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good morning
looks like the sound is trying to break through
this spring morning
and appreciate them
can hear me okay
so this morning i'm going to be continuing
the series of talks
i'm teaching said i felt ha
the basic to search and roche's approach to sin
last week com
carol quite effectively
spoke about
soldiers teaching
of not treating anyone or anything like an object
today but i'd like to talk to you about his
principle of alignment
now i start with a couple of thoughts before i launch into quotations and citations
first of all to encourage you have to sign up for the practice period that we have that's beginning have
on saturday may eighth with the session and it goes through ah sunday june twentieth at the end of a three days machine
can't all the information
maybe talent can put that in the in the chat to link is on the pcc website including registration form and all the details for what we're doing this practice period
the reason i'm talking about it aside from the fact that i'm trying to flog it today is that the idea of this practice period he is really to realign our practice
we haven't had an actual practice is going very well this is nothing missing is nothing wrong with it ah but we haven't had practice period since has to practice in ha that ended in november of two thousand and nineteen
ah and so we missed it all last year and we're renewing it this year even though it still in an online context
so ah because of that we're not going to have her head students she's so the way we ordinarily would and hopefully we have that in the fall and we're going to conduct this practice period online as we begin to consider how to
how to reopen ah
immunity seems to be ah spreading at least in this country is not in others so the emphasis for this practice period he's going to be on crystal on doesn't and then on basic buddhism on
two core the core principles core dharma systems of basic buddhism that i think it's really helpful for everybody to to have a sense of awe and i'll be doing most of the teaching leading ha and even practice period but getting help from
from senior students and teachers here as well with some of the lectures and talks and really encourage you to please sign up particularly ah particularly everybody particularly the the newer students is a chance to really a
find your practice and to
have an opportunity to study together ah these really basic principles of of buddhism
when i came to berkeley's and center in the in the early eighties ha
sojourn roshi was
quite emphasize in these ah he he did a bless so i think in more recent years but he was really covering the breadth of basic buddhism and at at that time and it did give those of us who around to give us a really wonderful grounding so please think about
your participation thing about what's realistic for you and ah if you have any questions about your participation please you know you write or talk to me or or to jerry oliva
and we can align or practice together

get question of alignment that i feel
it's incumbent on me to speak about
what is and what is not
struggling for alignment in in our country in our society so harm
this week we had
have a verdict in the the trial of derek children for the police officer for ah the murder of joint floyd
i certainly did not feel cell laboratory one that verdict came in
i felt that a kind of
symbolic release of my hill breast perhaps but hum

they're all these every day we see
ah not just murders by by police of of young african americans but also ha
people walking into different settings in our and shooting people
a just a kind of madness and this alignment in our country that is very alarming
so in the context of the chevron verdict
one could make the case that justice has been done
but this is justice a
fashion not in a restorative fashion
ha we cannot restore
george floyd's life
we cannot restore the damage to his family and his community
nor can we restore
whatever the actions of whatever the the impulses where that drove care chauffeur to peel on his net for all that time
and press the life out of him
nor the effect on his family
the real question of how do we come into alignment
as a as a society
as people

man i think a dumpster
that is the the message of an approach to just as status that is seen as restorative justice but that is very rare in our in our culture
ah i wish it were more
what widely ah distributed i wish those values were ah
were widely available
can i think it's
it behooves us to take responsibility for that so i do not have an answer about what
alignment looks like war ha
could be accomplished in that case but
i felt that ah
needed to say something
so under the review a couple of things ha
this is a story from her the
wonderful collection of some of that is one of the first zen boxes many of us read in the in the early sixties ha hundred and one ten stories ha
which is collected transcribed by yoga said zaki and paul reps and this collection of both of ancient stories and of relatively modern ones
this one is called accurate proportion and it is in reference to send out repeal on the sixteenth century a team ask her
so said ratio wish to hang a flower basket on a column
he asked a carpenter to help him
directing demand to place it a little higher or lower to the right or left until he found exactly the right spot that's the place send out with you said finally
the carpenter to test the master mark the spot
and then pretended he had forgotten
was just a place possessed just a place perhaps the carbon request asking pointed to various places on the column
but so accurate was the two masters sense of proportion that it was not until the carpenter reached the identical spot again said this location was approved

the day after day year after year
i many of us watched sojourn roshi
enter the zendo in a half light of early morning
he approached the altar slowly and quietly
had he paused for a long could take in
what was arrayed before him
the buddha
project or meta candles flowers incense a water bowls small bodies up for figures memorial cards for the recently deceased
with a slow and sure touch
sajjan very carefully set all these figures and objects in what he felt to be the proper alignment
to his painterly i
each thing on the altar should occupy its own space in balance with everything else
and i think that in his
example of practice
without explaining he showed us
how we can create that kind of harmony in our on comedy and alignment in our own life
suzuki roshi wrote
the reason everything looks beautiful is because it is out of balance
but it's background
he's always in perfect harmony
surgeon was acutely aware of the actuality and the beauty of things falling out of balance
i felt that he was constantly demonstrating how to create a background of harmony
of alignment
not just in
arranging the altar
but how to align our body
to sit like a buddha
this is what we think of when we sit
kinzer then what we are manifesting is buddha murderer
we are placing our bodies in the position of the buddha
and thereby has has dug into and he speaks we are we're actually manifest in nature
we are we are becoming buddha by placing our bodies in his brutal murder
so short sojourn roshi was showing us how to align our body in in and how to live in a way that's aligned with the causes and conditions of a world
actually i've found a passage ha from a lecture where he speaks of their sons radio it's quite short
there's a certain kind of order of the things have on a table
often when i come to the table i adjust things not according to a fixed order but so that each one has its space in relation to in relation to all the pieces and not just focusing on one piece and disregarding the rest is just garbage
when i put my cub scout i put my cock down in relation to the objects around it so that each thing has space and balances with all the others
i think that comes from the practice of always been aware of the relationship between objects
i guess i developed a sense of relationship in st practice court just develop suzuki roshi was like that too
i would
hazard a guess that actually
the elements of
understanding those relationships are also what drew him to set
as an artist as a painter
you're always thinking of
color and objects in space
i feel that and also seeking were indifferent are you thinking about relationship you know if you're if you're a dancer or a musician you're thinking of movement and space and sound in space
my own experiences a musician
he said
when things are really working
when the music is really alive
each node has its own space
and also has
the proper amount of silence around it and is in relationship to each other note the each other's note
and also that is how the relationships ideally exist among the people who are actually playing the music
that each one is cooperating each one is finding their own sonic space that creates a hold
this is what we do
in zazen this is ah will you know we've been we've been really wrestling with this for a year
ha ha zoom i think we're actually doing really well ah but in the zendo
we physically manifest this sense of alignment
and each person sitting next to each other is
supporting each other

i read a poem
for i thought of a poem today it is well be say it's also important to realize that
this is one side you could say a your he says ah
this is a clear she says to live in the realm of furniture needs to die as a small be moment after moment
when we lose our balance we die
but the same time we also develop ourselves we grow
in surprises whenever we see is changing losing its balance the reason everything looks beautiful is because it is out of balance but it's background is always in perfect harmony
this is how everything exists in the realm of good in egypt losing its balance against the background a perfect balance
so that's one side
ah and it's also true that
these principle of order or of alignment
here is not necessarily an absolute very interesting or and so if you went to meetings went to lots of meetings with with sodium roshi in the a to the last half of two thousand and twenty and he was always
completely fewer like this you know what he was really irritated you know if fewer like not in the frame to sway your he wanted you right in the middle of the frame
that was is that was his sense of of order
and his sense of water on the poker was a kind of her i think there was a cemetery to it
ah henry's very interesting because when i compose photographs
what i like is actually
my eye moves towards an asymmetry
and that has for me that has that is something that dynamic and that appeals to my sensible
ah and so we have symmetry and asymmetry is one of them right one of them wrong we have so-called beauty and so called ugliness
these have absolutes

i was thinking of a poem
this morning that
probably some of you know and it's a short poem
allergies can read the first half of it
ah it's called
the anecdote of the jar by wallace stevens
i placed a jar in tennessee
and round it was upon a hill
it made the slovenly wilderness surround that hill
the wilderness rose up to it
it's sprawled around no longer while
now there's tremendous amount of ambiguity about the meaning in argumentative interpretation about the meaning of this phone
but what's interesting there is a suzuki roshi says
everything is beautiful
because it is out of balance but as balance is always in perfect harmony that is one way of seeing the world
what what while stevens is saying here is actually
the wilderness he's not a background of stillness and harmony the wilderness is wild
and somewhat
random or unfolding according to its on ha principles that we can understand and when we take a jar that we've manufactured and put it in the middle than all of a sudden that takes dominion over the space
but the fact is
that's just
our perception
you know or as bernie class i finally realized today that how your bernie glassman the the phrase that he borrows from ha
the big lebowski
ah is it does just like your opinion man
that's a condensation of yoga chara teaching
to see that jar
as holding dominion over the wilderness in tennessee
is a matter of our perception
the to follow me ah it's a matter of our perception now you know to
a bird or a fox
or a snake
very unlike they wouldn't see it that way they wouldn't see the jar as an organizing principle for the wilderness
but in a human perspective given are given our
habits and the causes and conditions we can to see that so
i think that this is also
to me
a deeper dive into
surgeons idea of practice
was yes he aligned things
has a and gave everything it's space
because that was his agency
that was him taking respond that was him recognizing his perception and taking responsibility for his perception
and helping those things find their place in the context of his perception
he might have left them with they were
but that didn't accord with
actually didn't chord with his instinct for creativity
and that instinct for creativity
is also deeply imprinted
in our practice of zazen
we think that thousand is just doing the same thing
over and over again
but actually zazen is placing our same placing ourselves in
in an alignment so that anything can happen
placing ourselves their opening ourselves and
seen what creative
but creative explosion takes place
so we can look at it from this standpoint think it's very interesting we can look at it from the standpoint of everything is
it a good is exists in a background in the background of harmony or also everything exists in a background of wildness
can we have those aspects those are those are aspects of our existence when seen from different directions
helen's in to me
pick we manifesting both of those

suzuki roshi says com

you have see says you'll be the boss of you
which is not boss and things around it's actually
recognizing that your perception and your mind
is has some agency
with regards to what you see what you do what you say

since when you do things in the right way at the right time for everything else would be organized so that's the perception that's the perspective of the jar in tennessee
you're the boss when the boss is sleeping everyone is sleeping
the boss does something right everyone will do something right and at the right time
that's one side

the other side is the wonderful profusion
of wildness
those capacities that we have within us which are intellectual or artistic their emotional
and ah
what he says the best thing to do this is ah
when he talks about control
he says the best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous
incense to encourage the wildness in the randomness in ourselves
so then they will be the troll in its wider sense
to give your sheep or cow large spacious meadow is the way to control them
so it is with people first let them do what they want and watch them
this is the best policy so just watching
it's the moment when sojourn approaches the altar and looks and just watches well how have these things
how have these things arrayed themselves this morning
best one is to watch them just to watch them without trying to control
but the context of this
passage and sent mind beginner's mind also his control so that is an aspect of it as well
you don't just throw it out the window you don't let
people do what they want
in ways that are
destructive or harmful
the people who the police officers stood be out by
and watched their children kneeling on the neck of george floyd
that kind of watching
is out of alignment with the universe
because it doesn't take into consideration
that all life is precious
so there's a context for watching
context for watch him i think is if you will
universal love
universal respect
loved all those things on the altar
has i'm going through haven't gone to his office for the last month and a half and sort things sort things out and
i'm very aware of of the placement
of things in that he that he located in his office
and that he put each one of those in that place
so before i moved them
please think about them
and try to see what
what it was that he thought was the appropriate space for that photograph or that print or that for that little statue or that nonsensical object that had been sitting on his desk for fifteen years
and they have a pint of sacredness for me
but they don't necessarily have kind of permanence
each of us has to come and make our own world and whatever space we help

and then the most difficult thing of all is to create alignment
in our society

it's particularly difficult
to create alignment in a society
that has
that has roots in destruction
that has roots in genocide

that are hard for some of us to admit

but i think first we have to it what we can learn in zazen is too
admit those flaws admit the flaws and deficiencies that each of us has
to be really honest with ourselves and honest with each other
has a way of establishing
our sense of connection and alignment
with our sisters and brothers whether their family members co-workers samba members
and as we learn that
i think we have the potentiality of
extending that kind of
honesty and painful in for introspection
more widely
so that we can
you can find it alignment
and it the same time
kalau what is necessarily wild to thrive

so i think that's where i will end for today and leave time for comments and discussion
thank you
thank you goes on you know the drill y'all if you have a question please raise your hand and i will call on you let's do this slowly so that i have time to
ah peng you i'll go with kit robinson please on me yourself
thank you blake thank you awesome
last night i was listening to a record
of a pianist of playing a song by phone is monk called ugly beauty
so very lyrical moving song in his typical idiosyncratic way of composing
and i've meditated on the title and ugly beauty what is ugly beauty
and i
have thought about monks life in which he experienced a lot of ugliness
including the the effects of white supremacy and police brutality on numerous occasions
and then of course the fact of his music
which is very complex and original and sometimes discordant to the untrained ear but and if you listen to that long enough it becomes very beautiful
and so i wrote that line poem that it goes like this
in monks ugly beauty the last word
it easy
thank you kid a poet sensibility
you know when i was on
when i was a kid like fifteen and start listening to music ah
there was a record of of gospel music by
blind willie johnson
and i tried a number of times to listen to could not listen to it his voice was was gravelly the satellite from the bottom of the barrel or something and i found it scary
and as yours turned
i find it ineffably beautiful
but at that moment was too much for me
the same day you know i i'm grateful i didn't give up on it
you know i didn't to live
is miss it
he just kept going back
and are finding their beauty

ben i invite you to meet yourself and ask a question
osan s am
thank you for your talk i found a the topic really resonated with me i found in in sauce and recently and i've experienced this before it to lesser or greater expense is feeling of crookedness and partially cause of his shoulder that i've been having some soreness with
and i really feel the pull away from alignment that's happening and then i find myself very
are coming back to my vow and my intention to align and really adjusting a lot realigning a lot and sitting this morning it became apparent to me that that's
you know our practice everywhere like you know finding that alignment
sort of the parts of the body
yeah aligning different parts of my body and trying to care for them and put them in the right order is the way i want to help others and interact with all things and
i was really going back to my mood dress so i guess my question is about my mujer because i've heard someone say maybe sojourn maybe someone else that it can be the sort of barometer of years us and posture and i find that it pulls a certain direction because of this shoulder issue and i have this sense that holding that mujer a
this is is is holding every is attempting to hold everything in alignment so i wonder if you could speak something about our boudreau
the murderer is
it translates as the cosmic new madrid
and you know it's are some kip serve just touching ah and your hand your left hand is resting on your right arm and is kind of a a half circle us
fingers and ah
it's also holding a to me it's holding a space of receptivity
that when you're sitting like this you are ah
you are open for something to fill that space
so it is an important barometer when retired have our thumbs up on a collapsed if we're dance we push them together although those sweet we have this
nobody since as an instruction
and i think that
we have to find the right balances in our body
that on one hand there's a general ah
general instructions for a posture for our alignment for how we sit for how we older body for how we hold our boudreau and
one thing that surgeon said is that what we're constantly making minute adjustments of that and i think that part of the adjustment also is have that one has defined the balance is that are appropriate for one's own body it
not one size fits all
yeah we're not try to turn out cookie cutter postures in ah in the zendo ah it's great if we if we have an idea of what alignment we want and we can do that that's fine but not many of us were getting old
no we're finding you know took all
now i can't because of my knees i can't sit in half lotus ah and ah
i have to honor we have to honor the
honor the demands of our body at the same time as experimented with weather
where do you can approach that model and you have to be very careful not to force yourself into that posture that that's to me
ah very important thing arm
that's where one can do one self harm i don't think he couldn't any the murderer is does not problematic and in and same way the same way that maybe your knees and hips might be
but yes sometimes
we feel lazy me now on hold the mood of the murder but come back to the woodrow
just because data form not because it's like the only way to hold your hands
thank you hassan i i had this sense while i was adjusting my posture that night
me trying to hum
take care of each element of my body is not at without forcing it but with holding it accountable in some way to show up is is not different from saving all beings well i don't want to take more time but no the tripod but it's also that's good because
your body is a co-operative
we've got the leg beings the finger beings and oliver beings in the brain beings all those beings if one of them miss out of whack
the whole deal doesn't work well
so they're all cooperating

ross plum my invite you to admit yourself and ask a question
good morning goes on
you you produce a collection of music called everything is broken
and i'm wondering how that may or may not relate to your talk around balance
as a practice

i think that
what appealed to me about that
song was a residents with this teaching of a john chas where he had disappeared favorite cup ah and ceramic cup any city
i love this cup because i know that it's already broken
you know that
that impermanence is law
and i think we see
we see the brokenness in our bodies we see broken this in our in our lives we see brokenness in our
what comes to mind is this is wonderful
japanese part
i'm sure i i prefer you know it when they take broken cups
and they men them with gold or silver
you know like every in japanese it it it gets over downright its place
going to for but it's like
the honor the brokenness
and i think we can honor the that song is about
honoring the brokenness in ourselves yeah i like that in our society

i see heiko helen and john
hey go i invite you to meet yourself and ask a question
thank you rosanne sensei are very inspiring and interesting talk a couple of comments and i'd like to talk about that word dominion at the order of things that reminds me of story of suzuki roshi walking behind someone and kin and i imagine and that person straightened a photograph and as suzuki roshi she went by he jus
put it back to broken
and another reference i i spoke with so nosy about the the great this is added i think one hundred and one stories actually the great master finally retired to the mountain and it became strangely excellent talking about the mountain and halwa
this word dominion that comes from that poem and i when i first read the poem i kind of equated i'm an all white guy can be equated white guy he equated dominion to this kind of unity that comes around objects when they enter i and is supposed to
a certain kind of blindness that i would attribute to the poem to the poet the dominion is a white guys kind of thing and that order and everything being really nice his dominion is a wake-up call and he was trying to point out that i got that when that was there
suddenly it was recognized and everything was recognized by it in being but that dominion thing is aside from where you can directing us to and in thought and also i think it's just an all white guy word and wonder if you could address that would i think that's exactly right and i think it's also it's really interest
thing because this is a jar in tennessee
can i see he's a native american word
tennessee is a native american place so i think this is you know
i don't think that that top
while stevens was advocating dominion i think he was talking about the way our minds work
i think you could say in this palm what he's talking about
how we make reality
according to what we think
and that's not reality
and that's what dominion his dominion his power over
so the precept the power over in that perception that everything in that on that hill is surrounding and oriented towards that john
you know i think he's alluding to the fact yes that's a perception and yes that can be really problematic
so you saw him as enlightened on that point i think i think so and there's a lot of argument about it you know gary gary it's a it's a deeply
ambiguous com will it woke me up so maybe it did contain that enlightenment guy delivered by the poet i tried to say like jazz i we wake up sometimes and it's only been a lot of noise in yeah
thank you very much
helen see please on meet yourself and ask a question
hi has on learning
the conversation in is sort of moved out of it as it does i think i'll still share what i was osama a mind come when you're talking about the mudra
i've been working with this idea of flow and letting things flow in and out and so i'm really enjoying this idea of receptive this and also this idea of allowing things to go and so with the two hands there's that that possibility and on and i just kind of experience
since it as it comes through so i just wanted to share that that
share that with everyone thank you to me that
is this mutairi is you've touched on both points it's a dynamic receptivity
know what just happened here
you know the
the openness of the hands that kind of half cupping is the receptivity to cold everything and the position of the ha
of the to sums it's like have
come like that painting of of god and adam on the sistine chapel ceiling where their fingers are just barely touching
and is a dynamic energy is flowing between them
we get to do that
constantly while it's cree and also it's circles within circles that's the other thing that i like a way picture it is like i'm creating a circle with my arm that i'm creating this half circle with my hands and it's like opening to everything and your whole body also
new pasture upright posture his a posture of unguarded receptivity
so you face it blake
a newborn baby who was just learning to walk walks with her belly forward into the world ah fearless

i see a couple more hands maybe that will take the state rosen
nope ah ken paulson please send yourself and ask a question
thank you
can you changed
it as scary i am
as he looked talking about surgeons a practice of shifting things on the altar just so i was thinking of my mother in the last five months of her life was bed bound and she always like seems to be just in a certain place which was
he's very mysterious cause it didn't actually add up to order of sometimes but am
she at the in that period she wanted her bedside table to be just so so i mean these were the things that are most important what was her call them or tissues the remote for the t v some water those were the essential remember you know things about you know people would like use that
i can ensure that can you put this over there and better weather and that over there and then she'll just after i'd done it all and kind of arrange for table than to go and she would move everything quarter-inch that way and quarter inch display
and i think it was because it was her course her space
in her autonomy
and i'm wondering and i kind of wonder like i know that sometimes the folk to take care of the altar would be taken aback that no surgeon thought that they had done it wrong or something like that or me with my frustration of my mom doing this every day or several times a day of like okay why does it have to give
what into this way am i guess some just wondering if you can kind of speak to the
interpersonal personal side of this says well
well you know that was your mother's world that was the scope of that really was her immediate world and so are completely on understandable ah i'm sure that many of us have had the experience oh
i'm going to decisions office finding his table ha
piled with seemingly random stacks of paper
putting something down on top of wanted meme and emptied don't put that there
you know ah

i think it's really important not it's really to me it was i just always tried to learn
and not to
feel like had made a mistake
it is there's something i'm not seeing here that he seen what is that and the same thing think
goes very much in awe
in the context of the of the altar it's like
i could i could rearrange i can arrange things and he can come and rearrange them you know and it's sake
the effort i think that i made was to try to see
what it was it he was seen and also
really to see
where i might be having a reaction a self clinging reaction like oh he's judging me or i did it wrong or anything extra than the fact that it was just a realignment of these objects and of course we are
all have pack
you know ah and that's i just always took that as in it has an opportunity to to work with myself
ah but i know
it it's a conundrum i know that
there are people who are really
thrown in the context is in practice by
so-called corrections
find that very hard to absorb this is what to me
what i wanna be in his alignment i wanted to be in alignment with him
and so i wanted to know what it was that he was seen by way of alignment
and i never discovered we we would have these discussions about we had some discussions about framing and aesthetics
he had his vision and i had mine and that was okay i just the alignment was knowing what his was having a sense of what mine was and knowing when was the moment to do wander the other so for example
when you go to another temple
i've had a lot of experiences hum
all the forms were little different
sometimes lived in often they turn right sometimes to leave the alternator and left you know them all these various little things in my effort for alignment is to do the practice that is the practice of that temple not to do the practice than i feel i have learn
learned as the correct practice because it's just has his her the whole thing the have these practices are what bernie glassman referred to as msu making stuff up
you know ah and that goes along with the fact that
the projections of her mind
but it behooves us to align ourselves and to understand what the projections of people's minds are
and then we have to decide what we gonna do that
peter endured and friend
who said sitting at you
my son alex
thank you for the talk on just one thing the discussion with heiko and the the topic of what white guys see when they will get a a pot in the wilderness reminded me of a club by chief luther standing bear says we did not think of the great open play
wayne's the beautiful rolling hills and winding streams with tangled growth as wild only to the white men was nature of wilderness and only to him was the land infested with wild animals and savage people us it was tame earth was bound to fall and we were surrounded with the blessings of the great mystery not until the hairy man from
the east came in with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families that we loved was a while for us and the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach than it was that wild west for us began oh that's a good perspective that that's really helpful and
here's a yeah
be interesting book but harry sneider called the practice car cooler
it'll be over soon
yes there was no concept of wilderness
listen to what songs to sneer wilderness is building on can get up now

so you're you're completely correct that this in itself is also a colonial view
at the same time
maybe wild is not
he's not the right word
but from the perspective of our
our own thinking and intellectual training ah what we try what we've often do is to refine out what we call wild
and to suppress it and so what i'm suggesting is ah
how do we honor that
without relegating it to a subordinate position
ah and we could just say this is a word that we use ah it's not really wild as you look at it there's tremendous
order into dependence ah all of that ha and i think from
the point of view of while stevens palm again he's coming from the perspective of dominion he's coming if you will from a a dominant and colonialist perspective that looks at
this ah countryside in tennessee as wild
and so that that's part of the ambiguity so i know i'm i'm really here that ah
and i think it's a it's a very rich discussion to let things be this is what but zookeepers talking about to let things be has it isn't just watch it
that at the heart of our practice is
the endless attempt
not to limit things
by placing names on them
not to limit our feelings our perceptions
our her friends or anything that ha and is very hard for us to get beyond language because language is actually shaped are thinking in so many ways so i thank you for
i thank you for rob
calling network tension and a did we have to end
he has