Yunyan Sweeps the Ground 

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Sometimes, we say that in practicing Zen, you first clean the temple, and then you sit and enter the way. One day, one of Yaoshan's students, named Yuen Yuen, was sweeping the ground of the temple, and his Dharma brother came up to him and said, ìToo busy.î And Yuen Yuen said, ìYou should know, thereís one whoís not busy.î And Da Wu said, ìThen


are there two moons?î And Yuen Yuen raised his broom and said, ìWhich moon is this?î And Da Wu walked off. So this is a story which I could understand as a story about the Dharma, the non-abiding Dharma, or the Dharma of non-abiding, which is how the Bodhisattva practices perfect wisdom. A lot of Zen students in their meditation practice like cleaning the temple, sweeping the mind, sweeping the ground. Oftentimes,


they are trying to clean up their mind by following their breathing, which is a good way to clean your mind, to follow your breathing. It kind of cleans it up. A lot of them, however, in the process of cleaning it up, get distracted from the cleaning, and when they notice they are distracted, they throw the broom at somebody, or hit themselves with the broom and call themselves bad Zen students because they havenít been doing their clean-up duties. But sometimes they just sweep the ground quietly. Sometimes they just follow their breath quietly, without much comment. But as I say, a lot of them, while they are following their breathing, have quite a bit of comment. So if you are able to clean the temple, fine. If you are able


to follow your breathing, I say, fine. If you are trying to follow your breathing but you are not too successful and you are getting upset with yourself, and calling yourself a below-average Zen student, I say, fine. You are just a busy person, thatís all. Trying to clean the temple, trying to settle the dust, thatís okay. Itís part of our life. Cleaning the temple, cleaning the mind, itís normal, itís reasonable, itís wholesome. And then, when you clean up for a little bit, or even before you finish cleaning, you might consider practicing the Bodhisattva way, which is to not abide in the cleaning practice, and to not abide in the comments about the cleaning practice. Remember, there is somebody,


no matter what you are doing, who is not busy. No matter how hysterical you get, there is somebody who is not busy. There is somebody who is not abiding in your cleaning activity, there is somebody who is not abiding in your distraction from your cleaning activity, there is someone who is not abiding in your criticisms of your distraction from your cleaning activity, there is someone who is not abiding, who is not busy with your congratulations to yourself, if you were ever able to follow your breathing. So weíve got the cleaning activity going on, or the messing activity going on, we have plenty of that, and weíll have plenty more, but there is a possibility to abide in the


perfection of wisdom, by way of not abiding in any of your activities. No matter how bad they are, donít abide in them. No matter how bad other peopleís activities are, donít abide in them. No matter how good somebody elseís activities are, remember there is somebody who is not busy. And are there two moons? A union doesnít say, ìYes, there are.î He doesnít say, ìNo, there arenít.î He just raises his broom and asks you, ìWhich moon is this?î Is this the busy one? Or is this the unbusy one? Itís kind of a busy question. Maybe you understand. You donít? Do you have a question, Jimmy?


Who is it? That is the bodhisattva. The bodhisattva is the one who is not busy. How do you fight for justice without abiding? Somebody asked me that earlier. How do you fight for justice without abiding? Watch the bodhisattvas and youíll see how they fight for justice without abiding. As a matter of fact, youíll see that they donít fight. But occasionally, if fighting would be helpful for people to understand that, then they look like theyíre fighting. So when you see injustice, or in the form of injustice between humans, or injustice


towards the environmentÖ Any other injustices youíd like to bring up, Eileen? So if you see the environmental crisis weíre in now, you see that? How do you practice the Dharma of not abiding with an environmental crisis? How do you practice the Dharma of non-abiding when you see people being unjust to each other? How do you practice it? By loving it. By loving the world where thereís injustice. Not liking injustice and not hating injustice. Weíve got some people like it, some people hate it. More people need to love it. We must love the world in order to save it. We must love injustice. Not like it, but love it. And how do you love it? How do you love injustice? The same way you love justice.


You donít dwell in justice. Thatís how you free people from justice. You donít abide in injustice. Thatís how you free people from injustice. You might be sweeping the ground saying, ìYou know, this looks unjust to me.î That might be your ground-sweeping activity. You might ask people, ìDo you think that was just, what just happened there? Was that justice?î Sometimes we think we can see it. Sometimes we think we see injustice. I donít love injustice. I mean, I donít like injustice and I donít hate injustice. At least I vow not to like or hate injustice. I vow to love injustice in order to save injustice from its harmful function.


You must love the world of suffering to save it. Thatís my proposal to you. And loving things means not dwelling in them, on them, or through them, but being intimate with them, being devoted to them, giving your life to them. Eileen, any comment on that? The way you said it now, I am not so resistant as I was this morning. Ah, well, is that okay with you? But if she keeps resisting, my practice is to love her resistance, not to like it, not to dislike it. I kind of like it because it gives my loving a little challenge.


So thank you, Eileen, for resisting ever so slightly. Okay, Jimmy, does that help at all? Great. Any other feedback for yours truly? Yes? I feel more like my inability to pain, so thatís why all this stuff comes up. Your inability to what? To pain and suffering, my reaction to pain and suffering. Oh, yeah, thatís right. You know, the word for patience has a root to mean capacity. So we need to develop our capacity for suffering. We need to become bigger, to have a bigger capacity for it.


Thatís part of what patience is about. But patience is also connected to being gracious towards the pain. And then, together with graciousness, make yourself big enough for more and more suffering. Wisdom requires this of us. The truth is really difficult to open to all the way. And pain, if we can open to the pain, itís really an excellent warm-up. For opening to the truth. So we do have pain and we do have truth. Itís hard for us to see the truth, but we can see the pain, and we can see if weíre closing to it. We can see if we feel smaller than the pain. So there it is right there. How can we become bigger?


And before we become bigger, how can we love this person who is not very patient yet? Does that work for you, what Iím talking about? So then itís just a matter of us practicing it, if we all agree. And also what we talked about last time, which is not coming at something with a plan, not coming at something, even the pain and the suffering or the injustice with a plan, but being wholeheartedly there and seeing what emerges in the truth of the moment. Yeah, thatís approximately correct.


But you can have a plan, just donít dwell on it. Like I could have a plan to have a picnic with you. So I come to you with my picnic plans, but I donít dwell on my picnic plans. Somebodyís not busy. Thereís one guy whoís busy with the picnic plans whoís coming to have a picnic with you, and you love that guy. But thereís another one who doesnít dwell on those plans, and thatís the one that loves you and the picnic and the plans. And the no picnic and the no plans and the no you. So you can be not you with the one whoís not busy, and you wonít get in trouble with that one. But the one who is into you needs patience, because sometimes youíre not you. And thatís going to be painful for the one who has a plan on you. Thank you. Elena?


Yes. Hola. Hola. Totemo Elena. Totemo Elena. Iíd love to hear you say that one of the roots of patience is capacity. Could you elaborate a little bit more on that? Elaborate on the... It seems evident, but... Elaborate on patience being capacity? Elaborate on it? Well, one of the ways I would... I donít know if this elaborates on it, but another way to talk about patience is that it has to do with finding the center of the pain. And thatís one way to find your capacity.


Because if you feel too small for a pain, if you narrow down in time and space, you can find a place where you do have the capacity. If you take the pain in a very small time and space, you can handle almost any pain. And you can find your capacity for it. And then, from there, it can expand. What I saw when you said that was a space that can include, that includes everything. Love... Patience is a form of love. Itís one of the dimensions of love.


Patience with people hurting themselves, people who you love hurting themselves. Patience with people who are trying to learn something, but at the same time have karmic obstructions to their learning. I saw space. Yeah, and that space... You talked about coming to a pinpoint. Sometimes, coming to the pinpoint, you can find the space where you couldnít see the space before, where you were shrinking back from the pain. And then, if you get small enough, you find, ìOh, thereís a clear area there.î Thereís a place of freedom in the pain, where you can be settled and find life in the middle of the flames of pain. And again, we donít intentionally make Zen sitting uncomfortable,


but when it is uncomfortable, it offers the opportunity to find the cool spot in the middle of the heat, the cool spot in the middle of the hot flames of pain. Thereís a space there in the middle of those flames, where, as we say, a cool breeze rises on the eyebrows in the middle of those flames. And Buddha lives there in the middle of those flames of pain. Thatís where Buddhas live, and thatís where they turn the wheel of Dharma. In the middle of the flames of pain, of suffering.


But thereís a cool spot there. Thereís serenity in the middle. What if you know it, but you cannot find it yourself, like I have the experience, when I was coming to you, I was like, I knew it, but I couldnít find it, I mean, I couldnít get there, and after I talked to you, then I was there again. So, what if you cannot find it yourself? Well, go talk to somebody else, whoís into the same search. Go talk to a practitioner of patience, if you canít find your patience. And then maybe, if theyíre like really poor at patience, youíll find yours. You realize, wow, youíre really impatient, and say, oh my god, Iím patient,


I didnít notice, but I am compared to you, Iím like totally cool, wow. Yeah, so go find another practitioner of patience, and that often helps you find it. Or find a practitioner of impatience, those are also good to talk to. So, part of the practice is, go talk to somebody about the practice. Donít try to do it by yourself. We donít recommend that. Thatís why we have these No Abode sittings, is to get together, and practice together, and encourage each other in the practice. So, I hope you feel encouraged to practice, and I hope youíre clear about what it is, and remember, we didnít say it was easy, just wonderful. Thank you all very much


for taking care of this practice place, and taking care of the practice. May our intention equally extend to every being and place, with the true merit of Buddhaís way, Beings are numberless, I vow to save them. Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them. Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them. Buddhaís way is unsurpassable, I vow to become it. Itís 5.30 now,


if some of you would like to leave, you may do so, and if some of you would like to stay and do a memorial service, weíll have one, as soon as we set up the room. Okay? Is that what youíre wanting us to do? Yeah. Did you want me to do what you thought I was going to do?