Zen Meditation on Karma and Awakening - May 3rd, 2022

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.

This talk will not appear in the main Search results:

AI Suggested Keywords:

AI Summary: 



This recording is intended to be shared with class members only


So in this assembly, repetition can be understood as an important part of the practice, not only because repetition helps the discussion of the dharma sink in to our body and thus become a foundation for our dharma study to arise spontaneously according to causes and conditions. Now spontaneously again means arising by causes and conditions, not by something outside of causes and conditions. So the causes and conditions of repeating the teaching over and over, gives rise to the teachings in the consciousness over and over.


So again, great practice does not ignore karmic consciousness. Great practice does pay close attention to karmic consciousness. Great practice is intimately related to deep faith in karmic cause and effect. And again, karmic cause and effect is the basis for our study of karma, which means study of our karmic consciousness, and also study of the teachings about karmic consciousness and the teachings about karmic cause and effect.


So the karma of our consciousness is present each moment because each moment of consciousness has a pattern And that pattern is the intention of the moment. And that pattern is the manifestation of all the causes and conditions supporting it. In karmic consciousness, what we have are you could say fictions. Yeah, karmic consciousness is full of fictions. And I propose that by studying these fictions, we will discover the truth.


Yeah, the truth of these fictions. Understanding fiction is Buddha. great understanding of fiction is Buddha. So in consciousness, there's all kinds of fictions going on. And the historical Buddha analyzed that field of consciousness which is a field of fictions, but he analyzed it so that the fictions could be actually broken down into little fictions. And these little fictions he called are the elements of the big fiction. The overall fiction are the elements of karma. Karma is a fiction and that fiction has consequence. The elements which compose the karma, all the different dharmas, the little d dharmas, the elements that compose our intention in the moment, each one is a fiction.


And by studying those fictions, the truth will be revealed, discovered, and realized. Deep faith and cause and effect supports a deep, intimate study of all the fictions, all the illusions that are going on in karmic consciousness. Studying all this, investigating, learning about it, questioning it, questioning it and being questioned about it. So, and also conversing about it. So all this we're doing in this assembly, we're investigating consciousness, we're telling people about it, we're examining it more or less intimately.


We are conversing about it. We are questioning it. And we are being questioned. When you report your karmic consciousness to me, I question your karmic consciousness. All the teachings which are being given to us about karmic consciousness, when they appear in karmic consciousness, they are fictions. They're a fictitious version of the Dharma. But these fictions are given to us as a means to discover the non-fictitious. And we need to have shared agreement. We need to share faith that studying these fictions as fictions will realize the unsurpassed, complete, perfect dharma.


And so here's a teaching about karmic cause and effect, okay? This is being said, and when it comes into your consciousness, it will appear in a fictitious way. However, if you study the fictitious way that this teaching is appearing in your consciousness, you will discover the true Dharma, or the true Dharma will be revealed. So even though what your body and mind give rise to in response to teachings is a fictitious version of them, great faith in cause and effect studies them. does not apprehend them as reality, but does apprehend them as what great practice studies. So the teaching is every moment of consciousness has consequence. However, the consequence is not done, is not,


does not manifest as the consequence all by itself. It manifests in concert with all other beings' karma and also with the history of the world. So the way that karmic cause and effect works is sometimes summarized as the whole works which is my name and the whole works means everything karmic cause and effect is everything but also it's the whole works but also it is everything working in the form of this karmic consciousness the entire universe works as each of our karmic consciousnesses.


And each of our karmic consciousness contributes to the whole world, contributes to all other karmic consciousness. And all other karmic consciousness contribute to ours and also contribute to the consequence of ours. Everything that this consciousness thinks, contributes to the world along with everybody else's contribution to the world. This is called, what's this called? The whole works. This is everything and how everything is working through each thing and through each consciousness, through each intention in each consciousness and through each element in the intention. So there's a fascicle in the Shobo Genso in the treasury of true Dharma eyes.


It's called Zenki or the whole works. And in that fascicle, it says that life is like riding in a boat. You raise the sails, and roll with oars, but the boat gives you a ride. And no one could ride without the boat. The boat makes you what you are, and you make the boat a boat. We do our karma, but we couldn't do our karma without support of the whole universe.


And our karma makes the whole universe what it is. We are responsible for all of our moment-by-moment consciousnesses. And we are also responsible for everybody else's. And everybody else is responsible for our karmic consciousness. Not everyone can, not every karmic consciousness can see, actually very few karmic consciousnesses can see into our individual karmic consciousness. what they all can see into themselves. When we accept the responsibility for this karmic consciousness and accept responsibility for the consequences of it, we are involved in the great practice.


Also, we are involved in the great practice when we accept the responsibility for everybody else's karmic consciousness. But again, we cannot see their karmic consciousness. However, we can study with them and converse with them. When you study your karmic consciousness deeply, intimately, and the truth of it is revealed, that revelation, that realization has consequence for everybody else. Just as your karma does, the realization does. In this way, we are doing the same practice and the same realization and the same dharma as all beings.


And again, deep faith in cause and effect is to believe that it's not a waste of time to be studying delusion. Deep faith in cause and effect does not think it's a waste of time to study fiction, the fictions of karmic consciousness, which we have plenty of. And I pray that we have plenty of study of these fictions in our mind with confidence that we are doing Buddha's work even before revelation has dawned, even before we understand the depth of the fictions. So you are here to help me remember that what's going on in this consciousness is a complex process of delusion.


and that it's possible to be aware of this process, and you're helping me be aware of it, and also maybe to remember it. Remember attending to it, remember being mindful of it, and also remember of what it is that I'm mindful of, which is not reality, and reality is not the slightest bit different from it. The difference between delusion And reality is a delusion. The non-difference between delusion and reality is reality. But in order to discover this non-discriminating wisdom, we have to study the field of discriminations. Discriminations are delusions. which come to us spontaneously from our history and our body and mind.


They come up into our mind moment after moment. And Suzuki Roshi famously, I'm making him famous, famously said, non-discrimination is not to have no discriminations. So for example, karmic consciousness is full of fictitious discriminations. like between us, between men and women, between old and young, between different races, between different political parties, between different countries. All these discriminations are living and rising and ceasing in karmic consciousness. They are delusions. Non-discrimination wisdom does not mean that these discriminations aren't there. So again, she said non-discrimination doesn't mean no discriminations. In other words, I keep breaking up the quote.


In other words, non-discrimination does not mean you don't have karmic consciousness. Non-discrimination, the function of wisdom is non-discrimination. It doesn't mean we don't have discriminating karmic consciousness. Non-discrimination means that we study everything. no matter what's going on in karmic consciousness. Non-discrimination studies it, questions it, investigates it, converses about it. But many of us study some things but not others. That's more discrimination. But studying that and studying everything, no matter what, that's wisdom. And studying everything Wisdom says everything and studying everything is wisdom. Investigating everything. Not being hindered by discriminations.


For example, many people have the discrimination. That's better to study than this. But that discrimination, I'm not trying to get rid of the discrimination. I'd say, study that. Don't follow it, study it. Okay, so tonight I'm gonna stop earlier so that we can question and be questioned about our study of karmic consciousness. And everybody who wants to can have a chance to offer something to all the karmic consciousnesses present. You can share your karmic consciousness in many ways, please do as you wish, with faith that this is great practice. Amir.


Yes, good morning, Reb, and good morning, the Great Assembly. And now you hear me. Yeah. Okay. My question is about the store consciousness. Yes. The eighth level. And if I remember, I'm not sure about that. But if I remember, last time you talked about the seeds in the store consciousness. And I heard that you talked about the positive, I mean, all kinds of seeds, and then to water the the good seeds and to take care, not to suppress, but to take care of the not positive or bad seeds.


Is that correct? Maybe. One way to take care of the seeds for unwholesome The main way to take care of the seeds for the unwholesome is by planting wholesome seeds. Yeah. I think I'm thinking of those wholesome seeds and unwholesome seeds, I create a kind of duality. and how to navigate it through, oh, this is positive, this is negative. I try to avoid to have this picture of this is good and this is bad.


So the thought you just expressed, came up in your karmic consciousness. Yeah. And it was a pattern. And then you had the pattern of wanting to tell us that and you did. So we heard this, and that pattern of that, that there seems to be delusion or duality, that thought, I would say that thought is something to study. And I would say also that thought, I don't think that thought is necessarily wholesome or unwholesome. The thought of this seems to be a duality, but still I would study that. So there seems to be duality. That's a fiction, that there's duality. It's a fiction. Now, if I say there's not any duality, that's another fiction. But anyway, whatever words I say are to be studied.


Now, if you take care of the appearance or the thought that there seems to be a duality between good and evil, so there's good and evil, but the thought that there's good and evil isn't really good or evil, I would say. But taking care of that thought that there is duality, will reveal what non-duality is. Once again, the thought, there seems to be duality. If you're compassionate and study that thought, that there appears to be duality, that thought is not true, it's a fiction. But if you study it, you will discover non-duality. Also, if there's a wholesome state in your mind, and you study it deeply, intimately, studying a wholesome state, there will be revelation of the non-duality of wholesome and unwholesome.


If there's an unwholesome state of consciousness, and it is studied deeply and thoroughly, the non-duality between that unwholesome state and the wholesome state will be discovered. And this type of study has consequence of transforming the storehouse consciousness to promote more study and less believing in these fictions as real. Thank you. Thank you, Reb. That helps me to have a yeah. Thank you so much. You're so welcome. Helps me too.


I'd like to go back to Scott who had a question at the beginning and I couldn't hear him. Can we have Scott, please? Yes, can you hear me now? I can hear you. Great. I have a sort of general set of questions here. Excuse me, is there a general question in the consciousness? Well, there is in mine. Because I keep wondering, we human beings, by our actions of body, speech, and mind, create something that we call karma. And this karma then creates effects based upon that karma. But what I'm One or two things is, one, I wonder, what is the agency of this transfer of body, speech, and mind, karma-generated, karmic effects are generated, but what is the agency of this movement of karma to affect to, I'm trying to understand why,


What is really going on there in terms of the spiritual presence of this? All these things must be empty of inherent existence. And yet, we know that karmic actions, karmic effects can appear to be present, waiting to come to fruit, perhaps for decades or a whole lifetime. And I wonder about with the emptiness of those things. I'm trying to empty the air of her existence, but somehow being transferred from one thing to another in a spiritual life. And it just seems, I'm just trying to understand how that could possibly work. You're wondering how insight could work or how the whole process works? How the whole process works, going from actions and body, speech and mind to karma, to effects, And what agency is there for transferring our karmic actions into karmic effects?


My understanding is that agency is another word for karma. Agency is another word for action. So action has consequence. But I don't understand, I don't have an idea that between agency and consequence, or between action and consequence, there's another agency. It's just that action has consequence. The determination of the consequence, however, comes through the interaction of that action and all other actions. And that action and the past actions of that action, the history of that action, all that works together to give rise to the consequence.


So you can say the agency in Buddhism is called dependent co-arising. Right, okay. It's how this action gives rise to consequence. And it does so because it has consequence, but it's not the only thing that has consequence. All other actions which coexist with it also have consequence. Oh yeah, that's really good. And to realize that... The realization of this process comes through, for example, studying what you just said and me listening to you. I'm just wondering whether, if one has the insight into the emptiness of inherent existence of all those things that we're talking about,


they have no real existence other than that they depend on other things in order to apparently exist, but have no real existence. And I'm trying to understand how that, why insight into that itself wouldn't make karmic actions dissolve, if one can see that they're indeed of inherent existence. The realization of the emptiness of karmic consciousness comes through studying karma and karmic causation. Studying the causation, you realize that the causation is empty of inherent existence. But if it's empty of inherent existence, it can't dissolve. You can't dissolve something that doesn't have inherent existence. You can only dissolve things that have inherent existence, but they can't be dissolved either.


So it's not a matter of dissolving karmic consciousness through insight into the emptiness of karmic consciousness. Okay. Insight into the emptiness of delusion does not dissolve the delusion. It is Buddha. Buddha is insight into the emptiness of delusion. Yeah, the elimination of delusion. Okay. And the insight which is Buddha is also peace and the unhindered ability to teach others how to have the same realization. But you're right. All these all these fictions are empty. All the fictions in our consciousness are empty and all, in a way, the teachings appearing in our consciousness doesn't have an independent existence. Right.


But just hearing that's not going to be enough. We also have to study all the things that we've heard are empty. We have to intimately study all these delusions which don't have a self. And by studying them respectfully and intimately and deeply, we will realize their selflessness. And studying them intimately involves seeing how they influence, and hearing about how they influence, and how they're influenced. And meditating on, even though I can't see how what I'm saying has consequence, and how the consequence is involved with everybody else's responsibility. Still, I study that. because I believe that studying it is the great practice, which will reveal the true nature of all these fictions, which is that they're fictions.


They appear to be independently existing and not. By studying things that appear to be having a self, we discover that there is no self of them. Yes. Okay? Yes, thank you, Brad. Thank you very much. Hello, Rev. Hello, Angela. Hello, Great Assembly. First, I would like to say thank you for this deep faith and cause and effect that they sent from you. Can I mention something about that?


Yes. That red seal says in Chinese, I mean, it's a seal with four Chinese characters in it. Characters can be translated into English as Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Jewel. In the seal? The round one. Okay. And the other one is, the other red seal is Zenki, which is the way a cause and effect works. So deep faith and cause and effect, and Zenki is how it works. Sounds like a nursery school rhyme. Deep faith and cause and effect, and Zenki is how it works. Thank you. I felt a move to raise my hand and


confess that I'm noticing in my conscious mind recently that I don't think that I'm a good student. So, that delusion appears in your consciousness? Mm-hmm. That fiction appears there? Yes. Mm-hmm. Can I say something about that? Yes. Would you believe that in some karmic consciousness a different delusion appears which is, I am a good student? Yes. In some consciousnesses there's that delusion, I'm a good student. But you have, I'm not a good student? Yes. Those are delusions, right? Those are delusions in karmic consciousness which often appear particularly among students. And I think that because I'll be going along in my day and I think, oh, it's been some time before I've been studying, I've been watching my mind.


I've just been going along and not examining. Yes. So when, at that moment, you have been doing the practice. Right? At that moment, you are looking and seeing, oh, I have this idea in my mind that I haven't been doing the practice. Therefore, you are doing the practice when you notice that. Okay, it seems infrequent. And then I look at, am I trying to get something? That's another thing to be kind to and realize that's another delusion in karmic consciousness. Am I trying to come get something? Or even, I'm not trying to get something. Or I wonder if I'm trying to get something. These are really, those are wonderful delusions, I would say. These delusions can be very fruitful.


Those are very good things to study. It's been a while since I paid attention, but now I am paying attention, great. And I hope I pay attention more. And I'm noticing that I have that thought. I have that wish. And now I intend, I really intend to pay attention more. And I noticed that. And that's the practice. And that's another delusion. And noticing that that the delusion is the practice. Hmm. It is that simple, yet the mind complicates, likes to make it complicated. It's simple, and yet it's challenging to do it steadily. Because many past moments in our history, in other people's history, have not studied.


So the practice, when it's functioning, it is the great practice. But because there haven't been enough moments of practice, there are moments where we forget to study. And then we can say, oh, I forgot. But now I remember. And now that I remember, I can say I forgot and I'm sorry that I forgot. Now that I see I forgot, the practice is functioning. And now that I say, now that I feel sorry, the practice is functioning. And now that I say I'm sorry, this is coming from the practice. And those expressions which are coming through the practice transform our body and mind to give rise to consciousnesses, which more often notice what's going on and notice also some opinion that there hasn't been much practice lately.


Which is hard to, you know, when I hear what you just said that there is that voice that comes up, this critical voice. Yeah, and it is hard is another delusion. It's not really true. It's not deeply true that it's hard, but it is true that there is that thought. And we should respect the thought, it's hard, but not think that that's reality. That's a fantasy in our consciousness that it's hard. You could also have the one that's easy, but a lot of Zen students do have that thought in their mind, it's hard. Now I say, when that thought that it's hard arises, don't miss a beat. and realize, oh, there's another thing to study. This is another element of karmic consciousness. It's hard. The words in karmic consciousness, great practice studies the words.


It doesn't believe the words, it studies them. Thank you. I just got this message that my internet connection is unstable. I didn't get a message that my practice connection is unstable. Angela laughed at that, but nobody else did. Why not? You can't hear them. Thank you. You're welcome. Tianman. I'll wrap. Yeah. I'm very grateful for these sessions.


They bring me quite some insights. And what I'd like to share is that I There's kind of, I guess, pain coming up in me when I feel like, oh, studying all these fictions that appear, then there's a pain coming up. It seems like, oh, but other people seem to believe them. And it seems like, oh, do I not disconnect from others if they believe all these fictions? So please don't disconnect from the people who believe the fictions. Yeah. Please practice compassion with those who believe the fictions are reality. It's like, it's like with children, you know? You, you, you, you like, you know, like they do various things, but you still love them and care for them, but you're not fooled by what they said.


but you can see that they're fooled. And sometimes, and you can see that they're being fooled often leads them to pain. So you feel pain for them. Like I had a niece, a beautiful niece, and she thought she was ugly. She had that thought in her consciousness and she believed it. And I didn't argue with her. I didn't say, no, no, no, you're beautiful. I just, you know, I accepted that she thought that. And also that I have this idea that she believed it and so on. But it is painful that people believe these things in karmic consciousness as realities. That is painful for them and we feel pain maybe through our empathy. Because we can imagine if we believe that, we would suffer too.


But instead of stopping there, we practice compassion with those who believe their own karmic consciousness. And of course, we're very happy when people don't believe in their karmic consciousness, or even if they do believe it, they study it. Because if we study it, we'll become free of believing it. without getting rid of it, without making it a different karmic consciousness or a better karmic consciousness, we become free of believing in it. And then we wake up and then other people are included in the freedom that is realized through this insight. It helps other people because our karmic effects affect other people's karmic effects. our contribution to karmic effect merges with and interpenetrates with the karmic effects for others.


So although some people may be believing in the fictions in their consciousness, we can help them become free of believing them by doing our work on ours and also realizing that we have believed ours a lot too. So we can understand why they believe theirs. Because we've done that a million times. And we're so happy that we heard a teaching to study delusion rather than believe delusion. And to feel compassion for those who believe delusions. Yeah, and I want to make, I guess, a confession. When I hear you talk, I realize that I Most of the time I believe this fiction that I'm not helpful and I'm being separated by seeing the fictions as fictions.


Well, I think there is a fiction that if we believe the fictions are true, that might separate us from people. For example, if I'm not separate from you, but if I believe the story that I am, that would be very sad. Yeah, that's what I have also in my mind quite a bit, that fiction. But if you study that fiction, or if we study that fiction, that we're separate, we will discover that it isn't fiction, and we'll discover it's not true, and we'll discover the reality of what it means to not be separate. And that will help all beings who we're not separate from. When we realize non-separation, that will help all the beings we're not separated from. However, if we don't realize the truth of non-separation, if we don't realize it, because we're not separate from them, that will hurt them.


So our lack of realization hurts everybody that we're not separate from, And our realization that we're not separate helps everybody we're not separate from. So the thing is, we got to realize non-separation. And the way we realize it is by compassionately studying and conversing like we're doing right now about the appearance of separation. Thank you. My question is, what is the true dharma? And is the true dharma a fiction? Well, the words in my mind, the true dharma, that's a fiction.


That's not the true dharma. Those are words. But by studying the words true dharma, the true dharma will be discovered. And the true dharma discovered is not in the appearances of my karmic consciousness. And by studying it, it just means thinking about it, having it come in your mind, meditating on it. What is the true Dharma? And realizing that it's inconceivable, basically, if it's... Just a second, this phone is making... So, studying it involves questioning it, which you're doing right now, I think. Studying it means question whatever's going on, examining it, contemplating it, discussing it, for example, with me, questioning me about how I'm working with it, allowing me to question you.


All that is part of it. And I said last week, so right now we're doing it, right? We're doing it right now in this class. We're questioning our karmic consciousnesses. That's all we can, that's all we've got to work with and we're working with it. This work is the work which will reveal the true Dharma. So we're doing it now. And I said last week, so we start by investigating karmic consciousness. Then we also do a practice called letting go of karmic consciousness. So first of all, we contemplate it, we observe it. and we learn about it, then we do a practice of letting go of it, not observing it, not questioning it, just sit and let go of it, [...] and we calm down by just not pushing it away, not pulling it on, just let go of it. We have that practice too, sitting in silence and stillness, letting go of karmic consciousness and all of its delusions, not pushing them away,


Just let him go. Then when we calm down, then in calm, we go back and start the conversation again of questioning, of investigating, of observing karmic consciousness. And then the truth, which is not separate from this, but does not appear in this, will be realized. And the one of the ways to realize is to really understand that fiction is a fiction. Not to get rid of the fiction, but to really understand, to just have the lights on it, it's a fiction. So any idea is a fiction. any idea that I have, even after I've contemplated it and sat with it and look at it again, it's still a fiction because it's still an idea that I have.


Yeah. However, the great practice studies all the fictions in karmic consciousness. It does not ignore them. It compassionately, intimately studies all fictions. And that's how it realizes the truth of the Buddhist teaching, the truth of cause and effect. That's how it realizes dependent co-arising. Thank you. You're welcome. Hello, Reb. Greetings, Great Assembly. I'd like to carry on what you were talking to Bert about.


Last week you presented the four frames of mindfulness and how we might work with them. I was hoping that you would like maybe give us a little bit more nuts and bolts of the actual practice in meditation. I was lucky because right after our class, I started a, you know, period of session. And so I was able to experiment with it a little bit. So I had some things come up that I want to ask you about, but It would also be nice if you could just go through each of these four and relate how we're using them to study karmic consciousness, because they are sort of the same but different. They seem to interweave. There's not like box A, box B, box C, box D, or that was my experience of it.


So anything that you could say concerning that would be very helpful. Okay. Well, in a sense, the first one is, I think, in a sense, the easiest for people to see, namely, a body posture, like standing, a standing body. So, when there seems to be a standing body, the meditator sees the standing body as the standing body, is mindful of the standing body as the standing body, or the sitting body as the sitting body. Now, what they are, is they're now looking in their consciousness and seeing a standing body, and seeing and learning how to look at a standing body just like that. And that's


paying attention to karmic consciousness in a kind of simple warm-up way. Okay. Another way is to pay attention to the breath. You can also pay attention to other people's bodies. And when you see somebody's body, when it appears, to be aware that in that body, I'm mindful of that body, in that body. The next one, feelings. Feelings are kind of some of the easiest mental factors to be aware of. They don't seem to be physical. So the image of a body is actually an ideal, or it's an image in the consciousness. Like right now, I see an image of you on the screen. That's not your actual body. That's an image of your body in this consciousness. And I can pay attention to it, and I'm being mindful of it.


and being mindful of this appearance of a body, of your body, outside me and my body, that's part of mindfulness. But I also can be aware of my own, these hands. I'm aware of these hands as they're appearing in my consciousness. So I'm actually, I am aware of my consciousness actually, but it seems to be physical things, so that's easier for me to find. Next, I would be aware of my feelings, so I'd look to see what kind of feelings are there. I'll do that now. You can do it too. What's the feeling now? I don't, I'm not feeling a negative, I'm not really feeling negative sensation. Nor am I. I'm feeling kind of positive sensation. I'm feeling kind of positive sensation. Not a really strong positive sensation, but it's positive.


Now I look at the consciousness. And this consciousness is... Shall I continue? Yes. So now I'm going on to look at the frame of consciousness. I look at this consciousness. It doesn't seem to be particularly agitated or frightened. It doesn't seem to have much anger in it at all. I don't see much greed. I actually feel kind of a positive intention to be careful and clear with you in the assembly. So I'm looking at this consciously, it seems like kind of wholesome consciousness in this particular case, generally. Now, I can get into more detail.


Yes, go ahead. Yes. Okay, the detail. May I ask this question? So, it seems like what you just ran through were what they would call the five difficulties or something, five hindrances of our mind. That's in the next one. I see. Okay. So in the fourth foundation, they have these five hindrances. And maybe I shouldn't have brought them up, but maybe you heard me bringing them up ahead of time. That I looked in the consciousness, maybe I got too detailed. And I should have waited until I got into the fourth one, where it lists those five hindrances. And actually, so in the fourth category, there's five hindrances that are listed. And actually, you're right. When I was looking at the third one, I actually noticed that those five didn't seem to be there. Right. So I kind of skipped into the fourth one while I was describing the third one.


Okay. The fourth one is kind of check out, are those hindrances there? Is there hatred? Is there greed? Is there confusion? Is there laziness? And so on. And then also, if you look at the conversations I've had with people, they brought up little details of words. They brought up various ideas in what they brought up and how to deal with those. So if you look at, if you listen to all the examples of what people have brought up, a lot of the people brought up words and the words are in the fourth foundation. Like people said, I have this thought that I'm not a good Zen student. That's a dharma, it's an idea which is dealt with under the fourth foundation. And how to deal with the ideas, the simple ideas and the complex ideas that come up, that aren't mentioned in the previous three, that's in the fourth one. But also if discouragement came up, or encouragement, or


or pride, or humility. If these dharmas came up, if these fictions came up, that would often be in the fourth category. So, in a lot of these conversations, people are bringing up... Actually, the fourth one. People are not so much talking about their awareness of their body, but they could. as an example of studying karmic consciousness. They could say, I'm aware that I'm sitting here. That would be the first one. They could say, I'm aware that I'm sitting here, and in my sitting, there's just sitting. That would be the first one. So in the actual practice of it, there is some kind of a transition from one frame to another, and then... And then I think you said earlier in the program that then I go back and I regroup again, and then I re-look again at the mental objects.


You're mixing that with different phases of meditation. Okay. First we observe the teachings, and we start to apply the teachings to observing the karmic consciousness. That's the first. We listen to the teachings, we discuss the teachings, and then we try to apply them. We study the Dharma before we enter into tranquility. Okay. Then we stop observing and we're aware of the consciousness, but we're not really like studying it. We're not investigating it. We're most like, here's a consciousness, here's a feeling, here's an idea, here's an emotion, here's my thinking. This is what I think, and letting go of it, letting go of it, letting go of it. And we calm down. Then we pick up the study again in a calm state. I see. And that can be applied to all four of these.


So we study the four, then we practice tranquility, then we study the four in tranquility. Okay. That's very clear. Thank you very much. I'm sorry, I can't remember the name of the person who just spoke and he ended up with the word that is very clear. So, and then in my consciousness, I always am interested in clarity and seeing things as they are. which is a challenge to me because I have a me and I have a mind and I have a programming in my mind that I see things through my own filter.


And I'm very clear on that, that seeing things from my own filter is not really seeing, is not hearing. And in some ways, I can see when Angela says I'm not a good student, I can actually see what she's saying, but I have this perception or this idea of myself that I am a good student. And the only reason I say I am a good student, because I'm really interested in seeing, in realization, in insight. I also have this belief or this idea about myself that in this seeing, like when I actually see, then I see, then my mind stops because it was like I'm in the seeing so the mind stops.


And the mind starts to become active again after it sees. And then I wonder and I'm questioning that as long as there's this eye or there's this activity in their brain, then I'm not hearing what we call the Dharma. So my question is, Like Angela said, most of the time I'm not hearing the Dharma because my mind is not quiet. And I don't, and no question arises in my mind at this point about seeing what I see, other than that's the way I'm seeing.


So I don't have any questions. I thought I did, but as I spoke it... Yes, so I'm saying, if you study what you said, the diamond will be revealed. That I'm very clear, because It has, I mean, it never, I mean, it's not failing, it's unfailing, yes, that I'm very clear on that. And I want to also thank you for reminding me over and over and over because every time I'm studying means I'm listening, it's clear. When I'm not listening and you remind me to study consciously, I said, yes. So I'm really grateful for the fact that I go back and I can study. I request the next person after Justin would be John Sheehy.


Because he was waiting last week and didn't get a chance. So could he be after Justin, please? Justin? I read. I wanted to first say that I feel like I'm really deeply resonating with this subject and the way you're presenting it. And I really appreciate the clarity of your teachings. And I wanted to mention two things. And one is that it was really helpful for me. And I thought it might be for others as well. Two or three classes ago when John brought up identifying as the observer. And ever since he asked that question, you responded. And I don't remember what your exact words were, and I probably would like to go back and listen again at some point, but it's been a focal point for my practice ever since of observing the observer and not identifying with the observer.


observing the observer come up with the thought. And, and I found that incredibly helpful and liberating. And, and I feel my practice, like, when I, when I identified as the observer, or when I do, I should say, I feel it feels like such an energy drain. Like I can't May I say something? Please, yeah. So, you said observing the observer is an energy drain? No. Identifying as the observer is an energy drain, yeah. So, I would like to mention that observing is an action. Right, karma. And the observer, which is sometimes called the actor, The actor and the action, the observer and the observing, okay?


Not two different things. The observer is not something in addition to observing. Well, as it feels like it is to me, I will keep observing that and studying that. Please study the fiction that the observer is observing. Right. Or you could also say, study the fiction that the observing, that the observer is observing, or study the fiction that the observing is the observer. The observer is the observing. or the observer is observing and observing is the observer. Study those fictions. Those are fictions. They're not two different things. Observing and observer are the same thing. And we have this idea that they're two things.


So that's a very fruitful fiction for you. And I think that letting go of the thought that I am the observer Not that I'm anything other than the observer, but to not identify that I am the observer in a static way. Yeah. So the I is not the observer, but the I lives with the observer. Right. The I is not the observing, but the I lives with the observing. There's no observing separate from the I. It's in the same field, got the I, the observing, the observed, the observer, they're all living together in separate.


Somebody's investigating, okay? I will, can I say one other thing? I thought I was... It's been short because other people are waiting. Okay. I felt slightly averse to the description of things as a fiction and then thought about the fact that, you know, just because it's a fiction doesn't mean it's not worthy of full attention and respect. Sometimes a fiction can be thought of as something to disregard or something to not be or something to not be fully respected, but in the action of observing the fictions, whether or not they're fiction and that they're worthy of complete respect and attention. Yeah, like a great novel. Yeah. It's fiction, but it's calling for really concentrated attention.


Right. And really all fictions are. They want our complete attention so that we can realize the Dharma. Okay, John. Thank you, Raoul. You're welcome. Thank you, Great Assembly, for this opportunity. I feel that actually you've answered my question recently but I'll just give you background on last week you made a brief analogy in answering someone's question, comparing the karmic enclosure or container to a watershed, and the four frames being tributary streams coming in. And that struck a chord with me because I've been studying the watershed island. And what's unique about that watershed is that. The main stream that flows through it that it unites all the perpetrators is actually a title estuary.


It doesn't flow rises and falls on the time twice a day. The greater ocean if you will. And what happens since my ancestors and others came here 160 years ago, it's filling with silt all the time because of the farmers, because of the farming. So it has to be dredged every three or four years. And when I heard you say that I love the analogy suddenly because I saw this dredging the study we're doing is dredging the still water, in a sense. But then I got rather concerned with the analogy because I realized it's going on every three or four years here, you know, in actuality, and I began to think well that's a lot of work I can see dredging at once and having this great insight. But now the tributaries, they're continuing. Those four frames are pouring silt into my beautiful estuary. And then tonight, you, in response to someone, I think it was Warren, you said, well, we reached this point of tranquility with the silt that's flowing in.


And then the compassionate way we are with that, affects the entire watershed, affects the tributaries. And I want to thank you. That was a great relief to me because I just suddenly felt this burden of, as we have here with our actual watershed, dredging this every three or four years, a lot of energy to do that, but entering the state of tranquility and then seeing that how I am with the karma around me that's arising with me, that I'm part of that. and how I am thankful with that affects that watershed around me. So thank you. Very grateful. I had this thought that maybe it won't be me.


There's a part of me that doesn't wanna ask a question. I feel a little muddled, but my brand of delusion seems to be body delusions, because I tend to go towards mindfulness of body, just it's easier. So I have delusions like, there's like a face coming out of like I have eyes in the back of my head or like I'm inverted in my I'm breathing from my feet which are here and these deep delusions of different physical realities and they're very compelling and I think I do get a lot of I think I do get a lot out of them in terms of tranquility and maybe compassion, but I feel like I'm, I'm like just a walking, diluted blob.


I mean, so I, I don't know. What are your thoughts? I mean, am I just sucked into delusion land? I don't think you're, I don't think you're sucked into it, but you might think you're sucked into it. And if you study delusion land, you will realize that you're completely free of it without getting rid of the delusion land. Well, what feels freeing is I feel like it's addressing body trauma. So when my trauma releases, I feel like a different person. Right. And I would really encourage you to compassionately investigate the trauma body and to do so in conversations with the Great Assembly. Yeah, I'm caught in delusion, I think, a lot.


Yeah, you have that idea. Yeah. And that's a perfectly wonderful thing to study. I'm caught in delusion a lot. This is a perfectly good thing to study and investigate and observe. And when the observation becomes deep and intimate, the Dharma will manifest right in front of you without getting rid of anything. I feel like it does a little, because I do get a lot of peace from it. So that feels like it's not a bad thing. But anyway. Well, I'm sorry I didn't, again, didn't, even though I started earlier, I didn't get to all the people who raised your hands.


I'm so sorry. I see Gayatri and Tim and Bhasha. So I hope next time you could raise your hands and we can talk to you early. Sorry. May our intention to study karmic consciousness deeply and intimately pervade every being and place.