confessed, not knowing how to ask good questions. I mean, they're in mind, getting them out with words is different. Well, thank you, Warren. I do have a question, though. I have many of them, but I'm just going to ask, you know, I find myself with the terms. I can't help it. Looking for psychological words, which I am very familiar with in trying to help understand the language that you use. And so a question is, what would you say in your language, our language, what would you say about intuition? Where does that fit?


Just came to mind that, you know, that old 60s saying we're all bozos on this bus together. You know, if this intuition is on the karmic consciousness bus, or it feels like. I'll stop. And I'd like you to address it. Answer, please. So I'm not sure. Last weekend, you were at a workshop with me, June, right? Yes, I was. And in that workshop, I talked about three minds. Yes. Which I think a lot of people here have heard me talk about. The three minds are conscious mind, the karmic consciousness, which is a prison.


When you're in this karmic consciousness, you may want to get out, because there's a lot of suffering there, but you can't get out. Because wanting to get out just feeds, just puts more reinforcement on the walls. Yes. So we talked about that first type of mind, karmic consciousness. The next type of mind is the unconscious cognitive processes. And the third type of mind is wisdom mind. If we practice compassion with the karmic consciousness, we open to the wisdom mind. Yes. Now, what about intuition? Intuition, for most of what we experience as intuition, are things that are given to karmic consciousness by the unconscious cognitive processes. In consciousness, we cannot make intuitions happen.


No. But in consciousness, we could do a little ceremony of saying, we welcome any intuitions that want to come now, we welcome. And the unconscious hears that and might send some intuitions. But it might wait until we stop doing the ceremony for the intuitions to come, or it might come at the beginning of the ceremony, we don't even notice it. But the intuitions do come, I would say, from the unconscious cognitive processes, which are closely connected to our body. Our body and unconscious processes give our consciousness intuitions quite frequently. And they come basically effortlessly. You don't have to work for intuitions, they're just, hello. However, intuitions aren't necessarily correct. True. However, they sometimes are very, very useful.


Yes. Because some of them have been working really well for a long time, for a really long time. And so the unconscious sometimes says, I think this might be useful, and it pops it up there. And sometimes it is, and sometimes it's not biased, and not off, but a lot of times it is. And that's one of the advantages of the karmic consciousness. Karmic consciousness can question. I don't think the unconscious questions anything. It just maintains the whole body-mind structure. It gives rise to consciousness, but it doesn't really do the hard work of analysis and questioning and investigating. That happens in consciousness. Most of our consciousnesses also tend to not want to do anything that takes a lot of energy. We have to be really committed to do analysis and questioning to do it.


That's why we need to make vows, we need to get in touch with our wishes. So, intuitions can come into our mind, and it's good to question them when they come. And the questioning of intuitions is a very fruitful activity. The intuitions are something we could not think up in consciousness. They're given to us by our body and unconscious. They're precious gifts, but they're not to be accepted without inquiry. But a lot of times they are accepted without inquiry, and a lot of times it works out. But sometimes we really should check, and we need to be convinced that it's important to check them. It's a lot of work to check. Yes, but I've learned the hard way that not every one of those intuitions is a good path to follow.


So, now what I do is sit with and be with, and I ask myself the question, Do you have fear around this issue? Yeah, good. And if there's fear, then be with the fear, and maybe the intuition is correct or not. But at least I know to, or a desire, you know. You sure you just don't want that to be. Fear or desire. And if you are compassionate towards the fear and the desire, that will allow you to study the intuition more. Well, that's why they say it's kind of a skill you can develop, which I think is true. And sometimes intuitions might come without fear or without desire, but we may still not be feeling like wanting to make a lot of effort to just be with it.


We might want to just grab it without examining it. Oh, that's true. But you said that you want to be with it. I would say when intuitions come, especially if you know they are, it's good to be quiet and still with them. And think about whether this should be examined. And you might come to the conclusion it would be good to examine this. And sometimes you examine them and you find out they're correct. And sometimes you find out they're not. But even if they're not, and therefore they're not useful in themselves, they're useful that they prompted the study. Yeah. Because some of them that will come will be checked out and will be true. And they will be like, well, they'll be like great discoveries of our human family. A lot of scientific insights are intuitions.


Yes. And they ask these people, where did this come from? And they don't know. But then after the intuition comes, which they sometimes feel like, this is not just an intuition, this is also true. And they find out they were not only, was it an intuition? And they did think it was true, but it was. But they have to do sometimes half a life of proof and study to prove it's right. The Buddha had intuitions. But then the Buddha verified them. Yes. The Buddha didn't freak out and grasp his intuitions. He examined them. And he encouraged us to examine our intuitions. But not just our intuitions, but also our intuitions. Examine our ordinary conscious thinking. And when intuitions come, examine those too. Be silent and still with our ordinary thinking.


And be silent with flashes of intuition. Which are sometimes correct, and we don't know why. But we still can prove that they are. And sometimes we easily prove that they're not. But again, that's work, which we don't necessarily want to do. Especially if the intuition seems really groovy. Thank you. I have an example, which some of you may have heard before, of an intuition. You are ready for it? Yeah. So I'm going to ask you a little math problem. And I'm going to ask you to answer it quickly to yourself, okay? Okay. There's a baseball and a bat set.


And the baseball and the bat set cost $1.10. And the bat cost $1 more than the baseball. How much does a baseball cost? And give your answer to yourself before thinking about it. Now that you've thought about it quickly and you've answered it, now you can analyze what you came up with and refute it if you want to. But anybody want to tell me how much the bat cost? Or the ball? You should ask me right away. You have an answer. I'd say it's $1. $1, yeah, that's what a lot of people think, and that's wrong.


90 cents. That's wrong. 55? What? What? Oh, 55. $1.05. $1.05. $1.05. But the intuition that most people come up with is the bat's $1 and the ball's 10 cents. That's what intuition comes up with. And it comes up like that. And then it's okay once it comes up, but that's what most people think of first. $1.10 for the bat, $0.10 for the ball, $1 for the bat. That's what our unconscious, our unconscious is not a good mathematician. Would you restate the problem, please? The problem was, there's a set of a baseball bat, it's in a store, and the set cost $1.10, and the bat cost $1 more than the ball. How much does the bat cost?


And most people say $1. Gotcha. The ball cost $0.10. Yeah. But I also said the bat cost $1 more than the ball. Right. But that doesn't work. But if the bat's $1.05, it does cost $1 more than the ball. But the intuition says the bat cost $1. And 50% of college graduates get this wrong by intuition. They get it wrong. They get it wrong means that answer comes and they don't examine it. And then they say, almost everybody by intuition gets $1.10 for the ball. No, 80% of college graduates get it wrong. And 50% of Harvard graduates get it wrong. But everybody, their intuition is, everybody's intuition is wrong. Almost everybody's intuition is wrong.


But some people, like 20% of college graduates stop and think, this question, this test is too easy. It must be some trick. And then they look, which is more work, because you got the answer already. So they do the work and they say, let's see, if it's $1 and $1.10, then the total would be $1.10. But then the bat would only cost $0.90 more than the ball. So that doesn't work. So then they do it and they figure out, oh, it's $1.05. But it takes work. And most people, when they got this nice answer, which is such a simple problem, and it's such a simple problem, you get an answer like that. So they see the answer. But a lot of people won't then check it. So a lot of things like that in my life, by intuition, we get the answer and we're too busy or tired or whatever to actually look and see


if what we just came up with holds up to some inquiry. And a lot of times it does not. And a lot of times it does. But a lot of times we do not want to check. So we wind up with biased results from our unconscious, which we grasp. And so we have to work at inquiring of what pops up in our mind. And we need to have a reason for it. And the reason for it needs to be something pretty big, like to protect beings from harm, to awaken to the truth. We need to have a strong vow to make the effort to check out what's going on in our mind. Anyway, that's a little bit about intuition. And we're a little bit over, but I hope you enjoyed that little intuition joke. Yes. And didn't most of you get a dollar and ten cents?


Yep. It's quite normal. Especially if you answer really fast. Yeah. But then, you don't have to answer really fast, you just look and see, oh, that's the answer I got. Then check it. And then you can discover pretty easily that your first answer was wrong. And your first answer was fast, and that was intuition. And your second answer, when you refute it, is for using your karmic consciousness, your prison equipment, to analyze it. So the prison equipment is useful for something, and so is the unconscious. And by practicing compassion with the prison equipment, you'll discover the wisdom equipment. Okay. Well, we have one more class next week. Thank you, everybody, for everything. And good night. All right. Thank you. May I gently extend to every being and place, with the true merit of Buddha's way, beings are numberless.


I vow to save them. Afflictions are inexhaustible. I vow to cut through. Dharma gates are boundless. I vow to discover them. Buddha's way is unsurpassable. I vow to become it. Good night. Happy Thanksgiving. Yes, happy Thanksgiving. I hope you find a lot of things to be grateful for. Oh, yeah. Happy Thanksgiving.