Buddha Nature

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thank you very much
good morning everyone
jeffrey p

for the offering up my altar behind me that you are mystery saw i do nine bows i bow three times to the buddha image which is right above my head i vowed to my parents
there and then i vowed to my dharma teachers a bernie and surgeon or
tenth again and milk
oh
we stand on the shoulders of giants as the saying goes

it's been purported to say that suzuki roshi said
that
i have to spend a long time on preparing my lectures because english is not my first language
and as thorn eight when i was preparing while i was preparing for this talk i realized that english is not my first language either if the only language that i have to share my thoughts and feelings with you
but it's
not my first language is actually not any of our first languages or first language is experience
and the manifestation of those experiences are brought out
by talking in speaking
so i hope that today's or talk is clear and helpful and encouraging to your wall
and i invite you to ask questions of me
of huzzah sensei or abbott here kirklees added senator
and
the saga the teachers enter here practicing and people who are yet to be a formal teachers who are practicing your could everyone has their own experience that can be shared and expressed and a helpful to others
today is my day to share with you

today i wanna talk about buddha nature
it's a word that is often spoken about but it's hard to understand or grasp
simply put it's the capacity
to become a buddha
to become a awake
in fact it's our birthright
we're born with it
there's an expression
am
nature or nurture
is it nature that driving or isn't nurture that's driving
so i like us to think about nurturing our nature nurturing our buddha nature
i believe that's what we do here on the cushion it in our practice
we're nurturing this nature of buddha to come forth
we
we don't get better nature
we don't have buddha nature
we are buddha nature

in the first couple of centuries of the last millennium there was a feature called the maha party nirvana sutra and in it there's a description of a being called a each antica
an enchanter guy is someone who will never attain buddhahood
or doesn't wish to become a buddha
some years later there were remnants of a
this sutra that were found in a cave presumably ah and they are read that
all beings have buddha nature
this whole different
you don't we have or do we have
i think most importantly the speaks to or the tenets of buddhism which didn't come down from a mountain in tablet form carried by an old man with it a beard with a beard
okay can get
oh
the practice comes to us from our experience and shared experience and unpacking that experience and exploring and understanding what it means to be buddha
so with a living dynamic practice it's not something old that were just kenneth
parenting
so the original authors of this on my part nirvana sutra
ah
originally were focused on a stupor worship stupid are these burial mounds that you will come across in east asia india and such
and there's a a veneration for these faces these places holy places not to like in our country going to a graveyard
look back out here outside my apartment the a memorial garden
they're not stupid as in mounds bit the relics of a the ancestors that came before us
some of his had privilege to practice with these ancestors
in this lifetime
so the and these early on
compilers of the sutra
we're focused on the external focusing on other relics and stupid of the ancestors and then at some point is started their orientation and thinking started turning inward to the buddha inside of us
the buddha that's in here
not out there

there's a buddhist term called a
to talk into garba which translates as womb or hidden treasury with it
so that are good nature
to talk into garba
buddha-nature

so we've gone from something's don't have buddha nature
two
are all beings have buddha nature

and then at the thirteenth century and japan dog and finn dawkins mg
ah said ah all beings are buddha nature
which is quite a shift of thinking
so that thought you have it something that you are that you embody you don't have to get it but a only to realize it

so having it or not having misses the point
and
i know from my own experience that if i lose faith in having buddha nature
or questioning another's ability to manifest buddha thinking they don't have buddha nature this is a one source of
discomfort and suffering

i believe that saluki roshi
encouraged his students to think of others as buddha to are undercut this tendency that we
kid judge others
where judge ourselves as not having buddha nature
so we start seeing others and buddha or thinking about them changes and are thinking about us changes ourselves
so he would say you're okay as you are
and you can use some improvement
so to licorice was encouraging us to see that we're okay as we are that we are buddha
and
as important is you can use some improvement
however using leaving are using a some improvement
does not mean that you're less of a buddha
just means you can refine your life of it you can be reminded of things and improve so to speak
a moment of practice and so called improving you are buddha manifesting in that moment
we're not practicing to become buddha reboot in this moment
your the bird did not want to pictures of him after he died because well why why wasn't there but i'm i'm imagining
that he didn't want
to be idealized
so for some years after his death there were no images of him
as slowly people began wanting some orientation or reference to the buddhist teaching
and so they started creating images some of them were not
ah anthropomorphic they were a it was a dear the dharma wheel footprints but eventually images started coming ah into focus and being made propagated
so are with of images came a image of this man sitting upright in a particular posture with a beatific smile on his face
don't like that
apparently com and at ease
and that's something that we tend to walk in our lives calmness and usefulness
so what happens when we don't have com or breeze
what happens when we don't look like that
either am by virtue of skin color by gender by comportment
are we still buddha
so the images that we have on our altars are in our mind our ideals
and something to orient toward and ultimately had to find the good and hear and accept a good lesson there
i heard a story of the students speaking with sergio rossi
and such and asked him how are you doing
and he said
wobbly

we've all felt wildly at times
the surgeon simply responded wobbly buddha

except her water
be buddha

don't century has a faster call in shimoga also called to show which is translated the buddha nature
and it opens thus
shakyamuni buddha said living beings all our buddha-nature the to togheter is continuously a by ear and not subject to change
takata is another name for the buddha where the duff come the afghan one
so what is it that death comes in the and of goes
that's the efforts
at the efforts that is inside that doesn't change

the phenomenal changes that the essence doesn't change

at our ordination ceremony the here at berkeley tennis center
it opens invoking the presence and compassion of our ancestors in faith that we are buddha we entered buddha's way
so this brings up the okay can you get i know
this brings up the topic of faith
add everything exists because of an opposite so it also brings up down
do we have faith that we are buddha
do we doubt that we are buddha
so we people tend to fall on one side of the other of this or line being either faith types or doubt types
it's okay to have doubt into question that have evolved into skeptical dell and finishes and then we don't get very far in ah our practice
it's good to have faith and optimism and a belief
but if we have too much faith we can be naive and that question thinks so what's the balance between the face from the dell

we can become very arrogant and cocky if we have experiences that seem to be uplifting invalidating of am a buddha
we can be very
a downtrodden and i'm not so upright when we've had experiences that have a either physically or emotionally beat us down
and he lived in our body
in her practice we are able to see these cars and conditions and temper them and have equanimity
for ourselves and for others

from time to time i make a mistake and ah once i was in soldiers office and i forget what the mistake was and i apologized and he does said don't apologize just do better
and i thought about that
you know apologies are a useful tools to acknowledge our mistakes
to ourselves into more importantly to others
as well as
to express their manifest humbleness
but we're humble were we're open and receptive and we grow with that
so it's okay to apologize
and with it
keep going forward

later on in through show
dogan right
the buddha said if you want to understand buddha nature you should intimately observe cause and effect over time
when the time is ripe buddha nature manifests

the sixth answer the six ancestor said impermanence itself is buddha nature
these two things are teachers on what they said go together

so cause and effect is volitional action
think that we intend to do
either through body speech and line and they manifest
and because these am
actions
are continually unfolding
we see impermanence
nothing is fixed or stable
to is cause and effect

so what is it like so good nature
but what a seafood in nature study cause and effect
well the other day i've heard a talk and there was a reference to a on
ah exchanged between a student and a teacher in the sufi tradition
student asked the teacher what is wisdom
teach your response wisdom comes from making good choices
where are you make good choices
teachers and from experiments
how do you gain experience
making bad choices

so
buddha nature
is revealed by seeing the choices that we make and the cards and conditions that precipitated them
this has been really helpful for me to understand this or
subject
because
making it so called good choices
yes me a feeling of uprightness and
support in practice
and if i make so-called bad choices
the oh what a schmuck so stupid that doesn't have the same feeling of uprightness
and being buddha it seems very far away from being buddha
but if i look closely and learn about the mistake for called mistake i made
in continue to make
and learning from that the costs conditions that will
unfold
can be different
it takes a long time to turn our our karma
of making poor choices into more wholesome choices so i think it is continuous practice

a cohen's are collections of stories from
tang is sung china
another place in time another culture and people
but they really are stories about us that you and me
it's important to remember that the players in these stories on the stage are you and me they have other names
do you and me
in case to or of the move on khan aka joseph fox
i won't come into the hole on the whole on but the gist of the story is that the
the former abbot of a temple
with reborn as a fox because he or gave the a mistake and answer when asked
how does a lightened person
isn't a lighting purchase subject to cause and effect
he said no
and he was reborn as a fox and in i'm in the culture of they are foxes are considered
ah
crafty being possessed maybe a tricky something of of the occult nothing that's particularly
something that we would want to have enough but he was he was born reborn as a fox for five hundred lifetimes by saying that enlightened person is not subject to cause an effect
and a this fox spirit as they present avid of the same temple that he has been added at a long before
please give me a turning word
so i can understand what just teaching us about it let go of this fox spirit that i've been inhabiting
and the teacher after well as the the question he says does enlightened person
isn't a light person subject to cause and effect
and the teacher said the abbott said in a person does night nor cause and effect
so here's the south in year old a story
that speaks to us today
not ignoring cause and effect
we see the effects of her life
we can look at examined them more closely and see what what are the cause and conditions that prompted that effect
it's impossible to know all the colors and conditions
but we can home in on some of them some of the were obvious ones

in case nine of the move on con date fuji show cheetos but not attain buddha
that speaks to i think many of our limits
i've been sitting so long i can i wake up i feel so diluted i've been sitting for forty years and a more dade and i still make these mistakes
why can i turn this around
so here's the case
a monk as the priest date food she so the buddha of supremely pervading for passing wisdom is them on the bodhi seat for ten campus but the dharma of the buddha did not manifest itself and he could not attain buddhahood why
was this
date to cheapo said your question is exactly to the point
the monk said that he did clinton on the body see why couldn't he attained buddhahood
date food so said because he is a not attain buddha
so when i first came across his car on years ago i thought well okay does didn't get it is he attain it
and then a subsequent study
realizing that
we don't retain anything and we are yet my thinking shifted around us

my shifting shifted from
that the buddha
didn't manifest because it's not something that's born is something that's already there and present
as i read earlier than chautauqua togheter is continuously abiding
and not subject to change
there's no birth and there's no death is just what is
that's the efforts
do we get caught in the phenomenon of duality i have it or i don't have it
and you can attain when you already have

the speaks to a dog is teaching of practice enlightenment we don't practice to get enlightenment enlightenment we practice because we are enlightened already

so a kalpa is it an encountered a calculable amount of time it's thousands upon thousands upon thousands of years
that's one kalpa
so ten calpers z live longer
so someone sitting for very long time
be at ten campus
be it ten minutes
it's all the same
cause it ten doesn't refer
two time
it refers to practice
thankfully a reference to the ten power meters we typically ah
the or perfection of practices
fix
can wave at perfecting ourselves so to speak
the the fixed party is that people are most familiar with our generosity morality patients zeal meditation and wisdom
so the am prajna parramatta meta is a perimeter of wisdom
donna party to support meta of generosity so we practice these expressions in order to cross over to the other shore which is sure
the other for a part meters that are on this list of ten are a conduct and speech appropriate to the truth
resolve or will straight and spiritual knowledge

so are practicing for campus her alone that is on the cushion
and off the cushion of these ten tempura beaters
the thrust of the come on
is it encouragement to get off the cushion and practice of power meters
in that practice we attain so so-called a realization that we are buddha

i'd like to end with a
a group
sharing a saluki roshi from an old windmill
that speaks to this

my mind was wandering about i couldn't make my mind pure
and i was at a loss for what to do
i suffered a little bit and i thought and thought and thought about what i should do
one day when i was listening to a psychology lecture the teacher said
it is impossible to catch our mind exactly
it is especially impossible to know exactly what we have done
the mind which acted some time ago the mind which belongs to the path is impossible to catch
and even the mine which is acting right now is impossible to catch
so i thought the wondered is so difficult for me to understand my mind
and i gave up trying to be sure of my way seeking mind
since then i have done good i have done things without thinking that i did them just because they were good
so when you want to see or be sure of your mind you should realize that you cannot catch it
but when you just do something in your mind is acting as it is that is how you catch her mind in the true sense
in other words practise enlightenment practicing waking up mind and body merged
anyway it is rather difficult to see things as it is
is because same things as it is is not the activity of our site or our eyes
this is why we put emphasis on practice to do something without thinking is the most important point and understanding ourselves
if it is difficult to see things as it is we should just practice our way
thank you saluki roshi
thank you you are

if you have any questions or comments i will are
invite you to ask them
i'd also like to take a moment am
to encourage you
two
converse and study together
by reaching out to pusan on sensei are avid here at berkeley's and center
by any of the speakers who come on a saturday for lecture they've all been vetted
as well as the song members that we are who we practice with little hard on line that like being in the zendo on the grounds where we see each other bump into each other than we can share our thoughts and ideas around practice and encourage encourage each other but i if you want to do that you
will find a way i i'm sure
because in order for the teachings to come alive and to transform us they have to be engaged and there's engagement alone and as engagement and community though they said earlier we stand on the shoulders of giants
and am
a little sweet pea the catholic so he saw maybe in the three which walking around me she doesn't appear to be a giant but i learned a lot from her
because when i look at her i recall the coffee conditions of my life then either take have expressed impatience
with her
love for her and if the numerous other feelings that come up when we're around others
and i practice with that then so she's a really good teach for me
thank you
thank you rise for your talk and inspiration and we have our questions now i will start with peter phelps her with you a nuke and ask your question
a good morning ross and here
i want to you know you use the term had five i ran into it
regularly in my years of practice cause and effect causes and conditions for a loser loser very esoteric concepts and i feel like i have little if any ah
a real mastery of the of understanding lived forget about mastery just understanding those terms how they affect me how to practice with them or would you be willing to give me an answer
to that question those questions
well i'll give you a response or logan nancy

because
of your smile
the effect of warped those my heart

is that help and i could you repeat the sort of middle phrase i say i heard because because
of your smile
the effect warms my heart
mom
i'll have two hundred that have been cross it still seems that i don't know whether it's my engineering mind or not but you know that's that still seems esoteric
okay
i'm
i'm
i'm observing us
i'm a knitted brow are you trying to understand
familiar with them did work out because i did my brow myself when i don't understand thinks the theme parks offer clicking for me
so
is two people here there's a infinite numbers of people here for the that others to people here have your conversation and the cause and effect of each we re effect causes and cause effects back and forth endlessly
let's go for a walk and a explore this group
i'm a really good look

okay thank you peter we have a question from linda go ahead dana
hi good morning ross in your brain morning
what so
hope i can remove want a deep worrying when you say
the tata does not change
what are you talking about something does not change teach this help

if we forget the efforts
we get caught in the phenomenal
i don't know about the essence i thought phenomenal
you know this thing that i'm doing with my hands it's very hard to do it better than that but you know i thought form an emptiness and emptiness informing you can talk about one without the other that's right so you make it we make mistake talking about them and that's why suzuki roshi said
just say
but the bell rings movies are talking about it
do you really experienced something doesn't change
i don't
in the moment it doesn't
when we when we look at it
we start examining it every we see changes
but in this moment it was no change
in this moment there is no change the so-called moment ago and the moment now with all these changes are day
but all the only he can experience that i help you
this little with
ross maybe it's meaningful were giving me that response i got a message that my internet is unstable and and got garbled so
did it get to talk to go garbled
anyway ross this is a very serious matter for me sorry to be serious i didn't i understand is is a serious matter for you and a serious matter for me as well
and
i can't explain it and i'm not trying to be fancy or a condescending i am i'm helpless it it and explaining it and trying to explain it to you
and
continue to stand on the shoulders of sweeping over over i had a thought in i i speak i was speaking with surgeon some time ago about a some heartbreak and he said when you get to
practice alone
for me that was a step in to ah the efforts
if it was a step into the ever changing phenomenal that he would have been talking to me about all the things i could or couldn't do to feel happier to get through my michigan us
but practicing alone
if but i got from that his practice in stillness practice in the place that doesn't change
because getting caught in the world of change with cause you made a great deal of suffering and it continues to because i get caught in if i forget about the efforts the to target to garbage that doesn't change then
if i lose faith and then i go into doubt
okay thank you ross these are a heartfelt matters for you and for me yeah let's talk about them again sometime and can thank you linda and rice and we have a question from ron go ahead run
your butcher
iris
in the festival on a buddha nature boot to show that you mentioned from dogan which i've been able to make my way part ways but give up usually ah there's a whole section where he
when he mentions buddha nature he says new buddha nature he goes on for page after page thing new buddha-nature he wants a one without the other what do you make out of that
move
now i mean for real
that was real and
no which for those who have studied joshua dog does a dog had buddha nature
blue literally means no
we all know that the dog does have good nature
so no
he is taking away our concepts
reveal a yes
that all is accepted all is included
so i make out of that that buddha nature is thus
help us thus what you mean by us
all is included
okay all all is included
let's talk about it ever get into discrimination which is okay if if if it is important to discriminate and discern that every find where things lined up who has deeper buddha nature for release
nation whose higher up in his lower down with right what's wrong and all of that
so if ongoing practice for for ten campus
you think it's possible to talk without falling into that
oh bias yeah i i i sincerely believe
joshua response lou
doesn't
the dog and can talk about it well
he did talk about it so jan talked about it
as rookie well she said and thirteen reminded us don't think don't take things literally you have to look on
in between the lines or ethics ethic ago she said you have to know read the other side of the page because the page is empty and has words we focus on the worst
but our practice
in our our conditioning is focusing on her words that's what we grow up with but if we orient and bring in the other side of the page the empty file the page then we get up a broader picture
ah
yeah
okay let's do it
he ran as susan martin go ahead please
hi ross is a susan
ah
so listening to you and linda a here's where where i went i what i really liked in the dogan reading ah those words continuously abiding which somehow
when suzuki roshi said you need you also need a little improvement i'm guessing there was a little translation problem there because i think in japanese that word improvement really includes this idea of continuously and i think what he might have been meaning was
continuously abiding because it's tricky and english for us that word improvement has some attachment to a goal or to becoming better or it even includes in the dictionary has this idea of better than which is either of us the
wrong direction for us as and students so and so then when we think about the word change change is fine but it's not final
there's included in change is this idea that we're always in the same place and we have to continually a by
in this place that brings the kind of wholesome activity you're talking about
and i wonder if you could say something about that
loggly rare that you brought that up it speaks to the my opening words about a english no plane or
hahaha
or or my own i really appreciate airways questions and end a challenging and a good way challenging me a so we can cut of unpack this
oh
improved at wire surgeon other question at public docusign some months ago now i think what it was just would you take on me you said well you're okay you are anywhere decision you can use for improvement but improve it is not a like a
like a self improvement program
if like improving by ripping reminded and working on this continuous practice
oh we do have to continually abide and that is the vow that we take them we're all day you know we will you even after alignment will you continue to practice if i will so i think it is the continual practice and a continuing to abide
by
i'm
the dude abides from that the coen brothers movie the big lebowski and so i think it's hard for us to
understand abiding we understand improvement and i think as we can get caught also because we start beating ourselves up that we have to improve more and do better and do better when in fact what is it that is
with us during the
improving process
if a binding buddha nature is a fighting while we are so called improving
yeah well and it lou it includes a lot of repetition so really when we abide we do improve but we should just not be attached to it as a fixed point
yes thank you so much will be so much
we have another question from kabir go ahead could be
hello thank you for a great job thank you
walberg sojourners you talked about ah
our human nature and then buddha nature
so how one can find balance between the two

it
we
if you're a fake and buddha
pure faith in your own buddha nature
you're here she will take care of itself
if you don't have faith in your buddha nature
you will be very difficult
dogan said that the rock that you trip on is the same work that you get up off the earth and can put you on in your life and practice
so
is it the human
that trips or is it a buddha that trips
hmm there's a really important
like surgeon told the funded wobbly buddha
wow i tripped
buddha trip
who are crying of so sad buddha cries
what do you think
i like that it's funny that that falling out story i heard it first time years ago from a tibetan nun and
the person who said to change but the the messages is very powerful
and
i really appreciate that thank you also are when you're when linda was asking about do not know change or but have yet
i heard and wants to talk about something like that has said the unshakable shaker
so as that the witnessing i or the the emptiness of it disorder doesn't really change that changes everything around it is that are not sure so that came to my mind when when i was asked
what are the things that i i discovered in my study of this is that there's there's many different ways of saying the same thing
and there's no right way is just the way that happens it
you know click for us ah and help us that's those tend to be the ones that we remember
i am
it's not one
and it's not too
if we get attached to one
we just become bumps on a log
the bell rings we have an opportunity to go from so-called oneness or essence to duality
but it it becomes a mechanical thing where okay down a good fit and become one and then now going to go on and take care of my kids that could be duality in order for the practice to actually transform us
there's a transformation that the one becomes many as many becomes what
so you care of the classic story and cutting my kenya be careful not to cut my finger and at some point
is just emerging yeah no being cut but there's a there's an experience of the efforts
author
and if we step back and start examining it
our the suit will get made so we just continue practicing cuddy and and know that will you take up one quarter the rest of the a cloth comes with it
just take you can't take one corner
you know the
are when the teachers were coming over to our bring visit to america people are looking for experiences and practicing samadi and and all the sort of effort
i am ah
special state for my
if much hard you just have a ordinary state of by and feed the extraordinary this of that
it's kinda boring
but a it is transformative been really am
curious way
because we get to look at the cause the conditions of her life that i moved us along and continue to move with the law
really important to look at that if not just about having special transcendent experiences
so going back to the the ordinary mind and nine
thank you could be a in three held at the i am i we have one more question from yoni
yoni go ahead that you could be observed to thank you
thanks sure your talk
our early on your talk
and effect on me when your time are mentioned how surgeon said don't apologize do do better and to media the apology seems important because it expresses a shared reality and that sort of
the importance of of language in a lot of sentences is loves to share reality you talking with wrong about the word move on it seem like this is a word will air it was a hard hard we had a hard time sharing our experience of the word moon
and i wonder why that is why is it so hard day
to agree on move
was here thank you jody add to your first point i agree apologies are important
i think some people apologize too much and beat themselves up for it and it's possible that surgeon
ah has been kind of conditioned around that and trying to get people not to do that for much does the thought that i have
ah with a shoe on the other foot i would go into as office and i talk about a by cooking with him at a meal during the treats and he would start
ah
being apologetic when he criticized something that i could
and i said you don't have to apologize
i'm here to learn and we're having a conversation
but he felt bad because he has criticized people in the past and are they reacted and for that kind of drove them apart so how do we get
intimate how do we practice intimacy with our apologies and thus allowing and making room for people to apologize to with a good point as far as a mood
the experience i had with my first teacher a desiccant bernie glassman in new york this was a coin that i worked on with him
and i had a the experience that we talk about of the wonders and all inclusivity there and happens a privately if ordinary and extraordinary we don't talk about enlightenment experiences and waking up but it's just one of those moments
but then you know he rings the bell and then i gotta go out and and manifest that in my day and a and increase oh well and then i would do well and i didn't use a lot and it was continuous practice ongoing
but having the experience of to the dog had buddha nature lou cannot be shared by anybody else but the to into locators in the out in the conversation
ah so ah
as the saying goes there is
i didn't say it is no zen teacher
i'm sorry i didn't say there's no then there's just no zen teacher because we actually are learning for ourselves a bit of thirty there

so it's often said that students will either come back to their teacher thanking them for not telling me the answer so i can figure it out for myself and sometimes we do memorial services and remembered some services for people
who shared something with us but didn't reveal the secret that we actually find a secret ourself and that this continuous practice
it can be frustrating but that's why we continue to practice together because we get little glimpses